Friday, April 20, 2012

Semi-home baking

I recently went to a friend's baby shower and volunteered to bring a variety of muffins. I started to get carried away finding delish looking recipes before I realized I would never have time to make them all! So I decided to stick to making one from scratch and the others were my own "Sara Lee Semi Homemade" style.

I started with two box mixes and added extra ingredients to spruce them up...

For the Blueberry muffins I mixed in extra fresh blueberries to make them berri-rific. Then I grated the rind of one lemon and mixed it with 1/3 cup of sugar to make a lemon sugar topping. Just mix the two ingredients together with your fingers until the sugar starts smelling goooood and you're ready to sprinkle it on top.

For the Lemon Poppyseed muffins I added grated lemon rind to the mix and then made a glaze for the top. The Glaze: squeeze the juice of the lemon into a dish. Add 1 teaspoon of melted butter and then pour powdered sugar into the mix...enough to make it the consistency you prefer. I used about 3/4 a cup.

The extra ingredients really kicked the box mixes up a notch. Now onto the real homemade muffins- Strawberry cheesecake!

I found this recipe on Pinterest

I followed the recipe almost exactly...I can't help but change a few things here and there. I used skim milk instead of whole, 1/2 cup of egg beaters and fat free cream cheese and Voila!

They looked and tasted GREAT!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carrot Cake- baking success!!

YES!!! You know by now that my baking success rate is 50/50...well I made a carrot cake for Easter Sunday and I can put this one into the recipe box because I will definitely be making it again!

I found the original recipe on and modified it a bit


1 cup egg beaters
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup Splenda (Granulated- not the "for baking" one)
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots (I don't have a grater so I basically just peeled mine)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8oz can crushed pineapple drained
1 cup jumbo raisins

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in carrots and pineapple. Fold in pecans and raisins. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake. I ended up with extra frosting so I may try to make less next time but other than that it was perfect!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Best Blueberry Muffins?

Do you have a really good blueberry muffin recipe? They are my husband's favorite so I was looking for a good recipe and came across this one:

"Best" Blueberry Muffins

Here's how mine turned out...not quite as pretty, huh?

I changed the recipe up a bit to make it healthier...I used applesauce instead of vegetable oil and Splenda instead of sugar in the mix. I also used frozen blueberries instead of fresh since that's what I had on hand. The came out really really dense...maybe because of the lack of oil? Next time I'm skipping the healthy solution and using oil to see if that helps 'em out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter

I am all about holidays! Any chance to celebrate...bake...craft...I'm all for it! So I saw this Easter wreath on Pinterest (of course) and set out to make my own

Plan #1- I got some plastic eggs- large and small from Michaels and some yellow spray paint. I laid all the eggs out in the garage and started to spray them...and they promptly rolled everywhere.

Plan #2- I opened all the eggs up and laid the halves out to spray. Too bad when I went to pick them up I found they were so stuck to the newspaper that all the paint peeled off.

Plan #3- I got more eggs, hot glued them to the styrofoam wreath and THEN spray painted the whole darn thing. Success!

It's still not perfect- for one I have zero artistry skills so my white lines and polka dots are more like blurs and blobs but from far away it looks pretty hanging on my door :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pinterest FAIL

here is my ultimate Pinterest fail. I attempted to make a birthday cake for my husband and well a picture is worth a 1000 words so I'll just show you what happened. To the left is how it looked on the right is how mine turned out.

Adventures in Pinterest

I am absolutely addicted to Pinterest! If you haven't joined yet- it doesn't make sense. You think "you just pin things?" And then you join, start pinning and BOOM full blown addiction! I love finding inspiration for things to do around the house and one of the first things I found was this...a picture in a mason jar filled with olive oil.

I thought "I can do that!!" It's simple, kind of craft project!

So here's how mine turned out.

Somehow the one on Pinterest looks better (that's what ALWAYS seems to happen)but I paired mine on a table with a few more pics from our Jamaica vacation last summer and I like it.

So there it is...a simple and easy Pinterest inspiration. I won't say cheap though because DANG olive oil is $$$ But all together it cost me under $10.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kellie Pickler returns to Idol

Kellie Pickler tweeted today that she's heading back to the stage where it all started for her...American Idol. She'll be back to sing on the results show Thursday night.

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw on Ellen

Check out Kenny and Tim performing "Feel Like a Rock Star" today on Ellen!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Martina McBride shares her wedding photo

Martina McBride particpated in a wedding last night on the ACMs so it's only fitting that we get to see her wedding photo
Awww! Martina and her husband John will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary on May 15th and she says her favorite memories from the day are, "...going to breakfast with my mom and sister. Walking down the aisle with my dad. The kiss. Walking back down the aisle as the new Mrs. McBride! It was magical day."

Scotty McCreery heads to college

He won American Idol, he won Best New Artist on the ACMs so what's up next for Scotty McCreery? College! After he graduates high school this year Scotty says that he'll head to college in the fall and he'll tour on the weekends. He's already been accepted to four colleges, though he's yet to settle on the one. "We're gonna figure it out and decide as a family," he says. "I grew up rooting for NC State, and that's where my dad went. But also, there are schools in Nashville that have been really great – and that's Music City so we'll see."

Reba McEntire on The Talk

Reba was a guest co-host on the Talk Friday and she gave some inside scoop on the ACMs

Plus she dished on red-head secrets

and she talked about the type of woman she is