Monday, November 28, 2011

a few of my favorite things...

Every year, it seems like Christmas just sneaks up on me...I've been especially oblivious this year because I have a new little one to focus on.  

From Secret Santas to family and friends purchasing gifts, I always find it hard to answer one simple question, "What do you want for Christmas?"  In my best pageant answer, I could always use a little peace on earth or the always elusive dream car - the Mercedes G500 - or you could get me more of the things I love.  The things that I can't live without...the things that, if I were stranded on a desert island, I would want handy...

These are a few of my favorite things:
~ Burt's Bees Lip Balm (i'm seriously obsessed, I was once stranded at a Mickey D's without lip balm and used ketchup - I know, not my finest moment)
~ Lucky Magazine
~ Mascara
~ Fun nail polish (preferably something with glitter or neon)
~ Big earrings
~ Reusable tote
Burt's Bees Lip Balm
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Crystal Studded Bamboo Hoops
OPI Nail Polish

Rosario Dawson - Lucky Magazine [United States] (January 2009)
Lucky Magazine
Stay Sweet!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh the things you can do with Red Wine...

I’m not a lush – trust me!  But I have some leftover Red Velvet wine that needs a little TLC.

Below are some recipes to jazz up your red wine…

premium red sangria 12 550 275x300 Red Sangria Recipe: Cheers to Drink Wine Day!
Fizzy Fruity Sangria from Babble

Fizzy Fruity Red Sangria
makes one big pitcher
1 bottle of red wine (something fruity that you would drink on its own.)
2 large tangerines (or juicy/sweet oranges), juiced
1/2 orange, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 orange, peeled and diced into chunks
1-2 limes, juiced (slice a few lime rounds into the pitcher as well)
1 small green apple, diced thin
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 shots of brandy, high quality
1/2 cup concord grape or pomegranate juice, organic
1 cup fizzy sweet ginger ale (high quality brew)
1. Prep all your fruit. Place in a large glass pitcher.
2. Juice your tangerines and lime. Add this juice to the pitcher.
3. Add your brandy. Next, do a swift swirling of the fruit and brandy. This will help the break up the fruit flesh and release those yummy fruit essences.
4. Add the wine and remaining fruit juice to the pitcher. Add in the frozen blueberries – this will help chill your sangria without watering it down. Stir well.
5. Add the ginger ale, or you can top off each poured glass with a bit of it, whatever you prefer.
6. Allow your sangria to chill in the fridge for at least a half hour. The sangria fruit flavors will expand and increase as the fruit marinates with the wine.
Serve: a few ice cubes and fruit in each glass and 2 thin straws.. Straws are a must. How else can you pick up that yummy fruit to eat. To me, straws are like sangria fruit chopsticks.

Red Wine Spritzer from Food Network

Red Wine Spritzer

makes 6 servings

1/2 pint blackberries

  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1 bottle, 750 ml, dry red Italian table wine
  • 1 quart sparkling water or seltzer, chilled


Fill the bottom of large wine glasses with a mixture of the berries. Pour wine in to cover and let stand 10 minutes. Top glasses with seltzer when you are ready to serve.

Vegan Chocolate Wine Cupcake from
Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings

Chocolate Wine Cupcakes with Red Wine Glaze
Makes 12 cupcakes
½ cup soy milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups red wine
½ cup Earth Balance margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons wine reduction
2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Frosting:½ cup Earth Balance margarine
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon wine reduction
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon soy milk
Garnish:About 2 tablespoons wine reduction (all that remains after making the cupcakes and frosting)
Dark chocolate bar to make curls
First, make the soy milk and cornstarch mixture. Dissolve the cornstarch in the soy milk. Either in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, or in the microwave in a glass dish, cook the mixture until it thickens, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool completely.
Wine reduction:
Pour the wine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a high simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the wine reduces nearly to a syrup-y consistency. Don’t let it thicken. Set the reduction aside. It should be about 3 tablespoons and will be used in the cupcakes, frosting, and as a drizzle.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line a cupcake pan.
To make the cupcakes, start by creaming the margarine with the sugar and powdered sugar, until fluffy. Add the soy milk/cornstarch mixture, wine reduction, wine, soy milk, and vanilla, then mix until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. It should be airy, but somewhat thick.
Using a cupcake or ice cream scoop, spoon batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven then let cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Using electric beaters, cream the margarine and shortening together. Gradually add the powdered sugar while mixing. Add the wine reduction, vanilla, and soy milk then beat until light and fluffy, 5-8 minutes. If the frosting is too thick, add another splash of soy milk.
Fill up your pastry bag and pipe big swirls of frosting on your cupcakes once they’ve cooled. Drizzle the wine reduction evenly over the cupcakes.
Using a vegetable peeler, “peel” thick chocolate curls from the chocolate bar. Stick them in the freezer for a few minutes, and then garnish each cupcake with curls. The temperature of the chocolate is important. If the bar is too cold, the slices will break before they curl, but if it’s too warm, it will get messy and difficult. The curls will be very delicate, so handle with care.

Stay Sweet!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcake Wine

Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet Wine

I think I should start by saying “I AM NOT A RED WINE DRINKER!”  With that said, I don’t know how fair this review is going to be.  Sooo, let’s not even call it a review.  I’m no wine critic…I write about what I love AND what I’ve tried that I don’t love.  It’s so unfortunate that I don’t LOVE Cupcake Vineyard’s Red Velvet wine.

