Simply Baking: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Hump Day ya’ll!

I’m trying to figure out if I can be the type of person to say ya’ll… In my mind, it’s super casual but you can tell me if I’m making a complete fool of myself (be honest! lol). Anyhoot, life is in complete overdrive lately and I’ve failed to mention that I will be on a plane to Utah on Monday night to meet up with my family for my brother’s Regional tournament! I’ve never been to Utah so if anyone has any travel or food recommendations, send them my way! We’ll be staying about 15 minutes away from Salt Lake City.

This weekend, I decided to try my hand at Red Velvet cupcakes. The recipe I followed was from the lovely blog Annie’s Eats and you can find it here.

So mine didn’t turn out as cute at the ones on Annie’s blog and I think it’s mostly because I’m afraid to add additional powdered sugar to firm up my frosting. The appeal behind cream cheese frosting is its moderately sweet nature so I may have skimped a little to cut down on the sugary taste.

Overall I recommend the recipe, it’s easy and they’re pretty good! I’m always open to try other recipes though, does anyone else have a fool-proof red velvet recipe?

Don’t forget today is the last day to enter my giveaway! Enter by 5 pm PST! Good luck!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!Ā 

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Simply Baking: Baseball Cupcakes

Happy Friday all!

I’m so happy Friday is here! I’ve been lucky enough to have a few days off but I feel like I have even MORE to do when I’m not working my 9-5. I ran a ton of errands, spent that Ulta coupon šŸ˜‰ and had a lovely dinner and happy hour with friends (Love ya Vick!). Here’s to setting goals (a la Tuesday’s entry) and living by them! šŸ™‚

So for my brother’s baseball party, we decided to try a recipe I pinned fromĀ Sugar CookingĀ for Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel frosting. I was successful at the cake recipe but was completelyĀ defeatedĀ by the icing. I have no idea what went wrong but after an hour (and 2 bags of powdered sugar) of working on just the frosting, I had to give up. However it was by far one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve made and it was unbelievably easy!

Since I was going to use store bought frosting (insert crying here), I decided to spend extra time on the decorating. On the baseballs, I used the Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting and red candy melts in a piping bag to do the stitches. For the fields, I dyed the cream cheese frosting green for “grass” and used chocolate frosting for the diamond.

To add something extra to the party, we threw in some of our well-loved red velvet cake pops. I hope to make them again in the future but with more delicate piping (I just was not at the top of my game by the end!).

Etsy

Just so everyone knows it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here at Simply Evani, I often find myself stressed out while baking because I’m such a perfectionist and its probably better for me to choose either a complex recipe OR intense decorating. I just wish I could let go of that Type-A side of me but I’m definitely an all or nothing person so I dive into any project wanting it ALL and 4 hours later, I hate my life. Haha anyone else a perfectionist baker?

This weekend, I will be out at the fields watching my brother play his All Star State Tournament in Santa Ana. Time to slather on the sunscreen and do some hardcore blog planning the old fashion way (aka pen and paper!).Ā Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

Simply Baking: Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

Happy Tuesday everybody!

So last Saturday was baking-palooza for my sister and I and one of the recipes on Pinterest we decided to try was Two Peas & Their Pod’s Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars.

We already had all the baking ingredients theĀ recipeĀ needed except for the caramel squares and heavy whipping cream. The main deviations we took from the recipe included using normal brown sugar (instead to light brown sugar) and inaccurate measurements of butter (Much to my dismay, we were out of butter bars with the niceĀ measurementĀ lines so I used a tablespoon and hacked it out of an abnormally large chunk of butter we had for when my Dad makes massive servings of mashed potatoes). Moral of the story, not sure how accurate my hack job was…

But we took these to my brother’s team party and they were swooped up in a manner of minutes with pre-teen boys grunting in approval.

Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with the way ours came out because they were crumbly and a bit dry. I can only assume that is due to our odd butter measurement methods and possibly the brown sugar. Ā But honestly, everyone who ate them was impressed and I’d definitely try this recipe again but with more precise butter calculations. The sea salt is such a nice touch to the taste of these bars too.Ā 

I’d be really interested to see how they turn out for you if you choose to make them, so let me know! Make sure to check out the amazing food blog of Two Peas & Their Pod for more incredible recipes (especially if you can follow the recipes better than I can šŸ˜€ lol).

Movin’ on up

Last but not least, I was feelin sorta down last night so I did what any normal person would do: Bought myself the new MacBook Pro! While I admit I am an emotional shopper/eater/etc, I’ve been contemplating the Pro for about 6 months now and I finally worked up the courage to do it. I was set on getting it on a simple $100/month payment plan but I found out their financing is basically opening a credit card. I’m deathly afraid of opening any more credit lines so I dipped into the honey jar of my savings and left a happy woman.

