Friday, April 30, 2010

Kentucky Derby (April 30-May 1, 2010)

Kentucky Derby...Southern juleps...hats...horses...Run for the Roses.

An excerpt from one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
Run for the Roses by Dan Fogelberg (1951-2007)

From sire to sire, it's born in the blood. The
Fire of a mare and the strength of a stud. It's
Breeding and it's training and it's something un-
Known that drives you and carries you home.

And it's run for the roses as fast as you can.
Your fate is delivered. Your moment's at hand.
It's the chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of
Chance. And it's high time you joined in the dance.
It's high time you joined in the dance.

Mint Julep cupcake


Run for the Roses cupcakes

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wine on the Vine - Cupcake Pops

These cupcakes were part of a fundraising event held last year by Iron Cupcake Milwaukee.  I absolutely have to make the cupcake grapes for my wine-loving friends!

Cupcake Pops

How did they get the cupcakes inside the bottle?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tangerina Cupcakes - Buenos Aires

Tangerina Cupcakes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has some of the most colorful cupcakes I have seen!  I found this site while reading another cupcake blog, and I just loved the name.  It provides another clue to answer the question of how to say cupcake in Spanish....cupcake.  At least in Buenos Aires. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bad Cupcake Shopping Bag

I was visiting my favorite blog today (Cupcakes Take the Cake) and started following links....and found this cupcake bag!   Perpetual Kid has fun stuff! 

"Most cupcakes are happy and carefree. Some, however, start hanging with the wrong crowd and before you know it they're dying their frosting grey and wearing black sprinkles.   Each faux canvas bag features eight good cupcakes and one bad cupcake."

Available from Perpetual Kid for $6.99

Monday, April 26, 2010

How to Make (easy) Gum Paste Roses

A few years ago I took the Wilton Cake Decorating classes, but I never quite got the hang of making buttercream roses.  It just wasn't my thing I guess.  But...I came across this short video that shows how to make roses out of gum paste.  You can make them any size.  All you need to add is a fondant or gum paste leaf, or you can pipe leaves out of buttercream (which I don't do well either).  Try different colors or mix a varigated color scheme for a more realistic look.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Creamsicle Cupcakes

Week 41

I got my kayak out of the barn today and cleaned it up....even though we got 10 inches of snow Thursday.  So maybe if we think "ice cream" it will warm up and we can switch from winter to summer activities.  Hoping warm weather will come to the Lake Tahoe area soon!

(Beating Batter & People with Whisks since 2007)

Creamscicle Cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes.  Cool completely.  Frost with your favorite vanilla buttercream or with cream cheese frosting - tinted orange if you prefer.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have recently been part of an ongoing long-distance discussion about okra.  Okra...originally from West Africa (probably Ethiopia) and a major ingredient in many southern dishes.  It can be cooked in a variety of ways, but deep fry it to avoid the slimy goo. If you cook it for a long time, like in a gumbo, the sliminess is minimized and it is a very effective thickener.  Some people like it pickled...but I am not one of them.  Give me fried okra or none at all.  Although southerners tend to think of it as "ours" okra is used internationally in all types of cuisine. 

I don't know if okra cupcakes have been attempted before, but here is what I think one would look like. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Avatar Cupcakes

Avatar was released on DVD yesterday!  I have not seen the home version yet and can't imagine what it will be like without 3D.  The movie is spectacular and I am still holding a grudge because it didn't win Best Picture at the Academy Awards (The Hurt Locker won - the most dull and boring movie ever made).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010 - 40th Anniversary

Earth Day is 40 years old!  I remember celebrating the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 when I was in junior high school (I can tell the calculators are on fire doing the math).   It was created by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as a way to raise awareness for environmental issues:  pollution, oil spills, toxic dumps, wildlife extinction, loss of wilderness areas, etc.  This "movement" is unique because it has never had any governing body and has grown entirely on its own.  The original Earth Day was celebrated by approximately 20 million people in the U.S. and is now celebrated internationally in more than 175 countries.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cupcake Items on Etsy

Doncha just love Etsy?  I was doing a cupcake search and found some interesting items (as always). 

Looks like a potential Mardi Gras costume to me!

A delicious necklace
LUCIUSjewelry via Etsy

'nuff said

letterpress card

cupcake pin

Sprinkles Cupcakes & Earth Day

April 19 - 23

Eat a cupcake and help plant a tree! To celebrate Earth Day, Sprinkles is donating the proceeds from their vanilla cupcakes to local tree planting and environmental care organizations.  Just look for the green tree to know that you are eating for a great cause!

Since 2008, Sprinkles has raised $21,250 for
environmental care organizations in local markets.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winter Returns to Lake Tahoe!

Last weekend was warm and sunny....and we almost got fooled into planting colorful things in our flower beds or getting out the patio furniture.  But I have learned a valuable lesson in my 8 years living here.  Don't do anything until mid-June.  Two years ago (on June 24th) we finished a huge landscaping job by planting three truckloads of plants/shrubs.  The next morning there was 4 inches of snow and we had to start all over.  So now we save time (and lots of money) by waiting, even though it is hard to wait!

What we got today.....

What we really wanted today.....




Monday, April 19, 2010

Cupcake Candles

I went to Michael's yesterday to get some ribbon and I saw cupcake candles.  When I got home, I searched a bit and found many more!

A little "something" to top your cupcakes!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Marble Cupcakes

Week 40

Marble cupcakes just look must be the swirled chocolate and vanilla batters.  If you dare, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of strong coffee to the chocolate batter! 

marble cupcakes with espresso buttercream

Marble Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour - sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk - room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream - room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture.  Beat until combined.

To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, about 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Daffodil Cupcakes

Last fall we planted daffodil bulbs all over our property....partly because they are pretty but mostly because deer don't eat them (allegedly).  Despite our recent snowfall, they are beginning to bloom this week and I am experimenting with making gum paste daffodils. I have the Wilton gum paste flower kit but only have a few veiners.  Will have to investigate what is available.  Sugarcraft and Global Sugar Art have a good selection of silicon molds and veiners.

Did you know that the daffodil is the national flower of Wales?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

John Prine Concert & Cupcakes

Last night my friend Janet and I went to hear John Prine play in Reno.  John Prine is probably my favorite performer of all time and he did not disappoint.  Like the man we came to see, the audience had its share of wrinkles and gray hair...but each song brought back special memories from our past.  Whether you sang along out loud or quietly inside your head, everyone was touched by the music.  He is an amazing guitarist and singer/songwriter and I would like to salute him with cupcakes!

John Prine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How do you say....?

There have been numerous posts in numerous blogs about how to say "cupcake" in Spanish and I am not sure if there is one absolutely correct answer.  I even consulted my brother who teaches Spanish at the University of Oregon and has traveled all over the Spanish-speaking world. 

Ways to say "cupcake" in Spanish:
  • pastelillo
  • tortita
  • tortita individuale
  • magdalena
  • quequito
  • panquecito
  • panesillo
  • pastel individuale
  • pastel pequeno
  • bizcochito

So how do you say "paper liners" in Spanish?  My research says "forros de papel" but do you ya'll agree or disagree? 

pastelillos  from  isasaweis

quequitos navidad  from  marcelacm