Cupcakes and Sunshine: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now....


....I'd tell you I have probably made my 100th batch of Sally's Baking Addiction Cookies and I'm not ashamed. #allthesprinkles #allthetime


...I'd ask you if you've had a new Chickfila Frosted Lemonade and tell you we have to leave this coffee date and get one RIGHT NOW. They are that great, y'all. And I hear you can ask for a frosted coffee drink as well. I haven't tried it yet, but it's next on my list.


I'd mention that I am so sad this school year is coming to an end. I love summer, and I'm so excited for summer adventures ahead, but I'm going to miss the graduating seniors more than I've ever missed graduating seniors before. I better start talking about sprinkles again before I get all sappy.

I'd tell you Jesus has placed some AWESOME AMAZING people in my life recently and I really can't get over it.

And I'd tell you that I LOVE my work and what I do and the people I am surrounded by each day. Abounding joy.

I'd ask you if all this spring weather has you craving my Baked Lemonade Donuts because I've been thinking I need to make them ASAP.

http://www.cupcakesandsunshine.com/2014/03/baked-lemonade-donuts-with-sweet-and.html

I'd tell you I think I need computer guru assistance and a chiropractor and a puppy and I think my life would be made. half-kidding.

And I'd conclude that this sunshine we've been seeing is everything. We've been walking around our neighborhood 2-3 times a day and it has been all kinds of wonderful.

Hope your Tuesday is all kinds of wonderful as well!  






Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New York Part Three: What to Eat in New York City


If you are following along then you may want to check out my previous posts on NYC:

NYC Part One: In Pictures
NYC Part Two: Our Mission

But this post...is all about what to eat and where to eat in NYC. I don't even know where to start with how incredible the FOOD is in NYC. We ate. and we ate. and we ate. Thank goodness we walked a million miles each day, or else my hips would not be lying. I apologize that the following photos are  iPhone quality, but please ignore that fact and HEAD TO THE FOLLOWING RESTAURANTS AS SOON AS YOU MAKE IT TO THE BIG APPLE.

Breakfast and Coffee:

Crop to Cup Coffee Shop-


This coffee shop was right outside our hotel and I LOVED every. thing. they had. Their coffee is straight crop to cup, nothing processed, and the shop had THE coziest most comfortable environment ever. And lots of hipsters. It was great. My weird and strange coffee motto that totally works: the higher the barista's man bun, the better the coffee?

Caffe' Bene Coffee:

We picked up chai tea lattes and coffee at this cute shop one of our first days in Times Square. Snow was still on the ground from the few days before we arrived, so it was still quite chilly out. It was the perfect stop for warm drinks as we toured the city.

Lunch:


Shake Shack: Thank goodness for multiple Shake Shacks throughout NYC. I ended up getting a chicken dog, and their cheese fries were fantastic. I also got a salted caramel frozen custard. We stopped here for a quick lunch one day near the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.

Farm at Adderly:

WOWOWOW. Shoutout to my good friend Caroline for being my favorite foodie friend and finding us this amazing restaurant to try. This definitely was one of my favorites in all of NYC. The atmosphere was so relaxing, the food was so fresh, and the company was incredible.


Love these sweet friends and wouldn't want to be dining in NYC with anyone else!

Dinner:

Forlini's: We ended up meeting the funniest New York couple from Staten Island while we were on the ferry overlooking the Statue of Liberty. We asked them where we should go for dinner and Tommy, (prouncounced taw-my in a NY accent) told us to visit his cousins- Little Derrick and Big Joe- at Forlini's in Little Italy. We got there, and they had the whole restaurant set up for us. Little Derrick told us all about the restaurant when we got there and all of the movies it has been featured in. We got the VIP Italian food experience...aka ALL the pasta...and it was incredible.

Morgan's Texas Barbecue: Remember Caroline? My favorite foodie friend who directed us to the best places? Well she found this one after seeing it featured on Food Network a few weeks ago. And it did NOT disappoint!

