Monday, August 30, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes

So it isn't wise to watch "Julia & Julia" and "Cupcake Wars" late at night. Unfortunately to add to my insomnia, I had a sudden urge to bake. For those who know me, they know that me and baking should never me used in the same sentence. After watching professional bakers make cupcakes in 30 minutes, I gained some sort of confidence to create some homemade coconut cupcakes. Luckily, I found this awesome recipe at Katesplateii's Blog. I was almost certain this was going to be a disaster waiting to happen, so I figured this would make a great blog post of my horrible kitchen fiasco's. As I was reviewing the ingredients, I was surprised to find I had everything in my pantry and didn't have to go to the store. Mid way through my excitement, I realized I was short 2 sticks of butter, and I will admit, I googled "butter replacement" and it seemed like a dead end. I had no choice but to make a midnight Walmart run :( As usual, I ended up taking an hour and left with a cart full of item's I didn't even need during my "quick run for butter." I thought my baking adventure was coming to a complete halt, but I walked into the kitchen with half the ingredients mixed in the bowl, so I had to start what I finished.
****Warning to all those who bake**** If for some reason, you have read this blog up to this point, I want to warn you right now that you will be in complete disarray of my lack of baking know how. So for all those who bake like there's no tomorrow, I just want to let you know that I do not bake, nor do I have any background in the kitchen, other than decorating it. So please, before you continue, please keep the jokes to a minimum after reading this post.
I don't usually bake, ok, I never bake, but when I make the attempt, I prefer to have all my ingredients on the countertop because I easily get side tracked and making trips back and forth to the pantry will loose my momentum. So here I am ready for step #1: mixing the ingredients...


Yes I accidently started mixing the dry ingredients first, but what can I say, I do not follow direction well when it comes to cooking. I never needed a professional mixer before, so although the recipe states a 5 minute time frame to mix sugar and butter, my hand held mixer probably took about 8 or 9 minutes to get what I would label as "light and fluffy."


Again, if you bake and I'm totally wrong in my definition of fluffy, please don't quote me because I could never claim I know half of what a recipe states what to do. With that being said, here are a few of my pointers. I don't ever listen when someone says to add an egg one at a time and mix, and that probably explains all my unsuccessful mishaps in the kitchen. So for those interested in trying this, follow the directions. During my mixture, I had no idea what is meant by "fold in 7 ounces of coconut," so I just threw them in the mix and mixed it with a fork. One great tip I received from all my blog reading experience is using an ice cream scoop to put your mix in the cupcake liners. So here it is, my mixture before entering the box of doom.



During the baking time, your suppose to make the frosting. I didn't have any cream cheese and refused another detour to the store, so I found an alternate buttermilk frosting at C&C Cakery Blog. I originally wanted to make the funfetti cupcakes, but my husband didn't seem intrigued at the idea of me baking until I mentioned coconut. For those who make homemade frosting all the time may already know this, but I learned from this experiment that powdered sugar apparently has a mind of it's own, and it's not your fault if at first your mix is too thick or too thin. In my case, it was runny. I do not know the exact amount, but I did end up putting more than double of the powdered sugar in this recipe than is listed before I was able to call my concoction frosting.

I know, I know...you're all wondering did I actually succeed in baking homemade cupcakes? I'm a proud to say "YES, I Did!"
So for anyone who has burnt every dish they attempted, or completely ruined every recipe they tried, don't give up. If I can make cupcakes, anyone can. I highly suggest finding an alternative to my 4am baking urge, because it will throw your entire day off balance. I may have not gotten any sleep, but I can finally say I successfully made homemade coconut cupcakes with vanilla buttermilk frosting. Now, that is worth the lack of sleep!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Addison's Room

For the time being, I switched design modes from party decor to bedroom decor.  My latest project is Addison's bedroom. When Addison's mom first told me that she wanted her room done, my initial thoughts were pink, pink, and a side of pink. It came to a big surprise when I met Addison and her color choices were blue and green. For those who know me, a girl's room without a hint of pink was non-existent in my book, so this was definitely a challenge. Luckily with retail shops over loaded with endless aisles of Back to School decor, we had a plenty of options to keep with our color scheme and still have a "girly" feel to the room. Once we decided on our wall paint, my favorite part of my job was next, shopping! Our first inspiration was none other than a blue lamp. Although the shade of blue was not the exact teal shade of blue we were looking for, the contrast was a perfect fit. We hunted for anything in a bright, teal blue color but, I found that combining different shades of blue tied the room together perfectly. During our shopping extravaganza, Addison seemed to have caught my pink fever and requested all things pink for her room. I couldn't be more happier with her pink item choices, and although the walls were covered in blue and green, the hints of pink completed the room perfectly. I had a great time with this project, and other than our blue paint dilemma, everything went smoothly. Thanks again Addison for giving me the opportunity of creating such a great blue and green girl's room.