Roses for Grandma

September 18, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Posted in non-cupcake | 5 Comments
Tags: , ,

♪♫ Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Grandma Mary
Happy Birthday to you.
And many more… on channel 4…
♪♫

Oops! Sorry! I got a little carried away there.

Today Hubby and I are celebrating his grandmother’s 88th birthday with the rest of the family. I love Grandma Mary like my own Grandma. Actually she’s the only one I have left. Both sets of my grandparents have passed away. So every day that she is with us is a blessing.

Now Grandma Mary is still a vibrant lady who knows what she wants! Every year it’s the same thing. All she wants is the family to get together, eat dinner and spend quality time with her and each other. No gifts allowed! And she’s VERY serious about it. If you buy her a gift, she will return it and you’ll get a letter in the mail with the money back. So then we started buying her flowers. And she said “No Flowers! I don’t want my family to waste their hard earned money on something that will die in 3 days.” She’s a feisty one, I tell ya!

This year I’m not buying her a gift (per her wishes) but *I AM* giving her flowers. But I think she’ll be ok with these ones. *wink*

You can see how I made the Rose Cake on Amanda’s blog (here).

Her step-by-step pictures are way better than mine. The only differences are:
1. My frosting recipe. You CAN NOT have a red velvet cake without cream cheese frosting! Am I right?
2. I didn’t bother with covering the cake in frosting again over the crumb coat since I knew that the frosting roses would cover it.

Cream Cheese Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Wilton.com

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature (I used Neufchatel instead)
1 tbsp white vanilla extract
2 lbs (~8 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp milk, optional

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla. Slowly add sugar mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add milk (if needed) to get your frosting to spreading consistency.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A+
He’s always a fan of red velvet cake. Doesn’t matter if it’s not HIS birthday! HA HA!

Wifey rating: A+
I am in love with this buttercream. Even though I know this post isn’t about cupcakes, I think you need to fall in love with this buttercream too.

Other rating: A+
Grandma Mary and fam loved the cake. They asked me many times how I made the roses. If only they knew how easy it was! But that will be our little secret. *wink*

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

August 12, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Posted in blog event, non-cupcake, random | Comments Off

As a blogger, the internet has made the world much smaller even though the miles span the globe. I have met so many amazing inspiring people that touch me in different ways. People that have introduced me to food, laughter, stories and their loved ones. People that have let me in their home albeit through my computer but I am flattered every time. I have no doubts we’ll be seeing webcams in 3D soon and I’ll be sporting those ugly glasses someday.

But I digress.

I did not know Jennifer that well. We’ve had a few twitter conversations (all relating to cupcakes. Go figure!) But when I heard that she had lost her soulmate my heart hurt for her. I immediately thought of my own husband. Just the thought made me tear up. I knew I had to do something. But what?

I didn’t have to look far. Her blog had the answer. Bake a peanut butter pie for Mikey. (You can find the recipe on her blog.) And “… share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”

Jennifer’s words were wise. I did exactly what she said.

I kissed my husband.
I hugged my nieces.
I laughed with my parents. (My Father-in-Law tells the best stories!)
I shared pie with my brother, brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I thought I was doing something for Jennifer and Mikey but I realized that night, surrounded by all the people that I love, that she’s the one that gave me the gift. The gift of quality time.

Thank you Jennifer.
Rest in peace Mikey.

You are loved. —> There is no greatest gift in this world. ♥♥♥

Click (here) to see all the Peanut Butter Pies for Mikey. It’s inspiring.

Ode to Creme Brulee

August 5, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Posted in non-cupcake | 8 Comments
Tags: , ,

Aaaww… Please don’t give me that look.

I feel guilty enough already.

I know. It’s been a while. *smacks hand*

Hello my name is CB … [crowd chants Hello CB] … and I’ve been on Weight Watchers for almost 23 weeks. Yup! I’m doing still it. Trust me. You aren’t the only one surprised. Unfortunately that doesn’t leave me much wiggle room for baking. B/c I can’t be trusted with 12 cupcakes innocently sitting on my granite countertop. But last night I REALLY missed it.

The smell of vanilla extract.
The tickle of flour up my nose.
The sound of my KitchenAid mixer creaming the butter and sugar.

I couldn’t bake just anything though. I was craving one of my favorite desserts: Creme Brulee. So I started googling as fast as my little fingers could type. And came up with a combination of 2 dessert favorites. Twofer! And you all know how much I love a 2for.

