Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's BIG Cookie and Buttercream Frosting recipe

You know when you give a gift people always say, "it's the thought that counts."  Well, before you see this cookie remember, it's the IDEA that counts.

Just use this cookie as an idea of what yours could be...or could be better than, in most cases.  Also, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT try to decorate this cookie while watching Project Runway All Stars.  The show will distract you and your cookie will look a mess.  Another also, DO NOT use store bought frosting like I did.  Yes, it is faster and much easier, but also much messier because it is not a good piping consistency.  

Here is the recipe I use for the cookie.  It was very tasty and I will definitely use it again.

Use this close up to see how you should place the M&M's.

Just put a dab of frosting on the back of each piece of candy and start spelling!  Then decorate the edges and cookie however you'd like.  Be creative...I'm just crazy about chevron right now.

Here is my buttercream recipe.  I should have used it!

Blair's Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter.  Add the ingredients a little at a time, always beating until smooth before adding more.  If you try to add it all at once you'll have a huge mess.  Add food coloring gel if desired.  Also use less powdered sugar if you don't like the frosting so thick.

Now, take the time to make a beautiful cookie and it's sure to impress at any Valentine's party!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Chocolate Cake Day

It's January 27th...do you know what that means?  (The title might have given it away!)

It's National Chocolate Cake Day!  Forget about your resolution to eat healthier (if you haven't already) and just have a piece of chocolate cake.  You won't regret it...at least I won't.  Here is the recipe for my chocolate cake above and also a few pictures of tasty and lovely looking chocolate cupcakes I've made!

Chocolate cake with coconut filling, coconut frosting, topped with toasted coconut, almonds and chocolate drizzle.

Chocolate cake with vanilla bean frosting

Chocolate cake with Oreo frosting

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Chocolate cake with caramel frosting

German chocolate cake

Happy eating!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lovely Valentine's Treats

With Valentine's Day less than a month away, I thought I would look for some inspiration.  I always make cupcakes with Valentine's sprinkles (I'm sure I will again this year), but let's see what other amazing treats are out there.  I'll share with you guys what I make closer to the actual day.  Have fun looking and see what inspires you!

Valentines Heart Cookies

White Chocolate Strawberry Napoleon

Chocolate Panini

homemade fortune cookies recipe

valentine cake bite

valentine's cookies

One Dozen Roses


Monday, January 16, 2012

Gigi's Cupcakes...A Really Tasty Review

My quest for the best cupcakes in OKC continues.  Today, I'm reviewing Gigi's Cupcakes.  I've been there a few to many times already and thought you guys needed to hear about it.  My amazing dad got my mom and I both gift cards here for Christmas, so that's why I went today.  I mean, free to me, why not?  Here goes.

Location:  Gigi's has a few different locations around the OKC area.  One by Quail Springs Mall, one in Norman and I believe one at the Outlet Mall (not listed online, but I've seen it).  The fact that Gigi's has different locations makes it a plus in my book.  It is within easy access to people in North OKC and Edmond and also those in South OKC, Moore and Norman and outlet shoppers!  Seems great to me, wherever you're at there's a Gigi's not too far away.

Cost:  At $3.25 per cupcake, Gigi's is what I'd say is right on average for the area.  I mean it sounds totally nuts to pay $3.25 per cupcake, but let me tell you, people do!  About every time I go I have to stand in a line of at least 2 or 3 people, so I guess price isn't driving people away.

Selection:  Today when I went there were 12 different cupcakes listed on the menu with 2 or 3 also listed on the special board.  There were more than enough choices for me...I don't make decisions well.  The only drawback I see is that they have a set menu each day of the week and it always stays the same.  See, I always go on Saturday's, so I never have a different selection from week to week.  I suppose this is easier for them, but what about us loyal Saturday visitors who like different options?  Any way, the selection is really quite big if you take a look at all they offer.  They just need to switch it up a little.

Cupcakes:  Today, I got 2...I didn't want to be too big of a pig!  I chose Amaretto Amore (January special) and White Midnight Magic.  

This is an amaretto cake with amaretto cream cheese frosting, rimmed with almonds.  What did I think?...I wasn't completely overwhelmed with amazement.  The size of the cupcake, and all Gigi's cupcake, is a bit larger than standard.  Actually larger than I prefer.  The cake was nice and spongy.  Not to moist, not to dry.  I could have stood for it to be just a tad lighter and fluffier.  It wasn't overly dense, but I prefer light, airy and moist cake.  The flavor of the cake didn't jump out and say, I'm amaretto.  I almost thought it was just a yellow cake, but not bad flavor.  The frosting was nice and creamy.  Plenty piled high.  The flavor was nice, but I've had amaretto flavored frosting I liked more.  The almonds were a great touch that added a tasty crunch.  Would I get this cupcake again? Probably.  But, at cupcakes to go go I also got an almond flavored cupcake that might just edge this one out, but only by a small dab of almond frosting!

