Well I’m Back… (I think)
So (loyal?) readers…. I took a (longish) hiatus from this “blog” thing… Lots happened around my part of the world; some was/is awesome, and fantastic, and wonderful, and you’ll have the privilege of reading lots about it… Other stuff didn’t go quite according to plan and is consequently part of the reason I disappeared (most of which I will spare you from.) So here I am, good, bad, or otherwise… I’m “back…” (and so are CUPCAKE WEDNESDAYS)
So here’s the readers digest version of my life this summer:
May 11th: Found out that I DID NOT get the promotion (that I scored significantly higher for than any other applicant) <– the “bad” that I won’t bore you with details of.
May 23rd: Found out we were pregnant.
May 24th: Told (now) husband the news.
May 25th: Set a date for nuptial bliss. (We had been talking about this seriously for a while up to this point, the news earlier in the week just kinda…. sped this up a little) I will include pics of the blessed event as soon as I get the disc loaded on my computer.. sorry
June 21st: Had my first (free) sonogram (a local pregnancy center who was training their techs and needed guinea pigs), and it looked like a wiggly little worm. I hadn’t had a REAL appointment with my OB yet so this was just for fun.
June 28th: I had my REAL REAL appointment with my OB and had another sono. This time it looked more like a gummy bear.
July 8th: GOT MARRIED!!!!
Since then things have gone something like this: Talk about baby stuff, think about baby stuff, worry about baby stuff…. oh and remember to do all the stuff that needs to be done on a daily basis too.
This coming Monday (Sep 10th) we have our anatomy ultrasound. This simply means that they will check to make sure that all the important baby parts are there and looking good… heart, spine, etc. What this does not mean: that we will know the sex of the baby. Hubby and I have decided not to find out the sex. It’s funny how differently people react when I tell them this.
It must be a generational thing because people in my age range (25ish-35ish) generally get upset by this fact. People who are a little older however (roughly our parents age 40+) LOVE the fact that we’re not finding out. It’s almost humorous… I suppose from a group of people who are SO used to having ALL the information they could ever want/need available to them instantaneously this is to be expected… but questions like “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SHOP?” or “HOWEVER WILL YOU PREPARE?” or “HOW ON EARTH WILL YOU BOND WITH THE THING GROWING INSIDE OF YOU?” kind of baffle me. It seems to me that not TOO many years ago no one knew the sex of the child growing inside, and shortly after that a guess was the best you got. Call me old-fashioned, but I like KNOWING things and not getting at 75% guess. I know that the sonogram technology has come a long way since then, but still…. The other thing is this: I have spent the last 10ish years being told that I probably couldn’t ever GET pregnant, and my husband has an 11-year-old and had decided that he didn’t want more children. This was fine because well.. I couldn’t, he didn’t want… this works… and then we got pregnant. (That story is fun in and of itself.. One I will be sure to regale you with at a later date.) So now we’ve decided that this is the ONLY time this will happen, and I (we) would like as many happy surprises as possible, and for me that includes hearing “It’s a BOY or, It’s a GIRL” whenever peanut decides to make his/her grand entrance. Anyway…. enough of my soap box!
On that note… CUPCAKES!!
This week’s Wednesday Cupcake was Red-velvet Cheesecake
As per usual, I googled (I’m a pretty good googler) and found a couple recipes that looked super yummy. The first was from Crazy for Crust. I used this for the concept and the Red-velvet recipe. The second recipe that I used came from Allrecipes.com, which I used for the cheesecake parts of things.
So it started like this: acquire all the stuff that I needed that I didn’t already have… (butter milk, cream cheese, sour cream…)
Step 2: GET STARTED! Man can I just tell you how much i missed using my KitchenAid mixer?! Seriously, I got to use it THREE times for this adventure, that might have made me happier than any other part of baking…
Crazy for Crust lists the ingredients needed as follows:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 teaspoon vinegar with enough milk to make 1 cup)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring
I did this:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
red gel food coloring on the tip of a knife, enough to make it RED
In all honesty I REALLY could have cut this recipe in half, or even further… I only intended to make 24 cupcakes (after all, it’s my first week back and didn’t want to over do it) and though her recipe said “makes 30″ I think some how for me it could have made 50 because I really feel like I dumped more than half. I then (mostly) followed her directions…using my stand mixer for EVERYTHING rather than a hand mixer, adding the dry to the wet in increments instead of wet to dry all at once, and making sure to include the sugar as a “wet” ingredient (as well as the food coloring.) When I scooped the batter into the cupcake liner I did similar to her and used a cookie scoop, but a small one that I can only assume was about a tablespoon (roughly the size of a melon baller,) and used two scoops per liner, of both red-velvet (and then cheesecake.) Also I baked these for closer to 20 minutes… but that might just be my oven…
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners. This will make about 30 cupcakes.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add remaining liquid ingredients and whisk until blended. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix on until completely combined. Place about 2 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner (I used a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop for this.)
- Bake about 15-18 minutes and let cool completely before frosting. (Note: the cupcakes can be frozen once cooled and frosted at a later date.)
I set these aside for a moment so that I could make the cheesecake for the top…
For the Cheesecake I did EXACTLY what the recipe called for using the snazzy tool that allows you to switch serving size from 12 to 6 (omitting the ingredients for the crust.) I based this off of the amount of cream cheese called for by Crazy Crust .
What I used:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
I could have cut this by half again also, because I ended up dumping probably at least that much of it… (I suppose I could have just made a small cheesecake… Man why didn’t I think of THAT?!)
I then followed the directions they list:
“In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.”
I used the same melon baller sized scoop and put two scoops of this mixture on top of the red-velvet mixture. The cheesecake mixture didn’t quite cover the red-velvet entirely but that’s okay, after all, these are homemade…
While they were in the oven I started on the cream cheese frosting. This is a basic enough recipe and I followed it pretty much to the T, both in ingredients and in execution. The only things I changed were, making sure that both my butter and cream cheese were room temperature, and I only used 3 cups of confectioners sugar rather than 4, which may just be personal taste preference… I also added the last of my red gel food coloring…
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar (or three)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food coloring
The instructions for the above ingredients go something like this “put in stand mixer and spin, adding the sugar in small increments”
When the cupcakes came out of the oven they were swirly and pretty, even if by accident:
and because I was headed to work about an hour and a half after they came out… I decided to toss them in the fridge for half an hour or so:
After they were cooled throughly…and had sunken some :-(… I took the pretty pink frosting that matched the liners and swirled it just in the middles, because the contrast of colors of the actual cupcake was too pretty to hide!
This is what I took to work:
Of course they were in my nifty tiered carrier (minus the one I left home for the hubby) and looked very snazzy. I got to work at 1pm, and by the time I left at 7pm the first tier (11) were gone and people had started digging into the second tier. When I got back to work this morning there were NONE left! This always makes me happy, and surprises me a little bit.
So I guess that’s it (1700 words later) I’m back, I’m married, I’m pregnant, and I’m happy!
(And because you know I can’t end a post without sharing the cuteness that is my pup…)
P.S. Please forgive the HORRIBLE picture quality throughout this post… was relying on my phone for all of these…