Strawberry Basil Cupcakes

Guys, I have the BEST family and friends. They spoiled me like I can’t even begin to tell you for my birthday! I think I mentioned the other day that if there weren’t tears involved in my birthday, it probably wasn’t my birthday. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was probably Christmas or something like that. I was a little sad because hubby had to leave town on my Birthday, but he even made me feel special, especially since he wouldn’t be here on my actual birthday.

I’m telling you… THE. BEST. family and friends. Last year for my birthday, Deb got me a cupcake carrier (seen in these photos). Remember all those cupcakes I did last year? Anyway, this year since I’ve been really into cakes, she got me a cake stand and cake server. I laughed and joked, “what will it be next year? haha. Pies maybe?” Who knows, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

My aunt fed my cookbook addiction. More good yummies to come. I soooooooooo badly want to write a cookbook. You have no idea. I’d also love to be a YouTube personality, but I don’t see the later one happening probably, but nothing says I can’t aspire to that one day. My aunt said she expects some good yummies. You betcha! First up for me to make for her though are Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons. That was a promise!!

That’s not to say all my other presents weren’t great, because I’m not joking, I. GOT. SPOILED. Thank you thank you! (more…)

Strawberry Champagne Birthday Cake

I woke up this morning to clouds and the potential chance of rain. I heard the other day we’re like 18″ behind in rain for our area this time of year. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I haven’t verified that, but I can tell you we’re in a huge drought. We need rain. This last week has been hot, but not humid like it was. I know, people find it hard to believe humid in Missouri, but I’m telling you… You walk outside and you feel like you’re either in a sauna or you just took a shower.

Last month I talked to a guy from Southern Oklahoma about a trip he once took to Columbia, Missouri. He said he had relatives that live in Kansas and this time of year, Kansas is just hot. He figured that’s how Missouri was. He said boy was he sorely mistaken. I love when people from coastal areas talk about humidity like we don’t know what it is… and we’re landlocked so where the humidity comes from I have no idea. (Oh and he was from Southern Oklahoma… I know that’s not a coastal state, just saying.)

But, it’s summer none-the-less in the Midwest. That makes it hot and dry. Especially since we’re at the end of July quickly approaching August. August is a hot dry month anyway for us… but dang, we need rain. Come on 80% chance! But they said on the tv last night that we have this hot climate without the humidity right now which feels nice but is making the rain coming from Witchita, Kansas area dissipate before it gets to us. Eventually, enough rain chances will come and break through that and we’ll get rain plus our humidity back, but until then… less humid weather (even though it’s hot) is what we’ll have. By the way, today’s high is 81˚. I think it’s time to break out that Parka!

Anyway… Summer = birthdays! Well, some anyway. My youngest daughters birthday is in June, mine is in July, my grandmas is the same day as mine (or is mine the same day as hers??)… And a friend of mine has a summer birthday also! Oh, I know there are way more, but today, we’re focusing on Jody’s birthday. Hello! :). (more…)

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

I hate to say this, but I had a rough night. I don’t want to talk about it. No one is physically hurt, other than my feelings. Don’t worry, my hubby isn’t to blame :). He’s great! Don’t be fooled, we have our moments! Everyone does. It’s okay to admit! But my feelings were hurt none the less. So, to brighten the mood, I want to tell you three things.

  1. Today is my date-i-versary with the hubs. 9 Years ago today we went on our first date.
  2. Today is a new day.
  3. Chocolate Orange Cake Bars will always brighten your day, right?

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

What’s the deal with the Chocolate Orange Cake Bars? Well… I saw them on Tatyana’s Everyday Food YouTube Channel. They looked good. I also needed something to take to our PEO Meeting so… Plus, I love chocolate and orange together. Does anyone remember those Chocolate Orange flavored oranges you get usually at Christmas time? You Wack it, Crack it, and Unwrap it. They are sooooooooo good and addicting. Hubby said he’s never had one. I guess I’ll have to find him one and introduce him to it. (more…)

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

Guys, it’s time to start thinking about my birthday cake. Yes, I’m making my own birthday cake. I chose to. Yup, that’s right, I want to. Remember, pretty cakes make me happy. You see that one above? That one is gorgeous and made me happy!! In fact, I’m debating if I want that one for my birthday or not. There are sooooooo many cakes to make, I just can’t decide what I want.

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

I must admit, the cake rounds are finally getting their act together. That little punch out in the middle is GREAT when you are trying to do a huge tall stacked cake when you need to put a dowel in the middle to help stabilize them. Used to, you had to try and hammer them through the cardboard and hope it worked. Now… you just have to find the middle and you have extra help. (more…)

Espresso Spoons

I’ve mentioned before that coffee is a newer thing to me. I didn’t really drink coffee until after I was married. Hubby and I went to the Showboat Branson Belle and coffee came with the meal. I told them, yes I wanted some. He looked at me like I was crazy. I probably was, but I actually drank it and liked it. And the real kicker is, so did he.

