Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Costumes 2014

This Halloween was Annabeth's 4th Halloween.

Her first Halloween she was not even a month old. She had received two costumes as baby gifts - a lamb costume from my friend Nicole and a cow costume from our friends Miss Charlotte and Rosie.
Just a few weeks old, our baby cow

Her second Halloween was costumeless. :( I had found an adorable outfit on Carter's clearance well after Halloween and paid just $4 for a special candy themed outfit. I loved it so much I couldn't bear the thought of her changing out of it into a costume.

Her shirt says, Candy Makes Me Happy 

Last year was her third Halloween and it happened to fall on the same night as our Mommy and Me dance class. I dressed her in her red, white, and blue leotard and called her a "Future Olympian." She did have quite a few fun and frugal outfits leading up to the big day though!

Then, last Novemeber, the three of us were at the mall and Gymboree had one costume in their store - an internet return. It was her size. It had a tutu. It was deeply discounted. I NEEDED it. And so her costume was purchased.

Her Auntie Rose brought a Sofia dress as a gift for her dance recital and Nana and PawPaw gave her a Minnie Mouse costume for her birthday and so she had THREE costumes this year!

She enjoyed wearing her Sofia costume to our library's Halloween program and trick-or-treat.

"Sofia the First" playing puppets at the library

I found a cute Mickey sweater and Mickey ears and we went as Mickey and Minnie to a friend's Halloween party as well as our Homeschool Group Fall party.

Minnie and Mickey 

Her original costume was used for Halloween cards and for the big day -- her first time trick-or-treating! She loved the tutu and the tail. I think she looked just adorable! :)

Our little ballerina giraffe 
Cute Hello Kitty bucket from Matt and Jenn + K.E.N. 

We hope you all had a safe and Happy Halloween!

Frugal Friday 63

Happy Halloween Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely this week:

- We hosted our Homeschool Group for a craft day on Saturday. Originally, I had wanted to make cute foods but it was digging into my craft budget. So, I switched gears and just served sandwiches, goldfish crackers, and desserts. Another family brought fruit to serve. Because I saved on the food, we were able to provide each family with a canvas to paint to hang in their home.

Annabeth chose to make purple and yellow hand prints for her tree.
This is not what I had envisioned but she loves it.
I am learning to let go of "perfect" projects...

- A family canceled late in the week, so I had an extra canvas. I made a painting for our dining room based off something I had seen on Etsy that was too expensive to purchase. Saved: $35.00

- Monday, we hosted our Homeschool Group for a fall party. Again, I went with more simple foods and just added some inexpensive Halloween foods - Bugle chips (purchased with a coupon) as "witch fingernails" and jello jigglers cut into Halloween shapes.

- As part of our fall party, we did a pumpkin hunt and painting. I purchased the pumpkins at our church and all of the proceeds went to fund missions to Guatemala next year.

- I took Annabeth to the library for a free Halloween Party and Trick or Treat Event.

Annabeth as Sofia the First.
Costume from Auntie Rose and glowing tiara from Daddy. 

- I went to the mall and used $10 Old Navy cash. I was able to save $25 total on 4 shirts.

- Annabeth painted beautiful cards for the Stair family. We will take the cards to them after their new baby Harper is born next week. We love to make our own cards and we save lots of money by not buying overpriced store cards.

- Shutterfly is offering 101 free prints through Saturday. I ordered Easter - 4th of July prints. Saved: $15.15

- Annabeth enjoyed a free Science Space Lab at our library this week. It was a fun science class geared towards 3-5 year olds.

Total Saved: $75.15

We had so much fun this Halloween week and hope you did too!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Friday, October 24, 2014

Frugal Friday 62

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely this week:

- I clipped coupons and sent some in the mail with letters and thank-you cards. I always try to send diaper, formula, and wipe coupons out to the friends who can use them as those items are so expensive.

- I cashed in Pampers Rewards points and ordered Annabeth's birthday book for FREE! Saved: $29.99

- We had Saturday dinner at Mark's parents. They sent us home with a bag of red potatoes. I used them to make Crockpot Mashed Potatoes for the first time. Yum! Thanks to our friend Anna at Life Through Green Eyes for the recipe pin on pinterest.