This is a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate chips, topped with a white cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips, served daily.   So, what did I think?...pretty, pretty tasty.  The cake was nice and chocolatey.  Just the right balance of lightness, moistness and sponginess.  I really can't complain about the cake.  The only possible thing I could say about it is that I didn't detect any chocolate chips in the cake like stated.  The frosting was the best part of the cake.  Gigi's definitely doesn't skimp on frosting, it's always piled super high.  It was sweet and creamy with a smooth vanilla flavor.  And the chocolate chips on top added a contrast to the silky frosting.  Would I get this cupcake again?  Without a doubt I would.  It was a pretty delicious version of a classic chocolate cupcake!

Overall, Gigi's Cupcakes is a must go.  It might just be at the top of my list now!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Guilty Obsession

Is there anything you "collect" and just can't help yourself from buying?  Admit it, just say yes because I'm sure there is.

So over the weekend Ronny and I discussed this quite a few times actually, things we LOVE, have a lot of, can't help from buying, but don't really need.  For Ronny it's guns.  I suppose he might convince himself he needs each one for hunting something different, but I'm not really sure he does.  He just loves guns and loves buying them, so he does.

Here's what I am slightly obsessed with... Ray-Ban sunglasses and handbags...no surprise I'm sure.  But, it's really practical if you think about it.  You need sunglasses to protect your eyes and to help beautify yourself and hide your face if you don't have makeup on.  Handbags hold your money, keys, lipstick, coupons, tape measure (yes, I carry a tape measure), cell phone and help beautify you!  It's all about beautification for me...but when you have more than a couple of sunglasses and handbags, maybe that's an obsession.

I mean, I've admitted the only reason I worked in college was to buy Coach handbags and maybe a little food and gas for the car.  But really, I'd work and save for a new handbag, buy it and then start saving for my next one.  It was amazing and now I have quite a collection.  I have since taken to Michael Kors and Kate Spade handbags...fabulous bags, but not always fabulous on the budget...but Ronny says that's why we both work!

Ray-Ban's are a fairly new love of mine.  When I worked in the mall during college there was a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers that I would go "visit" quite often.  Finally Ronny said just get them...so I did!  Now I'm in love.

Aren't they great?!  How could I have turned them down?

Since that first, beautiful aqua pair of Ray-Ban's I've only gotten 2 more.  Another pair of Wayfarers and my newest addition, these amazing Aviators, polarized and all (fancy, I've been told!).

As I keep thinking I might be obsessed with colored denim, flats, stud earrings, anything limited edition...I'd better go!

Monday, January 9, 2012

DIY Yarn Wreath

With my ever growing love of Pinterest I have taken to crafting.  This is my first wreath ever.  It's so simple and I think so cute.

Here how you do it:

You need a wreath form, either foam or this "hay-ish", "straw-ish" kind, yarn, felt and hot glue.

I don't have pictures of the process, but here how it goes.  Wrap the wreath form in yarn!  If you get the kind I did, leave the plastic wrap on it.  It'll save a huge mess.

For the flowers, cut a square out of felt.  Then cut a circle as large as possible.  Then cut that circle into a spiral.  Then roll the felt up starting with the skinny end...pull it tight while rolling up.  Then tack down with how glue.

Spray paint a wooden letter and attach with hot glue, if initials are your style.

Here's one I made for my mom.

This is just a starting point.  You can wrap the wreath in millions of ways and dress it up like crazy.  Give it a try, you'll have so much fun.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today, three years ago I married the absolute love of my life.  These last three years have been amazing and I love Ronny more each day (usually).  I can only imagine how I will feel in the many years to come.

Here are a few photos of Ronny and me throughout the years.

Prepare yourself, you might laugh out loud.

Prom 2003.  This dress was so amazing at the time.  No one had anything like it...and the gloves...and the pearls...and the UGLY hair...amazing.  Ronny looks soooo young.  We might have said a few words to each other that night!

Prom 2004.  Wow, what a difference a year makes.  Much better, hair and all.

After prom 2005.  I have to tell you something I did that is just awful, deplorable, and just dumb...I used bronzing powder on my entire face!  I thought it matched my "fake tanned" skin.

2005 after my graduation.  My sash says VALEDICTORIAN, just in case you were wondering...  

From here on out Ronny looks the same, but I have brown hair here.  I actually like it now...at the time, not so much.

Ronny's 21st birthday at Cattlemen's in Oklahoma City.

November 6, 2007.  Finally engaged.  Ronny had a party planned at Charleston's (my favorite restaurant) for us to go to right after he proposed.  I obviously was surprised and excited.

Engagement picture

Wedding shower.  I had planned my entire outfit to go with my black and white wedding.  Ronny didn't even bring clothes with him.  That is all he could find at his parents house!  And I don't even need to mention the mountain man hair going on.

On our beautiful wedding day.

Honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia.  It's so beautiful there.

Halloween 2009.  Can you guess who we are?  I'll tell you...Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth, his wife. Cash was a hotdog.  And Austin looking good in the background.

At Fenway Park in Boston in 2010.  It was completely awesome.

Jamaica 2011.  

Here we are now.  I wanted it to look photo booth-ish...not quite, but good try.

It's been an amazing three years.  I can't wait to see what the future holds.