My Mini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting


My newest creation, a rich chocolate cupcake loaded with mini chocolate chips and finished with a creamy red velvet frosting! I adore gold crystal sugar too. They received raves from all the guests at the last two parties where they were served!

Photo Aug 23, 10 52 06 AM (1)Photo Aug 23, 10 45 40 AM


Started Following Ty Pennington and Found This Wonderful Recipe!

Found on Ty Pennington’s blog:

Delicious Angel Biscuits and this Jam sounds amazing. Found on Rebecca Lang’s site, food  writer and cooking instructor.



Warm fluffy biscuits and homemade jam makes even the most average morning extraordinary. This is the time that ripe strawberries are plump in the fields and ready to be picked. When your basket overflows with the quintessential berry of spring, eat some now and can any extras for later.
Even if you’re a beginner cook, these biscuits are in your future. Angel biscuits are sometimes called “bride’s biscuits” because they are virtually foolproof. And there’s no need to make them all at once. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, so the biscuits can be baked in small batches. Even better for an impromptu biscuit and jam craving!

Angel Biscuits: Makes: 32 biscuits
1 (1⁄4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. warm water (105° to 115°)
1⁄3 cup sugar, divided
5 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily)
1⁄2 cup shortening
1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
13⁄4 cups buttermilk
Additional butter, softened (optional)
1. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 tsp. sugar in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.
2. Whisk together flour and remaining 5 Tbsp. sugar in a large bowl; cut in shortening and cubed butter with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Stir in yeast mixture and buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5 times. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours or up to 5 days.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 8 times. Roll to 1⁄2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter. Re-roll and cut dough scraps once (discard any remaining scraps). Arrange biscuits, with sides touching, on an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm
with softened butter, if desired.
Strawberry-Basil Jam: Makes: 5 (8-oz.) jars
5 (8-oz.) canning jars with two-piece lids
2 lb. fresh strawberries
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 large fresh basil sprigs
1 (13⁄4-oz.) package powdered pectin
1. Sterilize jars, and prepare lids as described below.
2. While jars are boiling, wash and hull strawberries. Crush berries in a 6-qt. stainless-steel or enameled Dutch oven or other large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan using a potato masher. Add sugar and next 2 ingredients. Bring to
a rolling boil over high heat. Boil, stirring frequently, 10 minutes.
3. Sprinkle pectin over strawberry mixture, and stir well. Return to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Skim foam from surface with a metal spoon; discard. Remove and discard basil sprigs.
4. Fill and process jars as described below. Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place. Let stand at least 1 week for the best flavor and texture.
To prepare for canning:
1. Use glass jars and two-piece lids specifically designed for home canning. Jars and lid rings can be reused, but you must always use new metal lids, which can be purchased separately.
2. Be sure that the jars, rings, and lids are clean, and that the jars are undamaged and the rims are free of chips or scratches.
3. Keep the lid rings handy, along with a wide-mouth funnel; a ladle for filling the jars; a thin, plastic utensil for removing air bubbles; a jar lifter; and a clean paper towel. Put a clean, folded towel on the counter near the canning pot, and a second folded towel on the counter in a nearby spot where the processed jars can be set to cool undisturbed.
To sterilize jars and prepare lids:
1. Put clean jars on a rack in a large pot, and cover with water. (You can use a specially designed canning pot or any large stockpot, as long as it has a rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the pot. It should also be deep enough to hold the jars and water to cover by 1 to 2 inches without overflowing when boiling.) Cover the pot, and bring to a full rolling boil.
2. To sterilize the jars, boil 10 minutes then reduce the heat, and maintain at a brisk simmer until jars are ready to be filled.
3. Put the metal lids in a heatproof bowl, making sure they are not stacked tightly together.
4. Just before filling the jars, ladle enough simmering water from the canning pot over the lids to cover them completely, and keep them hot until ready to seal.*
To fill and process jars of jam:
1. Using the jar lifter, remove the jars from the simmering water, and carefully pour all of the water inside them back into the pot. Place the jars upright on the folded towel you set near the pot. Put the funnel in a hot jar, and ladle in the preserves, jam, or jelly, keeping the ladle low and close to the opening of the funnel to prevent excess bubbles from forming inside the jars. Leave 1⁄4-inch headspace at top of each jar. Quickly repeat with the remaining jars.
2. Remove any air bubbles inside the jars by sliding a thin plastic utensil between the glass and the food, allowing trapped air to escape. Dip the paper towel in hot water, and use it to wipe the jar rims clean. Drain the water from the metal lids back into the canning pot.
3. Quickly place the lids, white sides down, over each jar, and then screw on the lid rings just until finger-tight—do not over tighten.
4. Use the jar lifter to return the filled jars to the simmering water in the pot, being careful not to tilt the jars and making sure that they are covered with water by 1 to 2 inches. Cover, increase the heat, and return the water to a full rolling boil. Boil 5 minutes.**
5. Turn off the heat, uncover the pot and let stand until the boiling has subsided, about5 minutes. Using the jar lifter, remove the jars from the pot (being sure to keep them upright) and carefully transfer to the second folded towel. Let cool undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours.
6. Check to make sure each fully cooled jar is sealed. If the center of the metal lid cannot be pushed down with your finger, it is sealed. If it depresses and pops up again, the jar is not sealed. It should be refrigerated immediately and its contents used within a few days. Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dry, dark place. They will keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.
*Always check manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids; procedures may vary slightly by brand.
**Sterilizing and processing times must be adjusted when canning at high altitudes. If you are at 1,001 to 6,000 feet above sea level, add 5 minutes boiling time. If you are at altitudes of 6,001 feet or higher, add 10 minutes boiling time.

