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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in cupcakes (5)


Some sweets.

Before melancholy Sandra took residence, I was a busy little baker.  Lots and lots of cake pops for a neighbor’s niece’s shower.

Pink cake pops

And cupcake “apples” for the staff at our new elementary school.

apple cupcakes

Have I mentioned that our children are headed to a new school this year?  They adored (and I mean adored) their former school—especially their teachers, as did we.  At first, we were heartbroken to hear we were leaving.  But this brand new school is opening within walking distance of our home.  And luckily, it promises to be something very special as well.  

I'm on the inaugural PTO board and we’ve organized all sorts of fun things for the teachers and staff.  Most recently was a luncheon and I offered to bring dessert.  96 cupcakes later, I had these.

apple cupcakes 2

And because I wanted them to be cutely displayed at their luncheon, I assembled tiered stands out of dollar store finds.

apple cupcake stands

Hopefully, the teachers who get Leo and Max this year won’t refer to me as the crazy cupcake lady who has too much time on her hands. 



Happy (belated) 4th!

Our 4th of July weekend was full and happy indeed--hope yours was too.  We had two significant celebrations to attend to.  Both birthdays, both milestones, and both for fabulous friends.  Our boys did not want to miss out on some family outings while we were preoccupied with these parties so they were treated to overnighters with cousins one night and grandma and grandpa the next.  And considering they slept in until 9:00 a.m. the day after they got home, I'd say they got their fair share of fun this weekend as well.

Sadly, I did not think to bring my camera to one birthday celebration.  So please picture three couples who are longtime friends, enjoying a nice dinner out just chatting and laughing away, undisturbed by curious little hands or other interruptions.  Oh, and do picture me with a purse that did not have to double as a diaper bag because that was pretty exciting.

The next night was a neighborhood birthday celebration and I was in charge of desserts, a few appetizers, and some flowers. 

I made my first red velvet cake--success!  Many proclaimed surprise that I had never baked a red velvet cake before.  But then I reminded them that I usually bake for the under-7 set.  And so a cake containing red dye as a defining ingredient never seemed like a smart option.

I used a favorite cream cheese frosting recipe--probably not the best choice given the soaring temperatures.  But it held.  I really need to take a cake decorating class instead of just fiddling my way through it every time.  Otherwise, I'm a little worried that my handwriting might make an appearance on cakewrecks some day...

And of course there were cupcakes. 

Lots and lots of cupcakes...vanilla bean poundcake with the same cream cheese frosting, just made a tad thicker.  And yes, we had some for breakfast today.

I will post the red velvet cake recipe with my notes later.  I will also try to remember what I threw into a salsa I brought because folks were going at it with spoons.  Both recipes are definitely keepers!



Halloween treats.

During the week leading up to Halloween, I usually like to make some fun treats for the boys.  I'm a bit behind this year because of our recent trip so I have yet to make anything truly special.  But since I wasn't blogging in 2008, I thought I'd post some pictures of what we did last year.

For our neighborhood pumpkin carving party, I made haunted pumpkin patch and spider web cupcakes.

And because Leo was in his preschool's owl class last year, I also made some owl cupcakes (got this one from my trusty Hello Cupcake book).

I displayed the cupcakes on a fun stand I picked up from the craft store.  The stand was cute but also nothing but trouble to assemble, so I recommend you pass on it should you see it this year.  

For a playdate treat, I made Bakerella's cake pops (btw, did you see that proposal on Bakerella??  I was dying over it). 

The cupcake pops are on my short list again for this year--the boys just love them--but as they take quite some time to make, they may get cut and we'll instead make Martha's monster pops (found via one of One Pretty Thing's Halloween Food roundup).  I think a 'build your own monster pop' activity would be very well received. 

We'll see what I come up with. 


Cupcakes at hand.

Cupcakes.  Who doesn't love cupcakes?  I have been a huge fan (some would say pusher) well before boutique bakeries opened on every corner and made them trendy.  I like to always have the option of breaking some out for even the most impromptu of celebrations.  Here's my not-so-secret secret--they freeze beautifully.

When I make a batch, I set aside a half dozen for us to enjoy right away (naturally).  Then, I freeze the remaining dozen and a half from a standard batch--frosted and all (I like to put them back in the baking tin after they are frosted to set up in the freezer).  Once frozen (the frosting will get firm but never rock hard), I pop them into a ziploc to be handy as needed.  If you do this, just be sure to take them out of the ziploc while still frozen and allow to thaw at room temperature to keep the frosting lovely.  So, you just remembered tomorrow's school party?  No problem.  Spontaneous neighborhood happy hour?  Bring it.

If you make your cupcakes with fresh ingredients, I would not let them go in the freezer for more than 30 days (actually, we've never even come close to the 30 day mark--they get eaten up like crazy--so that's sort of a guess).  Oh, and another tip.  Next time you're shopping at a craft store, pick up an oversized frosting tip--I can frost two dozen cupcakes in no time with one of those!



Recently a neighbor asked me if she could hire me to do cupcakes and the cake for her daughter's First Holy Communion celebration.  I was flattered that she thought of me--but there was no way I would charge a friend for cupcakes and cake.

I only had a few days notice and had a hard time thinking of an appropriate decorating theme.  Then I remembered some flagged pages in my Hello Cupcake cookbook. I love this book.  It's filled with the cutest ideas for just about every occasion. Except, of course, a First Holy Communion.

But it does have butterflies. Beautiful and delicate, they look like they might flutter off the page as you're flipping through the book. And with three boys, I doubted a butterfly-themed party was in our future so here was my chance--how perfect. Because, you know, First  Communion ...butterflies ... get it? Fine. I was reaching but look how pretty.  


Supplies: At least two different colors of melting candy wafer or chocolate (I buy the melting wafers at craft stores like Michaels or A.C. Moore); wax paper; butterfly template; permanent marker; sandwich sized ziploc bags.

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