Sunday, August 29, 2010

Victory in Volvo: Again

Do we all remember this cake? Yes, this was the object of Blake's glory when he found out of his acceptance into the Volvo Safe Program in Arizona. Well..Blake told me that when he graduated from his Volvo-ey school, that I was making a cake whether I liked it or not. Now, lets get one thing straight. I love giving gifts, it's my passion. However, if someone expects or tells me I have to give or bake them something....well lets just say it doesn't make me a particularly pleasant person. So, I was being told that I needed to make him a Volvo cake! What? I've never carved a cake (with success) before. The last one ended up looking like someone stuck a baseball underneath some baggy sheets. Ugly. So, I had a feeling that Blake wouldn't be as proud of this. But, last minue, Thursday night before he came home, I got to work, dreading the time I would have to carve this large mass of cake.

So, I made strawberry cake, so if I screwed up, then at least I would have something to stir into my ice cream. (Innovative, right?) I iced, I cut, I carved, and I iced. I know, I couldn't believe it either! It actually semi-resembled something that would look semi close to a piece of crap Volvo. (Oops, did I say that ;)

And here, finished. Just enough time to spare. I needed to make sure the details were exactly representative of his car, or I would hear it for the rest of my life.

The front headlights and the bumber. (I can't believe his bumber in his car is still attached.)

Front of the car, in tact with one side light. (Yes, just one.)

And then there is Blakes crap-mobile in the back. Why he has such a thing attached to his car is beyond me. In fact, it's so ugly my camera wouldn't even take a picture of it without blurring. It's a SIGN! It's a SIGN!

And in the back, it wouldn't be Blake's Volvo without his license plate number. It's a good thing I love him so much.

So, when we finally arrived home from picking Blake up from the airport, it was 1am, it was my irritable hour, and Blake was ALREADY getting on my nerves. He took four looks at the cake, and this is what he showed to me. Two words: Drama Queen.

Blake decided on Thursday night that we should save it until Sunday. Four days, a slightly slumped and saggy Volvo later, and it's gone. I really do love my brother, and I love cake :)
PS Hi Aunt Diane!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cupcakes Made For Man

Alright. Before you judge me, listen. I was not soley responsible for merging meat and and delightful puff of sugar and butter. It was not my fault. Although, I will take credit for the compliments.... ;)

Niki (my nanny-e) decided that we needed to do something special for Lauren. No me, but her friend Lauren who often comes over to play. Lauren has a small obsession with bacon. She's definitely a unique child. She would eat bacon and drink the juice 24/7 if her parents would let her. Like I said, unique. These are kind words. So Niki wanted to make her bacon cupcakes. I scrawled at the idea. (And no, I don't no what scrawled means) But I strongly reprimanded her on the basics of cupcake art. Meat=men and does not have anything to do with pastries of any kind, unless it is bread dough, then, pizza is permitted to have meat resting on top of it. After this whole event, I finally broke down, due to the opportunity for uniqueness.

I threw a few ingredients together, what I thought would work well with the meaty flavor of bacon. Still, confused and bothered at the merger between bacon and sugar.

For the batter? (I'm crying as I say this) That runny brown fat. So against everything I believe in, but I new the flavor would be extrordinary...fatness always tends to taste extrordinary.

*Shrieking at high pitches* Do you see that piece of bacon sticking out through that batter?
And yet, something so disturbingly nasty in nature, looked beautiful. I could'nt WAIT for someone to tast one...cause I was most definitely not going to!
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon Cupcakes
Items Needed:
  • 1 Pillsbury White Cake Mix
  • Oil, water, and eggs called for on the box
  • 3 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings (and pretend like this isn't part of the recipe)
  • 8 Slices of crumbled bacon
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Drizzle of Maple Syrup (Or the imitation kind...that's all I found, it's all about innovation!)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (and more for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Make the white cake mix as directed. Crumble in 4 slices of cooked bacon. Pour in bacon drippings.
  3. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Let cool on wire racks.
  5. To make the icing, combine softened butter, vanilla, half of the milk, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Little by little add the rest of the powdered sugar and the rest of the milk. Add milk if to stiff.
  6. Once combined, add a drizzle of maple syrup, and the brown sugar.
  7. Top cupcakes with icing, garnish with the other 4 slices of bacon and brown sugar.

Watch people as the confusion and delight starts to mount on their faces and they bite into the cupcake, and discover, they are the most delicious confusion ever to behold them. Bravo risk taker, bravo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Looks Like a Lady

Story Time. I mean, that's the only way to properly describe this beautiful piece of cupcake art above you. So. We are all aware that I made a semi-creepy bear cake awhile back. It was for my cousin's birthday, as an early celebration! She loved it. Well actually, she loved it so much that she took the nearest knife available and disected all of it's valuable parts. Violent, but entertaining. So, now it's her actual birthday, and I'm left in a rut. What do I make? Ideas roll around in my head. I know she likes running around the house for countless hours at a time, saying her dog's name over and over again until I want to cry, and digging around in the dirt to find some bug shaped like a coach-roach that has been squeezed and dried.

