Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes for a Birthday Celebration

Hello, Dear Friends - can you believe that 
March is almost over? Time just flies, 
 especially when you celebrate another birthday! 

This time it was my dear Ramblin' Man's special day, 
and of course, I had to bake his very favorite 
dessert, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes! 

Don't they look so good? 
Serve these with lots of napkins! :)

These freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead
and transport them while they are frozen,
which keeps everything intact. 

They defrost quickly and will be ready to eat 
by the time the meal is over. 

They are so easy to make....

Start with your favorite yellow cake mix. 

Follow the directions on the box to bake cupcakes. 

While they are baking, 
make the filling......

Simply add 1 and 1/2 cups cold half and half cream
to one package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
and whisk well. 

This will make a thick filling;
enough for 24 cupcakes.

Set aside, covered with plastic wrap, 
 in the refrigerator until needed.

When done baking, 
let the cupcakes cool completely. 

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper 
to catch drips, remove paper cupcake liners
(if used for baking), and as you go, 
cut cupcake in half, spread with cream filling, 
and replace top. 

To make the chocolate glaze, 
mix together 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
with 2 tablespoons baking cocoa. 

Add 4-5 teaspoons hot water
to form a glaze that is not too thick and not too thin. 

Add a little bit of powdered sugar if too thin, 
or hot water, a teaspoon at a time, if too thick. 

You want a consistency that will stay put with 
just a little bit of dripping over the sides. 

You might have to make a second batch to cover 
all the cupcakes, depending on consistency. 
My glaze was on the thicker side, so I had to make two batches. 

Place each cream-filled cupcake on a clean, waxed paper
lined baking sheet, inside a decorative cupcake liner
which will catch each wonderful drip :) 

Using a full soup spoon, drop a blob of chocolate glaze 
over top of cupcake, using back of spoon to gently spread 
to edges, allowing excess to drip. 

Oh my! Can you say Yummy Yum, Yum? 

To freeze them, simply place the whole tray in the freezer
without any covering, for several hours or overnight. 
Then, lay waxed paper over top
 and wrap the whole tray with plastic wrap. 

The waxed paper will keep the glaze from sticking, 
as long as they are frozen,
but remove all coverings before defrosting. 

I baked these for the birthday celebration 
a few days away, but kept a few 
reserved for taste-testing by Ramblin' Man. 

He noticed them as soon as he arrived home
from work and they were gone 
by the next day. 

I did have to wipe some chocolate covered kisses
from my cheeks  <3

Here they are at my daughter's house for the celebration......

After a delicious meal of pork chops and gravy, 
thyme mashed potatoes, and shredded Brussels sprouts

(Thank you, Heather and Eric for a lovely party)

We sang a Happy Birthday to the patriarch 
of our family. 

The cupcakes were good, 

but the grandchildren were the very best part of the day, 

I consider myself blessed, indeed. 

Happy Birthday, Ramblin' Man! 
Thank you for sharing your life with me! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sweet Spring Blooms

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope you are seeing some 
little signs of spring after a long, long winter! 

Here in western Washington State, we are having 
milder temperatures, but it has been very wet. 

This is typical for this side of the Cascade Mountains. 
We actually live in a temperate rain forest! 

Every so often our beautiful Mt. Rainier peeks out 
from its shroud of clouds, but for the most part, 
it has been hiding away. 

I have been entertained by the mist rising and falling, 
as I wait inside for the rain to stop so I can play outside. 

I finally got my chance and quickly busied myself 
potting up a flat of primroses to add some 
color to my plant racks on the deck. 

These little beauties are so inexpensive 
and bring such joy. 

When they are done blooming, I will swap them out 
with something else and plant them in the garden. 

I just found these colorful little heathers and 
plopped them inside this tool caddy that my 
daughter made in woodworking class many years ago :)
It stays dry under the eaves. 

I will transplant these into larger pots in a month or so,
until they are large enough to plant in the garden.

Another one sits in a vintage cup. 

I keep my succulents under the eaves all winter to 
keep them dry. I've had the original plants for 
about 15 years and divide them when the pots get full. 
I have 4 big pots of them now. 

Sometimes they bloom in the summer. 

They are like old reliable friends :)

This little display just makes me so happy
when I go out on the deck to enjoy some fresh air. 

The eagle was made by my father many years ago 
out of sand-cast aluminum. 
He was a tool and die maker all of his life. 

My winter pansies that I potted up last fall
are starting to bloom so nicely in the milder temperatures. 

I catch their sweet scent whenever I pass. 
I painted their terra-cotta pots inside and out 
with latex floor and porch paint and it has 
held up very well. 

Little drawers of happiness! 

Tiny daffodils add some sunshine. 

Double primroses in sherbet colors. 

Inky violas smell like violets. 

Weenie Baby enjoys the deck, too <3 

She loves to keep me company outside on 
mild days. She is slowly coming around 
since losing her life-long companion, Peanut, 
two weeks ago. I've been giving her lots of attention
and love and my two American Eskimos, 
Whitey Bear and Kai have been enjoying her company, too. 

More primroses and pansies .....

Vinca waits to be planted in the box. 

The Japanese maple is starting to bud. 

My quiet corner outside the bedroom. 
I love having coffee here on warm, sunny mornings. 

You can see it has been raining......and raining.......

My potting bench waits for another day. 

I found the wire plant obelisk at the 
Northwest Flower and Garden Show. 

I will be planting sweet peas under it soon :)

A pot of tiny bulbs and a volunteer forget-me-not that 
I brought up from the garden
orange mint coming back to life. 

It's starting to rain again, time to go back inside! 

Thank you for visiting - my flowers were 
 very happy to meet you! 


Today I am linking with:

Floral Passions: Floral Bliss

Won't you join the fun?

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