Sweet Stephee T's

 

 

Cupcakes seem to be all the rage these days.  I haven’t caught on to why exactly that is.  Maybe because they are small and cute, like a puppy.  I’m not sure.  I know my family had a brief affair with the insanity.  Even making special trips with a car load of children to run in and buy a high priced confection just to drive all the way back home to eat it.  By special trip I mean a good 45 minute to one hour drive, one way.  We even attempted to mix a makeup party and cupcake party.  Get pretty, eat pretty.

 

Unfortunately, an illness prevented the party from taking place after all of our researching, shopping, and baking.  And let me tell you, there are MANY different cupcake recipes floating around out there.  It’s no longer mixing up your favorite cake mix and dumping it into muffin cups.  NO WAY!

 

I’ve admitted my new found obsession with Pinterest in a previous post.  While wasting a few hours researching ideas for a new post today, I saw a cupcake photo.  I wanted to dismiss it because I am just plain sick of the hype.  But I realized they were kind of ugly.  So I clicked.  I’m intrigued.  It takes me to a place where Ming Makes Cupcakes.  Not only does Ming make them, Ming doesn’t bother to give them fancy names.  They have numbers.  You have 33 unique cupcake recipes to look through and possibly try.  What’s even better is they look like anyone can make them.  They don’t have an ingredient list longer than your femur.  Most cupcake recipes online come with a photo that makes you already feel defeated.  Not Ming’s.  I’m going to pick a few and try them.  With the holidays approaching, I may be taking cupcakes to gatherings as a treat.

 

I cannot decorate a cake, a cupcake, or a pancake.  My mother and my sister can.  I used to skip anything that was pretty thinking I couldn’t make it pretty, so why try.  But don’t feel that way.  Appearance and taste are two different things.  In most cases.  My desserts are usually ugly, but they are delicious.  If my dessert is attractive, I either paid for it, or forgot a key ingredient.  With one exception.  The cupcakes I made for our party that went bust.  I mixed and matched cupcake and frosting recipes, and had some very cute liners.  I’ll share photos and the recipes a below.  I used what I had at home, which was Nutella and basic pantry ingredients.  I don’t keep decorating tools, and I used a freezer bag to ice the cupcakes.  See, we can all be creative and pop out something tasty and pretty!

 

 

Stephee’s Nutella Cupcakes


Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 3/4 c Nutella
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
Beat Nutella and butter for 5 minutes.  Add vanilla, then alternate between adding powdered sugar and milk.  You may need to refrigerate the buttercream before piping for best results.  Milk can be substituted with heavy whipping cream.
Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1  3/4 c flour (I use self rising with no trouble on this recipe)
  • 1  1/4 sticks, or 10 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 jar Nutella
Preheat oven to 325* and line muffin pan with liners.  Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla, then flour.  Mix everything EXCEPT NUTELLA until well blended.  The mixture will be thick.
Use an ice cream scoop and fill the liners with the batter, about 3/4 full.  Top each cupcake batter with a dollop of Nutella.  I used about 2 Tbsp, though the recipe called for 1/2 tsp.  Trust my dollop.  Use a toothpick and try to swirl the Nutella into the batter.  Nutella is thick and it’s not going to give much, so it’s okay.  Just spread what you can.
Bake for 20 minutes.
You can serve these without the buttercream, as a self frosting cupcake.  I like them that way.  But I was shooting for fancy so let’s keep going.
Allow cupcakes to cool.  Prepare buttercream (or take out of fridge).  If you have all the fancy tools, go crazy and pipe away.  Me.  I don’t.  I pulled out my Ziploc freezer bag, filled it with the frosting, cut off a corner, then I piped on the frosting.  I also had some pretty sugar crystals leftover from a birthday party and some Hazelnut Lindor truffles in my pantry.  I said I was trying to be fancy.  So I topped my buttercream with some sprinkles and a truffle.
No one got to eat my fancy, pretty cupcakes except my 8 and 10 year old daughters.  They enjoyed them immensely.  I shared the photos on my Facebook page because they were pretty for me.  I’m not into the cupcakes myself.  I don’t care for the frosting.  But I tasted  the cake and it was very, very good.  So TRY IT!
Before Frosting
After Frosting

I just made an online purchase.  I have an e-mail I can forward anyone with a $5 off an in store purchase, or a code for 10% off an online purchase.  Comment if you want it!

 

Stephee

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They are  Coastal Contacts and you should check them out.  They also have killer prices on prescription sunglasses and other eye wear.  Click.  Shop.  Save.  I sure did!  My friend April passed this information along to me, and if she wants credit for this find, I’ll certainly crown her Queen on this!

Stephee

  • 16 oz oyster crackers
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 packet Ranch seasoning
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Store in an airtight container.  Allow to sit for at least an hour before serving.  Great snack or party food.  Delicious when used with taco soup recipe.
Stephee

Meat Mixture

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
Pastry Ingredients
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/3 c shortening
  • 4-6 Tbsp milk

Fry meat with onion, salt and pepper.  Drain.  Stir in soup and flour.  Cook until thickened.  Stir in sour cream, and remove from heat.  Prepare pastry by mixing flour and shortening with a fork until crumbly.  Slowly add milk until dough holds.  Press over bottom of a casserole dish, building to about 1″ high.  Spoon in meat mixture and top with slices of cheese.  Bake at 375* until cheese bubbles and just starts to brown.

Stephee

  • 1 deep dish unbaked pie shell
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c melted butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325*.  Beat eggs until foamy.  Add flour and sugars.  Beat until well blended, then beat in butter.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour into shell and bake for one hour.  Watch the center to make sure it’s done, sometimes it needs a little longer.

Stephee

My soup is more of a chili.  This can be made in a short time on the stove, or simmered all day in a slow cooker.  It is also a great recipe to separate and freeze for use later.1 lb ground beef, cooked with taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 packet taco seasoning
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 regular can diced tomatoes, or Rotel if you want an extra kick
1 can each of the following:
dark red kidney bean, light red kidney bean, whole kernel corn, black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, pinto beans, chili beans.  Drain beans, but not corn or tomatoes.  Mix all ingredients together and let simmer as long as you can (preferably in a slow cooker or Crock Pot rather than on the stove) for all ingredients to absorb.  Serve with tortilla or corn chips and shredded cheese.This recipe is very easy to tweak to your personal tastes.  Sometimes I add fiesta corn or white corn, add extra black beans.  If you want a more liquid type recipe, you can leave out some of the beans and add water.  You can also use chicken or ground turkey instead of ground beef.
Also consider making our Ranch Oyster Crackers to go along with this. It’s a tasty addition.

I hope you enjoy!

Stephee

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