Key Lime Rainbow Cupcakes

Welcome Springtime!

I am always up for a cupcake party, and the First Day of Spring is a perfect excuse for one!

We had intended to make these cupcakes as a St Patrick’s Day treat — sort of an end-of -the-rainbow pot-of-gold Leprechaun thing — but the time got away from us and we didn’t make that deadline.

Instead these cupcakes are in celebration of the first day of Spring (even if it does look like Springtime on the North Pole right now outside).

They are Key Lime cake with a cloud of Vanilla frosting swirled high and a candy rainbow on top.

The taste is light and fresh and everything one could hope for in a springtime treat!

Here are all the details!

We used a Pillsbury box cake mix! *gasp* We didn’t even change anything — we just followed the directions on the box.

I can’t remember where we got this cake mix, but I think it was Walmart or Target — it seems to be a seasonal item that comes and goes throughout the year.

It is delicious. I wish I could claim it as my own recipe!

It’s light and fresh and the key lime flavor is divine.

The rainbows are made from Air Heads Extremes: Sweetly Sour Candy Rainbow Berry. 

We picked them up at Walmart — $1.38 for a pack of 20 (just 4 short of the 24 needed for all my cupcakes!).

They taste sour and then sweet. 

When combined with the fresh Key lime flavor of the cake and creamy vanilla in the frosting, they add an extra dimension to the flavor — unexpected and simply scrumptious!

The dry cake mix is oddly white, and we thought we were going to have to add food coloring, but as soon as we mixed in the eggs, oil and water, the green color came out — I guess it’s powdered color suspended in the mix.

Warning, this batter is thick and nearly killed our electric hand mixer. The box says to beat the batter for 2 minutes. We were not able to do that so we just used the whisk and a lot of arm power.

It was so thick that it felt like scooping heavy pudding into the cupcake cups!

At that point we thought it was not going to turn out well at all, but thank goodness we were wrong!

When they were cooled we loaded up our pastry bag (more of a pastry tube — like a calking gun for cooking) with Vanilla frosting and swirled on the vanilla ‘cloud’ with a decorative tip.

The Airhead Extremes are a little bit too long straight from the package, so we cut about an inch off of each strip with kitchen sheers. 

When the strips are too long, the rainbows tend to warp and topple, so this simple snip solves that problem (and also leaves you with ‘extra’ candy bits for snacking).

We just tucked each end into the creamy cloud to create the rainbow and they held in place beautifully.

The tangy sour taste of the candy complimented the cupcake and frosting very nicely!

And that was that! A perfect light and yummy Key Lime Cuppycake to celebrate the very first day of Spring!

After such a long hard winter, we all deserve a nice springtime treat!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Top ‘O the mornin’ to ya!

Here’s hoping that you don’t get pinched, and that you find your pot of gold!

This year we pulled it all together for a St. Patrick’s Day feast!

We kicked around lots of ideas for St. Patrick’s dinner that would be outside the box of the traditional corned beef and cabbage, but the old standard came back by popular demand.

I had a hard time convincing Peggo that we should try corned beef one more time before giving up on this St. Patrick’s day staple. 

A sale on corned beef and the fact that I scored a free slow cooker from Sears (Shop Your Way Rewards..yippeee) was all we needed as a nudge to give it one more try.

We cooked the corned beef in the slow cooker for 8 hours and it came out perfectly! It was tender and juicy and flavorful — a true delight even for a non-meat-lover like me.

This year even Peggo agreed this was the best corned beef we ever made. It also cut like a dream instead of being too tough or too crumbly. 

We will definitely be using the slow cooker again!

We steamed all the veggies separately and they were awesome and flavorful as they always are when steamed.

We also made two loaves of Irish Soda Bread this year.

The first loaf was the traditional bread with raisins and caraway seeds, because our Evie loves the traditional kind and she specifically requested that kind.

Peggo does not like raisins and Feather cannot eat seeds, so for our second loaf we decided to get a little bit wild and break tradition by adding only dried cranberries to the dough. 

Both of loaves have received rave reviews by family members who gobbled them up like happy little Leprechauns, so it looks like everyone is happy with their St. Patrick’s treats this year!

I so wish that I had taken pictures of all the baking and cooking, but it just didn’t happen — but there’s always next year!

We’re just three days away from Spring now. We’ll soon be seeing lots of green outdoors — which makes it much easier to pack up all the festive green decorations.

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on it’s way!

