Sunday, October 23, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Just in time for Halloween!! These cupcake start boxed cake mix with a few modifications to the ingredients and end with homemade buttercream!

Each bite is super moist with just the right amount of sweetness!

This recipe is adapted from Our Best Bites

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Decorations: yellow & red food coloring, candy corns and Halloween sprinkles

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup un-salted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

Mix cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk and oil until combined. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

Divide batter in half and color one half orange and the other half yellow. I used McCormick Food Coloring. For the yellow batter, I used 50 drops of yellow food coloring and for the orange batter, I used 50 drops of yellow and 18 drops of red.

Start filling liners with 1 heaping tablespoon of orange batter. Then top with 2 tablespoons of yellow batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool, remove paper and decorate with a buttercream frosting, candy corn and sprinkles. Makes about 18 cupcakes.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy. 

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Black & White Halloween Wreath

This Fall I'm on a mission to craft on a budget!! So far, I have only spent $15 which includes 3 pumpkins. I only spent $2.00 to make this wreath!

I purchased the wreath form at the dollar store along with the ribbon. I made use of  newspaper, paint, paintbrush and glue that I had at home. I also used a scalloped circle punch to cut the newspaper but any shape can be used. 

My first step was to paint the wreath black before adhering any newspaper. Honestly, I would skip this step because I went back over it and filled in any spots that were showing through. Next, I went through and punched circles from 3 days worth of newspapers. I was so surprised and how much of the paper is in color these days so that is why it took so many newspapers. 

To adhere the newspaper, I wrapped each circle around the end of a pencil and dipped it in Elmer's glue and held it to the form for about 10 seconds. After covering almost half the wreath I started feeling like it was getting a little tedious. From start to finish it took me about 1 hour total. After covering the entire wreath, I flipped it over and let it sit for an hour before attaching letters that I cut out with the Cricut. 

I was really happy with how the wreath turned out! For $2.00, you can't beat it. This wreath can be dressed up with any Halloween embellishments. I think it would also look cute with some glittery bats, spiders or a witch's hat. 

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fiesta Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Sometimes I find it hard to take good pictures for the blog when a meal is smelling so good, I'm starving and my husband is waiting at the table to eat... This was one of those time. I really feel bad for the chicken because this picture does not give it any justice. The chicken turned out very flavorful and moist. It also re-heated great for leftovers the next day. 

I live in California where Mexican food is a staple. We turn anything we can into a taco or a burrito. This chicken can easily be combined with rice to make a Chipotle-style burrito bowl or throw it into a tortilla and add your favorite topping for a tasty taco. 

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can throw it together before you head to work. There is not browning required and there is minimal chopping needed. 

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
1-16 oz jar of salsa
1-15 oz can of black beans, drained
1/2 lb frozen corn
1 Tbls chili powder
1/2 Tbls cumin (essential for true Mexican flavor)
1/2 Tbls minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Optional Toppings:
Grated cheese, sour cream, diced onion or chopped cilantro


Add all the ingredients, except the toppings, to the slow cooker. Give it a good stir to combine. Make sure the chicken is completely covered and close the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours. 

After 8 hours, remove the lid and use two forks to shred the chicken. Stir thoroughly and serve!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Oreo Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Fall is in the air and Halloween is right around the corner!! We finally got some cool weather in our area and I had the overwhelming urge to break out the PUMPKIN! 

This recipe was really easy to throw together and would be a fun family recipe.

This recipe is from Laren's Latest with only a few changes

Tools Needed:
Muffin pan
Cupcake liners
Sandwich bag

1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (reduced fat cream cheese can be used)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
pinch of salt
12 Halloween Oreos
1/4 cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Place 1 oreo in the bottom of each cup. Set aside. 

In large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and salt until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and whip mixture until completely smooth. 

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the mixture over oreos. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheesecakes have set. Remove from oven to cool. Once cheesecakes are cool enough to handle, remove from muffin tin. Remove paper wrappers. 

Microwave chocolate chips in a sandwich bag in 10-20 second increments until completely melted. Once melted cut the tip off the corner of the bag and pipe melted chocolate in 3 circles on top of cheesecakes. Drag the end of a toothpick through the chocolate to create a spiders web look. Repeat with remaining cheesecakes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Happy Fall!!