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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

For almost 2 months now, my husband and I have been having weekly lunch dates every Tuesday (along with our youngest little one, Stone) as well as a date night every weekend. Everyone knows you're supposed to have occasional date nights with your spouse, but since we have made it a MUST for every single week, I am amazed and humbled by the impact it has had on our relationship!
We take turns every weekend planning something: sometimes its just dinner, other times something a little different. This past weekend, however, was VERY different and gets the Date Night "stamp of approval" from both Gary and myself! We went to the shootin' range! Yessirreee!

Oh. My. Word. How fun! And so different! You got to choose your weapon (they had CASES of handguns, pistols, rifles, etc. to choose from if you don't have your own. Luckily my husband knew a good one to pick: a .45 Sig I know.) and gave you all the necessary protective gear (cue fashionable glasses and headphones above) and let you each pick out a target (yes, if you're wondering, they did indeed have targets with zombies on them).We also got 2 BIG boxes of cartridges!

Let me just say, thank goodness for those headphones and glasses! Not only was it SO LOUD in the range area, but those empty shells were going crazy! I got hit once or twice by not only my own empty shells but Gary's when he was shooting (which he shot very well I might add). This was my first time touching a gun. EVER. And I feel very brave now. But that's beside the point.
Here is a picture of my target afterwards:
Gary pointed out that all my shots were basically in a 5 inch margin straight up the middle. I would like to say I meant for it to be that way. But, in all truthfulness, I was aiming at the bulls-eye 'x' most of the time. Oh well!

Here's the best part, all of this was just $39 plus $10 weapon rental and get this: It also included dinner! They have a nice grill cafe where you can get sandwiches, baked potatoes, appetizers, salads, paninis, etc. and its all included! We even had time afterwards to get Starbucks and run by the mall. Yes, close to a perfect date!

You can check it out for yourself if you're interested: 'Date Night' on a Friday or Saturday night. Get there early, by 5:30 or 6 is ideal, no wait!

I am loving spending so much time with my husband, God is doing some amazing things in our marriage and in our home and I am so grateful and blessed!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy Creme-filled Cupcakes

In the light of the growing popularity of trendy cupcake bakeries, I have found myself becoming quite the cupcake connoisseur lately. I've sampled quite a few cupcakes (before Gary and I--specifically Gary--decided to swear off desserts and sweets for a while) in my day and I have decided that AnnOlivia's in Hernando and of course, the infamous Muddy's Bakery in Memphis are definitely the best!
That being said, this cupcake recipe is probably not worthy of opening up my own funky little bakery shop and selling them to the public, but when I had the opportunity to make some cupcakes for my mom's 55th birthday last Thursday, I decided to get a little crazy and add creme to the inside. Here's the finished product:
Now, I also don't claim to be the awesome Trendy Wendy at decorating, but I was pretty impressed that these at least looked halfway decent. Here's the recipe, its super easy and just takes a little bit longer than regular cupcakes to make:


Butter yellow cake mix & ingredients to make cake (or any cake flavor)
Pillsbury cream cheese frosting (or any frosting flavor)
Pillsbury chocolate fudge frosting (or any frosting flavor)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup shortening
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven according to cake mix, mix cake and pour into cupcake cups and bake accordingly.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, take a bullet-sized plug out of the TOP of each cupcake (I used an apple corer and it worked perfectly plus all the holes were even!). Set aside or eat discarded cupcake holes. They are perfectly bite-sized. And yummy. Though I promise I didn't try one...

Blend butter and shortening together in a mixer until smooth. Add confectioner's sugar and continue to blend until smooth. Slowly add in salt, vanilla and milk and continue to blend until smooth and fluffy. It won't look like enough filling, but it goes a long way! Here is where I did sample some of this recipe. The filling is YUM! (I had to make sure it wasn't too vanilla-y!) 

In a plastic bag or icing cone (I used a 1/4 inch tip in my icing plastic, but you can simply cut a small hole in the corner of a plastic ziploc bag, too) fill each cupcake hole with creme filling. It will settle a little bit and then you can go back around and top off each hole for good measure..

Ice over the top of the cupcakes and decorate.
 These were a huge hit at my sister's house for our Mom's birthday, or at least they seemed to be! :)
Happy Birthday Mom!