Saturday, June 28, 2014

Italian Cream Cupcakes, on the QUICK!

I was in a pinch for a dessert and thought I would give a go at making Italian Cream Cupcakes, 
starting with a box of cake mix.  The results were fantastic (and oh so quick), so give this a whirl!

What you need:
box of white cake mix (that will yield a 9x13 pan)
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 T water
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raw pecans 

Click here for my delish frosting recipe, that must top
these cupcakes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the chopped
pecans to fold into the frosting.

Use a sharp knife to roughly chop the pecans.  If you don't feel like
getting your chop on, pulse the pecans in a food processor.

By hand or mixer, blend the cake mix, buttermilk, butter, water and eggs.
Then fold in the coconut and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

I use a large scoop to plop the batter into muffin papers (I looove
the organic look of these parchment papers I picked up at King Soopers) 

Bake in a 350 degree, preheated oven.  17-21 minutes bake time.

While they bake, make the frosting!!!  Here is the link again. 
Stir in the 1/2 cup of chopped pecans you reserved.

After the cupcakes cool (I always set on a cooling rack for at least
half hour), top with as much frosting as you wish.

Then, ENJOY!!!  


Friday, June 27, 2014

The Okee Dokee Brothers in concert

Call me crazy, but we do not own the Frozen soundtrack.  We have seen the movie and can casually hum along, but we do not know the words (which has been a bit awkward at the birthday parties as of late!!).  This is because since the day I became a mom I have incorporated my music into my children's lives.  Yes, I did have the foresight to pull the plug on the Beastie Boys, once Logi turned 1...but they have grown up on the music genres I love most:  folk, bluegrass and reggae. 

A couple of years ago, I was very excited to receive some tunes from my friend from growing up.  Kid music.  But, the best kind of kid music I have ever heard!!! Oh-to the-Em to the-Gee!! That my friends would be The Okee Dokee Brothers!  A couple of dudes who grew up together out here in Colorado, but now reside in Minnesota (which of course would be reason enough for me to looove them!)  So, disc one has been our favorite for the last couple of years, it rarely leaves the car and it rarely turns off, even when the kids aren't with me (which of course means it is kid tested, mother approved, duh!).

Lucky us, The Okee Dokee Brothers played in Colorado last week, in support of their second album's release!  Here are a few snaps from my phone, of a lucky little afternoon for some of my favorite little kids:

 Jake, Logi and Benny!  These kids are
second generation friends, as I grew
up in Minnesota with Jake's daddy. 

 Logi is very timid in crowds, but quickly
warmed up to the celebration!

 They are seriously the sweetest little friends
Moving here and reconnecting with Jake's dad
has been one of the greatest blessings to our life
in Colorado, especially getting to watch these two 
sugars grow up together.

 Logi and Jake scooted up front (where
it appears Lo worked on finding her
sits bones).  The 'brother' to the right (Joe)
went to college at St. John's in Collegeville, which
of course I love because all of Logi and Benny's
uncles were Johnnies. The 'brother' on the left (Justin)
had a ridiculously infectious smile, and I would 
imagine he brings a whole lot of happiness to his
people.  I want him to move next door.

 Barefoot Boogie!

 This was our favorite song (an auctioneer bit), 
the kids were raising there hands to 'bid'. 
So thankful we got to enjoy this afternoon
with the kids and some ridiculously good 
tunes.  Check out their website and catch
a show, when they are in your area.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

James Taylor Live at Red Rocks

I just rolled in the door, but before I hit the hay I wanted to knock out this quick blurb, after an excellent show out here in the foothills.

I do not care which genre of music you pledge your allegiance to, you must, I repeat you must see James Taylor play a live show.  He is flawless.  He is timeless.  I saw him play in Duluth, Minnesota 12 years ago, on my mom's birthday.  When I heard he would be at Red Rocks, I thought my mom and I should for sure hit the show up.  The day leading up the the show was amazing.  Indian lunch at my favorite little spot in Golden, massages, shopping (I bought a floppy hat) and yoga.  That's when the weather rolled in.  Boooo, it started pouring cats and dogs.  I thought for sure they would cancel the show because of the lightning, but sure enough, after a 45 minute rain delay, the sky made like a bruise (went from black to blue...did you catch that drift?  I am wildly clever when I am ready for bed...) and the show went on.  Pinch me. 

I love his music so very much.  When I had my sweet little boy, I changed one word in his song Sweet Baby James to Sweet Benny James, and sing it to my little love all the time!  I also flashback to childhood every time I hear him sing, You've Got a Friend as it reminds me of my summers at sleep away camp and the month I spent canoeing in Canada with a group of girls.  Oh sigh.  I just love him.  Oh, and I also die when I hear Fire & Rain as one night in college I saw one of the horrible commercials for those horrible compilation CDs of super random music (which was actually really good tunes, but the idea of them always throws me off, unless we are talking about Jock Jams...obvy.  Oh and yet again, I am totally off point)...I saw the crap commercial, that wasn't so crappy as I heard his sweet voice singing that song and as I fell asleep I dreamed I was ON A DATE WITH JAMES TAYLOR (shouting!).  RandomFest!  But still let's be honest, it was a glorious date!

Okay, must hit the pillow...but do yourself a favor and see if you can catch a show!