My options are endless, yet all involve grotesque things. So, I went for the least-vomit causing. Bugs. Not ugly bugs, cute bugs. Like ladybugs, butterflies, and fireflies. So I went to work.

Hehe, they are kissing. (The antennae are angel hair pasta, in case you were wondering)

Three in a row, like a red carpet gala for ladybugs. If there was one, my lady bugs would definitely be invited. I would make a big scene if they weren't.

And then, I stumbled upon a website. No, not THAT kind of website, get your mind out of the gutter. I came across a website that sells hot pink bakery boxes! Yes! It's like my life was complete at that very moment, until I looked at the minimums. I have to buy an insane amount of boxes. So, I ordered some samples, and hoped that they would look like crap so I wouldn't buy them. Nope. I love them. So, yes, I will be spending $700 on carboard ... very soon actually ;)

Last but not least, I needed to arrive with style, and my website, incase any future clients were lurking at the party.

Some pink tulle, and I'm pretty sure that this was the cutest Miss Cupcake package ever. I had someone at the party tell me it was the best cake they had ever eaten. MUAHAHA, correction. My life is NOW complete! By the way, the flavor was chocolate-covered strawberry. Strawberry sour cream cake with chocolate buttercream. Heaven!

This is the most accurately portrayed picture of Palmer that a photographer could ever capture. I'm sure at this point you are confused, but let me explain. You see, Palmer, (at the sight of this cake), jumped up and down so many times that my camera got very tired. (Even on action mode...and that's saying something.)

Oh and, the theme of the party was bugs. Genius. I love how that happened. Project=successful.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Christmas in August

I can understand how you could be confused by the above picture. I mean it IS August! But, that's ok. See, my kids (that I nanny) decided that Christmas in August would be a good thing. I'm pretty sure that they were in it for the gifts.

I took it as a grand opportunity to get rid of alot of crap. Luckily, they didn't think it was. Well, it was nice crap. :) And yes, a blow up palm tree WAS out Christmas Tree. Be jealous.
Of course I had to make Christmas Dinner. I mean, it was Christmas, naturally that just flows. So, ham balls with a brown-sugar mustard glaze, baked corn casserole, and baked pineapple stuffing. Pretty much all of my family's super secret family recipes. But not really. If you want one of those recipes....I'm sure I can help you out. Maybe.

To end, some brownie bites. I'm pretty sure the 12 year old ate 9. After a hearty Christmas meal. Oh how I love the appetites of growing boys. It helps my bicarious eating through others disorder ;) WOULD NOT be Christmas without gingerbread houses....or graham cracker houses. So, we got to work. It was quite a journey...and let me tell you. My girls are SO creative!! I'm going to have to give you a detailed photo journal of their WILL be blown away.

Let's start with Lauren.

Hehehe, I couldn't resist. It's Christmas....Rudolf needed to come into play SOMEWHERE!

Behold! The candy land factory. It even has hard-wood floors and two full baths. Ample living space and a spacious kitchen. This house is a steal for someone looking to start a family. Starting price if $170,000.

Let's move to Niki. Her a bit more..........large. (Just like her spunk ;)

Second floor? You are living large Nicole. You are living large.

Third floor. She does mean business.

Candy Land Castle. Impressive view overlooking a moutain side. Beautiful gardens, two indoor pools, twelve bedrooms, 10 full baths. Full stocked library, gym, indoor movie theatre, summer kitchen, five fire places. A pefect place to ensure your financial instability. Starting at 2.9 Million. Not bad, ehh?

And then there is my humble abode. Just a cute little cottage. Meant for one person, this house is ideal for the typical "cat lady." (If only my brother was a girl) ;) This would be the perfect dwelling place for him. Starting at $110,000, this cozy cottage has an adjacent 8 car garage. Yes Blake, stop drooling now.

My girls asked me what was next. Halloween in August was mentioned. Oh the possibilities. Have I told you that I love my job? :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where's My Rocker?

So, as you may know, I have this "thing." I grant birthday wishes. I'm kind of like a fairy.......a sugar fairy. So while I was making my fairy stumbled upon my Papa's birthday. But, he had a problem with coming out and asking me what he really wanted. May 21st was his birthday, if you get what I'm trying to say. FINALLY, he decided to tell me what he wanted. Blueberry Pie. Oh no, I've never made blueberry pie. In fact, the only people I know who make blueberry pie rock.....and not the heavy metal type of rocking ;)
But I figured that the process wasn't that difficult. So I decided to go for it, and my results were quite delightful.

