Sprinkles nails!

Monday, October 27, 2014

...a Halloween nail art DIY, mayhaps? I'm thinking this would be perfect for a cake- or cupcake-themed costume.

The process is pretty straightforward, but here it is: you'll need nail glue, some tiny sprinkles, and some acetone (for taking it off later. it's a beast.) Paint the nail glue onto your nail, dip your finger in the sprinkles jar, remove, and voilà. You'll definitely need to touch up by removing some out-of-place sprinkles and filling in gaps with more sprinkles. I then "sealed" the sprinkles in place after by adding glue on top of the whole thing.

Also, please pardon my less-than-perfect, I-had-to-shoot-these-myself photos. (Such is life when your roommate is gone for a week!) And my unquenchably dry hands...#WelcomeToUtah.

Have a lovely pre-Halloween week!

Love, Maurine

Orange Frosting

Monday, October 13, 2014

Do you like the discreet Halloween colors there? I'm thinking orange + chocolate might not be a bad combination, huh? Maybe for your next Halloween party... Anyway, I'm going to just get straight to the recipe here. Happy Monday!

Makes enough for 12 cupcakes or for half of a standard double-layer 9" round cake.

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 1/2–3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2–4 TB milk or cream
  • 2–4 TB orange zest, or 1/2–3/4 tsp orange extract*
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
* Either of these is fine (granted, "orange extract" is definitely one of those novelty extracts.) But don't use orange juice! Fruit juice + frosting = not good. And I've given you ranges so that you can determine just how orangey you want your frosting to be.


  1. If you haven't already, go ahead and grate your orange to make a tablespoon of orange zest (that is, if you're doing zest instead of extract.)
  2. Cream the butter for a good few minutes.
  3. Gradually beat in some the powdered sugar.
  4. Incorporate the milk or cream and the orange zest or extract.
  5. Finish by incorporating the rest of the powdered sugar. The more you add, the stiffer your frosting will be. (Just be sure to test along the way, since your frosting can quickly become too sweet.)

Friday Faves // Vol. 6

Friday, October 10, 2014

1. General Conference talks from last weekend. Duhhh ;) I talked about General Conference in this post from last year, but basically it's a weekend for latter-day saints filled with inspiring and uplifting talks given by our church leaders. I got together with a few friends on Saturday to watch it, and we had delish build-your-own burritos in between the morning and afternoon sessions. Plus pumpkin cookies. Anyway, my favorite talks were probably "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence" by Elder Jörg Klebingat and "Are We Not All Beggars?" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

2. The "Disneyland Photo Shoot of Our Dreams" with The Girls With Glasses. This photo shoot with Brooke White and Summer Bellessa of The Girls With Glasses is just perfection. So much fun, so much color, and so much Disney. Check it out to get inspired for documenting your next road trip.

Photo credit.

3. These sky map napkins from Anthropologie.

4. This guy on Twitter. He has this observational humor that I just love. Kinda like Demetri Martin, I suppose. Who is also awesome.

Photo credit.

5. This thought. It just makes me laugh, but my goodness, how often it is true...

Play outside this weekend!

Love, Maurine

U.S. to Metric Conversions for Baking

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

At last! A compendium of US-to-metric conversions to use when baking. This might be kinda useful for you international folk wanting to try my recipes, huh?

I'll be honest—I wish we used metric here in the US. Everything would be more streamlined, not to mention kitchen scales are so much fun to use. Anyhow, the trouble with the US measuring system of using cups to measure dry ingredients is that it's a system of volume and not mass or weight. This means that you can't simply say "1 cup of (insert dry ingredient) equals x grams" because each ingredient you're dealing with weighs differently. One cup of flour weighs less than one cup of sugar. The workaround, then, is to consider each dry ingredient separately when converting US cups to grams. Which is what I've done below.

I've also included conversions for liquids and temperatures below—those are much more straightforward in their conversions.

One more thing of note—I prepared this guide based on my own ingredients and methods for transferring ingredients when measuring (e.g., scooping versus pouring), so these conversions will work best with the recipes on my site. You'll see some slight variations on other sites. But feel free to use these conversions as a guide for other US recipes!

Dry Ingredients

Important note: I measured all of these dry ingredients by first scooping them into a 1 cup measuring cup with a traditional teaspoon (of the silverware sort). Then I poured the contents of the measuring cup into a bowl on a zeroed kitchen scale. This means that when measuring using a kitchen scale, you'll want to scoop your dry ingredients into the bowl on your scale instead of pouring them.

Also, I did not sift any dry ingredients in this process, nor do I ever sift before measuring, so whenever I say to "sift" in a recipe, I mean for you to do it after measuring. (In other words, no measuring flour that you've just sifted here.)

plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup equals 126 g (4.5 oz)

cake flour
1 cup equals 120 g (4.2 oz)

almond meal
1 cup equals 98 g (3.5 oz)

finely ground pretzel
1 cup equals 126 g (4.5 oz) — odd, I know, but you use it in this pretzel cake recipe


I've given sugars their own section since I don't generally consider them a dry ingredient in my recipes. I kinda label sugar a "wet" ingredient since I combine it with the butter and eggs first and not with the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Oh, and note: I measured each sugar a little differently. I poured the regular sugar into the 1 cup measuring cup and leveled it; I scooped powdered sugar into the measuring cup and then leveled it; and I packed the brown sugar into the measuring cup. I weighed each on a zeroed scale after leveling.

granulated sugar

1 cup equals 221 g (7.8 oz)

icing (powdered) sugar
1 cup equals 111 g (3.9 oz)

brown sugar
1 cup equals 215 g (7.6 oz)


1/2 cup (1 stick)
113.4 g (4 oz)


This is easy since you're dealing with volume in both US and metric measurements. The conversion, therefore, is direct for any liquid.

1/4 cup
59 mL

1/3 cup
79 mL

1/2 cup
118 mL

2/3 cup
158 mL

3/4 cup
177 mL

1 cup
237 mL

Teaspoons and Tablespoons

Did you know that a "teaspoon" in the US is a little smaller than a "teaspoon" in the UK and Europe? This means that you should go a little scant when using Imperial teaspoons to measure my US teaspoon amounts. (The same goes for tablespoons, by the way.) Keep in mind that we are dealing with smaller quantities here, which is why I haven't made a differentiation between dry ingredients and liquids.

Australia—you define a tablespoon as 4 teaspoons, whereas the US and Europe define a tablespoon as 3 teaspoons. Moreover, your teaspoon is exactly 5 mL, which is about equal in size to a US teaspoon. In turn, your tablespoon is exactly 20 mL.

1 US tsp equals 0.83 Imperial (UK) tsp
1 US tsp equals 4.9 mL
1 US tsp ~ 1 Australian tsp

1 US TB equals 2.5 Imperial (UK) TB
1 US TB equals 14.8 mL
1 US TB 3/4 Australian TB

Temperature, Fahrenheit to Celsius

Another straightforward conversion. Granted, these temperatures are a little approximate since ovens don't let you get very specific. Treat these as suggested Celsius temperatures.

150°C or gas mark 2

165°C or gas mark 3

180°C or gas mark 4

190°C or gas mark 5

200°C or gas mark 6

220°C or gas mark 7

230°C or gas mark 8

Alright, I think that's about everything you'll need. Let me know if you have any questions or if I've left something crucial out!

Thank you, Wikipedia.