Category Archives: Snacks

Conversation Heart Cupcakes

My husband’s 30th birthday is coming up this weekend. I was reminiscing about past birthdays in anticipation of this one and I thought I would share what I did for him a few years ago.  There was a short period when I had to fill in and be the pastry department at work.  I was leaving the house at hours previously unknown to me and I was not going to see Patrick at all on his birthday.  I decided to make conversation heart cupcakes so that they could cheerfully greet him that morning in my absence.  These would, of course, be the perfect addition to any Valentine’s Day party or even as a treat in a loved one’s lunch box. It’s a creative and yummy way to say “I love You.”



1 box of Cake Mix, your favorite flavor (look, these cupcakes are somewhat labor intensive in the decorating department, there is no need to go overboard and make a cake from scratch unless you have several hours to kill).

Eggs, as specified on box of Cake Mix

Oil, as specified on box of Cake Mix

Water, as specified on box of Cake Mix


1/2 cup Butter, softened

4 cups Powdered Sugar

2 teaspoon Vanilla

4 tablespoons Milk

4 pack of Food Coloring


4 ounces White Chocolate Chips

Special Equipment:

Silicone Heart Shaped Cupcake “Pan” (such as one sold by Wilton at craft stores)

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Chipotle Lime Pumpkin Seeds


Chipotle Lime Pumpkin Seeds

We had watched a Good Eats episode in which Alton Brown makes “pumpkin pie” in the style of the colonialists.  The pumpkin pie is not pumpkin pie as most Americans know it, in fact it was a bit more of a pumpkin soup.  And while the presentation was fun and the flavors good (though very subtly pumpkin), the best thing that came from the attempt at his recipe was what I did with the pumpkin seeds that were left over from gutting the pumpkin.  It’s no secret that this Texas girl loves spice and citrus. My chipotle lime pumpkin seeds (or pepitas as they are known) are a good dose of Tex Mex flavor in a crunchy little package.


1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil

2 teaspoons Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1 teaspoon Cumin Powder

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 tablespoon Salt

2 teaspoons Lime Zest

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