Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Wow is it already 2016?! Better yet, a month of it has already flown by. Guess its time for an update.

So since around October of last year, the holidays hit, school was out, and I've been busy busy. Here's a quick update in pictures...



Already this year has been a blast too. Andrew and I are officially Jeepers! We have been off-roading almost every weekend and it's definitely our calling.

I hope to continue giving updates on the things we are doing more regularly now.
My calendar is definitely full. My birthday is coming up/Valentine's Day, then Connor's birthday, spring break...ugh I'm already exhausted !

Next time

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lemon Blueberry-Zest Cupcakes

I'm always trying to re-invent my easy peasy buttercream frosting recipe. Cupcakes can be so decadent but most people love the fun and bold things you can do with cakes. Since the holidays are over (finally!), I can now get back to experimenting with cupcake designs.

These I made several months ago but just getting around to upload the recipe. I'll get straight to the recipe since I know thats what you really want!

Lemon Blueberry-Zest Cupcakes

Cake mix

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh blueberries
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
                                                                            3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
                                                                            zest of 3 lemons
                                                                            2 tsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine wet ingredients of cake mix in one bowl, adding one egg at a time in and beating on medium speed in stand mixture. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients and slowly and while blending to wet ingredients. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. 
3. Gently fold in the blueberries to batter.
4. Add batter 2/3 full to each cupcake lined cupcake pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in center.
5. Let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

1. Place butter and vanilla extract in stand mixer and blend until well mixed together.
2. Add in zest of one lemon and lemon juice.
3. With mixer on med-low speed, slowly add in sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping sides as you go until you reach desired consistency.
4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
5. Garnish top of cupcakes with lemon zest, granulated sugar and blueberries as pictured.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Late Sunday night, Andrew and I were craving something sweet for dessert. Naturally, the good little Suzy-homemaker I am I jumped into action!
Actually I was pretty lazy that night and had some blueberries in the fridge I needed to use up. So I concocted this little blueberry coffee cake loosely based on an old Pinterest pound cake recipe I have had in my Pinterest cooking folder for a couple years.

It was quick, easy and super yummy! I felt really bad though because I had originally promised Andrew he could take it to work the next morning. When I still saw it in the fridge in the morning, I thought I would take it to work since he didn't. All the girls gobbled it up!
I got home to find out he was hoping to eat some later that night :-(    Oops!
Well I'll just have to make another!

Hope you find it yummy too!....

Blueberry Coffee Cake


1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk, whole
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups blueberries


1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted


3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 or 2 Tbsp millk, whole

-Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch cake pan.
-For Streusel, mix melted butter with flour, sugar and cinnamon with fork until mixed well; it will be mushy and clumpy, set aside.
-For Batter, combine flour and baking powder in separate bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar in mixer for about 4 minutes until fluffy. Add sour cream, milk, vanilla and egg each indivually until incorporated well. Add flour mixture slowly, continuously mixing until smooth.
-Spread half of the batter in the cake pan, then top with half of the streusel by hand, sprinkling it to get an even layer.
-Top with half of the blueberries evenly.
-Spread remaining batter on top of blueberries, then top with remaining streusel.
-Top with remaining blueberries. (It doesn't have to be perfect)
-Bake for 35 minutes (ish) until toothpick inserted comes out pretty clean.
-Remove cake, let cool and transfer to wire rack for more cooling
                          ***I ran short on time so I drizzled glaze while still warm and yum!***
-For glaze, combine powedered sugar with milk and whisk until smooth and glossy. Add more milk or sugar if you want.
-Drizzle all over the cake and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tip for Best Cake Batter

 One thing it took me a while to figure out is how to make the most perfect cake batter.

Believe it or not, there is a science to cake making. There's a science to just about everything!

My tip for the best cake batter is make sure to have....


Yes that's right. All your ingredients should be at the same temperature when combining together to ensure they bind properly and have the proper emulsion. 
The science of it if you're interested is this:

To emulsify means to combine two liquids that normally do not combine easily, such as oil and vinegar. Many food products are emulsions. The most common natural example of an emulsifier is portrayed in milk, a complex mixture of fat suspended in an aqueous solution.
Fat and liquid by nature are unmixable, and the goal when mixing a recipe is to form a water-in-fat emulsion. A well emulsified cake batter, for example, should not be curdled or weeping liquid. This is because the butter and liquids are in a stable emersion. If not stable, the batter will loose air cells. This results in a baked cake that is grainy or flat in texture, dry and flavorless, look, uneven and may even sink.

Phew! Thats a lot to take in. Basically what this is saying is when you have a proper and well-mixed cake batter, it will create air bubbles getting you that perfectly airy and moist cake that will hold together well.

For those that use a boxed cake mix (that's ok!), the biggest mistake is throwing the eggs or liquid directly into the mix, cold and then they don't bind properly. Rule of thumb should be that the dry ingredients are mixed together, and the wet ingredients are mixed together separately at room temperature, then combined. 

