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Ashley

Eats

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Bundt Cakes

Lemon Bundt Cakes sweetlemonmade.com

These glazed lemon poppy seed mini bundt cakes are not only cute, they are moist and packed full of tangy lemon flavor. The cakes are topped with a generous drizzle of lemon syrup and lemon glaze, adding more moisture and lemon flavor.

Lemon Bundt Cake Ingredients sweetlemonmade.com

I was inspired to make these mini lemon poppy seed bundt cakes to celebrate our one-year blogiversary! And by the way, where has the time gone?!? I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for a whole year! It’s been an adventure! To celebrate this momentous milestone, I knew I wanted to make something lemon-y to celebrate with all of my supportive friends, family and coworkers! Lemon was only fitting to go with our blog name and the fact that I’m itching for warmer weather. 

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You may find it weird to add yogurt into the recipe but, it adds a little more tang to the flavor of the cake and it also replaces the oil you would normally use in a cake recipe. Tip: I used Tillamook vanilla yogurt but, if you normally eat plain yogurt and have that on hand you can use that in substitution.

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After playing around with differ amounts of lemon flavor, the amount in this recipe seems to be the perfect amount according to my helpful and trusty taste testers (aka my friends and family). I personally really love lemon-y lemon poppy seed cake too. And I knew these were a hit when a few of my friends ended up eating all of the cakes they were suppose to share with their family or on the other hand when a few of my other friends wanted to share these delicious cakes with their own friends! These cakes taste even better once they’ve had time to sit and the lemon syrup and lemon glaze have had a chance to soak into the cake.

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Your friends and family will love you if you make these delicious cakes for them!

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Bundt Cakes
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Ingredients
  1. CAKE
  2. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  3. 2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  7. 1/4 cup lemon zest, packed
  8. 4 cups cake flour
  9. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 cup vanilla yogurt (I used Tillamook brand)
  12. 1 cup buttermilk
  13. 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
  14. LEMON SYRUP
  15. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  16. 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  17. GLAZE
  18. 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  19. 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  20. 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  21. 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare mini bundt cake pan with nonstick spray and flour.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fully incorporated.
  3. Add in vanilla, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest until incorporated.
  4. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, yogurt, buttermilk, and poppy seeds. Mix on low for 1 minute and then on medium for 2 minutes or until well blended.
  5. Fill each cavity 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  6. Let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Invert pan onto cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
  8. While cakes are cooling, prepare lemon syrup by combining sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.
  9. While waiting for lemon syrup to cool, prepare glaze by combining sifted powdered sugar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl.
  10. Once cakes and lemon syrup have cooled, place cakes on a baking sheet and drizzle each cake with lemon syrup and then a generous drizzle of glaze over the top.
  11. And ENJOY!
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/
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Eats

Quick and Easy Superbowl Appetizer

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Need a quick and easy appetizer you can throw together without any hassel? We’ve got you covered with these delicious stuffed mushrooms! You only need three ingredients: sausage, cream cheese and mushrooms. You can’t get any simpler than that. Not only are these stuffed mushrooms easy to make they are absolutly delicious. A true crowd pleaser.

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Looking for some fun super bowl decor to spruce up your party? Look no further. You can make this easy football banner and faux football field just in time for the big game. All you need in order to make the football banner is some brown and white card stock and string. Cut the brown card stock to desired size and cut the white card stock into strips. Punch holes in each side of the banner and string along a wall. To make the faux football field, head on over to your local Walmart and purchase some Astroturf and white paint. Cut the Astroturf to size and paint the lines and numbers onto the football field.

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Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. roll Jimmy Dean Italian sausage
  2. 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
  3. Mushrooms (makes about 24)
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage on medium to high heat until browned; breaking up sausage into crumbles and drain. Let sausage cool.
  2. Remove stems and clean mushrooms.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Once the sausage is cooled, add to cream cheese and stir until fully incorporated together.
  5. Spoon mixture into each mushroom cap and place on a cookie rimmed sheet.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/
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Home

New Year’s Resolution: Staying Committed

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It’s been a whole month and I have to say that it’s been a commitment to stay committed! I have been trying super hard to stick to my goal of staying committed but, it hasn’t been easy. I tried to go full force and dive right in and change my ways all at once but, it got too overwhelming and I knew I had to tackle it in baby steps without stressing myself out and failing. It’s especially hard for a natural procrastinator of 20+ years to do! If you are a fellow procrastinator reading this right now, raise your hand if you agree with me. Let me know in the comments your tips for me or what you have done to curb this bad habit. Because if I’m being honest, I don’t think that I will ever rid of this bad habit completely but, with time, practice, planning, and follow through I will become better and procrastinate less. With some creative reminders, I have made my self more accountable each time I see my one word and making a conscious effort to stay focused and committed to following through.

