Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes = Wonderful!

Last week we were invited to a friend's place for BBQ. We were to not to bring anything but who does that? So, I brought desert. Cupcakes! Chocolate cherry ones to be exact. I needed a recipe to test run making cupcakes for my daughter's birthday party. I have never made cupcakes before. I have made a lot of cakes and what seems like thousands of muffins but nary a cupcake to be seen. I had some beautiful fresh local cherries and felt the urge to use them so I did some googling and figured a chocolate cherry cupcake was the way to go. Really, it was brilliant and I am not only happy with the results but I used the same recipe to make 105 cupcakes for the party.

Anyhoo...I bring to you Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

I modified the recipe by using chopped fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries. (I think I chopped about twenty to make 1/2 cup.) And I used vanilla in my frosting instead of maraschino syrup. Also, I left out the chocolate sauce because of time restraints. Oh yes, and I used fresh cherries as garnish instead of maraschino ones. (Eww. You know they bleach those and add colour and flavour right?)

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

And just for awesomeness sake, here is a picture Wednesday at her first kiddy table at said BBQ. :D She was so well behaved, she ate all her dinner, played with Sidney, not just with her toys. She gave kisses and hugs and only needed one time out for fence climbing lol. It was a wonderful way to spend three hours. :D

Family Playdate

Wednesday is on the left in blue.

The Joy of baking mini-muffins.

I had been craving blueberry muffins like mad a couple weeks ago so I finely buckled down and baked some. Ron had been insisting I make bread so I haven't baked anything to avoid the nagging lol. But when I went to finally make bread I discovered we had no yeast. So, blueberry muffins it was!

My best friend gave me the 75th Anniversary Edition of The Joy of Cooking for my birthday and it is quickly becoming my go to book. With 4500 recipes how could it not? But, on a more related note, I made their basic muffin mix, adding the blueberries and a 1/2 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup plain yogurt in lieu of the cream.

Here is a pic....

Mini Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

Mmmm just look at that cinnamon sugar sprinkle!

I could not find a link to the recipe sorry, you'll just have to read the text.

Basic muffin recipe (mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients)

Preheat oven to 400

Whisk in one bowl.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Whisk in second bowl.
2 eggs
1 cup milk or cream (I used 1/2 sour cream + 1/2 plain yogurt)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla (which I totally forgot)

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Add 1 1/2 cups blueberries and again stir until just combined. Do not over mix. batter should NOT be smooth.

Divide batter among muffin cups. (I used mini muffin cups and got 36)

Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. (I did my first 24 for 14 minutes because I used frozen blueberries which chilled the batter significantly and the second batch of 12 for 12 minutes.)

If you are doing regular muffins bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.
If you are baking jumbo muffins bake at 400 22-25 minutes.

Mini Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

WARNING: If you make mini muffins like I did, you may end up eating a dozen before the cool. Just sayin'.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tu Tu for Two Year Photos

A little over a week ago I made a tutu for Wednesday's upcoming second birthday. I spent about four hours tying the tulle to the elastic. While doing this I watched a couple four episodes of Supernatural (for the plot i swear!) and ate half of a bag of Reeses Pieces. But it went by like a breeze and had I not knotted half the tutu backwards (I had to take it off of my leg to pee.) it would have only taken me between two and three hours. A couple of days later I added some skinny chocolate brown ribbon and self adhesive 'rhinestones'. I sewed fat chocolate brown ribbon to the elastic instead of sewing the elastic into a loop so that I could adjust the tightness/size on Wednesday and remove it easier.

Below is a slideshow of the pictures we took at the park a couple of days ago for her second year mailer cards plus some tutu progress photos. It turned out wonderful, if not a little bit long but this means it will fit her for years and years (and should last as long).

I did not use a single tutorial but I will leave the links fo the most useful ones and why.

This one from Plum Tickled has a great idea about buying the tulle in rolls and cutting your strips two at a time. But I didn't like how she knotted hers so I kept looking.

This one from Grosgrain had the knots I wanted and I liked her idea for staggering the lengths.

I used two lengths (30" & 24") and did it like this....

white 30
pink 30
white 30
pink 24
white 24
pink 24
white 30
pink 30
white 30

"etc. etc. etc. and so forth."

And then I tied the skinny ribbon between every six pieces of tulle and added the shiny bits willy nilly.

If you have any questions feel free to ask, but for serious it does not get any easier than this. that is the beauty of it all. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bundt it's so fun!

A couple of weeks ago my mother in law told me I was baking the cake for her 57th birthday. But she didn't want chocolate (so much for the Ovarian Chocolate cake; more on that in another post) and she is lactose intolerant of which I am constantly lecturing her about her food choices. So I began looking for a mostly dairy free recipe with little to no frosting (Mostly because I don't like icing sugar type frostings.) I found this recipe though and it turned out awesome, the bundt shape added some wow factor so that I did not have to rely on a fancy frosting job. T'was my first bundt cake ever and the candied orange peel went over really well. I found it moist enough and the glaze was just right. Definitely more orange than carrot though.

I found this recipe at Canadianliving.com whose magazine I adore for top notch recipes. It is an Orange Carrot Bundt Cake with an orange sugar glaze and candied orange peel.

Orange Carrot Bundt cake

And just one more picture of awesome. And yes, in case you are wondering, that is my bed in the photo, this time of day my bedroom has the best light in the house so I took advantage of it. :)

Orange Carrot Bundt cake

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ello. Did you say Hello?

Well, I better get to posting the intro post before the other posts I have in mind start to pile up and never get posted as I have a habit of doing.

Let me begin by thanking you for stopping by. This blog is intended to show of my mommy skills. My homemaking skills etc. I have a more personal journal that also includes more intimate details of my family's life and if you have a livejournal account you can find me there @ http://caramia.livejournal.com/the juicy bits are friends locked but there are some good posts the public can view.

Let me continue by introducing myself and my family. My name is Melissa and I am 31. My daughter is two and my husband is well that's his business. We are a happy family in love with each other and life. Wednesday's favourite things to do are explore and play with a ball and blocks. While other children are running like mad she is examining everything. It is a wonderful thing to watch her walking, looking, touching and listening. She makes me so proud. Myself, I love to be outdoors as much as I love to be indoors. I am just as comfortable hiking and camping as I am inside crafting or surfing. And you will find that out over time. Ris my life partner and soul mate. He is much like me in how he is comfortable in and outdoors. But, he is a carpenter and so his enjoyment leans more to the fresh air experience.

In this blog you will *hopefully* find posts about my hobbies, my daughter, how I combine them. Also I am a greenie and love to share my views about things like cloth diapers, mama cloth and pre-cycling. I am very passionate about the replacement of disposable products in our lives. (Not just my family's but yours too.) But I like doing this in a fun and frugal way and hope you enjoy reading about it. Ron will sneak in here now and again as sunject matter too, but he mostly humours and encourages me without actually getting involved in my eco warrior-ness. I also love to bake and sew so this blog won't always be green, but pretty and yummy too!

So until my next post I bid you adieu and leave you with a few photos of my family.

Fathers day 09 (20)
@ Swix