Monday, August 31, 2015

Dessert Week! Starting out with Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

This past weekend, we celebrated my college roommate, Chelsea, getting married. I was on desserts for the shower and it turns out they were a hit. 

I'm so glad I didn't have to bring a single leftover home.There is nothing worse for a low carb diet then desserts, but I'm proud of myself. I didn't eat one thing! Well if you don't count me having to taste everything while I was baking (who serves something they haven't tried!?! Not this girl.)


This week I will go over the 3 recipes that I created for the shower!


So we will start the week out with a bang and a Cherry Limeade Cupcake.

In college we would hit up Sonic for happy hour. I would always go with the orange slush and Chelsea always got a cherry limeade. I decided to go with her favorite drink flavor profile for a cupcake!


Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Lime Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients indicated on the back of the box
3 limes
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cherry Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened 
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1-3 teaspoons sugar free cherry jello
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Lime Simple Syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water

This recipe is pretty simple. You need to preheat your oven to whatever temperature it indicates, mine was 350.

I zested 3 limes and set it to the side. Make sure you just zest the green skin, we don't want the bitter white part!

You will need to have a white cake mix that calls for water. My mix specifically required 1 1/4 cup of water. I only used 1 cup of water and did 1/4 cup lime juice. it was about 2 1/2 limes. Finish your batter the way your instructions indicated and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla and your lime zest.

Now you can make it into your cupcakes. Only fill your liners 1/2 full. This will allow you to get 24 cupcakes. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out my cupcakes!

Bake according to your box directions.

Next we make our simple syrup! To make a simple syrup you just need to add equal amounts of liquid and sugar to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. This will dissolve the sugar and reduce into a syrup. In our case we used lime juice and sugar!

Just set it to the side to cool.

While your cupcakes are baking you can work the butter cream. Cream your butter and powdered sugar together and add the teaspoon of vanilla. Then I added the 3 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice. I tasted the mixture and decided it wasn't cherry enough. 

I then started adding a teaspoon at a time of sugar free cherry jello. This allowed me to get a more intensive cherry flavor and a nice pink color without any food coloring. You can determine how intense you want your flavor!


I allowed the cupcakes to cool on a baking rack. Once cool, I brushed the tops with our lime simple syrup. This gives an extra kick of lime flavor while keeping the cakes moist.

I allowed the buttercream to sit in the fridge while the cupcakes completely cooled. Pull your buttercream out a little before you want to use it and top your cupcakes. I used a star tip to fancy mine up a bit, but these would taste good with the buttercream just slapped right on!


I decorated the cupcakes with a wedge of lime and a maraschino cherry!

I'm so happy for Chelsea and her new hubby to be! November will be here before we know it! I'm glad I could be a part of leading up to her special day.

I hope you enjoy.


Until next time,


Kara

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday is here again! This week Indiana weather has been amazing! We have had a couple days where the high was in the mid 70's. This means the evenings were cool and comfortable. It really got me looking forward to fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year. Sweatshirts, apple stuff, cooking, decorating, holidays, football, and family. I cannot wait!

We haven't had a ton going on, but let's catch up!

The Hubby and my birthdays are coming up soon, so we decided to buy a set of corn hole boards. 


It's something we enjoy doing, but have never had our own set. We found some bags with USI on them. I was super pumped to get them!


Golf season is about halfway over! Crazy how much time flies! I can't wait until the Hubby isn't so busy! 

I'm still going strong on my low carb diet. Some days are better than others, but I think I can see some difference in myself. I did fit in a size large shirt this week. I feel like that's a mini success!


Since it's Wednesday, we all need something cute to get us through the day... here's a Bella cat!



Until next time,

Kara

Monday, August 24, 2015

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

I have officially been on a low carb diet for over a month now. It's actually a lot easier than I ever expected it to be. The worst part is not really getting to bake and eat desserts!

