Monday, February 23, 2009

Cinna-Mocha Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cupcakes

The cupcakes have been nagging at me. Pressed for time, however, I didn't think I could get another recipe together before the entry. I knew I to leave for several days on a business trip and there were too many things to do before the Feb. 24 cupcake deadline.

But at the last minute, I decided to plunge ahead and try something. And it worked!

So here we go, my very mundane and plain recipe for Cinna-Mocha Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cupcakes.

1. Take your favorite brownie recipe (even if it is a boxed mix!) and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 T. of instant coffee to the batter. Mix as directed.

2. Dollop into baking cups, about 3/4 full. Bake at recipe temperature but reduce the time you would normally cook the brownies by at least half or more. Guage by the top -- it should be shiny and with a "brownie crust." You'll want to undercook these so they have a fudgy center. Don't overcook! (this is the secret) In other words, keep your eye on the oven, peeking in your oven window.

3. Remove from oven and let cool. Top with frosting.

4. For Frosting. Brew a pot of cinnamon coffee. Add 1 or 2 broken cinnamon stick to the coffee when brewing. Cream 1/2 cup of butter with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and 4 T. of cocoa powder. Alternately add 1/4 cup of cooled cinnamon coffee to the butter mixture with about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Continue until you have a thick frosting. Put frosting into small baggies (or pastry bag), snip off one end, and pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, nice and thick.

Oooooops! I almost forgot to add that when I enter, I am eligible to win the following prizes. Voting opens on March 1, so I'll be sure and let you know where and when!

Our February ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
DIANAEVANS - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5599270
as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6057281.

PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!As an added bonus for February, SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY will be tossing in a variety of cupcaking supplies, http://www.acupcakery.com/index.html.Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com/, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com/, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com/; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com/; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com/ .

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Come Take a Walk Wiith Me...

Good evening. I'm back in San Diego for a conference this week. Before all the confernece chaos began, I decided to take a pokey walk around the area this morning. I look forward to another one later in the week.

But for now, come share my morning walk....






Maybe we'll take another walk soon, okay?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cupcake Flunky

It was a great idea, truly. I still think it can work. Just the sound of it rolls off your tongue and makes you crave the taste...or what you think it might taste like.

What is it? Oh. My cupcake entry for the month. Secret ingredient? Coffee.

The cupcake? Cinna-mocha Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cupcakes.

Makes your mouth water, huh? I told ya.

Thing is, I flunked the recipe design part. It was a great idea, but the end product just didn't do what I wanted.

Now, they are purty, but the cake was too dry and I had too much cinnamon -- the flavors were fighting each other. So, back to the drawing board for this recipe and perhaps I'll be able to enter again next month. If they will still have me?

But here you go. Even though the cake part wasn't wonderful ( but oh, the frosting was heavenly!) the picture turned out not too bad.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Book Trailer!

Good morning! Um, er, afternoon!

I guess my body clock is a little off. You see, I stayed up way late last night working on something and thought I would show you the results. I think it's finished but as always, I find things I want to change after it's published.

No matter, change is inevitable and I've learned to embrace it! I may still tweak but here you go... (and we won't mention that I really should have been working toward my deadline, um, past-due deadline, okay? Shshsh... )

The Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice Book Trailer

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

A year ago on Valentine's Day weekend my son popped the question to his high school sweetheart. They were both twenty-two and had been dating since their high school junior prom. Kelli kept wondering what he was waiting for and he, simply, wanted it to be his own idea. And he wanted to do it up special.

So, he bought the ring, gathered her and their dogs up, and headed off to one of their special places, and proposed.

Their wedding took place this past fall and it went off without a hitch. I can't believe that my youngest is now a married man. He's grown up to be the kind of man that would make any mama proud. I love him dearly.

I thought in honor of Valentine's Day today, I would share a few pictures I snapped during the wedding and all the trimmings. Celebrating love, whatever the day of the year, is always a good thing.

Here is to you, Kyle and Kelli!

Love, Mom

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Still Cluttered

I am perplexed.

You see, I had the idea for my blog all planned out today - in my head. Which is cluttered. Remember?

Anyway, I was thinking that I would pluck the book on clutter that a friend gave to me a few years ago and quote some words of wisdom from it today. I knew right where it was, on the shelf beside of my desk. Likely stuck between a couple of writing books like What Jane Austin Ate and Charles Dickens Knew and Eats Shoots & Leaves.

But no. My clutter book wasn't there. Not on my desk. Not on my other shelf. Not on the living room shelf. Not. Anywhere.

Hm.

Then I remembered the day my friend gave me the book. He had walked into my day job office and glanced around and said, "Oh, I see you are in the middle of a lot of projects." Duh, well, yeah. And there were piles. So what's new?

