Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Angel: The Reveal

Wow! I can't believe that it's already June and time to reveal who I've been secretly stalking for the past month. A couple of weeks ago I told you all about the Blog Angel event I've been participating in, hosted by Rosie at Craftbotic and Katlyn at Dreamy Meadow. This has been such a fun experience and I'm so glad I joined in on the fun.

Meet Jill from I Know the Plans I Have For You. She is a super fun woman with a beautiful family who blogs about her family, life, and the things she loves.


For the last month I've hounded Jill's blog, commenting on her posts, and shouting out to her on Facebook and Twitter like crazy. It's been really fun meeting someone new and focusing on her blog instead of just mine. I hope all of you reading this consider joining in next month when the Blog Angels starts all over again! I hope that I made a difference in Jill's life. I know that this experience has made a difference in mine! I've been reminded that it's important to put others first, to not get so focused on myself and what I'm doing that I forget that there are people all around me who need encouragement. We have no idea what a smile may be hiding. I wish I could've done more. Some days I felt like I was failing miserably. All I know is that I'm a better person for having joined up and can't wait til the next round! Happy reading, friends!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Never Tried Nutella? What?!

Ok, funny story. Until a couple months ago I had never tried...ready for it? Nutella. I know. Gasp. Shock. Horror. I don't even know why. Maybe my life long struggle with food played a part. I didn't need to know what I was missing so I just didn't let myself try it. Maybe it was the fact that I never really had hazelnuts growing up so I didn't really know if I liked it. Maybe I just didn't think there was anything I could like as much as peanut butter. Who knows? All I know is that, until a couple months ago, I thought my life was complete. I was happy. I was blissfully unaware. And then came that fateful day when everything changed...

It was a normal day at the office. Five o'clock was quickly approaching and I was minding my own business. I can't even remember what started the whole conversation. All I remember is, one minute I was headed out the door to run to the store before going home, and the next, my boss was telling me about the glory of Nutella. He was shocked that I, a pastry chef and lover of all things baked, had never tried it. I really didn't think much about it. I went to Walmart, put the items I needed into my cart, and headed for the checkout. As I was placing my items on the belt, I looked up and there it was. Nutella. To go. I thought, "how funny...we were just talking about this." So, I grabbed it, deciding to finally try it, and left the store. Later that evening I took my first taste and I was hooked. This stuff is just so incredibly delicious! I knew that if I ever brought a tub of it into my house, I'd be done for. So, I went on with life, happy with having tried it and content to know that if I wanted a little indulgence I could just grab one of those to go containers and be good.

Fast forward a couple months and we have the reason for this post. My friend, Amy, over at One Artsy Mama had also never tried this stuff and decided to host a party where we will "Go Nuts" for Nutella. So, here's my little contribution. Beware. You may never eat cupcakes any other way again. To quote a few of my co-workers, "best cupcakes on the face of the planet", "Heather, you were good before you started this blog, but you just get better and better. The best cupcakes you've ever made" and, of course the classic, "mmmm..." :) Clearly, they were a hit....

See the topper on this baby? Yes, that's the delicious and decadent Ferrero Rocher candy. You know, the candy that is reserved for special occasions? (At least it is at our house) And, at $6/dozen, it's no wonder...however, every once in awhile, it's worth it. And this was one of those occasions. Dark chocolate cupcakes, filled with nutella, iced in Chocolate-Nutella Swirl Buttercream, and topped with the special candy. Now, the cake recipe I used makes 38 cupcakes and I only bought 1 dozen of the Ferrero Rocher candies. Sorry...that's all the budget allowed this month so they were on a first-come, first-serve basis. Honestly, though, these cupcakes were super delicious with or without the toppers. The only thing missing was crushed hazelnuts to decorate the icing but I couldn't find hazelnuts anywhere...any suggestions?

Now, for the recipes...

Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line pans with paper liners. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream; whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Pour into lined pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing.

Chocolate Buttercream (adapted from here)

1/2 cup shortening
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark cocoa
1 t vanilla
1 lb (approx. 4 cups) confectioner's sugar
3-4 T hazelnut creamer

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add creamer and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

To create the swirl effect I followed the tutorial found here (genius idea - wish I came up with it!) I put the Nutella in one bag and the Chocolate Buttercream in another. Voila! Beautifully swirled icing.

