Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chocolate Pomegranate Cupcakes... Wonderful!

Chocolate covered pomegranates is one of my weaknesses.  Every now and again they have dark chocolate coverage pomegranate and they get me almost every time! So of course when I came across this recipe I had to try it! To sum this one up:  WONDERFUL!

POM Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes
 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, heated to boiling
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (not wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla

Pomegranate Chocolate FrostingJuice from 1 large POM Wonderful Pomegranate,* or 1/2 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
6 tablespoons butter
1 6-oz. package chocolate chips (about 1 cup)1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 tablespoons whole milk (I didn't use this)

1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the center.
2. Place a paper baking cup in each of 24 regular sized muffin cups.
3. Whisk together the dry ingredients to combine well.
4. In a large measuring cup, combine pomegranate juice and boiling water.
5. Add oil, vinegar and vanilla to the pomegranate juice mixture.
6. Add to the flour mixture all at once and whisk to combine (batter will be lumpy).
7. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups (about half full).
8. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and free of crumbs .(Mine were done around 20 minutes)

9. Let cool. Frost with pomegranate chocolate frosting and drizzle with glazeFrosting:
1. In a saucepan, bring pomegranate juice and butter to a boil.
2. Remove from heat; blend in chocolate chips.
3. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until frosting is of spreading consistency. If frosting is too stiff, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to thin. ( I used 1/2 cup more powdered sugar)

(For the glaze, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with about 2 capfuls of POM. It should be thick. Drizzle it on top with a whisk or put it into a ziploc bag and cut the corner to use it as a piping bag.)


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Red Velvet Bliss

Happy Birthday to the members of the Matta Family  born in November! The Tin Palace wishes you a birthday full of Red Velvet Bliss! Cheers!

These Red Velvets are so delicious, the kiddo begged to have one for breakfast, good thing there were extras.  Hey- cupcakes are the new pancakes ..... right???  Don't worry I made him have a banana with the cupcake.  :)

The recipe I used for these was from Martha Stewart, though I didn't use her cream cheese frosting recipe, any cream cheese frosting recipe will compliment the cupcake nicely.

Living life one cupcake at a time! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spooky Circa the 1980's

SPOOOOKY!! The Watcher In The Woods!! When I was a kid this movie CREEPED my out! It creeped me out so much that I rented it numerous times. I think at one point my Mom finally had to tell me I couldn't rent it anymore, not sure if that is true, but in my memory it is... Mom do you remember?

This time of year when it is rainy and cold Matt and I have a lot of movie nights. It is especially fun during October cause we watch a lot of creepy, weird movies. Most of the time it is something from the Goosebumps arena, Matt loves anything book or movie that R.L. Stine does.

Tonight when I was at Target I found The Watcher In The Woods in the kids Halloween movies. I couldn't leave it there! It had to be part of our Halloween movie catalog. So tonight's movie selection.... you guessed it! The Watcher In The Woods.

Matt gives this movie 4 STARS!

"This movie is creepy! It's an awesome movie, you have to see it. The weird old lady scared me the most!" - Matt's movie review.

Even as an adult I still enjoyed this movie. I couldn't believe I still remembered it, but I guess if you watch it so many times that you've worn out the copy at the local family video store then you never forget!

Happy Spooking!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Spirit...... Cupcake Style!

Tonight was going to just be a mellow night.  The plan... to cuddle up on the coach with the kiddo and watch some t.v.  One of our favorite shows to watch together is Food Network Challenge, any of them that are Extreme cake challenges are the ones we enjoy the most. So we were all set to start our relaxing evening the show starts and 5 minutes in..... I am in the kitchen baking cupcakes.  For some reason I am not able to watch a baking show and not be baking at the same time.  I know it's a sickness!

So tonight, since it was to be a mellow night - I just stuck to Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream, with a little Halloween flare.

Gotta have Halloween Cupcake wrappers!  These are from Martha Stewarts Halloween Collection.  She always has great Halloween themed wrappers and ideas.

You can't make a vanilla cupcake in October without some orange food gel! I thought I may have used too much - but I wish I would have used MORE!

No Bones about it- I love these cupcakes!  Now off to watch Top Chef Just Desserts.   Hopefully it won't make me run into the kitchen and bake the night away!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to School!

Well it has been over a month since I last posted..... things have been busy busy busy around the Tin Palace.

                                      SCHOOL HAS STARTED!

Matt stylin' on the first day of 3rd grade!


Even with all that is going on in our busy schedule, I still had time to catch one of the Tin Palaces frequent visitors in the act.

Woody Woodpecker in the tree outside by the porch of the Tin Palace.

Lots to do and a soccer game too!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home.

Today I woke up and took a walk outside in the morning sun. In my eyes the Tin Palace looks the most beautiful in the morning hours when the sun is coming up.  It is the most calm time around the grounds.  The birds are still quiet, the rabbits haven't ventured out yet, It is just so peaceful.

I found myself standing for the longest time just staring out across the front part of the orchard.  The picture does not do it justice, but it was so amazing to be standing among the trees.  It was then that I realized just how lucky I am.  I am so blessed to have such a beautiful piece of land to call home. 

I also wanted to share with you my TOMATOES!!  I am thrilled that they are growing.  With the crazy weather we have had this Spring and Summer- I am so happy that anything is growing in my container garden.

I have 8 tomatoes right now!  Along with the tomatoes I also have:

GREEN BEANS!!  These babies put a smile on my face! This year I was thinking I would get nothing out of my garden and I have tomatoes and green beans.

I am anxiously awaiting for some zucchini and butternut squash to grow. I have a feeling that they will not be arriving on my dinner table via my garden this year- but the blossoms look awesome!

It was a blissful morning roaming the land of the Tin Palace!

Home Sweet Home!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Time To Jam

JAM - and this was just my half!

I had such a fun weekend, and spent some much needed quality time with my Mom.  Yesterday was a major Jam-a-thon. Many hours and many jars of jam. We only made two kinds of jam but there were delicious.  The first batch was a Strawberry Margarita Jam.  Yes- Jam with tequila in it.  It tastes so yummy- I just want to take a spoon and dig in!

The second batch was a Blood Orange and Beaujolais Marmalade. I have never been a big fan of Marmalade, but to be fair, I never really gave it a chance.  I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this jam was.  Mom and I had a little extra left over that wouldn't fill a jar but we couldn't let it just go to waste.  Instead of throwing it out we spooned it over some Vanilla Ice Cream. It was heaven.

Earlier in the week I also made a Blackberry/Raspberry/ Peach jam that also turned out pretty good.  We had one jar that wouldn't seal - so we put it in the fridge for immediate use.  It taunted us from the fridge for 1 day before we decided to have breakfast for dinner and spread the jam over warm pancakes.  YUM.

These were my first attempts at making and canning jam.  I had so much fun I just want to turn everything into jam and put it in the canner.

Hmmm... wonder what I will make next... so many possiblities, so little time!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gaga for Granola......

Sometimes at night while I am watching TV I like to sift through magazines and cookbooks.  Last night I was looking through:
So many great recipes in this book, as well as crafty ideas, but one recipe caught my eye.  The Crunchy Granola Recipe.  It has now been added to the recipe box! So good that I had to share.

The Farm Chicks Crunchy Granola Recipe:
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the granola: Heat the oven to 325°F. Combine the oats, coconut, and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Bake the granola: Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Spread the mixture in the pan. Bake until browned—about 50 minutes—stirring every 10 minutes with a large spatula. Cool in the pan on a wire rack; then stir once more. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

The YUMMY ingredients mixed up waiting to be stirred with the Brown Sugar mixture.
Hope you enjoy the granola as much as we are at the Tin Palace!

disclaimer: Granola made while listening to Lady Gaga... hence the blog title. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where I Create......

Some people have craft rooms.  Some people have design studios.  At the Tin Palace I have a corner.  I haven't decided what I am going to call it.  Craft corner??  NO!  Design Desk???  Lame!  So I am on a mission to come up with a name to call my little creative area.

My corner of  the craft world. No I am not ashamed to admit I am a fan of Twilight!

my Muse Board..... a little empty at the moment but not for long!
As I sit at the desk it is comforting to know that I now have a designated space to decoupage, sew or whatever my heart desires!  It is no longer taking over my kitchen table.  Looking forward to getting lost in a project this afternoon!  Where do you create?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blooming at The Tin Palace

Flowers from Aunt Terri

Flowers from Aunt Rae


So lovely to walk through the yard this time of year!  The fruits and flowers are beautiful!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Extreme Shed Makeover!

There has been a lot of working going on around the Tin Palace these last few months.  It has been a lot of hard work and I am happy to say I am thrilled with the end results! 

I know in previous posts I have shown some pictures of the small shed that is behind the Tin Palace,  A little while ago I was going through some old photos and found one of the shed that was taken right after I moved in.  It was so fun to see what a big make over the shed has gone through - so I am excited to share:

The Shed July 2006

The Shed July 2011
Another view of the Shed 2011
Also the Tin Palace now has an official sign:

Sign hanging on the Garage!
More to come on the new look of the Tin Palace.  You may have noticed that the blog is getting a makeover as well.  I am trying a few new things -- so there may be more changes as the days go by.  It just needed a facelift.... I am not completely done with it - and not sure what will stay and what will go so right now it is a work in progress! Feel free to give suggestions and or tips.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Potter and Popcorn...

Matt getting ready for Harry Potter!
The end of the Harry Potter Saga is here.  I don't know about you guys, but at the Tin Palace we are very sad.  Yesterday Matt and I went to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2.  We decided that since it was the last installment in the series we were going to see it in 3-D and sit in the DBox seats.
We had such a great time, shed many tears and will be going back in a couple of days to see it again, 'cuz that's the way we roll!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!!

Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July from the Tin Palace!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Makes Me Smile!

Matt making a silly face- showing off new haircut! 
Nothing makes me smile more than Matt!  The best thing about driving a truck is that the kiddo always rides shotgun so I get to witness all the funny things he does in the car. From air guitaring to a rock song, to playing a game of slug bug (he always wins).  The other night on the way home from visiting his Mimi - he was in rare form!  Nothing like a new haircut to bring out his personality. The picture is a little blurry it was taken with my phone- but I couldn't resist sharing this! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Aloha from the Tin Palace.....

Nothing says Aloha like coconut cupcakes with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting!

The Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
*These are delicious dense cakes! They are delicious even without the frosting. I filled the liners about 3/4 of the way full... if I had filled this to the top they would have EXPLODED!

If you are going to pair this with a frosting here is my pick:

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 7oz (approx one heaping cup) white chocolate chips
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
1. Melt white chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave in 20-second bursts. Cool for about 10 minutes.
2. Cream butter and cream cheese together using an electric mixture (make sure they are both room temperature or they won't cream properly).
3. Add the white chocolate and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Carefully add in the powdered sugar and beat at low speed until combined.
5. Turn off mixer and give it a good stir to make sure everything is combined.

*I added another cup of powdered sugar to mine because it was a little to thin.

I made these recipes for a party my cousin was having today.  I am dying to hear how they went over with the rest of the guests!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Up A Tree....

It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining...... where would you be???

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gardening In The Rain.....

I used to think that in order to do yard work or gardening it had to be sunny out, boy was I wrong!  So today I shucked all my sadness for the long lost sun and put on my gardening hat!

I am a Gardening Fashionista!!
I have had so much fun this morning gardening in the rain, way better than singing in the rain!

Calla Lilies

Love the Calla Lilies!  But the pot needs a little something else.....
Any Suggestions??        

Since I was on such a roll I decided to plant the Jack-O-Laterns and some small Sunflowers in my wooden wheel barrow planter that is by the shed!
Wheel Barrow planter!!
Not sure about you guys but I like instant gratification - so planting seeds and waiting for them to grow is tough for me.  So hopefully the seeds will sprout soon!

Lastly I pulled up most of one of my flower beds today.  I had a bout 5 or 6 lavender plants that looked horrible. Now they are gone, but they put up quite a fight! Looking forward to a trip to Molbaks to give my flower beds a makeover!

How 'bout you... do you garden in the rain?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Flashback!

Things have been really busy around the Tin Palace, it is hard to find the time to post on a regular basis right now.  Last weekend was pretty jam packed.  Here is a flashback to last weekend:


Friday night was spent with my Mom enjoying a preview of all the fun treasures at last weekends 2nd Saturdayz.  Yes, I said preview because.. I WON 2nd Saturdayz fabulous giveaway.  There was so many fun and interesting things, I could have spent a ton.  In the end here are the treasures that walked out the door with Mom and I:

The little green shelf though not old will go perfect in my room. Insulators for my
"bottle tree" I am going to make, and Mom's Owl
Cigar box.  I kind of want to steal it.

The side of the cigar box.  Love the Owls!

I spent Saturday Morning cheering on the Maltby Pirates, then it was time to get down to business around the Tin Palace:

Windows on the shed are clean and dressed.
Looks so cute!

Some planters to decorate the small shed, and don't forget the birdcage!
 So Saturday afternoon was spent decorating the little shed,  I also planted Butternut Squash, Zucchini, and Beans!  I AM A FARMER!  I can't wait for them to start sprouting out of the dirt.  I am looking forward to fresh home grown produce!  All the is left on the shed is painting the rest of the building - more pictures to come as I finish.


A Supercalifragilisticepialidocious evening at the Paramount Theater.  The sets were amazing and the cast was fabulous! I don't get the opportunity to go to shows often- but after seeing Mary Poppins, I want to go to every show that comes to town!  I have Broadway Fever! It was practically perfect in every way!

All this activity left me pretty exhausted come Sunday.  It was a great juxtaposition of productivity and fun. 

Hope this weekend finds you all enjoying some SUNSHINE!

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