Saturday, April 30, 2011

cake in a jar

Yeah, you read it right. Cake in a jar, biatches. I was browsing the internet and saw a photo of the clever concept, and well... you know me and cake. Forget about it? Psh, ya right! Those puppies didn't stand a chance!

The recipe(s) call for "canning jars" aka mason jars. Apparently, they can be found at Walmart, HEB, your local hardware store, or the internet. Well, I don't have a drop of patience in my body, so scratch that internet option. Also, while I was out today, I was only near a Dollar Tree, Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and IKEA. Well, none of them had what I needed, but I did find a reasonable substitue at IKEA.

they're so cute! if they had cheeks, i'd pinch 'em!
Make sure to clean inside and outside of the jars before using them... who knows how many dirty paws have touched them. Bleh! After cleaning them, I sprayed the inside of each jar with some PAM. Thanks, Pam, for making my cake not stick. You're a doll.

Next, fill the jars with your cake batter. I used a simple Betty Crocker (hey, betty!) Devil's Food box mix, and added one teaspoon of raspberry extract. Yep.. I'm salivating just typing. I'm so attractive.

don't forget to lick the beaters!
Quick side note-- Don't fill the jars up as much as I did. I had a slight cake over flow issue, which was resolved by me scrubbing eating cake off the side of the jar. It's just an unneeded hassle.

cake volcanos!
Back on track. Put the jars on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees. The small jars took 20 minutes, and the large took 30. You will know they're ready when you touch the top and it bounces back at you. No, it won't hit you in the face. I wish it would though... how awesome would that be? Eating cake without having to actually do the work of spooning it into your mouth yourself? Can you saw awesome?! Or fat... :-/

After they're out of the oven, let them cool ALL THE WAY before you put the frosting on. (No, I did not wait... and that's why mine look like pooooo. I told you I wasn't patient.)

I made a raspberry buttercream frosting from scratch.

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
2 tsp. raspberry extract
add milk as needed for desired consistency

After pacing the kitchen for about 10 minutes waiting for the cake to cool, I decided to just forgo that whole "cooling idea". Cooling-shmooling. I like icing. And one little layer on top of these cakes were just not going to be enough for me, so I decided to remove half of each cake and smear on a layer of the ooey goodness.

aye, where's the rest of the cake, yo?

Once the cake is removed and set aside, squeeze on a layer of frosting, replace the cake, and top the entire thing with another generous layer of frosting. And viola! Cupcake in a jar!

eat me!
Hope you guys try and like this! It's delish!!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

so hungry it makes me sick

OK-- so I'm sure you're all just SICK of hearing about the Royal Wedding. So am I. I have to be honest and say that I have not focused an ounce of my attention on any of the hub-bub leading up to today. Until I woke up. Being that my father is from London, England (making me part British), I could not help myself but to be just a wee bit curious of the nuptuals! It helps that I am a sucker for weddings and they all make me cry. So what if I don't know the couple? I'm such a hopeless romantic sap! In the end, I asked my dad a lot of questions about the royal system and really did learn a lot. Plus, I really enjoyed seeing the fashion those guys wear. Holy hats, those things are awesome-- and some a little weird!

i am in love with Pippa's dress
I didn't get much sleep last night (insert sad face), which has led me to feeling like poo today. When I don't get my needed amount (or more.. heh heh), I wake up the next day just looking and feeling like a train wreck. When I looked in the mirror this morning, I laughed (out loud, might I add) for a good 2 minutes. At myself. My hair looked like a lions mane. Time for a haircut? I almost took a photo of myself for you guys, but I just couldn't dare to embarrass myself that royally. Also when I don't get enough sleep, I find myself without an appetite. My stomach growls, kicks, and punches me for a good 2 hours while I debate on what the heck I should eat. I'm so hungry it makes me sick. So, what do you do when nothing sounds good? Whip out the fruit and blend up a smoothie!

I added: (I don't measure)
Strawberries (frozen and fresh)
Mango (fresh)
Bluberries (frozen)
Pineapple (frozen)
Peanut Butter
2 scoops of greens & whey protien powder
8 oz. water

protien for my big musckles, baby!
isn't my easter mug just the cutest?

no makeup, smoothie-drankin' lady
The smoothie absolutely cured my crap-feeling and has totally put me in the mood to cook and bake! YIKES! I've got a fw recipes that I have been eye-ballin' and am totally thinking about making them both happen tonight. Super excited! (but what else is new?)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

easter blogging block

Hi my little blogger-poos! First and foremost, I must appoligize for my lack of blogging. Easter brought out such a cooking-monster in me and I had absolutely no time to write anything! Because of my hostessing obligations, I have been using the beginning of the week to catch up on everything else in my life. But, no fear you guys, I have returned-- bearing more cupcakes! (see... I DO wuv you guys!)

