by Jamie Hinckley on Nov 14, 2013
I made these delicious cupcakes for my baby brother’s birthday. I say baby brother since he is the youngest of us 7 kids, but he actually just turned 22. Once the baby brother, always the baby brother!
He is so much the cool bachelor that I can only lure him to hang out with us with delicious goodness! I found this simple recipe at keyingredient.com and made these awesome oreo cupcakes. Then I texted a picture of them to my little brother and he came over within the hour with a couple of his buddies.
Works every time!
Delicious Oreo Cupcakes!
- 1 package of regular oreos
- 1 package of mini oreos
- 1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
- 8 ounce cube of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 stick of butter
- 3¾ cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cupcake batter according to directions on the box. Take ½ of the regular oreos and crumble them into your cake batter. Fill cupcake liners in cupcake pan with the batter and bake for 15 minutes.
- For the frosting: Mix the butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and slowly stir in powdered sugar. Crumble the rest of the oreos and mix them in. I used a blender for this. Use your favorite cupcake icing tip to frost cupcakes once they have cooled and decorate them with the mini oreos.
by Dana Patterson on Nov 09, 2013
I grew up with Little Debbie cakes and pies. My mom would let me get one box per week for my lunch box. Most of the time I chose oatmeal cream pies (nutty buddy’s and swiss cake rolls are pretty dang good too!). I recently came across this recipe on Pinterest, so I thought I would try them and I loved them. The icing, especially, was amazing.
I also added a little orange sprinkles for our Halloween dessert!
All you need for the cookie part is:
- 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. white sugar
- 1 1/2 c. flour (I was advised to use closer to 2 cups, so I did)
- 3 c. oats
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
For the cookies:
Cream butter and sugars in mixer. Meanwhile mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture. Cream. Add dry mixture to butter mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan before removing (so they don’t crack).
For the icing, you need:
- 1/2 c. butter
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream (I didn’t have cream so I used milk)
- 4-5 Tbsp. shortening** (This wasn’t part of the original recipe but it needed something to taste lighter and fluffier. This was the perfect trick. Made it taste more like cream filling and less like a buttercream frosting.) Thanks for the advice, Shan-made!
- I also added 1 tsp. of vanilla
For the icing:
Cream all ingredients together until frosting is a light and whipped consistency.
Frost insides of cookies once completely cool!
This was a great ending to our perfect Halloween night!
by Dana Patterson on Oct 27, 2013
Every holiday comes too fast for me. I feel like I never get to do all that I want with the girls before it is over. This year I wanted to let them choose what they wanted on their pumpkins.
I picked up some pretty good pumpkins at our grocery store (Harris Teeter). They were pretty big and they were 2/$10.00 – I didn’t have to pay by the pound.
We let the girls pick what they wanted on their pumpkin. My five month old obviously couldn’t pick, so husband just drew and carved (see middle pumpkin). My four year old wanted Hello Kitty and my two year old wanted Dora. I’d say they turned out pretty good.
In case you’re wondering, we did the obvious (obvious that we never thought to do before) and googled “Dora pumpkin stencil”. It took my husband to the Nick Jr. site that has a TON of characters. He also just googled “Hello Kitty pumpkin stencil” and Ella chose the one she liked best.
Here’s Ella with her stencil:
What you need for the stencil is:
- pumpkin carver, my neighbor let us borrow her electric one.
- Big spoon for all the guts
- stencil of your choice
- lots of tape
- candle (I used votive ones)
After we carved them, we noticed a lot of light wasn’t shining through, so I had to go back and kind of thin out the inside lining of the pumpkin and make the lines a little wider. I’m not sure if all pumpkins are really thick, but ours seemed to be.
I will say that it was pretty tedious, but I was really happy with how cute they turned out. In the end, husband and I did all the work, while these two ran around and looked cute.
This was a no brainer pic.
Here’s a close-up!
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 16, 2013
I love making wreaths. Every since my first wreath two Christmas’s ago, I just can’t stop! They are so easy and inexpensive. I give them as teacher gifts for the holidays as well.
This fall wreath cost me about $5 to make. The wreath part itself was on sale for $2.99 at Michaels. Then you just pick out whatever accessories you want from the sale holiday isle. They are usually range from 50 cents to $2 depending on how extravagant you get them.
I didn’t use any Halloween stuff this time, although there were plenty of Halloween items for those interested. I wanted to be able to use the wreath through November as well so I kept it simple.
I just use hot glue and put it together how I want. Looks great every time!
Here are a few we have made in the past:
by Dana Patterson on Oct 12, 2013
Yep, 2 ingredients. Can’t get any easier than that! We had husband’s parents over a couple of weekends ago and I made these with some chili. I really couldn’t believe how good they were!
All you need is:
1 box of spice cake and 1 can of pumpkin (make sure it’s only pumpkin)
All you have to do is mix these two ingredients together with a mixer and pour into a muffin tin (you can use cupcake wrappers or spray the pan).
Cook for 18-20 minutes on 350.
This made 11 muffins for me, but you could easily stretch it to 12 (two little girls each ate one before they got to the plate)!
These were delicious and a great side. They could even be used as a breakfast muffin!
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 03, 2013
Remember when I refinished my buffet? I ended up redoing the kitchen table and chairs to match! This is a set we have had for quite a while now and has survived three moves and three children.
It was pretty beat up so I was really anxious to refinish it once we got settled here in Florida.
