The Nifty Cupcake

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Turning Dreams Into Plans

Hello everyone! I have been putting off writing this post for a couple of weeks now, mostly because a part of me still can't believe this is really happening. If you've been following me for a while, you know that Lewis and I have always wanted to get out of the southern US. I can remember even as a child longing for our annual trip to the mountains and feeling so disappointed when we had to return home. It's not like there's anything wrong with the South, but you are definitely aware if you clearly don't belong somewhere.

You might remember over a year ago, we made the announcement that we were moving to Houston, TX from a small town in central GA. While it wasn't our first choice (heck, it wasn't even our 100th choice) we knew it was important to gain work experience in a major city, so we moved there. Thinking about it now after living here for 16 months, I can say that nothing could have prepared us for what we have experienced here. We definitely learned a lot, and we were more aware of what we wanted in a city and, more importantly, what we didn't want.

Then this past January, we finally were able to see the places we've always dreamed about. We were hesitant that the place we had built up in our heads from images we saw online and things we read in books would not live up to reality but it did. In fact, it was far better than anything we could have ever imagined. It put all of our questions and doubts to rest, it was that simple - we HAD to live here.

After years of pouring over travel books at Barnes and Noble, talking about it to our friends and family (and anyone else that would listen), and finally seeing it for ourselves, I can at last say we will be moving to the Pacific Northwest! Portland, OR to be precise.To anyone out there that might be struggling to achieve something or has always felt out of place where they are. I would like to say: hang in there, continue to keep your head down, work hard, and try to make the best of the situation you are in. This past year has been especially rough, and I have had to stop myself from transforming into a person I no longer recognize but looking at it now, I am realizing we had to go through this struggle in order to achieve what we've always wanted. It WILL get better.

I'll be posting pictures non stop on social media to document our cross country road trip in a couple of weeks so feel free to follow along @theniftycupcake

Monday, June 27, 2016

Easy Summer Appetizers With TRISCUIT

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MadeForMore #Walmart #CollectiveBias

TRISCUIT crackers and I go way back, you see, I've never been much of a potato chip kinda gal so my mom would pack some crackers along with her infamous grape and cheese kabobs (a genius invention if you ask me) in my lunches. To this day I still enjoy snacking on TRISCUIT crackers but instead of mindlessly eating them out of the box (which I often do) I decided to get a little creative and combine my favorite seasonal ingredients to make some party pleasing appetizers.

I headed over to my local Walmart and picked up my favorite flavors including: TRISCUIT Original Crackers, TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Crackers, and my new favorite, TRISCUIT Smoked Gouda Crackers. With endless choices of seasonings and spices they provide the perfect base to build any small bite.

Some things to keep in mind when creating your appetizers is you want a balance of flavors and textures - sweet + savory, rich flavors + fresh herbs, crunchy + smooth, you get the idea. To assemble each recipe simply follow the steps starting with one and working your way up. For mine I used similar ingredients with different proteins and it only took me a little over 30 min. to assemble all three so whipping these bad boys up for a party would be easy!

A new spin on the classic deviled egg, this is the ideal breakfast food bite.

Not Your Mamma's Deviled Eggs

makes 15 appetizers

1.TRISCUIT Original Crackers
2.3-4 hard boiled eggs, sliced thin
3.4 strips of crispy bacon, chopped (optional for my vegetarian homies)
4.about 1 TBS of capers
5.Sprinkle of Paprika (optional)
6.Hand full of fresh dill for garnish

The perfect balance of tart, savory, and slightly sweet.

Maple Apple Bacon

makes 15 appetizers

1.TRISCUIT Smoked Gouda Crackers
2.1 green apple, sliced thin
3.3-4 strips of crispy bacon, crumbled
4.drizzle of pure maple syrup

*Side note: I learned through many a fallen apple that you should slice the apple thin, place it on the cracker, then top with bacon (duh Annie).

One of my all time favorite ingredients, smoked salmon, pairs perfectly with cream cheese, salty capers, and refreshing cucumber.

Salm I Am

makes 15 appetizers

1.TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Crackers
2.Schmear of cream cheese
3.1 cucumber, skinned and sliced then in halves
4.1 fillet (8oz) of smoked salmon, flaked
5.About 1 TBS capers

What are some of your favorite flavor combinations? Are you more sweet or savory? For more inspiration on awesome apps, check out the TRISCUIT webpage and show off your creations with #MadeForMore.

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