Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in the New Year

Despite my absence, don't worry; I have not forgotten about you! The holidays have been fast and my break has flown by. But here is a way that you can enjoy New Year's Eve. Treat yourself to a festive ring. We all know that accessories can make or break an outfit, so take the time today to make sure you look fabulous for tonight.
Here are some rings that I particularly love:

Harry Winston
John Hardy
David Yurman
H. Stern
H. Stern
David Yurman

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Whooo Hooo - K-Tip Is Done!

Lately the lack of a computer hasn't been the only think stopping me from updating my blog. I had my k-tip cycle one meeting yesterday, and while it went very well, much of my energy has been poured into that the last week. My brother-in-law was also at our house for a week, and it's my husband's block exam, so all of those things equals no time. Schools out on Friday though which means I should have beau coup time in just a few short days. Until Friday, I expect it to continue to be a mad house. Until then, here are some things to feast your eyes upon.These are for the lack of trees I have given you lately. I hope you enjoy them; it's never too late to add to your tree!
Pictures from BHG & Country Living

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 17.2-oz. can vacuum-packed sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting, below
  • Finely shredded orange peel


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange peel. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 2/3 cup butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon or milk and beat until combined. Beat in 8 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. Makes 4-1/3 cups.

Make Ahead:Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in airtight containers up to 1 month. Store frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Better Homes and Gardens

I'll try to upload my pictures soon, but they tasted so good! My 13 year old nephew ate four of them, and would have eaten them all, but his mother stopped him!

Christmas Tree of the Day

Country Living
** P.S. I'll have a recipe for sweet potato cupcakes tonight, so check them out!**

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Tree of the Day

Cranberry-Walnut Bread

I'm sorry I have been gone for so long! But here is a recipe that will be worth your wait. This is from the Cuisine at Home Holiday Baking Magazine. It has whole, fresh cranberries and walnuts inside the bread and a sweet and sour topping of turbinado sugar and minced cranberries.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp minced orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
3 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350; coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a bowl; make a well in the center. Set dry ingredients inside.
Toss 1 1/4 cup cranberries with 1/4 sugar in as small bowl; set sugared cranberries aside.Whisk together buttermilk, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, oil, zest and vanilla in a seperate bowl until fully combined. Pour buttermilk mixture into well of dry ingredients; stir only until dry ingredients are moist.
Stir the sugared cranberries and walnuts into batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean and bread is golden on top, about an hour. Cool loaf on rack for 15 minutes.Pulse the remaining 1/4 cup cranberries in a food processor (or mince them by hand); toss with coarse sugar for the topping.
Turn bread out onto a cooling rack; sprinkle top of loaf with the cranberry-sugar topping. Let bread cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.

**I wish I had taken a picture of the complete finished product. It was so pretty with the crystal sugar on top. It was a wonderful contrast of the sugar and the tart cranberries. It would be a perfect baked Christmas gift, and it was very simple. Happy Baking!**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Simply Tickled Pink!

Thank you, thank you to Savannah at Pitter Patter and Amy at Pretty Little Presents for giving me a blog award! It's so much fun, and silly as it is, it kind of made my day! There are some stipulations to this award though, and I am much obliged to fulfill them! These were my directions:

Here are the rules:
~thank the person who nominated me for the award
~copy the logo and place it on my blog
~link to the person who nominated me
~list 7 things people may not know about me
~nominate 7 creative bloggers
~post their links
~leave a comment on each

Here are my Kreativ Blogger nominees:

Annie's Eats: This blog is becoming a go-to for me when I need a delicious, yet unique recipe. The blog is laid out in lovely way, and each recipe has some special flare to it. It makes me hungry just looking at it!

Nesting Place: This blog has wonderful ideas to spruce up your home. It features crafts (that don't look crafty) and other easy do-it-yourself ways to make your house look like a home.

Katy Elliot: I love how crisp and clean everything looks in this blog. Katy has elegant, yet simple and understated taste, so everything looks extremely polished. She also has recipes and other fun tidbits that will have you searching her blog.

Design Dazzle: I don't have children, but if I did, they would have the coolest bedrooms and parties around because I would find my ideas here. Although this website has really fun children's rooms, it also has some creative party ideas that can be translated to an adult setting. It also has the DIY projects that we all love!

Under a Paper Moon: I love the quirky photos, fashion and finds on this blog. There are lots of fun tidbits, and you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Pewter and Sage
: This blog provides more inspiration for festive home decorating. I enjoy looking through all of her various home pictures!

Centsational Girl
: This blog has lots of home improvement ideas. Each is seems like they could be easily achieved with a little work. Did I mention that she likes to work on a budget... now that's my kind of style!

