Thursday, April 1, 2010

Deal of the Day: Rosemary Mint Bath Set

Need a fun hostess gift or a little something for the preschool teacher? Maybe a treat for yourself? This gift set is only $4.99! is the sister site of and there are always plenty of free shipping codes to use as well.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Easter Cupcakes

Check out this adorable (and easy!) recipe from FoodTV.

1 vanilla cupcake, recipe follows
Basic Glaze Icing, tinted light blue
Green coconut grass
3 large (about 3/4 to 1-inch) pastel malted milk eggs

Dip cupcake top into the icing; let excess to drip back into bowl. Place cupcake on a rack over paper towels to catch any drips. Top with a small mound coconut grass. Place malted milk eggs on top.

Vanilla Cupcake
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners. (To avoid cupcakes sticking if they overflow slightly, lightly spray the tops of the pans.) Put tins on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Process sugar and butter in a food processor until very creamy, scraping sides as needed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing after each addition. Add the milk, water, and vanilla and process to blend.

Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients, in 3 batches to the wet, pulsing, and then scraping batter off the sides of the processor as needed after each addition. Process until the batter is very smooth and pourable like pancake batter, about 2 minutes.

Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and the tops are golden, 18 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly in tin, and turn out of tin when cool enough to handle. Cool cupcakes completely on a rack before frosting.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

Basic Glaze Icing
3 (1 pound boxes) confectioners' sugar
1 cup water
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Food coloring, as desired (see suggested colors below)
Put the sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the water, the corn syrup and vanilla extract. When the sugar is sufficiently moistened (it won't fly out of the mixer), raise the speed to high, and beat for 2 minutes until completely smooth and glossy.

Divide and color, as desired. Store at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the icing, to prevent forming a skin.

For cupcakes: Dip the surface of the cupcake into the icing, allowing excess to drip into bowl. Clean any excess from the sides. Alternately, use a knife or a spreader to apply. Whisk as needed to keep icing glossy and smooth while using.

For Light Blue Icing: Combine 2 to 3 drops of blue food coloring to 1 cup of Basic Glaze Icing.

For Deep Yellow Icing: Combine 4 to 5 drops of yellow food coloring to 1 cup of Basic Glaze Icing.

For Purple Icing: Combine 4 drops of red and 5 drops of blue food coloring to 1 cup of Basic Glaze Icing.

Yield: 5 cups

Cheap and Cheerful Challenge: April Comment Contest

During the month of April, I will be doing a comment contest on the blog. Leave a comment and you will get one entry to the raffle. Super fun mystery prize. Ready, set, go!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Deal of the Day: Great Coupons for Board Games

It's time to stock your gift closet! I got all of the games pictured here for only $15. I matched up coupons from the Hasbro PlaySaver site to games on sale at Target. (I broke my Lenten fast from Target -- but for a good "cause"! Forgive me, faithful readers!) This week, there are some similar deals on Hasbro games at Toys R Us. I am headed there tomorrow and will report back! Most of the PlaySaver coupons are good through April 11th so there is plenty of time to hunt for deals.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Favorite Things: St. Andrew's Abbey Ceramics

We have several of these wall hangings in our home; each one symbolizes a special occasion for a family member. Handmade by Benedictine monks, they have crafted a wide selection of saints, Madonnas, and other religious items in their ceramics store. Plus, the site is offering free shipping through March 31 and several items are on sale.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Retail Therapy: JCrew Embroidered Tee

Ok, so it's still a $30 t-shirt, but it used to cost $50. If you're looking for some retail therapy and want something you can pair with jeans and khakis, check out this tee. Maybe just in time for the Easter Bunny to bring you something you really want? After all, their shades of pink and yellow are much more appealing than those awful pink and yellow Peeps! Do people really eat those?

Deal of the Day: Lands End Snow Flurry Boots

If you have a little one who will still be in sizes 5 - 8 next winter, snap up a pair of these boots for only $14.99! There are also some great deals on snow pants, fleece jackets, and other cold weather gear. We've got lots of Lands End snow gear at our house and it lasts forever!

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Where do you find great end of the season deals on rain and snow clothes?


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