Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

Hello Winter

November 11, 2008

Even though temperatures were in the 70s less than a week ago, I think I am ready for winter. Winter was always my favorite season. Now that I’m an adult (Ha, kind of…) it has lost a bit of its luster. But only a tiny bit! Snow is not as magical because I have to shovel it and drive in it, but it’s still pretty fantastic. Lets just say that I’m not dreading the first white ground covering.

Good bye Halloween, perhaps my second most favorite holiday.
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I don’t remember if I bragged about these yet, but these are Vampire Cupcakes. Perfect for Halloween. Or, sigh, your crazy “Twilight” movie watching parties.
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I’m not going to talk about my favorite holiday yet, because I don’t do that stuff until the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, I’m actually kind of starting early because I am going to bake tons of cookies for gifts. And eating. And that stuff has to be done in advance, especially since I will be in a show this December!

My other favorite holiday is, of course, my birthday. Which is EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!!!!! Wow. Kind of scary. The number is… well, young, I know. But I will officially be in my mid-twenties. And that freaks the crap out of me! Not because I’m “old” but because I feel like I should be more grown up by this age, and be more accomplished, and blah blah blah.

I’m less concerned now with presents than I was a month ago, because now my number one wish is to go on a ski trip with some friends to Indianhead Mountainin mid January. AND I am planning on getting my season rental this week! It is really more than I should spend, but I’m giving up an awesome and expensive birthday dinner for it. Maybe we’ll go out for apps and drinks at Cubanitas instead…

I just thought I’d post this on here. My wishlist is almost exclusively baking stuff, which is kind of funny. But I neeeeeeeed it!
My Amazon.com Wish List

So YES, bring it on winter!!

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Halloween and Baking

October 29, 2008

Okay, here we go. Some pictures. These are from the last two weeks or so. I still have things to talk about from even further back, but that will have to wait again!

I have been baking like a madwoman. Why? Because this baby has been in my kitchen for the last two weeks:

My mom’s Kitchen Aid mixer. Sure, I can bake things without a mixer, but this puppy makes the impossible possible. Including creaming butter and sugar, because I do not have Popeye muscles. This is probably to me what pictures of sexy sportcars are to men:

So I have been baking up a storm. Since I borrowed the mixer, here is a list of what I have made, along with pictures, if I remembered to take them, and some comments.

For Bosses Day, I made Apple Pie Cupcakes (again) for my work and Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies for David’s work. They were all a big hit.

Then I attempted to make Slime Filled Cupcakes for Sandy’s Halloween Party. I had never made a lime curd, or even a lemon curd before, so I was really wandering into uncharted territory. At first, things seemed fine.

But as it cooled, it turned into this lumpy green jello stuff. And it tasted TERRIBLE. It was like lime x1000. It was just sick. So at the last minute, I had to switch my game plan. I had already made the cupcakes and the green buttercream frosting from that recipe, but I wanted it to be a little more special. So I filled them with chocolate buttercream frosting from this recipe. They were still a big hit. The cupcake batter was pretty easy and tasty. They were pretty light and fluffy. I would definitely use that batter again.

I made these Margarita Cupcakes for a party I had during the week. I know someone took pictures of them, so I’ll have to share later. Yeah, it uses a box mix, but it also uses real tequila. They were not your typical cupcake, but they were tasty.

I had a whole bunch of leftover chocolate and vanilla frosting, so I thought I’d try out another cupcake recipe to use it up. Later that week I made Vanilla Brown Butter Cupcakes. OMFG SO GOOD!! This might be my favorite recipe yet! The cakes were very dense and rich. And… they don’t even use the mixer! So I can still make cupcakes when I finally have to give it back. Surprisingly, they were totally amazing with the chocolate frosting. I had never browned butter before, and must have had beginners luck, because it was almost perfect. SO GOOD!

I made these Apple Hand Pies(or as I like to say, pocket pies) over the weekend. We had some friends over to carve pumpkins and eat them. These things are AWESOME. The dough was a lot of work, and I know I can do better, but it was worth it. The final result was so tender and flaky and warm and just.. MMMM!! It’s not a great way to use up my apples though, as I only used three for the recipe.

Also on Sunday I made Oatmeal Jumbos. They did not turn out very jumbo. I needed to use up some chocolate chips and some mini peanut butter cups. The cookies were good, but I think the batter got too warm, I over mixed it, or my baking soda is bad. Or all three. They were very flat. But they were still tasty. It made a HUGE amount of cookies. David and I both took a bunch to work, and they didn’t last long.

Monday night I made good old Chocolate Chip cookies. I’m pretty sure my baking soda has given out on me, because these again weren’t as thick as I had expected. They were still plenty chewy and delicious. Are they the best chocolate chip cookies ever? Quite possibly. I just bought more baking soda, so I will be trying these out again soon.

