Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp red food color
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray & line with cupcake liners (this recipe should make 2 dozen). In medium bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt.

In separate, larger bowl, whisk together wet ingredients-oil, egg, milk, food coloring, vinegar & vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into muffin tins, filling approximately 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.

While you let those cool, make cream cheese frosting.

  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Cream cheese and butter should be room temperature. Cut together sugar, cream cheese and butter, add milk and vanilla, then mix with stand or handheld mixer until thoroughly mixed.

When cupcakes have fully cooled, ice with cream cheese frosting. Ta da!!!

Quickie

I’ll have more on my current works-in-progress this weekend. Also possibly cupcakes, I’ve got a craving. In the meantime, here are some things I’m reading & looking at this Friday:

From Offbeat Home we have “Oh Shit, We Bought a House” which my sister suggested to me because, oh shit, i just bought a house.

Also via Offbeat Home I got a link to “One Good Thing” with lots of homemade products & cleaning. As I prepare to get out of this house & into the new one, I’m going to be involved in a huge clean out, and I don’t like (and I guess right now am not allowed to) use chemical-y smelling cleaning products.

In the food department there’s Bakerella with “The Lorax Cake Pops” which are adorable. I do want to state for the record, though I love the original Lorax book and movie, I in no way approve of this weird “remake” they’ve got going on. Why do the movie people keep doing this thing where they take a familiar story, write a whole new story using its main characters, and then act like it’s a remake. It’s not. It’s more if a ripoff by a writer who couldn’t be bothered to make up his own characters or major plot themes. /rant

aaaaaand on that note, everyone have a good weekend. I’m going to go decide about those cupcakes….

Colorful

While we’re waiting on paperwork, appraisals, and all the other things that stand between us and the new house, I’ve been looking for inspiration. Today I’ve been searching the internet and my own picture archives for color inspirations. I got the idea from Design Seeds to make this style of color palette. Here are some ideas I’m working with:

This is my inspiration for our nursery. Penguins are adorable, and I’m not sure why my exhaustive searches have turned up next to zero for penguin-themed nursery items.

I’m thinking about using this palette for the smaller living area with the fireplace, which will be a sitting/play room. We have a couch already that is that brown/tan color.

This is a picture of a churchyard in Charleston, which is one of my favorite places to be (Charleston, not necessarily a churchyard). I’m thinking of pulling these colors for the palette for the second living area, which will be the bigger living/dining area.

I’m also considering going with a palette that’s a little richer for the same room, like this smoky, dark picture. I like the dark greys and reds, but would probably keep the walls the first light grey/off white color.

I’m thinking of this mossy palette for the master suite, with some brown & grey accents.

The question I’m pondering now is just how much painting I can manage. I am definitely not getting up on a ladder, but my bestie & I are planning a painting session the weekend we are supposed to move. Which rooms are the best to prioritize when you’re first moving? The ones that are the most high traffic (living room)? Or your personal retreat (master bedroom)? Which one should I tackle first?

Projects of Unusual Size

I may have gotten in over my head. I’m already in the middle of gestating a new human person (16 weeks, if you’re curious) and now we’ve gone and bought a house.

Well, we’re still in the process of buying it. There was paperwork, and our offer was accepted. But there are still inspections, and appraisals and more paperwork to sign than you could ever imagine. Unless you already own a house, in which case you’ll agree with me. Lots of paperwork.

It’s an exciting prospect. The house is kind of plainish, and suburban which is less my style, but it’s got three bedrooms, two big living areas downstairs, closets from here to next Tuesday, and an enormous yard big enough for kids, dogs, or even full on adults to run around in. Also, a tankless water heater. This was a big selling point for me: infinite hot showers are in my future, y’all.

The other thing that I’m taking as a positive, it’s a blank canvas. Whitish walls, neutral carpet, right now it feels big & empty because the previous owners have already gone. That means I don’t have to decide if I want to keep or change the style of anything. It is currently without style, begging that my style (or, you know, also my husband’s who gets to live there, too) be added to it. I think I’m just now starting to realize what a big project this is going to be.

It’s also complicated, at least in the short term, by two factors. Number one, right about the time we want to move in (mid-March) I’m going to be losing the ability to see or touch my toes. My ability to lift or move heavy things has also been compromised because of my delicate condition and huge stomach. I’m essentially on the bench for all but the lightest home improvement duties until mid-July. Well, at least mid-July, and one assumes some unspecified period of recovery after. It’s not as if I’m going to be standing in my living room the week after the baby arrives going “I think I will rearrange my couches. I feel totally up to the physical task at hand, despite having expelled a tiny human from my hoo-ha the other day!” Based on preliminary reports from my more experienced friends and also the internet I’m more likely to stand in my living room thinking “I do not know what this new tiny overlord wants or why that sound is issuing from its mouth. Perhaps if I take it back to the hospital, they would exchange it for a puppy or a beta fish.”

Anyway. So no lifting things for me. Also, I have complicating factor number two which is this: Did you know it’s expensive to buy a house? And also to have a baby? Houses need money (and, you know sometimes a new roof or something) but babies are much more disorienting in their needs because there is So. Much. Stuff. and I’m not really understanding it. It weighs ten pounds and can’t see anything more than twelve inches from its face. Why does it need a bassinet, a crib, a pack-n-play and several different types of specialized seat/chair/swing combos?

Anyway, babies and houses are two of the most expensive things ever in life, and I get both this year. So guess what that means for my home decor? It means the budget for making a blank canvas house into my own homey home is shoestring thin. And that means I’ll be thrifting, garage-saleing, craigslist-searching and from-scratch-making pretty much all of it so that it’s definitely my own. And due to my temporary physical limitations, I’ll be doing it rather slowly, with plenty of breaks to take pictures and write about it.

Right now, I’m gathering ideas, paint swatches, and pins in anticipation fo the big move. I’ve always had imaginary projects & ideas for my “dream home,” but now I have to go from unlimited (budget, space, rooms, ideas, time) to practical and see what really fits where in this new space I’m going to call home.

WordPress keeps eating my giant post and publishing only the title. i’m about to lose it.

has this ever happened to you? check back tonight for actual post. i’m taking a break.