My favorite vegetable has always been potatoes. I could eat them baked, mashed, fried, boiled.... you get my drift, so it's no surprise that this is one vegetable that I have missed while trying to eat my low carb diet. 

I have seen the cauliflower recipes on Pinterest to substitute for potatoes. I decided to try it. It was a pretty good success. I don't think it will ever replace my love of potatoes, but it's a good stand in!



Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Cauliflower
Sour Cream
Bacon, cooked & crumbled
Cheese, shredded
Butter
Green Onions, chopped
Milk or chicken stock

This recipe is really easy and adaptable depending on how many people you are feeding. Since I was just making enough for myself, I used between 1/4-1/2 head of cauliflower. I would use a whole head for 3-4 people.



Chop the cauliflower into small florets and toss into boiling water. Cook until tender (my test is being able to easily insert a knife).

Drain the cauliflower in a colander and I like to toss it back into the hot pan to help with excess moisture.

Toss into your blender with a spoonful of sour cream and tablespoon of butter. Pulse, if too thick, add a splash of milk or stock. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.



I like to top mine with shredded cheese, green onions, crumbled bacon, and a small dash of sour cream.

I was really happy with how this turned out! Hopefully this will help me keep on track and I tried a new vegetable! Look at me go!

Until next time,

Kara

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Guest Room Redo on a Budget

In our Monday catch up, I talked about living in our house for 4 years. My sister had been living with us for the past year, so when she moved out into her own apartment, I decided to decorate the guest room.



Let's just say the room before was pretty boring! It was a hodge-podge of hand me downs.

I decorated and updated the room for under $35. I think it looks awesome!


I used a leftover gallon of paint from when we remodeled our rental property. Check out that post here.

I didn't do a whole lot when it came to decorating, but I found a couple things at Goodwill, like the lamp, the black vase, and the little bird all for under $8.


I spray painted the lamp base and bird and I hand painted the lamp shade. It was in rough shape, but now you would never know! Don't mind the frame without a picture in it! I haven't decided if I will put a picture or saying in it yet.

I redid the dresser a couple years ago, so I choose to decorate the room around the bright red color. 

I made a couple pieces of artwork to tie in the red, white, black, and silver colors.


The best deal of all was when I found this black and white comforter on Walmart.com for $13 and change.... talk about a find! I got the red accent pillow for under $5 at Wal-Mart. 


Otherwise, all the accessories I pulled from around my house. I think it looks great and cost us next to nothing!


Hopefully our future guests will enjoy the room!

Until next time,

Kara

Monday, August 10, 2015

It's Monday...Let's Catch Up!

Monday is back again. I just feel like it always knows how to sneak up on us! Friday doesn't ever decide it wants to sneak up. It takes it's merrily good time to get here.

We have had a busy week. School is back in session and golf season has started. It's a really busy 6 weeks for the Hubby. We are busy every Saturday until the end of September with golf!

We have lived in our house about 4 years. My sister had been living with us for the past year as she went to school. She recently moved into her own apartment and I decided it was time to paint and redecorate the guest room since we never did anything to it since we moved in. 



This is a before picture. I am still waiting on a couple things in order to post my after pictures!

I haven't been posting very many recipes lately because I have been on a diet. Talk about bummer. I really want to be baking all kinds of stuff, but brownies and low carb do not really go together.



I have been doing the diet since the middle of July. I can tell a little bit of difference in my cheeks, but hopefully I'll start to see more and more.

I have been working on a menu for my college roommate's bridal shower. I am in charge of desserts. 

Here is a dessert menu I created. (ps. this is NOT LOW CARB). It'll be all I can do just to test these out and not devour them!




The cat's have been really busy too. Why buy toys or expensive pet beds when you can play with a golf tee or sleep in a Scene It? box???



Until next time,

Kara


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Happy Hump Day!

It's Wednesday! Hooray! School started back this week, so the Hubby is busy, busy, busy.

I feel like halfway through the week I am looking for a good laugh. I feel like The Office never fails to accomplish that.



I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Until next time,

Kara