Red Velvet Cupcakes

Oh Canada!
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Canada Day was on Monday, and we decided last minute the night before to make some red velvet cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting! We’ve made red velvet cakes many times before but we decided to try a new recipe for these cupcakes since the recipe that we normally use has many steps and ingredients and we were short on time.

The recipe we used was from www.allrecipes.com and can be found here.
We have tried a lot of different recipes from the site, and most of them have turned out great. If you haven’t been to the site before, definitely check it out.

We thought the cupcakes turned out pretty good, though not as good as our usual recipe. They were quite heavy tasting.
We’re still on the hunt for the perfect red velvet cupcake recipe… if you have a favorite red velvet recipe, comment and let us know! We’d love to try it out!

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We brought the cupcakes to our family BBQ, and everyone loved them.
They looked so cute and festive, and fit right in with all the red and white decorations.

Hope everyone had a great Canada Day! Xx

Strawberry Pie

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By Natasha.

I made 2 strawberry pies for our family dinner on Sunday and wanted to share the recipe with you guys! This strawberry pie recipe is from my Nonna, and is a family favorite. It’s the perfect summertime pie!

Ingredients:
(makes 2 pies)
– 4 pounds of strawberries (2 pounds each pie)
– 2 pie shells
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 500ml whipping cream
– icing sugar

NOTE:
– This was the first time I made these pies with store-bought pie crusts. I do NOT recommend buying pie crusts for this kind of pie because the strawberries contain a lot of juice which can make it soggy if the crust is not thick enough. Definitely want to stick with homemade crusts! 🙂
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Recipe:

1. Pre-bake pie crusts. (Cooking time varies depending on which brand of crusts you buy, or if you make homemade crusts. For Tenderflake crusts, bake 8-10 minutes at 400.)
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2. Wash and drain strawberries.
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3. Chop strawberries into fairly small pieces & drain well. (draining is super important!)
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4. Divide chopped strawberries between the 2 pie crusts. (PUT ASIDE 1 CUP OF CHOPPED STRAWBERRIES. It is needed for the next step.) Sprinkle 2 (1/4 cup total) tablespoons of sugar on each pie.
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5. Mash the 1 cup of chopped strawberries. Set aside.
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6. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1/2 cup cold water.
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7. Mix mashed strawberries, cornstarch/water, along with 1/2 cup sugar in double boiler. Cook until thick, mixing constantly. (approx. 30 mins)
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8. Strain strawberry sauce over pies.
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9. Beat whipped cream until fluffy, add icing sugar to your preference.
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10. Top pies with whip cream & refrigerate. (at least 3 hours)
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Enjoy! 

Fall Beauty: Vampy Lips

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Nothing says Fall like dark, rich lip colours!
We believe the deeper & vampier the colour, the better.

Playing up your lips is an easy way to complete your look.
When you rock super sexy dark lips, keep the eye makeup neutral and let the lips be the main focus.

Tips for rockin’ dark lip colours:

Always line your lips first.
We’re not talking about a big, thick line of lip liner on the outside of your lips – Clown lips are definitely a no-no!
Use a lip liner that matches the colour of your lipstick and lightly create a faint line around the edges of your lips to help define & keep the colour from running.
If you are weary of lip-liners, we highly recommend a clear lip liner called No Bleeding Lips, which helps define your lips and prevents lip colours from bleeding.  (We love the product & will be featuring No Bleeding Lips on the blog soon).

Apply a thin layer of lip balm/moisturizer/primer before applying the lipstick.
Many lipsticks tend to be dry & matte, so applying a bit of lip balm before the lip colour helps hydrate your lips & prevents your lip colour from cracking.

Use a highlighter to contour your lips’ cupid’s bow.
Your cupid’s bow is the middle curve of the upper lip.
If you apply a light shimmery highlighter just above the cupid’s bow of your lips, it helps to make lips look more defined & full.
(Use Benefit’s Watt’s Up!, or any nude shimmery eyeshadow pencils/eyeshadows).

A tip for women with thinner lips:
if you have thin lips, dark lip colours will accentuate that and make thin lips look even slimmer. We recommend wearing dark reds, instead of intense browns and purples.

Here are two of our favorite lip colours this Fall.. (so far!)

1. Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in F-Bomb.
Rich and creamy lipstick with insane amounts of high-gloss shine – all captured in one chubby pencil.

Urban Decay’s Super-Saturated High Gloss Color’s are the ultimate – you get the best of a lipstick, gloss & stain all in one!
Easy to apply, this lip colour is long lasting, shiny, creamy & highly pigmented.

How great are the names of the colours in the Super-Saturated line as well?!
(F-Bomb, Naked, Adrenaline, Big Bang, Crush) Pretty funny!

We definitely recommend this Urban Decay Lip Color.

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2. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 170 Nuit d’Amour.

A gorgeous berry, purple colour.
We love Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique lip colours and have a few different colours.
They are amazing quality, very hydrating & long lasting.
A bit on the pricier side, but we believe its well worth it!

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Laura & Natasha XO

Pretty-in-PINK Lemonade Cupcakes

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Even though the first day of Fall is not until September 22nd, for some reason August 31st always feels like the end of Summer to me.
Right when September 1st rolls around, I feel like Summer has officially ended & Fall has begun.

As you may know from my last few baking posts, I am more than ready for Fall.
So I thought I’d make one last ‘Summer’ recipe before the blog is all things pumpkin!

I made PINK Lemonade Cupcakes, and they are every bit as tasty as they are gorgeous. I love how bright and colourful they are, (It’s a nice change from cranberries & nutmeg) and they are super moist & light. Unlike most cupcakes, the cake is fluffy, fresh, & lemony – not heavy at all, (No eggs are used).
These cupcakes are definitely a summer-must at a backyard BBQ! 

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PRETTY-IN-PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Cake – 
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon of salt
zest from 1 lemon
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
juice from 1 lemon

For the Frosting – 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar
juice from 1 lemon
a few drops of red food colouring (to your preference to create the perfect PINK colour!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, & the Lemon Zest. Set Aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients – Water, Oil, Vanilla Extract, Vinegar & Lemon Juice. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients & stir slowly until ingredients are evenly combined & no lumps appear in the batter. Do not overmix.

3. Pour the batter (The batter will be extremely wet!) into lined baking pans, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting:

1. Using your electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar slowly, (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed) to your preference of sweetness. Add the lemon juice & a few drops of red food colouring – mix until you get the perfect fluffy frosting!

Happy Baking!

Natasha xo