9/30/2013

THE REQUISITE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES W/ CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Pumpkin Cupcakes | Savor Home
Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Well, I know that I normally post recipes on Tuesday's and highlights from my weekend on Monday's. But that's just it. Technically, I am posting a highlight from my weekend. If I wasn't working or running errands over the last two days, I was baking. Baking for me is so relaxing, especially in the fall. I turn on some music, open the windows, put my apron on, put my hair in top knot, get my camera ready, and just get in the zone. I'm completely happy. That's exactly what I did yesterday. I had a taste for something pumpkin, something simple, something familiar and something my staff at work would love. So I made this super simple pumpkin cupcake recipe. 

If you are an avid blog reader or pinner and love food, then this is probably the 1 millionth pumpkin cupcake recipe you've seen. This is actually the second recipe I've posted here (familiar)... This time I tried a new recipe and it didn't disappoint. It's a measure and dump recipe - meaning you measure the ingredients, dump them into a bowl and stir (simple). No mixer is needed until you get to the frosting. Most importantly, the cupcakes are G-O-O-D. They are super moist with a pumpkin-cinnamon flavor - probably more of a pumpkin flavor than the first recipe I posted. They remind me of how excited I am that fall is finally here... 

Pumpkin Cupcakes | Savor Home
Pumpkin Cupcakes | Savor Home
Pumpkin Cupcakes | Savor Home
Here is what you need and what to do: (makes 12 cupcakes)

Cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the cupcakes:

1/ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

2/ In a small bowl, add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until combined. 

3/ In a larger bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil and eggs. Whisk until combined. 

4/ Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. 

5/ Fill each of the muffin cups about 3/4's of the way up. Ice cream scoops make this process much easier. 

6/ Bake for about 18-20 min or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the frosting...

1/ In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy. 

2/ Turn the mixer down to low speed and add gradually add the confectioners sugar. Beat until just combined. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. 

3/ Turn the mixer on medium- high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy - about 1 minute. 

4/ Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!!

Images by me

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9/27/2013

A CHIC & COZY GUEST HOME...

Happy Friday!!!!! I am THRILLED that this week is over. It was just one of those weeks that got off to a crazy start and I've been itching to just have some downtime to get the energy to start again fresh. Because the week was so crazy, I don't have links for you today. I hate that! But to be honest, these next few weeks will be busy workweeks for me and I can't promise consistent content. However, I promise to do what I can. 

So no links, but I do have this lovely little guest house to show you today. Yep, you read that right. This is a guest house... I have no idea who owns this house, but if I had the pleasure of being their guest, I might not ever leave!! Barn doors, pretty lighting, gorgeous fabrics and creative little storage spaces (i.e that bathroom drawer) - yeah, I'd never leave. I'll leave you with this chic little cozy space and I'll see you back here next week. Have a good weekend!





Design:  Tillman Long Interiors, Photography: Emily Followill, Found via: Design Chic
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9/25/2013

BRUSSELS SPROUTS, KALE & EDAMAME SALAD

Whew... I'm back friends. I'm feeling much better now thanks to some good sleep, meds and prayers! I'm excited to share one of my new favorite salads with you today. My last few recipes have been slightly sweet, so I thought I would make a salad this week to lighten things up a little. I also needed to lighten my diet this past weekend after I found that insane gelato, so I thought that making this salad would be perfect. This salad is a blend of two things I love: Brussels sprouts and a salad that I LOVE at Ok Cafe, which is a FABULOUS southern food restaurant in Atlanta. I have a version of this salad every time I go there. This salad is crisp, incredibly fresh and slightly tangy from the dried cranberries and the dressing. It also has a little bite from the shelled edamame, which is one of my favorite beans. I added some grilled chicken to this after I photographed it to make it meal, but it's so good with our without it! 

Here is what you need:

Salad:

1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and stems removed
2 cups kale, roughly chopped (I used the curly kale, but any kale will work)
1 cup carrots, finely sliced
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here is what to do:

1/ Add the sprouts to a food processor in batches and pulse until they are thinly sliced. Add to a large bowl.

2/ Add the kale to the food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add it to the bowl with the sprouts.

4/ To make the dressing, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until well incorporated.

5/ Pour the dressing over the brussels sprouts and kale. Toss until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. This will soften and season the Brussels sprouts.

6/ Add in the carrots, edamame and cranberries and toss.

Enjoy!

Images by me
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9/24/2013

BE RIGHT BACK...

A pretty bad migraine invaded my life yesterday, so I didn't get to finish editing my photos of a salad that I was looking forward to telling you about today. I HATE THESE MIGRAINES! Sorry for yelling, but they are quite frustrating. I'll be back as soon as I am feeling better... 

xo, 
Tiff

Image via

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9/23/2013

A FEW GOOD THINGS...



