Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I love Cupcakes. A lot.

I've really been into gourmet cupcakes lately. And while I like the taste of gourmet cupcakes at most of the bakeries I've been to, I've been disappointed because they aren't decorated cute at all. They just have frosting on them. The fun of having cupcakes is to decorate them! So here are some cupcakes I played with the recipes of and decorated. And they were all a hit!

Apple Spice Cupcakes
1 pkg duncan hines spice cake
1 1/4 cups of apple sauce
1/3 cup of oil
3 eggs
2 chopped apples
1 pkg of pecans (optional)
cream cheese frosting
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix cake mix, apple sauce, oil, and eggs in a bowl. Add 1 chopped apple and half the package of pecans. pour into cupcake papers at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. eat one fresh out of the oven while it's hot without frosting or anything. Sooo good!
Mix the frosting with the cinnamon
When cooled add frosting and sprinkle with last chopped apple and rest of pecans.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes
1 pkg of Lemon Cake
required ingredients for cake
replace 1/2 cup of the water requirement with lemon juice
Raspberry extract
Red food coloring
Vanilla frosting
Whole raspberries (fresh is better as frozen tends to come apart more)

Make cake as directed, substituting some of the water with lemon juice
Fold GENTLY raspberries into the cake batter. (if you stir or beat them in, they'll come apart and turn the batter an orangey color)
Pour gently into cupcake papers
Cook at 350 degrees for 18 minutes

For the frosting, mix enough red food coloring to make it pink and use about 3/4 of the bottle of extract in it so it has a raspberry flavor. Decorate cup cake with it. Top with a raspberry.

These are the just funfetti cupcakes with the betty crocker rainbow chip frosting on it decorated with betty crocker gel frosting.

Homemade hostess cupcakes
1 pkg of chocolate cake mix
required ingredients
1 jar of Marshmallow Cream
1 pkg of betty crocker's marshmallow brownie topping frosting
fudge frosting

Make cake mix as required.
While filling the cupcake papers, just fill 1/4 of the way then put a drop of marshmallow cream then fill the rest of the cupcake with chocolate cake mix.
bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees
when done and cooled, decorate with the two frostings however you'd like.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My favorite holiday: Sept 19

My favorite holiday of the year is National Talk like a Pirate Day. So I'm here as your Pirate tour guide to help you learn some new facts and vocabulary in honor of talk like a pirate day.

Yours truly: Red handed Mandee

Awesome Pirate Facts You Probably Didn't Know!

Pirates often didn't get enough vitamin C while on long voyages which resulted in them getting a disease called "crickets" that caused them to go blind in one eye. This is why pirates often are depicted wearing eye-patches.

When a pirate said "shiver me timbers" it was actually a request for another pirate to shave an especially difficult to reach portion of his back. While pirates would allow their faces and chests to get hairy, there was a strong superstition against hairy backs. By the way, "shiver" means "shave" and "timbers" means "lower back."

Blackbeard's peg leg was a medical necessity, he lost his leg to diabetes, but all the other pirates got wooden legs as a fashion choice. Some of the peg legs used by pirates were actually quite gaudy and covered in jewels.

The combination to Davy Jones' Locker was right 32, left 17, right 26.

The golden age of pirates was 1764-1856, but there are still pirates today. Today's pirates are not the colorful figures of the past, just boring pretenders to the throne.

Although much is made of the fact that pirates used the phrase "arrrrrr", actual pirates actually punctuated their sentences with the letter "q." For instance, "Q, me treasure is over there, matey."

Gilbert and Sullivan were the two most dangerous pirates to ever live. Born conjoined twins, they were finally blown apart during a vicious sea battle with a British Major General when an errant cannonball struck their shared hip. While together, they were considered to be the King of Pirates. Apart, they were forced to retire to a life in the theater, reenacting their final battle in Penzance for pennies a day.

While it was perfectly fine to use an enemies skull as a goblet, it was considered rude to use their entire vivisected head as a puppet. Especially if you mocked them by making their own head talk in a high-pitched voice.

Female pirates were very common and much prized for their hair-free lower backs.

Maps with x's to mark the spot are a creation of the movies, pirates would simply memorize where they left their treasure and communicate it to others through dance.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer Garden Spaghetti Pasta of yumminess and goodness!

So today I was thinking about all the things I wanted to eat. There was so much. I rarely crave vegetables so when I do, I run with that, because they're so yummy and healthy. So as I thought about the different vegetables I wanted, I decided they would all taste great together. The best part? You can get them right in your own garden! At least we could at our house.

So here's my recipe for: TADA: Summer Garden Spaghetti!

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Half of a red onion, chopped
Zucchini, Diced
Eggplant, Diced
Half a pound of mushrooms
Either about 4 diced tomatoes, or 2 cans of diced tomatoes

Palmful of salt
few pinches of each: Basil, Oregano, and Rosemary Leaves.
Red Pepper to taste
Palmful of Sugar (yes sugar)

Pasta of your choice. I like thin spaghetti or bucatini rigati

-In a frying pan, cover the base of the pan with a layer of extra virgin olive oil
-In Olive oil, fry garlic, onion, zucchinni, eggplant, and mushroom. Keep stirring and when the vegies are tender and the garlic are browning, add tomatoes.
-Stir those and start boiling the water for your noodles.
-Add spices
-Add them to YOUR flavor
-Keep stirring to keep from sticking and burning. after tomatoes start to...saucify...turn it down to a simmer.
-When water boils, make your pasta.

