Friday, August 17, 2012

Cherry On Top Quilt Kit

Cherry On Top Quilt Kit

Our exclusive, new kit features fabric from various collections by Me and My Sister Designs.  I have always loved the panel from the Oh Cherry Oh! collection, but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. One day, I was looking through a book by Acorn Quilt & Gift Co. and came across this terrific pattern. I knew immediately that it would be perfect for the panel.

There is just something about the fabric, too.  Barbara and Mary always design the brightest, cheeriest fabrics.  Their designs just make you "feel good" looking at them.  I think this is one of my favorites.  This sweet quilt will brighten up any room and make any girl (young or old) very happy.  

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes

Cupcake Sunday was, as usual, yummy.  This time Daughter #2 picked Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes from Cupcake Wars' Kentucky Derby episode.  Let me just say....WOW!  The peach flavored cake is nice and light and the peach filling adds a little tang.  Loved these!  They definitely made the top of everyone's list at our house.   Like ourselves, Annette, the winner of this episode, does not cook with alcohol.  We had a really hard time finding peach extract.  No one carrys it in ABQ, not even the cupcake supply store.  We could have used peach flavored alcohol, but we didn't really want to make them that way.   It is hard to buy some of these ingredients online and get a good quality product.  Some of the extracts can taste so artificial.   So, we decided to email Annette to see if she could recommend a good one.  She could not have been nicer.  She replied to our email very quickly with a link to a good supplier.  You can find the peach flavoring here.   Annette has a really fun blog that offers some of her wonderful recipes and baking tips.  The next time we visit California, we will have to stop by Goodie Girls.  I know Daughter #2 would love that (Annette is one of her favorite Cupcake Wars Champions).   I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of peach (I usually go for the chocolate), but these were delicious.  I/we would make these again in a heartbeat.  I think I will ask Daughter #2 to make these for my birthday!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Flowers On the Strip!

Remember this?

Flowers On the Strip Quilt Kit
We decided to kit this one up in the black, too.  I love the way the black and white contrast each other.  Same pattern as the original in the white colorway, but we did change the accent prints.  I think it turned out great.  The colors really pop against the black.  So fun, so bright and so easy!

Flowers On the Strip - Black & Bright Kit

Now on to something YUMMY!  So Daughter #2 & I have are still taking advantage of Cupcake Sunday.  I am still the assistant and she is the Head Baker.  She likes to help my husband with dinner and gets so irritated at him when he refers to her as his "Sous Chef".  She does not like that at all.    Anyway, I'm a little behind on cupcake updates so I have quite a few to tell you about. 

First, the Chocolate Truffle Cupcake.

 This yummy cupcake doesn't skimp on the chocolate.  It is chocolate cake, chocolate truffle ganache filling and whipped, chocolate buttercream.  It was pretty good to say the least.   Now the ganache filling does require chocolate liqueur, but since she is 9, we always use a non-alcoholic substitute.  I know that the alcohol will cook out, but I feel that there is time for cooking with those ingredients later on - when she is all grown up.   Her suggestion was to use a tablespoon of coffee instead - worked great.   I have said before that I love decorating cakes.  I am getting the feeling that I will soon be demoted from that job, as well.  I was told I had to use the cupcakes that she decorated in the picture for the blog.  Then she said, "well you can put one of your cupcakes in the picture as long as there are two of mine".  OK.  Can you guess which two she decorated?  She is definitely getting better.

Next, Raspberry Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting

These were wonderful!  And yes, she did the decorating.  The cake was so yummy.   Of course, we tried using sparkling juice in place of the champagne for the frosting, but it was just gross.  It did not blend well and it tasted terrible.  So, we decided to use some of the left over raspberry puree and make raspberry buttercream.  Daughter #2 felt very strongly that "raspberries & lemons are two flavors that really compliment each other Mom" - so she took it upon herself to zest some fresh lemon and add it to the frosting.  There you have it, Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Zested, Raspberry Buttercream.  Delicious!

Last,  White Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
We took these to a family gathering at the park.  It was so hot that day that the frosting was starting to melt.   These are soooooo good and so rich.   We did not use the cherry liqueur or the vodka that the recipe called for.  We simply used some of the maraschino cherry juice.  The frosting recipe calls for 4 Tablespoons, but that is way too much.  I think it is supposed to be teaspoons not tablespoons.  More than that and it will be way too runny and good luck keeping the frosting on top of the cupcake.  We just added a teaspoon at a time until  we got the flavor we wanted.  Too much maraschino cherry juice and lemon extract will make the frosting super sweet.  Also, the recipe calls for "mini" white chocolate chips.  We had a hard time finding them and could only find the regular sized chips.  These are fine, but I would recommend chopping them into fine pieces.  Otherwise, they will sink to the bottom of the cupcake and the cakes won't be as good.  These ended up being a huge hit.  Everyone really loved them.

Here is my sweet baker!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Something Spooky-Cute!

We just got Viv Eisner's new collection for Wilmington Prints, Nightmare Manor, in the shop.  It is so cute!  I love how she used traditional and non-traditional Halloween colors.  The addition of teal is a nice, creative change.  The fun style depicted in the bats, cats, and silly ghouls brings this collection together frightfully.

The panel would make a spooky-cute, Halloween wall-hanging, and the coordinating prints would be great made up into a trick-or-treat bag.  Nightmare Manor is sure to bring around the trick-or-treating mood when October finally rolls around the corner!