trying not to fail!

•6 October, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Things that have happened since my last post (a month ago, I’m sorry):

1) I have new baby pictures to hold in my wallet (and hopefully will have more next week to share also.) Pregnancy is going really well.  I’m starting to get a bit of a bump, and feel like I look pregnant (some days) rather than just chubby.  I’ve gained more weight that I would like, but from what I hear that’s all part of this process.  Other than worrying about my weight and trying to educate myself about all things labor/delivery/breast-feeding/etc… Things have been relatively uneventful. I’m taking that as a blessing and staring to really enjoy feeling all the bouncing and rolling that’s going on!!

2) 4 Wednesdays have come and gone… I baked for 3 of them (and got harassed like no other on the one that I didn’t bake) There are posts coming for the three weeks, but the flavors were: Vanilla Bean Creme Brule, Chocolate Peanutbutter (a new version,) and Raspberry Lemonade.

3) I have made a commitment to attempt to eat Paleo for 30 days.  At the 30 day mark I will asses my overall health, my weight gain, and my mood to see if I can notice any marked improvement… (*spoiler alert*: it’s been only 2 weeks and I can already tell you the answer is yes)

I’ll keep this post short, I just didn’t want anyone to think that I had disappeared into the blogosphere again… and I’ll leave you with this: Rather than a picture of my dog this week you get a sneak peek at a picture of our peanut! It’s crazy to think that baby will be here int (+/-) 16 short weeks!!!! (Since we’re not finding out the sex, feel free to guess!)

Advertisements

Well I’m Back… (I think)

•6 September, 2012 • 1 Comment

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
2 eggs
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
2 eggs
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…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners. This will make about 30 cupcakes.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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
2 eggs
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…

IT’S ST PATRICKS DAY!!!!! (Almost)

•14 March, 2012 • Leave a Comment

And that means that it is (almost) MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Which also means that I need to find a holiday themed cupcake recipe! My original thoughts were centered around Mint Bailey’s and Chocolate, but… I just did a chocolate cupcake two weeks ago so I didn’t want to over do it with richness (the only complaint I received about the chocolate/peanut-butter cupcakes) too soon there after. So I set off to Googling! (I’m a pretty good Googler)

I ended up settling on a simple Bailey’s Irish Cream cupcake with no filling, with a Bailey’s Irish Butter Cream frosting. The recipe I liked was the one I found over at Cupcake Rehab which (though judging by the categories on their page it would probably hurt them to know) I ended up removing all the alcohol from.  When you work where I do for a living, in local government, around people with badges and tasers and guns and batons… bringing alcohol to work is not only bad for your employment status… but could be bad for your physical safety as well. 😉

Through the course of my googling I read somewhere that someone suggested using Bailey’s Irish Coffee Creamer instead of full Bailey’s Irish Cream for frosting to remove any raw alcohol from the recipe. So I thought, if you can do it for frosting, why not for the batter of the cake? After all, it’s cheaper and WAY easier to find at 0700 on a Wednesday morning which is when I start my weekly cup-caking. So off to the store I went (this is becoming a weekly tradition just as much as baking).

As per Cupcake Rehab’s page I acquired the following items:

2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups Bailey’s Irish Coffee Creamer (I used the original flavor full fat kind)

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons milk

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

I then followed (almost) all of their instructions:

After preheating the oven to 325 degrees I lined my cupcake pans with 24 liners (my biggest “Wednesday Cupcake” batch thus far) Then in my stand mixer I creamed together butter and sugar until fluffy. I added eggs and vanilla and beat them well. In a separate bowl, I whisked together the creamer, water and milk. In third bowl I also whisked to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then I added the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the cream mixture. Beat it on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes. I then filled cupcake liners a bit more than 3/4 full and baked for almost 30 minutes and a toothpick came out clean.

I then used the same Butter Cream Frosting recipe that I used for the Chocolate Cupcakes a couple of weeks ago from Cake On The Brain

5 large egg whites

1 cup plus 2 T sugar

pinch of salt

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
  4. Using Wilton’s gel food dye and a tooth pick I then added some green to the butter cream to tint it (something I’m usually against, but for the holiday I felt it necessary)

I then drizzled in Bailey’s Irish Creamer VERY slowly, I don’t know how much ended up going in, but I would guess it was the better part of 1/4 Cu. More-or-less, I drizzled and tasted and drizzled and tasted and drizzled and prayed the butter cream didn’t break.