Keep chasing rainbows! Your pot of gold is out there!

Looking for more St. Patrick’s stuff?

Leprechaun Free Printable Activity- Click here!

St Patrick’s Day Decorating Inspiration– Click here!

St. Patrick’s Day Potato Soup– Click here!

Magically Delicious: Lucky Charms — Living in the Moment

If I shocked you when I said that I had never tasted classic Halloween cereals like Boo Berries,  Frankenberries and Count Chocula, then you’d better sit down.

This year is also the first time I have ever tasted Lucky Charms.

My only explanation for this lack of holiday themed cereal in my childhood would be that I was a Cookie Crisp girl, and my love of cookies surpassed even my love of holidays! *gasp*

For anyone with an acute fear of leprechauns, marshmallows, or all things magically delicious, look away now.

My inner child and I finally tried Lucky Charms this year and of course I took some pictures — because that’s how I roll these days.

It may seem odd, but sometimes looking at life through the camera lens forces me to see things from a fresh perspective. I am forcing myself to focus  — quite literally with the camera and my mind on the beauty, and appreciate it. 

The fact that I can never go back and take the exact same photo is a reminder to live in the moment and appreciate it, because I’ll never get THAT moment back again to do over.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I’ll leave you with these pictures of Lucky Charms cereal. 

I never knew I could find such joy and peace from something as simple as a photograph of cereal.

St Patricks Day – Decorating

A Leprechaun has come through our house and doused it with a healthy dose of green!

This looks a lot like the Valentine’s Day pictures with a photo filter to change the red to green, but I promise it’s not.

In the past, whenever I would try to decorate for St Patrick’s Day, I would have a very hard time getting things to match. 

The look would come out as a sort of “Fifty Shades of Green” — which I can only assume is the story of Christian Green, a kinky leprechaun who grants wishes, but only if your wishes are to be spanked by a kinky leprechaun — so a slightly different story.

Good luck getting that image out of your mind. 

But back to the decorating — we wanted a very bright cheery St Patty’s Day green, but that color can be a bit intense, so we’ve made the green an accent on a mainly white foundation. 

We’ve also got the pots of gold which bring in a nice dark contrasting black and some sparkling gold.

Lots of decorating items being re-used here! Mardi Gras beads and Christmas gold as well as Halloween cauldrons. 

The crown on these beads is reminiscent of the Irish Claddagh (if it had a heart under it) so it still works as a St Patrick’s decoration.

The Battenburg lace has made another appearance, this time with a green tablecloth underneath so the green peeks out of the open-work in the lace.

(secret tip: the green underneath is from the dollar store! Usually those plastic tablecloths look and feel awful, but under the lace it works perfectly to add the color!)

Last year after St.Patty’s Day we caught a 90% off sale and I picked up these awesome St Patty’s necklaces with giant shamrocks and Irish charms. I LOVE after holiday sales!

I knew they would bring some festive bling-bling to each place setting. 

I also scored these gorgeous green glass candy dishes in the exact green I was looking for.

The gold charger plates are back again and feel reminiscent of giant gold coins. 

I mixed in some green plastic plates because they are the perfect color, and when stacked in the white china they are working almost like a second layer of charger plates. 

The only green cloth napkins I had were a deep hunter-type green, so the lovely napkins shown here are actually paper napkins!

The centerpiece is a very real cauldron that I found at Savers. It weighs a TON and was clearly used many times by it’s previous owner. 

I imagined it being used by a witch to boil eye of newt for Halloween, and I knew I had to have it for for my Halloween decor. 

When I realized it could come out again filled with gold coins for St Patrick’s Day too, I was sold!

The buffet is covered in lace with a green tablecloth underneath and you can see the green coming through very subtly. (green plastic tablecloth to the rescue again!)

The lace pattern is small flowers, not shamrocks, but it gives the impression of clover and swirls, and in my decorating fantasies it is shamrocks.

Big green bows with shamrock shaped leprechaun buckles were found at the dollar store and I love them!

That pretty much covers our St Patrick’s Day decorating. 

Now it is on to plan some green baking projects!

Thank you for stopping by!! 

Here’s wishing that you find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

St Patricks Day – Potato Soup

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

With an Irish name like Hickey, people kind of expect us to celebrate good ole St. Patty’s Day.

After discovering that the ‘traditional’ St. Patrick’s Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage may NOT even be a traditional Irish dish, we decided to explore the alternatives.

Continue reading “St Patricks Day – Potato Soup”