Recipe: Cookies and Cream cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting

Well HELLLOOOO friends. It’s been a while. The summer is just getting away from me and I have been ignoring this space. Let’s reconnect, shall we? Over cupcakes? I thought you’d like that.

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I don’t know what it is, but I have been on a cupcake kick lately. Don’t worry- I do give some away. I am doing the couch to 5K program….I can’t burn off those calories and then come home and eat 15 cupcakes, now can I?

Do you ever want to try a recipe, but you are missing an ingredient that you need? Happens to me all the time. I crave something, but don’t have all the goods to make it. I came across this cupcake recipe in one of my cookbooks and actually had Oreos in the house that I bought for Rob (a rare event). So, being the good wife I am, I ripped open that package of Oreos and helped myself to half the package to make these cupcakes. Sorry honey. I’ll buy more.

The cupcake and icing recipes are from two different sources. I thought they’d go well together and I believe I was right. My 2 year old neighbor across the street thought so too. Smile

Cookies and Cream cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Kitchen Aid Baking Companion):

Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 egg whites

10 Oreo cookies, crushed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

2. Stir together the first 3 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Then stir in the sugar.

3. Add the next 3 ingredients and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl down and add the egg whites. Start the mixer again (slowly) and then beat the entire mixture for 2 minutes. Add the crushed cookies and mix until just incorporated.

4. Fill liners about 2/3 full with mixture and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Buttercream frosting (Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma Family Meals- Maria Helm Sinskey)

Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 whole milk (psst- I only had 2% and it was fine)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. very hot water

*****3-4 crushed Oreos for garnish, if desired

Directions:

1. Start the mixer on low and beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed once the powdered sugar is mixed in a bit (unless you want to wear it).

2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Remove half of the icing. This is the VANILLA buttercream.

3. Add the cocoa powder and beat on low speed until combined. Add the hot water to bring it all together and beat again for one minute. This is the CHOCOLATE buttercream.

Ice the cooled cupcakes and add Oreo cookie crumbles if your little heart desires.

I LOVED the chocolate buttercream on this particular cupcake, but both were delicious.

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Enjoy everyone! I won’t wait so long to say hello again.

Five on Friday with a new home tour

Hello Friday! It is the first Friday of summer break for me! I am linking up with Christina at Carolina Charm for today’s Five on Friday. I also have a home tour up on the blog- follow the link below to the main page of this blog for photos. Smile

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One:

I have two of these Threshold stools from Target sitting at my kitchen island at the moment. I am trying to decide whether to keep them or not. We have some nice bar stools from World Market that we like, and we recently covered the cushions with some leftover fabric, but the stools are kind of big for the island and where it’s placed in our kitchen. These are more compact. If you like them, or any barstools at Target, take advantage of the 20% off barstools sale on Cartwheel. The deal expires tomorrow (Saturday June 7).

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Two:

You aren’t using Cartwheel????? Please tell me you’re kidding. If you’re not using it, and you shop at Target, sign up now. I just got a notification that I have saved over $100 using this app. It’s free and easy. If I have my eye on something that is not a necessity, I wait for Cartwheel to have a discount (like the stools above). Discounts range from 5-25% off. Get signed up!!!!!!!!!!!

Three:

Are you watching Fixer Upper on HGTV? I adore this show. I watched the marathon yesterday (in a nice outfit in my pajamas) to catch up on episodes I’ve missed. I’m in awe of people who have the vision to turn something hideous into something so beautiful.

Four:

Jeni’s Ice Cream opened last night here in Charleston on Upper King Street….just in time for summer break. I’ve had her cookbook for a few years and the recipes are wonderful. I can’t wait to head downtown and feed my face. I am certain I can find a few friends to tag along with me. Winking smile

Five:

If you haven’t visited me lately, I recently posted some home tour pics on the main page of this site. I’m still learning….learning my camera, learning technology. Bear with me! I hope you enjoy the tour. Smile

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Fried green tomato BLT with pimento cheese (y’all)

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The thing that is great about experimenting in the kitchen is that you can satisfy a craving at any time without having to go to your favorite restaurant. One of my favorite indulgent sandwiches is a fried green tomato BLT. Throw some pimento cheese in the mix and it’s even better.

Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches):

6 strips of bacon

romaine lettuce (or whatever floats your boat)

1 green tomato (this will yield 2 slices per sandwich)

4 slices of hearty sandwich bread (such as Pepperidge Farm brand)

1/4 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have this; add 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1/4 cup regular milk and allow it to sit for 5 minutes)

Pimento cheese

Coating for tomatoes:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

pinch of kosher salt

6 grinds of freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Prepare all of the ingredients is (toast the bread, wash the lettuce, etc.). Pan fry the bacon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pat the excess grease off the top of the bacon.

2. Keep the pan with the bacon grease on medium heat. You can fry the tomatoes right in it (why dirty another pan?).

3.. Slice the tomatoes, dunk quickly in the buttermilk, then add to the coating and coat generously. Press the coating into the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes into the hot bacon grease.

4. Fry the tomatoes on medium heat for about 2 minutes per side. When they are golden brown, place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Pat any excess grease off the top, then finish with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

5. Assemble the sandwich by spreading the pimento cheese onto one slice of bread. Top with the tomato, bacon and lettuce.

Enjoy!

An almost effortless sink skirt

Hello friends! Today I am linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemons for One Project At A Time.

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I’ve had a sink skirt under my kitchen sink for close to a year now. I’ve changed it 3 times, but the current one is my favorite. Let me show you how easy this is to do!

