Snow Day and The Promised Recipes


So today we are stuck inside due to a snow and ice storm. I love when it snows so at least the kids can have fun sleigh riding and building snowmen, but an ice storm leaves us stuck inside. So, since it’s my birthday weekend, we decided to bake some cookies. I always keep clear plastic treat bags on hand and ribbon to tie them with…although I always keep some standard twine on hand, I love to pick up some ribbon that goes with the time of year. I knew my girls would want to incorporate pink for my birthday and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, heart shaped cookies with pink icing was a win win, so I decided to use some gold ribbon to tie up our bags of cookies. Gold and pink seems so classic yet modern, fun but also romantic. I hope you to can use these ideas to make some of your own cookies and have some fun in the kitchen while staying warm during these winter months!
Ok, now for the recipe I promised yesterday…the original recipe was from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at home cookbook, but here is my version:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup king arthur white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
sprinkling of fairy dust…aka cinnamon
1 1/4 orange juice (measure a little over 1/4 mark)
2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
fruit of your choice…bananas, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries…have fun making different varieties
1 1/2 cups of sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin tins
Mix all dry ingredients together and make a well in the center
Combine OJ, eggs and melted butter in seperate bowl and then pour into the well of dry ingredients and stir until combined…how you stir is the hardest part of this recipe…you don’t want to stir too much or too fast
Add fruit combination of your choice and sugar and gently mix
I LOVE using my ice cream scoops to scoop the batter into the muffin cups…fill to brim
Bake for 22 min or until muffins are baked. Enjoy!

And the super easy recipe from a box: mix one box of Spice Cake Mix with one 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree…do not add any additional ingreidents listed on cake box!! Stir to combine. Now…here is where you can have fun making your own version…add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, dried cherries or dried cranberries…you can choose one or mix a combination. I am a big “eyeball” measurer when I bake, so eyeball your add-ins to your liking! Bake according to box. Enjoy!

Alright, well it’s my birthday weekend so I am off to continue drinking my glass of wine and hoping that my parents make it in safely!!

Best Wishes,
Heather

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Stay Warm

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With the chilly temperatures, what better way to start your morning than with a muffin and a hot cup of coffee…or tea!  I love making muffins and if you find a basic muffin recipe that you love and can make fairly quickly, and easily, you would be surprised at the different variations you can make with just one recipe.  One of my favorite substitutions is orane juice in place of milk.  And a favorite add-in of my children is what they like to call, “sprinkling fairy dust,” aka cinnamon.  A friend of mine told me about King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour and I can usually substitute one cup in place of one cup of white flour without anyone batting an eyelash.  If you don’t have time to bake muffins in the morning, that’s not a problem…just bake them the night before and enjoy in the am, or even anytime throughout the day.  I will be back in touch later on today with a basic made from scratch recipe that I have had lots of luck tweaking with my own little additions and substitutions and thought you might have fun with it too!  I will also share a made from a box recipe that requires nothing more than the box mix and one, maybe two, addtional ingredients…and I promise, it’s super easy, super yummy and healthy too!DSC_0397_3740

Baked with Love,

Heather

Birthday Week Celebration

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One year ago, I began writing a blog called www.TheMintedIdea.blogspot.com.  I was turning 40 and decided I needed to start a few goals.  Here we are, one year later, and my blog is turing One and I am turning Forty-One…ouch!  Where does the time go??  Well, you know what they say…Time flies when you are having fun!  Having fun is kind of why my blog started.  Aside from the normal everyday things I enjoy which consist of spending time with my family and friends, running and helping my husband run our baseball businesses, I like to bake cupcakes and cook and plan parties.  But what I realized is that it’s not neccesarily that I love to cook or love to bake, it’s that I love the overall outcome of making someone feel special or watching someone enjoy what I made.  Whether it’s watching my children enjoy the hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookies on a cold day or baking my not famous yet sugar cookies decorated with my secret icing recipe for my family and friends, I really truly enjoy making people happy.  And I enjoy writing.  I enjoy writing to people to let them know I am thinking about them.  I have followed some caringbridge websites, some people I know and some I don’t, but I follow them and write on the person’s page because I want them to know that I am thinking about them.  I try to be a little creative and write about random things so the person who is going thru the illiness has something to read, something to not only let them know I am thinking about them, but something to read and hopefully take their mind off of not feeling well and laugh for a minute or just be inspired to know that people are cheering them on.  I enjoy writing about my life, not because I want everyone to know about me or because I want to brag about some super fun birthday party I planned, but because I want to inspire people, I want to make people laugh, I want to make people know that it’s the little creative things in a day that make life fun.  And yes, we all have our good times and bad times and trials and tribulations in life, but hopefully, my little blog about adding a little creativity to everyday life will help bring a little fun to the everyday life of anyone who happens to be reading The Minted Idea.

So, here we are one year later and I have decided to switch my blog to www.TheMintedIdea.wordpress.com because this year I hope to expand my blog to more of a web-site and maybe even a little store too!  So, stay tuned for details, (hopefully!), and for now, I leave you with a picture of one of my cupcakes.  You don’t need to make your cupcake from scratch, but I do encourage you to find a homemade goto icing recipe…it’s so much better than the can and you will be amazed at all the little ways you can be creative with one little icing recipe!

Best Wishes,

Heather