Category Archives: Recipes

Valentines crept up on us quickly this year. Ours was a busy with a very fun shoot for me, haircuts for the boys, homework, card writing, and Chipotle for dinner. They both had parties and got to come home armed with sweets & cards. Nothing handmade here, I copped out with Mickey Mouse {for Damian} and Lego Star Wars Valentines {for Kevin}.
I bought myself some {droopy} white tulips and have been daydreaming about spring ever since.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

Last year Kevin & I made a sailboat Valentine box. This year the class decorated bags but he insisted on making a Spaceship box.
He is truly a child after my own heart.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

I’m starting to collect too many coffee mugs.
Damian’s hands are almost the size of mine.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

We had a family birthday so I jumped at the chance to make Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing. Around Christmas time I stumbled across Vanilla Bean Curd, so I added that to my frosting instead of vanilla. It helped give them the flavor I wanted & maintain a thickness that makes it easier to pipe and decorate. Definitely plan on using it in more frostings in the future.

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

  • 2 Packages of Cream Cheese {softened}
  • 2 Sticks of good quality butter {softened} <<< I use Land of Lakes unsalted.
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Bean Curd
  • Food Coloring {optional}

Cream butter & cream cheese until it becomes a soft paste without lumps. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time on low mixing speed. Add vanilla curd & food coloring. Cream Cheese icing can be tricky and sometimes needs more or less powdered sugar, and possibly a few minutes in the freezer to thicken up {especially in the summer when kitchens are hot}. Also great as a fruit dip.

My piping skills are pretty rusty so it took a few tries to even get the one semi-acceptable rose topping you see. After I wiped off the cupcake to re-try, I kind of fell in love with the faux painted brushstrokes.
Might be inspiration for a new batch of cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing |

Hope your weekend was sweet! ♥


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  • Erin Davenport - February 19, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    What a lovely day! Beautiful icing work, looks delicious. Your kiddos are adorable 🙂

  • Justine Worthington - February 20, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    Oh man those tulips never took off? So sad! Even droopy tulips are pretty, I think. =) And I think we need a baking day or three sometime soon. I’ve dabbled in hobby-level cake baking and decorating and see that you are going to be my perfect partner in crime! See you soon. xoxo

  • Andrea - February 26, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Thanks Erin! I’m so excited for you & to watch your gorgeous little one grow!

  • Andrea - February 26, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    Justine, they did better than they would have if you weren’t there to help! Yes, bring on the baking! I don’t do it enough anymore & I miss it. Plus it’s way better when you have people to share it with! 🙂

This recipe is a staple in our family. I believe it originated as a Pampered Chef recipe from my sister, and soon evolved into a family staple at all occasions. It is the reason I started to eat black & pinto beans, because I never ate them as a child. I’ve also heard other people say that even though they don’t care for beans, they do like this fresh & easy salsa. It is only a few ingredients and the cilantro gives it a fresh appeal. Especially at winter gatherings like that superbowl party coming up.

I made it for a Thirty One Party this past weekend & many people asked for the recipe so I thought I’d share it here.
I’ve modified it a bit since I like sweet flavors, so this is just a slight variation from the original one.

The guys in our family add Chipotle Tabasco sauce & sometimes we add jalapeños for a kick. I love recipes like this that you can modify very easily to suit your tastes or the occasion.

Super Bowl Salsa Easy Recipe by

I double the original dressing since I want to have my salad smothered in it:

Sweet Dressing

Whisk all these ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until ready to add.
Can make a couple days ahead of time {flavor gets better over time, just re-mix when ready to use}.

I Cup White Vinegar

1/2 Cup Light Olive Oil

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Cumin {I usually drench mine in this}

1 tsp Dry Oregano Leaves

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper


Rinse and drain beans and corn. Chop onion, pepper, and cilantro. Mix together in a large bowl.

Two Cans of Black Beans {Rinsed & Drained}

Two Cans of Pinto Beans {Rinsed & Drained}

Two Cans of Corn {Rinsed & Drained}

One Sweet Onion, Chopped

One Green Pepper, Chopped

About 2 tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped finely. I don’t like cilantro stems so I always make sure to just use the leaves.

Drizzle the dressing over the salsa mixture.

Enjoy with a bag of your favorite flavor of tortilla chips.

Super Bowl Salsa Easy Recipe by

The leftovers are perfect for lunch, by spoon or used in a tortilla with meat {like Chipotle’s corn salsa}.
I love that I now have a reference for this recipe, as you can see the original {above} from 2005. ♥

{iPhone 4 images & edited with Afterglow App }




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