Friday, November 30, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Seriously.

It's when my calorie intake does not exist {never mind that I may pay for it later}.

It's when the baking bug has taken hold of me in full-gear.

It's when divine smells fill the house from freshly baked cookies, snack mixes.... and......

CUPCAKES!

And that's what I did yesterday --- made cupcakes! And I had my camera around so I thought it would be fun to include some pics and a recipe here on this blog for your enjoyment.

So, without further ado... let me share with you the recipe to these Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes!


CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 22-25 minutes
Yield: 20-24 cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa {I used Ghirardelli}
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk {I used non-fat and they still turned out great}
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:
~7 ounces cream cheese softned
1/2 cup butter {1 stick}
1 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner sugar
1-3 Tablespoons milk 

CUPCAKES
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.

2. In mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

4. Add boiling water and blend together. 
NOTE: the mixture will be VERY thin. I am thankful I was warned about this because it really is the consistency of buttermilk or so. But, don't worry. They turn out fabulous! But, instead of using an ice cream scoop to fill my liners, I just used a bowl with a pouring spout.

5. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.

6. Bake at 350 degree for 22 - 25 minutes.

7. Cool cupcakes completely on wire rack prior to frosting.


FROSTING
1. Beat cream cheese and butter for about 30 seconds until smooth.

2. Add confectioner sugar a little at a time. Once combined increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy.

3. Add peppermint and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

4. Slowly add in the milk until you reach the desired consistency. 

5. Beat until fluffy {about 1 minute}.

Makes approximately 3 - 4 cups.
Utilize frosting immediately or it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Frost cupcakes and ENJOY!


See, it really is...
It's the most wonderful time of the year!


I added Hershey Peppermint Kisses to the top for an added festive punch.


And then I had fun breaking up a whole bunch of candy canes to sprinkle around the serving platter. I just spread the fine dust left from the candy canes across the top of the cupcakes.


I took these to our Christmas Party and they were devoured!
A hit I must say.


I even let kiddo eat one for breakfast the next day!
See?!?! It really is...

the most wonderful time of the year!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wreath It Up!


Christmas decorating is in full-swing in our home.

LOVE this time of year. 

It's just sooooo festive!

We are going a little bit "nontraditional" in traditional ways this year with our decor. Kiddo is not so much a fan of it. But, we like how not so overwhelming it is. It's more soothing. But, I still have to have my red pops of color.... that is a MUST! I'll share with you some pics throughout the upcoming weeks of our Christmas tree {which is a silver tinsel slim tree!} and other Christmas decor and crafts.

Here is a VERY simple way to add a festive touch to an otherwise empty canvas....

WREATHS!


This was taken from last year's decor. I love how shiny ornament wreaths are.....

You know I'm a fan of SHINY.

Therefore, I am a fan of ornament wreaths!

This year, I went with silver ornaments only for the wreaths.


If you add a wreath to a mirror.... you get more SHINY SPARKLY AWESOMENESS!


Or you can just place a wreath in an unexpected place to add some festive pizazz!

Like I did with this wreath on the refrigerator!




We just finished our Christmas decorating. Now, it is wrapping the gifts... making sweets.... decorating a gingerbread house.... listening to music and being with friends and family.

It really IS.... THE MOST
WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving



It's here!

I have been prepping for several days.... and now is the time to kick it in high-gear and dance around like Snoopy.

The Happy Snoopy Dance!

I am grateful for SO much, but I came across these words that sums it up pretty simply:

I am thankful for:

Food in a world where many walk in hunger.
Friends in a world where many walk alone.
Faith in a world where many walk in fear.
We give thanks, O Lord.

Now, off to the kitchen as I finish all that still lies ahead --- while --- doing The Happy Snoopy Dance!

Have an enjoyable day.... eat LOTS of turkey {or desserts --- or both!}... smile a lot.... hug those you are close to.... pick up the phone to call those that are far away... watch football.... sleep... eat some more... sleep some more.... count your blessings.... and have a.....

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Now, do a little Happy Snoopy Dance with me!

Thank you. See, that's why I am also thankful for YOU, my readers!
Much love,
--Joanne

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Friday Preparations

Are you one of those people who wakes up at 2 am to stand in line with your "plan of attack" organized detailing which store, what items, how long to stay, etc, etc?!?!?!

Oh.... I have a special place in my heart for those people.

But, for those of you that don't want to mess with the hustle and bustle of all of that type of shopping, but want to instead find some interesting and unusual items.... come check out the Dallas Design District Antique stores!

Our space at LOST.... antiques is filling up with some pretty awesome and unique finds.

Take this vintage bamboo screen for example:


Very very COOL.

Have you seen how these are used in decor lately?

source

Painted screen for a headboard....

Just stunning and BRILLIANT!

And there are still more vintage finds in our space....

Like this Bamboo Framed Vintage Peacock Fabric:


It would be quite stunning to use in a living space or office like this example:

source
We love vintage!

We love style!

We love art!

We love unique and interesting things!


And we will also have a little Christmas tree in our space.... coming soon with vintage and shiny ornaments!


Have a safe, wonderful and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Campaign Crush

No, I'm not talking about the presidential campaign....

that's over.

I'm talking about my obsession with CAMPAIGN DRESSERS.

I have been looking and looking for one.

I wanted to do something elegant like this:

Source

Or something stunning like this:

Source - unknown
And then, one day while I was on the hunt for marvelous finds to increase inventory....
I happened across this:

BEFORE



I found this piece at a garage sale. It was quite roughed up. Not all the hardware was present and what was present was really spotted. But, it was in great solid condition. It had the "Campaigner" marking in the drawer, so it was authentic.... and.... well, I could see past the rough exterior and I was looking at the true beauty of this piece.


So.... I hauled it back home.

I obtained a few new hardware pieces and paint. Then, I went to work!

I filled in the rough areas with wood filler and sanded the entire piece. I used about 4 coats of paint + primer Valspar paint and I polished up the original hardware with silver polish {worked PERFECTLY - they look brand new!}

AFTER


Unfortunately for Floor 24 Designs customers..... I think I have decided to keep this piece.


Pretty gorgeous.... isn't it? See what true beauty was really under that rough exterior.


Kind of a life lesson in there, isn't it?

Never judge a book by it's cover.

Always find the best in people.

Beauty is on the inside.


I guarantee to always find you the pieces that have true beauty.

True beauty is a powerful addition to any decor! It is what can make a house a HOME.

Here is to many many more beautiful finds!

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