Ooo, shoes

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes

Something sweet and delicious to take you away to the tropics, if only for a few amazing bites:

Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple drained
1 cup coconut shredded or flaked

Preheat oven to 325°F. 
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda 
and salt. 
In separate bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir in sugar, pineapple and coconut. Add flour mixture; mix well. 
Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.
Courtesy of

Whipped Cream Frosting courtesy of Tom Parker
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar (you can substitute powdered sugar, sifted)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla until smooth. 
In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
FOLD into the cream cheese mixture.

Very tasty! And you can keep it on hand for when you need that little escape to Hawaii (especially when you have a mountain of work ahead of you).

City Sunday: Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Ah yes, Atlanta. One of the biggest cities in the United States, along with one of the biggest music hubs in the entire country. With a LOT of suburbs surrounding the metropolitan area (Kennesaw, Newnan, etc.) Atlanta is another city that seems to never sleep.

Obviously, while in Atlanta, there is plenty to do in the way of tourism, shopping, and, of course, eating. Today, I will tell you just a couple of the things that you can do, and a couple places you can eat at, while in this huge city.

A girls best friend. A credit card company's wet dream.
-Visit the Mall of Georgia
Located in Buford, Georgia (about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta), the Mall of Georgia has been open since 1999, and houses over 200 stores. With its anchor stores being JcPenney, Belk, Dillards, and Macys, the mall is HUGE, and you can easily spend a good 3 or 4 hours just walking around looking at the different stores. They also have many dining options (fast food and sit down dining), and an outdoor ampitheatre. A fun time to be had by all!

-Go to Six Flags Over Georgia
Obviously, most of us (if not all) have been to some kind of Six Flags theme park. Definitely fun, and rides for each family member of any age range. It was the second Six Flags to open (in 1967) after the original one opening in Texas in 1961.

With 15 adult rides, 9 kiddie rides, and 11 roller coasters, there is plenty to do here.

**You can purchase a pass at Kroger grocery stores around the Atlanta area at a cheaper price than when you arrive at the park. Definitely worth it**

-Go to a Braves game
Home to the Atlanta Braves, Turner Field is located in actual Atlanta, and has been home to the team since 1997.

Originally built as the center piece for the 1996 Olympics, the piece was converted into the baseball park that is seen today.

Located at 755 Hank Aaron Drive (baseball fanatics will know the reasoning behind this number), Turner Field is also known as "The Fortress." Fun to be had by the whole family!

Now, since Atlanta is so big, obviously there is a lot of places to eat. From fast food to 5 star restaurants, you can find just about anything for the pickiest of eaters in your family.

A restaurant with European influences, Ecco is located on 7th Street in Atlanta, and offers Italian and American Italian dishes. From pizza to pasta, the menu is delicious.

The prices are middle of the road ($15 a person for a plate of pasta or a wood-fired pizza and a bottle of beer or glass of wine), with Exec. Chef Micah Willix from Ft. Lauderdale in charge of the kitchen. 

Definitely more for the higher aged crowd (I would say teens and higher).

The Varsity
"What'll ya have. What'll ya have." That's all you get before they start going for the next person in line. Be sure you know how to order at this energetic restaurant.

It has been serving the happy customers of Atlanta since 1928, and is the worlds largest drive-in restaurant. Located on North Avenue in Atlanta, The Varsity also has 5 other locations scattered around the Atlanta and Northern Georgia area.

SO, "What'll ya have. What'll ya have."

Definitely fitting for everyone in the family, fairly cheap, and a casual setting.

Get out there and explore some! You never know what interesting attractions you will find.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Thank you Hello Naomi.
Ah cupcakes. A cake in miniature form that is enjoyed by millions around the world. The Vox is a big fan of cupcakes, and can be seen blogging about them quite often. Why? Because they. are. AWESOMENESS!

Plain, with frosting, or decorated to look like 80's game characters, cupcakes are a blank canvas for bakers and pastry chefs alike to express what flavors they are capable of.

With basic ingredients needed in order to create them, even an amateur baker can create these tasty morsels at home (without the help of Betty Crocker or the Pillsbury Doughboy).

**The following recipes can all be found on**

Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Filling
1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. milk

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients.
Beat with mixer until well blended.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon no-color almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
2. In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
4. Mix in vanilla and almond flavor. 
5. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. 
6. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, starting with the flour. 
7. Pour into prepared pans. 
8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
9. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.

