Cupcakes Cupcakes Cupcakes

Written By Jen

I have noticed via my pinterest account that people are crazy about cupcakes!   I have a board on pinterest called Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes!  Cupcakes are the most popular thing I pin because I have a lot of people whom I don’t know who also, like me, like to pin cupcakes!    All that to say, I have found some cool cupcakes on pinterest that I wanted to share with you.  They are the craze!  What is your favorite cupcake?

Don’t forget to check out our summer give away on the previous post.  Like us on FB, subscribe via email for an entry!


This is how I am going to start storing my cupcake liners!  It’s so pretty!

From Such Pretty Things


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction.


Getting ready for the 4th of July!! Red, White and Blue Cupcakes from Betty Crocker.


Crumbs Vanilla Cupcake from The Family Kitchen. Crumbs cupcakes are my favorite cupcakes to eat! Thankfully there is not a bakery nearby or I would be needing to up my jean size.


Earth Day Cupcakes by Bird On a Cake. Are you kidding me? These are adorable!


A Random Act of Grace and a Cherry Pie Recipe

A Random Act of Grace
by Sandi Patty

My dad, Ron Patty, was the youngest of nine kids. When he was a boy, he and his buddies would play football in the street of their small-town neighborhood. Invariably, someone would miss a catch or kick the ball too far, and then their one and only football would land in Old Lady Russell’s yard.

This was not a good thing. Old Lady Russell had a “thing” about her yard, and she obviously didn’t like kids either because if she caught one of the boys sneaking into her yard to get the ball back, she’d come out and rant and rave at them. The boys would move down the street to play for awhile, but eventually they’d end up back in front of her house, and inevitably the ball would land in her yard again.

The boys would draw straws or flip a coin or in some other way decide who the unlucky fellow was who would have to sneak into her yard to get the ball, but Old Lady Russell apparently had nothing better to do than stand by her window and watch for the trespasser to arrive. She’d fly out the door, ranting and raving as the poor kid grabbed the football and hightailed it down the street.

One day she decided she’d teach those ornery boys a lesson. When the ball landed on her lawn, she was ready for it. She trotted out the door, snatched the ball up off the grass, and disappeared with it into her house.

No more football.

None of the boys was brave enough to go knock on Old Lady Russell’s door to ask for their football back. They knew what the answer would be. The youngsters headed home, dejected and miserable.

My grandmother, Grace Patty, noticed that Dad had come home in the middle of the afternoon. She watched as he collapsed into a heap in the chair and miserably slapped his ball cap against his knee.

“What happened, Tyke?” she asked her young son, calling him by his family nickname.

He told his mom what had happened. She listened attentively, nodding and empathizing. “That’s too bad, son,” she said. “I know how you all enjoy playing with that football.”

“Yeah, well that’s over and done with now,” Dad said morosely.

Grandma returned to the kitchen, and Dad slumped around the house. Pretty soon, though, he smelled something. His mom was baking a cherry pie. Well, that cheered him up some. He loved his mom’s cherry pie. But just as his appetite was at its peak and he spotted the pie cooling on the kitchen table, Grandma Grace (oh, how perfect her name was!) threw him for a loop. She sat the pie on a tea towel inside a cardboard box and handed it to Dad.

“Tyke, I thought I’d make a cherry pie for Old Lady Russell. Can you take it over to her house?”

“Mom! Are you crazy? There’s no way I’m taking her a pie,” Dad said. “She’s a mean old lady, and she doesn’t deserve a pie. Did you not hear me say she stole our football? And besides that, she’ll probably kill me if I come into her yard, let alone if I knock on her door.”

Grandma acted like she didn’t even hear him. “I was just thinking she’s probably lonely since she lives all by herself,” she said. “I know it’s hard to make yourself cook when there’s just one person. I’ll bet she would enjoy a cherry pie. So just tell her it’s from you and that you were thinking about her. Don’t ask for the football back. Just say you’re sorry and you didn’t mean to make her mad and would she like a pie.”

