Monday, 30 May 2011

Week 10 -Birthday Bonanza!

As you know it was my baby girl's first birthday this week. Let's just say the preparations lasted the whole week through. Cupcake prep started on thurs evening when I decided I would make the butterflies. We don't own a microwave so melting coloured chocolate and then putting it in pastry bags, is really hard. The chocolate is so flippin hot I had to wear an oven mitt for the procedure. Hence, my tracing skills (of my beautiful butterfly outline) was a little wobbly. 22 purple and pink butterflies later, I realize I have to store them in the fridge until Sun. Ummmm crap, where will they go??? So I clear out the top shelf of our fridge (probably didn't need or know I had half of it's belongings anyways) and gently place the 3 trays, 22 butterflies, AKA 44 wings in the top shelf. Ahhhhhh
I decide to make the cupcakes the day before the party. I don't like to do this, because I hate stale cupcakes, but time was of an essence. So of course I squeezed in it between 2yr old haircut, lunch/naps, and a visit with friends to our house. Of course I fit it in:) Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the 3 dozen no sugar carrot cupcakes turned into 1 dozen carrot and 2 dozen chocolate. (If you know my husband you would know why. For those that don't, basically he is a choco-holic. More than any chic I have ever known:) Love you honey but you love chocolate more than me, and that's a hard one. So somehow he convinced me to make chocolate, and I did) 1 dozen carrot, complete, no worries. 2 dozen devils food chocolate no worries. I did however manage to complete destroy our kitchen in about 1hr. Hubby had left me a lovely note saying how clean the kitchen was for our arriving guests and I was not to mess it up. Ummmm opps again! So our guests arrive. Best friend Richelle, husband Dale and daughter Ella. I apologize for the chaos called our kitchen. Little did I know that the chaos was just beginning. If you know Richelle, and you know me, then you put those personalities in a 2 and 1 yr old and you know the visit is going to be fall off your chair funny, and a little busy. Which it was. Just to paint a quick funny picture in your head of the visit, here are a few highlights.
-My 2 yr old is on day 4 of potty training. There were many trips to the potty that involved 2 adults, 2+kids. Musical potty seats and lots of children acrobatics on the potty. A few funny noises here and there potty style as well:)
-Lack of meal planning meant we had a 3 course meat meal. Tuna, sausage and chicken. Sorry kids, no veggies today! (Let me say though, it was delicious and I highly recommend it)
-Me making the icing for the cupcakes in between meat meal and bath times= more chaos in the kitchen.
- 3 kids and 4 adults eating = messy table and messy floor. Don't worry though our busy crawling 1yr old treated it like a buffet.
-2 toddlers in the tub. Need I say more here.
It was so much fun and so funny. I loved it. Made me way more relaxed for the upcoming birthday party with the family. 17 adults and 10 kids:)

Back to the cupcakes. I put them in the freezer overnight to hopefully preserve any freshness in them. Decorated them around noon. Then put the butterflies on them. Had my dad sort the smarties to pick out all the pink ones for me. Thanks Dad. I think they turned out great. They were so pretty, I just may make them again. Maybe, some day, ask me in 20 weeks or so:) Again, I have no idea what to make this week. Ask me in a few days.

Week 9 of 52-Boring Bob

Made cupcakes, Tues May 23rd. This week is exactly that, borrrring. I had to get the cupcakes in, but didn't want to do anything to detailed because I was getting ready for the birthday party. So I decided to perfect the vanilla cupcake and vanilla icing. Soooooo this is not my strong point. The vanilla were boring, and the icing was just ok. Could of been that I had to use brown sugar for the cupcakes because I didn't have any regular. My husband thought the cupcake and the icing tasted like butter and brown sugar. Sounds nice, but really it wasn't. It was cheap grocery store material. I guess I will have to do these ones again, even though I was hoping I wouldn't have to. My family thinks vanilla is boring. Chocolate is where it's at! Oh well, I want to perfect all angles. No pictures for boring bob week:(
Stay tuned for next week, BIRTHDAY BONANZA:)