Hi there! I hope you had a good weekend! I had a 3-day weekend and 3-day weekends are ALWAYS good in my book. Other than the usual errands, I experienced a few good things over the weekend. I...

+ Purchased those pink daisies. They make me happy when I look at them.

+ Had dinner here with a really good friend that I haven't seen in a long time. I'm trying to make the effort to stay in touch with friends, which gets harder as I get older. Victoria just wrote a great post on the topic... My friend and I laughed really hard, ate good food and realized that we have shared some of the same experiences, both good and bad, lately. I left dinner with that "I'm not the only one" feeling and gosh that felt good.

+ Was in the frozen food section of the grocery store buying some frozen fruit for my daily smoothie, turned around and found myself directly in front of the Talenti gelato that was on the other side of the isle. I've avoided this gelato for a very long time, but Anna's recent post brought it back to the forefront of my mind. I tried to exercise discipline, but failed miserably and purchased the Banana Chocolate Swirl. THAT STUFF SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW PEOPLE! IT'S SINFULLY DELICIOUS!

+ Made and ate a fabulous salad yesterday so that I would feel better about eating a bowl of the gelato. Maybe it was a big bowl. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe I drizzled homemade chocolate sauce on the top. Maybe I didn't. I'll share the salad with you tomorrow... :)

Images by me

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9/20/2013

TAKING STOCK...


Hi! How was your week?? I hope it was good! So I'm ending the week here on the blog a little differently than I normally do. Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Daybook, and ran across her "Taking Stock" post and thought it was so good and creative! It's a great way to get to know a blogger. Plus, it also brought some random things to the forefront of my mind that are usually parked in the back of my mind. It was such a fun little exercise and I encourage you to try it! I've sprinkled a few links throughout, so I haven't left you totally hanging! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 


Making : More time to read the Bible. I've felt so much better and have worried much less...
Cooking : Chili. I can't wait any longer. :) 
Drinking : Snapple Green Tea. So good.
Reading: This book. I hope to finish it this weekend!
Wanting: An interior designer to magically appear and decorate my bedroom. I have organized my ideas, but have zero time to implement them!
Looking: Forward to the Emmys on Sunday!
Playing: Yesterday's episode of Ellen on my DVR as I write this post. She makes me want to dance when she dances.
Wasting: Leftovers. The older I get, the more I don't care for leftovers. Not sure what that's about.
Sewing: Ummm.... I don't sew.
Wishing: I knew how to sew.
Enjoying: The new iOS7 operating system on my iPhone and iPad. Have you downloaded it yet?? It only took FOREVER to download, but I like it!
Waiting: Until the time is right... Sorry, but I have to leave it at that for now.
Liking: This necklace and the designer's blog.
Wondering: What my future looks like. Just wondering.
Loving: This article. If you are a woman, then I'm about 100% sure you can relate. 
Hoping: To be a mom one day...
Marveling: At how it feels like New Years Day was yesterday and how Christmas is just 3 months away. Time flies.
Needing: A nap - or two- or three.
Smelling: Fall in the air. Love it.
Wearing: A Duke University t-shirt that my dad gave me about 15 years ago.
Following: Her blog. Mouthwatering.
Noticing: That my first purchase of concealer is in the near future. Dark circles suck.
Knowing: That I am a better person now because of the person I used to be.
Thinking: About how I'm in my 30's and am not where I thought I would be when I was in my 20's.
Feeling: Thankful that sometimes things don't go as planned.
Bookmarking: This post. Healthy and so creative.
Opening: My wallet to purchase clothing and shoes for fall when my wallet needs to be CLOSED.
Giggling: About that episode of The Cosby show when Cliff couldn't find a place in his house to read his newspaper. I'm going to watch it - for the 100th time- when Ellen is over...
Feeling: Grateful


Image via
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9/19/2013

SHADES OF GRAY...

This is what I love about blogging and interior design. As I search for spaces to show you, I find myself attracted to things I'd never think to have in my own home. The use of gray and white in this home in Sydney, Australia is the perfect example. Gray can be very soothing if used in the proper manner, yet I've always been more attracted to a white and cream color palette when it comes to my personal space. But I thought outside the box when I found these photos. The combination of the styling, the different textures, the various shades of gray and the lighting all create a very soothing and comfortable environment that I'd totally be open to having in my own home. I LOVE that table outside the kitchen and could see myself feeling totally comfortable in that bedroom. I'm relaxed just by looking at these spaces. Are you???