I wanted to like it, I PROMISE!  I even planned my dinner around it…I cooked, I poured myself a glass and I began – dinner was delish by the way.  

Let’s just say it wasn’t what I expected.  SN: I have had red wines before that I love.  They are surprisingly sweet, light and refreshing.  

Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet Wine wasn’t like a red velvet cupcake.

I’ll just leave it at that!

Stay Sweet!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Lattes

I heart the holidays!  It awakens all my senses.  The colors, the smells, the flavors…just yummy!

I know the holidays have officially arrived when my favorite latte flavors show up at Starbucks....This year, I have traded in my latte budget for baby formula - I’m happy to do it!  

But I don’t have to sacrifice one of my favorite parts of the season.  I searched the internet and found some wonderful holiday latte recipes.  It also helps that they are easy on the budget!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte (from Recipe Girl)
makes one serving

1 cup hot brewed, strong coffee
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons half & half cream
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar, or more to taste
whipped cream, optional
ground nutmeg

1. In a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, spice and vanilla. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes- watch closely and remove it from the microwave when the milk is hot and frothy.
2. Pour the pumpkin milk into a tall mug or glass. Add hot coffee. Pour in the cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir, and taste. Add more sugar, if desired.
3. Optional, but oh so good... add whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serve immediately!

Eggnog Latte (from Savory Sweet Life)
makes one serving

2 shots espresso OR 1/2 cup of double/triple concentrated coffee
2/3 cup eggnog
1/3 cup milk
*optional whipped cream and nutmeg


Pour espresso/concentrated coffee into a mug and add steamed eggnog/milk mixture. If you prefer your eggnog latte sweeter, add a little sugar. Top off with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg. Happy Holidays -Enjoy!
*If you don’t have an espresso machine, do what I do most often. Just warm your eggnog/milk mixture in the microwave. Cook times may vary but I prefer heating mine for 2 minutes.

Stay Sweet!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's your Philosophy?

candy cane stocking stuffer

I love, Love LOVE Philosophy products…and the flavors they come up with for the holidays are just genius!

Check out their Holiday Gift Center, where you are sure to find something for everyone on your Christmas list….

Right now you get 10% off of your entire purchase.

They also offer FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50...

AND if you sign up to receive emails from Philosophy, you'll get a free gift - NOW THAT'S A SWEET DEAL!

Stay Sweet!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Do Good-ies

We all want to do good!  I make it a point every day to do something good for someone else…and I feel especially good when I do something good for someone I don’t know – a coupon to a stranger, a donation to a charity.

If you want to fulfill your need-to-do-something-good quota today, check out SocialGoodies Daily Deal.

The Dancing Deer Baking Company is offering $30 worth of baked goods for $15…now that’s one sweet little deal.  AND to top it off, they are donating 20% of each purchase to a charity of your choice!

C’mon, who wouldn’t want to have a cookie for charity?!

Stay Sweet

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Lover

Sooo, I’m somewhat of a snob when it comes to certain foods.  Peanut Butter is one of them …I only eat Peter Pan peanut butter and the only candy I eat with peanut butter is the Reese Cup.  I know, pretty lame for someone that proclaims to like sweets…but stay with me.

In early 2007, when ConAgra had that huge recall, I thought it was the end of PB&J, PB and Apples, PB and Celery and just plain old enjoying Peanut Butter from the jar.  But….luckily that didn’t last. 

BUT what’s even more awesome is that I found a peanut butter that I like that isn’t PETER PAN!  Crazy, right?!  As a matter of fact, I LOVE THIS PEANUT BUTTER!  Where has it been all my peanut butter lovin’ life?

White Chocolate Wonderful
White Chocolate Wonderful
WHITE CHOCOLATE WONDERFUL!  And it’s just that!  They also have other flavors – I tasted a few a couple weeks ago at the cooking expo in DC.  They were all wonderful!  And thanks to a good girlfriend, I have two jars and a peanut butter cookbook!  

Man oh man does she know the way to my heart!  I heart her….and I heart peanut butter!

Check it out at Peanut Butter & Co.

Get some! No really!

Stay Sweet

Monday, November 14, 2011


A mere twenty-four hours ago I “went live”.  I introduced a very dear to my heart group of friends to Sweet Little Vittles – the Bakery.  I gave them a cupcake menu that included classic, seasonal and specialty flavors.  I also gave them some sweet little vittles to take home.

I am VERY excited about this new adventure. 

But that’s not it!  I want to make candies, cookies and brownies and barks.  I want to make scones, pie pops and cake pops.

Today I will fulfill my first order.  One of my friends placed an order immediately…Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.  Yum!

Soooo, I’m off to bake.

Stay Sweet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011



I just LOVE things that are little AND sweet!  I have a new little one and he is the SWEETEST little vittle ever!

Of course life isn’t all about small sugary confections (oh how I wish)…so this blog is more of a lifestyle blog with baking and cooking recipes, tips on how to be frugal, restaurant and product reviews and more.  I’ll sprinkle in what I’ve done, what I’m doing and what I plan to do.

So you already know that I like things that are little and sweet.  I also like things that sparkle and I heart animal print…my favorite color is red and I absolutely adore my family and friends.

This is my first blog, so I am super excited.  And this officially counts as my first post….

Stay Sweet!