- We were in need of art supplies for a Homeschool Group Art Day that we are hosting tomorrow. I stopped at the Greenwood Kmart last weekend because they are closing soon. I was able to get all of the supplies I needed for 20% off! I was SO excited because I couldn't find any coupons for what I needed so a sale was a good thing! Saved: $9.90!

- We did grocery shopping for our weekend gathering and for some restock supplies. Saved 20% on our bill with coupons. I still dream of being able to save 80%+ or even 100% with coupons. Someday...

- Annabeth and enjoyed our lunches at home and used up the week's leftovers.

- I sold a wall hanging we no longer are using on a Facebook garage sale page. Made: $7

We have all been a bit under the weather this week with allergies and the penny incident so we have just enjoyed a quiet week at home.

Hope all are healthy and happy at your houses!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"I can't spit 'is penny out!"

Sunday afternoon, after a morning at church, lunch, a park date, and an hour in the backyard we came inside to rest. I fell asleep on the couch within minutes. Mark had worked all day and still needed to study for class this week, so he put Annabeth in her room for quiet time.

I woke up to, "Mama. Mama! MAMA!" coming from her room. Mark went to get her and when she came out this conversation happened:

Annabeth: "I can't spit 'is penny out. See?" Spit. Spit. "My penny went all way down my heel!"
Mark: "What penny? Let me see in your mouth now."
Annabeth: " 'Is penny! See?"
Mark: "No! I don't see anything in your mouth. Let Mama look."
I looked. Nothing.
Me: "Okay, tell me what happened."
Annabeth: "I put 'at penny in. Then it went down in my heel!"
Mark: "Are you pretending or being serious?"
Annabeth: "Pretending."
Mark: "Remember to be truthful."
Annabeth: "I serious. Penny in my heel!"

**Apparently what Annabeth eats goes straight to her heels. I think we may need to do a human body unit soon so she can learn about her digestive system**

At this point I took Annabeth to her room to try to get her to act out what had happened.
She reached down, pretended to pick up a penny, put it wwwaaayyy in the back of her mouth, swallowed, and said "and then it went to my heel."
I heard Mark say, "I have an idea" as he grabbed his van keys and ran out to his work van.
When he came back he had his metal detector. He scanned the floor no beeps and then scanned her belly Beep! Beep! BBBBBEEEPPPP!

I panicked! Mark was calm. Annabeth was running and laughing. I called Immediate Care and they reassured me that kids swallow things all the time and that the item(s) usually pass within three to five days. They told me that we could take her in but that unless she showed certain symptoms (of which she had none) that she would probably be fine.

Then, I spent 30 minutes on the internet reading that 90% of these cases work out fine but that coins can get stuck in the airway, lungs, digestive system, etc. Mark kept reassuring me that she was fine, which she was. She played and ate dinner and enjoyed Sunday Family Night. She ended up sleeping in our bed, which was fine by me! I wanted to keep a close eye on her!

Monday morning I called our doctors office and they restated what Immediate Care had said. Annabeth still wasn't showing any reason for concern so we just waited to see the penny again.

Tuesday, Annabeth asked me about 100 times if her penny had come out yet. No not yet... I tried not to worry.

Today, "Mama! I poop and now my penny out!" Thanks to our metal detector I determined that yes the penny was out and that her belly was free of any other coins.

In the end what was Annabeth most concerned about?
The fact that I did not let her clean the penny and put it in her piggy bank.
"But I love save my money Mama!"
Well, kid, not even I am frugal enough to save that coin.

Freezer Meals: Part Two

As promised, here is the followup to Freezer Meals: Part One.

The menu I used was from this blog.

We have now made each of the meals one time and I thought I would leave the exact recipe I used and what our family thought about each one.

BBQ Chicken

2 Onions
4 Potatoes
4 Cloves Garlic
2 Chicken Breasts
400g Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Dried Mustard
1 Tbsp BBQ Sauce (per bag)

Split all ingredients between 2 freezer bags
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

- This was the perfect size meal for our family of three. Mark and I were each able to eat our normal serving size and Annabeth had a large toddler portion as well. If you are a family with more people and/or older child(ren) you would want to put all of this into one bag for a complete meal. 
- As for taste, this really was not a BBQ Chicken meal as we generally think of BBQ. Mark said it was more of a sweet tomato chicken meal. 
- Her original recipe did not contain more vegetables - which I omitted because Annabeth is allergic. It also added salt which I did not do because we do not salt our food.