Images via Est Magazine, Photography by Jem Cresswell
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9/17/2013

SECRET INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

If you ever want to see me smile, catch me in the middle of eating the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The perfect chocolate chip cookie would be soft but not hard, chewy but not soggy, chocolate-y but not too chocolate-y. I only have a few requirements... :) When I saw these "secret ingredient" chocolate chip cookies, I was intrigued. When I saw that the secret ingredient was cream cheese, I was even more intrigued - and excited! I LOVE cream cheese and the moist texture that it gives anything that's baked. But I have never made chocolate chip cookies with cream cheese. Have you??? As I was making these, I had this feeling that I wouldn't be disappointed. And sure enough I wasn't...



Well, I thought that this Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie was my favorite chocolate chip cookie, but I think this cookie just might have beat it... The cream cheese made the cookie slightly more dense, really chewy and I think it even brought out more of the chocolate flavor in the chocolate chips. I thought they were amazing and my co-workers agreed! :)

Here is what you need:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Here is what to do:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cream cheese and vanilla together until fluffy. Mix for about a minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix for another minute. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour in 3 batches until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. Oh and try not to eat the cookie dough before or while it's chilling. I can't promise you I did that... :)

4. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the over to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

3. Drop mounds of the dough that are about the size of 2 tablespoons (I used a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop) on the cookie sheet. They will spread as they bake, so space them about 2 inches apart.

4. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are slightly browned. Cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!!!

Images by me
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9/16/2013

FEW THINGS MAKE ME HAPPIER THAN...

 

My kid - who has cost me hundreds of dollars in vet bills over the past month, was diagnosed with allergies on Saturday, wakes me up in the middle of the night most nights for attention, and loves to sit on my food props when I get them out (which is what he is doing in that pic). But I wouldn't trade him for ANYTHING...


My closet - when it is organized. Keeping it this way is work, but doing so saves me time and money. I always know what I have. Every time I buy something new, I always donate something to free up a hanger. That keeps things in perspective for me. Oh - if your closet has limited shelf space, like mine, then these shoe containers are great - and cheap.


These Joe's skinny jeans. They are SUPER soft and fit my waist and backside properly. I might have done a happy dance in the fitting room when I tried these on. It's always a fantastic day when you find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly...


Nailheads. These are the nailheads on my comfortable new desk chair in my home office. I found it stashed in the bathroom accessory section of HomeGoods with a $79 pricetag. I might have done a happy dance when I found it, too... :) 
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9/13/2013

PERFECTLY STYLED + LINKS...



It's Friday people! How was your week? I'm glad to see mine come to an end of course! I'm meeting a deadline with work today and will be working towards another one next week, so this weekend I'll be celebrating and resting up for another go round. Thankfully, the weather here is supposed to be amazing over the next few days, so I look forward to being outdoors, dining al fresco and just chillin' out! I hope your weekend is just as wonderful! Enjoy the links!

Her Instagram feed included the most beautiful 15 second videos of runway shows at Fashion Week. STUNNING I tell ya..

11 simple things that bring about simple happiness. Loved this...

If you are looking for a brass bar cart, stop by Target this weekend. They have one. It's cute. It's only $130...

One of my favorite desserts looking its finest...

How to read a recipe - the right way.

Two beautiful people who share the most beautiful home...

If I need a dose of inspiration, I just tune in to her twitter feed. So, so very good.

Two good friends who were tired of the dating scene in NYC decide to just date each other - for 40 days.  And they blogged about it the whole time. Incredibly interesting...

Image by Tracey Ayton, Design by Kerrisdale Design
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9/12/2013

FALL BASICS: THE DRESSY BLACK SHOE

When it comes to fashion, I'm a classic girl at heart. I like to wear things that I can wear for years - things that people think I bought two days ago when I really bought it two years ago. Those who know me well know that I LOVE to wear black. So each season, I am always on the lookout for classic black tops, dresses and shoes that I can wear during the weekday and weekend. So I thought I would dive feet first (pun intended) into my fall fashion posts with shoes - dressy black shoes that is. These are four classic, yet beautiful, dressy black shoes that are versatile and would pretty much get one through the upcoming fall season and for many fall seasons to come...




Image via Atlantic-Pacific

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9/10/2013

EASY ALL-NATURAL PEACH JAM


When I made my last recipe, I thought I was totally done with peaches for the season. But the other day, I was thinking about my grandmother. It's around this time of year that she would make all of her jams and preserves for the winter. When I was younger, we would spend Thanksgiving at her house in the country - dirt roads and a one street light kind of country. We would always have a big breakfast - even the morning of Thanksgiving. Breakfast would always include a jam or preserve served in a Ball jar. I remember thinking, "That is NOT Smuckers!" Smuckers was what I was used to at home. So I never wanted to eat my grandmother's jam, but I did anyway out of respect and always thought it was so good. Now that I'm older, I have a greater appreciation for the real thing. I wish my grandmother was here so I could tell her that and ask her to make me just one more batch. I wish I could tell her that I now know how to make my own jam. I have to believe that she would be proud...

