Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sparkly Shoes

So New Year's Eve is creeping up fast! The typical New Year's Eve theme is sparkles. Sparkly top, sparkly skirt, or sparkly shoes. That day is an excuse to get super dressed up and go extravagant! I really love a good sparkly shoe. I think shoes really make or break an outfit. I found a couple tutorials brought to you by nest design studio and Green Eyed Monster that give you easy instructions to dazzle your boring old heels. Check it out and let me know what you think!

DIY Gem Shoes

nest design studio
nest design studio

nest design studio

 Glitter Shoes

                                                                 Green Eyed Monster

Monday, December 26, 2011


Hey! I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! Sorry I have been slacking on my posts, I promise I am back in!! Was Christmas as crazy for you as it was for me?! As of Christmas day, I have a bad case of Tonsillitis. My tonsils are on fire and if I swallow, it feels like I'm swallowing razor blades. NOT FUN. I'm going to the doctor at 10 today, so wish me luck! Anyways, we are getting extremely close to New Years. It always sneaks up so fast after Christmas! I still have no idea what I'm doing. Last year, the highlight of my New Years was my best friend Shardi and I discovering a laundry chute in some person's bathroom and drunkingly throwing whatever we could find down it to the people at the party. Hah! This was also originally a wig party, and we were the only ones that showed up with wigs! People are lameee, but it might be hard to top the laundry chute. Even though I have no idea what I'm doing this New Year's Eve, I know that somehow champagne will be involved. You have to have champagne on New Year's Eve, it's good luck! Right? Well, lets say it is anyway. And, it's classy! I have some recipes for you gals to bring in 2012 with a POP! Enjoy all of these recipes and let me know what you think!!!
Original sites are linked under the pictures :)

Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes
How absolutely beautiful are these?! There is champagne in every part of this cupcake: the batter, the creme filling, and the frosting. You may just get tipsy eating one of these :) only kidding... ENJOY!!! 
Sprinkle Bakes

Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes
Yields about 17 cupcakes


1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne, prosecco or your choice of sparkling wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be thick.

Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-22 minutes.  Set aside.

Champagne Pastry Creme Filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup champagne or prosecco
2 tbsp cornstarch 
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture.  Pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.  Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil.  Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.  

Cut a divot into the top of each cupcake and fill with pastry cream.  Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to make a "lid" and place on top of the filled divot.

Champagne Frosting:

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together.  Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus  1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Frost the cream-filled cupcakes and decorate with pastel dragees.

Pomegranate Champagne
This simple recipe is for some added flavor and prettiness to your typical champagne. It makes it look like a whole new drink. Your guests will love it!

                                                      Gimme Some Oven

  • favorite champagne (or sparkling fruit juice)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • pomegranate juice

Place a tablespoon or so of pomegranate seeds at the bottom of a champagne glass.  Then pour a few tablespoons (or however much you prefer) of pomegranate juice to the glass.  Then fill with champagne.  Enjoy!!!

Sugarplum Champagne Sorbet
This sorbet cannot only be made super cute (as you can see), it goes great with a glass of champagne. This would feel amazing on my throat today :)

Sugarplum Champagne Sorbet
Makes 1 pint, serves 4
5 cups very ripe sugarplums, pitted (~8 to one cup)*
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon champagne or St. Germaine
Simple Syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
In a blender or food processor combine sugarplums and 1/2 cup water. Cover and blend or process until pureed. Press plum mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard pulp.
To make simple syrup: Mix sugar and water together in a small pan over a low heat, and bring up to boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and cool completely.
In a large bowl combine strained plum mixture, champagne, and 1/2 cup of the cooled simple syrup. Continue to add syrup 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired sweetness, which will depend on the ripeness of your fruit.
Chill mixture at least 1/2 hour in freezer, until temperature reaches around 40 degrees (do not be tempted to skip this step!). Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Freeze for at least two hours to set before serving.
For an added touch, top small scoops of sorbet with a clove and sprig of mint or basil for an elegant, fresh-picked feel.
Note: If you don’t have sugarplums, any juicy plum should work, the riper and sweeter the better. Enjoy!
Fudgy Champagne Brownies
This is for all of you chocolate lovers! I can't hold myself back against any brownie. It's just not possible. Especially one with champagne!
Bubbly Brownies

Fudgy Champagne Brownies
NOTES: Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. I recommend placing them in the refrigerator overnight to set if you want really clean cuts.

14 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for buttering the pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar PLUS 1 1/2 Tbsp, divided
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup champagne, divided

Adjust your baking rack to 1/3 from bottom of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper (leave extra overhanging the edges for easy removal.)

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or double boiler. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments and stir between each addition. Do not overheat or chocolate will seize.

Beat the salt, vanilla and 1 3/4 cups of sugar into the melted chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time to the chocolate mixture and beat thoroughly to incorporate. Add the flour and mix just until blended. Add 3/4 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon of champagne and continue mixing the batter vigorously until it becomes very shiny and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (If you have a stand mixer, let it run for 2-3 minutes on high. If you don’t, just keep beating hard for several minutes.)

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist, but free of batter, about 50 to 70 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring remaining 3 tablespoons of champagne and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to a boil. Immediately use a pastry brush to brush the warm brownies with the champagne glaze. The liquid should be completely absorbed into the brownies, leaving a moist, shiny top. Let cool then enjoy!

Champagne Truffles
Yum! More chocolate! This is a neat dessert that is pretty easy to make!!
champagne truffles

Champagne Truffles
Allergy Note: contains dairy
makes about 60 truffles

truffle filling:
3 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup champagne (I use Moet et Chandon White Star NV)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup liqueur (I use Grand Marnier)

1 to 2 cups3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

NOTE: If you can get your hands on some Ghirardelli or Guittard chocolate chips, I find that they have a smoother texture that works great for truffles.

