Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes


Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are a favorite memory of mine…hearkening back to the long-lost days of elementary school, when my mother would make them to bring to my class for my birthday. I had an August birthday, and so my mother would always arrange things with my teachers so that I could bring cupcakes in during the last week of school. In celebration of summertime, the Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes were always a delightful surprise!


Enough Cake Batter for 12 cupcakes (your favorite brand or from scratch!)

12 flat bottomed sugar Ice Cream Cones




1) Mix batter

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

3) Set sugar cones in cupcake pan

4) Divide Batter Evenly between cones

5) Bake 20-25 minutes

6) Cool

7) Ice the tops to look like ice cream

8) Apply sprinkles

9) Enjoy!


The cupcake pan keeps the cones from wobbling while they bake!


I overfilled my cones a tad, there was a little overflow. To remedy this, fill the cones only to the first line.



I kept mine standing up in a foil lined pie pan until party time!



What a scrumptious little cone!



They are even tastier than they look ^_^


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookies

     A few weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house, and partook in some scrumptious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. She was kind enough to send me the link to the recipe she used, and tonight, I baked some based on that recipe, with a few tweaks. I don’t seem to be able to use a recipe without changing it, but the cooking came out super delicious! I even used fresh eggs laid by my mom’s chickens. The cookies are soft, delicately flavored, and very tasty…
     I’d love for you all to be able to bake these amazing morsels too! So, here is my tweaked Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookie Recipe!
1 1/2 c. pumpkin
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c oil (canola/sunflower/vegetable…choose your favorite!)
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tbs. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
3.4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. milk
2 tbs. vanilla
2 c. chocolate chips
All the yummy ingredients
Step One: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs!
Step Two: In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Step Three: In a dish, dissolve the baking soda and milk.
Step Four: Add the baking soda/milk mixture to the pumpkin mixture, blend well.
Step Five: Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Blend really well, until all the lumps are out, and everything is the same consistency.
Step Six: Add the vanilla, stir well. Then, add the chocolate chips, gently combine.
Step Seven: Drop Cookies on either a greased tray, or use parchment paper on a cookie tray, which is my choice!
Step Eight: Bake at 350 degrees, for twelve minutes, or until golden on top. However, realize that the cookies will still be soft, do not over-bake them.
Step Nine: Cool, and enjoy!
Aren’t they just lovely? Well, as good as they look, they smell a thousand times better when they are baking. Try the recipe, I dare you!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Artist Spotlight: The Rambling Scholar

   Riddle me this, what do a Navy sailor, a bookworm, and a jewelry designer all have in common? A whole lot! Especially since they are all hats worn by my friend and fellow artist/writer/creator, Marjorie-Ann Lacharite.
    This month, I decided to finally start my Artist Spotlight articles, and began with the creative Marjorie-Ann Lacharite, who runs a wonderful Etsy Shop under the name “Rambling Scholar”. I came up with the idea of interviewing different people who have interesting hobbies or passions not only in order to diversify Pink Forsythia but also to introduce some of these wonderful and talented people to the world! Since I met Marjorie during my days in the US Navy, and she currently lives on the other side of the country, we conducted our interview via email.  
Rambling Scholar

