Monthly Archives: August 2012

Big Apple Sinatra Cupcakes: A Going Away Treat For My Family

So yeah. My brother and sister in law(n) are moving to the Big Apple in t-minus 1 day and I am drowning my sorrows in whiskey filled butter cream. What can I say? Sugar makes me happy.

(Brother and sister in law(n). Clearly not their going away party but cute pic!)

Last night was their going away party, and I knew I wanted to bake them something delicious as my way of saying farewell and good luck and here is a stiff “drink” to get you through all of the goodbyes!

I made what I’ve dubbed the Big Apple Sinatra cupcake. It’s an apple cinnamon cupcake, with a whiskey brown sugar butter cream topped with a whiskey cinnamon apple compote.

The apples represent the Big Apple of course, and the whiskey because it was Frank Sinatra’s drink of choice.

I made this apple cinnamon cupcake recipe (omitting the chopped apples, and using apple juice instead of water/milk) while also adding in a tbsp of whiskey to the batter.

I baked those up, and started on the compote. I didn’t use the filling recipe from the one above, because I wanted to experiment a bit with what I thought would taste good.

So, I chopped up 3 granny smith apples, threw them into a pan with 1 tbsp of butter, and just started dumping cinnamon on until they looked nice and covered. I would say in total I used about 1 tsp of cinnamon, maybe a bit more.

After they had sauteed for a bit, I added 1/4 cup of water. Continued to cook it on medium heat until the apples were soft but not total mush. I waited until the end to add the whiskey because I didn’t want the alcohol to burn off. I added about 3 tbsp of whiskey (I prefer to use Crown Royale because it is sweet!!)

Once that was all done, I put the apples compote in the fridge.

Next up is the butter cream. I like to think that frostings have become a bit of a speciality of mine, and I am ALWAYS working off of a basic butter cream recipe but substituting whatever flavor I want for the normal tbsp of cream you would use in a vanilla recipe.

So. For the buttercream:

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 tbsp of whiskey
1 tsp of vanilla

Start by creaming together the butter and brown sugar. You want your butter at room temperature, but if you are in a rush the easiest thing to do is slice the butter thinly which will make it easier to cream.

Next, add in 1 tbsp of whiskey. Then a cup of powdered sugar, then more whiskey, then powdered sugar. You get the idea. Alternate between wet and dry. Add in the vanilla in between your dry and wet additions any time during the process.

As always, if you find your frosting to be too wet, add more powdered sugar.

Now its time to decorate.

Before I started frosting I dumped a liiiiiittttllle more whiskey over the apples just to make sure they packed a punch.

Then I piped little “cups” of frosting on top, added the compte to the middle, and there you have it folks. Delicious apple cinnamon whiskey cupcakes.

Since I had a little bit of frosting and apples left over, boyfriend, his brother Dane and I all started taking shots of frosting and apple compote. It. Was. Awesome.

If you have any questions about the recipe, give me a shout in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, happy eats, and much love to you all.

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Creative Therapy: A Little Dresser Refresher

There is nothing I find more exciting than a good deal. My mom always raised me to find more excitement in saving money than in spending it, which is one of the reasons why I always get giddy over a solid penny saver.

The other day, Russ and I were biking back from breakfast (say that 10 times fast!) and we came across a yard sale in our neighborhood. We’ve found a TON of great things in the past because we happen to have neighbors with fantastic taste, which made it so we just HAD to stop and take a look around.

And that’s when I saw it. A pretty wood dresser, sitting all by its lonesome, wanting to come home with me.

As quickly as I yelled “HOW MUCH?” from my bike, the response “$50!” came back and it was SOLD!

Next up, grabbing the good old Prius while betting Russ we could most definitely fit this thing in there. He absolutely didn’t believe me and I absolutely won the bet because IT FIT BECAUSE PRIUS’ ARE THE BEST EVER WOWOWOW!

Anywho. What you may not realllly be able to notice in the picture above is that those dresser knobs are painted purple. Yup. Purple painted wood dresser knobs. So obviously those had to go. Like, immediately.

Off to Home Depot we went, $9 later and we’ve got 7 of these shiny new knobs.

The new ones are a bit smaller, but anything is better than that purple and I liked the color of the new ones, and it is my dresser so I do what I want.

So began the changing out of all the knobs. It’s not so easy when you have two feline helpers that want to be part of it all.

Such cute monsters they are.

Anywho, it took about 10 minutes, all were changed, and now we have an updated dresser for a total cost of under $60!

I think I’m going to use the old knobs, re-paint them, and create either a purse hanging or necklace/bracelet hanging thing-a-ma-bob.

Good talk. Thanks for stopping by! Much love.

