Mini Lemon Cream Cupcake

I have been wanting to make a really good lemon cupcake for a while now. I have been doing lots of searching for recipes and decided on trying the Lemon Cream Cupcakes over at Carrot Top Mom.  I did make a couple of  changes to her recipe, I used Sour Cream instead of Yogurt and I also made mini cupcakes. They baked perfectly in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

The cupcake is very moist and quite delicious. I love the texture and even the flavor is very good, but I did feel like the lemon flavor was lacking a little. They remind me of the sour cream cookies my grandma used to make at Christmas time. I am thinking that next time I  may try adding some Lemon Jello to the mix to kick up the lemon flavor and color the cake itself a bit.

Cream Cheese Icing:

I have totally spaced out on where I dug up this recipe for the cream cheese frosting and I am really sorry for that because I like to give credit where credit is due.  Anyway, here is the recipe I used. I left out the meringue powder because I don’t have any here, but I would like to get some and try it because I am curious to see if it really stiffens the icing like the recipe says.

8 oz Cream Cheese

4 Tbsp Butter, Softened

1 Tbsp Sour Cream

2 Tsp Meringue Powder

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Beat in sour cream and meringue powder and add vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined and fluffy.

Like the Swirl on my icing? Find out how to do make colorful swirled icing from the tutorial over at Chico and Jo

Side Note:

For those of you that don’t know, I have 4 kiddos in the house. Look what happens when you leave teenagers alone with un-used icing…lol

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PartyLite: Grand Opening and Giveaway Ends 4/29

It’s me again! I hope everyone is having a fine Thursday afternoon. I for one am glad this week is winding down. Some days, in fact a lot of days,  I wish my teenagers were still in diapers because things were so much simpler then.

Before I get started on my nightly routine I thought I would drop a short line. I am planning to make Ree’s Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes for dinner. It will be my first attempt at the recipe and I am very excited to see how it comes out. (Plus, I’m starving!)

A couple of reminders for weeks end:

PartyLite Grand Opening

I am working very hard at getting my own business off of the ground. My first step is to earn my business kit. You can help by simply placing an order and spreading the word! The GREAT news is, the brand new SUMMER catalog has arrived! Plus, there are some AWESOME guest specials during the month of April. Prices are as low as $3 and every little bit helps 😉

Lets get this virtual party started! The aroma of  Two Sisters Gourmet Beer Bread and fine PartyLite fragrance fill the air, all this party needs is you! Come on in and enjoy!

GIVEAWAY! PartyLite Clearly Creative Tea Light Holder!

  I  am offering up this Tea Light Holder for Giveaway. The guidelines and the Entry Form are located here . This is an incredibly versatile piece. You can fill it with anything you want which makes it suitable for any event or occassion! Top it all off with a tea light candle and pull together a beautiful and elegant display. This piece retails for $20.00  and would be a great bonus for anyone interested in entering. I am also offering a votive candle  giveaway as part of the same giveaway, you may want to check that out as well.

The Grand Opening party and the Giveaway will both end on Sunday 4/29/12. Following are instructions for placing an order. It is necessary to follow these steps so that I get credit for your order.

Just visit PartyLite Online and follow these instructions
  • Click Look Up Host
  • Enter my Name, Monica Merrill
  • Click Monica M
  • Happy Shopping!
  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

All I can say to this is YUM-O! I still love the fact that you can eat something that tastes like cookie dough without actually eating raw eggs and with a brownie! This recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough brownie comes from Lori at Recipe Girl and I can’t wait to try them.

I think these would make a great addition to any party (or just to stuff your face)!

Sloppy Steak Bomb

OK, so a Steak Bomb from John Smith Subs  is one of my favorite treats.  It has gotten pretty expensive lately so I thought I would try to duplicate the taste at home. I have made a Philly Cheese Steak with sliced roast beef before, but if I was going to do that, I would just go to John Smith Subs and get my Steak Bomb.

I took inspiration for this recipe from Six Sisters Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe but I did make some of my own changes, so here goes.

Step One:

 Cook ground beef, onions and peppers over medium heat until beef is browned.

Step Two:

While the meat is browning, pre-cook your bacon and let it cool.


 

Step Three:

  Not everyone in my family will eat mushrooms,

so I browned mine while the meat was cooking.

Drain and set aside when done cooking.

* If everyone you are cooking for enjoys mushrooms,

add them to the beef before cooking with the peppers and onions.

Step Four:

Drain Well

Step Five:

Chop pre-cooked, cooled bacon.

Step Six:

Return meat mixture to pan and top with chopped bacon.

Add 2 cups beef broth.

Simmer on medium low heat until only a little bit of liquid is left.

Step Seven:

Separate meat to make a whole in the middle of the pan exposing the liquid

(I apologize for not taking a picture of this).

Add 1 tbsp corn starch and stir with whisk.

Stir Well.

