Monday, February 28, 2011

BEST cupcakes, Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes.

So, I don't lose the recipe or forget this idea when I need a cupcake. I am going to post it...and of course,  a girl friend of mine asked for it.
I followed this recipe step-by-step, but I used cream cheese icing. I am sure the icing on these are amazing, but I just love, love, love cream cheese icing. The cookie dough isn't cooked, however, it doesn't use eggs. This was one of my favorite things about the recipe. The recipe says 18-20 minute bake time, but our oven cooked them in about 14 minutes. These were a huge hit and just gorgeous inside when a bite was taken!

Recipe from: Here.

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

For decoration:
Tiny chocolate chip cookies
Mini chocolate chips
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.   Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake.  Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Beat in the flour and salt.  Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.
Yields: 24 cupcakes

Im old and Happy Monday.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are old. We are totally incapable of staying out into the wee hours of the morning and bouncing back from it in a quick fashion. 
I threw one of my good friends a lingerie shower on Saturday night. I was an absolute blast! It was a girls night filled with delicious chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, champagne and wine. 18 bottles of champagne and wine to be exact. We were up having way too much fun until 4am. Sunday was a tad bit rough, but I still managed to finish the laundry, take a bike ride, go to the gym and the grocery store. 
Good times! I can't wait for her bachelorette party this Saturday. Here's to Tiffany!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Rough week. & Something About Marriage.

It's been a ROUGH week...with all capital letters. I am not going to delve into it, but being told I need to change and not be an emotional person has me down. Hopefully, a fun-filled weekend with my girls and my hubby will cure me and my tears.
Moving on...
A gentlemen around the office is a recent divorcee. His wife hasn't worked a day in her life and they have a 12 year old daughter. Long story short, he is giving this ex a lot of money as well as a lot of money to his daughter (which is understandable, however, I feel most of the time the mom and in some cases father pocket the money). He makes REALLY good money, has a house that is paid off, has a great savings account and 401k and she is getting half of it all and the whole house. This makes me say...E, you are stuck with me FOR-EVA. ha. 
In thinking about divorce and marriage, I have wanted to put down the key points of what E and I do daily, which seems to make our marriage work and be really strong:
I take care of all the finances. E used to take care of this, however, he built houses for 7 years and was extremely stressed during those years. Getting online, checking the mail, seeing our money go out the door seemed to get to his blood pressure MOST months. One day I couldn't handle it and said, let me take care of this. I have internet access ALL DAY-5 days a week, so it's easy for me to manage our finances. This works perfectly because E never, ever gets stressed about money (me on the other hand...we won't go there).
I do all the laundry. I separate, wash, hang or fold all the clothes every week. I think this is more of a control thing! I don't mind the firsts-separate and wash, but boy do I hate folding clothes. I hate it, but I don't want E to do it because I am fearful he will ruin everything (sorry, but it's true). I have done our laundry for 10 years and will continue to do so for the next 60!
I clean the coffee pot every night. He makes the coffee every morning. For some reason, E's coffee making skills are 100times better than mine, therefore, I let him do what he is good at: Poor cinnamon and half&half into my coffee mug every morning (I don't use artificial sweetener or sugar in my coffee...I stopped when I was told I was borderline Type 2 Diabetic two years ago).
I cook, I clean the dishes. E cooks, I clean the dishes. E ALWAYS empties the dishwasher. It works for us and again I love to have control of my dishes going into the dishwasher and the way my pots and pans are cleaned. Yea, it's a sickness.
I vacummn every Saturday. 
We both do the yard. 
 We say Good Morning every single morning. 
We say good night every single night.
On Saturdays, I call E into the bedroom to snuggle. E absolutely loves to lives for it! It's cute, so every Saturday when I wake up I make sure to let him know I love to cuddle with him too. :)
We say I Love You often.
Did you know that one of the top reasons for cause of divorce above adultery is division of labor? That's why division of labor is so important to me. I don't want to argue about "you didn't take the trash out or the clothes need to be washed, yadayadayada."
E and I will be celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary on April 2nd. We have been together for 10 years. No day is the same day in our marriage. We argue. There are days where we cannot stand eachother, but every day I look at my wedding rings and look into his eyes and remember my vows and that we said, Forever.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


