Saturday, August 18, 2018

Coconut Lime Cupcakes


Coconut and lime is an unexpected, but super sweet flavor combination!  The inspiration for this cake comes from the lovely Cake by Courtney and her Coconut Key Lime Pie Cake.  It's a bomb recipe, I just wanted to see if I could make it a tad bit easier.  And to me that means a cake mix!


Baking can already be so tricky and time consuming.  I love to take simple steps to make baking easier and faster.  I've always been known to doctor up cake mixes and make a pretty stellar cake, but I've always followed others recipes.  Until now!


I created this recipe! I'm so grateful for awesome bakers that share their talents and hopefully I can do the same.  Without further ado lets dig in!


I started with a base of a boxed white cake mix and added all the lovely ingredients that made Courtney's cake so fabulous.  I tweaked the amounts, and added a few more things to make sure it would work out just right.  I even added the graham cracker crust and lime curd filling to wow the guests at the baby shower I took these to.  Boy did they wow!  Topped with the most smooth coconut cream frosting and toasted coconut, these rosette cupcakes were a show stopper (and incredibly easy from the cake to the decorating... Shhh!).



I made the lime curd a couple days before so I had one less thing to do on party day.  I'm all about party prepping!

Coconut Lime Cupcakes


Graham Craker Crust

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 C. and 2 T. unsalted butter, melted

1/4 C. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.  Crush graham crackers well then mix with butter, sugar and salt.  Place about 2 teaspoons in the base of each cupcake liner.  Press with the back of the measuring spoon.  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes.  Let cool while making cake.

Coconut Lime Cake


2-3 tsp. coconut emulsion

2/3 C. sour cream

4 egg whites

1/3 C. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 box white cake mix

1 1/2 T. flour

2 tsp. lime zest

Combine wet ingredients.  Once combined add cake mix, flour and lime zest, just until combined.  Fill over graham cracker crust using a small cupcake scoop.  Bake for about 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.  Let cool before you frost.  

I then toasted about 1 C. sweetened coconut in the oven while watching continuously.  Let cool.  After the cupcakes and coconut were cool, I cut a cone shape out of the middle of each cupcake (this is on my wish list now though!!), and cut off the tip of the cone.  Don't cut too far because you will hit the crust.  I then filled the hole with THIS lime curd and put the rest of the cake on top.  I then topped each cupcake with a simple rosette design using a 1M Wilton tip and THIS delicious frosting.  It's just like a regular cupcake swirl just think reverse and start in the middle while working your way out.  

I just had to share the cake that I made as well for the baby sprinkle.  


This technique is also super easy to complete.  Make a vertical row of frosting dots.  Use the back tip of a icing spatula to gently pull the middle of the frosting.  Continue with the complete row of dots.  Then just keep piping rows and rows and keep pulling.  The last row can just be dots. 



This post may contain affiliate links but all opinions are my own.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Aloha Date Night In Box Review

I received another fun Date Night In Box and I just had to share! 
This month was all about enjoying a romantic night of Hawaiian spirit.  


The box included:  multiple games, our favorite Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion potato chips, a candle to set the mood, and a make your own drink set.  Unfortunately our cups broke from the candle and wax, but boy did our box smell fabulous!


One of the reasons why I love these Date Night In Boxes is because it's SO easy to play one of their games during Olivia's nap time.  Date night doesn't just have to be for night time anymore.  


We decided to play Konane, one of the most popular Hawaiian games and a variation of checkers.  It was so easy to learn and everything we needed came right in the box.  


We snacked on our favorite potato chips while enjoying each others company and the beautiful smell of the Plum Orchid & Dahlia candle from Northern Lights Candles.  


Another thing I love about Date Night In Boxes is it gives us a reason to connect with each other.  It's so easy to get caught up in what we are doing during our free time.  While Olivia is sleeping, I'm usually working on some kind of handout, baking or blogging and Dallin is usually doing something around the house.  This box makes it easy for us to remember to be together and enjoy each other while we have time alone.


Because all too quickly Olivia is done with napping and then we have to save the games for another day.  Just look at this picture below!! She looks like I'm intruding on a daddy daughter date.  haha!


I love that Olivia is a daddy's girl but I'm also grateful she's willing to share! :) 


If you'd like to find out more about Date Night In Boxes you can go HERE!  


I did receive this box for free for reviewing purposes, 
I'm grateful and excited to share things I love with you!


Saturday, August 4, 2018

"Mint" to Make Covenants

How can I deepen my understanding of covenants?


One of the lessons I taught in July was about how we could deepen our understanding of covenants.  This lesson had loads of questions and class participation.