For extra flavor, before icing, I hollowed out the middle of the cupcakes with a sharp knife and filled them in with Nutella. This just added an extra layer of deliciousness (not to mention, calories) - shhh....

There you version of Nutella cupcakes. Make them! You'll truly be missing out if you don't. And, if you haven't yet, try Nutella. Don't be blissfully unaware of what you've been missing for as long as I was. Until next time, happy reading and more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's a Baby! Simple, Beautiful Baby Shower Cupcakes

These sweet cupcakes were ordered by a friend of mine who was throwing a baby shower a few weeks ago. I just love the color scheme for the party!

The baby's first name starts with a D (I never did ask what her name is gonna be) and the design my friend wanted was simple and elegant. The flavors were dark chocolate and vanilla with a vanilla almond buttercream. For the vanilla cake, I followed the recipe on the link, omitting the almond extract and doubling the vanilla. As for the icing, this recipe is a little more detail oriented. I really love the texture of it, though, and it holds up really well, especially if you're using it for a wedding cake. For the decorations I rolled fondant and cut out 1 inch circles. Once dry, I piped the polka dots and letter D on each one in navy royal icing. These were easy, delicious, and beautiful!


Royal Icing (makes about 3 cups icing)

3 Tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups confectioner's sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks. If you want stiffer icing, use less water and for thinner, use more, adding 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

Wilton Snow White Buttercream (adapted from here)

2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup Meringue Powder
12 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon no-color almond extract
3/4 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

In large bowl, combine 2/3 cup water and meringue powder; whip with electric mixer at high speed until peaks form. Add 4 cups sugar, one cup at a time, beating at low speed after each addition. Add remaining 8 cups sugar and 3 tablespoons water, shortening, butter and corn syrup in 3 additions, blending well after each. Add salt and flavorings; beat at low speed until smooth. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

If you're not really concerned with keeping it pure white then don't worry about using the no-color almond and clear vanilla. If you do want it pure white then follow the directions on the link as-is (you'll notice I halved the shortening, added butter, and omitted the butter flavoring).

Be sure to stop by Shaken Together where I'm guest posting today and follow along this whole week with Keri's Patriotic celebration. Also, stop by Happy Go Lucky where Kara is doing a series of favorite finds under $10. Today, you'll find a list by yours truly! :)

Lots of fun stuff is coming up so stay tuned for the where and what! Until next time, happy reading and more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Blogging Community: A Community of Friendship, Creativity, Support...& Prayer

Hello, my friends. Today I have a special treat for you...not of the cupcake variety. A few weeks I ago I met Carly at Texas Lovebirds. Some would say it was a chance meeting. I just "happened" to see a tweet about a blog planner that just "happened" to spark my curiosity, I clicked the link and just "happened" to stumble across this lovely blog. Stalker Outgoing person that I am, always looking to make new friends, I began looking around and found way more than just a planner (although I'm happy to say that Carly is making me a lovely planner and I can't wait to get organized around here). However, it just so "happens" that I don't believe in chance or luck. I believe that God ordains my steps and leads me where He wants me to go, and, on that day, where He wanted me to go was Carly's blog. This lady has a beautiful heart and I can't tell you how happy I am to have "met" her. I've been praying about a way to use my blog as a vehicle to share my faith and Carly has part of the answer. Here she is to tell you all about it. I hope that you take the time to read this as it has already changed my thinking and, ultimately, my life. It's all yours, Carly....

Hi, guys! My name is Carly and I blog over at Texas Lovebirds. My blog chronicles my life as a wife, a new momma, and a woman who tries to live by His grace daily. I write for therapy. I write to remember. I write to laugh. I write to relate. I write to connect. I write to inspire. I hope you will find one of those things when you visit my blog.

Today, Heather is so kindly letting me guest post on something that has become somewhat of a passion to me. I am so thankful that she sees my heart and is helping give me an avenue to share it. This post might be a little lengthy, but I hope you'll stick around and hear what I have to say.

A month or two ago, I felt God really tugging on my heart about prayer. I felt Him pushing me to be more than the person who prays before meals, more than the person who prays each night before bed. I felt Him pushing me to truly pray for others when I say I will. I felt Him pushing me to carry other's burdens through prayer.