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All you need is:

  • A tension curtain rod
  • Small ring clips (I used 40)
  • A piece of fabric

I had this fabric leftover from another project. Previously, I had a sink skirt that I made from dish towels.. Afterwards, I replaced that with a sink skirt that I made from a drop cloth. After doing a few different ones, I have to say that a lightweight, single piece of fabric works best here. It’s not too heavy on the rod and it’s easy and light to open and close.

Here we go:

1. Remove cabinet doors (when your husband is at work so he does not roll his eyes at you doing another project….tee hee hee). Winking smile

2. Cut your fabric to fit your opening. My opening for this double cabinet is 34.5 inches wide. My finished fabric is 55” wide x 27” long. You will really need to measure your own cabinet for preference. If you want your curtain to be more ‘billowy’, cut it wider. Your sink will also determine length. We have an under mount sink. 

3. This particular fabric has raw edges, which I like, so I did not hem them. I only hemmed the bottom edge of the fabric (with a sewing machine).

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4. Attach your ring clips and evenly space them across the top of the fabric.

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5. Place the tension rod up inside the cabinet. If your fabric is heavier, you can mount a command hook (that holds 3-5 lbs.) centered on the back of the cabinet face under the sink, then rest the rod on that, dividing the ring clips evenly on either side so the curtain is centered. I did that with my last 2 curtains, but this one is so light, it was not necessary. It’s hard to photograph, so I did not, but my Command hook is mounted directly behind that little glass knob you see in the pictures below.

 

Give this project a try if you’re looking for a quick (under 30 minutes), easy way to add cottage charm to your kitchen.

Five on Friday

Hello and TGIF! I hope you have all had a good week. As the school year winds down, this school district based behavior analyst can only think of hitting the beach, pool and catching up with friends. Smile What are you all looking forward to this summer?

It’s time for another link up; this week, with Natasha over at Hello Happiness.

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One:

Speaking of catching up with friends, Rob and I are heading to Savannah tomorrow to meet up with our friends that we have not seen in 2 years! We definitely need to stop into Back In The Day Bakery. I have their cookbook and I seriously want to quit my job and drive to Savannah to bake with them every day. Hey, it’s only 2 hours away! I wonder if they’d pay me mileage….Winking smile

Two:

If you’re local to the Charleston area, make the trip to Summerville to have Sunday brunch at This Whole House. It’s an adorable tea room and I will be honest,…it is small inside. But on a beautiful Sunday morning, grab a table outside on the front lawn. The brunch is delicious and all you can eat. Check it out.

Three:

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If you know me, you know I am a cookbook collector (and if you don’t know me, well now you know me a little bit better!). I purchased this cookbook a couple of months ago. It’s been a hot week here in the Charleston area, and I love her cilantro lime slaw for a quick side dish. It’s a lighter alternative to mayonnaise based coleslaw and it makes a great topping for tacos and sandwiches, if you’re into putting coleslaw on top of such things. Winking smile

Four:

This video seems to be all over the internet this week. If you have not watched it, take 5 minutes to do so. It’s embarrassing to think of how we can look glued to our cell phones, I Pads, etc. I am trying hard to put my phone away at night. Just because it’s blinking does not mean I have to deal with it right away. I used to be so good about this and I need to get back to putting it in a separate room at night. Real, quality time with my husband is more important than checking Facebook every 15 minutes out of sheer boredom.

Five:

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I love this quote.I might need to put this on one of my chalkboards. Smile

 

Have a great weekend, everyone! And Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there.

(Almost) Free house portrait

I recently saw a feature in Country Living magazine about different places to have a painting or portrait of your house created. They were all cute, and I may decide to do one eventually, but at over $100 a pop, I’m not exactly in a hurry. Smile

 

So here is a nearly free way to do this, if you like the idea of having a sketch or portrait of your house. If you already have cardstock and cheap picture frames, then it will be totally free! You’re welcome. Ha.

 

If you have a smart phone, use the ‘Sketch Artist’ app to take a photo of your house. There are quite a few finishes to choose from once the app processes your photo. Print it on cardstock (I have a wireless printer which makes this a breeze; otherwise, you can email it to yourself and print) and voila! You have a picture of your house. I hung little tags underneath the 2 pictures I made; one of each house we’ve owned. I got the idea to do this from Carmel at Our Fifth House. I think this is a sweet and sentimental idea.

 

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I would eventually like to get nicer frames and maybe mats as well, but this is how it looks for now.

 

What kinds of inexpensive house projects have you done lately?

Five on Friday

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Hello friends! I’m joining the link party over at The Good Life Blog once again. If you are visiting for the first time, welcome! Smile

One:

I had some friends over last Friday (after my Five on Friday post was done) and one of them asked me where I got my kitchen island. I’ve been asked a few times about my Stenstorp island from Ikea. If you are in the market for a free standing island that is sturdy, this is a great one to consider. I’ve had mine for over 4 years and I love it. A few months back I sanded the top down and stained it darker, then added a butcher block sealer and spills are no problem. It’s a great piece for the money and was much more reasonable than similar islands from other retailers.

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Two:

If you live in/around Charleston, SC, check out Pawley’s Front Porch in Mount Pleasant. Rob and I ate there last weekend…YUM. Amazing burgers and appetizers.

Three:

I’m slightly obsessed with Go Jump in the Lake and you should be too. They sell the cutest signs, if you’re into typography and such. I have 3 of their pieces and just learned that they have a booth in a local store that I have not been to yet. Say what? I think I just found the perfect excuse to go. Winking smile

Four:

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Now that our front porch is all spiffed up, I think I’ll be busting out this book to whip up some fun treats for us.

Five:

I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday this week (ahem). We all have our problems and concerns in life (many of which don’t get shared in forums like this). I really try to be grateful daily for the many blessings I have that are sometimes easy to take for granted. As I enter another year in this life, I am feeling very loved, grateful and blessed.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!