Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cupcake of the Month - Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Icing

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing were my cupcake of choice for the month of March. I found them in a Taste of the South magazine and decided they sounded simply scrumptious - and I was right!!! They were relatively easy to make and quick too! 

Cupcake Ingredients : 

1/3 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. grated carrot
1 t. fresh orange zest

Preheat oven to 325*. Line a 12 serving muffin pan with paper linings. In a mixing bowl, beat butter & sugar at med. speed till fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla, beat well. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon & cloves. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to butter mixture, being careful not to overmix. Fold in carrot & orange zest. Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake 15 - 18 min. Cool then frost.

Icing Ingredients : 

1 - 8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
4 oz. white chocolate

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter & sugar @ med. speed till creamy. Melt white chocolate in microwave for 30 second intervals till melted. Stir till smooth. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese mixture and beat well. Ice cupcakes. Garnish with grated or curled white chocolate.

** To add a little zing to your cupcakes the recipe called for 1t. rum extract. I made 2 batches of icing and the kids liked the icing without the rum but the adults liked the icing with the rum extract. Just food for thought - it depends on your tastes. I also used grated chocolate instead of curled as the top picture from the magazine showed. 

Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mexican Party Table Decorations

Throwing a Mexican "fiesta" is almost as easy as 1, 2, 3!  To put tables together in a snap all you need are a few bright tablecloths, sarapes, terra cotta pots and some tissue paper flowers. Pinatas also make a festive table scape by adding a few touches to them such as:  bright gerber daisies, tissue flowers, candles and more sarapes. Throw in some margaritas, mexican dishes and some latin/salsa music and your ready to celebrate in style. 

A few quick ideas to add more mexican flare to your table/party :

1. Spring for an actual mariachi band !!!

2. Fill empty tequila bottles with colored water (add food coloring to water in colors such as yellow, red, green, etc.) and use them as candles/taper holders grouped by 3's in the center of your tables

3. Turn mexican sombreros upside down, put a bowl  in the center for salsa and then fill the hat rim with chips - instant mexican chip n' dip server

4. If you are looking for a more natural centerpiece idea fill a mexican pottery bowl with veggies such as green, red, & yellow bell peppers or different types of peppers (such as chile, jalapeno, etc.).

5. Cute party favors for a mexican fiesta include items such as : sets of marracas, cd's of the music you will be playing, mini bottles of a variety of salsa's, mini cactuses tied with raffia and a tissue paper flower or even individually wrapped cookies in the shapes of cactuses, sombreros, etc. 

Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mad Scientist Birthday Party

For my son, Ethan's, 9th birthday we had a mad scientist party at our house. We had "the lab" in the garage, the party table set up on the back patio and the "decontamination room" by the front door. When they arrived they went immediately to the "decontamination" room to get their goggles, gloves, lab coats and mad scientist hair! 

The b-day boy & Daddy
The front entrance

Once all the guests had arrived and been outfitted in their lab gear - we headed to the lab. We had transformed our garage into the lab by hanging black plastic sheets (like trash bags) that we bought in a roll from Lowe's all around the garage. With glow in the dark paint and silver paint I drew stars and splatter painted on the plastic. The we had some mad scientist cutouts from Oriental Trading that we also taped around on the plastic. I hung silver star cutouts all over from the ceiling and sprinkled silver star confetti all over the floor. Then we brought in tables with silver cloths for the "lab tables". On each of these tables were the items needed to conduct their experiments. 

For the experiments that they would do in the lab we had plastic bubbles, making fake snow, growing fish eggs, making green slime and making your own bouncy balls. As they entered the lab they each got a large plastic beaker (with an eyeball in the bottom)  that had glow necklaces in them, since it was dark in the lab. They carried the beakers with them from station to station to put their "experiments" in. 

After we left the lab we headed to the backyard for one last final group experiment before we sat down for cake. We blew up a volcano that I had made before the party. 

The party table I had set with centerpieces that I had made out of styrofoam and painted, stacked etc, to represent science molecules, etc. At each place setting the guests had a set of 4 test tubes filled with different flavored kool-aid as their drinks.

Everyone had a blast - especially our birthday boy! For their party favors the kids took home their lab coats, goggles, mad hair, beaker with their experiments in it and their test tubes they had used to drink out of with some extra experiments.  The party was a success and who nows?.....Maybe we inspired some future "mad scientists!"

 Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sock Monkey 1st Birthday

For my nephew's 1st birthday my sister had a sock monkey birthday party at her house. It was so cute!!! She ordered the party banners, signs and treat bag stickers from etsy and our cousin Shari made the 2 cakes for her. It was a perfect little family get together to celebrate "our monkeys" birthday! Thought I would share some of the party high lights! 

Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Party for Kids

For St. Patrick's Day this year I decided to treat my children to a "breakfast party" to start their day!  When they woke up this morning I had the table already set with all their green goodies. In the center of the table there were pots filled with green/silver shamrock necklaces for them to wear and also filled with lucky gold/green chocolate coins. At each of their place settings were their green t-shirts and hat/headband to wear for the day. They also had suckers, pots of gold and "treat" boxes left for them by the leprechauns! Inside each of their treat boxes were green crazy straws, huge green coins, shamrock etc. body tattoos, green sucker rings and other asst. green candies. On the breakfast menu were green pancakes, bacon, green fruit salad (grapes, honeydew and kiwi), green kool-aid and for dessert - green ho-ho's (even a breakfast party has to have dessert!) 


The kids all had a blast and even talked about next year trying to catch the sneaky leprechaun who came to our house! It was definately a super fun way to start the day and a great way to get in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day! And who knows....maybe they'll actually catch that leprechaun next year!


Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

End of the Rainbow Cupcakes

These adorable cupcakes are the perfect treat for your little leprechauns! They are super fast and easy to make but always get the oohs and aahs from the kids. Who knows - maybe they'll find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

1. - To make these cupcakes you start out with a plain white cake mix from a box. Prepare them as directed on the box for cupcakes. 
2. - Once they have cooled ice them with frosting that you have tinted green. 
3. - After they are all frosted green, put white icing in a piping bag and add "puff" clouds to either side of your cupcake. 
4. - For the rainbow use : Air Heads Xtreme Sweetly Sour Belts Candy in Rainbow Berry and cut each strip in half. Insert one side of each of the candy into your cloud puffs. Voila! Easy, quick and super festive!!

Wishing you peace, love and a little pixie dust,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...