Here are my suggestions:

I would bump the Irish Creamer up to 1 2/3 cup and bump the water down to 1/3 cup, or bump the Creamer up to 2 Cups and eliminate the water entirely.  This might make this already dense cupcake a little denser, but it would also enhance the Bailey’s flavor which, admittedly, baked out some.  I would also split the flour half and half for cake flour.  Finally I would increase the baking temp to 350 because I had some issues with the timing and the evenness of baking.  Disclaimer: I did NONE of the things I just suggested, they are just my thoughts.

This is what I came up with:

The top was a little crispy, the cake was a little more dense than I’m used to, the icing was AMAZINGLY light and delicious, and the decorations simple, but considering I made 24 and there were only 2 left…. I’m calling this one a WIN.

At the end of the day: I bake, People eat, Everyone’s happy!

Summer in a Cupcake- Dreamcicle

•7 March, 2012 • 1 Comment

This week’s Wednesday Cupcake was another special request.

I did lots of searching on the interwebs for an Orange Creamcicle (or “Dreamcicle”) cupcake recipe.  As it turns out, apparently there are lots, but none that really looked all that delightful. That is, until I found this one.  Not only was the icing super pretty, but the combo of fresh whipped cream and the orange yogurt in the batter sounded delightful, so I decided to give it at shot.

I should have known that this cupcake wasn’t going to go according to plan from the beginning when I was having difficulty finding a recipe that I liked, but I carried on.

This recipe required that I go to the store and get things that I don’t normally have at home: Heavy Whipping Cream and “a small container of Orange Creme Yogurt.”  My second clue that this might go awry should have come when I was wandering around the grocery store.  After grabbing most of the things I needed, I headed over to the dairy aisle to get the whipping cream and yogurt. Some random guy (who was clearly with his very not-amused girlfriend) wanted to spend a significant amount of time telling me where and how I could get yogurt for cheap in bulk.  I attempted (very politely) to explain that I was only in need of ONE container of yogurt, but that I appreciated his wealth of knowledge.  This did not end the conversation… it did however alter my concentration.  Though I found this gem for my bestie who is no longer allowed to drink milk:

What I failed to do was pay attention to what I was grabbing… I ended up grabbing the wrong yogurt.  Of course I didn’t realize this until I was home and grabbing it out of the fridge to add it to the batter… but more on that later. So home I went to work on this week’s cupcake

Once I got home I got to work following directions (to the best of my ability) until step 7 when I pulled the yogurt out of the fridge and discovered: I had grabbed PEACH yogurt with little chunks in it instead of the recommended “Orange Creme” (just like the one pictured above, only the regular kind). After eyeballing both containers that had been purchased and realizing that I had NO time to go back to the store (nor desire), I figured it could be worse (I could have grabbed boston cream or something) so I tossed it in.

I finished up the mixing of the batter, put them in my lined muffin tins, and tossed them in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.

While they were baking I worked on the filling and the frosting while Mindi oversaw the operation.

(shamelessly showing off photo of my spoiled 4.5lb dog here)

 The whipped cream filling is just as it says on the original website: “so easy it’s (almost) scary.” The frosting was equally as simple, and I didn’t go as fancy as suggested.  I did however pick an orange that felt like it had a fairly thin rind for its size and tossed it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to “loosen up the juices,” hey if it works for lemons, then why not other citrus fruit right? I did add the cream cheese to this recipe, but could have just as well skipped it, I don’t think that 2 tsp made any significant taste difference to the frosting. I believe that I zested closer to the whole orange rather than just half, and made sure to squeeze my orange over a strainer so that I wouldn’t get any seeds in the frosting.  At this point I just added confectioners sugar until it was “frosting like consistency” and set it aside.  I didn’t do any of the fancy coloring and dying that was done in the original, but I did put my own little twist on the decorating.

Once they cupcakes were cool I put the fresh whipped cream in the center (sacrificing one to check the cake/filling ratio) and then piped the frosting on top.