This year, Easter was held at my parent's house, which meant that my mother and I were in charge of cooking. And cooking we did. From about 9am until 4pm. Yikes! Who knew that cooking was so much work? I was definitely exhausted after all was complete.

centerpiece and place settings-- gotta love hobby lobby!
Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the food, but I just so happened get pictures of my cupcakes. Hehe! ;-D I decided on two kinds-- the peanut butter cup ones previously featured, and strawberry with homemade buttercream frosting. Delish!

no time for scratch baking
With the previous chocolate PB cup cupcakes, I stuffed the cupcakes with PB chips. This time, I used what the original recipe (taken from STSL) called for, mini Recees Peanut Butter Cups. I highly reccomend using these instead of of the PB chips-- they made the cupcake fo sho!

mmm chocolate

For the strawberry cupcakes, I reccommend pouring the batter into a ziploc baggy because it is rather runny.

Because the box cake mix makes 24 cupcakes... and I decided to make 2 different kinds... well... we had a few too many. What are 10 people going to do with so many cupcakes? Oh yeah.. EAT THEM!
cupcake, anyone?
I used the same PB frosting as last time, but I modified measurements here and there, making sure to add some extra PB.

I got the buttercream frosting from good ol' Miss Betty Crocker. Thanks, Betty!

Ingredients: (enough for 12 cupcakes)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 c. softened butter
1-2 tbsp. milk (in all actuality, it needs about 8-10)

top 'em off with a few chocolate chips


top me with a choco egg, please!

Many praise were given for the cupcakes, which always makes me happy. I take a lot of pride in everything I do, and it makes my day to hear that people love them! And while the chocolate cupcakes were so fantastic, I must admit, that the strawberry cake with the creamy frosting was the bomb DOT com. For reals.

Hope you guys enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

move your stuff, change your life

It's official! On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, I, Samantha Sheridan, became a certified Event Planner. YEE-HAW! Now, I just need to get my toosh in gear and find a big girl job. How scary is that? But, I am so ecstatic! 

paper makes everything official

Did I ever mention how much I love my Aunt Amy? (I love my Aunt Chris too, don't worry.) Well, if not... then I do! She is just plain awesome. I could name a million reasons why she is so great, but that would take all day-- which I'm sure none of us have. One of the main reasons I love her is because she gets me interested in so many things. Things I've never heard of before become some of my greatest passions. Plain and simple, she inspires me!

The latest inspiration she's dawned upon me is Feng Shui. While I have heard of Feng Shui before, and know the concept and meaning of it, I have never practiced it. And so my journey began. I have started by reading a book titled "Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life" (thanks for the blog title!) by Karen Rauch Carter. I've realized that this book is great for beginners. It's a sarcastic, simply worded book and could almost fall under the "Feng Shui for Dummies" book series. I'm not saying by any means that this book is a stupid read, rather than I am commending Karen for being able to explain such a complicated belief system in such a simple manner.

FENG SHUI: (adapted from the Chinese art or practice of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang, as in arranging furniture or determining the sitting of a house.

While this definition somewhat sums it up, I don't agree with all of it. There is much more to Feng Shui than just arranging furniture and items in the house. But, you have to study the art to know what all it requires.

Now, I will not even begin to try and teach Feng Shui through my blog, rather than document my journey of changing my home(s) and how Feng Shui is changing my life. A lot of people don't believe in Feng Shui, but as I always say, you never know until you try! So try I will!

holy notes!

As I read the book, I made a chart and began taking notes for each section of the home. I decided that I would start in my bedroom, and see where that takes me! The first thing I did was clean out my dresser drawers. I got rid of anything that I haven't worn in a year+, super raggedy old items, and things that I forgot that I even had. I immediately felt a sense of relief! I also added a few other things that are known for helping individuals reach certain goals. While I won't get into what I did, I will tell you that if certain things do happen, get ready to hear me preach about the practice!

the next book in line

Aside from all of my yin and yang talk, Easter is approaching and I am super excited! I can't wait to get in the kitchen and bake the day away. Nothing sounds more fun than that! Yes, I am crazy. I've decided to accept it and live with it. Last night, I spent about 2 hours in the grocery store purchasing all the items we need for our holiday feast. Holy produce, I don't think I have ever bought so many fruits and veggies in my entire life. Being that I absolutely love fruits and veggies, to me, a cart full of fresh produce was just absolutely fantastic!

While I was shopping, my tummy started grumbling, and everything in sight began to look delicious! I was a good girl, and didn't buy a SINGLE impulse item! But, I did decide that I should get myself something for dinner, and seeing as how my grocery store has a fresh sushi bar, well.. you know what happened there! I have purchased sushi from the store before, and I won't lie... I was not a fan. But I had a craving, and you know me and cravings! I did some browsing of my options, but this selection just kept poking out at me:

pretty sushi, too bad i'm gonna eat you

This particular roll had crab, avocado, and cucumber, drizzled with a spicy mayo (my favorite thing to eat on sushi). I picked up the first bite reluctant to eat it, remembering my other experiences with store-bought sushi. Much to my surprise, it was really good! Now, I would never in a million years compare it to any of the great sushi restaurants we've got here, but for HEB, I was absolutely satisfied, and would eat it again! Darn... I should have saved some for lunch! Hmph.