Let's just talk about all the mac&cheese's real quick...


Mhhhmmm. yeah. Our table shared the chips and queso and we ordered the pork tacos. It was SO great y'all. So great.

Joe's Shanghai: Okay, Long story short...we headed out to dinner thinking we would be eating at Momofuku Noodle Bar, a mid-priced restaurant with lots of options and a casual atmosphere. Upon realizing we accidentally walked into their 5-star sister restaurant instead (where appetizers were a million dollars), we left the restaurant and headed across the street for the first dinner destination we could find- Joe's Shanghai on W 56th Street.


I don't know if we were delirious from lack of sleep or what, but it was one of the funniest dinner experiences I've ever had. First off, none of us had ever had dumplings. It was quite authentic. And I'm pretty sure the restaurant was for experienced dumpling eaters only because our waiters were not okay with the fact that we were not professional chopstick users. It was, however, one of my favorite and most unique dining experiences. ever.

Juliana's:


Juliana's has a funny story too. A lot of pizza drama happens behind the scenes in NYC and you may just have to head over to this page here to check it out. Juliana's was our first NYC pizza experience and it was great.

We even got to meet Patsy, the famous owner, himself and he gave us the VIP treatment as well. We also didn't leave without cannolis. Because when in NYC, right?! 


DESSERT:

And that little dessert segway brought us to one of my favorite parts of NYC: the desserts!


Levain Bakery: Y'all. Words can not describe my love for Levain bakery.


I've visited many bakeries and I have tried many a hundred cookies in my life. But NOTHING compares to Levain cookies. And I wish I had one right now.  (I hear you can order them online. I may have to do that.) We had heard a lot about the bakery and so we hopped in the cookie line to see what all of the buzz was about.

There was a line coming out of the bakery and the warm cookies were selling like hot cakes.


It was the tiniest bakery, but I'm pretty sure they make thousands of cookies each day. It was so great that we made a special stop on our way back home just to grab some more cookies.

Melissa's Cupcakes: I don't even have a picture of these, because I grabbed 3 mini cupcakes for our plane ride home and we ate them as we headed back to Georgia super quick. Melissa's cupcakes are the cutest things- so mini and so many flavors. I think I ended up with a cookie dough cupcake, a cookies and creme cupcake, and a snickerdoodle cupcake.


Junior's Cheesecake: I wasn't able to snap a picture of our cheesecake slices, but I visited Junior's a few years ago and snapped this picture then. Junior's is an NYC MUST and you have to get the chocolate cake cheesecake. ya have to.

Dylan's Candybar:


One of my FAVORITE places. It is four stories of candy and chocolate bliss. Plus they play candy-themed music throughout the store. So we danced to Tootsee Roll and were on a sugar high all day. And then we filled our bags with candybars and jellybeans.


Gelato in Little Italy: We stopped by Ferrara Bakery, known for their desserts, in Little Italy for gelato.  After walking all day, the gelato was just what we needed before our next travels.

Momofuku Milkbar: Y'all. This. Bakery. Is. Everything. It has a cool, eclectic vibe and is known all around the world for their cereal-inspired desserts.


I was so excited to cross this one off my bucket list. And I purchased a Momofuku cookbook so hopefully I can try my hand at their delicious desserts.

And that includes all the places you MUST try in NYC. We had an incredible time trying many places and spending time together around the table in the big apple.
I can't wait to visit again (and get my hands on some more of those Levain cookies!!!)

Happy, happy Wednesday friends!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New York Part Two: Our Mission


This spring break was the best I've ever had. Through CRUsades for Christ at the University of Georgia, I was able to go on a mission trip this past week and to help share the gospel with hundreds of students on college campuses in NYC.