For more information about Rebecca Lang, visit
Find Rebecca on…
Photo credit: Jennifer Davick
Rebecca Lang is a food writer, cooking instructor, mother of two, and a ninth-generation Southerner. Born and raised in South Georgia, she is author of four cookbooks including Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table and Quick-Fix Southern. She serves as a contributing editor for Southern Living and and teaches cooking classes across America.

I Heart To Party on Etsy

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Check out some of her instant download goodies for your next party! Click on pics!

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Preserved Strawberries With Chilies

I know it is not strawberry season, however I just couldn’t resist! Truly an incredible combination of flavors, sweet and spicy. Here in California strawberry season will be just around the corner.

Another Food 52 find, by Amanda Hesser

Author Notes: As much as I love a good, not-too-sweet berry jam, and as much as I hate tarting up such indispensable staples, the combination of berries and chiles makes so much sense. The chiles give the berries depth, and through contrast, have a way of amplifying their presence, much like a shadow emphasizes light. I used one New Mexico chile, which offered up a polite amount of heat. You might want to add a second one, or even branch out into the world of anchos and guajillos. – Amanda Hesser


Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

1 pound sweet, ripe strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered if larger than a walnut in its shell)
1 New Mexico chile (or ancho, if you prefer), or more to taste
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1/4 lemon

Place the strawberries in a heavy, medium-size pot. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile (no soaking is required) and discard. Roughly chop the remaining dried chile flesh, and add it to the strawberries. Pour in the sugar.Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil — as the fruit begins to juice, the sugar will melt. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook for about 1 hour. You’ll want to give it a stir every 10 minutes or so — do so gently because you want the strawberries to stay intact and essentially candy. Taste it every now and then to make sure there’s enough chile heat and flavor for you — if not, add another!As the preserves cook, use a spoon to lift off any scum that rises to the surface. The preserve is ready when the strawberries are shrunken and lightly candied, and the syrup has thickened but is no t so thick that it’s like jelly. (The best way to test it is to pour a little bit onto a plate and let it cool before checking the consistency.) Stir in the lemon juice and remove the pot from the heat.Serve on toast or scones with butter, over ice cream and on cakes or biscuits. Refrigerate any leftover preserves.
Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

Adult Oatmeal Cream Sandwich Cookies

One of my favorite Food Blogs out there is Food 52, you will be lost in recipe land forever when you visit their site! Another fantastic Blog is The Vanilla Bean Blog

by Sarah Kieffer. This is her recipe, Enjoy!


~Adult Oatmeal Cream Cookies~

Author Notes: This is an adult version of the classic oatmeal cream pie — a brown butter buttercream fills a bourbon oatmeal cookie for a rich and delicious treat. The brown butter buttercream is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. (less) – sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

Makes about 16 cookies

For the oatmeal cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line three half sheet pans with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the molasses, and beat to combine, then add the eggs, and beat to combine. Add the bourbon and vanilla, and mix to combine. (Scrape down the sides as needed through this whole step.)Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the oats and mix on low to combine.Take the bowl off the mixer, and use a spatula to make sure the dough is thoroughly mixed.Using a heaping tablespoon to scoop the dough, place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets (I could fit 3 across, and 4 down). Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack. When the cookies are cooled, place the brown butter cream (recipe follows) on the bottom side of one cookie, and top with another (how much you put is completely up to you!).

For the brown butter buttercream:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar

Brown 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter: Melt it in a medium-sized saucepan. You need to stay close to the pan; don’t walk away from it. Swirl the butter around until it starts to brown — it will smell nutty and you’ll see little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the brown butter and bits into a freezer-safe bowl, and let cool for 10 minutes. When the butter is partially cool, place the bowl in the freezer and let the butter chill until solid, about 30 minutes (you can also put it in the fridge to cool down, but it will take a bit longer). When the butter is solid (but not frozen!), take it out and place it in the bowl of a standing mixer.Add the remaining stick of butter to the browned butter in the bowl, and beat all the butter until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat to combine. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed. Once it is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat the cream until it is smooth and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.
This recipe is a Community Pick!