Some great ways I have reminded myself, kept myself on track, and held accountable for my one word include having it on my phone wall paper, on a sign in my bedroom, putting it in my planner, and writing it on my lists!

List

Throughout this process of sticking with my goal, I have come to learn that part of my problem is planning ahead. I knew I needed to start using my planner  more effectively! I have a habit of making lists and jotting down all the things that come to mind, but planning ahead was always my down fall. Now that I know my weakness, I have been approaching my lists differently. I look at my list and if there is anything that can be done now I put a star next to it and then anything else left on the list gets prioritized on my list and in my planner. I have definitely noticed a difference in my follow through. Another thing I have done to hold me accountable is telling a friend or family member when I want something needs to be done.

Planner

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Celebrate

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year sweetlemonmade.com

Gung Hay Fat Choy (Happy Chinese New Year)! Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is on January 28th and is the year of the rooster! Determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar, Chinese New Year is on a new day every year.  Each year is a different animal and this year is the year of the rooster. Roosters are considered to be courageous, resourceful, observant, confident, active, hardworking and talented. To see if you are a Rooster or curious to see what animal you are, check out the Chinese zodiac calendar

Celebrating the New Year is one of my family’s traditions and happens to be one of my favorite holidays.  Officially the holiday lasts for seven days but my family only celebrates for a few of those days–Chinese New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and one other day.  Our family tradition is to eat a new year’s dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve, a traditional vegetarian breakfast on the day of Chinese New Year, and another dinner days later with our extended family.

What I love the most about Chinese New Year is it brings all of our family (even our aunts, uncles, and cousins) together and we get to enjoy all of the delicious foods my parents (mostly my Mom) cooks for us! I love that we celebrate our family heritage.

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For Chinese New Year we also receive lucky red envelopes (also known as “lai see” in Cantonese) filled with money from our parents, grandparents and others. In Chinese culture the color red is the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. So giving red envelopes symbolizes sending good wishes and luck.

Red Envelopes sweetlemonmade.com

Even if you aren’t Chinese, you can still celebrate along with me and my family. Have fun by printing out your own red envelopes and filling them up with money, coins, or candy. You can also DOWNLOAD the rooster printable pictured below to add to your decorations or to make napkin rings. Then all you have to do is order up or whip up some Chinese food and celebrate!

Rooster Printable

 

Fashion

Manicure Essentials

Dry Spray

This Up & Up Nail Polish Drying Spray is one of the BEST Target finds! I just happened upon it one day as I was walking around Target looking for other items on my list.  The big can caught my eye and it peaked my interest as to why it was mixed with the nail polish. I had never heard of  nail polish drying spray before. (Maybe I’ve been living under a rock.) I knew there were quick drying top coats and even drops, but this spray had me so intrigued. Since it was only $2.99 it was worth a try.

If you are like me and are very impatient when it comes to painting your nails I’m telling you now that you NEED this spray in your life ASAP! I’m always looking for ways to speed up the drying process. It’s the worst when you paint your nails and then smudge your freshly painted manicure! Who’s with me on that one?

When using the Drying Spray, paint your nails as usual, wait a minute and then spray your nails with the drying spray. Within a few minutes they will be dry and smudge proof.

A few dry spray tips:
• Depending on the consistency of your polish you may after a few minutes have to spray your nails one more time to get them completely dry. This is also the case when painting multiple coats.
• Works best on one coat!
• Make sure the can is upright when you spray your nails.

The other items are some of my manicure essentials. Nail polish remover with a pump bottle is awesome! It makes removing your polish so much easier. All you have to do is place your cotton ball or cotton pad on top and pump it a couple of times to wet it. After removing my nail polish, I love using the Julep glycolic hand scrub to prep my hands. A good nail file is essential for shaping nails before painting and this Essie nail polish is one of my go to colors! And now this drying spray is part of my manicure essentials for sure!