Also on Monday night I made up the dough for Shortbread Cameo cookies from my Sweet Miniatures book. The dough is in my fridge, just waiting to be cooked up.

 

Sandy’s  Halloween Party was super fun. I left a little early to finish up the night at a friend’s bachelorette party after I didn’t win the costume contest!! That’s okay, I was close. Being an election year, there were a number of political costumes. I went as Sarah Palin and David went as Joe the Plumber.

The “redneck” was wearing a wifebeater that said “GOD IZ REPUBLICAN” and the “clown” had a sticker that said “Votin’ for McPainin’.” Ohh, funny people.

There was also a hockey mom.

And Peanut Butter Jelly Time. And a Ceiling Fan.

And even the USA.

His costume was interactive. He has a real tattoo of Wisconsin on his back. So he brought markers and we all got to finish the US across his body. Hilarious.

The rest of my party pictures can be found HERE. And Cristina, apparently I stopped caring about taking pictures after I started mixing rum with my punch. So I missed a lot of action and a lot of people and a lot of costumes. 😛

Finally, check this out. It’s hilarious!!

Cupcake Crazy

October 8, 2008

I am feeling obsessed with cupcakes right now. I’ve spent the last two days at work feverishly pouring over recipes. Sometimes I get distracted by brownies or cookies, but I always work my way back to cupcakes. I like them because I love cake and they’re individually portioned. I’ve always liked the cake part better than the frosting part, even when the frosting is rich and delicious buttery buttercream, and a cupcake generally has a better cake-to-frosting ratio for my tastes.

Of course, there are many factors that would go into my decision to eat a cupcake or a piece of cake, but that is neither here nor there.

I like the easiness of cupcakes. I mean, they’re mini cakes!! While I might not bake a cake for a casual party or get-together, I would definitely bake cupcakes. There really isn’t any other treat that is both individually sized, and cake.

And so, I think I have finally found the recipe I will make for my mom’s Halloween party. I thought about making those Apple Pie Cupcakes again, and tinting the buttercream frosting orange, and I found a recipe for Pumkin Spice cupcakes, but there was no clear winner.

Until now. I present the Vampire Cupcakes. Not only are they appropriately creepy, but I think that touch of cherry pie filling will be tasty. I’m not huge on fruit pies, and I’m especially not huge on fruit pie filling from a can. But I think this small amount hidden inside each little cake will be okay.

If I’m brave and have the time, I might try to figure out how to create a filling from my mom’s homemade strawberry jam. The recipe as is claims to have a somewhat runny filling that still doesn’t get totally absorbed by the cake. I’m thinking I could do that with some slightly watered down and pureed jam… maybe cooked with a little melted butter? Hmmm… I’ll experiment. I might also change the “marshmallow frosting” to something with white chocolate and/or cream cheese, though I don’t want to lose any of the whiteness.

My mom’s party is on Friday, October 31st. Incidentally, that’s also her birthday! That means I need to get her a birthday present! My standby has always been a spa gift certificate, but it sometimes feels like a cop-out. I’m sure she’d appreciate a gift card to REI, but I just don’t know if I can get a gift card for my mother. It just doesn’t seem right. So inbetween obsessing over cupcakes, I have been obsessing over potential gifts. It’s HARD!

Despite constantly looking at pictures of amazing baked goods, I have been GREAT on my South Beach Diet so far this week (and yes, I know it’s only Wednesday). I started over with Phase One on Monday, and haven’t cheated, except for a couple tiny bites of Vosges’ Red Fire Bar. I’m proud, because this week my company is celebrating “National Customer Service Appreciation Week.” This means there is food and candy and treats EVERYWHERE!! Yesterday there was a cookout for lunch, and I ate a burger and brat without buns and skipped over the entire dessert section. And I ignored the cheesy potatoes. I have not touched any of the candy bowls spread out across my department. I hope to remain strong for the rest of the week.

When David mentioned Taco Bell a couple days ago, and Cubanitas as a possibility for dinner on Friday, I remained unmoved. I am yearning for Cubanitas, but I will do without. The desire to get back on track and lose weight is again greater than the desire for all that yummy food. I still plan on reaching 170 by the end of the year, but I have to get my act together! With all the food and holidays yet to come this year (not to mention my birthday, where I will eat LOTS of cake!) I really need to get to 170 by December. 10 pounds in two months? I can do it!!

Four Years Ago

October 1, 2008

I started dating this goofy guy. I didn’t want to be in a relationship, and I wasn’t sure where it would go. We hung out and were friends, but I wasn’t thinking about the future. How that all changed, I’ll never know, but I remember the week that I fell head-over-heels in love with him. I don’t know how it happened, but at the start of the week, I was scared, worried, cautious. At the end of the week, late on a Friday night, he asked me again.

