Monthly Archives: February 2011

5 Signs of Spring

1. It’s 74 degrees today.

2. Isn’t it amazing that a daylily can go from this…

daylily bud

…to this overnight?

daylily flower

3. The camelias we planted last spring are finally starting to bloom.


4. My window boxes are brimming with pansy blossoms.


5. The daffodil and crocus bulbs I planted in the fall are making an appearance.

daffodil and crocus

DIY: Sweet Knobs

I’m giving the vanity in the basement bathroom a fresh coat of paint and new moldings, so naturally it needed new knobs. I’m quite proud of myself for showing restraint and not spending too much on some gorgeous (but overpriced) Anthroplologie hardware. Instead I found some old faucet handles here, spray painted them, and added nuts and screws. I love the way they turned out!

repurposed faucet handle knobs

Red Velvet Cupcakes

We skipped the restaurant scene yesterday and made a Valentine’s feast at home. Daniel grilled rosemary ranch chicken kabobs and corn on the cob, while I whipped up some mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. For dessert I baked red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and they were sublime! Red velvet might just be my favorite kind of cake (besides snickerdoodle of course).

red velvet cupcake recipe

This makes 3o cupcakes, so scale it down if you don’t want to be up to your eyeballs in red velvet! I found the recipe on

Red Velvet Cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) bottle red food color
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.