December Favorites

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Holiday Baking: Christmas Cupcakes

The holidays bring many parties and family dinners, which leads me to one of my favorite topics: FOOD! I’m not a very good cook, but I do love to bake. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to this recipe for Lindt Truffle Chocolate Cupcakes. They’re delicious! Now it’s become a tradition to make these every year.

Here’s what you need:

  • A box of Devil’s Food Cake mix
  • A small box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Lindor truffles (approx. 18-20)
  • Icing of choice

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients except for the chocolate truffles. Pour into muffin pan with cupcake liners. Cook for 5 minutes. Then remove pan from oven. Take unwrapped chocolate and gently push one truffle into the center of each cupcake. Continue cooking for an additional 13-15 minutes, until done. Let cool, and then frost cupcakes. Enjoy!

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A few tips: I use milk chocolate truffles, but you could also use dark or white chocolate. I’ve used all three, and milk chocolate are my favorite. The original recipe includes directions for making cream cheese icing. Homemade tastes better; however, I usually use a jar of store bought to make things simpler. Any kind of frosting would probably work, depending on personal preference. I think next time I want to try chocolate. This year I substituted greek yogurt for sour cream as a (somewhat) healthier option and couldn’t tell the difference. I also found cooking them longer helped prevent the finished cupcakes from caving in as they cooled.

I highly recommend this recipe, especially for chocolate lovers. There’s nothing better than eating one of these cupcakes warm with a glass of milk!

What are your go to holiday recipes?

 

Relaxing with Lush Bath Products

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I’m in love with Lush. I wish we had one nearby, except for the fact I would spend all my money there. My favorite things to buy are their bath bombs and bubble bars. I love unwinding at the end of a long day with a luxurious bath. Christmas time I allow myself to splurge and order several items from their holiday range. Here are my top picks:

Lush bath products

  • The Christmas Penguin – “orange flower and bergamot-scented” with “Sicilian mandarin and lemon oils”
  • Holly Golightly – “spicy clove, cinnamon and patchouli oil fragrance”
  • The Christmas Hedgehog – “softening shea and cocoa butters” and “floral essential oils,” “scented with soothing lavender, rose and ylang ylang oils”
  • Northern Lights – “jasmine and ylang ylang-scented,” “scattered with little stars”
  • Sparkler – “Rose Jam… [a] delicate and floral aroma”
  • The Melting Snowman – “warming Hot Toddy scent,” “Shea butter and almond oil,” “spicy cinnamon and clove oils”
  • Luxury Lush Pud – “lavender oil, sweet benzoin and comforting tonka absolute”
  • Shoot for the Stars – “sweet, honey-toffee scent”

I think the penguin and hedgehog are so cute! The bubble bars live up to their name and create huge foaming bubbles. My favorite scents are Holly Golightly and Shoot for the Stars. Do be warned though, several of these contain glitter. It doesn’t bother me, but you might not want your tub (and yourself) covered in sparkles. Overall I’m really pleased with the selection. I can’t wait to use them all!

What’s on My Christmas List?

It’s December! I can’t believe it’s here. Thanksgiving was late this year. Now I’m only two weeks away from the end of school and Christmas break. November was crazy but I should have much more free time now, even with finals.

One of my favorite things to do is make my Christmas list. I probably have a problem because I love browsing through online retailers and organizing my wish list. I thought I’d share it for anyone still looking for ideas.

christmas list

I have a “formula” of several things I ask for every year, including bags, skin care, fragrances, books, movies, pajamas, and a calendar for the next year. These would be a good starting place for brainstorming your own list. Also, I know this looks like a lot. I usually make a long list to give plenty of options.

Hope you enjoyed! What’s on your wish list?

November Favorites