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

My heart was bursting with “YES!!!” and my mind finally let me forget all the fears and questions I had and I actually said it.

The last four years have not been all puppies and rainbows, but it’s been pretty close. We talk about EVERYTHING and I think that will get us through the next 40 years. And then some.

It’s amazing to feel just as passionately in love now as I did then. I feel like I’m still in that “honeymoon” stage, especially when we’re cuddled up close to each other. I know, it’s terribly sappy, but it’s true. We have brought out the best in each other and pushed one another to grow and try new things. It’s great!

The most recent example of that: David suggested we go get sushi tomorrow to celebrate. Because HE WANTS IT!!! Finally! So tomorrow we’ll be exploring sushi at Japanica. Yummy!

And now, to make this a little less sappy, here are some pictures.

From the first year of our relationship. I think this was around Christmas. When my blonde hair still looked okay.

From cutesy and dorky (we coordinated his tie with my dress):

To the skanky and retarded. Sorry, this picture had to be posted.

From the scary faces…

To the silly faces…

And the silly moments

And all the laughter

And love…

I can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We’ll take on the future together. And it’ll be awesome.

Retail Therapy

September 10, 2008

I was a mess by the time I left work yesterday. I was tired and cranky and stressed out. David and I stopped by Target after work to pick up a birthday present for my little sister, who turns 13 TODAY!!! David was nice enough to be patient while I looked through clothing (and found NOTHING worth trying on) and shoes. Oh, shoes.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought Target shoes, because the quality is really not there. Sometimes they look nice, but they’re either uncomfortable or unflattering once they’re on your feet. I have big feet, and when a shoe can make it look small and dainty, I will pull out my credit card on the spot. There were several shoes I tried on that made my feet look like elephant hooves. UGH.

I’ve been digging the menswear trend that’s been around for a while, especially in shoes. I never thought I’d find something worthy at Target. But I did! I walked around in these shoes for a while. I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep them, because they’re not the most comfortable, but for now, I own them. And buying shoes is the best cure to a bad day. Oh, and when you add shoe-buying to a hot Caramel Macchiato and an evening on the couch watching Heroes while cuddled up with your fiance… well then you have a mood-enhancing combination strong enough to make you face the next day.

So, they’re not really all that practical, but I can’t help but like them. They were only $30, and that might be worth it to keep them. Plus, they’d be perfect for a potential Halloween costume.

Weekends

September 8, 2008

Best thing this weekend: My sister was in town! That’s always fun times. This is picture is from her 21st birthday, but appropriately expresses our glee.

Worst thing this weekend: Having to depart from drinking with my family early to pick David up from the east side after he locked his keys in the car at midnight. Oh, and have I mentioned he sprained his ankle last week and is/was on crutches? Yeah, ’cause he did.

Craziest thing this weekend: Helping my mom with my youngest sister’s 13th birthday party. Thankfully only about 12 of the 19 kids invited were able to make it. But it was still 4 hours of complete insanity.

Second best thing this weekend: Spending alone time with David on Sunday evening. We started watching Heroes on Netflix. We watched one episode and are already hooked! David also finished reading Ender’s Game to me. What an awesome and crazy book! I’m really liking curling up in bed and having a book read to me. It’s so much fun! It’s a good way to wind down at the end of the day. We’re going to read something a little lighter and fluffier next, but we might make our way back to the Ender series in a couple months. We also decided to read scary stories in October. Specifically, Edgar Allen Poe stories. I CAN’T WAIT!! I LOVE POE!! LOVE!!!

Exciting thing about next weekend: I will be driving up to Eau Claire with my youngest sister to hang with Samantha all weekend. We might go “floating” down the river if it’s warm. Otherwise we’ll drive to the Mall of America and spend Saturday shopping. We’ll leave kind of early on Sunday because…

Music thing next weekend: The Iraq Moratorium is presenting a benefit concert at The Coffee House(on 19th and Wisconsin) featuring my own David Kaye! He will be joined by his “band,” Chuck (aka The Electric Moustache), and local singer-songwriter Brett Kemnitz. It’s technically free, but donations will help keep this grassroots organization going. I’m really excited to hear some of David’s great songs.

Drunkest thing a couple weekends ago: David and I went to the Milwaukee Wine Festival. It was hot and drunk. We each got 10 tasting samples, but David only had like, 4 of his. So I had 16. Wait no, I had 15 and gave the last ticket to a cute couple. My order of 5 of my favorite wines will be coming in this week to my local Sendiks. YUMMY!!!

David, having TONS OF FUN playing the musical bench outside of Discovery World.

FUN, can’t you tell?

He was SO not amused

But I was!

Pretty!!

Afterwards we went out for sushi with Sandy, Jeff, and Jac.

