Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn Festivities have begun...(recipe included)

Even though we live in Texas the weather HAS finally turned cool and it has been rushed in with a LOT of rain! But I am grateful for the rain after such a dry summer. Anyways Autumn is officially here and between reading my Better Home and Garden magazines, wearing sweaters and jackets, watching the trees turn colors, AND looking at my neighbor's cute Fall wreaths all hanging on their doors I have gotten my inspiration back!!

So here are some of the things I have done to welcome the new season:

1. Put out all my Autumn house decorations (my theme is scarecrow)

2. Changed my counter "grab" bowls to Almonds (for me) and Candy Corn (for the kiddos)

3. Went through the kids closets and bagged up all the "summer" clothes that were getting to small or WAS too small and accidentally stood hanging in their closet anyways!

4. Spent all week going store to store to find all the ingredients to make these adorable Pumpkin Patch cupcakes for Tyler's class party today at school! (Recipe and pictures below)

5. Looked through tons of pumpkin carving pics with my kids on the Internet until Tyler saw a "bats" one that he exclaimed "It's BATMAN!" So I cut the pumpkin open and let the kids help me separate out the seeds (to bake later) and we carved a wonderful "Bats in flight" pumpkin for our porch.

6. And oh yea I bought some Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (even though I seriously hardly EVER drink coffee it just seemed right to do, haha)

So what have you done to welcome in the cooler weather? Maybe it already feels like winter where you are but none-the-less share what you have done!

(makes 12 regular and 24 mini)

1 box French Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

After adjusting ingredients, make as directed on box. (Beating the batter is very important - your batter will be very lumpy if you just stir)

Place half the dough in a Ziploc bag (turn inside out and push down on one corner into your palm to scoop batter into the corner specifically then continue to fill) and cut 1/4 in. hole at corner of bag and fill the paper liners 2/3's full.
- Use orange paper liners for regular size cupcakes
- Use white paper liners for mini size cupcakes


4 green licorice twists (Twizzlers Rainbow Twists)
1 can plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
Orange Food coloring
1 cup orange decorating sugar
Green Licorice Laces (Watermelon Madness Fruit Streamers)

1. Cut the licorice twists into thirty-six 3/4-inch pieces for the pumpkin stems. Tint the vanilla frosting orange with the food coloring. Tint 1/2 cup of the orange frosting a darker shade of orange with more food coloring, and spoon into a Ziploc bag. Press out the excess air, seal the bag, and set aside.
2. Place the orange decorating sugar in a shallow bowl. Spread the lighter orange frosting on top of the cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Starting on the edge, roll the cupcake tops in the sugar to cover completely.

3. Use a wooden skewer to mark ridges in the top of each cupcake. Starting in the center or slightly off center, lightly press the skewer down toward the top of the paper liner to create 5 or 6 indentations. Snip a 1/16-inch corner from the bag with the darker orange frosting and pipe a line in each indentation to make the ribs. Insert a cut green twist for the stem. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter or a cutting board and add green licorice laces, trimmed to various lengths, for the tendrils.