So with great fear and trepidation, Tyke carried the cherry pie down the street and through the gate into Old Lady Russell’s yard. He balanced the box on one knee as he nervously knocked on the door. Then, when she came to the door, he stuck out the box and said, “This is a cherry pie from me and my mom. We thought you might like it.”

Well, Old Lady Russell just melted. She invited Dad in. And although he still wasn’t sure she wasn’t luring him in to kill him (and, for heaven’s sakes, we wouldn’t send our kids into a stranger’s house today!), Dad went on in. They had a little visit, and she even offered to cut him a piece of the pie. Then she gave him the football back. And from that day forward, the kids never had a problem with Old Lady Russell. In fact, she would occasionally sit on her front porch and watch with great delight as the neighborhood boys played their football games.

What a lesson Dad learned that day. It’s one he never forgot. One that he taught to his children, including a daughter named Sandi (and one that I’ve taught my children too). It was a lesson that illustrated the power of a random act of kindness—a random act of grace.






  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  •  4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup white sugar
  •  4 cups pitted cherries
  •  1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons butter


1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Place bottom crust in pie pan.  Set top crust aside, covered.

2.    In a large mixing bowl combine tapioca, salt, sugar, cherries and extracts.  Let stand 15 minutes. Turn out into bottom crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, flute edges and cut vents in top. Place pie on a foil lined cookie sheet — in case of drips!

3.    Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.

Recipe : Brynn’s Incredible M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written By Jen

My friend, Brynn, brought these to Kristina’s farewell bash and they were flying off the plate.  She was getting compliments left and right on how delicious they were.  One of the secret ingredients is a box of vanilla instant pudding.  If you are a cookie monster like I am you must try these!  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us Brynn!

Brynn’s Incredible  M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 box of jello vanilla instant pudding pie filling
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of M&M’s
For Altitude which we are here in CO add 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tsp. water (do it! they taste better)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F

Combine flour, baking soda, box of pudding in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and M&M’s. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Caramel Apple Pie

Written By Jen

This pie is amazing!  We enjoyed it after our Thanksgiving Feast last year and I can’t wait to make it again.  The recipe is from the William-Sonoma Kitchen.  Laced with homemade caramel sauce, this apple pie makes the perfect finale for an autumn meal. When preparing the sauce, stir only during the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, as instructed below.


For the apples:

  • 4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch

For the caramel:

  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar


Transfer 1 dough round to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Reroll the dough scraps and cut out shapes using decorative pie cutters. Refrigerate the pie shell, cutouts and remaining dough round for 30 minutes.

To prepare the apples, in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stir together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cornstarch.

To prepare the caramel, in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Cook until the mixture is bubbling vigorously, about 9 minutes, stirring only during the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Off the heat, carefully stir in 1/4 cup of the cream, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Let cool until just warm. Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Let the pie shell, cutouts and dough round stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the apple mixture and 3/4 cup of the caramel; reserve the remaining caramel for serving. Pour the apple filling into the pie shell and place the top crust over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim and press the top and bottom crusts together. Brush the underside of the cutouts with egg wash and gently arrange them on the pie. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour; check the pie after 30 minutes and cover the top and edges with foil if they become too dark. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. Warm the reserved caramel sauce and serve alongside the pie for drizzling. Serves 8.

I am thankful for:
a break from routine
family dinner
the soothing voice of a friend
my buddy sitting by me watching a movie together as I work
my husband’s care for us

Recipe : Pumpkin Whoopie Pies & Maple Cream Cheese Filling

These whoopie pies, my friend Jan sent to me.  Everything she makes is amazing and I am sure these will follow suit!  I can’t wait to try this fall delight.  She got the recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog .  It is amazing how many wonderful resources we have at our fingertips.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

Yield: About 4 dozen assembled whoopie pies (will vary depending on how large you make them)

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 10 to 12 minutes

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

The Brown Eyed Baker original post is at:

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