Mediterranean Pork

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Cups Chicken Stock
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 Sweet Potato 
2 Tbsp Dried Oregano 
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
6-8 Pork Chops

Split all ingredients between 2 freezer bags
Cook on low for 6 hours

- Again, this was a good size meal for the three of us. I do think I would use one sweet potato per bag in the future.
- Mark and I both really liked this meal. Annabeth did not. That surprised me as she likes pork as well as sweet potatoes so it must have been something in the seasoning. 
- Next time I think I will use that recipe for one bagged dinner or double to have two freezer meals.

Teriyaki Chicken

6 Carrots
1 Red Onion
1 Can Chopped Pineapple
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Potatoes
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Teriyaki Sauce 

Split all ingredients between 2 freezer bags
Cook on low for 8 hours

- This meal made four healthy sized portions. It was the first of these meals that I would consider working for a family of four.
- Again, Mark and I both liked this meal and Annabeth did not. Mark did say the sauce had a strong taste so it may have been too much Teriyaki for her taste.
- I served it over rice which was quite yummy!

Overall, I am glad that I tried freezer meals. I had such a hard time figuring out which ones I wanted to use off the internet but these three recipes were all very good and were ones that I would use again. Back to Pinterest for more ideas... 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Homemade Peach Pie Filling

This past week, we overbought/underused our fresh produce.

Mark did the grocery shopping Sunday afternoon before us girls were back in town and by today, Saturday, we still had two apples, four peaches, and green grapes left in the fridge. We ended up eating away from home more than planned this week as we ate out one night, went to a potluck, and did some more visiting than we had planned. In turn, I had fruit that I needed to use up!

I knew the apples and grapes would get eaten but that was a lot of peaches! So, I hopped online and Googled "Fresh Peach Pie Recipe." I found an easy recipe that I had all of the ingredients for. I was also excited because it was just a recipe for the filling that could be refrigerated for up to one month!

(The link goes to the original recipe
but here it is for easy making for you!)

1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cornstarch (I used Rapunzel Organic GMO Free)
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups, Peeled and Chopped

1. In a large saucepan, combine first four ingredients. 
2. Stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Cook 2 minutes more,
stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peaches. 
4. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or refrigerate.

**The original states that this is not for canning due to the cornstarch.
Also, storing in the fridge may cause ingredients to separate. 
Reheat until combined and
thickened again. **

I am looking forward to using this filling next weekend to make a pie for a homeschool craft day that we are hosting at our house. I think it should be quite good with vanilla ice cream! Yum! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Frugal Friday 61

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely this week:

- Annabeth and I went to Owensboro/Evansville for a visit. I came home with Christmas wrapping supplies from Momaw and a new shirt from my sister!

Annabeth, enjoying some of the first crunchy leaves of the Fall. 
We were in Owensboro visiting Momaw 
and her dear friend Miss Piny who is 97 years old!

- We enjoyed a trip to the Owensboro Museum of Science and History while visiting family. Admission is just $3/person (ages 3 and older). We had a lot of fun playing with her cousins on a rainy day.

- I had a freebie come in my e-mail from Shutterfly. I only paid shipping. Saved: $9.99

- After the consignment sale, I split things into sizes and passed along to a couple of families. I love hand-me-downs and I love sharing hand-me-downs with others.

- I met friends out the outlet mall and, for once!, shopped a bit for myself. I was able to find a new pair of shorts ($2.98) and a new pair of jeans ($6.99) on summer clearance. Saved: $100.03

- We enjoyed our family meal out for the week on Kids Eat Free Tuesday. Annabeth and I also each had enough leftovers to eat for lunch the next day. Saved: $4.99

- Mark needed some supplies from Lowe's for work. At the checkout, the cashier gave Annabeth a free Build and Grow kit - a haunted house! Mark and Annabeth enjoyed building it together.

- We enjoyed a potluck at a friends house to celebrate Halloween. All of us Mamas, enjoyed making fun fall foods and that the kiddos got an extra wear out of their costume!

We hope you all are having a fun and frugal fall as well!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Potluck

Friends of ours invited us over for a Potluck Halloween Party.

I got on Pinterest weeks ago to see what fun food ideas where out there. I was shocked to find so many really gross looking foods! Some looked so lifelike (bloody and such) that I did not think they even looked appetizing - especially not for children! So, I went went some gussied up grocery finds. They were basic but cute, simple, and went over well.

