Thursday, February 28, 2013

Red Velvet Ice Cream Cupcakes

Hey everyone! I'm SO excited to share this with you today! I feel like it has been awhile since I posted and this post is something I have been pretty excited about! It combines all my favorite things; red velvet cake, ice cream, whipped cream, cake, and sprinkles!!! I know what you're thinking... that is going to be WAY to sweet for me. It's actually not! This dessert is just the right amount of sweetness! AND, the best part is, you can store it in your freezer. They keep in your freezer for quite a while so you will pretty much always have some dessert on hand. :)

I got the idea for this recipe from Rachel at Bubbly Nature Creations. She has quite a few different varieties of ice cream cupcakes so I thought I'd try my hand at one. I must say, they turned out awesomely! I made two different varieties and used a special ingredient from Hobby Lobby. Don't worry, if you don't have a Hobby Lobby in your area, I have included directions on how to make it without this ingredient.

-Devils Food Cake Mix*
-Ingredients to make cake (on back of box)
-Red Velvet Emulsion (Found at Hobby Lobby)*
-1 Gallon Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
-Homemade Whipped Cream Ingredients (Heavy Cream & Powdered Sugar)

-2 cupcake pans
-24 foil cupcake liners

*If you don't want to use the Red Velvet Emulsion, you can just buy Red Velvet Cake mix instead! I would definitely recommend the emulsion though, it makes everything so much more red velvety. :)

To start off, preheat your oven to 350. Mix your devils food cake mix (or red velvet) as directed on the box. Next, spoon about 1 Tbsp. of batter into 12 of your cupcake liners (1 cupcake pan). You are only trying to cover the bottom so don't put to much! Now stick these in the oven for about 15 minutes.

While those are cooking, add 2 Tbsp. Red Velvet Emulsion to the remaining cake mix (if you started with red velvet cake mix, skip this step) and stir it up. Now spoon about 1 Tbsp. of batter into your remaining cupcake liners. Once your first batch is done, stick the other cupcakes in the oven for about 15 minutes.

One both pans have cooked, set them aside to cool completely.

Once cooled, it time for the fun part....Ice cream! The ice cream needs to be somewhat soft so I would set it out for about 10-15 minutes before you work with it. To make the first version, take the pan of with the red velvet flavored cake and fill the cupcake liners the remaining way with ice cream (about 1 scoop). I used vanilla bean ice cream and it was AWESOME! :) Once filled, cover them and put them in the freezer to harden up.

Next take your remaining ice cream and mix in 2 Tbsp. red velvet emulsion. Seriously, this stuff is AWESOME, I had a few spoonfuls while I was filling my liners :) Once you make your red velvet ice cream, fill the chocolate cake liners up with ice cream just like you did before. Again, it will take about 1 scoop of ice cream per cupcake. Once your done, cover them and put them in the freezer to harden up.

While you are waiting, you can make the topping. For the cupcakes that had red velvet ice cream, I topped them with regular whipped cream. You can find the recipe for that here. For the cupcakes with vanilla ice cream, I added about 2 Tbsp. red velvet emulsion to the whipped cream recipe. Can I just say red velvet whipped cream and red velvet ice cream are my new two favorite things. :)

Once you have your whipped cream ready, top your cupcakes with it. You can do this using a Ziploc bag (see whipped cream tutorial) or of course you can use cake decorating supplies. Finally, top your lovely cupcakes with some sprinkles!

Here is a picture of your finished product, aren't they beautiful?

AND as good as they look, they taste even better!

Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!
Thursday, February 21, 2013

Decorating Fail & Some Blog Wisdom

If any of you read my last post on Upcycling, you know I have been trying to decorate my house and make it look less BROWN. Well, my lesson for you today is, sometimes things just don't work out and you have to make the best of it/get over it.

This morning I came into our dinning room where I recently did some decorating and this is what I found:

Not the end of the world, but I also didn't really intend for our cat to use my place settings as a chair.

Anyways, the point of this whole post is; let things go. Problems come and go, but in the grand scheme of things, it probably isn't that big of deal (not that a cat on the table is a huge deal anyways, but it provided me with some enlightenment). While you may not have planned to have a cat on your place settings, it makes for a pretty cute picture after all. :)
Monday, February 18, 2013

Upcycle: Spices Holder

Hello Everyone! :) I hope you are all having a wonderful day! For today's post I thought I'd share with you a very easy project I tackled over the weekend.

This all started when I decided I was going to make the most of our rent house. For those of you that rent, you know what I mean. It's really difficult to actually do any kind of decorating when you live in a rent house. They have so many rules and regulations that you basically can't do anything more than put things on the wall with thumb tacks. You can TOTALLY forget the idea of painting which is what in my opinion really changes a room.