**This recipe uses the Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Filling mentioned above**

3 tablespoons cream of tartar
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water

1. Beat meringue powder and 1/2 cup cold water until stiff, about 4 minutes. 
2. In microwave safe bowl stir sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. 
3. In microwave bring syrup mixture to a boil (approx. 5 minutes). 
4. Remove, let mixture cool slightly (1-2 minutes). 
5. Slowly add syrup to meringue mixture. 
6. Beat on HIGH for 4 minutes. 
**For top of range: Mix sugar, corn syrup and water in 2 qt. saucepan. Bring to boil; cool slightly and follow directions above.**

To give an authentic snickerdoodle cookie taste, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the icing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tune Thursday: Three Days Grace

One of my all-time favorite bands, Three Days Grace is originally from Canada, and has been making awesome music since 1992 (originally under the name Groundswell; they changed the name in 1997 after a brief breakup).

The band has released three albums since signing with Jive Records.

Three Days Grace Their self-titled album reached platinum status in the United States, and released the song that got them their record deal "I Hate Everything About You."

This song, along with "Home" and "Just Like You" launched the band's debut up to 69 on the Billboard 200.

One X
This album is truly amazing, and it means a lot to the lead singer Adam Gontier. A few of the songs (Animal I Have Become, Pain, and Never Too Late to name just a couple) were written by Gontier while he was in rehab for an addiction to OxyContin. After successfully completing rehab and releasing the album, Gontier performed at other rehabs to spread his story, thank those who helped him, and to show those still in rehab that they could make it. I give him a definite A+. One-X made Billboard name Three Days Grace the number one rock artist of 2007, and gained platinum status.

Life Starts Now
I haven't gotten to listen to the whole album, but what I have heard of it, it is GREAT. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and sold 79,000  copies in its first week.

Currently, Three Days Grace is on tour through both the United States and Canada.

Again, one of my favorite bands of all time, and I hope to hear more and more of their music to come.

Tune Thursday

Because bowling is awesome. Especially Cosmic bowling.
With the weekend just around the corner for most of you (and already here for me), why not get to jamming out and get the party started early!

Break by Three Days Grace
Love, love, LOVE this song. And the music video is pretty awesome too.

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj
This song is really catchy, and always makes me end up bobbing my head around and singing the chorus.

First Date by Blink 182
Yeah, I just totally went old school. This song still holds a special spot in my heart (and takes up a nice little spot on my iPod).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Having a blank on what to make for dinner tonight?
Thank you for the cuteness

Then look no further! Today, I am going to share with you a couple different quick, mid-week dinner recipes that are easy to make!

**All recipes are courtesy of**

Like Grandma's Chicken 'n' Dumplings
For me, nothing makes me feel more relaxed after a busy day quite like comfort food can, and chicken and dumplings is one of those things. If you've never made them yourself, this is a recipe to give a try!

Italian Sausage Soup
A recipe that you can even get the kiddies to help out with (or recruit your roommates to help you out with)! Quick, delicious, and easy to make. Definitely give this a try!

Chicken Fajita Tostadas
I am a fan of Mexican food (though my roommate from this past year calls it faux-Mex). I am also a fan of tostadas. So I was happy when I came across this recipe! Definitely tasty, and really easy to make. Plus, who can argue with it only costing around $7 to make a meal for 4 people?!

And, obviously, dinner is never complete without dessert.

White Chocolate and Orange Truffles
Something that you can make with the whole family, friends, or just for you and yourself alone. These tasty treats are amazing, and even make great treats to give away at holidays (coughchristmascookiescough)!

Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes
Chocolate in cake form, WITH a molten center is heaven on a plate. Plus, this recipe makes it even better! It's a healthier version of our splendid friend, with just as much (if not more) taste!

Strawberry Mousse
Something I remember fondly from my childhood. This treat is creamy, tastes like strawberries, and is AMAZINGLY delicious. 

Don't like strawberries? Try is out with another fruit of choice! Peaches perhaps?

There you have it! 3 dinners, and 3 desserts for you to mix and match however you like!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Viral Video Night

The beginning of another long work week? Then kick back and enjoy a couple viral videos to try and bring up the spirits!

To get you started, here are a couple:

Charlie the Unicorn 3
Just because it's awesome. And it caps off the series.

Peach and Zelda Catch Up
The captions are in Spanish, but the video is in English.

Enjoy these videos, and hope your work week goes well!

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Peanut Butter Jelly Time (with our troops)
Obviously not the original, but it's still pretty hilarious.

NOW, the reasoning for this post: Peanut Butter.

You know, that sticky stuff you put on a piece of bread and then put on the top of your dogs mouth just to watch them try to get it off? (I haven't done this, but I've heard it done by some family members (coughmomcough)

Gives me the PEANUT BUTTA'!

Well, you can do some more stuff than just make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of it! Here are a couple different recipes that you can do using our favorite dog toy.

Me, personally, I like Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches. Obviously, Paula Deen turns this innocent sandwich into something that I could knock down 3 of before my stomach says "no more". Plus it's rolled in cinnamon sugar? It's a match made in heaven.

Oooo, tasty.
Peanut Butter Jelly bars integrate the tastiness of our childhood lunchtime (well, for most of us at least), and turns into a treat that everyone will enjoy.

