Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Pittsburgh Trip

By Vicky Nardone

Matt and I decided we needed an overnight getaway for Memorial Day weekend.  Originally we were going to go visit our friend Mel in Detroit but then she got scheduled to work all weekend.  It worked out for the better though because my passport that would have allowed us to make it to Detroit in 3.5 hours by cutting through Canada instead of the 7 hours it takes to go around the Great Lakes didn't arrive till the day we got back from Detroit.

We decided to take a trip to Pittsburgh from Friday to Saturday.  We did something new and booked our hotel through Hotwire.  If you've never used Hotwire before, it's a little scary.  You pick the general location (i.e. downtown Pittsburgh in our case) and the number of stars you want and it tells you the price and gives you a general idea of amenities but you don't find out what hotel you're staying at until after you actually book.  By doing it this way, you get a super cheap price.  We got a room at the four star Omni William Penn hotel for $118 tax included.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Scrapbooking Convention

By Vicky Nardone

Last weekend I got to attend my first every scrapbooking convention at the Buffalo Convention Center.  I didn't go to any of the classes offered this time around but my mom was nice enough to volunteer to go to the vendor faire with me and I bought a ton of stuff (probably way more than I should have).  Yes, I know, it barely fits on the table.  But they had some really unique stuff that I had never seen before at my normal craft stores and a lot of it was at really good prices.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Minty Fudge Cups

By Vicky Nardone

The above recipe was another one of the desserts I made when I was catering for the latest film Matt's been working on a couple weeks ago.  One of the actresses in the film told me she liked these even better than the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes I had made the night before.  Now that's my type of girl!  I have to tell you that what really made these was the chocolate icing that goes on top of them.  The recipe for the fudge cups says to just use some store bought icing for the tops but I knew that I could do better.  Plus I've never really been a fan of the store bought icing since I started making my own.  I found a delicious icing recipe in one of my other cookbooks that just made this recipe pop.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

By Vicky Nardone

Hi all,

I'm really honored to announce that Michelle from On A Wing and A Prayer nominated my blog for the Leibster Award! I really appreciate the nomination Michelle!

When not having adventures with her husband on his motorcycle, Michelle writes about crafts, recipes and natural healthcare on her blog.  Definitely make sure to check it out and become a follower.  I just love the name of her blog, don't you?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our Geeky Sci-Fi Sunflower Wedding Part 3

By Vicky Nardone

What do you get when you combine two geeky people in love who are all about a good time with their family and friends? Our epic geeky, sci-fi, sunflower wedding.  See what I did there?  I added the word epic.  This post is focusing on the reception.  If you missed the pre-wedding events you can click here and if you missed the ceremony, you can click here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Reese's Chocolate Cupcakes

Can I make a confession?  I hate peanut butter and chocolate together.  It's one of those combinations that triggers a migraine for me.  Is anyone still reading or did I lose you all?  I know I'm probably the only person in the world that doesn't like these two things together but if you're still reading good because I'm going to share the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes I made as part of my kraft services gig over the weekend.

These were very well received by the entire cast and crew of the latest movie that Matt's been working on.  They are Matt's new favorite cupcake that I make.  He liked them even though I made them full size and with wrappers.  He's a little picky about how he likes his cupcakes - he likes to be able to just pick them up and pop them in his mouth with one bite.  Anyway, I can't personally vouch for the taste of these cupcakes but given that there were none left, I think they were a hit.  I was told the frosting was especially delicious.  Here's how you make them.  The below makes three dozen.  Modify the portions as appropriate.

Cupcake Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Either line your cupcake pans or grease them with spray or butter.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Use a hand or stand mixer to whip the sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla until the ingredients are blended.

Add approximately half the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Do the same for the second half of the dry ingredients.
Fill the cupcake liners about half full.  Bake for about 15-18 minutes until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out cleanly.

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Beat the butter and peanut butter with a hand mixer or with a standing mixer until light and smooth. 
  2. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until incorporated on low speed.  Mixture will be somewhat thick.
  3. Add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Pipe onto cupcakes.  You can add some reeses pieces or reeses cups on top for decoration for a special touch.
Lil\'Luna Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

By Vicky Nardone

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!  I am not a mother to any human children yet, but I do have two little dogs and a kitty to call my own.  My dog Piper left me a pile of poop in the corner today - not sure if that can really be called a Mother's Day present?

Anyway, for Mother's Day my husband and I did lunch with my mom.  She wanted to have lobster at our place and she insisted on bringing them over herself.  I made sides to go with them - garlicky green beans and golden potatoes.  For dessert we had mint chocolate fudge cups which I will be sharing the recipe for with you later this week.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our Geeky Sci-Fi Sunflower Wedding Part 2

By Vicky Nardone

If you missed part one of this three part series about the planning and events leading up to our wedding you can read it here and the reception post is here.  In today's post I am going to discuss our ceremony.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Canoe Redo

By Vicky Nardone

The canoe makeover I am going to be discussing today we actually did last summer but since I didn't have my blog last summer, you get to read about it now.  It's getting to be that time of year where it's nice to take a ride on the river on a warm day.  Matt has always loved boats.  His friend Mel's dad owned a boat and he used to spend a lot of time on it.  He actually was thinking of buying it a couple of year's ago when Mel's dad was thinking of selling it, but it was a little more than he could afford at the time.  However, this canoe was not.  Mel found it at the side of the road - someone was throwing it out.  I get home one night and there's a giant canoe sticking out of the back of his truck.  It was in pretty rough shape when he got it and I had a serious doubts that it would ever float again.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our Geeky Sci-fi Sunflower Wedding - Part 1

By Vicky Nardone

I've been reading about a lot of other people's weddings on their blogs recently so I decided I wanted to share the details from our wedding day with you.  I didn't start this blog until about 6 months after we got married, but there's no reason I can't go back, right?  I'm breaking this topic up over three posts - the engagement (events and prep leading up to the wedding), the ceremony and the reception.  I am definitely one of those girls who had been dreaming of their wedding day since she was a little girl and being a crafty person I knew I wanted to have a lot of diy items at my wedding.  When I was planning, I spent a lot of time at off beat bride which I highly recommend if you are planning on having a unique non-traditional wedding.  It is such a wonderful site full of inspiration.  That's where the title of this post came from - the weddings on there always have three word descriptors.