First I made little turkey sandwiches. I used cookie cutters to make some pumpkin shaped and some bat shaped. It also helped tell the difference between the condiments on each one.

I also saw a cute idea for little mandarin orange cups with jack-o-lantern faces drawn on them. I thought it was such a simple idea and yet really fun. I also wanted to make sure that if the kids didn't finish everything we would be able to use the rest of them up. Since they are individual packs I can just open them as we need them.

Annabeth and I dressed up as Mickey and Minnie for this party. She received her costume from her Nana and PawPaw for her birthday. I found my sweater on sale and then modified some Minnie ears we found at Walmart to make them work for Mickey. I had fun dressing up too!

"Laughter is timeless, imagination knows no age,
and dreams are forever." ~ Walt Disney 

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our "Pinned-It-Then-Did-It" Pinterest Board

Curious about what we have been baking, cooking, and crafting lately?

Check out our "Pinned-It-Then-Did-It" Pinterest Board!

Happy Pinning! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Frugal Friday 60

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Annabeth and I enjoyed lunch out with friends. We used coupons to get the three kids' meals free. Saved: $14.97

- My friend Alysha gave me her pre-sale pass to a GREAT consignment sale! I spent $34 on 8 items. I was able to get some very nice, high quality clothing for a fraction of retail prices.

- I finished my third consignment sale. I made more than 2x as much at this sale as I have at the last two. I FINALLY broke my goal of earning $100+ at a sale!

- We celebrated Annabeth's birthday with a Hello Kitty party and as much free fun as we could find!

- Monday morning our homeschool group met at the library for a game day. We enjoyed an hour playing new games. This was a fun way for each family to play new or different games without having to buy them!

- I had free prints ready to expire through Shutterfly. Placed and order and only paid shipping. Saved: $21.56

- I found an adorable Mickey Mouse Club shirt on Zulily. I cashed in a credit and spent only $.94. We will give it to Annabeth as a Christmas gift. Saved: $19.99

We have had a wonderful week spent with friends and family. We are SO blessed!

Happpy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Frugal Birthday Fun!

I love LOVE celebrating birthdays - especially Annabeth's, Mark's, and mine.

For the past two birthdays we have lived in Franklin and the weekend of her birthday just so happens to be the Dachshund Derby and the Franklin Fall Festival. Both events are free, although you can choose to make purchases to support local businesses. We have a lot of fun at each event and it's nice to enjoy FREE fun! Last year we had lunch at our favorite coffee shop in Franklin, Benjamin's, but this past Saturday the line was out the door so we headed over to Ann's - the oldest restaurant in Franklin. My parents and sister were already in town and I think they enjoyed coming along as well. Because her party was Saturday afternoon we did not stick around the festival too long after lunch but she did enjoy jumping in the free bounce houses for nearly an hour.

Annabeth and Mark with the Dachshund Derby sign.
Her cute dachshund shirt is a hand-me-down from her cousins.
It was the perfect thing to wear to that event! 

She LOVED the bounce houses!
We loved that they were free!

Sunday, her actual birthday, we went to Appleworks Farm. They have SO many fun things to do, especially in the fall. Guests can pick apples and pumpkins, nature hike, pet animals in the petting zoo, explore a maze, play in the playground, and more all for free! Many of the other orchards in our area charge per person to enjoy these kinds of activities. We did end up purchasing some apples and Mark and Annabeth picked their pumpkins for the year but Appleworks' prices are very affordable.

Daddy and Annabeth hiking out to find their pumpkins 

Us girls in front of the big pumpkin sign 

She really enjoyed feeding the animals at the petting zoo.

When it comes to birthdays, especially Annabeth's as she is only three, I want them to be fun and memorable but I do not think that we have to spend a lot of money to accomplish those goals. We had a wonderful weekend with our family and we enjoyed it without spending a lot of money.

There is one birthday thing that I really splurge on: each year I have made a Shutterfly photo book of all of her birthday celebrations. I make it soon after we finish up the festivities and then I wait to order/print it until I have a coupon to get it free. I pay <$8 shipping and I think it is the best birthday gift I can give her.

Happy Frugal Birthday Nanners!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hello Kitty 3rd Birthday

This past Saturday we celebrated Annabeth's 3rd Birthday.

