Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Mini Cupcakes

I commemorated my baby girl's half birthday with a batch of pumpkin mini cupcakes.  I figured that even though she couldn't have any (we have just barely started solids), they went well together in that they are both mini and sweet!  The original recipe calls them "muffins," but given that I topped them with a tangy cream cheese frosting, that makes it a cupcake!  I'm such a sucker for cream cheese frosting on anything - carrot cake, red velvet cake, etc.  I cut down on the sugar from the original recipes in both the frosting and the cake itself, but they were still sweet enough in my opinion.  They were super moist, and pretty much guilt-free since they're so small.  That is, unless you are me and have five in one sitting!


Pumpkin Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from this recipe
1 3/4 c all purpose flower
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated is best!)
2 eggs
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk together flour, white and brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.  Be careful not to overmix!  
Place cupcake liners into muffin tins and fill each well until the top of the liner.  Then bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  For regular-sized cupcakes, you can probably bake for 20-22 minutes.  Wait until they are cooled completely to frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz brick of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3-2 cups of powdered sugar

Whisk together cream cheese and butter, ideally in a stand mixer.  Then slowly add powdered sugar in parts and mix, tasting along the way to reach the desired sweetness.  I ended up using 1 1/3 cups as I like the tang and don't like my frosting super sweet, but it's up to you!  Once whisked together and there are no clumpy bits of powdered sugar, place into a piping bag or plastic ziploc bag (what I did).  Snip a little hole, and pipe on top of the cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Simple Fall Separates

The little baby bear is now 6 months (!!) old but I'm still either breastfeeding or pumping every 4 hours or so.  As I mentioned in my last couple posts, the frequent feeds create some slight fashion hiccups.  You can imagine that hoisting up a shift dress is not an ideal way to breastfeed a wriggly baby.  Therefore, my wardrobe consists mostly of separates.  Nursing camisoles allow for more wardrobe flexibility as you can throw over a shirt/sweater/cardigan.  Once it comes time to nurse, you just take off your top layer, and then pull down part of the tank top, leaving your belly still covered.  My favorite nursing tank top is from Undercover Mama and can be attached to any nursing bra.  It's not as wide at the bottom as the Target or Bravado ones, so it's a bit better for when you are a few months out and want to suck everything in.


Green knit cardigan: Theory.  Nursing tank: Undercover Mama.  Jeans: J Brand 'Maria' in Black Luxe Sateen.  Patent leather slingbacks: Manolo Blahnik.  Earrings: H&M.  
Handbag: Fendi 2Jours Medium Tote in 'Dove.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baby Monkey Shower

A few weeks ago, my girlfriends threw me the most thoughtful baby shower to celebrate the impending arrival of my baby girl.  The theme?  Monkeys of course!  We had wonderful weather, delicious food, fun games, and plenty of crafty activities.  And the best part?  I was surrounded by my best friends who had traveled near and far and we had not just a great afternoon, but a fun-filled girls' weekend.

Thank you to Sarah, Deb, Denise, Mindy, and my sister Wendy for an unforgettable baby shower!

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