I am a happy person but on occassion, I tend to have teeny tiny woe-is-me moments. Should I still be living in my hometown? Am I doing enough to make a difference? What is my next hobby to try? Am I keeping up with my friends enough? I worry that I'm the only one feeling this way but then I read this article that Caroline posted on The Real PostGrads HERE. It came at the right time almost as a "Here Bree- I'm exactly what you need".
You know, being 25, I sometimes think that I need to have everything planned and organized. I should know what I want in life. But then again.. I'm 25! I have no clue WHAT the next 5 years will be.. and it's kind of thrilling!
For now, it's just simple to take one day at a time and try to squeeze out everything I can. I am thankful to be living in a nice apartment, close to my family and have a good job. I really can't ask for more. I am constantly doing and planning fun things with my family and friends which brings me to the surprise I had on Sunday Night.. OSCAR night! I came over to watch the Oscars and Mom had the whole place done up.
We had a fabulous dinner.
Voted on the categories.. FOR PRIZES! which I didn't win any of..
And Mom even wore Vera Wang… pajamas!
I would have never been able to come to the family Oscar party that Mom threw for me and Dad had I been living somewhere else. I am thankful for my spot right now and I must be exactly where I need to be.
Just incase you wanted the winner in cupcakes…
Out shopping this weekend, I noticed ALL the color in the stores. I went on a search for these 'it' pants for Spring and lemme tell you.. not hard to find. My favorite blogger was just featured in these new pants for Gap and well, now I have to have them.
Ann Taylor $88
Free People $78
Pair them with flats or platforms! You pick..
Free People dark loafer $69
Jessica Simpson $90
BOYS can totally rock this style for spring, too!
Urban Outfitters $59
Josef Twill Plimsoll Sneaker $40
Happy Spring Shopping.. I'm just getting warmed up!
This morning, I'm headed to get a much needed hair cut (I'm suprised my split ends haven't reached the root!) but I'll leave you in good hands with this delicious cake recipe. Got great reviews and not just for Harry Potter themes.
BUTTERBEER CAKE or cupcakes!
recipe adapted from amybites.com
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (this is 1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (look at Michael's or AC Moore's)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 vanilla cream soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray pans or line cupcake tin with liners.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
With stand or hand mixer, cream your butter until light and fluffy.
Add sugars and beat until well-combined.
Beat in your eggs one at a time mixing well after each.
Beat in vanilla and butter flavor.
Add your cream soda to your buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Alternate liquid ingredients with dry ingredients in thirds starting with dry and ending in liquid.
With a normal round pan, do it in thirds. I used a smaller pan to make mine taller and had 4 layers. With cupcakes, fill 3/4 full using an ice cream scooper for ease. Bake for about 15-17 minutes and do the tooth pick test until it comes out clean. Let set on a wire rack to cool before icing.
Butterscotch Ganache Filling/Drizzle:
1 11 oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream
Bring a small amount of water to boil then set a smaller pot inside (but don't put it the water). Melt the cream and chips together constantly stirring until completely dissolved. Cool to room temp then put in squeeze bottle. Either drizzle over cake, between layers or insert into center of cupcakes. YUMMY
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream if needed (which you will)
Cream butter in large bowl until fluffy.
Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavor and salt and mix well til combined.
Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Just taste after each cup and see if you want to add more sugar or less- it gets sweet.
Add milk by the tablespoon as needed.
To frost a cake, I put 4 thin layers of parchment paper on the plate so it will be underneath each side of the cake when I start stacking. This way, I can get frosting everywhere then pull them out from under and its clean. Stack your cakes and frost each layer. When all stacked, start frosting the bottom half of sides. Put a nice size dollup on top and spread out. Finish frosting the top of the sides. This will incorporate the bottom and the flat top best. Decorate with sprinkles, drizzle, or these cute little wires I bought at Michael's. Duff makes them and I just attached Christmas ornaments I hot glued wings to.
As for the jellybeans, I just used a cookie cutter and made a hole in the bottom two layers. Input the jellybeans then added the third layer on top like a normal cake. When it was cut, they spilled out which was so fun and would be cute for a child's birthday party.
To frost cupcakes, the easiest way for me (that looks prettiest) is to get a plastic pastry bag and a fun tip. I use the biggest tip I can find so it looks perfect and circular. Cut the bottom corner of the bag and fit the tip inside. Put whole bag into a tall cup and wrap open top half around corners of cup. Pour/scoop in your icing and pull the bag out of cup and twist top. There you go, easy to start frosting. Top with drizzle or maybe even golden sugar crystals.
You'll be sure to impress. Comment and let me know how they turn out!
On Saturday, we all celebrated a very special friend by throwing her a Harry Potter Birthday party for her 25th birthday! Not only are we obsessed and have seen all of the movies at the midnight showing, we could school ANYONE in HP trivia. Below is our little party.. you can make fun of it OR marvel in the cleverness- we still had fun none the less.
Our magical entrance- Platform 9 3/4.
For all your Harry over lookers, PolyJuice Potion turns them into any other person if they have a sample from that person ex. piece of hair or fingernail clipping. For OURS, we did vodka water shots and inside the envelope was a different flavor of Crystal Light mix for your shot (which of course was the human specimen part) Pretty good conversation piece. You can be anyone from Albus Dumbledore for the night to Hedwig the owl! I was Luna Lovegood, see the resemblance? Our birthday girl (pictured above) was Ginny Weasley- how perfect!
Each room was themed. The living room was the Gryffindor Common Room and we hung tea lights from the ceiling.
Floo System, Horcrux, Nagini Beer Snake
Whomping Willow, Basilik Fang, Tom Riddle’s Diary
We had lots of yummy food in the Common Room like Chips and Bean Dip (Scales and Dragon insides) and of course, Chocolate Frogs. They were made from the little candy molds you get at AC Moore’s or Michaels- I didn’t realize how EASY that was. Not pictured is:
Parseltongue Chicken Buffulo Dip, Goblin Toes Pigs in a Blanket and Hogsmeade Meatballs.
I made pretzel stick Birthday Wands and Hedwig drinks to pass out with cute gray and white paper straws. They were White Russians (SOOO GOOD) but my ingredients were Kalua, whole milk, and whipped cream vodka- seriously tasted like chocolate milk. DANGEROUS.
The other rooms included: The Forbidden Forest
and Dumbledore’s Office complete with passage to the Ministry of Magic.
I’ll post the recipe for Butterbeer Cake in another post- it was so yummy, especially with that butterscotch ganache drizzle! And I made the snitches from Christmas ornaments and golden glittery paper.
We retreated to Hedwig’s Owlery (the porch) to cast spells with our light up wands!
Happy Birthday Erin! I hope you had a wonderful 25th!!! xoxox