President Nelson said, "When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us.  His law is written in our hearts.  He is our God and we are His people.  Committed children of the covenant remain steadfast, even in the midst of adversity.  When that doctrine is deeply implanted in our hearts, even the sting of death is soothed and our spiritual stamina is strengthened."


Some of the questions I asked throughout the class:

What is an example of someone making, keeping and breaking a covenant?
What is a covenant?  Why do we make them? 
What are some blessings we receive when we keep them?
Does making a covenant effect the way you act?
What can help us make and keep covenants?

President Nelson said, "The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper.  The rewards for a covenant keeper will be realized both here and hereafter.  Scripture declares that "ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, ...and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven...and dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness."


We also did a little exercise.  I started with asking the class what they knew about a specific covenant (baptism, sacrament, or eternal marriage).  Then I told them to search the scriptures, True to the Faith and Preach My Gospel to find something they didn't know about that covenant.  It was such a great experience to show the youth that they can find so much information when they need/want to.

We also read Mosiah 18: 8-10 and discussed what we promise and what the Lord promises us if we do those things.  


I paired these printable with a big York candy bar.  The ones I found were on sale at Smith's, but you could even give the mini version, mint brownies, Andes mints, or mint gum.  There are so many options with mint!


I know that we were 'MINT' to make covenants and I hope we realize how important they really are in our lives.  

If you'd like the FREE printable of "We were 'MINT' to make covenants." you can find it HERE!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Be a SMART cookie while learning the gospel.

What is the role of agency in learning the gospel?

Back in February I taught a lesson on how we can use our agency to learn the gospel in the youth Sunday school class I teach.  I thought this was the perfect time for our 14 year old class to hear this message, but really it's such a good reminder for everyone-no matter your age!


Some scriptures we read:  2 Nephi 2:26, Joseph Smith History 1:10-18, James 1:22, D&C 88:118, and D&C 58:26-28.  We talked about how Heavenly Father created us as agents who act, not as objects that are acted upon-which also includes learning the gospel.  We get to choose if we are going to make it a priority to learn the gospel for ourselves. 


We talked about how we could learn from Joseph Smith's example and what he did to learn the gospel.  I loved this quote from Elder Bednar, "As learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon.  Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon?  Are the children, youth, and adults we serve acting and seeking to learn by faith, or are they waiting to be taught and acted upon?  Are you and I encouraging and helping those we serve to seek learning by faith?  We are all to be anxiously engaged in asking, seeking and knocking."


We talked about how we can be doers and not just hearers only.  And how we could apply those principles to guide our learning from sharing our testimony to reading our scriptures.  


We get to choose if we read our scriptures and pray every night or if we participate in church.  We talked about what blessings we will receive once we actively seek to learn the gospel.  Elder Bednar said, "In our personal lives, in our families, and in the Church, we can and will receive the blessings of spiritual strength, direction, and protection as we seek by faith to obtain and apply spiritual knowledge."


To go along with this lesson I wanted the class to realize they can be a 'smart cookie' while learning the gospel.  To go along with the cookie theme we made a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookies.  If you don't have Wendy Paul's 101 Gourmet Cookies for Everyone Cookbook you totally need it in your life!  Her Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies are our absolute favorite!


We let the cookies cool and package them up in our favorite little bags to add a pop of color, and attached the tag you can print below.


If you'd like the free printable for the 'Hey Smart Cookie!' Tag you can find it HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chocolate Ding Dong Cake

I recently have had the cake baking bug!  I am so excited to get in the kitchen and keep making cakes and goodies, but especially cakes!  haha I've always loved baking, but I feel like it's really jump started recently.  I started a new baking account on Instagram where I share all my goodies and hopefully one day it will become a business account where you'll be able to purchase said goodies from me!  How awesome would that be!?  If you'd like to follow along go HERE!  And if you're ever in need of a treat let me know, I'd love to help.


I made this cake for my sisters birthday, she asked for a chocolate cake with white frosting.  I wanted to venture out of my norm so I chose a new recipe and adapted it to what I think would work best.  Heavenly chocolate cake with little bits of chocolate chips hidden in the batter, topped with fresh whipped cream frosting and chocolate ganache for days.  


This cake almost reminded me of a Tuxedo cake, Ding Dong or Ho-Ho!  I love how it's such a fan favorite flavor and can be made so easily!


I added a chocolate drip and mini chocolate chips for good measure.


I love the reaction people have when they see my cakes.  It makes baking them so rewarding, it's almost better than eating it-almost! ;)


Chocolate Ding Dong Cake


Chocolate Cake-Recipe from Your Cup of Cake--Use the mini chocolate chips they are so good! I followed the recipe and then put them in 6" baking pans.  I then baked them for about 20-25 minutes, don't over bake! 