I never got her recipe, so I researched a few all-natural recipes and settled on a variation of this one by Martha Stewart. And I am so glad I did. It  tastes SO good and very similar to my grandmother's jam. Don't be alarmed by the amount of sugar here. It's not too sweet, but just sweet enough. I can only hope that I will be making this for my grandchildren one day...

Here is what you need:

3 1/2 lbs fresh peaches (about 6 large peaches), peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch course salt (I used Maldon salt)

What to do:

1/ Add the peaches in batches to a food processor. Pulse the processor until the peaches are just chunky. 

2/ Add the peaches to a saucepan and add the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir.

3/ Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Boil for about 10-12 minutes, or until the jam sticks to spoon. The mixture will foam and come close to the top of the pot as it boils, so be sure not to leave your stove during this process! If it looks like it is going to boil over, then reduce the heat slightly. 

4/ Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool. Then transfer to a sterile jar and let it continue to cool in the refrigerator. I love Ball jars, but decided to make a new tradition by using these cute canning jars...

**Makes about 3 cups and lasts for about 2 months. 

Images by me
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9/09/2013

THE BEAUTY OF REST + THREE THINGS...


{The thick cushion in the bottom of these pumps. It's like a Dr. Scholl's is built into them. Unfortunately, the leopard print looks like it is sold out, but if you are looking for a super comfortable heel, then check out the other colors...}

Hi there! I hope you had a great week last week and a great weekend. I must say that I really needed that week off from blogging. I had a super busy work week and it was honestly really nice to just come home and not turn on the computer. I spent that extra time reading and getting inspiration from the pile of magazines and cookbooks that have been accumulating on my bed for the last few months. I even took time to read the PAPER version of Sunday's NY Times (more on that below)! AND I was in bed before 10:30 every night. Gosh I feel better! I really love blogging and being creative, but it gets a little overwhelming and exhausting sometimes when I'm juggling the blog and my very full time non-creative day job. But it's the way things are right now, so I've got to do a better job at taking more time for me - especially during the week. It just makes for a better me, ya know? I'm workin' on it!

Anywho, here are three things that have brought me some joy as of late... It's always good to take stock in the things you love in life so that the harder things are easier to deal with! Just my two cents... :)

{The Vows section of the NY Times. Reading about two people, their accomplishments and how they fell in love beats the drama on the front page of the paper for me anyday. I particularly loved the story in Sunday's paper. It was about patience, love, the importance of friendship, the works. You can read it here...} 

{This stacked ring set. It's simple and versatile. Love it.}

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9/03/2013

THE BEST OF SUMMER + A LITTLE BREAK...


Hello!! I hope you had a great Labor Day. If I wasn't working or running errands, I was being the absolute most laziest person I could be. I can't tell you how wonderful that felt! I took naps, watched marathons of The Cosby Show and Roseanne, started this book (SO GOOD!), hit up some sales (this was my favorite purchase) and had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.  I also spent some time reminiscing about summer, looking through old posts and thinking about how time flies when you are having fun. I didn't take any extravagant trips to Europe or anything like that this summer, but I experienced so many wonderful small moments this summer that were incredibly fun. Many of those moments were firsts, like...

My first trip to Atlantic Beach. It was on that beach and in this beautiful cottage that I had the MOST relaxing time. I'm about 200% sure I'll be going back...


My first trip to Scotts Antique Market with these fabulous ladies... I met tall of them through blogging and I swear they are some of the loveliest women I've ever met. They are why I love blogging...

My first trip to my neighborhood Farmers Market. I went just about every weekend after that with my camera in tow and always came home with a bag full of fresh vegetables and more knowledge of photography...

The first party I've ever hosted at my house - a baby sprinkle for a friend. The punch was a big hit. Thanks to you, it has also been a big hit on Pinterest. Ya'll are awesome...

And doing my first DIY... It was a small one, but you have to start somewhere right?? :)

I also fell in love with caramel for the first time when I made these salted caramel brownies. Ina Garten deserves a food Oscar for these - if there were such a thing...

Other than experiencing a lot of firsts this summer, I also made some small changes around my house... 

And made this watermelon salad 5 or so times...

And this shrimp pasta - well I'm too embarrassed to say how many times I made it. It's just too easy to make and tastes amazing...

Such a great summer and so fun to pause and take a look back on the things I've done and learned! But fall is coming up and it's my favorite season - ever. I've only mentioned that here a few 100 times, so you know it's true. :) I'm actually going to spend the rest of this week finding inspiration for upcoming blog posts for fall, working to meet an upcoming deadline at work and getting some additional rest. So I'll leave you with this and will see you here next week. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram! Thank you for following along on my little summer journey and making it twice as special. Have a great week!

All images by me - except #3
Image #3 courtesy of Paula of Two Ellie

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