Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DIY: Cupcake Toppers

When Megan decided to throw Josey & Thomas a baby shower for their soon-to-be new edition Kingston, I immediately wanted to make cup cake toppers. How can you not incorporate some fun crown decor with a regal name like that? This was my first attempt at DIY cupcake toppers so I thought I would share how fun and easy they are. For all the wonderful shower pics from more pictures go to Megan & Tim's site

Circle Cutter - or you can just use scissors if you have a steady hand
Card stock or scrap book paper (I had books of paper samples from college I used )
tooth picks
glue stick
super glue or hot glue gun

1. Pick a design. I designed my own but if you aren't a graphic designer, no worries you can always do a simple Word monogram or find something online (or ask a designer friend). Mine are 1.5 X 1.5 square.

2. Print as many on a page as you need - I did 30 to be safe for my 2 dozen cupcakes

3. Cut out your designs and set aside.

I used a circle cutter but you can also just free style cut them with scissors.

4. Cut out the cardstock into 2 inch square pieces in double the amount of designs you printed. You will need 2 pieces per design.

5. Cover one card stock piece with glue stick and put super glue (or hot glue) in the middle. Place the toothpick down the center. Then top with the other piece of card stock.

6. cover the back of your paper design with glue stick and adhere to your cardstock/toothpick sandwich :)

7. Let dry for about an hour and Tadah you have some toppers!

Lay out to dry until you are ready to use

8. Now just make some cupcakes and ice them (I used my icing bag and tips to give the icing more depth) and put your new toppers on.

The Sky is the limit on paper size, shape and design and my instructions are just a starting point, have fun!

Shoutouts to Megan Weaver (for the circle cutter), Megan Johnson for pics and hosting and Thomas & Josey for getting preggers!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

My two favorite dudes

Kitchen Experiments: Creamy Cauliflower Baked Macaroni

Coming in at a close second after PB as my favorite foods of all time, is the decadent...ooey gooey perfection that is Mac N Cheese. These days it isn't just a .99 cent box of shells & cheese but variations that stretch all lengths of the imagination. This recipe was particularly appealing since it is healthy and sneaks in some veggie servings. I found it while browsing pinterest and was originally posted on Healthy Food for Living (their pictures sold me!)


  •     2 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) stock
  •     2 dried bay leaves
  •     1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into large florets
  •     8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni (I used Rotini instead)
  •     3/4 cup freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  •     2 Tbsp blue cheese, crumbled
  •     2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  •     2 tsp coarse ground (or Dijon) mustard
  •     hot sauce, to taste, optional (I used 2 tsp)
  •     Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •     1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  •     1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  •     1 Tbsp salted butter or margarine, melted

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

 Step 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in the cauliflower florets and boil for 25 minutes, or until very soft.

Step 3. Meanwhile, bring the stock and bay leaves to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off heat.

Step 4. When the cauliflower is done, remove from the boiling water using a strainer or slotted spoon, and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add macaroni to boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
Every time I cook, Bowie cheers me on....or maybe he is just waiting for spills :)
Step 5. Meanwhile, add the stock (minus the bay leaves), cheddar cheese, blue cheese, olive oil, mustard, and hot sauce to the cauliflower in the food processor. Process until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and more hot sauce if desired. 

Step 6. Place drained macaroni back into the pot and add in the cauliflower cheese sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Step 7. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter or margarine, grated Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs. Mix with a fork or your fingertips until combined. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni.

Step 8. Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sir Elton does Springfield

2 concerts in one week, yes please!
This time it was Elton John with the rents. Here are a few of the pictures and couple videos too.



Rock N Ribs

Another year another Rock N Ribs VIP night. Once again it was FREEZING!
We started the night at Amigo's (a tradition of course) and tried to stay out of the cold as long as possible

We stay entertained by making hair mustaches.

Lura and I trying to stay warm under the Rotary Tent

We give up...off to FLO for sushi and the juke box

Thursday, April 14, 2011

St. Louis Weekend with the fam

What a lovely weekend! My two sisters, John and I made a trip up to St. Louis for the Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Nicki Manaj and Travis Barker concert. Saturday we stayed with my Aunt Jules and Uncle Scott  and  cousin Meghan and Erin. Sunday at their church they did a special memorial service for my grandma since it has been 6 months since she passed.  We got to see her burial site for the first time. After, we headed downtown for lunch with my college roommate Melton and her husband at Schafly Bottle Works. Then headed to our hotel in downtown St. Louis. The concert was so much fun and it was just nice to spend some time with my sisters and family.
Here is clip of travis barker from another city but same set: http://www.viddler.com/explore/famoussas/videos/165/

washington street for dinner before the show

family tradition of taking pictures in elevators

John and I at Union Station

Dinner at Rosalita's

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kitchen Experiments: Lasagna Stacks

I have noticed lately my recipes have been very green...zucchini, pesto bread and now lasagna stacks with lots of spinach. Green recipes must suck me in, at least you know they are healthy. This Recipe takes a little more time than my usual ones but was a big hit. And it's the most dangerous one I have attempted since I sliced my finger open with a knife. John had to finish it out for me because i passed out...no joke, lost a lot of blood but nothing super glue couldn't fix. Be Careful while cutting!

Lasagna Stacks
I found this recipe from The Creative Mama
I substituted Spinach for the Arugala


1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (6-ounce) package frozen spinash - thawed
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 (7-ounce) container pesto
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  

Step 2: Brush 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil all over the surface of a baking sheet.

Step 3: Place the lasagna noodles in a large pan and cover with boiling water.  

Step 4: Let the noodles soak for 10 minutes.

Step 5: While the noodles are soaking, put the thawed out spinach in a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel.  Microwave until it is wilted, about 3 minutes.

Step 6: Mix together the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, lemon zezt, egg, and pesto.  Season with a pinch of salt (the cheese is very salty so go easy) and pepper.

Step 7: Drain the spinach and get out the excess water. Add to the ricotta cheese mixture.

Step 8: Take the noodles out of the water and drain onto a kitchen towel.  

Step 9: Lay 4 sheets of pasta onto your baking sheet.  

Step 10: Spread 1/4 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture on the pasta and top with a bit of the mozzarella cheese.  

Step 11: Add another layer of pasta and repeat.  

Step 12: Top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and a little fresh pepper.

Step 13: Bake for about 10 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and bubbly.  

Introducing....our new Antique Buffet

As some of you know my antiquing outings lately have been centered around one major thing....a Buffet/Hutch. We inherited some vintage china and glassware and have had no wear to store/show it off. John has also been dreaming of a bar area. All new pieces like this are extremely pricing and not in the look we want, we love personality in our furnishings. After 2 months of searching I found it...a vintage kitchen cabinet in gorgeous mahogany with an open up bar area. I found this gem from a local antique shop, I was even able to talk them down from their asking price. The details are just divine!