Happy Monday! I hate Mondays. It's the day you mourn the loss of your weekend, and then have so long till the next one. My summer schedule has mellowed out a lot. I definitely do not mind sleeping in, sleeping early, and being lazy :) I had a really nice three day weekend. I was utterly lazy and spent my time cuddling with Ninja. I know, so bad, but I needed a de-stress from the beginning of that week. Ever have one of those lazy days, where you do not even leave the house? Yup, I had one of those! Absolutely perfect. Plus, I go to catch up on on one of my favorite shows- White Collar. I really love forensic, crime type shows. I highly recommend Medium, Numb3ers, and Lie to Me as well.
On Saturday the hubby got me---ooookay....maybe I picked out--a new laptop. I am now the proud owner of an ULTRABOOK! I love it! ::Warning:: I am going to sound really whiney here ;) I have a Dell Laptop provided to me by my advisor, but it is so stinkin' heavy! And even though I am a twenty-something year old, I have the worst back ever. When I travel, especially to conferences, I always bring my laptop, but lugging it around with my luggage, sucks! And just lugging it to school every day stinks too. I would always complain to the hubby about how I wanted an ultrabook (i.e., Macbook air for PCs). Originally I went to get the Macbook Air, but I prefer a PC and the hubby is not a Mac fan at all. I got the Asus Zenbook Prime. I love the touch capability of Windows 8 too, which the MacBook Air doesn't have.
On Sunday, the hubby and I headed down to Houston to celebrate my baby brother-in-law's 16th birthday. And by baby, I mean freakishly taller than me ;) Anywhoo, it was great seeing my in-laws. We tried the Texas Roadhouse. It was okay- nothing to special- very mainstream BBQ. Though, only in Texas would you have indoor smoking. I was not a fan. The hubby and I ended the night by getting some frozen yogurt at Yogurt Land with my dog park friends! We wanted to try Bahama Buck's Shaved Ice, but they were closed. No worries! We will be going later this week :) I am going to try sour grape! One plus to living in the South compared to Cali is that they appreciate the awesomeness that is snow cones :) They are everywhere!!!
I made these cupcakes along with the Chocolate Chip Pudding cookies for my class's last day. Half of them wanted cookies and the other half wanted cupcakes, so I made both! I took the extras to the hubby's work. I was on a kick and bought a ton of candy. I love incorporating candy into desserts! Cupcakes + M&Ms = awesome :) For the frosting I decided to try this Pudding Buttercream recipe that I found on Pinterest. It ended up really similar to the frosting I made for the Halloween Pumpcakes. They seemed to be a big hit with my class and the hubby's work. And they're so colorful! Who wouldn't love these ;)
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 box of white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
3 eggs, room temperature
1 c. milk (can substitute with water)
1 stick of butter melted (1/2 c.)
1 1/4 c. mini M&Ms
FOR THE FROSTING
1 (3.56oz) box of white chocolate instant pudding
1 c. cold milk (plus extra for thinning)
1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 c. shortening
1-3 c. of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
M&Ms for garnish
For the Cupcakes:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, sift in cake mix (to prevent lumps). Then add in eggs, milk and butter, mixing ingredients until creamy. Mix on low for 1 minutes and then on high for 1 minute. The batter should be thick and creamy. Finally remove from stand mixer and add in mini M&Ms. Gently fold in mini M&Ms using a spatula. This will prevent the color from bleeding (a little color will bleed). Do not over mix! Line cupcake pan with liners. Using an ice cream scoop fill liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
In a small bowl, whisk pudding mixture with 3/4 c. milk. Place in freezer for approximately 3 minutes, to allow pudding to thicken. While the pudding is thickening-- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Stir in pudding, mixing until well combined. Finally add in powdered sugar (1 cup) and remaining milk (1 tbsp) at a time until desired consistency is reached. Buttercream should be stiff enough to hold shape. Garnish with mini M&Ms.
Dessert Now, Dinner Later suggested that this be used right after making. If made beforehand, keep refrigerated and add milk to soften/thin when needed.