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National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

National Choclolate Cupcake Day
National Choclolate Cupcake Day

That is a beautiful picture right there, wish I had taken it,I just can’t get my phone camera to take such magic. Oh well it’s a National Day and I wanted to help celebrate. This is from “The Creativity Exchange” she has a really cute blog. I have not made these yet but like you after seeing this I am going to make them before Thanksgiving!!

Love Chocolate and Coconut together so I pinned this for future baking. Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think if you make them before I do.Take close note to the tips she gives in Step #1. I have heard of this before and I think it is what helps step up a box recipe to a homemade taste.Love the whole Semi-Homemade thing she has going on, it just works for us people who have busy schedules but still want to call it your own, Semi anyway.

Thanks for the Inspiration Creative Exchange!

Chocolate Coconut Fall Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 Box Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
4 eggs
1-1/3 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup melted butter cooled
Cupcake liners
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (divided, save some for frosting)
2 teaspoon Cinnamon (divided, save some for frosting)
1-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (divided, save some for frosting)
1 Container of Duncan Hines White Buttercream Frosting
1 Cup powdered sugar
(optional) flaked coconut to mix in with frosting or sprinkle on top

1) Glenda, my expert cake baker neighbor, always substitutes the exact measurements of water with buttermilk when making box cake mixes. She also recommends substituting melted real butter (cooled) for the same measurements of oil. It makes a HUGE difference and it makes the cake texture more like homemade. She also adds one more egg than what the box mix requires. This is such great information to know because it really does make a big yummy difference and makes box mixes taste homemade!

2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix according to box and the substitutions above. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the coconut flavoring, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix together.

3) I baked my cupcakes exactly 26 minutes and they were perfect. Let the cupcakes completely cool.

4) Mix the ready-made buttercream frosting in a mixer with the powdered sugar (to stiffen) and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of coconut flavoring, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice. When I make these again, I will add 1/2 cup of flaked coconut into the frosting. I think it would really enhance the coconut taste.

I piped on my frosting and I left some plain and others I sprinkled with coconut and cinnamon.

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Just another reason to party and eat ūüôā

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Top Halloween Movies

Humor Scary

When I was a teenager I loved the Horror Movies. Then I became a little older with children and couldn’t let them ¬†see this stuff and cling to me in my bed every night.

Now I’m even older, kids are grown and gone and I kinda crave a good scary movie when it gets close to Halloween.

Somewhere along the years my daughter Kelly Ann developed a love for Scary movies.I think it was “Chucky” that she secretly watched with her cousin that sucked her in. Anyway now she can tell you who’s who and what’s what about “Horror Flicks” so listed below is “Entertainment Tonight’s” top picks and “MIss Kelly’s horror flick picks.”

I think her and I can agree that there is something to a cold Autumn night, big bowl of popcorn, lights turned down low and a scary horror flick playing on the tube,with the one you love to protect you.

Qualifications for a good scary movie: Does the movie startle you, make you anxious, get your heart pumping, or just plain gross you out.

Kelly’s Top Ten

1.Evil Dead                                                                    6. House of 1000 Corpses

2.Child’s Play ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†7. Exorcist

3.Nightmare on Elm St.                                                8.The Shining

4.Poltergeist                                                                  9. Alien

5.Dawn of the Dead                                                    10. Return of the living dead

Click on this link below for Horror Movie Countdown

www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20310838_20303609_20668293,00.html#20668301

HAPPY HORROR FLICK WATCHING.

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Butternut Squash Soup w/Pie Crust Croutons

Halloween & Fall Meal
Halloween & Fall Meal

There are a lot of Butternut Squash Soup recipes going around right now but this one has a few different twists to it. It is a lighter version of most soup’s due to the Coconut milk instead of heavy cream, it’s a recipe from Kelly Osbourne‘s diet tips, yes ¬†Ozzie Osbourne‘s daughter,that’s where the Halloween part come’s in because Ozzie puts out a Halloween ¬†feel don’t you think( I mean biting heads off bats)? Plus nothing says “FALL” like Butternut Squash. She says she ate this a lot while she was loosing ¬†her weight.

Kelly’s Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced small
1 large, or 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, then cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 potato, Yukon gold or russet, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup canned coconut milk
Salt and pepper as needed

1. In a large pot, heat oil to medium-low. Add garlic, onions and a pinch of salt, stirring until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add squash, carrots, potato and stock, bring to boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and add the coconut¬†milk(see my tip if you can’t find Coconut Milk)

3. Puree soup in a blender, working in batches so you don’t overflow. Season with salt and pepper to taste. ( I used my hand-held stick blender, if you don’t have one get one)

4. Garnish with a sprig of thyme or chopped parsley and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.(I used a sprig of thyme and pie crust croutons)

Makes six 1-cup servings. Each serving: 219 cal, 13 g fat.

* I did not have coconut milk in a can, but I did have Cream of Coconut, so I mixed 1/2 cup with 1/2 cup evaporated milk. It probably made calories go out a bit but was very tasty and on the sweet side.

I sprinkled my “Pie Crust Croutons” on top and served with a grilled cheese Sammie.

Butternut Squash

I used part pre-cut squash and part fresh just because that’s what I had. Buy fresh its just a little more work peeling and chopping but its cheaper and fresher. Always a better choice.