Sloppy Steak Bomb

Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef

2 medium onions

1 large green pepper

1 lb bacon

Mushrooms

2 cups beef broth or stock

1 tbsp corn starch

Provolone Cheese

Mayonnaise

  • Cook ground beef, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers over medium heat until meat is browned.
  • Drain, return to pan.
  • While meat is cooking, pre-cook bacon and set aside to cool.
  • Chop bacon and add to meat mixture in pan.
  • Add beef broth
  • Simmer over medium low heat until almost all liquid is cooked down.
  • Make small hole in middle of meat to expose remaining liquid.
  • Add 1 tbsp corn starch and stir with whisk.
  • Place both sides of bun on cookie sheet or other oven safe pan
  • Place provolone cheese on both sides of bun and place under broiler for 2-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Be careful, they will burn quickly.
  • Remove buns from oven, spread mayonnaise to your liking.
  • Ladle meat mixture over top of bottom bun, place top bun on and enjoy!

The Chubby Hubbies

Photo Credit: Smells Like Home

  Photo Credit: Pretty Kitten’s Kitchen

I first came across a “chubby hubby” last week while looking around the Smells Like Home blog of Tara, she calls it an         I heart my Chunky Hubby Cupcake. I was amazed and surprised and couldn’t wait to try the recipe. I am happy to say that by my further surprise  today while perusing pinterest, I found Kristyn of Pretty Kitten’s Kitchen’s Chubby Hubby Bars! I am having a serious chocolate, peanut butter, caramel withdrawal!

I was going to wait until I tried the cupcake recipe to post about it, but now that I have found the bar as well, I couldn’t wait to share the chubby deliciousness.

Review to be posted very soon 😉

Bubble Vase Tower Centerpiece

Here is another beautiful idea for a centerpiece. There are so many possibilities. I would totally fill these with water and float candles in them in addition to the flowers.  You could even put a pillar in the middle of the vase and surround with flowers. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination 😉

Gned, Gnorm, and Gnick Gnome

I think these gnomes are the cutest! See each on individually below with description. If you would like to add these to your collection, please do the following so I will get credit for your order.

Locate the banner below at the top of the page and click LOOK UP YOUR HOST,

Enter My Name: Monica Merrill

Click on Monica M

You are ready to Shop!

 

Gned – Solar Lantern Gnome

Donning the traditional red cone hat, our friendly gnome inspires smiles in the garden. His handy LED solar lantern will provide 6-8 hours of light at night when battery is fully charged. Caterpillar on mushroom glows too! Hand-painted, weather-resistant resin. On/Off switch.    9 1/4″h, 7 1/2″w. $40.00

Gnorm – Napping Gnome Votive Holder

Lovable fellow finds time for a snooze against a mushroom stalk. Includes glass votive cup for use with a votive or tealight, sold separately. Hand-painted, weather-resistant resin. 4″h, 4 3/4″w.  $15.00

Gnick – Gardening Gnome Votive Holder

Red-capped friend tends to his patch of the garden. Includes glass votive cup for use with a votive or tealight, sold separately. Weather-resistant, hand-painted, resin. 4 3/4″h, 5 1/2″w   $15.00

Tin Lantern Tea Light Holder

This is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time. So simple, easy, inexpensive and not to mention the recycling factor. All you need to make this is a tin can, water, a hammer and nails. Charlotte has the full picture tutorial here.

Are you in need of wax? PartyLite has a special going on right now where you can get 3 Dozen Tea Lights of your choice for just $25!

To make sure that I get credit for your order, click the link below and follow these instructions, Thanks!

  1. Click on Look Up Host
  2. Type in my name:  Monica Merrill
  3. Click on the link Monica M, click continue, and have fun shopping

Mix or Match: 3 Dozen Tealights for just $25 or 3 Dozen Votives for just $35.

In addition, I am running a giveaway through 4/29/12 and if you are in need of wax anyway, you would automatically qualify to enter the Clearly Creative Tea Light Holder Giveaway!

Tea Light in a Mason Jar

I am always looking for new ideas on how to display candles. I happened to think this was really cute.  Denise at I love this and that has all of the directions for this Candle in a Bottle.  The thing I like about this is that you don’t really need much.

Supplies:

Reading Book Paper

Scissors

Glass Jar or Bottle

Glue

Rope or Ribbon

Tea Light Candle

Are you in need of wax? PartyLite has a special going on right now where you can get 3 Dozen Tea Lights of your choice for just $25!

To make sure that I get credit for your order, click the link below and follow these instructions, Thanks!

  1. Click on Look Up Host
  2. Type in my name:  Monica Merrill
  3. Click on the link Monica M, click continue, and have fun shopping

Mix or Match: 3 Dozen Tealights for just $25 or 3 Dozen Votives for just $35.

In addition, I am running a giveaway through 4/29/12 and if you are in need of wax anyway, you would automatically qualify to enter the Clearly Creative Tea Light Holder Giveaway!

Snicker Salad

Snickers, Green Apples, Vanilla Pudding, Cool Whip, and Milk. Sounds Heavenly, right. This looks like a delicious treat suitable for any party, get together or pity party on the couch..lol.

I did see a couple of comments on the post at Erica’s Bloggity Blog where I found this lovely recipe that some people use cream cheese instead of pudding. I think I might try it this way because cream cheese sounds like an interesting addition.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Mix  For those of you who may also be trying to cut out as many preservatives and chemicals from your diet as possible, and because it is delicious!