Friday, February 3, 2012

Italian Cream Cupcakes

Italian Cream Cupcakes

with Coconut Butter cream frosting
We used the "Pioneer Woman's) recipe

1 stick Butter
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
5 whole Eggs (separated)
3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Coconut (from PW: If You Think You Hate Coconut, Trust Me: I Do Too, And I Love It In This Recipe)
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk

Most Italian cream Cakes call for Cream Cheese Frosting, but I didn't have any cream cheese in the house so we made coconut butter cream, which was equally as yummy.
The problem is I didn't really measure any of the ingredients for the frosting, but it's basically...
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3to 4 tbs milk
Powder sugar until the right consistency
1tsp of coconut flavoring

Tree-May my Cooking partner in crime....

Monday, January 30, 2012

December came and went

Wow, Dec got busy.... shocking I know. Blogging obviously not top priority! :) So here is a quick run down on the rest of our 2011...

No snow for Christmas but a ton after and since.

Homemade gifts that the boys made for each other and neighbor kids. These where a hit. you can imagine rubber band gun and little boys, even the big boys.
Here's Dreaming of You Pillowcases...

The boys helped make these pillow cases for grandma and grandpa J.

One of the neighbor boys made this goop for my boys, they loved it...hours and hours of entertainment.
Here is the recipe (from
Two cups Glue
Food Coloring
Four tablespoons Borax
Warm water
In one bowl mix in 1 1/2 cups of warm water, Glue, and food coloring. In a separate bowl mix in Borax with 1 1/3 cup of warm water.
Pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture.
Do not mix or stir it will form on its own. (Note: I found I needed to stir it a bit for it to come together. The second day, it was even better than the first day! See K-A images... You'll find it shapes itself out smoothly into what ever you store it in. Barb)
Store in plastic baggies.
Porter was sick Christmas eve and Christmas day. We had all the cousins over to our house for the big Christmas eve party, I couldn't find Porter, then I realized he had put himself to bed, you know he had to be sick to do that.

Here is the hand carved sling shot from Grandma G.

Ethan got ...

diapers for Christmas, he was sooo excited.
He actually got a lot of camping and outdoor equipment. The boys here do a lot of snow camping, we aren't really well equipped for that. But now he is.
Santa brought Ava a shopping cart, she is now officially a bag lady. She pushes her little cart around the house gathering whatever she can find. If you have lost something, check Ava's cart, you'll probably find it.

Santa brought Kaden a B.B. Gun I don't have a picture of it. (B.B. guns, rubber band guns, sling shots.... do you see a theme here? we must have three boys).
Here is Karl's gift to me.... almost done

I don't have any closets to put all of our winter coats and gloves and boots in so he is making me one. It is now actually all stained and ready to have the doors put on it. It is beautiful, I will show you the finished product soon. I am so excited about it.
We had a wonderful holiday season, but I'm glad it's over for another year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas on a Dime

Ok so maybe not on a dime, but here are some ideas that we have done to help save a few pennies. But even more then that I think it is about Simplifying this Sacred Season. Every year presents are ripped open, they are played with and then this......

They throw the toys to the side, and play with the boxes.
Hundreds of dollars later, the kids don't even remember what they got a few months later. This year I want to make it more meaningful. We have my husband's sister's family for Christmas this year, so we decided to make gifts.Well sort of.

Kaden and Porter really enjoyed stitching... and I must say they did a pretty good job.

We went to the dollar store and bought hats, and scarves and put each child's initials on them.

We also bought an extra scarf and cut it into squares sewed it and filled it with wheat ( you can use rice also) making each one their own wheat heat. Pop it in the microwave for a minute and you have a lovely warm heater.
We also made cinnamon fire-starters for their christmas basket. Take some newspaper, put in a pine-cone, cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder with pine-needles. Wrap with raffia, and you have a lovely fragrant fire-starter for your fireplace. The boys had fun making these as well. I think the boys really enjoyed making their cousin's presents this year, rather then me just buying something and sending it. I hope the cousins will like it as well.
I made the little boys and Ava a crayon/paper carrier for church.

I saw these on etsy and figured I had scrap material so I could make them. I am no seamstress by any stretch of the imagination,. So no I didn't measure anything, I just started cutting and sewing, luckily they turned out well enough. Don't look too close :) Another cheap Christmas Idea....



$5 ( Second hand Store)
Why pay full price for a shirt that looks like it has never been worn. Both are name brand and I just saved $40.


Beautifully wrapped under the tree no one will ever know you saved so much money. More simplifying the season tips to come.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A day of Rest? Rest from your Worries because so many served

Sunday Dec 4th 2011, not our typical day of rest. 9:15 am the phone rang. Karl spoke to the man on the other end, making quick notes. "Kaden go get Ethan up. Everyone needs to be dressed and ready to work in 15 min.". The phone rang several times in the next 15 min in between phone calls being made. The boys were dressed in warm winter coats and leather gloves and out the door. Church canceled all home teaching families contacted and reports to supervisors. Every able body in the ward was dressed with rakes, shovels trucks and trailers ready to serve.
The high 100 mph wind on Thursday left Farmington and it's neighboring towns in a state of dishevel. Roofs blown off, large 80 year old trees blown over or snapped in half. Trees on houses and cars. Much of the town without power for 24-48 hours. The wind definitely took it's toll on the quaint town.
Here is a picture of us in front of our friends old barn.