Week 8 of 52, Cupcake Challenge

I know I know, 'I will post immediately after my next bake'. oppss sorry. Life happens, and apparently life is busy lately. Not to worry, the challenge is still happening. Every week!!! Ok, down to business. Week 8. Trial run cupcakes for my daughters first birthday. I make vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing. Dumb mistake number one.Using whole wheat flour for vanilla cupcakes. Makes them taste like a gross healthy version, that shouldn't have icing on top, but rather......... fruit or something. BLA.
Oh well, this week was all about the decorations. Check out the photo's. I made little monarch butterflies for the top. Used melted chocolate (coloured), and filled ziplock bags with the icing.  Then drizzled the chocolate over wax paper butterfly designs. They go in the fridge to harden, and are topped on the icing with little smarties. I loved them.
NOTES: They are a super pain to make. Take loads of time. Holding the zip-lock bags was way too hot, I will use a icing tool next time. They are worth the pain, I think, because they look so cute in the end.
I dedicated my cupcakes this week to my friend who has been helping me a ton with the Pampered Chef.
Remember: Cupcakes made, and then get them out of the house, so I don't become a cupcake.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Week 7 of 52

So I am keeping up with all the baking. No probs. I have never been down to the 11th hour or anything. I do seem to have an issue writing about it though;) Next time I'll write immediately after baking (or try). So week 7. Let me start with saying a quote from my husband. As the children are running/jumping/crying/pushing/playing all over the living room with my husband stuck somewhere in the middle of that. He looks at me in the kitchen (as i am baking the cupcakes this week) and says 'so you pick the most inconvenient time to bake your cupcakes. Can we talk about that?'. I smiled, and realized I was/am picking the most inconvenient time to bake the cupcakes. Maybe that's the most convenient time for me?? AKA I need a break from mommy world. OR maybe i bake best under pressure? My thoughts this week are to try out these theories. Also to try to see what I can produce with no pressure and lots of free time. (this may not happen until closer to week 50!

This week: Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate icing. I know chocolate again! Who could ever get sick of chocolate though. I made the cupcakes Tues morning before my Pampered Chef meeting. Yes I decided to join Pampered Chef and become a consultant. It's awesome, the host rewards are awesome, there is great support, fits my schedule and I love the products. (there's my new business plug, want to host a show?? contact me, great host rewards, tons of free and discounted products. You can even have a catalog show (no actual show) but all the same benefits.) ANYWAYS, i thought i would bring them to the meeting. Remember, get them out of my house!  8 Chocolate cupcakes and 24 mini chocolate cupcakes. Perfect swirl on top. Not so perfect tasting icing. I doubled my 'perfect' chocolate icing recipe and it was crap. Tyson (my husband) the cupcake connoisseur, thought it was fine, but he loves anything with sugar. So I took the rest to the meeting (minus the 2.5 i saved for my parents) and left them there.
Continue to make cupcakes at inconvenient times, kinda of funny as it happens
Try decorating ideas more
Re-try chocolate icing
Again no pics, too rushed. Next week I promise.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Cupcake challenge Week 6 of 52

I drift through this week. AKA I had no brilliant ideas/motivation to make anything spectacular. Soooo I had doubled the chocolate batter last week and saved half. I used it this week and just had to add the wet ingredients to it. That makes for fast cupcakes. In fact, when the kids went to bed at 12:15, I went to the bank, did the groceries, made the cupcakes and icing all before they woke up at 2pm. Not bad I thought. I tinted the icing yellow, just for fun. (purposely ripped the ingredients list off the food colouring box as to not see what crap was in it) I got my handy dandy injector thingy out. Shoved the icing in it after choosing a large star tip. Voila, swirling beautiful tops. Easy as pie (except making pie is not easy, stupid saying). I also layered icing on two cupcakes thickly and then rolled them in fun sprinkle colours. Then I stuck a sucker in the top of each one. They looked pretty cute. I just wanted to see how they would look, because I was thinking this would be an easy decorating solution in a pinch. Clearly kids would be drawn to them, my two year old was asking for the sucker all day.
Notes for this week:
Next week make the cupcakes and then give them away immediately. I am going to look like a cupcake in 40 something weeks. They just taste so good.
Try chocolate icing with the chocolate cupcake for an extra rich treat. Possibly try brownie cupcakes/fudgey ones.
Until next time!