"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." [Mark 16:15]
At first, I really didn't understand the idea of going to New York City on a mission trip. It sounds quite—glamorous—don't ya think? I mean... mission trips usually mean you get to shower once a week if you are lucky. And you are building and painting and loving on people and wearing long skirts and your hair is mostly a hot mess the entire time....not visiting a giant city with bright lights and Broadway and delicious food every corner. Right? 


But this trip revealed a lot to me. Our mission isn't to set apart time to share the gospel a few times a year in a foreign country (although that's great too...), but better- it is to share the gospel everyday and to live our lives reflecting Jesus in everything we do, everywhere we go.


We visited different college campuses throughout NYC and were able to speak with students about their faith, cultural background, and to really just have some deep conversations about our religious beliefs and values. Most students at the campus I visited have never even had a conversation with another person at their school. They are only there for classes, then head to work, then hop on a subway, and head home to sleep before doing it again the next day. It was really great to be able to show them some love and to be able to sit and hear their thoughts.


I've come back from this trip so equipped to share my faith with others and with a passion and heart for cities and travel. This experience was really life changing and I know the Lord has already shaped my life through this trip.

"Cities no longer shape just their surrounding regions—they now shape the whole world. This new world presents Christians and the church with an unprecedented opportunity to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ into every dimension of human life. God is doing something new and big in our cities, and he’s calling some of us to participate in it." -Why Cities Matter by Stephen T. Um and Justin Buzzard
Cities are the growth centers for business. for new ideas. for culture. for diversity. Movements start in cities, so they are the perfect growth hubs for LIFE as well! The people, my CRU community, and the city have forever changed me. And I can't wait to see how the seeds we have planted will foster new life to come.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16


Irish Creme Chocolate Mint Cupcakes


Happy, happy St. Patrick's Day friends!

I woke up this morning and was already out the door before realizing I was NOT wearing green. Usually I'm on top of my holidays. I think spring break this past week mixed up my schedule and I'm still on spring break time. However, I did drink GREEN tea on the way to class. So that counts, right?

Also, my St. Patrick's Day cupcake recipes were published on About.com today, so even though I'm not wearing green, I think I'm immune to pinching.



These are some of my favorite cupcake recipes ever. So I think you should check them out and whip them up for a sweet St. Patty's Day dessert:

Head HERE for my recipe for Irish Creme Chocolate Mint Cupcakes:


and HERE for my Kiss Me I'm Irish Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:


I hope your day is full of green and pinch free!

Monday, March 16, 2015

New York Part One: In Pictures












Sunday, March 1, 2015

Now THAT's a Wrap (Healthy California Turkey Bacon Wrap Recipe)


If you've been following along the past few days, you may know that my wallet has been ugly crying over my most recent Chai Tea Latte obsession. And because of that, I have been saving money and making a lot of meals at home. I'm actually very grateful for this, because if it wasn't for staying at home, I would have not have discovered the most delicious wrap I've ever had- my California Turkey Bacon Wrap:


I picked up these sandwich wraps at Publix for $1.50 because of their BOGO deals. (Boomshockalacka. I know. Good deal...I was happy dancing down the isle), some turkey bacon, provolone, egg whites for some added protein, an avocado, and salsa.

While you're cooking your bacon, add your cheese to your wrap...


Add your bacon once it's crispy:


Now top with all the good stuff: salsa, egg whites, salt and pepper, and of course...avocado. I'm pretty sure we can call this a California Turkey Bacon wrap. I'm pretty sure anything with avocado can automatically be referred to as "Californian." right?


Now roll it up and enjoy! And run to grab a latte because you saved money staying at home making this wrap :)

California Turkey Bacon Wrap: 

Ingredients:
-Whole Wheat Tortilla Flat
-Provolone Cheese
-Turkey bacon
-Sliced Avocado
-Salsa
-Egg Whites

Instructions:
1. Heat your bacon in a skillet until cooked through
2. While bacon is cooking, add cheese to wrap.
3. Layer wrap with bacon, sliced avocado, egg whites, and salsa
4. Wrap and roll and run and grab a latte :) 


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