Monday, November 26, 2012

Back Home

I am back in Georgia, my home, after a year living in Australia. I came back home on Thanksgiving Day! I did not tell my parents or grandparents, so they were quite shocked to see me. It was a great surprise filled with tears and laughter! I got to meet my adorable nephew, who is the happiest baby ever!

As excited as I am to be back home, I am extremely sad to have left my boyfriend and his parents. I had to leave my cat behind because he needs his shots updated. I'm not even sure if he can handle the travel. I miss him so much though and it makes me tear up just thinking about him :(

I will probably open my marshmallow store again soon. Right now everything is up in the air. I'm not sure how long I will be home, but most likely for a while. I just wanted to update you guys! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

Today is my birthday!! Woohoo

I had a birthday dinner Sunday with my beau and his family to help me celebrate. My beau's mum made me shrimp scampi, my choice. It was fantastic!! I can't believe I haven't had it in years. Surprisingly, his family never tried it before. It was a good night.

I also got an item that has been on my wishlist for a very long time, Curlformers. I already tried them last night and it was pretty uncomfortable sleeping with them in my hair. My hair is really thick so I could only do a side at a time. I'm sure I will post about my experience soon once I get the hang of them.

I made cupcakes! I made cupcakes last year for my birthday as well. This time they are a vanilla cupcake topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

The vanilla cupcakes turned out well, but they were a bit dry! Definitely not as moist as I would of liked, they were more dense like pound cake. I might have left them in the oven a tad bit long. I still loved these cupcakes though, and I devoured them with my beau. I loved how the frosting turned out, the flavour was perfect for me. I didn't want to use jam to get the strawberry flavor so I just made my own puree. The piping might look a bit odd because I only had Ziploc bags in the pantry.

Strawberry Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:
Yield: 12 cupcakes
(recipe via Brown Eyed Baker

 1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed using an electric mixer until it appears smooth and satiny, 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix by hand until there are no flour pockets visible.

Divide batter evenly in the cupcake liners. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until they are pale gold and a toothpick/skewer comes out clean.

Strawberry Frosting:
(adapted recipe via Natasha's Kitchen)

4 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powder sugar
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 teaspoons strawberry puree ( I used 2-4 strawberries in a blender)
Pink food dye (optional)

Whip heavy cream on high speed using an electric mixer till fluffy.

In a second bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed, then beat in strawberry puree (feel free to use more puree if you desire a stronger strawberry taste)

Fold in whipped cream in the cream cheese mixture. When the cupcake are cool pipe the frosting on the cupcakes.