Chronicling of Kitchen Adventures

A Neverending Story

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Happy (almost) fourth of July to my American friends! I saw these Fourth of July Cupcakes on one of my favorite blogs, Baking Bites, and since I’ve had a hankering to do something pretty and to make more cupcakes from scratch instead of boxes, I thought I’d take a stab at it.

There are three incarnations of cupcake decorating…my pretty striping job (in the middle), and then the two-sided sprinkle method on the left (because I didn’t put enough color into the bag…) and then the screw-it method (I got lazy…).

The cake was delicious, not overly sweet like I find the cake mixes to be, and I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe which never fails me. The blue looks more green on the outside of the cupcake, but in the last picture you can see how blue the inside was.

A definite hit, and a recipe that’s going in my book.

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Adventures with Root Beer

For Christmas, my brother got me a necklace with an M&M in it (<3) and a Brew-Your-Own-Root-Beer kit (as well as a few other things, he spoils me) and I finally got around to trying it 6 months later! It wasn’t too difficult, just sterilize some bottles, whip up some water, sugar and flavor, then add some brewing yeast and leave it for a few days.

And then…I forgot about it. Vacation happened, and it fell to the backburner.

So yesterday, I get home and figure, oh, it’ll just be extra bubbly. No biggie. I wish I’d taken a picture, but the bottle was bulging. I twist the top and…

BAM. Like. KAPOW. It sounded like a gunshot and I ducked for cover. It then fizzed over the top of the bottle and made a waterfall while I slowly uncovered my head and looked for the source of the shattering noise I heard…

No, the lightbulb is okay, what the hell happened? So I go to get the mop and I see a tiny piece of blue plastic. And then another one. And then I find the mangled remains of the rest of the cap. In a dozen pieces, I have never seen plastic shatter.

So anyways, the moral of the story (besides the dent in my ceiling…) is that I now had a hankering for root beer. Apparently 2 weeks is too long because I swear my root beer started to ferment, it was disgusting.

So, I made root beer float cupcakes.

I got the recipe from Coconut and Lime, and while I wasn’t completely happy with the results, my sister and her friends all said they were a-mazing. Although a few did say their mouths were confused (“It’s not cold and fizzy!”).I made a 7-minute frosting because I’d never made one before, and it was marshmallowy and delicious! It also got a nice little hard coating on it, that you can see cracked in the photo.

So the moral of the story? Don’t forget your root beer!

Root Beer Cupcakes with 7-minute frosting, June 2010.

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Planning Stages

Incase you didn’t know, summer, in California, is really really f’ing hot. Turning on the oven to 350 degrees isn’t exactly appealing so I’ll be a bit sparse in the baking area for a bit.

I just wanted to let you in on something I’m planning for Halloween ‘10…

(from http://www.haunteddimensions.raykeim.com/index500.html)

I always get a little bit Halloween crazy a little too early, and it usually hits right about July. As some of you may know I’m dealing with the loss of a friend right now, and instead of burying myself in something useful to me (cough, research, cough) I’m delving into something completely useless, but completely fun. I’ve found a template (which will lessen some of the issues that we had with the Christmas castle) and I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve…(I’m thinking lights!)

At any rate, I’m excited, and I’ll be doing some test builds with paper pretty soon.

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So, a while back my friend Donna dragged me to try this place: Gotta Have S&#8217;more where you can pay a lot of money and get something that seems deceptively simple but is way too good for words. I then dragged my friend Amanda along and we decided that it couldn&#8217;t be that hard, right? We still have not managed to replicate the deliciousness and word-taking-away ability of those S&#8217;muffins, but we&#8217;re working on it, and these are pretty darn close.

So, a while back my friend Donna dragged me to try this place: Gotta Have S’more where you can pay a lot of money and get something that seems deceptively simple but is way too good for words. I then dragged my friend Amanda along and we decided that it couldn’t be that hard, right? We still have not managed to replicate the deliciousness and word-taking-away ability of those S’muffins, but we’re working on it, and these are pretty darn close.

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Pumpkin scones with cinnamon &#8220;spider webs&#8221; for Halloween 2008. They&#8217;re from a recipe I found online claiming to replicate Starbucks&#8217;s amazing pumpkin scones and oh man were they good. So good in fact, that my mom immediately recruited me to make a batch for her office for their halloween baking competition. I think that&#8217;s cheating mom.
Spiderweb pumpkin scones. Halloween 2008.

