"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Friday, November 12, 2010



Is it just me, or is November already proving to be a long month? And I was off work yesterday (thank you to all the Veterans out there!), so my days are all messed up. Not to mention, I totally hate my outfit today. I’m just a mess all around.

Things I have done in the past week or so:
* Travel to ATL for work to hang out with Japanese
* Got a dress for the NYE wedding (Huge accomplishment. Surely I’ll still love it when the actual wedding rolls around, right?)
* Helped to give a party for B-I-L Peyton and Margaret
* Went to see Ray LaMontagne in Birmingham (swoon) *on that note, The Secret Sisters opened for my man Ray, and if you’ve never heard them before, check them out. Amazing.
* Bought tickets to the 12:02 a.m. showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (the book version of which I’m re-reading right now)

Hmmm… Now that I look at that list, it doesn’t seem all that busy. But trust me, for some reason it was. And now my left eye is twitching, which I found on WebMD to be a physical manifestation of stress and fatigue (it’s totally annoying and makes the page wiggle a little when I’m reading my HP). What? You thought I wasn’t allowed on WebMD anymore? I’ve grown, people.

But I digress…

I’ve got recipes for you! Here’s what I made for Peyton and Margaret’s party, along with Pumpkin Tarts and Autumn Salad

“Hot Dog” Cupcakes

Circus Peanuts (gag) – 1 per cupcake
Caramel squares – 1 per cupcake
Yellow frosting (for “mustard”; and red for ketchup if you’d like!)
Green gumdrops or Sour Patch Kids

For the bun, cut a wedge in the circus peanut. If the caramel is soft, roll it into a hot dog shape. If it's hard, first soften it in your hand or in a microwave for a few seconds (I had to microwave mine to soften. Just heat it for about 10 seconds at a time until work-able) Caution: the caramel can get hot!
Place the "hot dog" in the bun and squirt on a squiggly line of yellow icing.
Garnish with green gumdrop "relish," if you wish. Frost the cupcake with white icing, place the hot dog on top, and sprinkle on nonpareils.

**The biggest pain of this project was making the “relish.” It was nearly impossible to cut with a knife, and I ended up just using scissors to snip little bits, wiping the blades clean as needed. Also, you may notice I piped the frosting on the cupcakes instead of spreading. I somehow got it in my head that I was going to do it this way; it turned out great, but it uses WAAAAY more frosting that if you were spreading. Still, if you want to try this technique, I think it looks really nice. I actually looked all over the metro Jackson area for a pastry tip the perfect size, but I never found one. Enter the ghetto-fabulous piping method: I just emptied cans of frosting (ended up 1 can did about 10 cupcakes, and I went through 8 cans…yikes) into a gallon Ziploc bag and snipped the end off about ½ inch from the corner. Pipe the frosting in a swirl shape, and you’re in business! Looks just like Gigi’s! Well, maybe not JUST like Gigi’s, but still good. Lots of people asked if they were catered, so they really look good in person! Promise! And check out how cute the burger ones are, too!

Mini “Treasure” Brownies

1 box brownie mix (The actual recipe calls for made-from-scratch mix. Yeah, right. They don’t know me.)
Hershey Kisses Or Mini Peanut Butter Cups, 1 for each brownie (I made some of each)
Semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted, for drizzling
White chocolate morsels, melted, for drizzling

Put mini muffin liners in a mini muffin tin. Drop brownie batter in 2/3 or so full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. It is easy to overbake these and the edges get crispy and they tend to be a little dry; slightly underbaking is better. After removing from the oven, set to cool for 5 minutes then have your Hershey’s Kisses (any variety you like) or you can use mini peanut butter cups (my favorite!) and press into the center of each brownie. Let cool a little longer and then take out of the pan. Cool completely and melt chocolate chips and white chocolate in separate Ziploc baggies. Cut a small bit off one corner of bag and squeeze in a zig-zag design over each brownie. Let dry and put in containers to keep fresh.

**I wish I’d kept count of how many 1 box of mix made, but I didn’t. My bad. Seems like it was about 40 per box or so. Also, I didn’t melt the chocolate in the Ziploc bags – I melted them in a bowl in the microwave and then put the melted chocolate in a bag. Snip off a tiny corner first and if you need to go bigger, you can. I drizzled the white chocolate first and then the semi-sweet.

I have a crafty project planned for this weekend, so if it turns out ok, I’ll share later. If it looks like a Bible School project, I’ll just pretend I never mentioned it to you.

Have a sweet weekend!


Anisa said...

Those are SUCH cute cupcakes. Circus peanuts make me gag too, but I totally would've eaten the cupcake part. Yum.

Rachel at The Inspired House.org said...

Mmm those look so delish and also soo cute! I'm trying to find a dress for a wedding also, why is it always so hard??

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