Except...I have a confession to make. I don't make pie crust. I want nothing to do with the like. It's a cranky thing to make...and I don't have time for drama queens...due to the fact, that I am one. So call your friendly dough boy, pour some fresh blueberries in, and's practically that easy....but have to cute-ify it.....would it be Miss Cupcake worthy without cute-ness? I think not my friends, I think not.
Hehe, it makes me smile. It makes me smile alot :)
Oh my goodness, if I had smell-o-vision downloaded on my computer, I would help you out with that, but it's like $9.95 per smell-o-gram. What do you think I am? Made of money? Again, I think not.
Want the recipe?
Are you sure?
Hmm....well....ok :)
Rocker-worthy Blueberry Pie (For Papa)
  • Two refrigerated Pie Crusts (I like to call my little white friend ;)
  • 4 1/2 cups of FRESH blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS. cornstarch
  • 2 TBS. lemon juice
  • 1 TBS. lemon zest (I zested for so long that I though my eyes were going to bulge out of my head....I think I ended up with 2 teaspoons...and it worked.)
  • Egg wash (One tablespoon cream and one egg beaten together)
  1. Unroll one pie crust and place in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate.
  2. Mix together sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix into the blueberries.
  3. Pour the scrumptiousness into the pie crust lined pie plate.
  4. Take out second crust, puncture some cute little designs, holes, tears, weaves, whatever the heck you feel like. You could even make a themed pie. Like a Star Wars Pie!
  5. Brush with egg wash and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400*F.
  7. Bake pie for 20 minutes in the lower third of your oven. Then reduce the temp to 350*F and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes covering the sides with foil if they begin to darken to quickly.
  8. Let cool for 1 hour...or eat piping hot with vanilla ice cream. Yummmm....
  9. Hear stories the next day how Papa ate one third of the pie in under 15 hours. I love eating bicariously through other people.

It's like a movie thats how beautiful it is. Like a rocker-themed sequel to Little House on the Prairie....minus the Michael Landon.

The next thing I have to tell you...or at least actually a big deal. (In more ways than one.) The Lewisburg Creamery and Deli in Lewisburg is serving up some big deal this summer. (Picture courtesy of The Freeze website.) Can you please take a look at the picture that follows my blabber. This, my friends, is a medium. Eaten by two boys, in my back seat. There is still memories of the ice cream, schmeared in between my two back seats...thank you.

His hand is not a midget hand either, that's just a massive dish of ice cream. I gestimated....that at the initial purchase of this "medium dish" it was the mass of a two-quart carton of ice cream. Yeah, that could be problem-atic......yet.....I delight ever so much in it. The boys handled the size very well, I heard no complaints.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You Can't Be Normal

So, I've come to conclusion. You can't be normal. That is, you can't be normal and expect to get on American Idol. I don't care if your voice is better than Beyonce' are going to fail.

But before I give you all the dirty details about Miss Cupcake failing in the music business, I thought I would tell you a little about my trip to the city.
I don't know if you can see what that says...but that, my friends, is Chelsea Market! Yes, this is where Rachel Ray films her shows! I was trying to contrive a plan to invade the top floors of this establishment, but I failed (I've been having a habit of that lately ;) Also, there where signs all over for the VIPs of Iron Chef to go a certain way. I saw the elevator open and some people wearing badges go up. Oh how I wish I was a midget! Only then could have I slipped in without anyone noticing. But other than failing, there where some very interesing stores inside!

LIKE THIS PLACE! YAY! I'm not going to lie, I kind of hyper ventilated! It was super cute, and I finally realized that if I was in NYC and had a bakery, I could sooo make money off what I do. There where a gift set of 6 cookies for $47. Are you kidding me? Sign me up! (Oh and 2.75 a cupcake?) Yes.

Yes, Magnolia. Do you really think that I could go to the city a leave without them? No, no can do. These are heaven in the form of a butter-infested glob of sugar.

So, this is basically how it happened.
You wait for hours upon hours to get a seat. Not an audition, a seat. Not necessarily a sure thing that you would get an audition. Then you return at a horific hour in the morning to film 8,000 scenes of the same thing, and audition at tables for 15 seconds. Then you fail, it's inevitable...and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here are the next set of failures. I was talking to those people from my seat. "Just leave now, you are going to fail." I was trying to be positive about the situation :)

Then there was my friend, Chiquita. However, although the disturbing dance moves were quite impressive, the banana did not make it. It was the only disturbing character who didn't move on. Those that did? Superwoman, Joker, a sad excuse for a dancer, and an 11 year old. I'm telling you, I'm going dressed like Betty Crocker next year. I will sing Patty Cake...and give them all cupcakes.

Luckily, I met this amazing girl also named Lawyrn. Her voice was outstanding, yet she also failed (it was a reoccuring theme) I was happy to spend 8 hours of waiting with her.

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to describe this show is stated above. We are all a bunch of idiots. It's true, but like I said, I would do it all again.
PS Ryan Seacrest stands on a stool to film E news. Not just any stool, a solid 15 inches high. BAHAHAHA. (I witnessed this from 5ft away....and let me say, I didn't mind ;)
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