Candy Corn Cupcakes

It is no secret around here that I love cupcakes!  I can take or leave a piece of cake, but cupcakes call my name.  I am not even all that partial to the fancy mega-size cupcakes that are sold in their own storefronts, but give me a simple homemade or even boxed mix, paper lined morsel of goodness and I can not resist.  I have been seeing a few different versions of  candy corn cupcakes in blogland over the past couple of weeks and decided to make a simple version of my own.

I prepared a white cake mix according to the directions then divided the batter in half.  I mixed one half with yellow food coloring and the other half with orange food coloring.

batter

I filled cupcake liners one-third full of the yellow batter.

yellow-layer

Then followed that with the orange batter, filling each liner to the two-thirds mark.

orange-layer

After baking the cupcakes for 15 minutes I let them totally cool and then piped on some pre-made white icing.  A piece of candy corn topped them off.

finished-product

A super simple but festive treat!

It’s Fall Y’all!

OK, so I am a week or so early.  The official autumnal equinox does not happen until September 22 at 9:29 pm CDT.  That means September 23 is the actual first day of fall.  However, the temperature here in Lee’s Summit, Missouri today is not suppose to reach 60 degrees and that feels like fall to me.  I LOVE IT!!!  I have written about my love for fall several times on this blog.  You can see those post here, here, here and here.

There are so many things about fall that make me happy, like the first batch of chili for the season.   I put it in the crock pot this morning and it made the house smell so good!   I might have had to sneak a little for lunch.

chili

This time of year, I light a candle on my desk everyday.  Sometimes it is small things that make you smile.

candle

I love pulling out the quilt for tv watching.

blsnket

And I really love it when the kitty needs to warm up on my lap.  This blanket is definitely a cat magnet.

kitty-on-a-blanket

I am hoping to get some fall decorating done this weekend before I head out Sunday to New Orleans for work.  The forecast there for next week is high 80″s with high humidity, not looking forward to that!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Bits and Pieces

Time for another installment of bits and pieces.

  • We traveled to Houston (third time in six weeks) over labor day weekend to see Levi baptized and have some more OMA/OPA time.  He had gained a few pounds since our last visit and definitely was starting to focus on objects, including my camera.

Levi-looking-at-me-6-weeks

Baptism

Opa-rocking-Levi-in-the-swi

  • This past weekend we went to a beautiful wedding for a family friend.  At our tables were the most adorable favors, pretzels rods dipped in chocolate and decorated like a wedding gown and tux.  They were so, so cute and I found out that the mother of the bride and a friend made everyone of them!

Wedding-favors

  • It was SO much fun to be a Chiefs fan again this weekend!  The Chiefs looked amazing in their first game of the season.  Our new quarterback looked great but the day was really all about the defense.  I really hope the Chiefs are for real…..and not just because the Jaguars were so bad. 🙂

Kansas City Star 9.8.13Source

  • I found a new recipe I want to try for Pesto.  My basil, although plentiful, is looking a little sad.  I was thinking I would like to make some pesto and freeze it so I found this recipe on skinnytaste.com.  Pesto is usually high in fat content with all the pine nuts and olive oil, but this version has been lightened up and made weight watchers friendly.   Can’t wait to try it!

low-fat-basil-pestoSource

Skinny Basil Pesto

  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 T olive oil

Directions:
In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use or you can freeze this in ziplocks bags to use at a later date.

Makes 5 tablespoons. 1 Serving=1 tablespoon=2 weight watchers points

  • I am looking forward to fall, especially the cooler temperatures.  How about you?

Pumpkin1 with watermark

My Office Window

Last week I changed around the furniture in my office so that my desk faced the window.  I am loving how it opened up the room, however, the best reward I received for lugging those heavy pieces of furniture around was the view from my office window.  This is what I am seeing this week…….

I really do not remember this tree in our front yard ever being such a vibrant color.   I know this color will not last long and soon all the leaves will be in a big heap on the lawn waiting to be cleaned up.

As I was daydreaming out the window working, I remembered a photography project that I have wanted to do for a long time.  I thought it would be fun to capture our house in each season of the year and display it in a collage to highlight how dramatic our midwest seasons can be.  I actually started this project once before a couple of years ago when I snapped a picture during the summer, but put it away and totally forgot about it.   Yesterday I ran out and took a second picture for that series.

You can really tell how much the trees have grown in two years.  Hopefully I will remember this winter and spring to take a few more pictures so I can complete this series.  In the meantime, I am enjoying the fall color outside my office window.

It’s beginning to look alot like….

This past weekend I planted a few mums, picked up a few pumpkins and brought out my fall decor items.

If I haven’t already mentioned how much I love the wooden dough bowl my brother-in-law made for me last Christmas, let me tell you now.

I LOVE MY WOODEN BOWL!!

Last Christmas I used it for candles and also for holding fruit.  This summer I piled all my CSA vegetables in it every week.  For fall I have added three small pumpkins and some garland I bought at a craft sale last year.  To read more about my wooden dough bowl click HERE.

I also pulled out all my fall candles and candle holders.

There are so many things I love about fall; cooler temperatures, warm cider, hot soup, bonfires, quilts, brilliant colored foliage and the upcoming holidays!

Do you love fall as much as I do?

Idea #9 – Take a class – Fall Entertaining Workshop by Jenny Steffens Hobick

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year with football, cool weather, pumpkins, chili, and cider .  With the crazy heat we have been experiencing, fall can not get here fast enough for me.  A couple of days ago I found out that one of my favorite bloggers is hosting a Fall Entertaining Workshop right here in my own hometown.  To say I was excited is a total understatement.  Here is the menu for the workshop:

Creamy Blue Hubbard, Goat Cheese Spread
Hot Mulled Cider served in Mason Jar Mugs
Harvest Salad with Greens with Apples, Cranberries & Homemade Vinaigrette
Butternut Squash & Beef Chili
Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits
Bite-Sized S’mores
Heirloom Pumpkins & Gourds with Fahrmeier Farms

That sounds more than wonderful to me, it sounds PERFECT!!!

Everyday Occasions

I was first introduced to Jenny’s blog well over a year ago, on the A Thyme for Everything website which is a culinary store in downtown Lee’s Summit.  A Thyme for Everything is a great little store that sells cookware, chef’s tools, kitchen decor and  gourmet food items such as Pappardelle’s Pasta and Christopher Elbow chocolates.  They also host cooking classes and at the time they had posted a short bio on Jenny since she was getting ready to teach a class.  Given the fact that she was from Lexington (where many of my relatives are from) and that she is an MU Journalism graduate (as is my daughter Kindra), I knew I had to check out her blog, Everyday Occasions.  I have been a faithful reader ever since that day.

                                                     Jenny Steffens Hobick

Everyday Occasions is wealth of really good recipes and entertaining ideas.  I have made several of the posted recipes including, tomato basil soup, green olive and heirloom tomato bruschetta,

and candy cane cranberry cocktails.

There are many more I hope to make including Butternut Squash Ravioli and Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry Almond Icing.  Jenny has been featured in several magazines and is a regular contributor to the Williams-Sonoma entertaining blog.  I can not wait to attend her workshop!

Besides all the cooking that will be going on, Fahrmeier Farms will be on site to display and sell their heirloom pumpkins.  I wrote about our day trip to Lexington last fall and our visit to Fahrmeier Farms, you can see that post by clicking here.

If you are near Kansas City, or will be on October 16,  you should attend the Fall Entertaining Workshop with me…..you can sign up via the link from Everyday Occasions or contact A Thyme for Everything directly.  Hurry though because the class with be full soon.  Hope to see you there!