Chocolate Cupcakes with a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yesterday was my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). We went out to a fun gastropub for dinner and then came back to our place after for dessert and presents.  These yummy cupcakes are made with coffee, which really enhances the chocolate flavor.  Again, I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but I love the coffee addition.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting is rich and decadent and puts these cupcakes over the edge.  I love these blue polka dot cupcake liners I found at Home Goods.  They make for such a cute presentation (but to be honest they aren’t very practical for eating).  It was a great night celebrating my mama with my favorite people, good food, and a yummy dessert.

Chocolate Cupcakes (Cake recipe from: Sweetapolita)
Yield: about 24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cooled melted chocolate
tbsp spoon milk if too thick

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer/stand mixer until smooth.

Scoop all the frosting into a piping bag or into a large ziplock bag and snip a small edge of the corner and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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The Little Things

IMG_3893.JPG |the part of birthdays|

This past Tuesday was my 25th birthday. I’m officially a quarter of a century. This post is the little things from my birthday week that made me smile. As you can see below it’s mostly food. It was a really nice week with family. My family and husband completely spoiled me! This weekend will be a busy (but fun) one! I hope your week was filled with little things that made you smile. Happy Friday!

IMG_3876.JPG |birthday breakfast Andrew made|

IMG_3883 |Filet mignon with a balsamic reduction and goat cheese also made by Andrew|

IMG_3899.JPG |Georgetown cupcake selfie|

IMG_3904.JPG |birthday gift from my mom & sisters that makes me feel fancy and sophisticated|

The Little Things

IMG_8860 |a handmade bowl I bought at an outdoor market in Bordeaux, France|

This has been the craziest summer of my life. I haven’t had a weekend at home in 7 weeks. Andrew and I went to Denver, Maui, Bordeaux and then I did a girls trip with my family to New York. This is the summer that every other summer will be compared to. Now that I’m back from all my travels I couldn’t be happier or more excited to get back to normal life. I’m excited for quiet dinner at home with my husband and puppies and cuddling up to watch our favorite shows. Nothing sounds better. Hope you all have just as a relaxing weekend as I have planned.

IMG_8856 |book signed by Hillary Clinton|

IMG_3441.JPG |lopsided Birthday cake from Momofuku Milk Bar|

IMG_3506.PNG |facetiming with my boy while in NY|

IMG_3427.JPG |the best welcome home|

The Little Things

20140516-135145.jpg{I’m eating watermelon all day everyday with this insane heat}

This past week was the craziest week ever. Celebrated my sisters’ 21st birthday.  Celebrated Mother’s Day. Celebrated my husband’s birthday.  On top of all that fun, it was finals week. I  just finished my first year of a Masters of Public Health program.  This week I turned in a 70 page paper (40 pages of text plus 30 pages of appendixes. Ah!),  another big group paper and a final exam. Phew, I can finally take a breath and relax.  1 year down.  1 to go.  Time to celebrate!

20140516-133714.jpg{The ladies who made me who I am today}

20140516-110155.jpg {Puppy Delivery}

20140516-110244.jpg{We woke the Birthday Boy up with kisses and Stuffed French Toast}

20140516-105924.jpg{Perch in LA for my sisters’ 21st}

Zoo Birthday Card

My dear friend’s baby boy, Micah, just turned one!  They are having a zoo themed birthday party this weekend to celebrate.  Micah absolutely loves animals so I decided to make him an extra special zoo themed birthday card.

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IMG_2380 I used a simple kraft card from Michael’s as my base.  I made a banner using a colored pencil and a fine point sharpie to outline the banner and to write “Happy Birthday.”

IMG_2385I found these adorable colorful letters at Michael’s as well. Then added extra shading on the banner with a darker blue for dimension. I drew the zoo animals from animal silhouettes I found on Google and added balloons and a party hat for fun!

IMG_2391I colored in my party animals and now they are all ready for Micah’s party!

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IMG_2399I hope Micah (or his mama) likes it as much as I do!