Thanks to Pinterest I had orignally wanted to have a Monkey Party (since I have always called Nanners "Monkey Monk") or a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party in honor of her favorite show. I picked her 1st birthday theme of Under the Sea and Mark picked her 2nd birthday theme of Princesses. We thought we probably would only have one more year of getting to pick the theme before she really had her own ideas and interests. We were wrong. In April, her friends Bella and SJ had parties on the same day and so she thought it should be her party day too. She decided that she would have a Hello Kitty party and has talked about little else since.

I love to decorate for all holidays and especially for birthdays. Thankfully we had LOTS of decorations on hand so the only thing I purchased was a pumpkin. Mark had surprised me with a Hello Kitty decorated house for my 23rd birthday and I, of course, had saved all of the decorations. I had also kept decorations from Cassidy's pink and brown themed bridal shower last spring. In addition, I used lots of Hello Kitty toys to decorate. I think it was very pretty and festive and affordable!
My 23rd Birthday/Annabeth's 3rd Birthday Banner
I put it back in the decoration tote as we may have another Hello Kitty birthday one year 

Our mantle.
I reused the tutu wreath that I made for her 2nd Birthday and just added a HK button.
I used our Hello Kitty toys across the mantle
and then put up pictures of her in Hello Kitty outfits.  

 Pink and brown dots reused from Cassidy's bridal shower. 

 The Birthday Girl with her Hello Kitty pumpkin.
The pumpkin decoration was one Mark and I got in 2009 and used that Halloween. 

We decided to make our own food this year. I had made lasagna, bread, and cupcakes from scratch for her first birthday and it had really stressed me out so last year Mark suggested we order pizza. That was much easier but also pretty expensive. So, this year we decided to serve white bean soup with chips and cheese. This is one of Annabeth's favorite meals and it's easy to serve a crowd! We spent just $40.16 on food for 20 people.

What did we splurge on? The cake.

We love Piece of Cake bakery in Evansville - they did our wedding cakes and also her 2nd birthday cake. We decided to use them again this year and Dad, Lu, and Mama had the task of picking it up and making the drive up with it (Thank You!) They have the absolute best cake and they do such a wonderful job decorating!

Annabeth picked out the theme of Hello Kitty and Balloons.
She selected her invitations and found this cake on Pinterest. 

For party favors, we needed favors for 4 children - ages 10, 8, 2.5, and 18 months. I saw an idea of filling a themed cup on Pinterest and I liked that better than the goodie bag idea. Annabeth and I shopped (and completely overspent! oops!) at Party City and made some really fun cups!

Party Favors.
One of my splurges because we love the kids in our family! :)

I think we had a wonderful party! Annabeth was so happy to share it with our family! 

Happy Third Birthday Sweet Nanners!
Love, Daddy and Mama

Sunday, October 5, 2014

3 Years Later...

Today, our sweet girl, our Nanners, our Annabeth Sage is 3.

3 years old.

As I sit, amazed, that three years have passed so quickly, I, as always near her birthday, really feel a lot of emotions about her birthday.

I, quite honestly, despite reading the baby books and taking the baby classes had very little expectations about labor and delivery. My birth plan literally said, "Get her out." Until I learned I couldn't have an epidural due to my drug allergies I had planned on that, plan changed. I always kind of thought I would have to have a c-section like my Mama did with both of us girls, plan changed. For the first 20ish hours of labor I thought "this isn't so bad," that changed. I think even after it all happened, I did not realize how much it would change my life. Our families came and met her. They held her, took pictures, and we all were so happy. But, slowly, over time more and more of what happened came back to me and more and more I realized that it was very traumatic for me and for Mark.

I am sure some people reading this are thinking...
"Really?! It's been three years. Be thankful for your baby."
"I lost a child to a miscarriage, be thankful you have a baby."
"Our child died, yours is alive, be thankful."

If you are one of those people, you have the right to those thoughts. But I will add:
We do have a child.
We have a healthy and happy child.
We also suffered something very traumatic.
We saw our child die. We saw her breathless, lifeless.
At the end of labor and delivery, we had a body not a breathing, living baby.
By the grace of God, we have our Miracle Girl.
That does not make the rest of it easy or better.
It doesn't take away when she was gone.
It doesn't mean that I have to move on today.
I will rejoice and I will grieve in my own ways and my own time.

