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Happy Memorial Day!!

Hi! I hope everyone is having a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!

This past week has been super busy (4 photo shoots, 3 different friends visiting from out of time, 1 birthday, 3 cookouts, Kayaking trip, etc) and I didn't have one single second to post - anything! I guess you can say I went on a blog vacation...I am going to extend my blog vacation through tomorrow and resume things with Terrific Tuesday!

So - I'm going to leave you with a picture of me and the hubs - taken in the city where we met - Savannah, GA...

Terrific Tuesday Photos - Week 4!

Hey Everybody! Welcome to Terrific Tuesday! This weeks photo is one of my favorites! I love fluffy white clouds and these make me want to just dive through them! This was taken over Lake Michigan during connecting flight from Michigan to Wisconsin (for some reason they sent us to Wisconsin before they sent us back to GA?)

Hope you enjoy the photo! Have a great Tuesday!


Sweet Shot Day

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Matty Monday - Week 3!! Mocha Cupcakes!

Hello all!

This week we tried the Mocha Cupcakes! Phillip, my roommate, as been going on and on about coffee flavored things since I don’t have a coffee maker, I think he’s going though withdraws. Well to make the process more painful and drawn-out we made the Mocha Cupcakes to ease his coffee tooth…

Those little devils need a lot of leg work, including going to a cafe for the required freshly brewed espresso. We did the wrong recipe for the frosting, forgetting their was a coffee version….but all in all very good, very coffee tasting, with a sugary foam (frosting) top.

Mocha Cupcakes, page 74, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup freshly brewed espresso
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (not instant coffee)

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure coffee extract

Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together cake flour and cocoa. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth and light. Add the brown sugar and eggs; beat until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add the vanilla, baking soda, and salt; beat to combine thoroughly.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Mix together brewed espresso and espresso powder; add to batter, and beat until smooth.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely be¬fore removing cupcakes.

Make the Frosting:

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230°F (110°C).

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.

As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230°F (110°C), remove from the heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons coffee extract, whisking to combine. Use immediately.

See ya next week!


Fun Finds Feature Friday with The Plaid Platypus

Welcome to the first edition of Fun Finds Feature Friday!!

Today's feature is The Plaid Platypus!

Rita @ The Plaid Platypus makes really amazing and fun cakes and I am so excited to be featuring them today!  If you are in the local area and are looking for a great cake - for any occasion - give her a call - You won't regret it!

Check these out!

Doesn't this look so tasty!

My dad would looooove this one:

Head over to the Plaid Platypus' fan page on Facebook and become a Fan!

Come back next Friday to see what Fun Find I am going to Feature!

New Blog Look - Coming SOON!!

Just wanted to let everyone know that the look of things around here are about to change!! I've been wanting a new look for my blog for a while now and I finally took the next step and contacted Diana @ The Girl Creative to design a new look for my blog! She is oh so very talented and such a sweet person!

If you are looking for someone to design or redesign your blog I would definitely recommend you stop by and check her out!

The Girl Creative

So check back later on to see what she cooked up for me!!!!

Key Holder!

Hi! Hope you all are doing well!

I am super excited about this project - I've wanted to make one for a while now! I have seen several variations of this project around the blogging world and decided to make it my own. I loved the way it turned out - so much that I actually gave to my mom as part of her Mother's Day gift!

I started out with these supplies:

Wood plaque - $1.00 on the clearance rack @ Wal-Mart
Scrapbook Paper - already had in my stash of paper
ceiling hooks - $1.59
decoupage - already had
White Spray paint - already had
sand paper - already had

First I cut the paper to fit the inside of the wood piece. I did this by tracing the shape on to the back of the paper - then I just cut out the shape. (I made sure to have a little overlap so I could sand it down and make it a perfect fit.)

Next I gave it a light sand and spray painted the edges white. After allowing it to dry for an hour or so I applied decoupage to the wood piece (not the paper - I tried this first and it was disastrous!)

After letting it dry for a bit I took my sand paper and lightly rubbed the edges of the paper so I would be flush with the plaque. Then I marked off my spots for holes and screwed the hooks in place. I got the self starting hooks so I wouldn't have to pull out the old drill...

This project has endless possibilities - I can't wait to make another one to keep for myself!!

Terrific Tuesday Photos - Week 3!

Hey Everybody! Hope you all are doing well!

