Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Chocolate Craving!!

Last night I had a chocolate craving and an urge to bake which can lead to trouble of huge caloric proportions!  Needless to say these goodies quench both needs:

Chocolate Goodness!!

Loving my Zebra print Cupcake wrappers!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C melted butter
1 C Vanilla flavor yogurt (you can use plain yogurt or milk too)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used unsweetened dark cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 -1 1/4 C semi sweet mini chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
2. Stir brown sugar and butter together, add yogurt, egg, and vanilla- stir until thoroughly blended.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl,  Add to yogurt mixture- mix until well blended.
4. Fold in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into muffin tins almost to the top- bake for 20 - 25 minutes. (mine were done in about 20 minutes.)

This recipe is super easy, you can mix by hand or with your electric mixer. 


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My House Has Wheels

So this morning I got an email from my Oregon Auntie with a link to a YouTube video because the song reminded her of my Tin Palace! 

I think this is a great theme song for the Tin Palace! What do you think???

Thanks Auntie Mare! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What A Beautiful Day!!

Spring is here, the sun is shining..... the Queen is smiling!!  Today I finally got my beautiful plants in pots.  Yes, I am just getting the Molbak's plants in pots, I would have taken pictures but they were feeling camera shy! Instead I thought I would take pictures of the recent guests of the Tin Palace!

The Ducks of Tin Palace
These ducks and a few others have been frequent visitors of the Tin Palace over the last several years.  It is always with great joy that Matt and I welcome them.  We love to watch them swim in the pond - and when they have their babies they are so precious!!!  Matt has named these two ducks, SuperDuck and Lois Lane Duck. (He named them when he was 4).

SuperDuck comes out to say Hi!
What a great Spring Day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Since I was feeling rather lazy and had my nose stuck in books the last few days, there are no St Patty's Cupcakes!  So I thought that I would share the recipe of the cupcakes that I was going to make (and still may though not in time for this fine Irish day!)

Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream!
From Trophy Cupcakes & Party

Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcakes
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) Guinness Stout
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)
2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
2/3 cups sour cream

Irish Cream Buttercream
2 cups (four sticks) unstalted butter, room temperature
4 cups (1 pound) of powdered sugar
¼ cup of Irish Cream (such as Bailey’s)
For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.  Bring stout and butter to simmer in heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or with an electric mixer), beat eggs and sour cream to blend.  Add cooled stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and mix on slow speed until just combined.  Let batter rest for 15 minutes.  Fill cupcake liners generously (a little more than ¾ full).  Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.  Frost with Irish Cream buttercream when completely cooled.
For Buttercream:
Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric mixer) until light and fluffy.  While butter is creaming sift powdered sugar in a large bowl.  Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time to creamed butter (use the lowest setting on your mixer until all of the sugar in incorporated and then increase speed to medium-high and beat until buttercream is smooth and fluffy).  Add the Irish Cream and beat until incorporated.

I did make some St Patrick's Day Bars but had trouble getting a picture of them that was blogworthy! Check out this link to see the recipe.
May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Cheers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Buried In Books......

The past few days I have spent my evenings curled on the couch reading and listening to the sound of the pouring rain on the Tin roof.  I am working my way through my ever growing "to-read" pile.

Recently moved from the "to-read" pile to the "read" pile:

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright - a new version of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak- a story about an cabdriver whose life is changed when he stops a bank robbery. I am just about done with this book- few more pages to go.  I really enjoy Markus Zusak's writing.  The first book I read of his titled The Book Thief.  A story narrated by Death that takes place in Nazi Germany.  (sorry I am being so vague- I just don't want to give anything away! I hate it when people tell me about a book and tell the WHOLE story!)

Now I am trying to decide what to read next!!  See what I select by checking out the "What I am Burying Myself In" on the left side of the page.  What I am currently reading or watching on Netflix is there!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Craft Day At The Burrow.....

Had a craft day yesterday with my Mom!  So much fun to spend quality time just chatting with her and listening to music while we created!

Here are pictures of my first ever attempt to decoupage!

Close up of the front
Side View

back view

another side view
I think it looks absolutely amazing!!  It was so much fun!  Now I just want to glue paper onto EVERYTHING!!  Have a great Sunday!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away.....

I don't know about you but I am ready for a sunny Spring! I am anxious to get my Springtime projects started and (fingers crossed) finished.

Here is what will be going on around the Tin Palace this Spring:

-I am redoing the 2 flower beds in front of the Tin Palace.

-Raised garden in the back- for some vegetables. (Looking forward to having homemade soups with veggies from my garden next Fall and Winter!!)
My Dad is going to help me make the raised garden- maybe Matt can help too.  It will be a fun 3 generation project! Looking forward to some quality time with my Dad!

-Window boxes full of pretty flowers on the front of my little shed in the back.

Did I mention I am going to repaint the Tin Palace, the garage and the little shed too??  YIKES!
I am planning on being a bit ambitious this Spring (it's about time too!)
Hopefully now that it is put out there into the blogisphere,  I HAVE TO GET IT DONE!!

So with all the projects I have to get done around here, I am sending Mother Nature some love in hopes she will smile down on us with some beautiful rays of sunshine.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Look Out Molbaks.... I May Be Moving In!!!!

Never in my life have I been to Molbak's Garden and Home.... until today.  Now... I can't wait for payday so I can go back.
Five minutes in and plants are making their way into the cart.
As I walked around smelling, admiring plants, and taking in all the inspiration that Molbak's has to offer, I could not believe I had never been there before!  I could practically live there amongst the sweet scents.  Do you think they would notice me sleeping on some of the outdoor furniture?? There was even an outdoor firepit, that could keep me warm.......

Here are some of the sights from my first trip Molbak's:

Pansies and on sale too!
Hyacinth- smelled so good - it ended up in my cart
 (I will be going back for more!)   
Camellia- Reminds me of my Grandpa!
Buddha looks peaceful

Molbak's makes me happy!  Can't wait to start gardening!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is That You March??

I think I blinked because before I knew it..... IT WAS MARCH!  Seriously wasn't yesterday Christmas??
Where has all the time gone?  It has gone by so fast I can hardly believe it!!
All that said, I think March is a great month! Here is what I love about March (in no particular order):

1) Spring Training for the Mariners starts in Peoria AZ which means...... That Opening Day at Safeco is right  around the corner!! All you baseball fans know what I mean! GO MARINERS!

2) St. Patrick's Day...  I love seeing all the GREEN!  Things that are not usually green turned green for the holiday.  There are some diehards out there that turn everything green! Wonder what fun St. Patty's Day Cupcakes I can make.... stay tuned for that!

3) The First day of Spring!!  Longer days (hopefully warmer too!).

Even though we had snow last week I am still hoping that Spring will come early this year!! 
                                          FINGERS CROSSED!!

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