New Year, Fresh Start

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Although I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, there’s nothing wrong with using the new year for a bit of a fresh start and setting some new goals.  I’ve been blogging for just over a year, but I took an extended break from blogging in there so I’m ready for a fresh start!  Before I let you in on my new goals, let me take this opportunity to (re)introduce myself to my new readers.

Welcome

I’m the Candy in “Candy and her Cupcakes” and I love to make, bake and create!  If it’s cute or pretty, I’m into it!  From baking to home decor, DIY gifts to themed parties, healthy to decadent, you can find it right here!  You’ll get a sneak peek into my successes and failures, works in progress and finished products!  I hope that you can find some inspiration here for your own making, baking and creating! Ok, now that we know each other, I don’t mind letting you in on a few of my blogging/creating goals.

Goals

1) Update the look of Candy and her Cupcakes (Maybe a new theme.) 2) Take better quality pictures.  (This means dragging out hubby’s big camera instead of just snapping quick shots with my cell phone camera.) 3) Update once a week. (Don’t hold me to this, it’s a goal, not a promise.) 4) Try making some sort of candy.  (I’ll have to invest in a candy thermometer for this.) 5) Complete some sort of knit/crocheted project.  (I’ve started many, I’ve finished few.) Thank you for reading, and here’s to a new year, a fresh start and new goals!  Check back often to see my progress and the changes coming to Candy and her Cupcakes! Love, Candy

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Thanksgiving Decor

This past Thanksgiving I decided to reuse some of my decorations that I already had, as well as make some new ones.  Here are some of my decorations from last year:

My leaf and acorn candle holder as seen in “Mini Thanksgiving Dinner

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My fall wreath as seen in “Front Door Fall Decor

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Here are some of the new fall decor items. (The simple ones first.):

A faux pumpkin with faux leaves:

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Some gourds on my dessert platter:

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Some pumpkins and mums for the front steps: (I blurred out my address that I had stencilled onto the pumpkins…it was really cute though.  I stencilled the number onto the small orange pumpkin and the street name onto the white pumpkin.)

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I had a piece of burlap sitting around left over from another craft, and I already had the stencils and paint out for decorating the pumpkins so I tried out this banner, and I think it ended up pretty cute!

-If you try stencilling onto burlap, make sure you use a sponge brush and only a little bit of paint as the paint can bleed.  Also, this is a loosely woven burlap, so I put newspaper underneath it so that I didn’t get any paint on my table.

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(The mums on the shelf are a lovely gift from my friend Willowsuite!)

Lastly, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little baking!  This pumpkin pie was much easier than the last one I made because I had an oak leaf shaped cookie cutter.  I filled the pie then I cut the leaf shapes out of pastry and sealed them to the pie shell with some water.

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Although this blog is late, it’s never too late for some feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Love,

Candy

Happy New Year Flashback

Let’s take a quick break from my old posts about the summer, to post an even older entry.

Let me take you back in time to December 31st, 2010!  I just came across these cute cupcakes that I made about this time 4 years ago, and I think they deserve a mention because 1) They’re pretty cute.  2) They’re really easy to make.  and 3) They were made BEFORE Pinterest!  (I know, I can hardly believe people had cute ideas before Pinterest too!)

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I hope you had a wonderful 2010-2011 New Year celebration and I hope your 2014-2015 New Year celebration is even better!

Happy New Year!

Love,

Candy

Canada Day Pie

When it’s Canada Day, there are only two colours on my mind: Red and White!

This fresh strawberry pie really hits the spot on a hot July 1st weekend!

First, make a pie crust, (from scratch if you’ve been paying attention).  Make sure to prick some holes in the bottom of it before you bake it to prevent the pastry from puffing up too much.

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While the pie shell is baking, make a strawberry glaze.

Strawberry Glaze:

1 cup strawberries, mashed

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup water

Bring all ingredients to boil in a pot.

Cook on a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Let cool for at least 10 mins.

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Thinly slice some strawberries and pile them into your cooled pie shell.

Pour the glaze on top of the fresh strawberries in the shell.

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Top with freshly whipped cream and a whole strawberry. (Trust me, the freshly whipped cream tastes much better than the whipped cream in the can.)

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And there you have your perfect Canada Day dessert with strawberries picked fresh from the field of a Canadian farm.

A very belated Happy Canada Day to you all!

Love,

Candy

Cute Little Strawberry Summer Gift

I was on a course in May and June with possibly the best mentors a girl could ask for!!!  But this was also a couple of months off work with no pay.  When the course was over, I was looking for a token of appreciation for my mentors that still fit into my limited budget, so I came up with these cute little strawberry baskets.

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I picked the strawberries myself at a local farm and put them inside these adorable ceramic pints that double as a colander!

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I wrapped the pints up with some cellophane and cute ribbon.  The gifts were just a small token of my huge appreciation to the women who were my wonderful mentors!  I hope they did the trick!

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Keep your eyes peeled for more strawberry ideas to come!

Love,

Candy

A Refreshing Summer Meal

Summer is long gone, but clearly I have some catching up to do…

This was a nice light meal on a hot summer day.  I served it for dinner but it would make a great lunch!

On the Menu:

Asparagus, Spinach, Feta Quiche

Apple, Kale, Quinoa, Salad

Healthy Fruit Popsicles

Homemade White Wine

The next three pictures are simply proof that 1) I make my own pastry.  and 2) It’s not hard, and tastes MUCH better than store bought pastry!  You should try it!

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I’ve never made quiche before, but it was surprisingly easy!  After making the pastry you cook up the veggies a bit and just pour in egg/cheese mixture.

Here’s how it looked when it was done:

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Next was the Apple, Kale, Quinoa Salad.  You’ll want to make the quinoa the day before so that it’s nice and cool by the time you are assembling the salad.  I use Granny Smith apples so that they don’t brown.  The apples add a nice crisp!

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This meal is (amazingly) hubby approved!  And accompanied by our homemade wine, it was perfect!

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For dessert, I made some healthy fruit popsicles!  I sliced up some strawberries and mango and filled the mild with lemonade.

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I did not squeeze the lemons to make the lemonade to fill the popsicles, but other than that, this meal was entirely from scratch which I love!  Time to make everything from scratch is sometimes one of those summer luxuries….

Wishing you warm memories of summer in this chilly season!

Love,

Candy

Back by Popular Demand

Back-by-popular-demand

Ok, popular demand might be overdoing it a bit, but two people in one week asking my why I haven’t updated my blog (plus some vacation time) have inspired me to get blogging again.  But there’s a lot to catch up on, so be patient and stay tuned for some yummy recipes, cute gifts, themed parties, and more!

It’s good to be back!  I missed you!

Love,

Candy