As I began to make changes in my personal prayer life, I felt God continue to tug my prayer life in a direction I never imagined...toward blogging. I didn't know what to pray so I prayed that blogging wouldn't become an idol. I prayed that I wouldn't stress too much about it. I prayed that my little corner of the blogging world might be a light for someone, somewhere. And in the midst of this prayer, this question came to mind... 

Why can't the blogging community become a praying community?

I didn't really know what that meant or how to involve prayer in the blogging community, so I went back to praying about that question. My mind was consistently brought back to my college campus. I attended a private Christian university in Dallas and all over campus there were prayer boxes. In these boxes, anyone could leave a prayer request. You could be as specific or as vague as you wanted. You could be known or completely anonymous. Most importantly, leaving a request gave you the knowledge that someone was praying for you and your pains and struggles, your joys and triumphs. Those boxes got my wheels turning and I began to realize how helpful an online prayer box could be to many people.

After talking to a blogging friend, I decided to set up a Google Doc where people could leave these requests. The Google Doc form asks you three questions. In these questions you are able to share as much information as you wish.

The form recently launched on my page and can be found at the top of my blog under the tab titled "prayer." Once you've found the form, this is how things will work... 

1) Fill out the form with your prayer request. The information you leave is visible only to me.
2) Click "submit."
3) Know that there is someone praying for you! 

You can leave as many requests as you'd like, as often as you'd like. I just really hope that you'll head over to my blog and utilize this! I feel that it is an incredible opportunity for us to support each other. The Bible calls us to bear each other's burdens and I feel as if there is no better way to do this than through prayer. 

Please, help spread the word about this movement...the blogging community becoming a praying community. Tweet it, Facebook it, and post about it on your blog. This is starting small through prayer requests submitted to me but my mind is racing with ways to make this grow. Your support and your prayer will help this movement more than you know. 

So, let's get started...

Is there something weighing on your heart?

Is someone who is close to you really sick?

Have you just experienced a loss?

Is Satan filling your mind with toxic thoughts?

Are you struggling in a relationship?

Are you feeling hurt by someone?

Are you struggling to forgive someone?

Do you feel God tugging on you to make a change?

Are you celebrating a recent victory?

Are you thankful for all He has given you? 

I'd love to pray for you in any way that I can.

Thank you, Carly. I'm humbled by your heart.

How about you, friends? I'm so excited about this movement! I want to know that my blogging doesn't just lead people to the kitchen because, while that certainly makes people happy, it has no eternal value. I'd hate to think that I reached hundreds, or even thousands, of people with yummy recipes and beautiful cakes...and nothing more. I want people to see my heart, to know my God, to believe that there is someone out there who cares about their souls and their hurts, their fears and joys. Please utilize this tool. Share your requests with Carly. I'm planning on implementing something similar myself here and will let you know when it's up and running. Until then, know that I'm praying for you. That Carly prays for her readers. That God loves you and cares for you more than you could ever know.

Yes, this post was different than what you usually read here. I just truly believe that it's important. I want my little corner of the blogging community is a praying community. Imagine what would happen if this catches on.....


P.S. I'm a guest over at Ladybird Ln today so stop over and say hey! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

PB Chocolate Cupcakes: Treats for Your Soul

Ok, so the title may be a bit dramatic but, seriously, these babies are just delectable. A treat for the eye and tastebuds. I think for me, personally, the ultimate flavor combination is a good, quality chocolate with peanut butter...classic...simple, yet dramatic...satisfying.

My best friend from middle school turned 30 last month and I made these cupcakes for her. Let me tell you a little bit about this girl. We met in the 7th grade and pretty much clicked right away. She's sweet, funny, and just fun to be around. We share the same faith, likes and dislikes, love for sushi and salt & vinegar chips and I love her family and she loves mine! We've been in and out of each other's lives over the last 18 years, had our share of ups and downs, fought with each other, laughed with each other, cried with each other, and lost touch. But through it all, she is still one of the very few people who know me inside and out, accept me for who I really am, and love me in spite of it. I'm so thankful that she moved within 40 minutes of me last year and that I was able to be in her wedding just over a year ago. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that whatever comes, I'll always be able to count on her! Thanks, Danielle! LYLAS!! :)

Danielle and I on the weekend of her wedding :)
Now back to the cupcakes....

Sorry, I know you want the recipes and how-to's but I just love looking at them! :)

Dark Chocolate Cake:

2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (recipe calls for dutch process)
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plain greek yogurt (recipe calls for sour cream)
1 1/2 cups water
2 T distilled white vinegar
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with liners. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and yogurt (or sour cream) and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Divide among cupcake liners. Bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan.