But of course. This is a cupcake blog. I couldn’t leave you without a cupcake. It’s an oldie but a goodie. (Click here)

Oh and PS.

My cousin’s bridal shower is at the end of August so I’m already brainstorming cupcakes for her. Hang tight. I’ll have cupcakes to share with you soon!

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Makes 36 bars (I cut it into 20 b/c 36 is WAY too tiny in my opinion!)

INGREDIENTS

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 box (1 oz) French Vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix (I used Cheesecake flavor instead)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used unsalted butter)
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs + 3 egg yolks
2- 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel cheese instead)
1/2 cup sour cream (I use 0% Fage greek yogurt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup toffee bits, finely crushed (I used Heath toffee chips)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, combine cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into bottom of pan and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. [Notes: I totally missed the part about pressing the cookie dough “1/2 inch up the sides of the pan”. Oops! But it still turned out delicious despite the lack of cookie “wall”.]

In a large bowl, (I wiped out the same bowl I made the cookie dough in) beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Combine until smooth. Spread over cookie crust in pan.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until set in center. Take pan out of the oven and immediately sprinkle with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Let come to room temperature before cutting into bars. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. [Notes: These freeze really well too!]

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He’s loves cheesecake but not a huge toffee fan so I wasn’t sure he’d like this one but I heard lots of “Mmmm…” while he was eating.

Wifey rating: A
Cookie base – Good. Cheesecake filling – great. Creme Brulee – fell short. Don’t get me wrong. The bar is DE-LISH-OUS but I can’t really say it tasted like a creme brulee. At least not enough for my tastebuds. Maybe next time instead of the toffee bits I’ll top it with brown sugar and brulee with my torch for that authentic creme brulee taste.

Other rating: A+
Husband had a meeting with a few coworkers and brought these as a dessert. He said everyone raved and there were no leftovers. Many of them asked for the recipe!

UnBlogiversary GIVEAWAY #2 (Time’s up!)

December 9, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Posted in giveaway, non-cupcake | 97 Comments
Tags:

Another Tuesday. Another giveaway. Don’t you just love it?

I tend to think of December as the month of giving (and receiving) so this whole unblogiversary giveaway thing is kinda perfect. Like me. LOL.

I am really excited about today’s giveaway.

I blame wanna thank my savvy chic friend, Jen from Look 4 Less, for inspiring this giveaway. Her blog is one of my favorite non-cooking blogs. Basically the concept of her blog is that you can dress to the nines (What does that actually mean??) without paying $$$$ so she posts where you can find budget friendly alternatives for expensive celebrity trends. I have spent way too much money at Old Navy and Forever 21 b/c of her. I LOVE IT. But my credit cards hate her. (Said with love, Jen.)

One of her most recent posts promoted Shop Suey Boutique and a Miu Miu purse that I drooled over for the rest of the day. I am sure my fellow purse addicts will agree that you can’t go wrong with a black Miu Miu (although I know some would defer to LV as their favorite *cough* April *cough*)

While I was on Shop Suey’s website, I noticed a tab for City Girl Aprons and being a curious baker I clicked. *brilliant flash of light*

Did you click? I hope you clicked. No? Go click the link. I’ll wait.

::still waiting::

Aren’t those aprons adorable?

Of course I had to have one.

Since I am a sharer, I knew I had to get one for one of my readers too.

Heather from Shop Suey Boutique is graciously donating the Sophia Chocolate Halter to one lucky winner. *golf clap for Heather*

(Now do you get my riddle?)

Rules:
(1) Only one entry per person please. All duplicate entries will not be counted.
(2) Only those who live within the US eligible to win prizes. (Sorry my international peeps!)
(3) Please make sure you have a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

To enter leave a comment:
1. Do you wear an apron when you cook/bake? Why or why not?
2. What is your favorite apron on City Girl Aprons’ website?

Deadline: December 14, 2008 @ 12midnight EST

Winners will be drawn by Mr. Random Generator.

PS. CB, what’s *YOUR* favorite City Girl Apron, you ask? I am kinda partial to the Lily Halter Print but if the Sophie Berry Print was a full apron I’d want that one. I like colorful aprons. It tends to hide the frosting that I smear on it.

UnBlogiversary Giveaway #1 WINNERS

December 8, 2008 at 9:49 AM | Posted in giveaway, non-cupcake | 3 Comments

And the winners are…

Congratulations to our winners! Kristina wins Pamper Set #1 and Stephanie wins Pamper Set #2. Please email me your addresses and I’ll get your prizes shipped out!