Pumpkin scones with cinnamon “spider webs” for Halloween 2008. They’re from a recipe I found online claiming to replicate Starbucks’s amazing pumpkin scones and oh man were they good. So good in fact, that my mom immediately recruited me to make a batch for her office for their halloween baking competition. I think that’s cheating mom.

Spiderweb pumpkin scones. Halloween 2008.

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Earth Day cookies! The Young Adult Group at Studio City UU Church led an Earth Day Worship on Sunday morning. Despite grandiose dreams of flowers and trees and suns all with bright smiley happy faces, we decided the Earth was probably most appropriate for Earth Day. Two colors is enough for me.
Not to be used for navigational purposes. Sugar cookie with lime icing. April 2009.

Earth Day cookies! The Young Adult Group at Studio City UU Church led an Earth Day Worship on Sunday morning. Despite grandiose dreams of flowers and trees and suns all with bright smiley happy faces, we decided the Earth was probably most appropriate for Earth Day. Two colors is enough for me.

Not to be used for navigational purposes. Sugar cookie with lime icing. April 2009.

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Some very lucky little girl got a Minnie Mouse birthday cake. It was a friend of Jessica&#8217;s, and she was the first victim client who hired our little quartet to make a cake. I remember it had a chocolate filling, and that it had lots and lots and lots of food dye, edible glitter and spray food colour (black is tough&#8230;). Oh and also it was super cute.
Alphabet bakery (JKLmN). Sometime during Winter break 2008-2009?

Some very lucky little girl got a Minnie Mouse birthday cake. It was a friend of Jessica’s, and she was the first victim client who hired our little quartet to make a cake. I remember it had a chocolate filling, and that it had lots and lots and lots of food dye, edible glitter and spray food colour (black is tough…). Oh and also it was super cute.

Alphabet bakery (JKLmN). Sometime during Winter break 2008-2009?

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Studio City UU Church seems to like me!  These were for the kids on Easter Sunday, and after playing around with bunnies and peeps, I just bought a bunch of jelly beans ($14 for jelly beans! Just to make 60 cupcakes!). Added them to Funfetti cupcakes (of course) with cream cheese frosting (again, of course), and made jelly bean flowers with sour patch stems. Pretty much every color combo was used, and when it was delivered all together it looked like a field of flowers, wish I&#8217;d gotten a picture of that!
Spring cupcakes for UUSC. April 2010.
Update: Emily snapped a photo

Studio City UU Church seems to like me!  These were for the kids on Easter Sunday, and after playing around with bunnies and peeps, I just bought a bunch of jelly beans ($14 for jelly beans! Just to make 60 cupcakes!). Added them to Funfetti cupcakes (of course) with cream cheese frosting (again, of course), and made jelly bean flowers with sour patch stems. Pretty much every color combo was used, and when it was delivered all together it looked like a field of flowers, wish I’d gotten a picture of that!

Spring cupcakes for UUSC. April 2010.

Update: Emily snapped a photo

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For his 9th birthday, my nephew got to invite all his best friends to a Game Truck Party. His mom (my older sister) asked if I would make the cake for his birthday and we decided on a Mario mushroom. Not only a Mario mushroom, but the green 1UP mushroom, which was appropriate we felt. Also because that amount of red dye would probably kill you (red is notoriously hard to make in frosting, thats why it always tastes so gross on store cakes). I wasn&#8217;t happy with the color of green I got, but I think the point was made. I had some help from my wonderful wonderful friend Amanda who helped me slop on the frosting and keep me from going crazy alone in my kitchen. It was a yellow cake with (my go-to) cream cheese frosting and a strawberry and whipped cream filling with chocolate eyes.
Mario mushroom for Charlie&#8217;s 9th birthday. January 2010.

For his 9th birthday, my nephew got to invite all his best friends to a Game Truck Party. His mom (my older sister) asked if I would make the cake for his birthday and we decided on a Mario mushroom. Not only a Mario mushroom, but the green 1UP mushroom, which was appropriate we felt. Also because that amount of red dye would probably kill you (red is notoriously hard to make in frosting, thats why it always tastes so gross on store cakes). I wasn’t happy with the color of green I got, but I think the point was made. I had some help from my wonderful wonderful friend Amanda who helped me slop on the frosting and keep me from going crazy alone in my kitchen. It was a yellow cake with (my go-to) cream cheese frosting and a strawberry and whipped cream filling with chocolate eyes.

Mario mushroom for Charlie’s 9th birthday. January 2010.