Happy Thursday guys! It's almost "Friday Friday, gotta get down on Friiiiiday!" Ok, I'll stop. See ya!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

smiling icecream

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hopefully your day is turning out to be a great one. Mine is, since today is my last event planning class! I am a little bittersweet about it, since I absolutely love learning, BUT this also means that I am (hopefully) in the running for a big girl job sometime soon! Eeek! Anybody need a wedding/event planner?? ;-P

My weekend was spent 100% lazy boned. I was a little disappointed, because I have been noticing myself being extremely restless lately. I have this constant need to be doing something, and with the weather being so beautiful lately, the urge is intensifying. I guess I've only got myself to blame for that one! I did manage to get some lounging sun time in though.

bugsy getting some sun with his mama

This week will be a bit busy for my brain, being that it will be constantly thinking of menu ideas for my family's Easter gathering this Sunday. I am super excited to spend some time with the people I love, and to munch down on some yummy food! My mother and I will be taking over the kitchen to make enough food for everyone, and I've finally decided on two kinds of cupcakes to make-- I can't wait to share everything with you guys!

Creepy Alert:

Last night, I was preparing my lunch for the following day, just as usual. As I was adding a few baby monster carrots to my salad, I noticed something a little odd. 

that's no baby carrot if i've ever seen one!

I laughed about it, and went on my way. Before I knew it, I noticed my mom struggling with the ice cream lid. With me having such huge muscles that I do, (heh, heh) I immediately wanted to help her get that sucker open. And sure enough, as soon I as I removed the lid, another something appeared a little odd.

happy ice cream

If that doesn't scream "EAT ME!", I don't know what else does! My mother and I laughed for a solid minute about this one. How cute is that little face?? We had a lot of trouble deciding whether or not to scoop into this bucket. But, I assured myself that I got a good picture of it, and that ice cream was meant for eating, and he'd be sad if we left him in the freezer to shiver. Right?? Riiight...

I'm definitely thinking of submitting this picture to Blue Bell! Great advertisement for them! You're welcome Blue Bell... now where's my cut?

Now I'm off to inspect the rest of my food. Later Gators!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

cupcake heaven

Alright guys, so if you know anything about me, you know of my love for cupcakes. Yes, I absolutely love to eat them, but more so, I love to make them! To me, baking is an art. Although I would not consider myself an artist, I do think that I can make and decorate a darn good dessert! I am a cupcake queen and have spent many a days dreaming of owning my own cupcake shop. (One day... one day...)

 panda cupcakes for the twin's 1st birthday

guitar cake for raymond's surprise 35th birthday party

Not too shabby, eh?

I recently mentioned some cupcakes that I made, and promised that I'd share them with you! I extracted this recipe from a blog I read, Sweet Tooth Sweet Life (you should definitely check it out!) I didn't have a box cake mix lying around, so I whipped up a little something from scratch! ;-) I used a standard chocolate cake recipe from Betty Crocker, and used the PB frosting (with a few changes) from the blog. The recipes are listed below.

mix together dry ingredients

add the wet ingredients

blended dry and wet together

divvy 'em up

add PB chips to the warm center.. drool

mmm.. frosting


purdy pretty

hello, my love

yes, i'm going to eat you

ooey-gooey center

Betty Crocket Chocolate Cake (makes 12 large cupcakes)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flower
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs

**bake for about 25-35 min.

STSL PB Frosting 
**I followed this recipe to a T-- and ran into quite a few issues. It was too dry, too sweet (tasted like pure powdered sugar), and there was enough "icing" for about 3 cupcakes. I added more of each ingredient until I got the desired consistency/taste/amount that I wanted. (Probably tripled the PB, and added just enough of the others to get a good consistency.)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of milk

All in all, these babies were just fantastic, and I will definitely be making them again, with a few more modifications.


PS: NEVER forget to lick the bowl!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

a sense of pride

I did it! I got up early today, and took my tooshy to the gym. GO ME! I woke around 6:30, with a fight to stay in bed bigger than I've ever felt. But, I won the battle, forced myself from my cozy bed, and was on the treadmill by 7:00! Boy am I glad I did it. I feel great, and accomplished. Most of all... I feel proud of myself. This was something I set my mind to do, and I made it happen. There is just something amazing about feeling proud of yourself, everyone should try it! :-) If I could feel this good every time I wake up before 9:00am, I'd do it every day!