Thank you to everyone who left me a comment. I appreciate all the “Happy UnBlogiversary” sentiments! I gotta tell you all that I added so many of your suggestions to my cupcake idea list so you might be seeing an Italian Caramel Cream, Key Lime Pie, Coconut Vanilla Chai, Eggnog and/or Tiramisu cupcakes in the future. ::wink::

If you didn’t win, don’t be sad. I have 4 more weeks of FABULOUS prizes to give away! Stay tuned tomorrow for UnBlogiversary Giveaway #2!

Want a little hint?

What has chocolate in its name but you can’t eat it?

*Jeopardy countdown music playing in the background*

Confessions of a Cupcake Slacker

October 3, 2008 at 7:59 AM | Posted in non-cupcake, random | 25 Comments

Dearest readers,

Forgive the lack of updates.

I know. I know. I am such a …

Its not for a lack of recipes, ideas, cupcake events etc. I have 30 drafts that are waiting to be finished and published. Rather I’ve been bitten (…and it aint the good SJP kind either); bitten by the blogger’s block bug.

I find myself in a quandary lately. My usual spontaneous surge of cupcake enthusiasm is on vacation. I am hopeful it will be back from some fabulous beach soon though.

TGIF.

Your friendly neighborhood cupcake slacker,
C to the B

PS. What do you do for some blogging motivation? Drink green tea? Yoga? Re-arrange furniture? Shopping? Help me find my mojo again!?!?

Martha. Martha. Martha

September 23, 2008 at 10:26 AM | Posted in non-cupcake, random | 9 Comments
Tags:

(^ Say it like Jan Brady does. Thats how I say it in my head. LOL)

No, I am not talking about Martha/Marcia Brady. I am talking about THE Martha.


(image credit: The Martha Blog – it changes colors! I am easily amused today.)

Last week she had a whole show dedicated to blogging.

(I was invited to be in the audience but NYC is an expensive plane ticket away. I was so bummed but I stayed at home in my PJs watching my tv, hanging onto every word.)

See people? This is why she’s successful. She knows that blogging isn’t just a passing fancy. Bloggers today have some incredible power and she wants in! She’s embracing her inner blogger. Expanding her domestic empire. I don’t blame her. If I could make Perez Hilton money blogging, I’d jump at the chance! Wouldn’t you?

Why am I talking about Martha? Well… She wants to get to know more bloggers like you and me so go leave her a comment on her blog and link back to her blog on your blog. (You can see my comment about 50 comments down.) Who knows? You may end up in Martha’s Circle like Perez Hilton, Smitten Kitchen, Cute Overload, Matt Bites etc etc.

I imagine thats like being Oprah approved.

PS- Thanks to all for helping me choose between sprinkles and santa. I have a cupcake order due this Friday but after that I plan to have some fun with green sprinkles. Stay tuned.

Arrrgghhh! I hate when I do that!

August 24, 2008 at 9:52 PM | Posted in non-cupcake, random | 2 Comments

I accidentally deleted an email that was in my spam folder but the split second before it disappeared, I read:

Hi! I am from the UK and I love your blog…

Darn my trigger happy delete finger! I AM SO SORRY! So if you recently wrote me an email with those words, please email me again!

What time is it?

July 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Posted in non-cupcake, teaser | 12 Comments

TEASER TIME!

::avoiding sharp objects being thrown at me::

Now I really got you all curious, right?

::evil laugh::

Stay tuned.

CB out.

There’s no place like home…

July 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM | Posted in blog awards, non-cupcake | 4 Comments

I’m home! I’m home! Didja miss me?

Thanks to everyone that commented or emailed me about things to see and visit while on my east coast vacation. I’ll post some pics and reviews in the next few days but while you’re waiting, you can read some review snippets in my Cupcakery Review tab above.

So… guess what I got?!!

+

I heart blogger awards! What a great welcome home.

Thanks Janna from Honeyed Hashette and Mary from Shazam in the Kitchen for giving me the Arte Y Pico (Peak of Art) Award and Tanya from Take That Cannoli for the YumYum award! I am so honored and flattered. You girls are too sweet!