Welcome home baby!

I haven’t had a laptop since sophomore year of college and I’ve been doing all my blog work on an old model desktop (imagine the obscenities I used when Internet Explorer froze at least once an hour). Now for the important question: Fellow Bloggers with a Mac – What program do you use for photo editing? Is Photoshop Elements 10 enough? Should I at least swing for the CS6 student version? I might have a panic attack if I need the $649 Photoshop CS6. Also, share some Mac tips with this newbie, I’ve been Windows all my life! I’m excited for what a functioning laptop will do for Simply Evani and I hope you continue to follow along!

Have a great day everyone!

Simply Baking: Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Hump Day readers!

Can I confess something to you all? I had no idea what “hump day” meant until recently. Lol, can you imagine what I thought it was before I understood it was the “hump” of the week?

Anyhoot, my Aunt brought us fresh ripe strawberries from SoCal and I had 2 recipes in my PinterestĀ board just waiting for them! I’m happy to share these 2 amazing recipes from Eat, Live, Run and Baking Bites.

I initially made this Strawberry on Strawberry deliciousness fromĀ Eat, Live, RunĀ but I wanted to try it with a Chocolate cupcake fromĀ Baking Bites. Both options were winners in my book!

The Strawberry frosting was the shining star of this recipe, and it made enough to ice 24 cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes AND approximately 3 cups worth to save for a rainy day (AKA, an excess of frosting). I have to be honest and say I rarely ever sift anything (its possible I don’t have the technique down but it takes me HOURS to sift) so maybe I got powdered sugar happy and it made extra? Anyhoot, it was DELICIOUS so I didn’t mind having extra.

The Strawberry cake was yummy too but for some, it might have been a little too much Strawberry on Strawberry action.

So two days later, I opted to try them with a chocolate cupcake recipe. When I finished the chocolate cupcakes, I only had time to snap a picture at dawn (bright and early before my 9-5) so I apologize for the yellowish tint.

Overall, I heard the combination of the recipes (Fresh Strawberry Frosting and Chocolate Cupcake) was a true winner but I really loved both of these recipes and you can’t go wrong with either! Check out the blogs for the full recipes:

Eat, Live, Run’sĀ  Strawberry Cupcake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

Baking Bites’ Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
(FYI, I only made the cupcake)

Hospital Fashion

Check out this suh-weeet photo of my sister and I rockin the latest fashion trend:
Hospital Gowns and Latex gloves

My Grandma is set to come home either tomorrow or Thurs so all is well! But because of a potential bacteria, we had to suit up in order to visit her. It sounds more intense than it was. Ā I also got a huge kick out of saying “Suit Up!” a la Barney Stinson (HIMYM fans anyone!?)

Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts! Have a great Wednesday!

Simply Baking: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Happy Hump Day everyone!

I just want to take a second to thank my new followers on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter for the wonderful comments and support of my blog. Honestly, it’s terrifying sometimes putting yourself out there and trying to build an audience but between doing what I love and getting such sweet comments, you all make it so easy! Every like and comment keeps me going and I just want to thank you šŸ™‚

This weeks baking project was amazingly EASY thanks to a recipe via the wonderful Something Swanky. Not only were they delicious cupcakes but they were for a small serving and only required 1 bowl which in my book is an A+ (I despise washing dishes.. lol). According to her recipe, it makes 4 cupcakes but I decided to go with mini-cupcakes and it made me 8 little bad boys. Perfect for post-dinner dessert without having leftovers!

Click here to view the original blog entry via Something Swanky!

The mini muffin baking sheet was $12.99 well spent at Target, a definite must have.

LOL, can you tell I don’t trust time andĀ always poke my baking projects with a toothpick to see if they’re done?

For this cupcake, the frosting to cake ratio is just right if the frosting wins.

I think I’ll have to try making these again soon, with Reeses Minis. I was told they tasted sorta like a Reeses cupcake so I can only imagine if I had Reeses in them! I looooove Reeses.

How is your Wednesday going? I have a few friends coming back into town from school so it’s been fun getting to have catch-up dates (like last night with one of my oldest best friends Hazel). I’ve also been having bouts of insomnia at night so I wake up exhausted but I think it’s because all my blog ideas keep me up brainstorming. Any one else have that issue?

Here’s a song that I’ve had on repeat all week: Matt Kearney – Ships in the Night

Hope you have a great week!

*Feel free to click that grey button on the top of the right column of my blog that says “My Blog in Your E-mail”! šŸ™‚