When the pasta is done you can either put the sauce and vegies on the pasta or mix it all. I like to mix it. Grate parmagianno cheese over the pasta and ENJOY! SOO YUMMY!

So tonight I was

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like fall

This morning I woke up and looked outside. Sunny. Another hot day I'm sure. But as I took Coco outside, the cool crisp air hit me. It's a crispness that is unique to one time of year, and one only:
The air is even different as the coldness of winter sets in. It's different than the coolness of spring. Fall is biting and crisp! It makes you want to cuddle up in your coat, which you've been waiting all summer to wear.

The Leaves start to change colors! When the mountains begin to change colors it means it's almost my best friend's birthday! Fall is so exciting! I love the quote in "You've Got Mail"
"Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."

Today I wanted to make carmel apples! And Apple pie! And Apple cupcakes! I want pumpkin pie and Pumpkin spice donuts! I want hot chocolate with marshmallows!
I want to wear Red and orange and Yellow and Brown! I want to go buy a new scarf! I want to go break out my boots! I want a new pair of jeans! I want to layer my clothes and wear long sleeves!
I want to lay under a tree and read a book covered by a light blanket! I want to go for a walk with my puppy and touch the leaves! I want to go up to the mountains and have a bonfire and cuddle up with someone to stay warm from the cool mountain air. And of course eat marshmallows.

Fall means a consecutive following of fantastic and awesome holidays! First Halloween! This year I vow to have an awesome costume and attend a fun halloween party! I will carve a pumpkin this year! I'm going to eat my dad's chili and see how adorable my nieces look in their little costumes!

I'm going to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family! I'm not going to stress or freak out. I'm going to relax all day, watch movies (not football.) I'm going to take a walk with my nieces and puppy. I'm going to eat everythign I want and not care how it looks on my hips! I'm going to help my mom in a kitchen and I'm going to make a pie!
And before I know it, The warm colors will change, and the white will start to fall. People will start being generous and kind and happy. And then...
It will start looking a lot like Christmas.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Soul Delighteth

Today in Relief Society we had a lesson on "My Soul Delighteth." We talked about little things in this world that delight our hearts. So here is my list of 101 things that delight my soul! So in no particular order:

1- Watching the ballet
2- Buying lace on ebay
3- Watching sweet peas bloom in my garden
4- When a guy tells you he likes the way you smell
5- Dying my hair red
6- Wearing and buying sexy shoes
7- Peace Signs
8- Cuddling with my puppy
9- Watching Sound of Music with my sisters and mom
10- Clean high thread count sheets on my bed
11- Rome
12- Cake batter ice cream
13- Reading a good book
14- Watching Gone with the Wind with Sharla
15- Walking through NYC while it's snowing
16- Being on Stage
17- Wearing something I've sewn for myself
18- Getting flowers
19- Dressing up and going to the rennaissance faire
20- Sitting on the beach
21- Going to the symphony with my mom
22- Watching Singin in the Rain
23- The crisp Fall Air
24- Lemon Bars
25- Big tips!
26- When my nieces say something halarious
27- When everything in the spring starts to turn green
28- Going to a new temple
29- Studying church history
30- Skydiving
31- Traveling with my best friend
32- Singing with Chad
33- Modern Dancing
34- Rachmaninoff's 2nd Concerto
35- My red allstars
36- watching home videos
37- Losing Weight
38- Hanging out with Russell
39- Reading Isaiah
40- Getting a strike while bowling
41- Laying on the grass in the sun
42- Getting a Tan
43- the smell of costumes
44- Tap shoes
45- Giving people gifts
46- Monkey bread
47- Blue Popsicles
48- Buying clothes from Anthropologie
49- Citrus Sobes
50- Snowboarding down a hill without falling once
51- Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D
52- Lilies
53- Peacock Feathers
54- Kisses
55- White Christmases
56- Smart Water
57- Driving into Redlands, rolling down the windows, and smelling orange blossoms
58- Robert Jason Brown music
59- Clair De Lune
60- Sewing
61- Bernini's artwork
62- Cuddling
63- Photography. Sigh.
64- A really good night's rest
65- Chocolate covered strawberry
66- Nutella Gelato
67- Shopping with my sisters
68- Crocheting
69- Singing.
70- New Scarves
71- Chocolate Milkshakes
72- Gorgeous Sunsets
73- Ed Hardy shoes
74- Going for walks at sunset with my puppy
75- When the leaves in fall are BRIGHT RED
76- Holding hands
77- Hearing music from Ragtime
78- Clean Room
79- Learning something in History, then recalling it in a conversation later
80- Studying U.S. History
81- Christmas Morning with my family
82- Hot Chocolate with marshmallows
83- Sleeping in my own bed
84- Letting my geek flag fly
85- Driving with Kristi
86- Italian Food
87- Getting a full body massage at a dayspa
88- A first kiss with someone
89- Understanding Isaiah
90- Black Lace
91- Sitting under the Christmas tree staring at the lights
92- Pearls
93- Breezy Summer nights
94- Hugs from my India kids
95- Getting my nails done
96- Chocolate Souffle from Bistro 258
97- Fourth of July Fireworks
98- Barbecues at my sister's house
99- Pirates
100- Watching Prince Phillip and Aurora meet
101- Disneyland