**You can use whatever flavor of jelly you prefer, so have fun and experiment!**

Give these tasty treats a try! And be sure to keep the peanut butter jar away from the dog.
Courtesy of

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night Sweets

Saturday Night. The weekend before midterms for Summer Quarter. Know what that means?

That's right. I am barricading myself in my room for the next few days. Which also means I need to stock up on some snackage.

So, for this Saturday Night Sweets, I am going to share with you all 4 tasty snacks that will keep you going through that all-nighter that is always inevitable in college (or for you to go grab on that daily midnight snack run to the fridge).

Get in your comfy pants kiddies. It's time to cook up!

Jalapeno Poppers by Iron Woman

I know, they're not sweet. But these are one of those foods that I LOVE to have on hand for when I need a spicy pick-me-up when I'm burning the midnight oil on a project that's due the next day. And, if you're not a spicy food type of person, you can try these with poblano peppers! Poblanos are an awesome beginner pepper with just a slight bit of heat.

Fresh Fruit Tarts by PanNan
Definitely tasty, and it's a versatile food! If you don't like kiwi, just switch it in for strawberries! If you don't like strawberries, switch in peaches! If you don't like any of those fruits, what is wrong with you?! (I kid, I kid!)

But this is one thing that just even LOOKS tasty. Why not give it a shot??

This is one of those things that I remember my mom making a good couple times when I was a kid. And yes, it is one of those things that I still crave as a young adult.

If you have a major sweet tooth, this is guaranteed to help get rid of it in just a short amount of time (basically a single bite will make even the biggest sweet junkie call it good).

And finally:

Pistachio Salad (also called Watergate Salad)
Personally, I have had this stuff more times than I can count, as well as made it a good few times. It's easy, AND tasty. You need:

1 box Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 small can Fruit Cocktail, drained
1 container Cool Whip
1 bag Mini Marshmallows

1. Mix the pudding as directed on the box, and let sit in the fridge until just set.
2. Fold in the rest of the ingredients, and put back in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

VOILA!! You have successfully made Pistachio Salad. See why my family makes it so much?

Check out this book for more recipes that even non-cookers can cook (unless you have seriously burnt water) ----->The Starving Students' Cookbook
The Starving Students' Cookbook

What do you guys like to make for an all-nighter or a late night study session?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Listen and Speak Up

As you go through school (elementary, middle, high) in the United States, you will see, or experience for yourself, a type of bullying.

I, from personal experience, have been on the bullying end more times than I can count, from the time I was 8, all the way through high school. And I still hear about it in college, even though I am no longer the one being bullied.

Why am I writing about this sensitive subject?

A boy that I knew from the time he moved to my school, all the way through to the time I graduated, was just sentenced to prison because he shot at a kid who had been picking on him relentlessly for years now, then tried to turn the gun on himself, feeling that that was the best way to escape the bullying. I also know a girl who just went through a terrible ordeal that involved her being beaten up for being different, and her family is currently going through stuff dealing with that. This beautiful girl is just about 18 (if not 18) years old.

I am not naming names, only because this will just bring up a huge fight.

What I am trying to get at is this-
Bullying is not just something that occurs inside the schools, and online (as we all know, cyber bullying has taken a surge in the last few years). Bullying is something that is learned by the children from their parents. Some of us know better, and will treat others as we want to be treated (anyone read the bible?). Others will take a page out of their parents book, and pass judgment on those who are not "normal," or are different from them, and will pick on those people.

After everything that I myself have been through, and then hearing about stuff that is happening even more through out the schools across the nation, I regret not having spoken up about the problems that I had gone through.

Ever had someone start a rumor about you being dead? Picked on you for a medical condition that you couldn't control?

I have been through it, and have friends who have been through it. None of us should ever have to go through something like that. It hurts us growing up, and it causes many problems in many places of our society (eating disorders [not just the loss of weight, but the gaining of weight] are a good example of an issue that pops up).

So before you start pointing fingers, making fun of people, and talking behind someone's back with the intentions of it being heard by them, think about this:

How would you feel if you were the one being picked on?

And parents, speak to your children. There may be issues that they don't want to bring up. If you ask them, they may be more willing to tell you what's going on at school if you tell them that you are there to listen to them.

Private has it right. Talk to your friends.
Friends, talk to your other friends. You know that they are more comfortable talking to you then their parents at most times. If you have noticed a change in their behavior as of lately, there might just be something that is causing them to not be their usual selves.

Again, I wish I had spoken up when I was in school. Though it probably wouldn't have done much, it would have gotten out there sooner.

I know, bullying has been around for decades. But, like I said, bullying is learned from the generation before, and is sent down by those parents who do not tell their children that it is not right to judge those who are different.

Be nice. Do the right thing. Just because that person may LOOK and ACT weird, remember that you may LOOK and ACT weird to someone else.