Now I admit that I don’t read rules very well but I think the gist is that I get to give out each award to 5 other bloggers and those bloggers get to give it out to 5 more bloggers and so forth and so on. So here we go…

**********

1. Angie from Bakerella
What can I say about Angie’s blog that bloggers don’t already know? She’s been on Martha Stewart’s show for pete’s sake! I want to switch creative brains just for one day.

2. Jess from Cakespy
If you haven’t checked out the Cakespy blog, you’ve been living under a rock. Jess’ art is known all over the blogosphere and has been published in many magazines and websites. She integrates her art background with tasty desserts by writing reviews and baking up various sweet treats. Definitely one of my favorite blogs!

3. Cheryl from Cupcake Bakeshop
Even though Cheryl has recently taken a hiatus from blogging, her cupcake blog is my go-to cupcake read every time I am in search of cupcake inspiration for my own cupcake creations. I hope she comes back to the blogosphere soon. I know I won’t be the only cupcake fan that welcomes her back!

4. Blake Bake contributors from Blake Bakes
I am not sure exactly how many contributors there are but I can tell its a great eclectic group of bakers. I am a little biased b/c I am a contributor too (though I haven’t posted a recipe yet! I am such a procrastinator! Sorry fellow BBers! I’ll get on that stat!) but what I’ve read so far keeps me coming back.

5. Ree from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
This classy lady is such a fun read and her recipes are fabulous too! What more can you ask for in a cooking blog? I am a HUGE fan of her Asian Noodle Salad. OHMYGOD. You have to make it. NOW.

**********

1. Nikki from Crazy Delicious Food
She’s my mentor, my bestest foodie friend and the one I always turn to for advice, inspiration and motivation. You know what else? I’ve seen her kitchen and I am in awe of all that she can create in that teeny little mouse hole. Just imagine what she’ll be able to do with her dream kitchen someday? I hope she invites me over for that housewarming party!

2. Holly from Phe/mom/enon
I met Holly through my baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie [Greenspan]. Even though some friends would call me anti-children, this phenomenal mom (now you get her blog name right? haha) makes it looks so fun to bake with her kids. She has a great sense of humor and fun writing style. Definitely a must-read!

3. Lindsey from Cafe Johnsonia
I also met Lindsey through my baking group, Tuesdasy with Dorie [Greenspan]. Unfortunately she’s on a hiatus due to preggo stuff (Congrats to her!) but that doesn’t stop me from reading her blog on a regular basis. My recent favorite recipe on her blog is the Cilantro Citrus Chicken. My husband loves it so much that its on my regular weekly menu rotation more days than not!

4. Joy from Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker’s blog is pure joy to read. I love her photos, her recipes, her writing; I love everything. I wish I lived closer so I could come bake her. I bet it would be a fabulous time… or at least hold the video camera for her next podcast. A new one is long overdue! ::winkhintwink::

5. Steph from A Whisk and a Spoon
I first got a glimpse of what Steph could create as I first followed the Cupcake Hero challenge. I call her my cupcake nemesis (at least in my head). I love her photos and her cupcake creations. She’s already won 2x and well deserved too. I definitely aspire to be like her cupcake greatness someday.

Please feel free to play the “pass on the award” game but if not no worries. I promise I won’t tell. It will be just between you and me. Lips zip.

Stay tuned for an important announcement of the cupcake kind later today…

June 21, 2008 at 11:34 PM | Posted in non-cupcake | 10 Comments

I am going on vacay June 22-July 1 and my BIL is getting married July 5th so my blogging may be sporadic for the next 2 weeks…

Any cupcakery/restaurant recs for DC, Philly and/or Boston?

I’ll cupcake with you all when I get back! Check ya lates my homies.

Can’t spell meme without “me”!

May 28, 2008 at 4:45 PM | Posted in non-cupcake | 20 Comments

What does this blogger do when she has cupcake writer’s block?

I am always humbled when I come across other bloggers that tag me for memes. I think its the blogosphere’s equivalent of speed dating. Imagine my surprise, during my ritualistic morning google reader-ing and breakfast, that Tanya over at Take the Cannoli had tagged me! Little ol me?! Ah shucks…

Let the meme begin!

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What was I doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was just graduating high school, preparing for the rigors of 4 years of university and trying to figure what the heck I was gonna do. Hmmm… not much as changed since then. HAHA!