How do you do this??

-- Eggs, butter, buttermilk, milk, oil, whatever you are mixing should be combined in your mixer at ROOM TEMPERATURE first then add in the dry ingredients, incorporating slowly. The mixing should be continuous as you are adding ingredients.

Give this a try the next time you bake. I bet you will have a lighter, fluffy, and more stable cake.

Happy baking! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Connor decided to grow up on me and start Kindergarten. We're on week 3 and I think it's harder on me than him!

Connor has always been a social butterfly and I knew would make friends easy. His teacher sent home a class picture will each of their names and he knows everyone and says "he's my best friend" to all of them. lol

We've gotten our morning routine down, I think. Wake up, try and wake Connor, make his lunch, try and wake up Connor, make his breakfast, drag him out of bed, get him to eat, get myself ready in 10 minutes and out the door at 7:15 on the dot. Phew!

I love it though...

I love the community I'm in where I can walk him to school everyday. I feel like a grown up and seeing all the other kids and parents really motivates him to go.

Here he is above in his classroom. He's so happy :-) 
Thursday is open house and I'll get to see everything he's been doing. 

I hope to share more and more during the school year of the fun he has. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cupcake Double Header Part Deux

This is part two to the cupcakes I made for a work baby shower. I didn't take as many pictures of this cupcake since they were made similarly to the Oreo cupcakes.

So I will tell you that once again I did use the cake mix from the box *cringe!* But I always add my little spin to it to make it rich and creamy and all things Rhonda.

Below I have posted my add-ins for the cake mix.

The cake was funfetti at the request of the mom-to-be. Of course I can't just leave it at that and had to make them as decadent as possible. 

 My short cut here for the strawberry butter cream icing was to use strawberry jam as an additive instead of making some fancy concoction. (I had already done all that for the filling) And honestly you can't beat the texture and flavor and the ease that the squeeze bottle gives you.
Squeeze a cup right on into your measuring cup and add in after you've blended the butter but before you add the sugar.

 See! Perfectly blended with flecks of strawberry running right through it!
 Next, for the filling..
You must pick up one of the handy dandy devices to core the cupcakes. Found on Amazon, you can search cupcake corer or click here for a link. Also I sometimes use a bismark tip for lighter, creamier fillings that won't work using a spoon to spoon it in. It pretty much just injects it inside the cupcake.
Once you push it down into the cupcake then the center will come right out.
 I filled these cupcakes with a strawberry filling that is super easy to make by using strawberries, sugar and cornstarch boiled in a little water. Then spooned it on in.
After filling, go ahead and pipe on the strawberry buttercream using a piping bag and desired tip.

 Now this stuff right up here ^

Is the best secret ingredient to making a chocolate dip. A teaspoon of this mixed with some Nutella (or any hazelnut spread of choice or peanut butter) and microwaved makes such a great flavor. You won't even slightly taste coconut.

And here you go! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cupcake Double Header!

I actually made these two lovely, yummy cupcakes a couple months ago but I'm fairly new to this blogging thing and have been working on taking and editing some pictures to go along with it.

I needed a couple different and decadent selections for a work baby shower. The mom-to-be requested fun-fetti cupcakes and everyone else wanted red velvet..hmmm how to make this work.
So I came up with these cute concoctions that I hope you'll enjoy.
First up Oreo cream Red Velvet cupcakes!
For the Strawberry Funfetti Click HERE!

 First thing first is to bake the things.
I will tell you that I cheated a little on these and used the box cake mix. EEK!

But I always add my special touch to spruce it up and call it my own. (recipe below)

I always spray lightly a paper towel with cooking spray
and wipe down the cups on the cupcake baking sheet. Even
though I'm using baking cups, it just makes me feel warm
and cozy. I used my left over batter to make a couple cakes, eh why waste.

Tip!  I always bake my cupcakes or cakes a day in advance so that they can cool completely and then be refrigerated overnight. I find a cool cake/cupcakes way easier to frost.

<----- For the frosting, heres what you'll need

You'll need to take about 10 oreos and scrape off the yummy cream filling and then eat it. DON'T let this go to waste! Take the 20 pieces of cookie and crush them up very very finely. They need to be able to pass through a piping back without getting stuck so make sure to crush and crush. Its good stress relief anyway. You can use a fancy food processor if you like which is way faster and cleaner. Set aside.

Next combine the cream cheese, stick of butter (super soft), and vanilla extract and blend it up nice a good. It gets really sticky and sticks to the sides of the bowl, the spatula, your fingers etc.
Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until it reaches a creamy consistency that you're happy with

Next you'll want to add in the crushed Oreos. Dump it all in and slowly fold it in with spatula. Don't over mix or it won't be pretty.

Fill that piping back and get to work!

My favorite thing in the whole world is to pipe icing. I find it sort of an art and it instantly makes the cupcakes beautiful. I used a star tip for this design.


       Now stick an Oreo in it, you're done.