For the icing, I had some left over Cream Cheese Icing that I added peanut butter to until Danielle said it was enough. :) Yes, she was there with me when I made them and since they were for her...well, she was the boss.

For the chocolate-peanut butter drizzle, I just melted semi-sweet chips with peanut butter in the microwave. Sorry, I don't have amounts for you but it's really just up to you and your taste preference. Of course, the toppers were Reese's peanut butter cups, piped with more icing on top to make them look like mini cupcakes. I couldn't help it....I just love cupcakes! :)

Make these cupcakes! They are so delicious and will turn a rainy afternoon into a delight!! Until next time, happy reading and, more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blog Angels ~ What a Great Idea!

Hey friends! Today I wanna tell you about a really awesome thing I've been a part of this month...

The ladies over at Craftbotic and Dreamy Meadow had the idea to secretly pair two bloggers up for encouragement, support, and fun! They assigned me my blogger and turned me loose. What are we doing? We're commenting, giving media shout-outs, designing things for each other's blogs, whatever we want to do to be a friend to another blogger. It's the midway point and I'm checking in to report on how it's going...

I think I'd have to say that I'm learning a lot about myself through this event. I've always been a "mother hen" type to the people in my life so helping out or taking care of others usually comes naturally. However, it's a little more difficult when it's secret and in a forum that I'm fairly new to myself.

I've had a great time, though, getting to know my fellow blogger. She is pretty awesome and stalking checking out her blog is pretty fun. I'm finding out that we have a few things in common and I love making new friends. The blogging community is such a fun, friendly place already, so adding to my own little community is always a blessing.

If nothing else, being a blog angel has taught me that this community that I've become a part of, well, it's a great place to be. I'm surrounded by awesome people, a lot who share my faith in my Savior, who are real, love their families, have awesome talents and gifts, and who are more than willing to brighten another person's day, lend support, and be an encouragement in so many ways! I can't wait til the end of the month when it's time to reveal who we had because I can't wait to be a friend out in the open to this cool lady! Also, I can't wait to say thank you to my own angel for taking a part in this awesomeness and being willing to support and encourage me!

Until next time, happy reading and even if you're not officially a blog angel, decide to be one to somebody today! Everyone needs encouragement and a pick me up every now and then. We all need to know that someone, somewhere, thinks we're important and that what we're doing here means something! Be blessed, but more importantly, be a blessing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No Sauce Chicken & Veggie Pizza {plus some personal info about my life}

I know some of you just read that title and several things are going through your mind.

Isn't this a cupcake blog?

If not cupcakes then at least cake or another dessert....

but pizza with NO sauce?

Where am I?!

Maybe none of that went through your head and you're really excited to read this post. Whatever. The point is you're here and that's what counts! So, why this "recipe"? (I use that term loosely here because I'm not really giving you a recipe...just an idea and a few ingredients for you to build on and make your own creation.)

First, let's talk about why mine is what it is....

No sauce Chicken & Veggie Pizza

A few years ago, I experienced my first ever migraine headache and let me tell you...I have never felt such pain in my life. I've had broken bones, chronic ear infections/aches, and low back pain and NOTHING has compared to the unbelievable pain of a true migraine. It affects everything. Light hurts. Noise hurts. Movement hurts. Sometimes just breathing too deeply hurts. Until that moment, I had no idea what real pain was. The worst part - nothing helped. I went to doctor after doctor to figure out the cause...I was in my mid-20s and all of a sudden I started having them at least twice a week with no explanation. Every test came back normal...blood work, MRIs, CT scans...and all the medicine they tried on me failed. It was probably the worst several months of my life. The headaches got so bad and frequent that in the summer of '08, just a few months after my first migraine, I ended up in the hospital. I had had one for about 2 days that just wouldn't go away and my body had had enough. 

That night, I was in class at culinary school and I looked at my friend, Maggie, and told her that something wasn't right. I couldn't really explain it, but I knew something was wrong with my body. My right arm started tingling and going numb. We went outside and I sat down on the curb in the parking lot. After several minutes, the numbness traveled into my right leg and I couldn't move that side of my body at all. Several phone calls to my parents and one 911 call later, I was on my way to the emergency room in an ambulance, thinking that I was having a stroke. Turns out that sometimes migraines can get so bad that they mimic strokes to tell us that something is wrong. You'd think that after all that, with modern medicine being what it is, the doctors and specialists would be able to tell me something. Nope. Nothing. No idea what was causing the problem and no way to help.