This week I am going to share a before and after photo - before and after editing that is...

Here is the SOOC (straight out of camera) shot:

The colors are a little flat and I hate the brick wall in the background.

SOOO...after playing around with my new Photoshop CS5 I came up with this:

I could of stopped there but I still wasn't totally happy. I played around with ita little more and finally got this:

I love the vintage feel of this one and the bright and crisp feel of the one before - I just can't pick out which one is my favorite...

Matty Monday - Week 2!! Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes!

Hi Made By Stephie readers!! I'm back for another edition of Matty Monday! Thanks for all of the nice comments you left last week - I am so glad you liked the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes!

This week we decided to do a cupcake that was a little bit easier but just as yummy.

Here are the details:

Martha Stewart's Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Makes 30

42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Hope you enjoy them! See ya next week!


Terrific Tuesday Photos - Week 2!

Hey everybody! Thanks for all of the nice comments and emails this week! I'm glad everyone likes all of the new things I'm doing!

It's time for Terrific Tuesday again! One of my photos from last week was picked as the #1 photo in Trendy Treehouse's Shutter Love Top Ten Photos!!!! Go HERE to check it out!

This weeks photo was taken this past week @ one of my photo shoots. I had the privilege to photograph a sweet little boy for his 2 year old photos. This photo is of him checking out a tattoo of his feet prints on his mom's back.

Have a great Tuesday!


Sweet Shot Day

hicks photography

The First Edition of MATTY MONDAY - Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes!!!!

My bestie Matt, a fabulous interior designer in Los Angeles, is going to be doing a guest post here on Mondays! I am sooooo excited that he is going to be taking on Martha Stewart and her cupcake recipes!!! Enough from me - here's Matty!

Hi Everybody!

I'm Matt...

And I'm excited to be here at Made By Stephie!!

Ever since Stephie made those delicious looking Jam Tea Cake Cupcakes from the Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book I have been awaiting for the next cupcake post. Skip ahead to now and no new cupcakes have graced the blog, can’t blame her of course, she’s had beautiful and clever things for ya’ll week after week So when Stephie asked if I could contribute something, I (after long contemplation) choose to take up the cupcake torch, or perhaps, the cupcake whisk. With my friend Phillip, we choose to start with the Boston Cream Pie cupcakes, which we hoped to be easy, yet not too easy. Now, I live in an apartment, never needing to bake, and the first thing we discovered was I had no baking supplies, at least not the kind needed for cupcakes.

Many store trips later…

The cupcakes themselves went really well and we were proud of ourselves, same too the chocolate ganache spread, we ran into trouble with the pastry cream. In the picture of the cupcake, the cream is a perfect shade of white, ours never did that, staying a yellow color. It still tasted great, just the wrong color! All in all a good first attempt, but you should see the pile of dishes! I wonder how many medium sized heat proof bowls Martha thinks we have?

Go HERE for the recipe!

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, page 114, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Till next time!

Head over to Craftaholics Anonymous to participate in a Recipe Swap!

Pretty Little Cloche

Aint' she a beaut!

I made this cute little cloche thingy out of things bought at GoodWill, the dollar tree, and a family heirloom brooch! I wanted to display the brooch that belonged to a family member that and was passed on to me (I'm not much of a pin wearer). A shopping trip to GoodWill yielded a cloche and a milk glass base to put it on!!!! I just filled milk glass dish with some Spanish Moss I got at the Dollar Tree, sat the brooch on top of it, and placed the dome over it!

Total amount spent: $3.50!!

Giveaway @ Rada Rhythm and Rhyme!

My friend Laura @ Rada Rhythm and Rhyme is hosting her first giveaway! She has got some really great Chum's Eyeglass Retainers (especially for you South Carolina people!) - So Head on over and check it out!

Terrific Tuesday Photos

Hey guys! I am going to make a few changes around the blog - sort of organizing things and trying to get a steady rhythm going for weekly post! To start things off I am designating Tuesday as Terrific Tuesday Photo day. Each week I will put up a few favorite photos (maybe just one) that I have taken (some for my photo business/clients and some I did just because) - just a little way to share one of my passions - photography!

Here are today's photos:

I had so much fun shooting this little girl and I absolutely love this photo!

This is from earlier this year - Feb I think...isn't the snow so pretty!

And last but not least:

Something Springy and purdy!

Stop by my photo "blogsite" for more photos by me!

hicks photography


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