Tag Archive | Pinterest

Cupcakes and more summer fun on Pinterest

By Karen Hendricks

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Not only are they sweet, pretty packages of deliciousness, but they can be healthy too–surprise! I recently discovered two cupcake recipes through my addiction to Pinterest–one for Peach Cupcakes and another for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. If you have access to either fresh peaches or a garden full of zucchini right now, I guarantee you’ll enjoy either recipe.

Choc Zucchini Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cupcakes – adapted from Susquehanna Style magazine, originally courtesy Terra Brownback, Spiral Path Farm

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups packed, grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips but I amped this up a bit 🙂 )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake wrappers into pan, or spray or lightly grease muffin pans with oil. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs or egg substitute, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 25 minutes; cool before frosting. (The original recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting, but my daughter and I made our favorite chocolate frosting to go on top–or–they are delicious without frosting!)


Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream – adapted from the blog Cathlin Cooks (Kudos to Cathlin!)


  • 2-2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh peach puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar


  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup peach puree
  • Vanilla, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin, or lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into a bowl. In a measuring cup, mix together the peach puree, oil and vanilla. Add the peach mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. At this point, you may want to add some yellow and food colouring to achieve a peachier colour. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. The batter will foam slightly where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes if making cupcakes, or 25 to 30 minutes it making cake. Allow to cool before glazing or frosting.

Peach Buttercream:
Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add peach puree and vanilla and beat again until smooth. You may want to add some yellow and red food colouring to achieve a peachier colour. Can be piped or spread onto cakes.

I pinned both recipes to our Off the Merry-Go-Round account on Pinterest, and created a special board “Featured on the 8/16/13 Blog” so you can easily find the originals. If you need inspiration as we gear up for a new school year, I’ve included some fresh new ideas for school lunches, back-to-school crafts and more:

  • 30 Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas from the awesome blog Six Sisters’ Stuff
  • Photography Tips for Visiting a County Fair
  • Back-To-School Crafts with Apple Prints
  • Make a DIY Toothbrush Holder–with a toy dinosaur or other creatures (to brighten those early school mornings)
  • Lunchbox Ideas

Have you found inspiration on Pinterest? Tell us about your favorite finds, by leaving a comment with links, below. We may feature your “pins” in future posts. Thanks & enjoy!

Pinterest Paradise

By Karen Hendricks

Has the Pinterest craze hit you yet? If you haven’t yet discovered this virtual bulletin board yet, let me tell you–it can be a mom’s best friend. But if you haven’t heard, there is a warning to heed: Pinterest can be slightly addicting so proceed with caution!

The best thing about Pinterest is if you’re in need of inspiration, this is the place to find it. The downside is sometimes you get so wrapped up in all the inspiration, that you forget to actually DO and MAKE some of the projects and recipes and ideas that you find on Pinterest!

Before Pinterest came into my life, I was forever tearing out magazine articles, clipping recipes, jotting down ideas from The Today Show, putting bookmarks in my gazillion cookbooks, etc. (I still do some of that!) Now, where did I put all those great ideas?

The beauty of Pinterest is I can bookmark in cyberspace and not lose or misplace a single idea–it’s all in my account. Viola! And believe it or not I have tried quite a few recipes and put quite a few ideas into action as a result of Pinterest. I’m going to share some of my highlights with you…

Homemade laundry detergent - wish the scent came through your computer!

Homemade laundry detergent – wish the scent came through your computer!

One of my favorite discoveries, and probably the most practical, is a recipe for laundry detergent. I whipped up this concoction in early November and I still have a great supply here in mid-January. I have not bought laundry detergent since, and with a family of five that is an amazing feat! All told, the ingredients cost between $20 and $25 so I feel as though I’m saving a lot of money as the net result. Ordinarily I spend between $10 and $20 a month on detergent. The homemade detergent works great–that’s the best part. The only thing I did differently was instead of using the 1 to 2 tablespoons per load as recommended, I generally use 2 to 3 just because my washer has an extra large cycle.

I’ve tried quite a few new recipes as a result of Pinterest and two of our family favorites have been spinach cheese balls and Nutella cupcakes. The spinach cheese balls served as the perfect appetizer several times over the holidays. And I have to give my daughter Katie credit–she’s the one who discovered and baked the Nutella cupcakes. YUM.

Spinach Cheese Balls, Photo Credit: BettyCrocker.com

Spinach Cheese Balls, Photo Credit: BettyCrocker.com

Nutella Cupcakes, Photo Credit: Shine.Yahoo.com

Nutella Cupcakes, Photo Credit: Shine.Yahoo.com

For Christmas gifts, I made each of my three children customized dry erase boards using colorful paint samples and poster frames from Michael’s craft store. The blocks of color make it especially handy for them to write to do lists. I customized their colors to coordinate with their rooms. I think they were all amazed to see that mom has a touch of creativity! It was actually a pretty low-cost project, considering the paint samples were free. The only cost was the frame plus the investment of my time. And the end result is priceless–helping my children stay organized. What a lifesaver.

Colorful paint chips + frames = artful dry erase boards for calendars and to-do lists

Colorful paint chips + frames = artful dry erase boards for calendars and to-do lists

My daughter Katie's board is already in use

Already in use!













My beautiful sis-in-law Dawn, wearing her infinity scarf

My beautiful sis-in-law Dawn, wearing her infinity scarf

I also discovered an easy sewing project–how to make an infinity scarf. I actually made seven as Christmas gifts, until my sewing machine broke down… I guess it wasn’t used to all that activity.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish by having a few more minutes of free time in your day. By maintaining a 40-hour workweek–and not spiraling into the 60+ hour range–I feel as though I have the ability to think clearer, plan ahead and have time to BREATHE. Every Mom needs time for herself, “off the merry-go-round,” in order to be the best Mom she can possibly be to her family. And if that personal time is spent on Pinterest, I’d call that paradise!

For more information on all the projects featured in this post, click here for the NEW Off the Merry-Go-Round Pinterest page! We look forward to adding many more inspiring and helpful pins. Hope to see you on Pinterest—be sure to follow us!