Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes in Mason Jars

I promise this is the LAST post from the bridal shower!  As a thank you for attending the bridal shower, Elizabeth (amazing bridesmaid who helped bake desserts and cohost the shower) baked these red velvet cupcakes and placed them in mason jars for each guest, while I simply packaged them with a spoon, label, and twine.  Yep, I got off easy on this task.  Since I wasn’t actually the preparer of said dessert, I unfortunately do not have step-by-step pictures to accompany the instructions, but luckily our creative idea source over at Cakies has extremely helpful pictures if you need them!  The best part about this recipe is that you can simply make the delicious cupcakes and frosting and decorate them like normal cupcakes!

Ingredients:

for the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

for the cream cheese frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions:

for the cupcakes:
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Spray the cupcake pan with Pam and fill each 2/3 full with batter.  Bake in oven for about 17-20 minutes at 350 degrees turning the pans once, half way through.  Remove from oven and let cool five minutes before removing and letting cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

for the frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low-speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

for the mason jars:
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, slice them in half creating a stack of tops and bottoms.  Place 1 bottom in each mason jar followed by a layer of frosting.  Take the top of the cupcake and place on top of the layer of frosting.  Gently smash the top into inside the jar to create a flat surface on top.  Add another layer of frosting, cover with lids, and package however you would like!

Packaging Supplies Used:

Ball 8 Ounce Mason Jar
Birchware Compostable Wooden Spoons
Avery Print-to-the-Edge Round Labels in Kraft
Regency Baker’s Twine in Red

**Source:  Original Cupcakes Recipe, Updated Recipe and Mason Jars**

Thrifty Threads: Colored Denim

COLOR is definitely spring trend numero uno this year.  All colors of the rainbow and every color in between can be found stocked at stores everywhere in both women’s and men’s departments as well as home decor and kitchen sections.  Even Target is focusing their marketing around sprucing up your life with pops of bright color:

One of the easiest, most affordable ways to incorporate spring’s color trend into your wardrobe is with colored denim.  Whether dressed up with a blazer or worn casually with striped, bright, button-up, or sweater tops, colored denim easily brightens up your neutrals and makes an eye-catching statement.  Turn up the color in your life for under fifty dollars with one of these colorful bottoms.  Which color would you most love to rock?

REDHollister Super Skinny Denim $49.50 in Red, White, Turquoise, and Denim

ORANGEForever 21 Whiskered Skinny Jeans $24.90 in Orange and Aqua

YELLOWTarget Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Denim $22.99 in Buttercup, Blue, Green, Lemon, Magenta, Pale Pink, Pink, Purple, Teal, White

GREENMiss Elfridge Skinny Jeans $35 in Green, Purple, Toffee

BLUECharlotte Russe Skinny Jean $29.99 in Royal, White, Pink, Teal, Coral, Red, Turquoise

AQUADorothy Perkins Super Skinny Jeans $44 (on sale for $35 now) in Aqua, Orange, and Lilac

VIOLETOld Navy The Rock Star Colored Super Skinny Jeans $34.94 in Purple, Green, Blue, Pink

WHITEKohl’s Juniors’ Unionbay Skinny Jeans $48 (on sale for $29.99) in White, Black, Cobalt, Cortez Blue, Sandy Brown, Valentino

LIGHT PINKAmerican Eagle Skinny Jean $44.50 in Pink Dust, Putty Brown, Poppy Orange, Peacock Blue, Yellow Zest, Lavendar Thistle, Maui Teal, Dock Pink

BRIGHT PINKZara Skinny Trousers with Zips $49.90 in Pink, Green, Black, White, Aquamarine

Pinspiration: PomPoms

PomPoms are EVERYWHERE right now in party planning and home decor:

Inspired by all the gorgeous PomPoms out there, I decided to order three large, three medium, and four small poms for the bridal shower from Sevyn Designs on Etsy in yellow, blue, and green.  Coral and Hailee from Sevyn Designs were amazing.  Not only did they respond quickly to every single one of my questions and have the PomPoms to me in plenty of time, but they also included step-by-step instructions and a sweet handwritten thank you note.  Rare to receive such great service!  The incredibly easy assembly and hanging of the poms would definitely lead me to utilize these trendy decorations again in the future.  Want to try some for yourself or your next party?  Check out Sevyn Designs on Etsy and put in promotion code thread10 to receive 10% off your order through the end of April! Awesome, right?!

        

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Lay PomPom out in front of you.  Cut string to desired length and double knot onto the metal loop.

Step 2:  Fan the PomPom out on both sides.

Step 3:  Starting with one side of the PomPom, gently pull each layer away from the center.  Repeat five times on each side then rotate.

Step 4:  Use your fingers to fluff petals and create even spacing between layers until your PomPom is petal perfect.

Step 5:  Hang PomPoms at varying heights wherever you would like (above tables or cribs, in windows, centerpieces, in bedrooms, etc).

Feta-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Feta-Stuffed Chicken

Last night I was completely and randomly in the mood for this Lemon-Feta Chicken recipe.  I mean the feta was screaming my name as I drooled just thinking about it.  Unfortunately since it was already six o’clock and I didn’t have two hours to spare while the chicken breasts marinated, I decided to try this feta-stuffed chicken recipe from Better Homes and Gardens that still included the feta I was craving with added bonuses of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.  Let’s just say from now on I will be keeping my kitchen stocked with feta, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes for easy preparation of this amazingly healthy meal (only four weight watcher points) that took less than thirty minutes and was absolutely delicious.  Probably having it again next week, not gonna lie.

Prep Time     10 Minutes
Bake Time    12-15 Minutes
Makes           4 Servings

Ingredients:

2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup feta
2 tbsp softened fat-free cream cheese
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Place tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let stand 10 minutes, drain, and pat dry.  In a small bowl, combine the feta, cream cheese, tomatoes, and basil.  Pepper the chicken and cut a horizontal pocket in the top of each chicken breast without going all the way through.  Place chicken pocket side down in a single layer in a skillet of hot oil over medium-high heat.  Cook 6 minutes.  Turn chicken so pocket side is facing up.  Fill the pocket with the feta cream cheese mixture and continue to cook chicken until no longer pink, about 6 additional minutes.  Garnish with extra basil and serve with pasta noodles or a salad.

**Recipe Source:  BHG**