Friday, October 14, 2011

Painting with a Twist

Hola mis amigos!  Quiero te hablar de mi noche al "Painting with a Twist"!  Just kidding I'm not going to type my post in least not yet!  I'll give you (and me) some time to brush up on your Espanol.

I would like to share some pictures I took while I was out with a dear friend of mine, Christine, at Painting with a Twist.
It was supposed to be a group of ladies from my church but several were not able to make it so Chris and I enjoyed the evening out ourselves and now we get to gloat about how much fun we had and the awesome paintings we came away with. Ha!  That'll teach you not to miss out on fun things like this next time!  I'm just teasing.  I am very sorry that the others were not able to join us and I hope we can do this again sometime because it was a very enjoyable evening.

What is Painting with a Twist?  It's a studio that offers "Sessions" where you pay for a seat and they provide the paint, canvas, apron, brushes and step by step instructions from a real professional artist to help you paint the picture of the evening!  There are tons of pictures to choose from and they have a calendar up on their website that allows you to see what they are painting on certain days.  It's a great concept!  And they offer private parties where you can choose which painting you'd like the party to do!  They allow you to bring beverages and appetizers of your choice to help "lighten" the mood.  Christine had her coffee and brought crispy date bonbons!  Yummy!  I had a pumpkin spice latte and brought my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!!  Woohoo!

Here is a quick glimpse of our evening!
Little Miss Arteest all ready to paint a masterpiece!
Our piece for the evening was Midnight Cherry Blossoms.
First the moon!  That's mine to the left of hers.
Then, the "midnight" sky.
This is mine.  Chris was still working on her sky.

Uh oh, there must have been a booboo because Chris asked the instructor for help.  ;-)  They are very good with helping you if you get stuck or can't quite figure out how to get the look you want.  I think his OCD kicked in because he spent a few long minutes working on this.  Christine was being so patient and studying his strokes.

There we go!  Good job Christine!  Ahem!
Good job Natalia!  Hehe.

Here's mine with the branches and blossoms.  I made my branches a bit too horizontal so it looks sideways but I promise this is how it's supposed to go!

I think Christine's OCD kicked in too when she got to the blossoms.  We stayed an extra 30 minutes after just so she could finish.  She was super serious about her flowers.  Love ya' Christine!

This is the studio.  It's a fun atmosphere.  Everyone talks and laughs while we're painting.


This was the entire class that evening.

Here's Christine and me with our masterpieces!  Thank you so much Chris for sharing this evening with me!  I had a great time!  Love you lady! 

Oh!  And thanks a whole bunches for getting my car unlocked even after you had dropped me off at home!  You and your ninja friend were a life saver! ;-)

So if you're looking for something different to do for a couples or ladies' night out this is definitely worth it!  'Til next time...

As always, be blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins...just in time for Fall!

Hey everyone!  So I wake up one morning and it!  As in weather.  Not as in, "wow. I'm waking up and this feels cool" kind of cool, cuz that would be kind of weird and awkward.  Yeah.

Pumpkins!  Chocolate!  That's what I was getting to!  I wake up and the weather is feeling cooler outside and the tiny baker that lives in my mind says, "HEY!"  Okay, that was more of a holler but still...she says, "Hey!  Remember those awesome Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins you made last year?" "Go on.." I say.  " How about we make those today!" "Oooo, yeah.  Let's!" thats me.

After searching for my recipe that I received from a Creative Memories lady MANY years ago I rummage through my pantry to see what else I would need to complete my ingredient list.  Lo and behold, all I need is...pumpkin!  So I run my little toosh to the grocery store and grab mamma some canned pumpkin.  I don't use fresh pumpkin because...well, that's just crazy to waste so much time cutting and cleaning and pureeing the pulp and I feel it would discredit all the work others have done to prepare the pumpkin beforehand for people like me who bake on a whim.  Right.  So, canned pumpkin and back home to prepare these oh so scrumdidalyumptious treats that I plan to have ready when the boys get home and allow them to taste of my masterpiece.  I've already worked it out in my mind to not tell my eldest that it has pumpkin because he'd just make a face and ask if it tastes good then proceed to ask me to make some without pumpkin. (breathe)

When I started gathering my ingredients to mix I actually remembered to grab my camera and take some "play by play" pics of the whole process.  Your welcome.  Complete recipe will be at the bottom.

Here are all the ingredients you'll need.
Doesn't that look pretty?  I thought so.

First, mix sugar, eggs and oil

Second, pumpkin and water.
Yeah, doesn't look the best but THIS is the magic!

Next, your flour and spices...
and everything nices. ;-)

Last, the other part of the magic, the chocolate!
I use Semisweet or Extra Semisweet if you're cool like that.





The magic is complete!  I'm getting misty-eyed just thinking about how beautiful a union this is.  Sniff, sniff.

"Well, what'd your eldest think?" you ask.  He got home and asked if there was anything to snack on so I told him, with a loving mother smile, "there are muffins in the kitchen." "Awesome!" was his reply.  He runs to the kitchen, grabs a muffin, notices the chocolate and exclaims, "Oooo, chocolate!"  Takes a big bite and says..............."It tastes different. Is there carrot in these?"  Alas, I cannot pull the wool over my son's eyes!  So I tell him, "no sweetheart, it's not carrot it's pumpkin.  "Oh, wow!  These taste pretty good!  Thanks mom, you're the best!"  Melt. My. Heart.  Mission accomplished.

These are really easy and if you have never tried something like this, let me tell you, you have not lived yet!  They are so yummy and evoke such a wonderful feeling of comfort and fall and the holidays to come!  I hope you give them a try.  You'll be extremely glad you did!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable, Canola or Olive Oil
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1/4 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Semisweet Chocolate chips, more to top (optional)

Fill 12 cupcake liners and bake in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 20-25 min.  Enjoy!

As always, be blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love (comments)! :-)