Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strawberry Peppermint Twist Cupcakes!

I made these cupcakes to take to my neighborhood Christmas get-together tomorrow. My friend/neighbor Julie is hosting the get-together and asked me to make these after she found the recipe at They were definitely a challenge because I've never made any kind of cupcakes that had a filling. These cupcakes are originally titled "Strawberry Preserve Cupcakes", but I added the festive touch of peppermint, pearls and sprinkles! They are moist, and the strawberry preserve filing is a nice surprise! I made the frosting from scratch, from the same recipe of the pumpkin cupcakes recipe I posted earlier this week. I added a touch a red food coloring to make it a light pink. I even had to give them my own original name because I thought they came out so cute! Enjoy!


Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

1 package of moist strawberry cake mix
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
2 muffin pans
24 paper baking cups

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 muffin pans with paper baking cups.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs and water.
Stir with a spoon and/or whisk until well blended.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.
Using a spoon, make a slight indentation in the center of each cup; fill with a heaping 1/2 teaspoonful of strawberry preserves.
Spoon remaining batter evenly over each filled cup; covering preserves. (Muffin cups should be about 3/4 full).
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If toothpick goes through preserves, it will not come out clean.
Cool for 1 minute and remove from pan. Cool completely before adding icing and toppings as desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3 Year Wedding Anniversary!

Can you believe we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary already?! Me either! It's very cliche, but it's true..... 3 years has gone by with a blink of an eye. We have gone to many places through out all this time...who would have thought we'd move to North Carolina? And we NEVER predicted moving to Georgia! It's amazing all that we have been through, but I wouldn't change a thing. Marriage has really opened our eyes and opened our hearts with so much experience and we have grown so much more in love TOGETHER because of it. I LOVE BEING MARRIED to my husband!

We didn't plan to go all out this year like we have in the past. First, because times are tough economically right now as you can imagine with only one of us working. And secondly, because we were going to Miami for our Thanksgiving trip the very next day. So, we decided that we'd cook dinner TOGETHER after Ronnie came home from work and just enjoy a quiet night with champagne, dinner and dessert and NO TV! I had a hard time thinking of what we could make for dinner, so I went to TWITTER and my Twitter friends recommended we make a homemade pizza together...and that's what we did. We enjoyed Mozzarella and Basil pizza (our favorite), red wine and strawberries with chocolate for dessert. And I wouldn't have had it any other way right now in our life!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Some of my friends asked me about the Pumpkin Cupcakes I made for my Thanksgiving dinner in Miami. I found the recipe here. I love pumpkin! This has definitely become one of my favorite holiday treats. They were so great because they were also so easy to serve and clean up for a big family gathering. These will impress everyone at your next event. They are so delicious! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients:
· 2 cups canned pumpkin
· 2/3 cup oil
· 2 cups granulated sugar
· 1/2 cup milk
· 2 tsp. vanilla extract
· 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 tsp. baking powder
· 1 tsp. baking soda
· 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
· 1/4 tsp. each – ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
· 1/2 tsp. salt
Frosting Ingredients:
· 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
· 4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
· 4 cups powdered sugar
· 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Gently whisk by hand until just combined, don’t use an electric mixer or over mix the batter as it may become too gummy. Fill liners with 1/4 cup batter (cups should be approximately 2/3 full). Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thanksgiving in Miami!

It was so great to head home to Miami for Thanksgiving with my family. I haven't been home since May, so I was super relieved and excited to go there. We had a great time catching up with friends. My stepdad cooked an amazing meal, that included the traditional Cuban roasted pig! My mom and I made pumpkin cupcakes and it was hit! Although, I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to, it was still so good to be home, even if it was just a little while. Here are some pics of our dinner. We went to Miami the week before Thanksgiving, so we could split the time to be with Ronnie's family in NC on Thanksgiving.

My Grandmother and us.
Table setup.
My brothers, mom, grandmother, and I.
The pig, my stepfather and my brother, Mike.
My brothers, stepbrothers and their wives!
My big, fat, Cuban family!

Finally, my pumpkin cupcakes! Cute, right? They were delicious!

Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!

Ronnie and I shopped for our Christmas tree on thanksgiving weekend. That's the earliest in the season we've ever gotten one. We searched online and found that we had several authentic tree farms nearby. We were super excited! We went to one about 10miles from our house and it was straight out of a story book! They had beautiful ones and it was hard to choose. They even had trees as tall as 12 feet high! They served cider and hot chocolate for free and sold other festive treats. I loved it and I can just imagine how much fun it will be to go there with a little family of our own! We got our biggest tree to 8 footer! And it took us about 2 days to decorate! We used all o our ornaments, and only had to buy extra garland. It was so much work, but definitely worth it. We have friends visiting at the end of the month and I'm sure they will enjoy it! Here are a few pics of our trip to the tree farm! I'll post pics of our tree soon.

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