Tag Archives: halloween

Sunday Ramblings

1. I’m practicing my cookie baking for The First Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I just signed up for this fun holiday cookie swap (send 3 dozen cookies to 3 different bloggers and receive 3 dozen from different bloggers back). Yup, I can’t wait. I’m in the process of deciding which cookies I am going to be making…

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

(I mean I just HAD to make another batch of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever to test them…)

2. I can’t believe at 4:45PM today the sky looked like this:

It takes me weeks to get used to Daylight Savings! (I’ve been ready for bed since 7:30…and have been in my PJs since 5).

3. In preparation for Q’s arrival in 3 weeks I’ve vowed to eat better, work out more and clean the heck out of my room. It took the majority of the day, but I successfully packed 3 bags of goodies for donations and now my closet looks like this:

(This is the after photo, the before one would have made you wince)

4. Going with that “work out more” philosophy, I am attempting to do the 1oo Push-Up Training Program. It’s a 6 week mini-challenge which has you practicing push-ups for 30 minutes a week based on your fitness level. I’ve never been great at push-ups and thought I would try it out…I’ll keep you posted how it goes.

(source)

5. Is it weird that I’m still wearing ghost socks a week after Halloween? (I obviously vote no).

6. And finally, the random winner of the Lollihop Giveaway is… Ellen Gibbons! Send me your address and I’ll get your delivery all set up!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We just made risotto for dinner and I’m really excited to post that recipe up this week!

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Filed under Baking, Exercise, Giveaway

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Top 4 Reasons Why I Love Halloween:

1. Dogs in costumes.

2. Guilt free unlimited candy consumption.

3. It’s my birthday. As a kid this was awesome since trick or treating at the neighbors’ houses resulted in extra treats for the birthday girl. Now, it is an excellent excuse to have a Halloween party.

4. My mom makes me a dessert of my choosing for the big day. This year, I opted for coconut cupcakes (my absolute favorite kind).

My mom makes the BEST cupcakes I’ve ever had. They are fluffy, moist, flavorful and perfectly frosted and covered in sprinkles. This recipe has been one we go back to often since it has never done us wrong. One word of caution with this one: don’t be afraid of the massive quantity of butter used… just close your eyes and pretend it’s healthy.

This year, we decided to make our cupcakes a little Halloweeny by adding some fun sprinkles on top. I got a big case of Halloween sprinkles from Target and went to town. It gave them a fun little touch and ensured that no cupcake looked the same.

Last Halloween thought of the day – in New York, how do kids trick or treat? Apartment door to apartment door? Do they go out to the suburbs? In LA, I used to do a quick trick or treat around my small neighborhood early and then my parents would drive me to Hancock Park to meet up with my friends and do a full 2-hour door-to-door trick or treat marathon.

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Cream Cheese Icing (directions below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minues. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. FIll each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with remaining coconut and sprinkles.

Cream Cheese Icing

For 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 

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Filed under Baking, Cupcakes, Recipe

Halloween Prep

Costume…check

Decorations…check

Homemade Halloween/Birthday Cupcakes…check

Recipe for these bad boys coming tomorrow!

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Filed under Entertaining, Photography

Currently Loving

1. My Marc Jacobs bag which I thought was going to be too big, but is just right for travel (it fits all the essentials plus an iPad).

2. HomelandI think it is the best new show on TV (and not just because it is military). Acting is superb, plot line keeps you guessing, just perfect. I am saving it on the TiVo for Q when he gets back since I know he is going to love it too.

3. Sweater weather and enjoying NY during the Fall: I love being just a little chilly, not Alaska -10 degrees chilly, but the perfect 55 degree cloudy NY day chilly.

4. My new Missoni for Target skirt – I was late to the game on buying up all the Missoni for Target goodies, so when I went 3 weeks after everything had been on sale and found this skirt in colors and a shape I would actually wear, it was fate.

5. Halloween cookies and candy – no explanation needed!

6. Finally finding a pillow that supports my neck. I recently switched from side sleeping to stomach sleeping and my neck has been killing me (ask anyone around me, my complaining was at an all time high). So I researched a little on Amazon and found the perfect one. (Q told me to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, but who has the time… Amazon pulled through remarkably well). I am finally sleeping like a baby again and I love it.

You can’t hide that smile. I seriously love my new pillow so much that I took a picture with it. 

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Filed under Clothes/Shoes/Bags, Fashion