My daughter Kelly and I both loved it and she says it’s a keeper and should be shared.

Enjoy!

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Pie Crust Croutons

IMG_2531

These are fun little guys to make. This is the finished product, but here are some steps on how to make them.

IMG_2519I got these mini fall cutters I think at Williams and Sonoma, love them. Any way you get your pie crust dough roll it out and cut shapes with your cutters. Preheat oven to 425, brush dough shapes with a egg wash and sprinkle with favorite toppings. I made Sweet (sprinkled with cinnamom and sugar) and Savory ( sprinkled with salt and pepper). Place on parchment paper and bake for approx. 7-8 minutes.

IMG_2525Note to self. This is a single layer of pie dough and I found on my second batch that if you fold over the dough and roll to make it thicker the croutons are even more AWESOMER! This is easy peasy and really fun to do.

IMG_2527This is before they went into the oven after egg wash and sprinkled goodies.

IMG_2529This is out of the oven. Ready for soups, salads, ice creams, puddings or just snacking by them selfs. The use’s for these little guys is just endless when you start thinking about what they are good on. Oh Im thinking the sweet ones on some Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream or the opposite way on some Butternut Squash Soup. Recipe to follow soon for that one.

I saw Martha Stewart decorate a Pumpkin Pie with these little treats now thats a “Good Thing” Enjoy

I

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Pumpkin & Dry Ice Fun

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aFLYNiHitI

This video is so cool to me, what fun you can have with the kids and at your next party. If you have never watched any of his video’s I suggest to check them out with your kids. Interesting and COOL! Great tips for Science Projects.

Dry Ice Recipes – Cool Halloween Science
by SteveSpanglerScience
Check out this and other cool Halloween science experiments at http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiments/ Halloween is the perfect time for oozing, bubbling, eye-catching science! If you love to perform science demonstrations, Halloween is a wonderful excuse to fill the cooler with dry ice and get ready for a day filled with “ooze” and ahhhs! Great Halloween Science!

About Steve Spangler Science…

Steve Spangler is a celebrity teacher, science toy designer, speaker, author and an Emmy award-winning television personality. Spangler is probably best known for his Mentos and Diet Coke geyser experiment that went viral in 2005 and prompted more than 1,000 related YouTube videos. Spangler is the founder of http://www.SteveSpanglerScience.com, a Denver-based company specializing in the creation of science toys, classroom science demonstrations, teacher resources and home for Spangler’s popular science experiment archive and video collection. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where he takes classroom science experiments to the extreme. Check out his pool filled with 2,500 boxes of cornstarch!

Cool Science Toyshttp://www.SteveSpanglerScience.com
Sign up for the Experiment of the Week – http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment-of-the-week
Watch Spangler’s Science Videos – http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/video/
Attend a Spangler Hands-on Science Workshop for Teachers – http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/teacher_training/
Visit Spangler’s YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/stevespanglerscience

Loving October!

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Address Pumpkins

IMG_1647

This is a easy, fun decoration that you could whip out in minutes. I used smaller Pumpkins to fit my wall. Print out the numbers off your computer with the correct size and put your favorite font to it. Cut and paste. Instant decoration with flare.

 

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‚ÄúWeekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning‚ÄĚ

Mac in the Morning

This is my Mac in the morning. Waiting so patiently while we get ready for work. He is sweeter then pie and we love him dearly.

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Autumn Free Printable

My publish on this post got wacky, so sorry if you get it twice

Melina's Hangout

Everybody love’s free printable’s, I do!

Here is one that I got from jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/autumn-essentials-freebie-art-print/

She has a great blog with lots of cute ideas. I like her style and free printable’s. I put mine  in this black frame and tucked it into a corner. Don’t you think this would  make a cute Hostess gift, wrapped up with some Candy Corn. That’s my idea for the day, cause I would think that was special. Sometimes it’s the simple cute little things that are fun.

Autumn Sampler

Thanks Emily and Happy Autumn!

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My Halloween Mantel-2013

 

Scary Skull
Scary Skull

This is my Halloween Mantel 2013. I do it up every year, but this year is my favorite.My son Ryan is the artist for the skull face and he did an awesome job. I got the frame at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $42.97. It was regularly a $430.00 dollar frame but had only a couple of dents (score). The letters “SPOOKY” I downloaded from¬†“Shanty2chic”.Its a¬†¬†really cute blog with fun free printables. My husband asks every year”whats the 31 stand for on the pumpkin”? You just got to understand I guess.

Happy Halloween Decorating!

This is the print before I did anything with itSketched Skull Face

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His & Hers Football Charts

Football Season!, and yes my husband and I have different teams and every year I get more into Football and decided if I can decorate some how it will be even more fulfilling! So lets both have our own charts. This is fun for me and I think my husband kinda enjoys it (mama’s happy everyone is happy) So I started with “HIS” chart” The Charger’s”

His Football Chart

Then my chart “Forty-Niners” (little more of a feminine¬†look)Her Football Chart

It’s been fun every Sunday to go look and see who’s playing. I have been marking mine with wins and losses. Just a fun way to bring Football into Fall Decorating.

Thanks to Emily Jones for inspiration!! Go 49’ers!!