Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mocha Cupcakes and Wedding Showers

 So today is BAKE day for one of the showers for Vanessa, my sister. It's a cupcake shower, which is awesome, and I'm making some! (woot) This recipe looks Awesome! So a friend, Haley Long, and I are making it, and we'll just have to see if it's actually as good as it looks. :)  We're gonna have to (ahem) test the icing too. ;) Maybe you could try it too, cuz you know I pick awesome recipes.
See, doesn't that look delicious??

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Mocha Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes Baking Time: 17-20 minutes
1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.
(Cupcake recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)

Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.
*Note: To make the swirls on the cupcakes, I used a 1M decorating tip.

Friday, August 26, 2011

From colds to Laryngitis

     Just the past week I did something that's never happened before... I lost my voice. Through this traumatic time, I learned several useful tips, and I hope to pass them on to you. 
     So, I've been really into nutrition, natural oils, and home remedies recently. And I know what you're thinking, "NO! Not this! Not some girl who comes along and find something works and suddenly wants to pass it on to random people all over the world, who really don't feel they need it, but JUST maybe they know it's... TRUE!" Yes, like others, I read minds. I don't like to brag about it though. So on to the real jeeeuicy stuuuff. 
   If you've found yourself in the same predicament as I was, NO voice for 3 Days, then Here's something that seriously helped me. ALSO if you do not have Laryngitis, these are still very good and cleansing for ALL!! (get it? Got it? Good.)

    Cayenne pepper. You're like, Whaaat? And I say yes. Some say to put 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a tablespoon of pepper. I really put about 3/4's teaspoon of cayenne pepper in with the honey. That was more than enough for me. Stir it around a little bit. I Dare you to take it. Cayenne pepper will help bring junk out from your throat. Apparently cayenne pepper kills prostrate cancer cells, stops heart attacks, nourishes the heart with vital nutrients, removes plaque from the arteries, helps rebuild flesh destroyed or harmed by frostbite, heals hemorrhoids, re-builds stomach tissue, heals stomach ulcers, fortifies your overall health, and allays the most straining of diseases. So it sounds like anyone can benefit from this cayenne and honey mixture.
P.S. Have a big glass of water on hand after holding the mixture in the back of your throat for about 30 seconds, and swallowing.
Cayenne Pepper
      Next is Apple Cider Vinegar! THIS one really helped. I found my voice was sooo much better after gargling for as long as you can, and spitting it out (do this morning and night, before you go to bed for several days). I did an 8 oz. glass of water with 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. Some put 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in with it too. But I decided to go with the honey and cayenne pepper mixture above. Now for those who still don't have Laryngitis, this is still awesomely good for all of you. Some are diabetes, high cholesterol, heart health, cancer, and best of all, weight loss! Some take 2 teaspoons a day with juice, or whatever. Or it can be applied externally. But be careful. It's highly acidic. You might die. Ish. 
P.S. It's really disgusting ish, so be ready. Though maybe I shouldn't have told you that.

   NOW, for people with Colds, or sore throats, I've found several helps. Well, lots. 
    #1. Oregano oil! (woot woot) This also helps with Laryngitis. And so much more too. Such as, destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems. Strengthening the immune system. Increasing joint and muscle flexibility, and improving respiratory health. What I do, is three drops under the tongue, and three drops at the back of the throat, or somewhere in the mouth you feel it needs (like a tooth that hurts from infection, or some such thing). Hold the oil there for 30 seconds (DO NOT swallow during that time), and then swallow. Annnnnd have a big glass of water ready and waiting. It may feel like burning, but that's ok. It means it's working. Apparently there's two different kinds, one that can be taken internally, and ones that can be applied externally, so look that up before you get some.
P.S. It's a realllllly good germ killer! ;)
     #2. Clove oil. THIS one seems awesome. Because it helps with Dental (!), infections, skin care, Stress (!!), headaches, respiratory problems, earaches, nausea, blood circulation and purification, diabetes, immune system..... etc! I just put a drop of clove oil (JUST 1) on a big spoonful of honey. Be sure to have a glass of water on hand. To look for proper doses for some of the things listed, just look it up. My dose helps with colds, sore throats, and internal infections. 

Ok, so you're probably really bored by now. But these Seriously help. Trust me. I know. And stuff. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life has come together into one big Kablam. This is why I have not written for such a long time on here. Because of big Kablams. So, with Summer, there came hardly any break. And I'll fill you in. 
     An older sister got ENGAGED! in May, and the wedding is set for October. This is the first person in our family to get this close to marriage. ;) And the first time I'll be a bridesmaid!
    This Summer a brothers' seizures suddenly picked up to having grand mauls (the biggest kind of seizure you can possibly have) at least once a week. The medication did not seem to be helping at all, so finally the doctor changed just the other week. Since then, though there have been several alarms, no seizure has occurred! Prayers have certainly helped.
     Also, several piano competitions had the audacity of letting me perform. I can say I did pretty well in all of them, but some of the judges didn't seem to think so highly of myself. (They're always like that) A friend and I, who've felt like we've been playing in competitions all Summer, have decided to write a book. It's called: "What Not to do Before you Play at a Piano Competition: Horror Stories From the Experts". It's still in the writing stage (actually we haven't really started), but we feel it's going to be a best seller. And we can get rich. And stuff. 
    So, what I've learned so far. 
Seizures: I've certainly learned how to deal with them. One thing to do? DO NOT call an ambulance if a person has a seizure, unless a serious injury has occurred because of it. And, when a person is having a grand maul, always put a cushion under their head, and roll them onto their back so they won't hurt themselves. See? I've learned. 
Weddings: .................................... Just trust God, ok?
Piano competitions: I'm the Bestest out there! No doud aboot it. 
So yes, I've really learned. 