Though regrettably candying orange peel was time prohibitive, and it might have meant that I broke Rule #1 of cupcake decorating, I decided to improvise and place twisted orange peel on top of my mound of carefully swirled frosting.

Of course I had to taste test the one that was sacrificed (prior to being frosted) and found that, honestly, this was NOT my favorite cupcake ever.  But they were by special request (as each week has been) so I figured I’d roll with it and see what kind of feed back I got. I took my latest (re)creation into work and (after warning everyone that eating the garnish was possible but probably not delicious) got amazingly great reviews.  The yogurt (wrong flavor or not) definitely kept them moist and the whipped cream was the perfect filling.  I really liked the look of the simplistic frosting with the specks of orange zest showing through, but still wish I had had a chance to candy the peel.

Either way, this tray:

disappeared in record time. Which is all that really matters.  I bake, People eat, Everyone’s happy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Wednesday Cupcake”

•2 March, 2012 • 2 Comments

Well here it is folks:

This week’s “Wednesday Cupcake” Recipe

This Cupcake was a special request from a co-worker who has a soft spot for all things peanut butter/chocolate.

The very first “Wednesday Cupcake” was really just a fluke, but when that one (lemon curd filled butter milk cupcake) went over so well, and I had such a blast making them, I figured “why not make this a weekly thing?” So that became the plan…

I quickly realized that this could be both delightful and a bit of an undertaking… Sure it’s only ONE cupcake a week, but Florian Bellanger I am NOT.  This means that once one cupcake is successfully baked, filled, decorated, delivered to work, and consumed, it immediately becomes time to start considering next week’s project.

This week I felt just a tiny bit anxious because the first week I printed and followed a recipe almost as written.  This time as many chocolate cupcakes recipes as I read (and there were lots) I couldn’t find one that said “THIS IS THE END ALL BE ALL OF CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES, THERE’S NO REASON TO KEEP LOOKING, THIS ONE IS AWESOME IN EVERY WAY.”  But I figured… Surely such a thing has to exist, no? And if it doesn’t, then… if I take the few recipes that I decided I liked and crammed them all into an excel spread sheet, divided the total amount of each ingredient by the number of  recipes I was using, and took the averages (since baking is all about science anyway)….. What’s the worst that could happen?

So I had to try

I took these four recipes:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/double-dark-chocolate-cupcakes-with-peanut-butter-filling

http://peachwriter.wordpress.com/2008/05/17/the-best-chocolate-cupcake-recipe/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-cupcakes-and-peanut-butter-icing-recipe/index.html

http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com/2009/07/best-chocolate-cupcakes-ever-chocolate.html

and did exactly that: I put the ingredients into an excel spread sheet and divided everything by four. A couple of the recipes included (or omitted) ingredients that others did not.  This is where the law of averages did not factor in quite the same… Simply put… I winged it!

This is what I came up with:

13 Tbs Unsalted Butter

1  1/4 C. Granulated White Sugar

1/4 C. Light Brown Sugar (Packed)

2 Ounces (by weight) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

2 Lg Eggs (Room Temperature)

1  1/2 tsp. (REAL) Vanilla Extract

1 C. Buttermilk (Room Temperature)

1/2 C. Sour Cream (Room Temperature)

3 Tbs Brewed (STRONG) Coffee

1  2/3 AP Flour

3/4 C. & 2 Tbs Cocoa Powder (I used dark unsweetened)

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

3/8 tsp. Salt (I used a sea salt grinder and just twisted it a couple times)

At this point it really became a matter of following the Food Network recipe directions with a couple modifications.

After I “added the eggs one at a time” I turned the stand mixer off and focused on the chocolate chips for a minute.  I took a heat proof bowl and placed it on top of a pot over barely simmering water and diligently stirred the chips around until they started to melt.  At this point I added a bit of buttermilk one Tbs at a time so that the chocolate doesn’t seize and was completely smooth and melted.  I pulled this off the heat and poured it into the butter/sugar/egg mixture, and turned the mixer back on to get the chocolate completely incorporated into the mixture.

From here on out I followed the directions exactly (with the addition of the baking powder, and the extra Tbs of Coffee)

After I “folded the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it was completely blended” I bumped the blender up to high (or close to it) and gave the batter another quick (less than one minute) whirl, just for good measure.

I filled the cupcake liners a little more than 3/4 of the way full, baked at 350 for 22.5(ish) minutes, this made AT LEAST 18 good size cupcakes that popped over the top and looked all crackly and made my entire house smell AMAZING!

While these were baking I started working on the filling.  For this I adapted the recipe used over at YumSugar… With my own spin of course!

4 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Reese’s brand b/c it’s thinner than others)
1  1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heavy Cream

I wanted to be able to pipe the filling into the center of the cupcake so after thoroughly combining the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the stand mixer, I put it on med-low and just started drizzling in the heavy cream until it was smooth and a consistency that I thought would be “pipe-able.” Guessing; I would say it was probably roughly 3 or 4 Tbs. My suggestion is just to pour (SLOWLY) until it looks right.  You’ll know.

Once the Cupcakes came out, were cooled and filled (I sacrificed one by slicing it in half to check the filling/cake ratio) it was time to focus on the “Swiss Meringue Buttercream” from Cake On the Brain. I can only assume this is a pretty basic buttercream recipe, but having never made one before… this was definitely an undertaking. For this you will need:

5 large egg whites

1 C. plus 2 Tbs sugar

pinch of salt (again a swirl or two of my grinder)

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature

1  1/2 Tbs pure vanilla extract

I would be lying if I said it was a quick painless process, but the directions at Cake On the Brain are spot on.  IF (as happened to me) your first (or subsequent) batch(es) break check out this handy link with some suggestions on saving it.  If all goes well (or you successfully resuscitate an almost disaster this is what it should look like:

Light and fluffy and WAY too delicious to not have a purpose. So I piped it with a pretty tip on to the cupcakes. There was no sort of professional pattern, I just made sure that it was covered by a luscious mound of butter cream.

For cuteness reasons, and so that you had an idea of the theme of the cupcake, I placed a mini Reese’s egg on the top of the butter cream and called it good.

I thought the first batch of cupcakes went fast last week, but this was nothing in comparison.  It’s a very good thing that there were twice as many to go around because they surely did not last long! There’s just something about chocolate and peanut together in the same food vehicle that makes people happy.

Hopefully this makes you as happy as it made my co-workers (and as happy as the butter cream made me.)

So They Call This a “Blog”

•1 March, 2012 • 1 Comment

I’m looking to start graduate school this coming fall, and the admissions advisor suggested that to get used to online based platforms via blogging, so here I am.

In the last three weeks I have spent a significant amount of time researching recipes and baking, so I thought… perhaps this would be a good place to start this “blog.” This is by all means a very introductory version of what I hope to turn this into, but for now it will serve to document the recipes that I create (or REcreate) for the “Cupcake Wednesdays” that I’ve initiated at work.  I will also be using it as a forum to post some (very amateur) photos of these mounds of “cakey deliciousness.”

I am more than willing to take any suggestions regarding topics, or recipes to try.

For now I’ll leave you with this week’s “Wednesday Cupcake”

 A fudgey brownie cake with a gooey peanut butter filling, topped with a fresh vanilla meringue butter cream and a mini Reese’s egg.

(Recipe to Follow)

Its Not All Butter and Sugar

•1 March, 2012 • Leave a Comment

image

Sometimes after work (and when Facebook alerts you that something FANTASTIC is happening at the local brewery) life calls for beer. Not just any beer, but good beer! Tonight was just such a night.

After 12 hours at work, and running several necessary errands, I happened to browse Facebook for a quick second and the wonderful word “cask” caught my eye in the status of Burley Oak Brewery . This local brewery has recently started offering an occasional brew served via a hand pulled cask system.

I will not claim to be any sort of expert on the science or mechanics behind how this works, all I know is: its delicious!  Something about the way the beer is fermented in this system makes it super velvety and a bit sweeter than the same beer would be through a traditional tap. All in all, though I am NOT a beer connoisseur by any means, I have to say; this one is worth a try.

Between the beer, the blog, and using my phone to create this post, I’m going to have to consider today a WIN and call it a night. Tomorrow is a new day, with new dreams and new ideas for cupcakes (amongst other things.)
Goodnight dear blogosphere.
Happy baking (and drinking.)