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 Quart whipping cream 

3 T. instant white chocolate pudding powder

3-4 T. powdered sugar

Beat whipping cream, pudding powder and powdered sugar on high till peaks form.  Taste and adjust pudding and sugar to your liking. 

Chocolate Ganache 

1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 C. heavy whipping cream 

Place chips and cream in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, then microwave in 30 second increments till smooth.  Let cool slightly.

Assembly

Bake cake layers, cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap.  Freeze until needed.  Make frosting and ganache.  Stack cake layers with a layer of frosting and about 1/4 C. of ganache in the center of each layer.  Crumb Coat.  Freeze. Add final coat of frosting.  Freeze for 10 minutes then add drip. I then added the whipped cream dollops and the mini chocolate chips.

I'm hoping to do a round up of my favorite cake tools, but until then I'd love to share a few of my absolute favorites!  



These two are total game changers and will up your decorating game!  I'm so excited to share more cakes with you in the future.  Thank you so much for reading!

This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Minute to Win It Date Night In Box

I am so excited to finally talk about a fun subscription box I've been anxiously waiting to try.  Night In Boxes, specifically the Date Night In Boxes are the perfect box to bring you and your special someone closer, without even leaving your own home!  

I am such a home body.  Don't get me wrong it's fun to go out every now and then, but over all I would much rather stay at home with Dallin and Olivia.  So this Date Night in box is just what Dallin and I needed to spend some quality time with each other, even if the baby is napping or it's in the middle of the day. :) 



This months box theme was Minute to Win It.  It had all the instructions and needed items in order to play a handful of different Minute to Win It games. 


It also came with an optional dinner menu to make date night a total breeze!  
It even had a list of the tools needed in order to make the different dishes.


We had so much fun playing the games.  
I was laughing so hard I was crying, Dallin was being so funny.


One of our favorite games we played was the Paper Dragon, where you try to unroll a streamer pack with one hand.  I included some pictures to show just how silly we looked and we didn't even care because we were having so much fun. :) It took me like 30 seconds to complete this game.


It took Dallin less than 15 seconds...


So you can say I lost big time with this one.  


Our little referee woke up just in time for the games.



I love that this box made it so easy to open and start a unique date right away.  We didn't have to think, plan, or even get a babysitter!  

I'd love to know what works for your date nights?  Dallin and I ideally want to switch from a date night in one week (Date Night In box, special dinner, movie, etc.) and date night out (go to a restaurant, activity for the season-mini golf, etc.) the next and we swap planning them each time so we keep it fresh and fun.

Remember to check out Date Night In boxes HERE!


I did receive this box for free for reviewing purposes, 
I'm grateful and excited to share things I love with you!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Power of the Priesthood Youth Sunday School Lesson

How can you honor the power of the priesthood?

This lesson is a mix of a few different topics from the June theme of Priesthood and Priesthood Keys.  I was trying to incorporate the topic 'How do women and priesthood holders work together to build the kingdom of God?' and questions that the youth had for us about honoring the priesthood.  


I taught this lesson last Sunday on Father's Day (Can you believe I'm actually getting up a post the same week I gave it?).  With it being Father's Day I wanted to highlight the influence of fathers and how much our parents and father figures or mother figures do for us.  We started by watching the video Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.  I love writing thank you notes so then we wrote thank you notes to our dads or moms, or anyone that has been an example like that to us.  We talked about the importance of honoring our parents and then moved into honoring the priesthood.


I loved THIS talk by Linda K. Burton.  It's such a great talk about how priesthood power blesses everyone!  Perfect talk for this lesson.


One of the things she mentioned was to think what life would be like without having the priesthood here on earth?  Can you even imagine!?  There would be no temples, eternal covenants, no prophets, no light-hope, only darkness.


We also talked about how the priesthood is always used to serve, to bless and strengthen others.  As David A. Bednar has said, "Nothing about the priesthood is self-centered."


Just like a superhero!  


These were so fun to give to the class.  I think even younger kids would have loved them too! 


All you need is paper and a bag of Tootsie Pops!


I just found a cape cut out online and glued my printable to it.  If you didn't want to cut out the cute little masks, you could totally have them just with the cape and it would be a lot easier!  You can print the masks on the same color card stock you use for the capes.  I also used mini glue dots but if I were to do this again I would use superglue to attach the masks.

I hope we are all realizing how important the priesthood is, 
it really does bless all of us no matter our circumstance.  

If you'd like the FREE 'Power of the Priesthood' printable you can find it HERE!

This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.