Billijean: So, what sort of art are you involved in creating?
Marjorie: Originally, I began making bookthongs, which are bookmarks consisting of a ribbon or cord with two beaded ends. Now I’ve expanded the craft into jewelry and bookthongs alike, mostly in the steampunk style.
Billijean: How did you get into it?
Marjorie: While in training for the Navy, I wanted a hobby where I could use my hands and “shut off” my mind for a little while. Being an avid reader, I was always looking for new and creative bookmarks, so logically I began making them. Without access to classes or a teacher, I had to self-teach everything from the ground up. After my confidence grew in the art of bookthongs, it was an easy transition to use the skills I learned to begin making jewelry too. Making bookmarks and jewelry is a wonderful way to relax after a long day of work, and eventually I got so into it that I stopped making things just for myself and focused on creating for a larger audience. Yet it wasn’t until my first craft show that I was hooked, and now I spend most of my free time in my spare bedroom creating whatever comes to mind.
Billijean: What inspires you artistically?
 Marjorie: I grew up with two musicians for parents who raised me on a healthy dose of the Arts. As such, not only did it leave me naturally scatterbrained and disorganized, but it made me appreciate the way art and emotions are so tightly bound. Creating my designs is an artform as well, and I will use it as an outlet for my own emotions at the time, be they positive or negative. I will also listen to music as I work, often using a lyric or feeling from any particular song in the design itself. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge, some of Owl City, and half of Sting’s albums hidden within my work. I want my jewelry and bookmarks to tell a story and evoke an emotion, even if the original inspiration can’t be seen.
Billijean: Are there any books, music, etc. (basically any cultural or artistic pieces) that have helped to define you and your personality?
Marjorie: Books. Books absolutely have shaped me just as much as music has. Nothing beats the feeling of losing yourself in a well-written story. I’ve always been partial to fantasy and science fiction, and have recently discovered the urban fantasy and steampunk sub-genres. The latter has gone a long way into shaping my outlook and especially how I design my jewelry and bookmarks. I love the feeling of potential that steampunk can give; the alternate view of what-if that Jules Verne and his contemporaries started that still has relevance today. I love the idea of a steam-powered future that maintains the elegance of the past but keeps all the possibilities of the future. Reading has allowed me see the “what if” in everything around me. To envision a new path or way of doing things, or even simply to try something new with my art that I haven’t before. That has probably shaped me and my life more than any other singular influence outside of my family.
Billijean: Do you have any particular artistic idol or sorts (whether it be a writer, painter, musician...anything!)?
Marjorie: I have to jump on the Neil Gaiman bandwagon on this one. My first introduction to him was a movie called Stardust that I simply loved, and I wouldn’t revisit him for quite some time later until I discovered his books. The man can write like few other modern writers can, with wit and heart that bring the characters to life. I love the way he incorporates fantasy elements so seamlessly into the real world that you never question it. The fantasy isn’t some omnipotent background “guide” or force, it’s an active and tangible component. He’ll put in easter eggs of mythological trivia or clues that are a delight when you get the inside joke, or just an added goodie if you don’t understand the reference. He’s accessible at all levels, but still challenges you and leaves you feeling like you’ve completed a journey by the time you put the story down.
Billijean: Why do you create? what drives you?
Marjorie: I create for the same reason that any other artist creates, I believe. Making art, be it through books, dance, music, or paint, is offering part of yourself to others. It exposes a part of you that is both frightening and thrilling, and absolutely addictive. When I begin a piece, I never go in with a set plan in mind. There may be a technique I want to attempt, or a general idea of what I want to end up with, but it isn’t until I start putting it all together that I even realize what I have. The art speaks for itself, and the more of myself that I put into it, the more I hope it can reach and touch others. Art is telling a story, and whatever that story might be, there’s always part of the artist in it. Some signature that tells you who created it. That is something that will always last, and may be the best form of immortality we have. I can touch others with my art, and when they appreciate and want to share in it with me, there’s no greater feeling in the world.
Billijean: Are there any websites you would like me to promote for you?
Marjorie:I can be found locally at craft shows in Hawaii, and while everyone is welcome to fly over here for some mai tais on the beach, an easier way of finding me and my art is through my website: Each piece in my shop is handmade using local materials, and no two are alike. My favorite pieces are the ones commissioned by others, so feel free to let me know if you want anything altered, or if you would like something created from scratch.
  Here is a picture I took off of her Etsy shop, showing just some of the beautiful items that she keeps for sale there! I can attest firsthand to the lovely quality of her work, I bought quite a few pieces to give as gifts last Holiday season :)
rambling scholar
I would like to thank Marjorie-Ann Lacharite, for taking the time to sit for this interview! It means a lot to me, and so : THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU! Also, I would like to thank my awesome group of READERS! I would appreciate it if you would browse The Rambling Scholar at:

Feel free to leave a comment below, it would mean a lot to everyone involved in this interview! Thanks again, and keep reading Pink Forsythia!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November 1st!

Good Morning, and Happy November! To some of us, November means the beginning of the Thanksgiving season, the end of colorful leaves and the start of frost. To others, it may mean worrying about the election for the first few days, and then either seething or celebrating for the rest of the month. But this year, for me, and for other writers across the globe, November 1st marks the beginning of a challenge, National Novel Writing Month, in which participants have exactly one month to write a 50,000 word novel, and win bragging rights.
Now, at first I relegated NaNoWriMo to be an event for those who actually have spare time, aka, not me. Why, I asked myself, would I want to spend a month of my time writing a novel when I am currently attending two separate institutions of higher learning, barely see my husband as it is because we are both so busy, am trying to get my driver's licence (pitifully, at 23), and have other various commitments that come along with independent adult life? Well, I guess because I thought the pressure might actually help me finish a novel already.
I have been "writing novels" since I could read. I finished one once, about animals that lived in upstate New York in a fortress on an island in the middle of an abandoned blue-stone quarry, although the computer I typed it on (a big, unreliable grey box of a PC), crashed, and at 12, I didn't yet realize the importance of backing up my work (on a floppy, no less), until after that incident.Since then, I have been floundering to finish one, and at the end of this month, I may just do that.
This morning, I wrote nearly 5,000 words, because today, I had some time. If I can find other, random chunks of time, I may be able to slay this beast. So, her is to me, working, attending school, writing my blog, managing my relationship, not cancelling too often on my beloved family and friends, and WRITING, WRITING, WRITING, furiously, chasing that 50,000 word goal!
Thanks for reading, all!
PS. This is the link to my NaNoWriMo page...keep me encouraged if you see my word count fall!