And Here are Seven Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. My blog's name is named after my Grandpa. When I was trying to think of a name, I kept thinking and thinking. I called my grandpa Poppy, and they have become my favorite flowers. So, I went with Pink and Poppy. And on a side note, I teach English, so I liked the alliteration of pink with the poppy. My favorite color is really blue. :)
2. I am absolutely obsessed with Disney World. I have been there nineteen times (twenty soon!) I got engaged at Disney World, and I could pretty much write a book. Any questions; shoot them my way!
3. I have recently taken up bike riding. I am by no means a professional, and I will never, ever try to be, but it's fun to ride around the park or up to the grocery store. It's my little contribution to the environment. This summer, my husband and I want to ride the
Great Allegheny Passage. We'll see how that turns out.
4. I am a running coach. Through middle school, high school and even college I ran track and cross country, so it was a natural transition for me to continue to be involved in the sport. This year, I was not able to coach cross country because of KTIP (Kentucky Teacher Internship Program), but I'm going to do my best to coach track with my middle schoolers. It's so much fun!
5. Reese Witherspoon is my favorite actress of this generation. (Audrey Hepburn could never be topped of course as my all time favorite.) But, I think Reese is a wonderful role model with lots of talent. If she's in a movie, I'm sure to love it.
6. I'm an only child. I don't know why that is extremely significant, but I'm running out of things to say! I can entertain myself easily; I think that's why I like to cook so much. It's easy to be a one person job.
7. And last... hmm. I kind of have a slight shoe obsession. But I don't buy normal shoes. Well, I guess they're normal, but they all have a unique twist about them. The higher the heel or the more unique peep toe is right up my alley. These were my latest purchase, and the picture does not do them justice! They are Stuart Weitzman, but you know I did not pay full price; thank you Von Maur clearance shoe room!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bring the Outdoors In

A few weeks ago, there was a strong gust of wind, and it knocked the most marvelous branch out of a tree in our back yard. I tore it apart, and put it in a large hurricane vase that was sitting on a shelf in our living room. I must say it looks very festive. That got me to think about other things that were branch inspired. Here's what I found:

Gifts that Keep Giving

This superluxurious moisturizer is as good for your skin as it is for the International Fund for Animal Welfare: 100 percent of proceeds from Lush go to charity. $20.95 at Lush.
TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about. These shoes are $54 at TOMS.
The Rainforest Site will preserve 2290.0 sq. ft. of land for each Silver Smoke Blown Glass Ornament purchased. $29.00
The proceeds of this platter and scooter go to St. Jude Chidren's Hospital. The platter is only $29, and the scooter is $49. These and many other items can be found at St. Jude.

The Silver Lining Ornament is only $10, and the Good to the Last Drop Earrings are $15. Both were made in India. It allows women to create fair trade products from their homes. This site features many other items. These can be found at Original Good.
The proceeds of this necklace go to changing the lives of women in developing countries. It is $85, and you can find it at Build a Nest. Many of the items are very reasonably priced.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish

I think I will bombard you with posts today. Still computer-less, but Scott is still asleep, so I'll keep posting until he wakes up, and I have to do "real" things. At any rate, this is my absolute favorite holiday dish. It is kind of unusual, and I had never had is before. You see, my family (with the exception of me) is from the North. In fact, my grandmother had never made biscuits and gravy even though she was a phenomenal cook. So this southern side dish was off the radar, until I went to Scott's family's house for Christmas. His aunt made this pineapple casserole, and I could have eaten the whole thing. So this is how you make it. It's sure to please!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple tidbits, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple tidbits, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Compliments of Paula Deen, so you know it's good!

I Can't Wait!

The last time I was at the movies I saw the trailer for Blindside. I'm so excited that it's out now! Has anyone seen it, and is it good? It makes me cry every time I watch this!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Very Unexpected...

Last week, my mother-in-law made the best waffles ever. I usually don't like waffles just because they tend to be dense and not so crunchy, but these were amazing. The secret to their success you ask: Rice Krispies Cereal and corn starch. This morning I made them again, and once again I was impressed. So here is a tried and true recipe for the best waffles:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat waffle iron to medium. Meanwhile, stir flour, Rice Krispies, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and oil together in medium bowl.

With electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat egg whites in bowl to soft peaks. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Whisk in beaten whites until just combined. Do not over-mix; a few streaks of whites should be visible.

Pour 2/3 cup batter into center of preheated waffle iron and use back of dinner spoon or measuring cup to spread batter toward outer edges (batter should reach about 1/2 inch from edges of iron before closing lid). Close lid and cook until deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Makes 8 7" round waffles, or about 14 squares.*

*I somehow ran out of vanilla without noticing but substituted cinnamon, and they still tasted (and smelled) wonderful!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving Tabletops

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is officially time to start planning how you will set your table. Here are some fun ideas that are sure to suit every palette.
These delightful images were taken from Martha Stewart, Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens.