Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jordan's New Table

Jordan received a very cool belated Christmas present this week from a very cool Nana & Nanu! Her very own table and chair set! Notice her before "chair" below:
We decided a diaper box wasn't the best seating option! But she absolutely loves playing at her new table, having snacks there or even watching tv! And there are enough chairs for when her friends come over... or her dolls join her for a impromptu tea party!

Valentine's Day

Our night before Valentine's Day complete with chocolate covered strawberry's!!! And everyone was pretty happy about it...

A little something for Valentine's Day for my baby's! =) Jordan got some heart shaped bracelets a balloon and lollipops and Sean got some goodies too!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Cider Cupcakes w/ Marshmallow Frosting

My dear husband pointed out to me today that it's a little ironic having a blog with cupcakes in the title but never actually posting any recipes... hmm, good point. I have been disappointed with some of the recipes I have tried but I finally found a winner!!! Sweet Potato Cider Cupcakes w/ Marshmallow Frosting!!! And yes, they are as good as the sound! The process is a bit labor intensive but if you have the time I would definitely recommend giving this one a try! They're not super sweet like your typical cupcake but still have a lot of flavor. I also like to think they are healthy because of the sweet potato... never mind all the butter! =)

I divided the recipe in half and it yielded 12 cupcakes. But as this was my first attempt at the recipe I have some notes to help others from making my same mistakes. First, and most importantly, halfway into the recipe it tells you to make a Cider Reduction. However it needs to sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours so I would recommend doing this the night before. Since I cut everything in half it only took me about 15 minutes to do the reduction. Secondly, and also regarding the reduction, once in the refrigerator the butter rises to the top and hardens. So, I would recommend dividing the reduction BEFORE refrigerating. The frosting calls for 12 tablespoons(or 6 if making a half batch) so measure that amount, put in a separate container and toss the entire amount into the mixer for the frosting later. Lastly, DO NOT heat the reduction before adding to the frosting! I did this and ended up with a bit of a runny mess. You can however heat the other container of reduction that goes directly on top of the cupcake and just brush it on. Hope this helps!!!

Sweet Potato Cider Cupcakes w/ Marshmallow Frosting
  • Cook Time:

    50 min

  • Level:


  • Yield:

    24 cupcakes



  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 ounces canned sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Cider Sauce:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 ounces salted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

Marshmallow Frosting:

  • 16 ounces unsalted butter (4 sticks)
  • 12 tablespoons Cider Caramel Reduction
  • 16 ounces marshmallow creme (recommended: Marshmallow Fluff)

Toasted Salted Pecans:

  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line regular sized cupcake pans with 24 liners.

Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. In a food processor, combine the sweet potatoes, apple cider, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Put aside.

In a bowl, combine flour with remaining dry ingredients. Whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, alternating with the sweet potato mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter. Bake until golden brown, 22 to 24 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately. Cool completely.

For the cider reduction: In a medium saucepan, bring the cider to a boil, add the vanilla bean, and cook until the cider reduces to about 2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Cook until the cider reduces to about 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to glass bowl. (Here's where I would divide up the reduction) Cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until reduction is cooled completely. Can be made up to 3 days in advance. Reserve half for the Marshmallow Cream Frosting and half for assembling the cupcakes.

For the marshmallow frosting: In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the Caramel Cider Reduction and beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the marshmallow creme until incorporated.

For the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave. Coat the chopped pecan with butter. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt while warm and toss. Cool completely.

To assemble: Drizzle a small amount of Caramel Cider Reduction over the top of each cupcake. Generously frost each cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting and sprinkle with Toasted Salted Pecans.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TX Snow

Just when it was starting to feel like spring around here a cold front comes in!!! So Sean got snow on his birthday... not exactly what he had in mind but we made the best of it! At least Jordan got a little more use out of her snowsuit!

(Click on the pictures to see them larger)

"I still haven't figured out how to get up without touching the snow..."
Daddy showing Jordan "snow is your friend!"
"Hey... this is kinda fun afterall!"
"Look Mommy! SNOWBALLS!!! That could come in handy."
"Let's see what's on the other side of the deck..."

Nice hat...

Jordan's first fudgesicle

"CHOCOLATE BEFORE BED?!?!?! I must be dreaming!"
"Where have you been all my life?!?"
"Note to self: The cuter I am eating this the more they let me eat."