It’s weird getting drunk in the middle of the afternoon. I think I started getting a hangover after dinner. Everything was blurry.

We all enjoyed this signage FAIL next to Japanica

Ahhh, good times.

Fall Days

October 25, 2007

It is really beautiful outside. The colorful trees make it easier to handle the colder weather and the shorter days. I am trying to take it all in and appreciate it, because I know that all too soon we’ll be in for 4 or 5 months of barren landscape, icy weather, and what feels like mere minutes of sunlight.

But I can’t worry about that yet. Not when there are so many beautiful sights springing up around me. Even my work parking lot looks beautiful!

I don’t have the time or the patience to blog about my Halloween party and costume right now, but I will leave you with a teaser of the pictures of the results of my costume…

This is what I did to my hair on Friday night, hoping to achieve the ratty/curly/wavy look.

After taking the braids out.

 Halfway there!

 Bellatrix LeStrange costume completed.

Rockin’ the Dark Mark.

Haunted House Tour

October 18, 2007

Unbeknownst to me, David entered a radio contest for a Haunted House Tour, courtesy of 102.1. In fact, he didn’t tell me until Tuesday. When he won.

Here’s the blurb:
FM 102/1 Club Members… If you love Halloween and everything that comes with it, this is right up your alley. Enter now to win your chance to go on a Chauffeur driven limo ride to three haunted houses for the FM 102/1 Boo Review Tour on Thursday, October 18th. Your hosts for the evening will FM 102/1’s Drunken Gorilla and the cast from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The winner and their guest will meet at the FM 102/1 studios at 4pm and will return around 11pm. The first stop is Terror on the Fox in Green Bay, followed by Hauntfest>at State Fair Park and finally Waukesha’s Morgan Manor. At each stop you receive the VIP treatment – no waiting, extra scares and special souvenirs!

So… yeah! We’re doing this tonight! Limo! Three Haunted Houses! AND… free beer!! Sounds absolutely awesome. Also, we know a couple people in the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have my camera ready to go. I can’t wait! I am leaving work in about 15 minutes. Then I pick David up at 3, and we head out to Menomonee Falls to get the limo. They said we should be back by 11 tonight. The only bad part is having to get up for work tomorrow after a limo full of free beer. But oh well, it’ll be worth it.

I will be sure to share pictures! I hear it’s supposed to be scary and stormy tonight. I couldn’t think of a better time to travel across the state in a limo. Thanks 102.1!!

Lunchtime Shopping

October 16, 2007

Shopping on my lunch break is one of my favorite activities. I also don’t indulge often because I have no money. Today I had to, though, in honor of my burgeoning Halloween costume. I got my pseudo-gloves in the mail yesterday from E-Bay. That was FAST! I also spent a lot of time staring at my computer screen, studying pictures and some YouTube clips, trying to understand the Bellatrix costume.

 I have some ideas of how to make what I have look more real, so I hit up JoAnn’s Fabrics at lunch today. I bought a couple yards of black fabric- a crushed velvet and a sheer, sparkly, stiff chiffon. I also bought some black cord. I am ready to create!

JoAnn’s happens to be near Sally Beauty Supply. I love that place. I was sick of random bobby pins all over my bathroom. So I bought a bigass tub of bobby pins. 300 of them. SWEEEEET! I also bought black hairspray.

I have yet to work on THE HAIR. I’m thinking I will wash it and braid it into a million tiny braids while it’s still wet. Then brush it out when it’s dry. That should give me the appropriate ‘fro. The problem is, I’d ideally like to do this on Friday night. But I work Saturday morning. I will have to debate coming in to work looking like a tool. I might just do it. Fortunately, only two other people will be here. And I just have to sit at my desk.

I can’t wait to put it all together and take some pictures!

Costume Start

October 11, 2007

So I’m still slowly realizing that I can write about any little random thing I want. Because really, who cares? It’s not like anyone who peeks in at this is going to be disappointed if they don’t see some masterpiece of writing about important events. I mean, it’s a BLOG.

So, my random news is that I went to Goodwill on my lunch break today to look for a start to my Bellatrix costume. I found it! It’s perfect! Well, not perfectbut as close as I could hope. I went looking for a long, low cut, black dress. Preferably a tank style. I found just that. It has spaghetti straps, but it’s long and it fits. I expected to find NOTHING, so this is quite a victory. And it cost less than $6 after tax!

It looks similar to this, but long:

 I also bought some “Dark Mark” tattoos off E-Bay:

And I have my eye on some fingerless/gauntlet gloves on there too. I’m going to buy them tomorrow when I get paid:

All in all, I’m trying to look like this:


So I think I’m on the right track. See my Halloween post below for another picture. I’m really excited to have a start on this. I think I will do some hair experimenting this weekend. That looks like the most fun!