It's Quiet Around Here...

Things have been a little busy.  Don't worry, Sparrow will be back in the nest soon.  Sit tight.

Quote of the Day

Enough said.


Key Lime Cup Cake Craziness

I know what you're thinking. 
"Key Lime....Again?!"
You're right.  Its wrong.  So wrong it's right.

It turns out our Praise Band had several birthday's last week.  Of course I had no idea, so when I mentioned the Key Lime Pie I made for Husband's birthday last week, they were slightly jealous.  ...So it's only fair that I make tasty key lime cup cakes and bring them to practice, right?
I found an unusual recipe that looks scrumptious.  Here it is, courtesy of Baked Perfection:

Key Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Frostingrecipe from Baked Perfection
makes 30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons key lime juice
zest of two limes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or paper-line 30 baking cups.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, key lime juice and lime zest; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely and frost as desired.

Blackberry Filling
recipe from Baked Perfection
1 32oz container frozen blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt

Place blackberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with sugar, let thaw. Drain blackberries, reserving liquid. Squish the blackberries and push through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, set aside. Add enough water to the blackberry liquid to equal 1 cup. In a large saucepan, combine the blackberry liquid, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt. Heat and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir blackberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be made several days in advance and any leftovers works well on toast, on pancakes, or mixed in plain Greek Yogurt.)

Blackberry Butter cream
recipe from Baked Perfection
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackberry filling (seedless blackberry jam or preserves can be substituted)
pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Mix in blackberry filling and salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Look how pretty:

Be sure to check out Baked Perfection for a glorious shot of the Blackberry filling!  This girl's a genius!!


Fantastically Free Frames

My fabulous mum-in-law has a way of passing on to me absolutely everything in her home that she doesn't use anymore, which is more than fine by Sparrow (she has great taste).  This lucky day she gave me ten nice frames of varying size and shape.  As Husband and I are house (and little Brother) watching this week, I get to use the Wallings Sr. paint supplies (free paint!). 

Check out all these frames

The frames were nice, but definitely dated.  They needed some spray paint love.  Simple white and black worked great.

After a few coats, they look good as new.  Can't wait to hang 'em when we get home.

I'd love to be able to do something like this cool chalkboard idea:

Hmmm....I'll keep you posted....


Finally, A Reason to Collect Birdcages

We don't really have a birdcage collection, but for this look, I'm willing to start one.  Anyone with me?


Music Monday

As we're here to experience all the adventures of Paper Sparrow, and some of Paper Sparrow's adventures are music in nature, Monday is now officially Music Monday.  Enjoy our latest endeavor, Dream a Little Dream, a video we did for some of our fans in England.


Husband's Birthday Present Presents:

I broke down and got Husband the new iPhone for his birthday.  So many apps!  Our favorite so far is Instagram, a picture app. 

Guess who his favorite subject is:


Husband's Key Lime Birthday Suprise

It's Husband's 24th birthday today! In his honor, I'm baking one of his favorite's-

Key Lime Pie

I have a favorite (simple) recipe that never fails, Southern Living Cookbook's Key Lime Pie.

The ingredients:
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • ½ cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ready made 6-9 oz Graham Cracker Crust
  • Garnishes: Whipped Cream (with a Stabilizer), Berries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the egg yolks and lime juice.  Add the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt.  Whisk until blended.  I added just a tinsy bit of green and blue food coloring...for, you know, fun.

Pour the tasty goop into the pie shell (baked for just a few minutes beforehand) and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Pull it out when the top is slightly jiggly, but not runny. 

Watch your crust!  If your oven is anything like the oven we have here in the nest, your crust could burn in just a few minutes. Be sure to have foil on hand to cover pies.

Let the pie completely cool before adding garnishes. 

Theres' nothing better than homemade whipped cream.  And nothing easier. 

Whipped cream

  • 1 Pint Heavy Cream
  • Powered Sugar
  • Vanilla to Taste
  • Stabilizer (I like to use Dr. Oetker's Whip It)
Pour the cream into your stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer and whisk for 1 minute until bubbles begin to form.  Add the powered sugar to taste ( I typically use a half cup per pint).  Add vanilla to taste, typically a half tablespoon.  Quickly add the stabilizer before peaks form in the whipping cream.  Don't over beat.  Stop before the peaks begin to separate.

Wow that was easy.  And look what a pretty pie it makes.

Happy Birthday!


Etsy Find of the Day

Vintage blue glass canisters from Barnshop Antiques

There are roughly about a thousand and three things to with empty glass jars, here are just a few of my favorites:

 Showing off your rad crafting supplies 

  Candle Holder. ...Hey, those look familar.

Have a garden anywhere.

This makes even the fussiest flowers look laid back.


The Curious Case of Changing Colors

The fireplace was disagreeable. Unlikeable. Ugly. Especially after covering the walls with lovely shades of blue and green, the dark red tiles that had never been updated stuck out like dreadlocks at the Republican National Convention.

They had to go.

Seeing as the nest is rented… replacing, painting, re-grouting, or removing were not on the books. Fortunately, the use of removable adhesive vinyl is not taboo according to the rental agreement.

6 hours and 27 sheets of 12"x6" white sticky vinyl later.... it was 'bye bye barf' and 'hello, lovely'.


Only You Can Prevent Wildfires....and Make This Album...

Thanks to Vince Emmett over at Melody Hill Farm,  The Wallings Jr. are finally on track towards making our professional debut album (the title of which remains a secret).  The main tracks are laid, the cover art is in progress, and now we need your help to get some session players.

We've started a fund raiser over at Indie go-go, pop on over to our page for more detailed information.

Check out our preliminary fund raiser video-

The important thing to remember is- if you help us out, you get stuff.  Its that simple.  Donate today.