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The Lazy Crafter: Sea Shell Memory Jar

A couple of years ago, while Russ and I were in Florida for the holidays, we took a walk along his father’s favorite beach in Jensen. Being a Florida girl myself, I knew I had to collect some sea shells along the way, figuring one day I would make jewelry out of them, a painting, who knows! I just knew I had to have them.

Fast forward a year, we’re back in Jensen Beach with Russ’ dad, his girlfriend Wendy, and his brother Dane, and in our stockings we receive two of those awesome mini zen garden’s for our desks. We both LOVED them.

Mine looked like this:

And Russ’ like this:

Unfortunately, after getting two cats who LOVE to get into everything, they both ended up looking like this:

They have looked like this for months and months but we literally couldn’t bare to let them go. Hoarders much? Probably. We just loved them and thought maybe ONE day we would buy some more fun things to go in them? I have no idea.

So this morning I was emptying the dishwasher and putting some stuff away when I noticed the tupperware container filled with sea shells, and ALSO noticed the empty sand boxes.

DING!

Lightbulb went off and I realized I could use one of the many empty salsa jars I’ve been hoarding to create a little memory jar using the leftover sand from our zen gardens and the sea shells from our holiday vacation, both of which came from really great times we’ve spent with Russ’ family.

It’s as easy as it gets, pour the sand in, layer the shells, and BOOM, you’ve got an awesome little memory jar to put on your book shelf! (We are getting new bookshelves this weekend, I am SO excited!!)

I added a little strip of bling to my jar lid to make it feel a bit more romantic. I think it looks lovely.

And that’s that! An easy 5 minute morning craft project to get the day started. We’re off to Home Depot now to get some new dresser knobs for a yard sale find we got last weekend. Will post about that later.

Lots of love to all of you that frequent my blog (all 5 of you, HI MOM!) and hope you have a great Thursday.

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Creative Therapy: Gold Leaf Necklace

One of my most favorite things ever is when I find inspiration from other people’s creativity.

With the days kind of blending together as I patiently await interview phone calls (those are totally coming, right?! hahahaha) I have been trying to keep my mind occupied with creative projects.

Luckily for me the other day my sister in law, aka sister in lawn, showed me a project her and her friend Megan created for sister in lawn and brother bear’s new apartment in NYC.

Inspired by the awesome living room wall hanging below, the girls set off to create a replica using fake leaves and some gold spray paint.

(Original piece from Elle Decor)

(Sister in lawn’s piece, handmade!)

How incredible is that?!?! So awesome!

I loved it so much that I  was contemplating just straight up stealing her idea and making one for our apartment, but alas, I chose to do something different with the same gold leaves, and I made a necklace!

This one was REALLY easy, and I think it came out pretttty neat.

Here is what you will need:

Fake leaves (any shape/style you’d like!)
Gold acrylic or fabric paint
Gold Chain
Necklace Clasp
Pliers
Bling Embellishment Strips (Like these from Michaels. I used the square crystal ones.)
Scissors
Exacto Knife

Alright SO! Let’s start.

First, I cut different sized leafs off of the vine they came on. Leave a little bit of “branch” on it when you cut as it will make painting easier leaving  you something to hold on to. I wanted my necklace to have the largest leaf in the middle and then gradually move into smaller leaves to create a grecian crown type look, so I cut one large leaf, and four smaller ones of various sizes.

Next, paint your first coat of gold onto the leaf. I used a blow dryer in between coats to speed up the drying process. In total, I put on three coats of paint just to give it that REALLY gold look.

Repeat this step on all of your leaves.

Next, I used my pliers to remove some of the circular hoops from the fake gold chain I bought. I then made a tiny slit with my exacto knife onto the top center (or as close to the center as possible) area of the leaf. After that, I put the gold hoop through and repeated this step with all of my leaves.

Take your gold chain, and measure how long you want it around your neck. Make note of that length, remove any excess chain and then lay it on your table with it folded in half. This will allow you to see where the center of your chain necklace lays.

Attach the first leaf to the center of the chain. I had to use a wrench from my tool kit to firmly close the hoop for a strong attachment but thats because my jewelry pliers are miniature. Just a suggestion if you need to, the wrench worked magically.

Once I put all of my leaves on, I decided to add a little bling from another project I was making, and add some sparkle to each leaf.

You can leave these off if blinged out gold leaf necklaces just aren’t your thing!

Lastly, attach your clasp to the ends of your necklace, and you are done!

One thing I thought about after I finished was that in the future I would like to use small grommets on the leaves to attach the hoops. This will make it more durable, and less like to rip.

And that’s it! Another day, another craft project on the books.

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

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