Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

We went to a BBQ for our exchange student and I wanted to bring something fun. I went to the cupboard and thought why not Peanut Butter cupcakes then I had some Jelly left and thought what a perfect combo for a cupcake. I did a Google Search and found PopSugar posted Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes. The only thing I would change was blend the jelly or use a jam so it didn't have big clumps of strawberries (was a little hard to pipe onto the cupcake).


Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
For the frosting:
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup grape or strawberry jam

Directions

  1. To make cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and place mini baking liners in mini muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, water, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and eggs until combined. Divide batter into mini cupcake wells, filling each well about 2/3 full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  3. To make frosting: Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  4. In another large bowl, beat together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, salt, peanut butter, and vanilla on medium speed, until combined. Then carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter icing until smooth and fluffy.
  5. To assemble cupcakes: Fit a piping bag with a pipping tip, then fill the bag with jam. Inject the tip into the center of each cupcake and squeeze to fill the center of the cupcake with jam, just until it swells but does not overflow.
  6. Into a second piping bag, fill jam on one side and peanut butter frosting on the other side. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Let cupcakes set in the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving.
ALEXIS NOTES: I made regular size cupcakes, easy to travel with since I have cupcake holders I use for my charity cupcakes. I used my cupcake center tool to take out the centers to inject the jelly.


Enjoy!

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monster Cupcake Toppers (Birthday Dreams)

I signed up for another Birthday Dreams (bringing birthday's to homeless kids). This little 6 y/o who was living in a shelter wanted a Monster themed party. I have done a few Monster High parties for the charity but not a Monster theme yet. I was excited to find a new design to make. I did a Goggle Picture search for Monster cupcakes and came across A Sweet Life design for Monsters. I took her design and created my monsters using modeling chocolate.
What you need:
Modeling Chocolate (Colors of Monsters - recipe below)
Candy Eyes (Large and Small)
Circle cutter
Triangle cutter (or use a star like I did and cut out just the tip of star)

I started with 4 colors for monsters but my 4th color was an epic fail and wouldn't roll out, so I went with 3 colors. I cut out circles for the monster head. I rolled out the mouths (almost like a snake). For ears I just played around and made horn shapes. For the teeth I used a star cutter and used the tip only to make triangles. Some had 2 large eyes or 2 small eyes or 3 small eyes. Have fun with them.



Modeling Chocolate / Clay
12oz Candy Melts (Whatever color you want your monsters to be)
1/4 Cup light corn Syrup

Melt your Candy Melts in microwave (mine takes about 2 minutes). Stir them to become smooth and add the corn syrup.  It will become thick and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit out and dry.  Takes a few hours or over night is best. (Alexis note: I found to roll this out use a little powder sugar (like you would do with flour), also you have to kneed it a little like you would dough to make it easy to roll out).
Have a GREAT Week!

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Party Planning for Emoji Themed

With upcoming business trips and birthdays I'm trying to be ahead of the game and get some things done early. I head to Boston again June 16 (MY 40TH .. yes I'll be in the air on my bday). I return June 23rd and have Caden's party on June 25th! I'm trying to do things that can be made a head of time so I'm ready for the big day and not crushed when I fly back. Caden picked the theme of Emoji, so we sat together and went to Pinterest and pinned a bunch of ideas. We started working on perler bead designs for the treat bags.
 
Here is what we've done so far:
 
 

Have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Funny Face Basketball Cookies Made (Royal Icing)

The last on our cookie theme this week is the basketball cookies I made for Cole's team. They had a great season only loosing 2 games and had some great teamwork. They had one game they came from so behind that everyone was giving up but they didn't and won the game by one point! I wanted to do something fun with cookies since every time I make cupcakes no one eats them. I figured cookies are easy to run around with since no one seems to sit these days. I saw these awesome cartoon basketball faces on Cheerful Momma's and thought I can do something like that. I did just the faces not the hoop but I think they turned out pretty darn cute!



What you need:
Circle Cut Sugar Cookies (I use my fav recipe at the bottom of post)
Royal Icing (I use the recipe in this post here) Orange & Black
Candy Eyes
Piping Bag (for the black royal icing)

I usually do the piping on and the flooding for the center of the cookie to fill it all in. I used the video by Created by Diane on how to dip and not pip on the icing. It went a lot faster and a little messy but great to do when your in a hurry. Before the orange set up I added the candy eyes. I then waited for the orange to harden and took my pipping bag full of black and made the lines of a basketball. I then did different mouths on each one. These turned out so cute I must say!



Sugar Cookie Recipe that is my go to:
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.Cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.
2.Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, stirring in by hand. Cover and chill dough overnight.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4.Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.
5.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance.