We have been busy little bees lately, which I will not complain about because I loathe being bored, ha. 
I work half days on Friday, yea---Be jealous, so I have my typical Friday afternoon filled with shopping, eating, resting and hanging with the Marley-man. But, Friday I decided to visit E at Rita's and take him to grab a beer and a burger at Crown and Anchor. Love, Love, Love this's old and has the BEST beer selection on West Campus. I love outings with E, especially when it's not at night. Friday night we went to the dreaded Waterloo because we couldn't figure out what to eat...we are the world's worst people when it comes to picking out restaurants. This is the typical conversation btwn E and I:
E: "What do you want for dinner?"
J: "I don't care. What do you want?"
E: "I asked you first."
J: "Well, I asked you second."
J: "What type of food do you want?"
E: "I don't really care."
E: "Not really, Italian, but we ate that last night. Mexican, but we can't eat that because it's only Tuesday."
AND THIS GOES ON FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES! And finally, we end up going to the same ole, same ole restaurant. It's a daunting task I tell ya. I wish I had the motivation to cook every single night, but come Thursday I am ready for my chips and salsa.
Saturdays E has to work {of course}, so I typically use the day to do chores around the house and put in an extra long workout at the gym. Typically, by the time he comes home I have the house cleaned up, the laundry washed and folded, kitchen cleaned, house vacuumed, myself-showered, perfumed, make-up'd and am hanging out on the couch.  This past Saturday, we went out to celebrate this guy's birthday...
 This guy LOVES to partay! Like seriously lives to hang out with friends, dance and drink. Love him! We went to Roaring Fork and grabbed burgers, went to Fado (Great Irish pub) and then went to Qua. Let me tell you: WE ARE OLD. E and I were pretty much ready to shoot ourselves at Qua. Don't get me wrong, Qua is beautiful, the DJ plays great music, but it's loud, crowded and dark. I have to be drunk in the mood to get down and boogie and Saturday was just not it. ha. Possibly because my head was going to explode from congestion. It was a fun-filled night with great peeps, but E and I are total chillax people and prefer Fado and chillax bars that are not ridden with 21 year olds humping their boyfriends against poles...I digress.
This week is busy at work because it's end of month, which is good because as I stated I don't like being bored. I won't talk about work that much on here, but I am praying the military budget doesn't get cut and the CR is signed STAT...I need a job and so do 199 other people. Come on Obama! 
A couple of gals and myself are hosting a lingerie shower for T this Saturday and I am thrilled! We are hosting at our house and it's all things black, white and pink! I am making cupcakes and a spread of treats. I am definitely going to be taking many pictures the next few weeks as her couples' shower and bachelorette party are to follow next weekend. Good times!

ps-if i get pregnant this month, our due date would be...get ready...11-11-11. How fun is that? :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Parents' lessons.

Growing up there was one thing my parents didn't talk about with T and I or anyone else for that matter: MONEY! They never talked about how much they made, what their retirement fund looked like, how much was in their checking account, how much was in their savings just didn't happen. For that I am grateful because I learned from them. I rarely ever talk about finances with other people. I never will tell someone how much money a bonus was or how much my pay check is every two weeks. It will not happen. If someone asks, I will say "enough." I tend to believe it's no one's business. It doesn't matter if I make six figures, three figures, or five's none of your business. (i must add UNLESS someone is trying to negotiate a new salary or needs advice...I might give a range to help them out.)
Owning a business is tough and being a working woman is tough too. I cannot tell you how many times in the past year I have been asked, "So, how did y'all pay for the franchises?" Really? I do believe that isn't your business. Another, "How much was the total cost of the franchises and the amount of your lease and the amount of construction of the site?" Really? I believe that isn't your business. I think when you spill your guts and give all this information it leads to resentment and jealousy. This world is filled with so much jealousy it makes my stomach spin at 100mph. Why can we not be happy for one another? Why can we not celebrate in the sheer joy that someone is ABLE to spend money on Valentine's? What about..."must be nice to have your life." Well, honey if you get off your ass, look for a real job, venture out, be more driven and more career oriented, PERHAPS you could have a nice outing as well, but DO NOT be jealous and resent my husband and I because we work hard and save money and do special things every once in a while. I digress...
When we redid our kitchen, some of our best friends came over and they were elated with the outcome of the kitchen. They knew (especially, K) that it was exactly what we wanted and how happy we were that it was finally finished. Just their reaction made me happy. They put down new floors in their home and E and I are\were elated for them because it made them so happy to be able to accomplish such a thing. I think that's true friendship. The people that don't ask questions of "how the hell did you afford that?" It's none of your business. We can and might say..."Wow, that's awesome...did you get a good deal?" or "You want to buy floors for our house?" That's more like it. Giving advice or asking advice is different than trying to receive information to compare yourselves to another.
I think people have the keepin' up with the jones' mentality  far too much in today's society...some things just need to be left unsaid. 
Thanks Mom and Pops!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

two in one day. what im loving wednesday.

Linking up to Jamie for WILW!

