Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day! Three weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream for my friend’s birthday to make these Bailey’s cupcakes and just gave up. Honestly, sometimes baking sucks because I have so many random weird ingredients that I never use. One of those things that I’ve been avoiding buying is chocolate powder. My whole theory with baking/cooking is to only learn how to make things I like and nothing else. I controversially don’t like chocolate cake, so I’ve never bought chocolate powder.

Bailey's Chocolate Cupcakes | paper + flame

If you look at my champagne cupcakes, I used a box mix because baking with alcohol is hard, and I want to minimize things I can mess up. Similarly, I used a box mix for this cake as well. I highly recommend using Devil Food cake or any moist cake mix. Alternatively, I think this recipe would be great for brownies as well.

Just a little background, I love baking, so, naturally, all my friends bought me baking books and gear for my birthday. My lovely best friend Erin bought me the cutest little molds that make fun shapes, including hearts and roses. Although super cute, I don’t recommend making chocolate cake in these molds because they are a b**** to clean and the shape is a lot more defined with a white cake. If you want to be fun and cute with your shape, make brownies and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Ingredients
Cake

48 Cupcake liners
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Baileys
Milk (optional)

Frosting

2 tbsp Bailey’s
1-3 cups powdered sugar
2 packages of cream cheese

Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 or whatever is recommended on the box. Line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Warm up water for 1 minute in the microwave and mix in instant coffee till dissolved. Place in the freezer until cooled.
  3. Mix box cake mix, coffee, eggs and vegetable oil till smooth.
  4. Slowly add to Bailey’s till you reach the desired texture taste. If it tastes too alcoholic, add milk.
  5. Fill up cupcakes till 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for the time suggest on box, 18-24 minutes.
  7. Top with frosting or powdered sugar.
Frosting
  1. Beat room temperature cream cheese till smooth and soft.
  2. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp Bailey and combine.
  3. Adjust and add powdered sugar and Bailey’s to taste and desired consistency.
Do you like chocolate cake? What’s your favorite thing to bake?
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7 Things to Do in Austin for Galentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here which means Galentine’s day is even closer! I’m excited to spend this Galentine’s Day with my best friend! We’ve been friends for seven years and we’ve lived in the same city for two and half years. I’ve been blessed to be in the same city as her since November. We are celebrating with some of her friends, cheese, and wine. If you decided to stay in, cook up a storm with one of these recipes. Always remember, best friend can be a tier or a person. (Thanks Mindy!)
Austin Galentine's Day Guide | paper + flame
I’m a through and through extrovert. I need to be around people to unwind and relax. I’m personally a “friend person.” I don’t love people and meeting new people but I love “my people.” I commit a lot of time and energy to reaching out and maintaining relationships. Especially since graduation, my friends are scattered across the country and the world, and my goal is to make more time for everyone. 
 
After going to an all-girls school, I learned the power and depth of female friendship. From high school, I have amazing friends who support me but still know when to call me out. From college, I have an amazing group of girlies that still reach out to wish me happy first day of school even though their college days are gone. For me, I’ve loved seeing all my friends blossom into honestly amazing people that are successful in their careers and give me real life #goals. Especially around my birthday, I feel blessed that, despite always being a birthday princess, my friends go out of their way to make me feel special and are understanding of my extra-ness. 
 
I’ve had this conversation with cousin a few months ago and Rachel this weekend. Guys have it easy because they literally just need a computer to make them roommates freshman year of college, and they’ll be best friends in life. Girls definitely don’t settle in the same way but have much deeper and supportive friendships. My cousin was telling me how she now has an amazing group of girl friends that she really lacked before college. She didn’t realize what she was missing out on until she had that group of girls. 
 
Galentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year which means you might not be able to go all out unless your friends are fine with mimosa-ing at 7 am before work. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite bars and restaurants with great happy hours (and snacks) along with other activities, so y’all can enjoy some time with the girlies with minimal coordination. 
 
Austin Galentine's Day Guide | paper + flame
Happy Hour Drinks + Bites 
 
Holy Roller has happy hour from 4-7! I highly recommend getting the cocktail, Queen fo  a Day, their Trash Fries, and the Grilled Cheesus. If it offered, I recommend the Chicken Pot Pie as well. It’s easily the most flavorful chicken pot pie I’ve had. I’d end the night with their Circus Cookie Soft Serve. It has the cutest “girls, girls, girls” sign!
 
Key Bar has happy hour from 4-8PM with cocktails for $9, beers for $3, and wines for $5. I highly recommend getting the Double-Bubbles which is $5 and has a glass of champagne with juice filled boba at the bottom! This is right next to Holy Roller, so it’s perfect to go while you’re waiting for a table. It also has a fire pit, so you can all stay warm!
 
Eberly has happy hour from 5-7 in their back section called Cedar Tavern. Eberly is super aesthetic and you can get those perfect #squadpics. They have half price certain food items, including pizzas! They also have $7 cocktails and $6 wine by the glass. I recommend their Green Belt Pizza (and it’s only $7.50) and a French 75. 
 