I decided I needed to change our house. For anyone who has ever been to my house you know.... it's SO brown. The walls are brown, the carpet is brown, and pretty much everything we owned when we moved in was brown. Can you say drab? When we moved in I decided that it was so ugly that it was beyond hope, but recently I decided to change my tune and be a little more optimistic. I started with my Chevron Letter and have been trying to spruce things up ever since.

This weekend I decided to work on the kitchen/dinning room area. It turned out all the dinning room table needed was a few place mats, napkins and place settings. It's already looking much better and I have more ideas for the walls :) stay tuned!

As for the kitchen, the counter tops are (you guessed it!) BROWN and it's kind of hard to add color in a kitchen. Our plates are colorful put they pretty much stay in the cabinet the whole time so whats left? Well, to make a long post longer, I decided to add color where I could and I started with my spice rack.

Old Spice Rack (or cheap Walmart one)
Spray Paint

Anyone that cooks a lot (or a little) has at least some spices and storage is a perpetual problem. I didn't want to put them on a spice rack in our pantry because I wanted them easily accessible when cooking. When I bought our spice holder it was more out of convenience and price and less (or not at all) to do with the look of it. I think the price was about $5. I forgot to take a before picture of ours but here is a stock photo from Wally World.

So you see? White and brown does not equal a happy kitchen. The good news is, this is really easy to fix.
All you do, is spray paint your spice rack. Seriously, it's that easy. I would recommend using Rustoleom Spray Paint. I have found it to work the best. I only had to do one coat!
Sometimes a simple idea is the best one! :) I flirted with the idea of adding a W in the middle since I love to monogram everything possible BUT I decided it would be covered up and wouldn't matter anyways. Here is a picture of the final product:

It looks awesome next to the yellow utensils holder I found at Target for $3. Who doesn't love decorating on a budget?!? :) Doesn't this make our kitchen a little less drab?
Happy Upcycling!
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day! Unfortunately, I got the flu and then a Sinus Infection (terrible, I know) and so I was unable to get the rest of my Valentine's crafts posted like I promised.

To make it up to you, I will be having a contest very soon! What I need from you right now is for you to help pick the prize. This poll is available on our Facebook page here or you can comment with your choice in the comment section below. Here are the options for prizes (see the DIY tab for pictures):

-Customized Chevron Initial
-Every Love Story Sign
-Customized Guest book for your next party or event
-Moss Covered Initial
-Your choice of any craft made in the next year
-Party Planning Consultation

Let me know which option you would like to see as our next prize!!

And, to make your Valentine's Day a little better, I will leave you with some wisdom from my Crazy Cat Calendar (Thanks to Alyssa for giving it to me!). :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DIY Valentine's Decor - Love Story Sign

Hello Everyone! This is the first of a couple posts over some Valentine's decor that you can make yourself to decorate your house for Valentine's Day! It is very cute and something you will be able to use year after year.

I got this idea here.

Large block of wood (I got mine at Walmart for $8)
Red Acrylic Paint**
White Acrylic Paint
Red Paint Pin (or the color of the base coat you are using)
4 Push Pins
-Stencil for Lettering (I got the whole alphabet for $3 at Walmart)

TIP: If you want to use this year around, use whatever color you want for the base coat!

To start off, push your push pins into the bottom at each of the four corners of your wood. The pins won't go all the way in, and the wood might be wobbly, but it will be stable enough for you to paint the whole thing. The push pins allow you to paint the sides of your wood without it sticking to your newspaper or whatever you are using to cover your work area.

Next, paint your wood with your red base coat. The good thing about working with acrylic paint is that is dries really quickly. By the time I finished painting the sides of my wood with my first coat, I was able to start my second coat. After the second coat, I went and did something else for about 15-20 minutes and in that time, my wood was dry and ready to go.

For the next part, pick a saying that you would like to put on your sign. I used "Every love story is beautiful, but our is my favorite." I just felt this captured the official taste tester & I's relationship perfectly. :) Feel free to use this same saying!

Now it's time to write on your wood. I CANNOT write pretty letters at all so I used the stencil. Make sure if you do use the stencil, you plan out your words so that they are even. If you are really good, you can draw your letters on free-handed. If you are REALLY REALLY good you can just go ahead and paint your letters on.

One I stenciled my letters on, I started painting them. I only used one coat for the letters and it looked just fine. Also, don't worry about completely staying in the lines of your stencil (you will see why in a minute!).

I would NOT recommend just painting through the stencil. It seems easier but when I tried it, it looked like this:

One you have your letters painted on, trace them with your paint pen. This makes your letters look cleaner and covers up any imperfections you may have.

One the paint pin dries, you can barely see it!

After that, I added a few little embellishments with the red rhinestones just to add a little flare to the sign. I thought it added a nice touch :)

Here is what your finished sign looks like:

You can hang this up on a wall or set it up on a fireplace mantle. Stay tuned for more crafts to help you decorate for Valentine's day! Once I have all of them, I will post a final picture of them all up!

Happy Crafting
& Enjoy!!