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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THE BEST Pumpkin Recipe.

This is by far the best pumpkin recipe I have made up to this point in my life. They are amazingly moist and the spices are just perfect. Topped off with an amazing caramel buttercream frosting, they cannot be beat!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 stick salted butter

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quilting Part 4 and other various projects!

Our quilting class is going well. We all pretty much got our squares together this past week. Everyone's quilts are looking so pretty!

Vicki is continuing with her sampler quilt which is so neat and pretty!

Melissa is figuring out where each piece should go so as not to get any repeats.

Mia is sewing madly. Her mother was a quilter and it would have been her birthday last Thursday so we had fun reminiscing about her mom's many quilts.

Here is mine sewn together. I just love how it came out. I need to put a border around it and the batting and backing. This will be the next class.

In the meantime, I have started a second quilt called the "Disappearing Nine Patch". I will be doing this as a 'quilt as you go' method.

You quilt each square separately and then sew them together. Here is my first square!

Here is my kitty assistant who seems to be praying over my work!

Here is another project that I did this week. A magnetic makeup board. Super fun idea and I love how it turned out!! Here is the link for the how to:

I also made this mason jar storage board for my bathroom as well. Here is the link for that one:

Here I tweaked the above one a bit for the kitchen.

And here is my microwave cart repurposed into an island for the kitchen. I basically built a base for it. Next step will be to tile the top! I am also thinking of adding some book shelves to one end for my cookbooks. Please excuse the floor as it is in the process of tile preparation!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilting Part 3

Here I am in my quilting class! Yes, I realize that I am wearing the same colors I am quilting with and NO I did not plan that!

Getting ready to sew.

Mia laying out her squares. This photo does not do justice to her gorgeous color choices!

Switching them up so there are no repeats!

Gorgeous set of colors.

Vicki quilting her squares.

Betty the expert, helps with first time cutting!

Here is my kitty assistant again. Just making sure that the sewing machine case is adequate!

Yes, I did scrounge around and find another set of fabrics to make another quilt. After much research on the internet I have finally decided on the "Disappearing Nine Patch". I fear I have discovered a new art form. I absolutely love making the color choices and then just enjoy looking at the stack for a few days before diving in and cutting.

This is another project I just finished today. Charley's mom had this old pencil sharpener. He remembers using it when he was growing up.

I found a great idea on pinterest, to refinish it!

So I took it apart, taped it up and sprayed it with primer.....

....and sprayed it with this great red paint!! I also coated it with acrylic sealer.

Voila! A great little sharpener right in the kitchen!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Turning Twenty Quilt Part 2

So the next step in my quilting process was the planning and cutting! I realize that I am somewhat, (gently put), OBSESSIVE, about how my quilt will be laid out!! I actually made a mini "plan" of my quilt using scraps of my fabric. I wanted to be sure that no fabrics were too close together or repeating awkwardly!

This is my 8" x 10" sample.

Neatly cut, organized and labeled strips and squares. I had never used a rotary cutter and ruler before when cutting my fabric! Oh heavens what a joy THAT was! I will NEVER go back!!

Here are my scraps. Not sure why I photographed these, but hey, a fun pile that my lovely, furry assistant pictured below, has thoroughly enjoyed!

My lovely assistant bathing after a full morning of assisting! (This involves laying directly on top of fabric to be cut as well as tossing scraps everywhere!)

I am excited to start sewing this thing together!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

My "Turning Twenty" Quilt Project Part 1

I am going to start a quilting class! I am so excited. I will make a "Turning Twenty" quilt which means that I will use 20 'fat quarters' of fabric. I have chosen the colors brown and lime green and here are my fabrics. The bottom piece will be the backing! I will document my progress here! I am so excited. I have just been enjoying this bundle of colors on my table, waiting for next Thursday to come!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome Autumn

Just finished this fun little "Welcome" sign! I love the colors. I just used various jars and bottles I found in our barn, some spray primer, spray paint, a sharpie for the letters, ribbon then raffia for the jar mouths and then some cute flowers. I hot glued the bottles to the shelf to keep them secure. Heavens I love this little happy piece of Autumn in my living room!!