October 22, 2011

Chai Tea Pumpkin Cupcakes!!!

Chai Tea Pumpkin Cupcakes!!!


I am the BIGGEST fan of fall and with fall comes 'spice cake' flavors!  I was hosting a team dinner for my daughter's Cheerleading Squad with another mom and needed to come up with a dessert!  I wanted a recipe that was SUPER easy and Halloween/Pumpkin themed for fun!  This is my story.....

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Remember:  I needed super easy so I pass this one on down to you :)

1 box of yellow cake mix  (I said easy...we are just adding extra and different ingredients than they call for)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup Chai Tea Concentrate
2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
3 eggs

1 16 oz can of Cream Cheese Frosting
Fresh Mint leaves
12 Large (in thickness) pretzels
Red Food Coloring
Yellow Food Coloring

I started with this....no joke....and wanted to change it up a bit for the fall flavors. 

Preheat your oven to the temperature on YOUR yellow cake mix box.

** Brands are not important to me...these were just on sale**

 Here is how I bought the Chai Tea Concentrate....

NOTE:  We live in Oregon...Hee Hee!  But you could use any concentrate available in your local grocery store.

I add all my dry ingredients together and whisk with a metal spoon.  Then I add my wet ingredients and continue whisking until mixed thoroughly.  

I bought white baking cups so I wouldn't have to worry about the colors matching and I could use them again for ANY occasion!

I know they say to use an ice cream scoop for your batter to make all the cupcakes the same size...but my ice cream scoop isn't that kind of scoop with the slider thing in it.  So I just use a spoon and TRY my hardest to make it even in each cup...but it's always a little varied :)  Bake them for as long as YOUR yellow cake mix box says to for cupcakes (HINT:  I always use the lowest time they say to keep them moist - for instance - if it says 19-23 min...I only cook 19 minutes and take them out) 

**Here's what they look like when they come out of the oven**

Take them out of the cupcake tin and cool them COMPLETELY!

Empty your can of Cream Cheese frosting into a mixing bowl.  Start by adding 1 teaspoon of red food coloring and 1 teaspoon of yellow food coloring.  

If it's too peachy?  Add more red.  If it's too red....and more yellow.  Mix thoroughly.

Now frost your hearts out!  I used a wooden toothpick to make the pumpkin (veins) as I went. 

Next - cut the ends of each side of your pretzels so you can use them as stems.

They should be about a half inch in length once you cut them.....

And then....grab your mint leaves.  I used the smaller or medium sized ones  proportionate to the cupcake :)

**I put the stem under the pretzel as I was creating them.

You will end up with a CHAI TEA PUMPKIN CUPCAKE...LIKE THIS!!!


THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY MY BLOG AND I HOPE YOU ENJOY!  I would love to hear YOUR comments and all about YOUR cooking adventures :) 

October 20, 2011

Get Well Soon Basket!

Get Well Soon Basket!

So I don't know about you but when I am sick.....it seems like SUCH an inconvenience and it's got to be SUPER SICK to get me to actually take down time and relax!  Well, when the SUPER SICK happens -- it feels good to have people care about you!

Welcome to my BLOG!  And thank you for stopping by!  I would love it if you would click on 'follow' to become a follower in the side bar and you can find me on FACEBOOK too!

My good friend and exercise partner in crime recently got sick - SUPER SICK!  I wanted to help in some way and felt so tied at the hands as we all often do when wanting to help.  I myself don't usually even TAKE help when offered and I KNOW  I'm not the only one.  Well THIS time...I wanted to make sure my friend at least knew how much I love her while she is down with Pnemonia!

I pulled this together without going to the store...only because I keep most of this stuff on hand...FOR JUST THIS REASON!

I started with a basket I had around the house and a tea cup and saucer.  My mom broke a tea cup out of this set and was getting rid of the rest of the set at our garage sale so I snatched them up!  I had NO idea what I would do thought I would figure something out!

Add a few tea bags wrapped in wax paper and some left over ribbon I had around the house...  

Next, I pulled out my tags left over from my SPICE GARDEN IN THE KITCHEN project and wrote a simple 'Get Well Soon' on the front.  On the back I just did the traditional TO/From and filled in the info.

I just tied it on the front of the basket with the same left over ribbon I used for the tea bags.

I decided to put a loaf of bread in the bread machine since it goes so well with tea...and I had a new recipe with dried cranberries I wanted to try anyway.  The bread loaf came out BEAUTIFUL!  (And from what I hear...delicious)

I just wrapped it in wax paper like I did the tea bags...and tied with the same ribbon!

NOW...what goes with bread and tea??  JAM!  But what in the world would I put it IN???

Question of the day...."What can I do with an empty BABY FOOD jar and a can of CHALK BOARD PAINT"??

Why fill it with JAM of course!  I ABSOUTELY LOOOOOVE HOW THIS TURNED OUT!  Adorned with the same left over ribbon of course......

Line your basket with tissue paper and then place everything in the basket and --- there you have it!

Regrets:  Next Time I would....
1)  Add some fresh flowers to match the ribbon and in neutral colors (it needs life)
2)  I would use tea bags without wrappers...maybe fresh tea leaves put in tea bags at home
3)  I would add Honey Sticks.  You can get them cheap...I might just hang on to some for future reference.

All in all -- it was the thought that counted I guess but I am truly happy my dear friend Kim is feeling better finally!

NOW!  WHO did YOU make this basket for??


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