We had already owned a coffee pot basically because I thought every house needed one in case you had a guest come over who wanted coffee. That and every once in a while a recipe called for coffee so we were set. But after that, that Christmas he got a Keurig Machine because we wanted one. Ooooh, we went high class, right. ha. Nowadays I want a French Press just because I hear it is even better coffee and I’ve never tried it. I found one on Amazon I want that is gorgeous but expensive… I found a cheap one ($10) at Ikea a few weeks ago. When I said I was going to buy it, I was told to hold off and get the one in the Amazon cart. It’s $40 versus $10. If I don’t like it, I’m only out $10 instead of $40. Needless to say, I don’t own either one.

Anyway… I saw a YouTube video that Tatyana of Tatyana’s Everyday Food did on Espresso Spoons. This year I got to attend our PEO talent table to raise money for our projects. I was trying to come up with something different to make for the auction. Those spoons popped into my head, so even though Tatyana says they are for winter… I thought it was something different! (more…)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cupcakes

I swear, I’ve been obsessed with cakes and cookbooks. Well, the cookbook thing isn’t anything new. But this new, pretty, big, fancy cakes thing is new. I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I’ve at least picked up here recently if not put in my Amazon cart. No, I haven’t bought all of them… but a couple here and there. And the websites and the YouTube channels. Oh gosh, someone needs to break me of this habit. Although, right now I need to point out that so far this week I haven’t done ANY baking. I’m almost feeling at a bit of a loss.

Like I said, it’s become a new obsession I guess. The pretty cakes make me happy. One of the cookbooks I did pick up was the Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love, & Sugar blog. Guys, no one asked me to say this, but the cakes that she put in this cookbook are just beautiful. I’ve made two of them actually. Although, these are cupcakes, not a cake… but aren’t they just beautiful? (more…)

Tiramisu French Macarons

The same day I made the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons, I made Tiramisu French Macarons. I really like Tiramisu and when I saw this recipe over on Tatyana’s Everyday Food, I just knew I had to make them. The question was…. when. I was back and forth, back and forth on which ones to make between these and the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons… but when I made the Spumoni Cake, I had 10, yes 10 egg whites just sitting around so that meant… hello, multiple flavors of French Macarons.

Now, this might also be the place to mention that when you make one French Macaron shell batter, clean all your equipment before starting on the second round of batter. If I would have done that, I would have had 3 types of French Macarons, but when I didn’t clean my equipment, it tainted my egg whites and they didn’t meringue up like they were supposed to. So just remember, wash between batters! It’s important!

The only thing you don’t have to wash is the beaters on the hand mixer because all they touch are egg whites and some sugar. Easy enough. (more…)

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Better late than never, right? I guess taking a week off from blogging last month didn’t help and then needing to blog like 5 times per day to either keep up or get caught up… whew! So we’re going to learn about Memorial Day Weekend today, the first day of July because that’s how I roll. I also woke up this morning to thunder and rain. OMG, we sooooooooo need the rain!

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Going into Memorial Day Weekend, we weren’t sure where we’d sleep. Maybe the bed of my truck. Seriously, no idea, but then Jared bought a horse trailer with living quarters and BAM! he let us borrow it and we got to sleep in a bed. Whew!

Like most of our Memorial Day Weekends since 2014, we’ve spent them at the lake. This year was a bit different because Tbug didn’t get to go with us. Bummer! This is our first MDW without her since 2014. She started working on her SCUBA certifications that year. And prior to that year, we were elsewhere. (more…)

Unicorn Cupcakes

At our house, it seems like birthdays just go on and on. That is no different for the Abug. She had her birthday party, we took birthday cupcakes to the lake (here), and then she got to go out to lunch and dinner on her birthday. And since you need a birthday cake on your birthday, she got one of those too.

We learned early on that going to the lake with birthday cake, cupcakes are easier. You don’t have to have a knife and plates to cut up and serve birthday goodies. Now… earlier this year, we actually had cake at the lake (Funfetti & Chocolate Dulce de Leche), but for her birthday it’s a little different. Why? Well, usually we are celebrating it at the lake during the Underwater Safari Hunt. That is just a crazy day anyway, so cupcakes are definitely the way to go.

Initially, I wanted to do the horse/unicorn head cupcake I saw on Facebook earlier this year for our cupcake, but since I decorated on Friday, I was afraid that heading to the lake with it already decorated, they could potentially move and that would be sad. Then I ran across Cupcake Jemma’s YouTube video on Unicorn cupcakes and I was sold on that idea. I already had some fondant at the house for the Unicorn Cake horn and ears that needed to be used up. Easy Peasy! (more…)

Piña Colada Cake

I feel like I fell off the face of the earth last week. Last week was such a blur… I spent all day Tuesday making French Macarons and all day Friday making a Unicorn Cake. More on both of those experiences later… but first, let’s back up and look at the Piña Colada Cake I made a couple weeks ago. Boy was it yummy!

So why did I make it and how did it come to be? Good question! So I mentioned with the strawberry dulce de leche cake that I made, my friend Dan hit me up about making his wife a birthday cake for her birthday. Wow… is that a repeat. haha! Anyway… when I asked him what she liked, he told me chocolate and coconut. So I went on the hunt for something with either or both. I then proceeded to send him about 10 different cake recipes. (more…)