Later that day, after we had lunch and I'd gone off to a meeting, I came back to my office to find a book on my chair. He had visited a nearby bookstore, purchased this clutter book and simply left it there. (Yes, the nerve!) So, I opened the book and read what he wrote inside the front cover. It went something like this: Read the book and then give it away or you'll have more clutter.

I did read...some of it. I don't believe that I gave it away. But then...WHERE IS MY CLUTTER BOOK WHEN I NEED IT?

I have no clue. I can't even remember the name of it but I do think it is yellow. (and not the book shown above, although I absolutely love the title, don't you?)

I searched on Amazon and could not find a yellow clutter book. So I did the next best thing. I Googled.

So if you are at all interested in clutter books, here is a list.

But remember, if you buy it, then you have to get rid of it, because you'll have more clutter. Theoretically speaking.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Neurocranialdeclutterorbust Syndrome

Ackkkk!!!!

Yes, this is how I feel. Actually, I felt more like that, oh, about three days ago. There are still lingering effects but am recovering.

There is too much clutter in my life. Way too much.

Likely, this has something to do with traveling so much of late. Since January 5 I have raced through ten different airports - a few of them multiple times - slept in five different states and nine different hotel chains, (slept in my own bed only six nights), and eaten in more restaurants, good and bad, than you can shake a stick at.

Might be one reason for the clutter in my head - and for the reason I've come down with a good case of flu-like symptoms, fever and chills and the like - and a severe case of brain exhaustion. Not to mention that I have feather allergies. Ever try sleeping in a hotel bed with down pillows and comforter when you have feather allergies? No matter if you ask the hotel to remove said offending items, the residuals are still there. Duck dander, or something. Puffy, water eyes and after a while, you're sick.

Not pretty.

But back to the cluttered-life-and-brain thing. There is an official word for it: Neurocranialdeclutterorbust syndrome. Simply put, either declutter your brain or end up busting your head upside a brick wall repeatedly until the clutter is out.

I'm there. About to bust my brain against the wall. Need proof? Well then, here you go.

How about the tax mess on my kitchen table?


Or the laundry pile on my bathroom floor?


Or the mail tossed aside on my short stays at home?


Or the home office reorg that never got off the ground?

And I won't even mention the day job backlog of email, projects run amok, and phone calls to return.

The result?


See, I told you. Neurocranialdeclutterorbust Syndrome.

So what to do about it? Bust my brain against the bricks or take action and simplify? Or, perhaps, let the brain veg for a couple of days and then take action. (some days I suffer from Scarlett O'Hara syndrome, too. You know, I'll think about that tomorrow...Hm, does this contribute to the clutter? Surely not...).

Anyway, sounds like a plan. Veg first, action tomorrow. Brain exhaustion and flu symptoms do require rest, yes? So let's pick this discussion back up in the morning, 'kay? I'm pondering some decluttering ideas and a few life simplication techniques.

Let's talk. Tomorrow.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Travelblog

I'm fortunate to travel a bit so I'm going to start linking my travelblog stories and photos to this page. This link will take up permanent residence on the left sidebar of the page. Enjoy!

The Turquoise Trail to Sante Fe, New Mexico

The Bahia Resort, San Diego, Ca

The Bahia Resort Slideshow

The Bahia Resort, Early Morning Visitors

The Bahia Resort, Sunshine!

A Cinnamon Morning, Cinnamon Morning Bed & Breakfast, Albuquerque, NM

Close Encounter of the Hairy Kind, Toadalena, NM

Toadalena and Two Grey Hills Tradings Posts, Toadalena, NM

Oahu, Hawaii

Stuck in Denver

The Badlands, South Dakota

Lakota Prairie Resort, Snow!

Mission Bay, San Diego

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Just Released! Perfectly Matched

Now Available!

http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8_view_item.html?m8:item=95-200-101-414-8

Book one in The Matchmaking Chef series

Suzie Matthews is busy working on her new cookbook, Perfectly Matched, when she asks the local “wallflower” to help her with her project in an attempt to bring the young woman out of her shell.

Mary Lou Picketts dreams of falling in love with country music star, Nash Rhodes, but knows she’d settle for Thurman Phillips down the street if she had to. But she doesn’t want to. Not really.

When Nash comes to Legend for a music benefit and stays at the lodge, Suzie wonders if she can perfectly match this miss-matched couple.

CATEGORY: Contemporary, Romance, Series
HEAT LEVEL: Sapphire
LENGTH: Short
FORMAT: E-BOOK$3.50

The Matchmaking Chef series is a spin-off of the Ladies of Legend Bookswww.legendtennessee.com

Resplendence Publishingwww.resplendencepublishing.com

More info coming soon!