baking

Organizing My Kitchen

New Organized Kitchen

After saying “Wow, I really need to get this kitchen more organized!” about a million and a half times, I finally did it! Well…mostly my pantry! I’ve really been trying to keep our kitchen more organized in general because it is a huge pet peeve of mine to have things all over the counters all of the time (even though things tend to accumulate on the counters anyway). However, the main thing that needed some major organizing was our pantry! Oh man…opened boxes all over, things piled, baby cereal and snacks all over the place, extra canning jar boxes scattered all along the floor…just a disaster! I feel like it is so easy to throw something back in the pantry when you’re done with it instead of keeping it orderly so I finally decided to completely reorganize to make it much easier to keep things looking nice.

New Organized Pantry

I bought some OXO containers to keep boxed snacks, chips, cereal or whatever in. You can get them on Amazon, Target and most places but I was actually lucky enough to stumble upon them at TJMaxx for much cheaper, score!!

I also used mason jars to put baking stuff in such as cocoa and corn starch. Not only does this keep it more organized and fresh but it is way more cute than all of the random containers! I then used chalk labels and a permanent chalk pen to label them.

New Organized Pantry

I used our old flour/sugar canisters for pasta. We use a LOT of pasta so it is nice to have it right there in a convenient container. I put additional different types of pasta boxes in a pull out tote (which can’t really be seen towards the inside of the pantry) as well as another pull out tote with small things like taco seasonings, tuna, etc. Below that I used baskets to organize jars of things such as coconut oil, cooking spray, etc. I stuck canned good in towards the inside ends since we don’t use those as much.

On one hand, I wish I would have taken a “before” photo for you but on the other hand, it is probably best that I didn’t 😛

New Organized Kitchen

 

For some reason I am obsessed with chalk board stuff! So awhile back I got this small little chalk board that has a little stand on it to put on our kitchen counter. Sometimes I decorate it for the holidays, but much of the time I like to write our supper menu on there!

I love the colorful look of all of our cookbooks so I never liked them hiding away in the cupboard. I found this wire basket to display them in, plus they’re easier to grab!

I hope this can give you some inspiration! It’s helped me a ton and is so much nicer to look at 🙂

 

 

Whippersnappers

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The GRINCH! Red Velvet-Cheesecake Cupcakes

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about this time of year is Christmas candy and allllllll kinds of Christmas themed desserts. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a major, and I mean, MAJOR sweet tooth! So I decided I needed to get things moving along in the dessert-making department! Better yet…cupcakes! Who doesn’t like cupcakes?! I am very thankful that my husband works with a ton of guys who can take all of the extras off my hands. I am always baking up new things and sending them off to work with him. If it weren’t for that, I would probably have to stop baking because I would eat it all myself! It doesn’t matter if I hide it away in a container, wrap it up and freeze it…doesn’t matter. I WILL know that it is there and ultimately decide that I have to have it.

I’m not really all too great at actually coming up with dessert recipes myself so I actually combined a couple of ideas that I found from a couple of other talented people! I saw the most amazing Grinch cupcakes on pinterest and wanted to do something similar. The original cupcakes came from Sugar Swings blog, to check out their recipe click here. They did theirs with peppermint, which is also an amazing idea! Also, check out the heart they added in the middle!!

I decided to go a different route with mine with…red velvet! Doesn’t get much better than that right? Wrong! Add cheesecake and cream cheese icing and you have perfection!

I used a cheesecake filled red velvet cupcake recipe from Sweet Little Detail’s blog. Check out the recipe they used for their Surprise Red Velvet Cupcakes.

I have been wanting to make cupcakes for awhile now and red velvet is my favorite! I wanted to add some Christmas to them so why not the Grinch?! My son “helped” me with these cupcakes so it was very interesting but fun! Since he is on the move these days and crawling all over the place, it is nearly impossible to do any baking anymore. Thank goodness for the amazing invention of the front carrier! Well…my back doesn’t thank me, but at least I can get some stuff done and have my little one nice and content! Worth it 😉

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My little helper…

Here’s how I did them:

First, make the cheesecake filling to set aside so that it is ready.

Filling:

1 – 8oz pack of cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 Cup sugar

About 1/2 a bag of white chocolate chips (or however many you prefer!)

Blend the cream cheese, egg and sugar in a bowl until very smooth, then stir in the white chocolate chips. Set this aside until later.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes: *To make sure to give credit where credit is due, this cake recipe is Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake recipe. I originally found it through Sweet Little Detail’s blog 🙂

2 1/2 Cups flour

2 Cups sugar

1Tbsp cocoa

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 1/2 Cups oil

1 Cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

2 oz red food coloring (I used a red velvet emulsion, which worked great! Use less if using this instead of regular food coloring)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk eggs in a bowl, add remaining liquid ingredients, mix and set aside. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fill pan with batter about 2/3 full and then top with a spoonful of the cheesecake mixture. I filled mine very full and they turned out great! I pushed my spoonful of cheesecake mixture down into the batter a bit with a knife.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Now for the frosting! I usually just guesstimate the amounts until I get the consistency I want but the amounts I used this time for this frosting turned out amazing! I was disappointed that I didn’t have much leftover to devour but it is probably for the best!

 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 – 8oz pack of cream cheese

1/4 Cup butter (half stick)

4 Cups powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

 

Beat cream cheese and butter well until creamy. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar little by little until you get the consistency that you want. I then added green food coloring to make my Grinch cupcakes! But you could leave it white or do whatever you so choose to fit whatever theme you are trying to do.

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Grinch Red Velvet Cupcakes

…and Ta Da!! Those are my Cheesecake Red Velvet Grinch cupcakes! I just iced them thick with frosting, added edible eyes and made white chocolate santa hats! You could do any design you want this way. Just melt white chocolate in the microwave and add a bit of food coloring to it. I then piped it onto wax paper in the shape of santa hats and put it in the freezer to set.

My son had a lot of fun “helping” me with these cupcakes! Aka putting his hands in the BRIGHT red batter without me realizing it and getting it everywhere! 😛 He sure has fun watching me though and that’s all that matters.

Have fun with your holiday baking!

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 Whippersnappers