What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
1. grocery store – pending
2. vacuum – pending
3. write in my blog – CHECK
4. go to post office – pending
5. work on Cupcake Hero entry – pending
Obviously my to-do lists don’t really work since 4/5 are still pending…

5 Snacks I enjoy:
1. cupcakes
2. sweet maui onion chips
3. string cheese
4. raw carrots not cooked. gross!
5. popcorn

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. pay off debt
2. travel, travel, travel
3. donate to ankylosing spondylitis charity to help find a cure
4. buy a house on the beach
5. buy lots of materialistic things just keeping it real, people

Places I have lived:
Kansas, Texas, California

Jobs I have had:
1. Disneyland – its really NOT the happiest place on earth
2. Bank Teller – even been in a robbery before. Trust me its not like the movies.
3. Market & Advertising executive assistant – just a fancy title for CEO’s bitch
4. Ophthalmologist assistant- one prerequisite of the job is that you had to know how to spell ophthalmologist so its burned into my brain
5. Veterinarian/Surgical assistant

Peeps I want to know more about:
1. Nikki
2. April
3. Leigh
4. Caitlin
5. Holly

So… about the rules? Rules are meant to be broken! No one ever got famous by following the rules so I hope all the bloggers I tagged read my blog b/c I am kinda lazy and don’t really wanna clutter up their blog with a comment to tell them I tagged them. Also if you don’t wanna do it, no worries, I’ll just take you off any future tagging lists. Its all good. (Except Nikki b/c we got that ob-blog-ation thing going. LOL)

Stay tuned for my Cupcake Hero entry… (as soon as I think of it!)

The KA mixer blade showdown

April 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Posted in non-cupcake, technology | 13 Comments

I’ve been drooling over the SideSwipe Blade ever since it came on the market. Its been on many of my numerous wish lists over the last few months. Actually I am embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve drooled over the video demo on the website. There have been nothing but rave reviews from fellow cupcake-ers and bakers that own the sideswipe about its ability to scrape down the bowl clean. Ah music to my “no batter left behind” ears.

But hold the scrape?

Looks like there’s a new blade in town.

Introducing the Beater Blade! The idea is the same as the SideSwipe – an attachment that beats, scrapes and folds the ingredients efficiently for your mixer. But the Beater Blade promotes that they fit various different mixers: Kitchenaid (tilt and lift models), Cuisinart, Viking and Delonghi. As of right now they aren’t available for purchase until May 2008 through various internet vendors but check out the video demo to see the Beater Blade in action!

VS.

Which one beats the competition? Guess we’ll have to wait until May to find out. Stay tuned.

Blogger’s note: I have to say I am leaning towards the BeaterBlade b/c of the versatility but I’ll have the price comparison be my decision maker when it comes out in May.

EDIT: Just an FYI for IHC readers… I contacted BeaterBlade inquiring about a sneak peep on the price and Gary Fallowes, the inventor of the BeaterBlade, emailed me promptly to let me know that it will be $24.95 for the smaller blade (tilt head models), $29.95 for the 5 & 6 quart Bowl Lift KA models, and the Cuisinart/Viking/DeLonghi 7-quart is $40 because of the metal parts. (So far I am already impressed with the prompt response!)

What an excellent day!

March 10, 2008 at 8:58 AM | Posted in blog awards, non-cupcake | 17 Comments

I admit that I get tween-age giggles when people leave me comments or email me about something I’ve written in my blog b/c that means I “actually” have readers! So imagine my surprise when fellow members of the foodie blog community deem me worthy enough for awards too! sniff. You love me. You really love me. ♥

Isn’t this the sweetest award? Who doesn’t want to make someone’s day better, sweeter and brighter right? Thanks to fellow TWDers April and Caitlin for bestowing this award on me! I am getting all warm and fuzzy inside. You say I make your day… well… you made *MY* day! Now its my turn to make 10 more peoples’ days…

Can I get a w00tw00t for the following blogs…?

1 Crazy Delicious Food
2 Quirky Cupcake
3 Tangerine-Tart
4 Lemon Tartlet and the Dust Bunnies
5 Winer Lover’s Cooking Diary
6 Born to Entertain
7 Artists in the Kitchen
8 Love Sweet Love
9 BB’s Fantabulous Life
10 Brighter than Sunshine

And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any sweeter…

Continue Reading What an excellent day!…

This is a test

March 7, 2008 at 5:11 PM | Posted in non-cupcake | 4 Comments

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging for a test of the Emergency Blogcast System.

This is only a test.

We will resume our normal blog updating after these emergency messages.

Please stand by…

:: cue annoying high pitch sound ::

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