Finally, I just learned to live with the headaches. For the next several years, I forgot what it was like to go a moment without a dull ache in my head. It just became part of my every day life. Sometimes it would flair up into a full-blown migraine but mostly it just hung around like a shadow - always there, lingering, ready to make itself known. 

(You're probably wondering what in the world this has to do with pizza but hang on, I'm getting there)....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gender Reveal Cupcakes ~ It's a GIRL!

Yay! My sister and her husband are expecting their first child and I am excited to announce that it's a precious baby girl!! They are ecstatic and can't wait to hold their bundle of joy in October. Her name is Skylar Jayde and I can tell you that she is already spoiled. Aunt Heather has already bought her a box full of clothes, both sides of the family are shopping all the time and we just can't wait!

I'm a huge fan of the whole "gender reveal" cake or cupcake idea that's become popular lately and knew that I just HAD to do it for my sister. Have you heard of this? You bake the cake the color you want to reveal (pink for girls, blue for boys) or you fill the cupcakes with a filling using the same idea. Then, you invite your friends and family to a gender reveal party and when the cake is cut or the cupcakes are bitten into, everyone finds out the sex of the baby cool! So, last week we had a small, last-minute cupcake party for our family and a few close friends to share with them the gender and here's what they looked like (excuse the picture quality - with all the excitement, the only thing I had with me was my phone)....

And the moment everyone was waiting for...

Yes, dad, that's pink...not blue :)
I'd say the only person not jumping for joy was my poor dad. Don't get me wrong...he's completely thrilled with becoming a grandfather and the fact that the baby and my sister are both strong and healthy is the most important thing to him. However, put yourself in his shoes. He went through four pregnancies and births of his own children, hoping for that boy to play football with, take hunting, and call son and all he kept getting were curls, pink blankets, and lots of emotional drama! :) He takes it all in stride, though, and has already started buying Skylar presents. He told my sister...maybe next time. Lol!

Unfortunately for you guys, I have no recipes to share. My sister's favorite cake is a boxed yellow cake with a tub of store-bought chocolate frosting. There's just no appreciation for my talent... *sigh*  I got as creative with it as I could and used marshmallow fluff dyed pink for the centers and a graham cracker on top for a not-from-scratch version of S'mores cupcakes. Don't worry...I'll be sharing a REAL version of S'mores cupcakes sometime this summer. 

Well, there you have it. We're expecting another girl into our big family and very excited about it! Don't forget to stop by my previous post to enter the giveaway for over $172 worth of cool kitchen gadgets! Until next time, happy reading and, more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In the Kitchen with Trudeau: a Review and Giveaway for YOU

I'm so excited about today's post! First, this is my first review and the company contacted ME! Yep, me!! I still can't believe it. Second, I LOVE these products (most of them, anyway). Third, and the best part, I get to give one set away to one of YOU lucky readers!!

Teaser: I made this pizza with some of the gadgets I'm reviewing today! :)

Let me introduce you to Trudeau. From their website:

Trudeau is a leading edge North American marketer and designer of innovative quality products. We are dedicated to creating a unique experience in preparing and serving foods and beverages, at home and on-the-go.

Trudeau Corporation was established in Montreal, Canada, in 1889, as an importer and distributor of high-end specialty goods from around the world, under the name Genin Trudeau. Trudeau Corporation soon developed an extensive distribution network along with a reputation for high-quality products and expert servicing.

In recent years, the company has invested in innovation, design and manufacturers products under the Trudeau brand, as well as several private-label brands for well-known U.S. retailers.

Family Heritage

Trudeau Corporation embodies four generations of family tradition and values. Chairman Robert Trudeau, his wife Deborah, and three of his children (Philippe, Anne-Marie and Paul) are actively providing corporate leadership. The company celebrated its 120 year anniversary in 2009.

Through a commitment to making consumers’ lives easier, Trudeau’s experienced team of designers creates fully functional and award winning kitchen products. Fresh thinking and modern design are just some of the hallmarks of a Trudeau product.