I'm loving that my bosses are away for the next two days and I am not swamped with emails and to-dos. In other words...I can slack off for a couple of days. (not that I would EVER do that)

I'm loving Scentsy. I had heard about the craze and all things Scentsy a few years ago, but I never acknowledged it. One of my best friends bought E and I a Scentsy burner for Christmas and I am addicted. I love when I walk into our home and it smells like a bakery...I mean, best thing ever. I am pretty sure I am going to jump on the band wagon of selling this stuff when I need a little extra income...who wouldn't want to sell something that doesn't really needs selling because it's just that amazing. 

I'm loving that I will be receiving an iphone 4! I have always and will always be on a Verizon wireless account because I think they have the best service and selection of phones. At this time, my company pays for my phone because of my obligations to respond to emails immediately. Anyhoos, I am fortunate to be a fav of our IT dept because they called me a couple of weeks ago and said, "do you want a new phone? what about the iphone?" I mean, why even ask...this girl is ready to have another addiction.

Random things.

For Valentine's and a celebration of finishing the kitchen, I wanted to do something special for E. I knew since Cupid's day was on Monday I wanted to celebrate on Saturday. I booked a couple's massage at Milk+Honey on 2nd street. Let me tell ya...AMAZING place, AMAZING massages. We were seriously in HEAVEN on EARTH! After the massages, we walked over to La Traviata to have an Italian dinner. I love this little place with half my heart. It has the BEST Carbonara one has ever eaten. It's quaint, romantic and perfect! After dinner we walked over to a Lounge called Qua. This place is legit. One of my brother's best friends is the GM there, so we chatted and had a couple of drinks to top the night off right. It was a fabulous evening filled with love, laughter and joy. E was surprised the whole entire time and that made my heart skip a beat! E surprised me with a huge bouquet of flowers...IE: I filled three vases with flowers! ha. Mostly bright pink favorite right now.
We had a wonderful Valentine's Day this year...We are blessed and of course grateful! 
(i am a little irritated with myself that i didn't take one picture. whatevs.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

1 Corinthians 13:4-15

Happy Valentine's Day! I am blessed beyond words to have an amazing husband! And to that I say...
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

I love you, E!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

what im loving wednesday.

Happy Wednesday, y'all! I am linking up with Jamie today for this cute lil' post.

Here's what I am loving today!

I'm loving our new & improved kitchen...

I'm loving that we own a Rita's and I am able to get any of these delectable treats fo' free...
I'm loving that THE University of Texas is having a fabulous basketball season (Ya know, since our football season was so fabulous, *insert eye rolling and giggling*).

I'm loving that Marley will no longer have to go to the eye vet at a whopping $75 per visit and we will no longer have to buy meds...yea, he only has one eye in which he only sees objects magnified, oh well...he's our pirate.

I'm loving this special, handsome, noble man and am loving that I have a surprise for him for Lover's day...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We are done with our kitchen. Like seriously done. We have been in our home five years and literally have been working on this kitchen for those five years. I am blessed beyond words to have a handy-man as a husband. E is amazing at home duties...I mean, that could be because he built houses for 5+ years or it could be because he is that smart and fantastic at teaching himself said home duties. We finished the kitchen on Friday literally a few hours before my parents arrived at our house. The last touch was using "Liquid Gold" on the cabinets...if you haven't heard of it, go buy some now because it's a miracle spray. And for is our finished product (excuse the not-so-pretty filth on the oven):

We did everything in this kitchen except the install of the flooring and the granite. We E redid cabinets, redid the base boards, took off counter tops...yadayadayada. You get the drift. Can you believe E did that backsplash? Amazing. We might have had brutal words during the process, but it looks beautiful. :) The pallet hanging on the wall was my creation. I saw something similar on a design blog and snagged up the idea. I stole borrowed a pallet from work, stained it, bought plates and E hung the pallet and the plates. I love it! I can switch out the plates for different holidays and seasons. Right now, it has Italian plates with Olive trees, love them.  The last thing I need to purchase is some sort of valence and a bamboo shade for the window. The kitchen turned out beautiful!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make. Up. Your. Mind.

I am under the weather because:
 I guess I have a Cedar Fever! I am miserable to say the least. I left work yesterday around 230, went home, took benadryl, slept for a few hours, went to bed at 930, took nyquil, woke up at 130 and took benadryl and didn't fall back to sleep until 630 this morning. insane. my nose is runny, my throat is scratchy, ears stopped up, eyes itchy and the list goes on. I came to work today only because I didn't want to lay around and sleep all day. I tend to believe that if you sit and lay in your own pool of allergens and germs you never get better. I am thinking I shouldn't have that mentality because I don't want to be at work, but rather snuggled up with Marley on the couch watching HGTV.
This better pass by Friday, AM. I have visitors arriving.