Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I am part of a club in my ward where a bunch of sisters get together once a month to teach each other a skill.  One of the ladies makes amazing cupcakes, and we asked her to teach us her secrets.  I made a batch, and I thought I would share her advice.

Buy any type/flavor of cake mix you want for your cupcakes.
Sift the mix before adding wet ingredients.
Make as directed on box, but at 10 degrees cooler and for less time than listed on box (you may need to experiment with this).
Do not use the high altitude directions!
Try to get the amount of batter per cup the same for each cupcake. Heather recommends using a cookie dough/ice cream scoop.

1 box raspberry Junket (or a prepared fruit glaze if Junket is not available)
Frozen raspberries

Prepare the Junket, and add the frozen raspberries while still hot. Whisk the raspberries around to separate them.

Peanut butter/Chocolate Ganache
½ pint heavy whipping cream
1 ½ bags peanut butter chips (or chocolate chips, or a Symphony bar)

Microwave the cream for 1.5-2 minutes. Add the peanut butter chips/chocolate and whisk until smooth. Be patient! This may take a while.

Use a small squeeze bottle with narrow tip to fill the cupcakes while they are still warm. Fill the cupcakes until they “poof” a tiny bit at the top. Be careful that you don’t split the top!
Leave plenty of time between filling the cupcakes and eating them, to allow the ganache time to set.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar to desired sweetness/consistency.
The leftover ganache or fruit filling can be added to the frosting for flavoring.

Use a piping bag and tip to swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Share and Enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

 We have been out of town for a little over a week.  My father-in-law is in the ICU and not doing very well, so we have been visiting him in Billings, MT.  We had to rush up to Billings pretty quickly.  Luckily, a lady in our ward lives in our apartment complex, and I was able to dash over to her house before we left to ask her if she could water my plants while we were gone.  She is a fellow plant lover, and she did a great job watering.  I think my plants do better when I am not here. 
Jasmine, Ivy, Bacopa, Asparagus Fern, Petunias, and Coleus.  
 My Jasmine is doing really well.  I have more blooms on it than I've ever had before.  The smell is so lovely.  I can smell it from upstairs if I have the windows open. 

 These containers have really taken off.  I have Geraniums, Dracena, and Sweet Potato Vine in them.  They are loving the sun as long as they get A LOT of water. 

 Sweet Potato Vine, Petunia, one I don't know, and my Lady Banks Rose in the back.  I only got two blooms on the rose bush, so I was kind of disappointed about that.  I think the fact that I have to overwinter it inside messes things up.  I am growing a dwarf orange tree and two pineapples on the bottom level. 
 The only vegetables we attempted this year.  Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.
 I love sitting back there. 
The one pot I have by our front door.  This contains shade lovers since the porch never gets any direct sun.  Dracena, Heuchera, and Begonia.

I just wanted to document these before it gets too late in the season and the flowers don't look as nice.  Who knows, we could have snow tomorrow.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

 Stella can finally go to nursery!  It's a month early, but our primary president made an exception.  She changed up the primary classes so that Phillip and I no longer teach together.  It would have been kind of difficult to wrestle Stella and teach a class, so she let Stella go to nursery.   
 My kids do not pose well for pictures.  Phillip thought she would hold still better if she had a rubber duck in her hand.  She just tried to eat it. 
 And this is a lovely pose. 
 Brad was hovering nearby the entire time I took pictures of Stella.  He wanted to jump into the picture.  This only happens when I tell him I don't want to take a picture of him. 
We have been so excited for Stella to go to nursery, but after church, Phillip told me he had missed having Stella in class.  He said the same thing when Bradford went to nursery.  I had no such feelings of sadness.   

Monday, July 8, 2013

 We just got home from our trip to the Bundy Reunion.  Andee turned one on Wednesday, so we celebrated her birthday while we were out there. 

 Aunt Mattie tried to teach Brad how to rope. 
 He ended up doing a lot of fishing instead of roping. 
 And he also thought it was more fun to just sit on the steer. 

 Sil and Brad.  Brad wasted no time in getting dirty. 
 Playing in the gravel with Mckinley. 
 This is a funny picture of Stella, but I thought it was good of my dad. 
 We roasted smores on Friday night. 
 We were all pretty much disgustingly dirty at this point. 
 Saturday morning we tried to take a picture of all the grand-kids in their reunion t-shirts.  This is about how cooperative they were.  My kids were the worst.  Brad looked away on purpose for every picture I tried to take. 

 Brad loved teasing Mattie and Chantry.  He kept kissing Mattie.  I think he was trying to get at Chantry.  Chantry was a good sport. 

 I was so proud of Stella at the races because she actually ran.  She wasn't sure what she was doing or why she was doing it, but she went along with it pretty well. 
 After she finished running, she didn't want to have anything to do with the camera, she just wanted the treat she got for racing. 
 Brad ran this year too.  It was a great year because I think he actually understood what he was supposed to be doing. 

 Mom and Dad both made it on the podium this year.  It must be all the working out they do at the gym. 
 All three brothers won their age division. 
 These are all the winners from the Orvel Bundy family. 
 He was just so dirty at this point. 

 The little kids were taken care of by the older kids while we were out there.

 The kids had a fun time kicking around a volleyball while the adults played. 

 At the dance on Saturday night. 

 All the great grand-kids together. 
 Eating popsicles to cool off.  
Stella wanted to show me how dirty she was when we were driving home.