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tough Cookie Card and Heart Cookies

A family member had a "I beat cancer" birthday party. I wanted to do something nice and I found a tough cookie card. I couldn't find a step by step so I kind of looked at it and took my circle cutters and paper cutters to make the card look like the example she had.



For the card:

Dark Brown Card Stock
Light Brown Card Stock
White Card Stock 
Black Card stock
Brown Pen
Black Pen

I cut the brown and white into card size (the white smaller). For the white square I put it in my printer and printed the words "You're One Tough Cookie". I cut a circle of brown and light brown (again light brown smaller). I cut out like bites out of the cookie. For the eyes I cut small white and black circles. For the eyebrows I made black strips. I colored on brown spots for the chips on the cookie. I used a black sharpie and made the arms and legs.

I also made some simple cookies with a heart on them. I royal iced them and then using a piping bag and royal icing tinted red I free-handed some hearts.

 I think they turned out so cute!

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

You're One "Smart Cookie"

I made up this box for my bosses daughter, she is at school and doing an amazing job in a very tough school. I wanted to send her something fun that she could share with her college roommates. I found an idea for a Tough Cookie and made it a "Smart Cookie". 
What you need:
USPS Box (If it fits it ships - I used Medium)
Cookies of sorts (here is what I picked up)
  • Cookie Mixes (Dollar Tree - Sugar / Chocolate Chip)
  • Mini Oreo (Dollar Tree) 
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies Put into a mini Cookie jar (Both Dollar Tree)
  • Cookies and Cream Bar (Dollar Tree)
  • Moon Pies
  • More Cookies in sleeve 
Card Stock / Print Word One Smart Cookie (use cookie font) 
Hot Glue / Tape
I  downloaded the wrong font so I took a brown marker and colored on the words. I placed some mini chocolate chip cookies in the mini jar. Packed everything in a medium USPS box and packed it with tissue paper to make the trek across the US to her. I think this may have been one of my favorite gifts in the mail.
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A whirlwind Work Trip

I just returned from another business trip. Let's just say it started out rather rough. I got tot the airport to find my flight was first it's delayed 40min to Boston due to they did not have a spot for us to land. Then they worked that out. We board sat on plane for 25 min to be told we need to get off the plane while they figure out something mechanical issue. After 2 hours they tell us flight is cancelled. We all hop on our phones with in min all the 1 stop overs where gone for Jet Blue. Mind you while I'm on hold for 45 min while she is checking on getting an ok to refund my non refundable ticket, she came back on to say the Fight I told her to book was full and she didn't put me on it! I'm trying to google flights thought I found one that got me in at 12a, but I misread and it got me in at 12p that was after I bought the flight on my debit for $600. So I then have to call Expedia to back out and try to get a flight another 35min to find all the flights getting me in late Thurs or very early Fri are gone. Finally found one not leaving until almost 11p. So I spent a little over 13 hours in the airport lol then had to take a flight to Chicago and then to Boston in the AM. 
 
My husband returned from a 31 day trip and I left 2 days later
Suitcases passing in the night!
 
My suitcase ALWAYS is right at the limit
 
Had to post my funny FB post about my trip:
#‎jetblue‬ we had a ‪#‎RHOBH‬ moment you were Vanderpump and I was Kyle. In Kyle fashion I will forgive and take you back. You're the cool kid and I missed your premium security check in, extra room seats and TV along with all access free WiFi! I may say some nasty things at the reunion show but I say we're friends. ‪#‎united‬ you were fun but you're the Brandy that left me with a cramped behind and having to play my own music! On a plus I tried uber and no one killed me. Over all I say this adventure was TV worthy lol. ‪#‎dropsthemic‬
 
My 2nd flight with a 2nd trip through security.
United is not as good as Jetblue, no TV's and crowded seats
I also tried Uber and didn't die! 
 
Thankfully my boss found the United Club where I could hang!
If your a drinker you could make up the cost in free alcohol
Me not so much but I sure did drink a lot of FREE lattes!


I thankfully arrived the day of our event and not the day before as planned. We had an amazing event and I was able to Meet Col. Allan West! Pretty spectacular to meet the man they say could be our next VP. He was a BRILLANT speaker and such a nice man!
Before My Mother's Day Drama I went to our event and event went for a Pedi & Mani
Sunday was Mother's Day, I sadly got a call about a person I called a great friend who was trying to break up my family. So my Mother's Day kind of sucked but I had a wonderful front desk lady who gave me headache meds and bought me a Gatorade. In the long run I was able to find some closure and actually saw growth in my relationship with my husband.
The week flew by and I stuck to my goal and did the stairs up and down along with working out in my hotel room. I'm schedule to go back next month. Typically I go every 3mo this year we've been having a lot of big events so I'm going more often.

Here's my trip in pictures :)
 
Sunday
  
Monday
Tuesday
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Thursday
Friday
Have a great weekend!

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