My workout consisted of 50 minutes on the treadmill (most on high incline--walking is better for your joints than running). I covered about 3.5 miles, and worked up a nasty little sweat! I finished with some ab work.

Last night, since my class was canceled, I decided to take it easy and hang out with my pup, Bugsy. We lounged around on the couch, and watched trashy television, all while having a conversation with Raymond through picture texts. (Sending a picture with a caption of the facial expression you're making. Yeah-- we're mature)

But-- I wanted to share my dinner/dessert with you guys since it was sooo delish.. and super easy to throw together!

hello, cool whip!

multi-grain waffle, strawberries, coolwhip

yeah, i like to kiss my food :-p

This seriously is one of my favorite things to eat. You can eat it at any time of the day, and it is always tasty. PS: the only non-healthy ingredient is the cool whip! SO HA! Take that health gods!

I'm off to round up some little hooligan whipper snappers. Peace out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

make my day

I'm just gonna get down to it.

Yesterday. Just. Plain. Stunk.

It was just one of those days. I am pretty sure this was an all around the world crap-tastic day-- because Raymond, too, had a doo-doo day.

Nothing in particular made this day awful, just a series of annoyances combined with a big stressful to-do list. Needless to say, the list got accomplished, and everything calmed down.

PLUS, I got this in the mail.. (!!!!!!!!!!)

 arizona ranch sauce

All the way from Wisconsin, one of my dear friends Janna sent me a bottle of this stuff. I first tried this yummy sauce last summer at a BBQ, when Janna still lived here in Texas. She had recently gone home (Wisconsin), and brought some of this back. Unfortunately, she moved back, and took the sauce with her. :-( (I am more sad about her leaving, not the sauce.) 

 kelly, me, and janna summer 2010

I am one of those people that get super giddy and excited when I get mail (excluding bills)-- and seeing that this package be from Wisc., you can just imagine the joy I felt! I sure can't wait to smother some chicken wings with this stuff! Stay tuned for that post in the near future!

Today has been quite a bit better-- class even got canceled for this evening! I am little bittersweet about it, because I enjoy what I'm going to school for, but this just means that I get a night off and I've already planned myself a hot date with the gym. I can't wait!

See you guys manana!

Monday, April 11, 2011

little susie homemaker

Heeelllloooo & happy Monday! Let's make this a good week, mkay?

My weekend was just absolutely fantastic! I spent most of it cleaning and cooking... but loved every minute of it. What's gotten into me?!

After my usual Saturday morning spent on homework, I decided to make some to-die-for cupcakes, which I will share with you guys at a later time! ;-) (I've got to keep you coming back, even if it takes bribing you with dessert!)

Raymond and I had a great Saturday evening; consisting of dinner out and a movie double-date with some friends at the Alamo Draft House. While I was rooting to see Source Code, the boys wanted to see Sucker Punch. Needless to say, I was overruled. Fortunately, I was extremely pleased with the decision, because this movie was awesome! I had seen the previews a few times, but I guess I never really payed much attention to them, because going into the theater I had no idea what the movie was about. Turns out, it's about this super-hot girl that has to make her escape from a mental institution. The first thing I noticed about the movie was that I love love loved the soundtrack, and will absolutely be downloading it on iTunes! I highly recommend you see this movie!

After sleeping in on Sunday, I spent most of the day cleaning the kitchen, bedroom, and doing laundry-- all while watching a River Monsters marathon with Raymond. Love that show! This left Raymond with a need to fish, so we headed to a near by pond to dip our poles in the water. We didn't catch anything... but it was a very lovely, relaxing evening.

 my honey doin' his thang
 pretty pink pole my honey got me

I also got around to making my semi-homemade lasagna yesterday!

I used:
1 tub cottage cheese
1 tub ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. grated parmesean cheese
1 bag mozzarella cheese
1 lb. lean hamburger meat
9 lasagna noodles
1 jar tomato & basil sauce
fresh rosemary
garlic powder
italian spice blend (inc. thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, and a few other ingredients)
salt and pepper
**all spices used, were measured to my desired taste

 going to make for a delish meal!
While the noodles were boiling....

i mixed the cottage, ricotta, parmesean, and spices together 

i then cooked the hburger meat with s&p, garlic powder, and italian spices

add the sauce to the meat to heat

mmm cheesey!!

 layer noodles, cheese mix, mozz. cheese, meat sauce
(repeat 3 times)

top of with the rest of your mozzarella cheese & it's
ready for baking!

**before beginning, smear a bit of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan to prevent noodle stick-age
**after layering, bake for about 30 min. at 365, reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 15 min.

Are you ready for the final result?....


 is your mouth watering yet?

I am extremely proud of myself and how well it turned out! I think I asked Raymond about 15 times if he was sure he liked it. (I had to make sure! :-p)

Hope you guys have a good day! I'm gonna go play with this: