Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scallion Cheddar Cheese Savory Cupcakes

I rarely feature savory cupcakes, but this picture from Eatomanic made me want to do it.  I think it was something about the two green scallions sticking out on top. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Macarons (Macaroons) are not the new Cupcake!

On my recent visit to Paris I have to admit that I was smitten with the French macaron (macaroon)...but at 1 Euro each I didn't eat as I would have liked.  That said, this article from NPR has my cupcake wrappers in a bunch.  Macarons are NOT the new cupcake!

Critics believe that cupcakes are a trendy dessert, but they have been a part of my life for a very long time (more than a half century for those doing the math) so I wouldn't exactly describe them as a passing fad.  Read the article for yourself and see what you think. 

Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon

by Neda Ulaby


photo by Kyle Samperton from the NPR article

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cupcake Gift Bag

I found this Happy Birthday cupcake gift bag at World Market.  I put a little something in it today for my friend Solange...happy birthday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

In the current market of the "gourmet cupcake" it was nice to find an easy, delicious cupcake any chocolate lover will appreciate.  All you need is a Betty Crocker chocolate cupcake mix, a tub of Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting (which I eat right out of the can for dessert sometimes) and some chocolate chips for garnish! 

Make the chocolate cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box.  Cut the end from a ziplock bag and drop in a medium-sized star piping tip.  Fill the bag with frosting and insert into the cooled cupcakes.  Lift up as you squeeze in the filling.  Then swirl frosting on top of the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cupcake Island

I just love the name of this cupcake bakery.  Their site has photos, recipes and a coloring book page you can download.  I may never get to visit there, but I would like to live on Cupcake Island! 

Cupcake Island
1314 S. 119th St.
Omaha, NE 68144

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Recipe Contest

Betty Crocker is sponsoring a gluten-free baking contest!  Get creative using any gluten-free Betty Crocker or Bisquick mix and you could win $5000.  The deadline is June 30, 2011 so you will have to hurry....get busy and send in your most delicious gluten-free cupcake recipe! 

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free
Lemon Cupcakes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Cupcakes

Today is the first full day of summer...celebrate with some summer cupcakes!

(click on Bakerella's link to learn how to make these
hamburger cupcakes with sugar cookie "fries")

corn on the cob cupcakes

ice cream cupcakes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Remembering Clarence Clemons

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a friend asked me to go to a concert at Mississippi State University.  The featured act was a guy named Bruce Springsteen.  There were only 200 people there....and he eventually attracted more people at his concerts. 

Clarence Clemons, the big guy who played saxophone with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died on June 18th.  Thanks for the great music!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Balloon Cupcakes

These balloon cupcakes would look great for any event....the possibilities are endless.  You can make them casual or elegant depending on the frosting and ribbon. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Pink Meringue Cupcakes

I have been experimenting with meringue decorations lately and my experiments are the inspiration for this week's recipe.  These cupcakes actually contain no cake....they are made from meringue!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flight of the Cupcake

I came across a blog today called Flight of the Cupcake and thought the photos were great.  My favorite was the "citrus trio" on the second page....I am going to make those! 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last Day in Paris

The Internet problems have been solved but it wasn't an easy fix.  No matter...I am back online.  Here are some photos from the last day in Paris.  I still cannot believe that I could not find a cupcake anywhere.  When I did a Google search for cupcakes in Paris, there were only a few results, so I guess cupcakes are an untapped market in the city of lights.

Speaking of lights, the last night in Paris we took a boat ride down the Seine and got to see the Eiffel Tower at night.  Spectacular is not the word!  Every hour on the hour, the Eiffel Tower twinkles with lights for about five minutes and that sight alone was worth the trip.

I really enjoyed soaking in the history of London & Paris, but did not realize the extent of the damage done during WWII.  London was more affected by German bombs than Paris due to a deal France made with Hitler (a "no bombing" clause in the contract I guess) but the impact of the destruction of history really hit me hard.  It is a shame to have lost so many artifacts and architecture.  Not to mention the history lost with the people who could have shared so much by passing down their family history and experiences.

Here are a few photos from the last day....Buttercream had a great vacation! 

Buttercream at the Arc de Triomphe

an exact replica of the flame of
the Statue of Liberty

(I didn't even go in)

(didn't go in Cartier either)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day Cupcakes

Today is Flag Day! 

It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.  In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

star spangled ice cream sandwiches from Disney Family Fun
 served in a cupcake wrapper

garnish your cupcakes with these
"flag" berries

Monday, June 13, 2011

Internet Problems

I got home around midnight last find that my DSL was out.   Working with AT&T today to get it fixed.  I need to post my photos from Paris! 

P.S.  Never did find a single cupcake, but I did find some muffins.  Here is an algebraic equation for you:       

 No frosting + cake-ish batter = not a cupcake

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flying Home from Paris!

I am somewhere over the Atlantic when you read back soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 6: No Cupcakes in Paris

Well....I have been in Paris for three days and have yet to see a single cupcake.  Plenty of other desserts, but no cupcakes.  I have looked in every pastry shop window.  Muffins yes.  Cupcakes no.  I am sure they are here somewhere but I cannot find them. 

We had a nice dinner tonight and a boat ride along the Seine. Met a girl from Mississippi and we know some of the same people....what are the odds of that!  Got to see the Eiffel Tower twinkling and it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.  A fabulous memory.  The trip ends tomorrow morning with an 8 AM ride to the airport.  Goodbye Paris! 

Crossing my fingers that I will find a cupcake on the way to the airport.  Will post pictures when I get home...including a video of the twinkling Eiffel Tower lights.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 5: An American Cupcake in Paris

Our first full day in Paris and the bottom fell out while we were walking from the Basilica of the Sacre Couer on Montmarte (a hill 130 meters above the city). We were wet and cold....and very happy that we had not worn the new boots we bought earlier in the day.
Are there any cupcakes in Paris? The only cupcake I have come across so far is Buttercream, but I have discovered macaroons. I am thinking about changing the name of this blog to Carpe Macaroons! I paid 4.50 Euros for three of these amazing cookies today and they were worth every bite.

I feel a little bit like Charlie looking for the Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I hope to find the golden cupcake soon.

Buttercream visits Notre Dame Cathedral

Buttercream looks across the city of Paris

Buttercream at the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur

The steps to the
Basilia of the Sacre Couer at Montmarte
(looking down was easier than walking up)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 4: Goodbye London & Hello Paris

Traveling to Paris today by train (Eurostar).  Will write when I get reliable Internet access.  Not to worry....cupcakes are coming.  Here are some highlights from London:

Jack the Ripper Tour

Big Ben & the House of Parliament

Strutton Fried Chicken

Westminster AbbeyWest Door
(where Kate entered for the royal wedding)

Tower of London

St. Peter ad Vincula
(church at the Tower of London where Ann Boleyn is buried)
(Catherine Howard - wife #5 is buried there too)

Make Your Own Cupcake Wrappers

A reader named Josh Pearce sent me a comment on the blog today.  He and his wife have a site where you can download and make your own cupcake wrappers with 105 patterns to choose from.  (there are free patterns and premium patterns to purchase). Thanks Josh for sharing your link!

Here are two of my favorites....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

London Day 3: Tower of London cupcakes

The Tower of London.  I lost my head over their cupcakes! 

Not really but I thought that was funny.  The cake was fairly dry, even for being purchased late in the day, but the buttercream on all three cupcakes was very nice.  The chocolate cupcake was topped with marshmallows covered in chocolate and coconut sprinkles.  Very nice presentation. 

I got to visit all my favorite Henry the VIII places at the Tower and even went in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula on the grounds to see the burial sites of Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard (wives 2 & 5).  The Crown Jewels were magnificent!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

London Day 2: Harrod's Cupcakes & Jack the Ripper

Yesterday's passport drama is behind me so on to the cupcakes!  We went to Harrod's this morning and I have to say it was quite overwhelming plus it really is no fun shopping when there is little chance you can actually purchase anything. Well, you can purchase things but you must be prepared to pay...and pay...and pay. 

The Food Hall at Harrod's is worth the trip, even if you don't venture anywhere else in the store. Any type of food you can think of is there (and some I had never thought of).  Amazing!  I bought vegetable samosas with mango chutney and then picked out four mini cupcakes for $3 each. Since it is highly frowned upon to eat your purchases inside the store, we took our munchies outside and sat with the pigeons.  (message for Kristi...absolutely NO picnicking at Harrod's!)

We ended our evening with a Jack the Ripper tour that started at Tower Hill and ended near the Liverpool tube station.  We were starving after all that murder & mayhem so we found a pub and had fish & chips.  We drank shandies (a combination of beer & lemonade) and even though I do not drink beer, I must say that I could have drunk a pitcher of those!

Cupcake box from Harrod's

red velvet, coconut, lemon & chocolate minis

eating outside with the pigeons

cupcake carnage

Monday, June 6, 2011

London Day 1: A Tale of Two Passports but no cupcake

For those of you who didn’t follow our blog from the New York trip last fall, Shelly and I are having déjà vu all over again.  In NYC it was Shelly’s iPhone….in London it was my passport.  If you need a review, see the Day 1 NYC blog entry ( 
We arrived in London late last night and got to the hotel around midnight.  We checked in with our passports, got into the elevator, and approached the door to our room.  Shelly opened the door with her key and I put my key inside my passport…and that was the last time I saw my passport.  We got up this morning and started out for our first day in London, but my passport was nowhere to be found. 

After searching frantically (emphasis on frantic), I decided to go to the U.S. Embassy to initiate the passport replacement process.  Did you know the U.S. Embassy in London is like Fort Knox?  You are not allowed to just go in.  You have to make arrangements in advance to get an appointment to be allowed access.  If you want to have a car accident or heart attack, please make sure to give them plenty of notice…and download the forms before you lose consciousness. 

To make a long story short, after six panic-filled hours, the passport was located in a slot in my suitcase, which had been searched no less than five times by different people.  Why a tale of two passports?  Because Shelly thought she had her passport in her messenger bag, and when we got back to the hotel, the passport was sitting on the nightstand.  Both passports are currently locked in the hotel safe.

On a better note...we went to the Queen's Theatre to see Les Miserables.  Fantastic production and the vocal talent was amazing, especially the little girl who played Cosette as a child.  After the show we ate a brilliant steak and shared sweet potato fries with a couple from Venezuela who were honeymooning in London.

Since we didn't have time to find a cupcake today, Buttercream (everybody's favorite traveling cupcake) insisted on posing with the two passports!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe of the Week is on Holiday!

I am flying to London today...will be blogging from London and Paris for the next nine days!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Flaming Strawberry Cupcakes

My niece Payton sent me a link yesterday to a blog called Sprinkle Bakes.  The blog post featured a chocolate cupcake with flaming strawberry topper.  The author gives detailed instructions for creating the flaming of the most beautiful presentations I have ever seen.   You MUST visit the blog and make some of these (but do not eat the flaming strawberry)!

via Google images

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Henry VIII & A Cupcake

I am leaving for London in two days and I can't wait to get to the Tower of London.  I am a Henry VIII freak so when I found this on Yay!Tumblr I could not believe it.  My two favorite things:  Henry VIII and a cupcake.

I will be blogging from London & Paris over the next 10 days (if the InterWeb gods are willing and the creek don't rise).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dreamscicle Cupcakes

Worked a 12 hour shift in the ER yesterday and everyone seemed to be having a sinking spell we sent someone down the street to the local grocery store to see what was available.  Orange Dreamscicle cupcakes!  And they really tasted like orange dreamscicles.  I am no great photographer, but I did sprinkle some coffee beans on the stark white plate for a garnish.