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!**