Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

Again while searching through the lovely Pinterest, I came across these bad-boys: Banana Cream Pie CUPCAKES! Yes I said it! Cupcakes! And over at the Betty Crocker site, Arlene Cummings with Cooking with Sugar posted this recipe and I had to try it!

Recipe adapted from Arlene Cummings


For Cupcakes -  
1 Box of Betty Crocker® FUN da-Middles™ yellow cupcake mix with creamy vanilla filling
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 box (3.4-oz size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
12 vanilla wafer cookies

For Frosting -  
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 box (3.4-oz size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons banana extract
For Garnish -  
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I forgot to do this haha)
12 vanilla wafer cookies


1. Make cupcake batter as directed on cupcake mix box, using water, oil, eggs and adding 1/2 box of pudding mix. (Other half of box will be used in frosting.)

2. Before filling paper baking cups as directed on box, place 1 vanilla wafer cookie in bottom of each paper cup. Fill cups as directed on box. Bake and cool cupcakes.

3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with graham cracker crumbs; top each with 1 cookie.

For the "how-to" click here, it really helped me!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Word of the Day 11/20/2012

Tartar (noun)
1: a person of irritable or violent temper
2: one that proves to be unexpectedly formidable

Examples: "Strange that one whom I have described hitherto as so timid and easily put upon should prove such a Tartar all of a sudden on the day of his marriage." — From Samuel Butler's 1903 autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh

"'Yes, Great-aunt Gert took us both under her wing.' He jerked his head toward the severe woman in the painting. 'My father's spinster aunt, a bold tartar of a woman who most people were frightened to death of.'" — From Anne Gracie's 2008 novel The Stolen Princess

Did You Know?: Originally, their name was "Tatar," not "Tartar." Since at least the 1200s, the Tatar people have lived in Asia and Eastern Europe, and they were among the fiercest fighters of the Golden Horde of the Mongols. In the 13th century, they rode with Genghis Khan and became the terror of their day. Their name, "Tatar," is believed to come from Persian or a Turkic language, but in Europe it was associated with "Tartarus," the Latin name for the part of Hell reserved for the punishment of the wicked. Because of that association, English speakers began calling the Tatar people "Tartars." Over time, "tartar" came to be used for anyone considered as ferocious or violent as the Tartar warriors who had once ransacked the ancient world.

Friday, November 16, 2012

#77 DZP: Complete 3 DIY projects

Now when I say "DIY", I really thought "Craft-Time". So while I was off work, and staying home with Ryan, Craft-Time is what I did during his Nap-Time. :)
My craft store loved me: Ryan and I probably went (at-least) 3 times each week...
I always wanted to make melted crayon art, so I bought my crayons, the board, the frame, and the flowers, and took my glue and hair dryer to them. Tutorial to follow :)
Since it was Halloween, I found this off Pinterest (what else?!) and decided to make my own.
Just take a fake pumpkin (from craft store), spray paint it black (or white, or orange, or neon green... get your Pantone-color on!), take rhinestones and stick/glue them on into a web pattern, then hot glue your creepy (but glittery) spider! I absolutely HATE spiders, but I loved this project!

Once again, Pinterest sparked my creative-funny-bone: Halloween Tu-tu Wreath!
Take a roll of tulle (I bought mine from amazon, but tulle is everywhere!) and cut into strips. Tie, knot, slip-knot (whatever you want) on a foam wreath (also from craft store, I think I used a 12" wreath). Then run to the craft store and gather decorations for your fancy wreath: flowers, leaves, glittery-shinnies, and hot glue them on! I used  purple and black flowers, orange-glittered stems, and a decorative peacock feather. And because the spiders were 2-package deal, I used the other for my wreath!

Yay for crafts and Do It Yourself Projects!

#15 DZP: Get professional pictures done of the 4 generations

Ok, so this one was slightly altered because my father came with us, so it's the 4 generations + Jichan (grandfather in Japanese). We took pictures at Emotion Portrait Studios/Dogma Pet Portraits (located at Newport Beach, CA) and this would be our second time going. We love David & Sylvaine! I always LOVE the pictures and I'm so glad we took Ryan and captured his 18-month-old-self!

#79 DZP: Dye my hair a different color

I didn't want to dye ALL my hair a different color, but I didn't want to look like a zebra with blonde streaks coming down. So I talked it over with my stylist and she suggested a couple shades lighter, so it's suttle, but shines in the light. I was so down!
I don't have a picture of it just as I was stepping out of the salon, but my family and I had pictures taken at Emotion Portraits Studios in Newport Beach, CA. I was stoked that I got my hair done before!

#96 DZP: Eat at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

When the Brea's Farrell's opened way back when, my Mother told me stories of her trips to Farrell's and how she loved the food, and of course the ICE CREAM SUNDAES!
So Alex, Ryan, and I took a trip up there on Alex's day off, and enjoyed a family lunch out!
We've tried going there before, but the line to get in was wrapped around the corner... so needless to say we didn't go then. But the lunch was perfect. And unforunately I didn't take my snapshots (how un-Japanese of me!!) but I did take this snap of my baby and his Dodger shirt.