For the truffle filling: place chocolate chips in a large bowl and set aside. On low heat, melt together butter, honey, champagne and liqueur in a saucepan. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until the mixture is slightly firm.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Measure out teaspoonfuls of the truffle filling and drop them onto the cookie sheet. Freeze them for 15 to 20 and then roll them into balls. Freeze them again for 10 to 15 minutes more or until firm.

For the coating: Sift half of the powdered sugar on a cookie sheet and keep the other half in the sifter. Set aside. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler; stir until smooth. Place the cookie sheet of naked truffles on your left, the bowl of coating chocolate in front of you, and the cookie sheet with powdered sugar on your right. Drop the truffles into the chocolate coating one at a time, quickly coat them and remove with a fork. Gently shake off any extra chocolate and place the truffle onto the powdered sugar on your right. Sift more powdered sugar over the truffles and let the coating chocolate set before transferring the truffles.
You can store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Champagne Punch
Doesn't this look wonderful?! Lemonade isn't just for summer..
punch (1 of 1)

Champagne Punch
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 bottle champagne
sliced fruit of your choice

What you'll do:
Combine pink lemonade concentrate and champagne in a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir until pink lemonade is completely dissolved. Add sliced fruit into the mixture. Serve in glasses and enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Party Mix

Helllooo!! We are getting so close to Christmas, hooray! I don't know about you guys, but my Christmas calendar is full to the max. There are so many things I have to do!! I also have like five Christmas parties to go to..Holy cow. It's only polite that you bring a dish to each party you go to, so after pondering forever about what I would bring, I came up with party mix! Ta-da! Not the most creative idea in the world, but who cares?! Everyone loves party mix! Plus, everyone always brings some kind of dessert. Don't get me wrong, I love pretty much any kind of dessert, but I don't like to induldge in so many sweets that I feel like I'm going to puke the rest of the night. I thought I'd try out all of these party mixes (different one for each party) and figure out what the best one is. I want you to try them too, and tell me which one you like! Clink on the links under the pictures to see where they came from! Get cookin' ladies!
Festive Party Mix
The Curvy Carrot

Festive Party Mix
Servings: about 10 cups of mix
1 cup Cheerios
2 cups small cheese crackers
1/2 pound mixed nuts
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 cup Kix
1 cup rice Chex
2 cups thin pretzels
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
12 teaspoon garlic salt
1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  ***I use a huge stainless steel bowl that I bought at a restaurant supply store-you can bake the mix right in it!
3. Mix melted butter and seasonings together in a separate small bowl.
4.  Pour the melted butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Bake the mix for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to evenly combine.
That’s it!  It’s simple, delicious, and completely addicting!

Red Hot Popcorn Party Mix
The Yummy Life

-White chocolate chips
-Honey roasted peanuts
-Hot Tamales chewy cinnamon candies
-Red Hot candies
-Coarse sea salt
-Red & white decorating sprinkles
-Canola oil

1. Spread 8 cups of popped corn on a large baking sheet (mine is 13x18).

2. Sprinkle the popcorn with approx. half of the Hot Tamales, Red Hots, and peanuts.

3. Add oil to white chips. (Adding a small amount of canola or vegetable oil, gives the melted chocolate a smoother, glazy texture and appearance.) 

4. Combine white chips with oil in small bowl and melt in microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring each time, and continuing to cook just until chips completely melt in when stirred (approx. 60 seconds total). 

5. Use a spoon to drizzle approx. half of melted chips on top of popcorn mix. This adds flavor, but also works as "glue" to bind the popcorn and candy. Drizzling in layers helps it all stick together.

6. Sprinkle on remaining candy & peanuts, along with the salt.

7. Drizzle on remaining melted chips and immediately (before it hardens) sprinkle with decorating sugar and sprinkles.

8. Let the mix harden completely and break it into pieces. You can speed up the hardening in the refrigerator, if you're in a hurry.

It's kind of like a popcorn candy bark. You can drizzle on more of the melted chips if you prefer it to be even more candy-like. Put it in a cupcake liner for a cute effect! 

Mom's Sweet Christmas Chex

1 (14oz) box corn Chex cereal
1 (12oz) box graham cracker cereal (like Golden Grahams)
2c coarsely grated coconut (I prefer unsweetened)
1 generous cup slivered almonds
2c sugar
2c corn syrup
1c butter
1 tsp almond extract
In one or two of your largest bowls, combine cereals, coconut, and almonds. Make sure you’ll have plenty of room to toss the cereal mixture with the warm sugar syrup mixture.
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in almond extract and pour over cereal mixture. Toss to coat well.

Chex®icago Party Mix


  • 3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups bite-size square cheese crackers
  • 3 cups cheese popcorn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or molasses
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Mix cereals, 1 cup of the cheese crackers and 2 cups of the popcorn in large, microwavable bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in 2-cup microwavable measuring cup. Microwave on High 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir; microwave on High until bubbling. Remove from microwave; stir in baking soda. Mixture will foam up, but keep mixing until baking soda is dissolved. Pour over the cereal mixture; stir until fully coated.
  3. Microwave on High 4 to 5 minutes, stirring after every minute. Spread on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool for about 5 minutes to let caramel fully harden. Stir in remaining 1 cup cheese crackers and 1 cup popcorn.

Puppy Chow

  • 9 cups Combination of Corn, Rice, and Wheat Cereal squares (Chex) 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1-gallon ziplock bags
  1. Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave on High for 1 minute and stir. Microwave 30 seconds longer and stir mixture until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour sauce over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spoon half of the mixture in each 1-gallon resealable ziplock bag. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar to each bag, and seal. Shake the bag until everything is coated. Spread on waxed/parchment paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.