Friday, August 13, 2010

Pineapple Shots

So on a recent girl’s trip to the lake, Angie came up with a wonderful idea she cut up fresh pineapple rings and soaked them in pineapple vodka. As if that doesn’t make them wonderful enough, she chilled them and before taking each ‘shot’ we rolled them in powdered sugar (the pineapple not ourselves, it wasn’t that kind of girl’s weekend) that was perfect…it took the bite out of the vodka (especially for those of us who don’t like vodka).
They were WONDERFUL.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Website of the Week -

This week’s website may become your best friend. provides a daily deal (or two…sometimes there is a side-deal) where you can purchase a discounted gift certificate. Often it is a two for one special, a $30 gift certificate for $15…but sometimes you can get a bigger discount of up to 75% at times. Recently I purchased $60 gift certificates for $30 to Plaza III Steakhouse and $10 worth of gelato for $5. In addition to restaurant gift certificates there are ice cream shops, spas, cleaning services, boutiques and nightclubs.
So this is how it works, you sign up at to receive a daily email with the offer they are promoting in your area. If enough people click on the offer (it varies based on the company and the offer), then you will be the proud owner of a great gift certificate (or two if they let you buy more than one). Often there are side deals that will go along with the main offer, so be sure and look for them when they are there.

Guinness Chocolate Smores Cupcakes

So shower fare #3 starting an alcohol theme is a Guinness Chocolate Cupcake turned into a Smores Guinness Chocolate Cupcake. I started with a simple Guinness Chocolate Cupcake from the site Anna recommended, however the cake came out pretty dry and crumbly so I would recommend looking for another alternative or maybe cooking them a little less than recommended. Graham Cracker Crust: ½ cup ground graham cracker 2 T sugar 2-3 T melted butter Cupcake #16 – Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes: ½ c Guinness 1 stick butter 3 T brown sugar ½ c cocoa 1 c flour ¾ c sugar 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 1 egg 1/3 c sour cream Simmer Guinness, butter, and brown sugar in saucepan until melted. Add cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from burner and cool slightly. Mix flour, sugar, soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix egg and sour cream. Add flour mixture and beat briefly. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Bake at 35- for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Topping: 24 large marshmallows – split in half Put 4 halves of marshmallows on top of each cupcake and using a kitchen torch (LOVE. MY. TORCH. can't you tell how excited I am?) brown the marshmallows to taste. We like ours on fire and good and black when they are done. Can be done in advance, but for a true smores feeling torch just before serving. An alternative to the Guinness Chocolate Cupcake is take a Devil’s Food box mix and add Guinness instead of water for a less complicated version, or leave the Guinness out all together and just use chocolate cake.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coffee Choclate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

Shower cupcake #2 was a Coffee Chocolate Cupcake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting, straight off my favorite new website, This batter is very, very runny and don’t rise a lot but they are very moist and flavorful. They were a big hit with the group of coffee and Bailey’s lovers. For those of you who don't know what Bailey's is, it is an Irish Cream liquor...and if you ask Anna, Irish tastes like Ireland.
Cupcake #24 – Coffee Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
Cupcakes: ½ tsp baking soda ¼ c buttermilk 3 heaping T cocoa 1 stick butter ½ cup coffee (I used instant because I don’t drink coffee, Starbucks has instant packets that are cheap and can be purchased anywhere) 1 c sugar 1 c flour ¼ tsp salt 1 egg ½ tsp vanilla In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in room-temperature buttermilk. In a saucepan melt butter and cocoa together at a low temperature. When smooth, add coffee. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour and salt. Add cocoa mixture and egg and mix at low speed. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Icing: 1 stick butter 4 cups confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream 1 tsp vanilla 1 T milk 2 T coffee Beat ingredients together until smooth. Spread on cupcakes.
I topped the cupcakes with chocolate covered espresso beans for pretty and flavor enhancement to the cupcake. They can be purchased at places like Starbucks, etc.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

AnnaBANANA Cupcakes

Even though I heard this week that cupcakes are one of the Top 10 ‘fads’ that will go out of popularity in the next 5 years, I’m still making them (even though so is everyone else), and the next few recipes (and the website I got them off of (thanks to Anna requesting them) is just amazing and inspiring. Cupcake #1 from Anna’s Bridal Shower this weekend was a cupcake I would only make for my favorite banana…Annabanana. See here is the thing, I hate bananas…the smell, the texture and the taste do not appeal to me at all but I made them anyway and they were wonderful.
I got this cupcake off of a site: There are 30+ cupcakes with wild combinations of yumminess, plus there is a picture of each cupcake. Wonderful!
Cupcake #6 - Banana Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Frosting a.k.a. AnnaBANANA Cupcakes
Cupcakes: 1 c mashed bananas 1 T lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed) 1 ½ cup flour 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt ¾ stick butter 1 c sugar 1 jumbo egg (I used large because that is what I buy and it turned out fine) 1 tsp vanilla ¾ c buttermilk
In a small bowl, combine bananas and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately while mixing. Beat in bananas and mix until well blended. Bake at 275 for one hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. After removing from oven, place in freezer for ½ hour.
Icing: 1 stick butter 3 c confectioner’s sugar ¼ c milk 3 T maple syrup
In a saucepan, melt butter at medium temperature until golden brown. In a bowl, add butter to sugar, then add milk and syrup. Beat until smooth.
Top each cupcake with icing (it will run down the sides of the cupcakes, so expect a mess), top with 3 banana slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Website of the Week -

Website of the Week –
So I’m starting a new part of my blog which is Website of the Week. We all have our favorite websites and most often we learn about other great websites from our friends and family, so I want to pass those on to everyone.
The first website is called This is a great site for those of you who may live alone (like me) and wonder what you look like in a specific outfit…or maybe cleaning out your closets and wondering if that outfit still is in-style or looks good on you, or if you have a big date, a class reunion, an interview, the possibilities are endless. This is not a total group of fashionistas (even though I am sure some of them are sitting in their downtown Manhattan apartments with a coffee table covered with Italian Vogues and thinking these people have no sense of style) it is everyday people, you can go on there and critique outfits right now.
How it works: 1) go to and set up an account; 2) put on the outfit in question, including shoes, jewelry, etc. and take a picture of yourself (camera phone, via full-length mirror, camera on timer, webcam whatever you have) and upload it to; 3) thicken your skin and wait for feedback, you will get an email each time you have comments on your outfit and will get a final email when the feedback is complete. I tried this service out as an experiment and will definitely use it again…first I put on what I thought was a cute black casual skirt and a t-shirt that I know was WAAAY too small with flip flops. The feedback I got was very interesting but very honest…”the shirt is too tight,” “maybe switch it out for a cute v-neck and long necklace;” “cute skirt, great length for your height but maybe put on a cute pair of heels instead of flip flops;” “don’t wear flip flops, they should only be reserved for the beach” and the list went on and on, 15 comments in all in 5 hours.
You must have thick skin to use this service, people are brutal but you are asking for their opinion and that is what they are giving everything is objective. Give yourself some time, upload the picture a day or two before you need to wear the outfit so you have time to get feedback and change out your outfit if need be. I will use it again and again, especially for special occasions. One last tip…if you don’t want people to see your face or identify you then do what I do…crop your face out or put a black oval over your face so you are completely incognito.