Here is the old barn now.....

Here is a picture of our next door neighbors house.

Saturday the whole town was out cutting fallen trees and dragging the debris to the street. The city was going to come by and pick it all up, this would take them a good week or so. The weather has now taken a turn for the worse and they expect more high winds tonight. For fear that this debris would tear through the town causing more damage the Stake President declared it a work day.
It amazed me how quickly the town pulled together serving not only those they know, but anyone and everyone who needed help. I stayed at home most of the morning babysitting the neighbors kids while they went out to serve. I baked 5 dozen cookies to pass out. As groups of volunteers would come down my street, I ran out and passed out cookies. I felt bad I wasn't out in the trenches with them.

It was heart warming to see the little blond three year old Rebeca working along side her neighbor the large 80 year old Golden Glove Boxer. Or sister Robinson who is always dressed to the hilt, in all that is fashionable. In time of need, she was in sweats remembering her roots. She grew up on a ranch and not a stranger to hard work. Her husband off helping someone else, she got the call, had all four of her kids dressed in boots and leather gloves, she hooked her 12 foot trailer to her diesel pickup and she without hesitation jumped in where needed.
I have always said the one thing I really like about Utah is the opportunities my children have to serve. Whether it be mowing lawns, racking leaves, shoveling snow or hauling away debris after a storm, my children are learning how to serve, what an valuable life lesson.

Ethan is in the orange

Even in the Snow. man
Now as the winds return we can all rest a little easier.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Whoopie Pies..Monkey Bread.. & Monkey Cupcakes! YUM!

Whoopie Pies

1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour milk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup hot water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups shortening
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 egg whites, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of shortening and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time then stir in the vanilla and sour milk. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Stir together the baking soda and hot water then mix them into the batter last. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm but not overbaked. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the filling: In a medium bowl, cream together the 1 1/2 cups shortening with the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup of flour until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the milk and vanilla until well mixed, then fold in the egg whites. Sandwich at least 1 tablespoon of filling between the flat sides of two cookies.

They make great gifts. I sent these to work with Karl, the guys loved them.

Monkey Bread
Lori Farnsworths bread recipe (cut in half for one monkey bread, use full recipe for two. Or full recipe for one monkey bread cake and 24 monkey bread cupcakes.)
P.S. For the monkey bread I only use white flour....

(Karl took the pictures of the monkey bread, before it was glazed.)
Fast and Easy Homemade Wheat Bread
4 cups hot tap water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons saf-instant yeast

Put hot water in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and yeast. Stir. Let rest about 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Next add:
2 tablespoons potato pearls
2 tablespoons oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey or sugar

Stir all together.

Then add
5 cups of red wheat flour
4-5 cups of white wheat flour

Can be any other combination of flour. But this is the combo I like the best.

Mix all together with wooden spoon until you get a soft dough. Dump onto a kneading surface and knead in additional flour until a nice stiff ball is accomplished. Cover with damp towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
For the monkey bread cake:
slice little slivers of butter across the bottom of the pan. roll about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls of dough then roll them in sugar cinnamon mix, start layering bunt pan. about every two layers add more slivers of butter and sprinkle brown sugar. Continue to about 3/4 of the way up the pan. Bake for about 30 to 35 min, at 350 degrees. Let cool in pan for 30 min before inverting pan to get out bread onto serving plate.
Glaze with powder sugar glaze or sweetened condensed milk.
For Cupcakes:
Roll about 3 balls 1/2 inch thick. Roll in sugar cinnamon mix, put in cupcake liners. Top with small pad of butter and brown sugar. Cook for about 10 min at 350 degrees. Glaze with powder sugar glaze. I even added cream cheese frosting to my last batch, yummy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Porter the Pirate

Kaden ~ Spot Collins from Newsies

Second year in a row, Ava Bug was tired and grumpy and wouldn't wear her Lady Bug costume. But here she is the next day in the beautiful autumn leaves.

Karl and I getting ready to go out to our "White Trash" Halloween Party

Porter: "Mom your skirt sure looks trashy"! ( I had on a black sequin skirt)
Me: "Do you know what that word means"?
Porter: "No! Kaden told me it".
Me: "Kaden what does trashy mean"?
Kaden: "You know Mom, like 80's"
sounds about right to me.... haha
I Love Halloween in our neighborhood, all the neighbors are out, everyone goes out about 6pm and it's just a fun social hour for adults and kids a like. One neighbor went so far as to set up a canopy in their front yard decorate it and made fresh donuts for all who came by. It's so Mayberry here. Love it! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dessert table = Princess Cupcakes

We have had a very full week. Last Monday my neighbor who is a Dentist asked me to make lemon cupcakes for his employees at work. So we then decided to go a bit above and beyond that. A full "Thank You" dessert table was made. Here is how it turned out.

On the menu was:
Lemon Cupcakes
Hummingbird Cupcakes
Chocolate Caramel dipped pretzels
lemon fudge
lemon fudge brownie balls
chocolate dipped brownie balls
Lemondrops and lemon sticks
Mini lemon pies

It was a ton of work, but fun to see it all pulled together.

So a couple of days later one of the other Dr.'s in the office his wife called me and ordered a few dozen cupcakes. Princess cupcakes made in real tea cups where part of the order. Those were fun.

These were just a base italian cream cake with cream cheese whip cream frosting and buttercream frosting.