The chairs were the worst because they have spindles and took a lot of extra time to paint. I am pretty sure I will never do chairs again!
Before and After
This is how beat up it was!
Fabulous. You can almost see the matching buffet to the right that I posted about last month.
Oil based primer (I recommend Zinsser)
Sand paper and electric sander (sanding between coats and parts your are staining)
latex paint (I used a satin finish)
water based poly (I recommend Minwax Polycrylic)
Elmer’s wood filler (to fill in any grooves or scrapes)
Wood stain (I used the darkest stain I could find, Kona)
1. Start by repairing any major scrapes or dents with Elmer’s wood filler. I used a lot of this to fill in the natural grooves the table came with. I hated them… food was always getting stuck in them.
2. Start sanding! Use an electric sander to sand off the tops of the chairs and the top of the table. Make sure you get all the finish off. Do not over sand unless you are sure your table is solid wood. I did this and could see part of the particle board show through in one part.
All sanded and wiped clean!
3. Clean all the dust and start priming the table and chair legs. I did two coats. Lightly sand any drips between coats.
4. Ready to paint! It takes two coats of latex paint on the table and chair legs. Work slowly and carefully on the spindles to avoid clumps and drips. Sand any drips between coats. I also like to add some floetrol to my paint. This helps condition your wood and also slows down the drying time to minimize viewable brush marks.
Primed on the bottom and first coat of stain done on the top
5. Stain the top of the table and chairs. Use painters tape as needed. I did three coats of stain to get the color as dark as I wanted. I used a stain called Kona.
6. After 24 hrs I started the poly coats. Make sure the poly is completely dry between coats. I did three coats of poly. Sand between coats as needed with a very fine grit sandpaper.
Make sure you wait 24 to 48 hrs before putting your table and chairs into regular use. It turned out great! We have been using it for a few months now and love it!
Turned out perfect! I can’t tell which chair was the one that was so beat up in picture above. They all look perfect now.
by admin on Oct 01, 2013
I absolutely hate it when my husband picks up his phone while driving. Even if it’s something that he’s doing quickly to update the GPS in the phone to help us get to our desired destination. I’d much rather do it myself than take the risk of the driver being distracted. It’s just not worth the risk.
Let’s face it, texting while driving is a problem. Too many people do it. We’re all attached to our phones and whether you’re stopped at stoplight or moving down the highway looking down at our phone instead of paying attention the extremely heavy vehicle we’re controlling is dangerous. I’ve read recently a number of reports about how texting while driving has the same impact on a drivers skills as does driving while under the influence. What amazes me though is that driving under the influence has significantly greater punishments than the punishments for people that text while driving. The map below highlights the fines related to driving under the influence and driving while texting.
The difference in most states is huge. Except for the people in Alaska, who have clearly identified the serious problem of texting while driving. In many states the financial penalty for drinking while driving is almost 10x higher than if they texted while driving. Some one needs to review these laws and get that fixed.
If you’re one of many people that text and drive every day, now is the time to stop. Your message can wait. And if it can’t, then pull over to focus on your important message.
by Dana Patterson on Sep 29, 2013
Husband has always loved seven layer bars. It’s kind of a bittersweet when we make delicious desserts (so good to the mouth, so bad to the hips). His parents were coming into town so I thought it would be a perfect and delicious dessert that my four year old could help with. Well, she ended up doing 90% of it and had so much fun!
I got the recipe here.
Here’s what ya need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips (I used white chocolate chips instead)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
All you do is:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter.
- Spread graham cracker crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and nuts over crumbs. Pour condensed milk over nuts. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.
- Bake until edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars.
Try them with your kids, they will love feeling like they are a baker! I had a lot of fun too!
by Jamie Hinckley on Sep 19, 2013
I love brownies! They are way yummier than cake! I am always trying new recipes that use brownies instead of cake!
I was browsing one of my favorite food blogger sites, The Girl Who Ate Everything, and came across these delicious brownie cupcakes! She might be a genius! The brownies paired with peanut butter frosting sounded way to good not to try!
We are big brownie fans at my house, and if you can believe it, I didn’t even get one bite of these brownies! My family gobbled them all up before I got one! I am pretty sure my husband had three of them himself!
So yes, try these!
They are perfect! Be careful with your cook time though. If you over cook them they will harden and be difficult to get out of the cupcake wrappers.
Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes!
- 1 box of your favorite brownie mix
- Mini Reeses PB cups
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 Tb milk
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Make brownie mix according to directions. Fill a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill cupcakes ¾ full with brownie mix. Bake the brownies for 14 – 18 minutes. (I would stay closer to 14minutes). I also like to put a couple mini Reeses PB cups pushed into each cupcake before baking.
- To make the frosting first mix the butter and peanut butter together. Slowly mix in confectioners’ sugar. Add one tablespoon at a time of milk and mix until you have your desired thickness. Beat for three minutes to make the frosting nice and fluffy. Add mini PB cups to the top of each cup cake.
See all the mini Reeses PB cups in there! So yummy!
by Dana Patterson on Sep 15, 2013
Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. Three kids is no joke. A fun no joke.
I have a quick post of an idea my husband had because my 2 and 4 year old ALWAYS leak popsicles all over themselves and their clothes AND they become a sticky mess. Here’s his genius idea:
He took a cupcake wrapper and put it on the stick to help with the leaking everywhere!
Yeah, he’s kind of smart.