Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Howdy, howdy!
I told you I had sweet treats in store for you!

Remember once I told you I had a friend with gluten issues?
Well, it was his birthday recently...
and we were headed to their house for Bible study...
and I couldn't very well show up empty handed, now could I?

So...I took some of these babies...and we all chowed down!

They're dark and moist.
Chocolatey and peanut buttery and oh so utterly...

Actually, if you want to know the real truth...
while the cupcakes were pretty good...
I threatened to lick the frosting off of every last one... was THAT good!
Oh my...I could eat it all day long with a spoon!
Or at least until I made myself sick.

It was the first time I'd made a peanut butter buttercream
and I can tell certainly won't be the last!
The cupcakes were good, but the frosting makes all the difference!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups GF All Purpose Baking Flour {from Bob's Red Mill}
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup PLUS 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 cup warm brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners into muffin'll need 24.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. 
  3. Add butter, oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix until the batter has a crumbly texture.
  4.  Slowly add coffee and vinegar.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 to 2/3 really should get 24. :)
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes...until they spring back when gently touched.
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack
{This is basically the recipe from Bob's...
I added the chocolate chips because...well, why not?
And I adjusted the temp and baking time for cupcakes.}

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter until smooth.  Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until creamy.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, then gradually add more until you reach your desired consistency.
If you want to be able to pipe it, make sure it's firm enough to hold up. 
Use a large open star tip and swirl it on.
Sprinkle some extra mini chocolate chips on top for extra goodness.

My friend was thrilled!
He doesn't get home made GF goodies very often.
I think he may have swooned a little. :)

I took the extras to work and everyone loved them there, too!
{especially the frosting...hee hee}

We've gotten a little reprieve from winter around here for a few days.
It's been sooooo nice!
I hope the same is true for you guys
and that you have a fantastic weekend!

Very soon, I hope to be able to show you what
we did to our old TV entertainment center.
You wouldn't even  recognize it!
Until then...

Handing out spoons {for frosting!} here:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sara's Purple Palace ~ The Secret Project

I know you've been waiting with
bated breath for this day!!!

The day I tell you all about the secret project I mentioned here...
and somewhere else but I don't know where...

Sara's room makeover!!!
{be warned...this is a looooong post}

 I know she's only home part of the year...
but we wanted her to have her very own space where
she could hang out in to speak. :) needed to be vastly different from her "high school ~ dance trophy" room.

This is how it started out...

Nothing special...just lots of stuff...
Dance trophies and plaques and awards...and nutcrackers...and more stuff...
It was time for a change.

I knew I wanted the walls to have a little interest...but not too much.
So I went with a single wide stripe.
I chose the width and location specifically so it would "wrap"
around the window, door, and closet and not be below them...if you get my drift.

I measured down from the ceiling for the top, then added
the width I wanted and marked the bottom of the stripe.

I thought it would be much easier to do the stripe first
since it was the lighter of the two, rather than try to
put the lighter coat over the dark...ya know?

Then we used a laser level to put the tape up...
one of us would hold the level while the other placed the tape.
It worked great! But it is definitely a two-person job.

I would love to tell you that stripe was perfect, but I'd be a liar.
It was perfectly straight...but because our walls are deeply textured,
I still had to do some touch ups even with the tape.  C'est la vie.

I know what you're thinking...

It has absolutely no connection Pantone's so-called "color of the year,"
The girl just happens to loooooove plum.

The darker color is Sherwin Williams "Soulmate"
It truly's gorgeous!
and the lighter is the same, lightened 50%
{truth be told, though...I think Soulmate is on the same
color card with SW's color of the year, Expressive Plum}

Now on to bunches of pictures...

Here are the jewelry displays I made...
I ended up turning the frame landscape
because it worked better in the space this way.

This little antique dresser/lingerie chest I picked up for a reasonable price.
The color was perfect and the knobs were cute...
all I did was paint the insides of the drawers.
I do believe that this actually IS the Expressive Plum.

Found this awesome bench/ottoman on clearance at a local store.
It called to me and sang hallelujah.
Plummy and paisley? I'll take it!
I painted the legs with some chalk paint to make it coordinate.

Throw on some fluffy pillows and you might have a reading corner.

The nutcrackers stayed...but they got some better digs...
I would have been in a lot of trouble if they had gone bye-bye.

The chandelier is so fabulous in here.
It took a while to find the perfect one...
I didn't want it to be too big or too small.

This one came from Home Depot and I love it.
The afternoon sun sends little rainbow prisms all across the walls.

There was a little concern that it would be too much purple.
So, I left the bed and dresser natural and used some chocolate brown pillows.
The closet and trim I left cream to lighten it up and tie in with the lingerie chest.

Sara had picked up several paint sample cards a while back and they
were surprisingly close to some of the color codes in my plan book.
There were plums, browns, creams and some natural colors.
That's where my inspiration came from...the girl herself.

I threw in a couple pops of aqua for interest.

This Degas print and the one above the bed she already had.
I just updated the frame by painting it black.

The bedding I got at a super price from BB&B...really!
The aqua sheets came from Ikea.

I had been searching high and low for a lamp for the bedside...
the day before she was coming home for Christmas break
I went to Hobby Lobby and found this one.
It was meant to be!  The cream fabric rose?
Shut up...and the finish is almost exactly like how I did the jewelry holder.

Her first pointe shoes have always hung on the wall in a special place,
so I knew I had to make a statement with them.

The painting on the far wall is actually Sara's own artwork.
I was so excited to put it here on display in her room.

I just realized I did not take a picture of the
window and the new curtains.
Oh well.

we were doing this for her.

I made sure I was up when she and Jon got home that morning for break.
I walked up the stairs with her and when she turned on the light,
I thought she was going to fall over.
She was so stinking excited, she was jumping up and down.
Of course, that just made me cry.

I knew she would like it, I just didn't realize how much she really needed it.
She likes it so much she made her bed she was home for Christmas break!
That was convincing. :)

No more little girl stuff here...
now it's a palatial space fit for a princess...mine.

Have a fabulous weekend and come by
in a few days for some sweet treats!

Sharing here:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine's Cold Hard Cash Giveaway!

Update: This Giveaway has ended...

Enter to win $200 to spoil your sweetie (or yourself!) this Valentine's day!
I have teamed up with 15 other amazing bloggers to share
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The winner will be chosen at random and paid via Paypal,
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Anyonita Nibbles is a food blog obsessed with providing
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Natasha from 1 Epic Mommy is a lifestyle blogger sharing stories as a
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The Brunette Baker is home to a range of tasty desserts and sweets!

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Natasha from Serenity You blogs about recipes, kids play ideas, crafts etc.
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