#58 DZP: Buy a Lotto Ticket

Can you believe that I'm over 25 (that's all I'll say about that too) and I haven't bought a lotto ticket!?!
I've been to several 7-Elevens and passed by the CA Lotto purple stand, but never stopped to get a ticket. When I was little, my parents bought a mini lotto ball dispenser, so I got to help pick lotto numbers, but I was too little to buy one, obviously haha!
But I bought one, so yay! & good luck to me! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Word of the Day 11/15/2012

Unwieldy (adjective): not easily managed, handled, or used (as because of bulk, weight, complexity, or awkwardness) : cumbersome

Examples: The futon mattress was heavy and unwieldy, and the only effective way to move it was to slide it across the floor.

"In the U.S., unwieldy, multimillion-dollar sports businesses are housed in universities. The danger occurs when a school's prestige, psyche and fundraising come to rely on its football team instead of just being enhanced by it." — From an article by Sean Gregory in Time, November 21, 2011
Did You Know? : The verb "to wield" means "to handle or exert something effectively." A carpenter might wield a hammer with impressive dexterity, for example, or a talented orator might wield influence over an audience of listeners. Something that is "wieldy" is capable of being wielded easily, and while that adjective may not be particularly common, its antonym "unwieldy" finds ample use to describe anything that is awkward to handle, move, or manage. "Wield" and its relatives all derive via Middle English from Old English "wieldan," meaning "to control."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Word of the Day 11/14/2012

Watershed (noun)
1a : a dividing ridge between drainage areas b : a region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water
2: a crucial dividing point, line, or factor : turning point

Examples: Historians generally agree that the battle was a watershed in the war.

"Penn State's 38–29 win over previously unbeaten Northwestern felt like a watershed, the end of purgatory at the very least." — From an article by Mike Gross in the Intelligencer Journal/New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), October 8, 2012

Did You Know?: Opinion on the literal geographic meaning of "watershed" is divided. On one side of the debate are those who think the word can only refer to a ridge of land separating rivers and streams flowing in one direction from those flowing in the opposite direction. That's the term's original meaning, one probably borrowed in the translation of the German Wasserscheide. On the other side of the argument are those who think "watershed" can also apply to the area through which such divided water flows. The latter sense is now far more common in America, but most Americans have apparently decided to leave the quarrel to geologists and geographers while they use the term in its figurative sense, "turning point."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Light 'Em Up 2012

I came across this great website and this idea for the holidays is absolutely wonderful!
It's called Light 'Em Up! It brings out the real meaning to the season of giving, not the season of "how many [presents] are there?" (yes, that's Dudley from Harry Potter).
It's for parents to help teach the little ones about giving back to the community, appreciating others (especially the ones we take granted of: janitors, grocery check-out clerks, security guards, etc.), and how to give a little joy into people's hearts.
Lil Light o' Mine has 100 ways to "Light 'em Up!" like "Pay the toll for the car behind you", "Tape quarters to buble gum machines", "swing by your dentist or doctor's offices with treats for the whole team", and of course "hug someone". She also has great printables! Check them out!

Involve your whole family, get the friends to participate, and stay anonymous (this isn't about you remember!).


Sunday, November 11, 2012

DZP Update: 100 Days Left!!!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Word of the Day 11/6/2012

Bugbear (noun)
1: an imaginary goblin or specter used to excite fear
2a : an object or source of dread b : a continuing source of irritation : problem

Examples: The biggest bugbear of the skiing business is a winter with no snow.

"Smartphones are getting better all the time, but one area that's always been a little bit of a bugbear with owners is the quality of the built-in camera. However, inventive third-party manufacturers have been quick to come up with their own solution to this particular snapping quandary." — From an article by Rob Clymo on, September 26, 2012
Did You Know?: "Bugbear" sounds like some kind of grotesque hybrid creature from fable or folklore, and that very well may be what the word's creator was trying to evoke. When the word entered English in the 16th century, it referred to any kind of creature made up to frighten someone—most often a child; in 1592, Thomas Nashe wrote of "Meere bugge-beares to scare boyes." The word combines "bug," an old word for goblin, with "bear," which is perhaps what such made-up creatures were described as resembling. The "source of dread or annoyance" sense came not long after. In the late 20th century, the word found new life as the name of a particular kind of creature in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

Friday, November 2, 2012

PB&J Sandwich Cake!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cake

You better believe it!

My boyfriend came across this from our Food Network magazine and he said "you HAVE to do this!", so I made it for a BBQ party!

Now the first time I made it, it didn't come out great... I didn't bake the cake long enough, only 25 minutes. So I had to scrap it in the trash and start all over again. Thankfully I had an extra cake mix box and all the ingredients needed for it!

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

PAM Baking spray
1 18.25 oz box white cake mix (plus the required ingredients)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups of confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 to 1 1/2 cup strawberry jelly (but you can use whatever jelly you like)

1. Spray a 9-inch square pan with PAM Baking spray and set aside. Make the cake mix and fill the pan three-quarters full (you might have batter left over). Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (it took the full 35 minutes for my oven).

2. Let the cake cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let cool completely. Transfer the cake to a work surface. Trim off the top using a serrated knife, then slice the cake in half horizontally.

3. Beat the butter and peanut butter with a mixer until smooth. Alternate adding the confectioners' sugar and milk, beating after each addition, until the frosting is fluffy and smooth. In another bowl, whisk the grape jelly until it is loose and spreadable.

4. Spread a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on the bottom cake half.

5. Spread the jelly on top of the peanut butter frosting, making sure to reach the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer.

For a helpful how-to (incase you didn't get that issue of the magazine) click here!
I love PB&J sandwiches and now it's a great dessert! Thanks Food Network!