Trudeau products can be found in better housewares, specialty, independent and department stores in over 60 countries. With more than 150 new products introduced each year, the Trudeau brand continues to gain international recognition.

U.S. Headquarters

Trudeau’s U.S. headquarters are located in Woodridge, near Chicago, Illinois, occupying an 116,000 square foot facility, which includes offices, a warehouse and customer service division.  Trudeau Corporation is based in Montreal, Quebec in Canada.

A few weeks ago, a marketing assistant from this company contacted me about trying out some of their products and then sharing them with you. Well, I checked out the company, made sure it was legit, and jumped right on it. They sent me a package of 6 items and I waited with great anticipation for its arrival. Now, I have carpal tunnel in both wrists so it's hard for me to use regular, every day items in the kitchen. I've tried different can openers, cheese graters, etc...and, while some work fine, others do NOT. The products they sent (and that you will have a chance to win) are all from their stress-free line which is so cool! This is what I got in the mail:

The products pictured above are (in a circle starting at the top left) the Stress Less Cheese GraterStress Less Easy Grind Salt MillStress Less Easy Grind Pepper MillStress Less Can OpenerStress Less Pizza Cutterand the Stress Less Garlic Press. My favorite item is the can opener and the cheese grater is super easy to clean. Love garlic presses...period. And the mills are really easy on my wrist. Using the cheese grater was a little more difficult than cleaning it, but I think it's because it's really different than any others I've used before and I just need more practice. As for the pizza cutter, I didn't really see much of a difference from others except that you're able to hold it in a different position, but I do like the fact that everything matched! :) They're really beautiful gadgets and the salt and pepper mills look great on a counter or table!

As for the pizza I made with these products, I'll be sharing that later on this week! I know, I just hate it when we bloggers do that, don't you? But, hey...we have to keep you coming back somehow! :)

Now on to the giveaway! Trudeau has graciously offered one of these sets to one of my readers so go through the entry process below and good luck! Rafflecopter will walk you through it...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always, happy reading and, more importantly, happy pizza making, uh....cupcake-ing!

The opinions written in this post are 100% that of the author and no compensation other than the products up for review were provided.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cake for the Bride {& Groom}

Oh wow! I can't tell you all how happy I am that it's Saturday afternoon and I'm sitting on my couch, typing this post! This has been such a long week!! I got back from GA on Monday and immediately started working on wedding cakes for a friend of mine.  Before I get to the details of the cakes, let me just tell you that working a full-time job, training a new puppy, and working on weddings in the evening is not easy! Ha! Who am I kidding? That may be the understatement of the year! Don't let the pictures of my puppy, Jax, fool you..he's a little monster! :) I forgot what this stage is like.... back to the cakes....

The bride's cake was a Raspberry-filled Almond Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream and the groom's cake was a Sour Cream Pound Cake with Mocha Cream Cheese Buttercream in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. Yummo!

I love the colors she picked and the topper? Just beautiful!

Cute, right? I love this topper too!

Ok, the bride's cake first cuz, let's face it...that's what everyone looks at first! The couple tasted several different flavor combos (thanks to all the cupcakes I've done for this blog) and decided on my Almond Cake with a raspberry filling and my, by now, famous White Chocolate Buttercream. Seriously, if you haven't tried this icing by now, I just don't know if we can be friends anymore. Ok, just kidding...but you really do need to try it...and, yes, I mean need. I'm a huge fan of the "messy iced" look so this was right up my ally.

Now, the groom's cake. For those of you who've been around awhile, you probably think this flavor combo seems familiar. Well, you're right. Remember my insane Coffee and a Donut Cupcakes? Bingo! The groom loved those flavors together and actually added one extra element - cream cheese. After tasting this icing I've decided that this guy is brilliant and I may go to him for future ideas! It's that good. Hello! Coffee + Chocolate + Cream Cheese = Genius! To make this I just used Wilton's Mocha Buttercream and added some of my own Cream Cheese Icing until I thought the taste was just right!

I love me some beautiful fake flowers for wedding cakes!

Had to get a close-up of that awesome topper...they're life together will be stronger because of their faith in the One who gave them each other!!

Well, that's what I've been up to all week. What have you been doing? Stay tuned to read about some awesome new kitchen gadgets I'll be reviewing next week and the chance to win a set of your own!! Plus, I hope to be getting back to the cupcakes so you should have some fun new treats to try soon! Until then, happy reading and, more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!
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