Oh, and I've read a lot of books. Which means I'm awesome. And you can be too. If you read. And if you can't read this, that means you probably need to learn. Before summer's over.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How one Creature can Defy the evolution theory

     I have always been passionate of learning where everything came from, and how God designed each creature to be just right. And since 1859 people have been embracing the evolution theory. Many now believe it only because they were taught it. But even others believe in the evolution theory because they want no affiliation with intelligent design, and the one true God.
     Dr. Jobe Martin was an all out evolutionist, and had just begun teaching at a college. After his first lecture of the evolution of the tooth (a process where fish scales migrated into the mouth, and became teeth over thousands of years), a couple of students had come up to Dr. Martin, and challenged his claims on evolution. They wanted him to study animals in a creation-istic way, which opened up a whole new world for Dr. Martin. He had begun to realize, after studying several animals, that there was absolutely no way these creatures could evolve everything it had. He realized chemicals didn't have information to make life, so where did these animals get it?
     Dr. Martin began thinking how you would get the information into the genes of these creatures. To have evolution, you got to have information. So for five years, Dr. Martin challenged himself on his belief in the theory of evolution. He had searched and searched for a way to explain how these creatures had evolved from a chemical, and gotten the information, but found nothing. Dr. Martin finally came to the conclusion that these creatures were designed and made by a supreme power. It began to move him from being a committed evolutionist, to a convinced creationist.
     All creatures on this earth are so complex, that even a small mussel can defy evolution. These mussels have an amazing skill to survive. In order for them to reach adulthood, they have to spend part of their lives, about six weeks, in the mouth of a host fish, a bass or a trout. These mussels will mimic different minnows or small fish, and by doing this, it will close itself almost all the way up. It will then begin to push its soft tissue out, making the soft tissue to look like a little minnow.

     Mussels must have a particular fish to come down and eat that particular minnow. A mussel will mimic a little minnow that will attract a bass. When the bass opens its mouth to grab the bait the mussel mimicked, and the spit second the fish opens its mouth, the mussel shoots its larvae and eggs right into it. These little eggs and larvae will attach itself to the fish’s gills, and that’s where they live as a parasite, or as a symbiotic relationship. These mussels drink the fish’s blood until they are big enough, and will drop off its gills, and grow.
    So how does this mussel know to mimic a particular type of motion, to attract a particular fish? Each mussel has a way to attract the fish by jerking certain ways, or having different artwork on it that looks like another little fish. How would evolution explain that? These mussels have to know the right fish to shoot their larvae and eggs into the fish’s mouth. Even when the fish opens its mouth to take bait, it is the quickest of snatches. How does the mussel know to time it just right to shoot the larvae and eggs inside?
     So many questions for just one small little creature, yet evolution has no way of explaining them. If the mussel was to evolve over thousands or millions of years, then how were they able to attract the certain fish they needed, with their mimic of the exact kind of minnows needed to be able to let their larvae and eggs live? How did they know what exact minnows they needed to mimic for their need? If evolution can explain how this animal got everything it needed by mindless chance processes, then you would wonder how they even could think it up. For each creature to be able to live and have their defense systems they would have to be created with a powerful Designer, the One living God.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


    Ever needed to pick something up, yet hate to bend down to get it? Or have you just hated to dig in your garden just for a tree? These are just some of the inventions that will take the world by surprise, making life much, much easier!  The first one up, is one for picking things up. Too tired to bend down to pick up something you've dropped? This invention is very easy to carry around, in your purse, or pocket. It is in the form of a gun, and by pressing the trigger, and long wire shoots out, with a clamp on the end. By cocking the gun, you will open the clamp, and you can proceed to put the clamp on the thing you want it to pick up. And then, by cocking it again, you will close the clamp. Press the trigger again to bring the item up to you, and voilĂ ! You have your item that you have dropped, or needed!  
      Next, is another useful invention for gardeners. An electric shovel! Just take your extension cord out to your garden, plug it into the shovel, and turn it on. The shovel just "jumps" up and down, digging a deeper hole! Just make sure you have enough extension cords. 

     The next invention we will talk about is the scream reducer. Whenever you feel like screaming, just attach this scream reducer to your mouth, and scream as loud as you want. This implement is easily carried around in pocket, or purse. And it even has a rubber inside whenever you feel like chewing something up!

