This One Italian Girl

Rattle Cupcakes



As I mentioned in a previous post I recently attended a baby shower where I made these mini rattle cupcakes.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and thought it was just too cute not to try.  Turns out we already had a dessert provided through the restaurant so it’s a good thing I made these mini so people still ate them.

I knew I wanted to do chocolate cupcakes because the Mom to be loves chocolate and I also wanted to color the frosting so that had to be vanilla.  I used this recipe for the chocolate cupcakes, which already included instructions for mini cupcakes at the bottom.  The recipe said it would make about 36 cupcakes, but I got about 44 out of it.

To make the rattles I bought short sticks – like the ones used for cake pops, life saver mints and purple ribbon.  We were going with a purple theme for this baby shower, but obviously you can use whatever color you like.  First I hot glue gunned the mints to the end of the sticks and let that set.  Then I tied the ribbon into bows on the sticks.  Once the cupcakes were cool it was time to assemble.  I forgot that the cupcake had paper liners so I had to figure out how to get the sticks to go through.  I ended up cutting little slits in the side of the cupcake papers to fit the stick through, which worked perfectly.



Now the fun part – the frosting!  At first I was just going to do white frosting and top with sprinkles, but then I realized I didn’t have any purple sprinkles and I really didn’t want to go the store.  So I made purple frosting instead with no sprinkles.  To get the right color I just kept adding blue and red food coloring until it was the right shade of purple.  Then I put the frosting in a piping bag and made circles on top of the cupcakes.  And that was it.  It was not difficult to make, but I will say it was a long process.  The most time consuming part was gluing the mints and tying the bows.  But it was well worth it for how cute they turned out, and everybody loved them.  Such a cute idea!


For the love of cinnamon


zuke bread-cool

Cinnamon has become quite a staple in my diet over the past couple of years.  I first fell in love with it when I would sprinkle it on my oatmeal in the morning.  Then I just started adding it to everything.  Sprinkle some on a bagel, in my coffee, and over apple slices.  Pretty much anything.  It adds the perfect spice and flavor to things and turns out it’s also really good for your health.

Now that it’s summer time, all the fruits and vegetables are starting to grow.  Both my parents and the fiance’s parents are growing zucchini this year.  That means we are going to be eating a whole lot of zucchini.  Which is fine by me because I love it and it’s free.  But it also means I run out of things to do with them sometimes.  This week alone, we got 3 little zucchinis, which we roasted and sauteed with dinners and 1 big zucchini.  I didn’t want to just cook up the big zucchini again so I decided to make zucchini bread.  I have tried so many different zucchini bread recipes.  My grandma even made up her own, which used to be my go to, until I found this recipe.  It uses less oil and includes my favorite thing – CINNAMON!!

zuke wet ingred

zuke dry ingred

zuke swirl


It’s a super simple recipe.  You mix your wet ingredients in one bowl, your dry ingredients in another bowl, and add the dry to the wet.  Then the fun part – the cinnamon swirl!  For the cinnamon swirl you combine cinnamon and sugar and layer in with the batter in the pan.  Start with the batter then add a layer of cinnamon/sugar, then batter, cinnamon/sugar and finally top with the rest of your batter.

Make sure not to add too much batter on the bottom layer or else your layers won’t be even and you won’t have enough batter to cover the top.  Which is what happened with my loaf here.  It turned out fine, I just would have preferred my cinnamon layers a little more even instead of all mostly at the top.  Another fun idea might be to take a chopstick and swirl the layers even more before you bake the loaf.  I might try that next time.

zuke bread-layer

zuke bread-closeup

zuke bread-slice

What I Ate Wednesday


I see a lot of food bloggers do this type of post and for some odd reason I am always intrigued by them.  I love eating food, I love cooking food, and I love looking at pictures of food so I figured why not try it myself.  Honestly, I tend to eat a lot of the same things on a day to day basis.  It’s just easier and at this point in life, I know what I like.  So my apologies if this is not that exciting, but I just wanted to try it out.



My breakfast typically consists of either oatmeal or cream of wheat with some sort of fruit and nut topping.  However I am recently out of both oatmeal and cream of wheat, so today I had cottage cheese with pineapple.  Cottage cheese is one of those foods that people either love or hate.  I used to hate it but now I love it.  But you have to eat it with pineapple.  Since the cottage cheese can be pretty bland and even salty sometimes, the sweetness of the pineapple is the perfect combination to balance it all out.



Most days I bring my lunch to work which includes a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack.  I prefer to eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 huge meals.  My morning snack is usually some type of fruit like grapes, or a banana, or an apple.  Today I went with apple slices and peanut butter.  I also have either coffee or tea in the morning, and today I went with peppermint tea.



My lunch is what changes the most from day to day because it is usually leftovers from what I had for dinner the night before.  Since I did not get to do the grocery shopping last weekend, my lunch today was a little sparse.  I had a salad with some capers, cheese and salsa on top and an artichoke on the side.  My fiance’s parents have a nice garden growing in their backyard and currently their lettuce is producing A LOT.  Which means more lettuce for us.  So my lunches have been lettuce for the past couple weeks now.  I guess that’s not such a bad thing.




When I have fruit for my morning snack I usually try to have a vegetable for my afternoon snack.  Today it was cucumber and hummus.  This is the lemon twist hummus, which I have never seen before, but I really enjoyed it.  Tea wasn’t cutting it today so I had to get some coffee to make it through the rest of the afternoon.





The fiance and I love cooking and we try to cook at home every night.  I find a lot of recipe ideas on Pinterest and other blogs.  A few of my favorite food blogs include How Sweet It Is, Yeah…Imma Eat That, and Damn Delicious.  Tonight we cooked up this cajun salmon recipe with rice and asparagus.  It was super easy and super delicious!  Sometimes I like to have a glass of red wine with dinner, but if I’m not in the mood for that then I just stick with water.



I have a huge sweet tooth.  Which means I usually like to have something sweet at the end of the day.  I try not to keep too many desserts in the house though because my fiance doesn’t like sweets as much as me so I end up eating them all.  Ice cream always seems to sneak its way into our freezer though.  Tonight I ended the meal with a drumstick.  These were my favor treats growing up.  Only the ones with the chocolate or caramel in the middle!


And that is what I ate today.

When all else fails, make brownies


Is it raining where you are?  It has been consistently raining here for the past couple of days.  I am not a huge fan of the rain but I am told that we really need it to help the whole drought situation.  We get pretty spoiled here in California.  One thing I do love about the rain is that it is perfect baking weather.  If I have to stay inside I might as well be stuck in a house full of delicious chocolate smells.  Today I chose to bake some brownies.  Chocolate chip brownies with a peppermint frosting.


Brownie Recipe

Brownie Frosting

The frosting also called for some evaporated milk, which I didn’t have, so I used water instead.  It made the frosting thinner but still tastes good.




The recipe I used can be found here.  If you have time, take a look around her blog.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.  There are so many good recipes there.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to cuddle up with a blanket and read for the rest of the day while I eat one of these brownies.  Or two, or three…

Happy Friday!