So today, I will hold my three year old. I will kiss her and hug her and be ever so thankful that she is here with us. I will also cry today. I will remember with sadness and gladness the day she was born. Most of all today I will pray. I will thank and praise the Lord for Annabeth. I will pray for St. Francis and Riley Children's Hospital staff with thanks for their work in helping our family. I will pray for families who have also walked through this. I will pray for those that will walk through it in the future. May His Will be done in our lives and theirs. Amen.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Frugal Friday 59

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely this week:

- I finished tagging 120 items for the consignment sale. We turned items in on Monday evening and will know our final earnings tomorrow when the sale concludes.

- I helped a friend tag about 30 BIG items for the sale. She hopefully will be able to make quite a bit of money from selling her girls' baby equipment.

- Instead of paying to rent movies, we borrowed three from the library. Good thing we did not pay for them because our weekend was so busy we did not watch any of them!

- We volunteered at our church fish fry. Annabeth and I worked Friday afternoon and the whole family helped with tear down on Saturday night.

- This weekend Shutterfly offered a free set (24) of address labels. Saved: $9.99

- I colored my hair at home for just $2.99.

- We ate at home all week - with the exception of Sunday lunch at a church potluck.

- Since Annabeth is taking two classes each week at our dance school, I caved and signed up to do the fall fundraiser. She will earn back 30% of our sales and the school will earn some as well. Annabeth has already sold enough to earn nearly a month of one class for free. Thank you to our generous friends and family - this is a HUGE blessing!

Little Bit at gymnastics class

- Annabeth and I made homemade cupcakes for Luke's birthday party instead of buying them at a local bakery where they are $4/cupcake. We made 20 for around $6!

Maple Bacon Cupcakes 

- I preshopped the consignment sale on Wednesday evening. I spent $44 on 11 items. Annabeth was allowed to select one toy and she picked a very nice princess cash register - a toy I had been hoping to get for her this fall anyway. I also got 10 clothing items: 1 pair of gymnastics shorts, 2 leotards in the next size up, a Mickey t-shirt, a princess long-sleeve shirt, a plain long sleeve shirt for layering, pink Colts sweatshirt, and three dresses. I came in under budget and stuck to my list so I was very glad.

- We grocery shopped for Annabeth's birthday party this weekend. By planning ahead a meal at our house I spent only $40.16 on all the food and drinks for dinner as well as the one decoration I purchased. With careful planning we were able to spend money where we really wanted to - on her cake, her gifts, and party favors for the kids.

What have you been saving money on? Do you take a list to consignment sales or garage sales?

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Today is Mark's brother Luke's 22nd Birthday!

Luke is not only Mark's brother but he and his wife are also some of our best friends. Luke is also Annabeth's Godfather.

Brian and Kristi offered to bring dinner down to our house to celebrate and Mark offered us to do dessert. As soon as Mark offered, I thought of a time when Luke and Cassidy took us to a fancy cupcake place in Indianapolis. Luke and Mark both really enjoyed the bacon cupcakes so instead of buying them (they are around $4 each!) I decided to bake them ourselves.

I found this recipe (midway down the page) on LDS Living's website. It looked very close to what we had eaten at the cupcake place and also fairly simple. So, this morning Annabeth and I included baking cupcakes in our homeschool lesson.

I did modify the original recipe some, here's mine:

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Vanilla Nutmeg Cupcakes:
1 box white cake mix
1½ tsp. nutmeg
2 jumbo eggs
⅓ C. oil
¾ C. milk
¾ C. sour cream
1 T. vanilla extract

Maple Buttercream:
1 C. butter, softened
4 T. milk
4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple flavoring
6 slices cooked bacon for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Sift cake mix and nutmeg into a bowl; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
4. Add cake mix and nutmeg mixture; stir until smooth.
5. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 17–22 (19 for our oven) minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
6. For Maple Buttercream: Beat butter for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and stir in 1 T. milk. Slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream is the desired consistency. Add maple flavoring; adjust for flavor depending on the brand of flavoring you use.
7. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes; top with crumbled bacon to give cupcakes a salty and crunchy taste.

Made 20 cupcakes. 

Annabeth helped by counting out the cupcake liners
and putting them on the cupcake pan.  

She also helped taste-test the frosting.
She approved!  

 Our finished cupcakes!
I only made a third of them with the bacon on top 
because I was not sure that everyone would like that. 

Happy Birthday Luke!