     Next is something that makes Everything better. A Butter stick! This stick of butter isn't just any regular stick of butter. It's just like chap stick that you can bring anywhere with you! If you're feeling down, just use this stick of butter you have in your pocket, or purse. Butter makes everything better. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Princess and the......?

Two sisters decided to have a story contest. Morgen, the oldest of ten, and Lauren of eight. And so we begin with the oldest.
A story of a Ten year old:

     "Once upon a time, there lived a Prince who wanted to marry a Real Princess, but couldn't find one anywhere.
Well, it was a dark and stormy night, and the King and Queen heard a knock at their door. They opened it and saw a princess. She said-"
Lauren: "This is Princess and the Pea. It sounds like it."
Morgen: "No it isn't, keep listening.
And the Princess said, 'Please I'm really wet and I need somewhere dry and warm to sleep.'
Well the King and Queen didn't know if she was a real princess.
'I'm really a real princess,' she said.
So the King and Queen decided to see if she really was."
Lauren: "This is the Princess and the Pea!"
Morgen: "No it isn't, let me finish!
So the the Princess was dried and dressed into nice dry clothes. And she got all nice and dry.  And the King and Queen, to see if she was a real Princess, put 100 mattresses with a wet bathing suit at the bottom-"
Lauren [laughs]: "This Is the Princess and the Pea!! You lied!"
Morgen: "NO, It Is Not. You didn't hear what I said before, did you?? Well I'm going to start over, because this is Not the Princess and the Pea.
     Once upon a time, there was a prince who was lonely, and wanted to marry a real princess. One rainy night the King and Queen heard a knock on the door. They opened it and found a princess who asked if she could come in because she was all wet. 'I need a place to stay, and help me get warm.'
The King and Queen wanted to make sure she was a real princess, so they let her stay, and got her all dry and everything.
The Queen then put a 100 mattresses on top of A WET BATHING SUIT!"
Lauren: "Oh. It sounded a lot like the Princess and the Pea."
Morgen: "Yes, I can see how you'd get mixed up. But it's a wet bathing suit.
     So, the next morning, when the King and Queen saw the princess they asked, "How did you sleep?"
The Princess said, "Horrible! I felt all wet all over, even though I was dry. I thought i was drowning."
And the King and Queen knew that she was a real Princess. So Prince and the Princess lived happily ever after."  [Apparently they didn't get married??]

Friday, January 14, 2011

A living Nightmare Part 2

Recap: Ok So there was this big mess, and I tried to make these kids that I was babysitting help, but they tricked me. And I left you hanging in that I had felt something splat on my head.

    I turned around to get some towels, and start cleaning up, when I felt something splat right on my head... Now I know you might think it was an egg, but I'll just have to tell you it wasn't. It was a splattered, organically grown, quite large egg. From a chicken, not an ostrich. I felt that splattered, organically grown, quite large egg go all over my head. I REALLY wanted to get mad. But I closed my eyes..... and sang my ABC's. I turned around to the children, still singing my ABC's, and stared at them. I gave them what felt like a happy laughy grin... But I know it prolly wasn't that, because the kids looked a little scared. But I didn't care. 

    I bent down to a conveniently placed non-splattered, organically grown, quite large egg next to my foot. From a chicken, not an ostrich. Picked it up, and threw. Straight at them. And right in the boy's face. I laughed. They surprised. And I bent down for another egg. They suddenly seemed to get at what was happening. The girl giggled. They had never been given their own medicine before! And it seemed fun. They ran away giggling both of them. I ran with an egg in each hand. So began the fight. We threw everything that was close at hand. And sang our ABC's all the while. 
     We had so much fun, I didn't see the time fly past. I looked at the clock while running by. I immediately stopped, shocked. I felt a yogurt cup splatter against my back. But I didn't care. I turned around to the kids, and they started to laugh, but when they saw my face, they stopped too. I swallowed. 
"Your mom's going to be here in less than 30 minutes."
It was the doomed statement of the year. 
They looked at me, and just stood there.  I looked at them and said,
"Well, let's see what we can do."
And then began the frenzied clean-up, singing Old McDonald as fast as we could. The kids were really willing to help, and they were pretty good at cleaning too. I didn't know they had it in them. The kitchen was the worst, so we attacked it first. The kids really helped, helping me know where to put things. It was as if they had done a lot before.

    It was almost 3 minutes till she would get here, and the boy was vacuuming. And I noticed something. What about our clothes? They were a complete mess. Egg in our hair, soaked all the way through clothes with yogurt, and just about everything else piled on top. Then attacked the third frenzied attack, cleaning ourselves up. And singing Mary had A Little Lamb the whole way. And a lot faster. I cleaned up the girl first, got her in a change of clothes, and washed what i could out of her hair. Then the boy changed his clothes, and I washed his hair. We were just in time, but I was a MESS! I looked around, and quickly got my coat on, hoping she wouldn't notice anything. 

     She came in, and there we were. Smiling. She was shocked it looked like, but recovered. The kids kept on talking how fun it was, and she was really surprised. As she took me home, she asked what we did. 
I answered, "Oh, stuff." And left it at that.
She paid me a lot, and I've kept the job since. We don't do full out fights, but we still have a lot of fun. ;)