If margs are more of your vibe, I have two recommendations! Cyclone Anaya’s has happy hour from 11-6 and it’s perfect for a quick lunch with the girlies. It’s in the domain and their queso and margaritas are to die for! For a more central option, El Chile has happy hour from 3-6 and I recommend the Spicy Sandia and the queso! 
 
Non-Alcoholic
 
You don’t always need alchol to have fun! If you want to do something with your girls, I recommend the Blue Star Lite Drive-In! It is showing Dirty Dancing on Tuesday and you can BYOB food and drinks. Throw together a picnic basket and enjoy! Alamo Drafthouse is doing a 90 minute showing of every Galentine’s Day episode of Parks and Recreation! Both events require tickets and Alamo Drafthouse has has a $5 reservation fee that is a redeemable food and drink coupon!
 
Supporting Women
 
Galentine’s Day is all about women supporting women, so I wanted to bring up some of my favorite female entrepreneurs based in Austin and around the country. Bulletin has brick-and-mortar store in New York the I stumbled into that carry things made my female creators. They have an amazing online shop as well!  Luella has your perfect #feminist clothes an accessories. Ponytail Mafia is made in Austin and is perfect for your girl gang. Lastly, if y’all are scrambling last minute for a cute shirt, Amazon’s got your back! They have one-day shipping if you buy this or this shirt. 
 
Do you celebrate Galentine’s Day? What are your Galentine’s Day plans? 
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Creamy Spinach and Chicken Pasta

Today, on What I Eat Wednesday, I have my favorite kind of romantic meal. Named after Tom Haverford, my boyfriend and I call this Chicky Chicky Pasta Pasta. Now, this meal is definitely not the healthiest again, but it is quick! I made this in under 20 minutes and it tastes amazing.This can take longer if you decide to make it all in one pan, but it is possible! When my boyfriend and I started dating, he used to make this for me every Monday, and it is delicious. Y’all know I love baking, so I tried to make this recipe as similar to (and as precise as) a baking recipe. If you’re spending Valentine’s Day itself not spending a billion dollars on all those dumb set menus, this is perfect for you. Can you tell how I feel about set menus? This would go perfectly with Brussels Sprouts too! Also, I promise the chicken is cooked, but the editing made it look super pink instead of the golden.

Creamy Spinach and Chicken Pasta | paperandflame

I make this recipe using just spinach because it’s my favorite vegetable. Feel free to add as many vegetables to this as you’d like. For meat, I prefer to use pre-seasoned boneless skinless thinly-sliced chicken breasts. I’m weird and have been using the same pre-seasoned lemon pepper chicken for three and a half years now. Feel free to use any kind of chicken and cut that you’d like. If you want to add some additional flavor, feel free to use bacon. I don’t eat red meats, so it’s not my cup of tea. Lastly, I like to use some other than normal pasta. In this recipe, I used pasta with a serving of vegetables, but otherwise, I recommend the Banza Chickpea pasta if you want protein. Also, feel free to make it as creamy or cheesy as you depended on your personal preference!

Serving Size: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless thinly-sliced chicken breast (I used lemon-pepper seasoned)
  • 1.5 cup pasta (about half a box) of farfalle or penne
  • 1/2 bag spinach (3.0-4.5 oz)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste (for me that’s tons)
Instructions
  1. Put salted water to boil and cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
  2. In the mean time, heat a pan to medium heat.
  3. Wait till hot and cook chicken breast for 3 minutes on each side or till completely cooked. Set aside to rest.
  4. In olive oil, cook garlic for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Add spinach and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes or until cooked down.
  6. Move to low heat and add whipping cream, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  7. Slice chicken breast and add pasta to spinach and sauce mixture.
  8. Let sauce turn from white to creamy.
  9. Mix and serve.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? What’s your go-to cozy meal? If you make this, tag us on Instagram #pfeats!

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February Challenge

Now that half of 2018 is over, I’m excited for a new month. Whether you’re restarting your resolutions or continuing them, February is going to be a great. It’s going to start getting a little warmer but stay cool enough to still dress nicely. I’m excited for February only because its 4 perfectly rounded off weeks. This past month has moved at a glacial pace for me, and I’m OVER it.

Today, I come to you with a little challenge to make sure you do all those annoying admin-y things this month. There are 28 days in February, and we have 28 things to accomplish this month. Throughout the month, I’ll have things to help you accomplish a lot of these. Yes, that budget I promised is coming. I’m just trying to make it super customizable to fit everyone’s budgetary needs. Some stuff, especially car and financial things, aren’t relevant to everyone.

My type-A self loves any form of checklist or to-do list for gratification and validation, so this what y’all are getting. Also, I’m not saying this is my to-do list for the month, but I’m not not saying that either. I wanted to challenge myself, and y’all to get everything done. I attempted to make it pretty, but honestly, fonts are not my thing, so this is the best I could do. Honestly, a lot of these things are cleaning an organization things; I would call it pre-spring cleaning. I do most of these things about once a month anyway.

Get Sh*t Done February Checklist | paper + flame

What things do you love putting off? What do you want to accomplish this month? 
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