Cupcakes!

Our wedding is in 10 days and I have good news on the knee front. X-ray shows I’m on track and am perfectly healing. I’m cleared for physical therapy to work on improving my strength and  range of motion (ROM). I’m at 70º right now and 135º or so is normal. Now I just need to practice walking down the aisle.

The amount of television I’ve watched in the last few weeks rivals the amount I’ve watched my whole life prior to my injury. I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. Just a bit. Streaming Netflix has been a lifesaver while I’ve been stuck at home. TV Shows I’ve watched their complete available libraries include: United States of Tara, Raising Hope, The League, Better of Ted, Parks & Recreation, The Killing, Damages, Downtown Abbey, Portlandia, Cake Boss. I’m currently watching: Bones, Samantha Who, Sports Night, White Collar, How I Met Your Mother, Lie to me. See? Lots of TV.

What does all this have to do with cupcakes? Well. While watching Cake Boss, I decided I need to give this decorating thing a try. I’m what you call a rustic decorating. A sprinkle of powdered sugar does wonders. I decided to start small. Cupcake small. I ordered a couple of cupcake books from Amazon (not really able to go to bookstores now).

One of those cookbooks is Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes and these cupcakes are the first recipe in the book: Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting. Yum. As you can see, not a lot of fancy decorating here. I’m starting slow. You can find the recipe for the cupcake base HERE and for the dark chocolate frosting HERE.

{sms} red velvet cupcakes

There was controversy with this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe selection. Apparently, one person in my life really can’t stand red velvet cupcakes/cake. He doesn’t understand cocoa-flavored red cake. I was on the fence about making it. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted it. I was out of town this weekend and no one was saying, “yes yes make it!”.

Anyway, I got home and read the recipe and realized I didn’t have to wait for butter to soften (cake part) so I decided to go ahead and make it, but instead of a Red Velvet Cake I made cupcakes for easier work-distribution. Even though the recipe didn’t require butter to soften, it did require canola oil. Since I made the Little Snackie Things, I didn’t have any canola oil. After briefly debating whether it would be okay to use olive oil, I jumped in my car (in my pajamas) and ran to the store to buy it.

In the end, I’m glad I made the cupcakes. I thought they were delicious. I love the slight taste of cinnamon and cocoa. The cream cheese frosting makes it even better, but I also thought they were great plain.

Thanks to Rosy of Rosy Lips and Lavender for hosting this week’s recipe. For the recipe, please visit her blog or buy the book.

mini pumpkin-gingerbread cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting

pumpkin cupcake

Today marks the last day of Pumpkin Week here on Pink Stripes. I’m officially pumpkin’d out. Not so much the eating part, but the making pumpkin recipes part. I’m so happy I’m going to be out of the country for Thanksgiving and won’t be around to make a pumpkin pie. The family always has to have a pumpkin pie; it’s not Thanksgiving without one.

The recipe for Mini Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting comes from Whole Foods. I made them for my pizza party I’m hosting tonight.

You can find the recipe for the cupcakes HERE.

You can find the recipe for the frosting HERE.

Pumpkin cupcake 2

{twd} cappuccino bites

This post will be short and sweet {and, of course, delicious}. I’m so tired from all the baking I did this weekend. I don’t think my kitchen was clean for more than five minutes. And it was clean those five minutes because I was asleep.

In addition to this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Cinnamon Squares, I made: bagels, brioche, bee stings (2x), pecan honey sticky buns, ice cream, and a granita. And then when I finally got the kitchen clean on Sunday night, I had to pack my lunch for work on Monday.

I decided to use my mini-muffin pan and  make mini-cupcakes because like I wrote before, co-workers don’t like to slice. I also made the Cappuccino Square Playing Around suggestion.  I made the full recipe and had enough for 24 mini-cupcakes and one 8×4 loaf pan. I didn’t frost the loaf pan one because 1/2 of it disappeared mysteriously on Saturday morning around breakfast time.What’s not to like about these? There’s cinnamon, espresso, and chocolate.

A big thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. This was a great choice because it was very easy and delicious. I feel a certain kinship with Tracey because we Tweeted each other over the weekend due to our Bee Sting adventure.  If  you would like the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Cinnamon Squares, please buy the book or visit Tracey’s blog.

Baby Shower

cupcake

At work yesterday we threw a surprise baby shower for a close friend and coworker. I made cupcakes, rolls, salad, and veggie sandwiches. I was up until 1 am the morning the night before making the rolls. I got up at 5 am to frost the cupcakes, make the salad and dressing, assemble the sandwiches. It was well worth it. My friend D, was surprised. {I still can’t believe we pulled it off}. And the food was delicious!

sandwiches

For the cupcakes, I used Ina Garten’s famous Coconut Cupcake recipe. They certainly lived up to their reputation and were a big hit.  For the rolls, I used Peter Reinhart’s formula for white bread variation #2 (which uses buttermilk) from The Bread Bakers Apprentice. The sandwiches were easy to assemble: pesto, fire-roasted red peppers, and goat cheese (how can you go wrong with goat cheese? :P ).

The salad was inspired by a Hipcooks Greek cooking class the soon-to-be mommy, another friend, and I took earlier in the year. It very delicious and easy to make.

Not-so traditional Greek Salad

Adapted from Hipcooks

  • A bunch of grapes
  • 1 bag baby lettuce mix from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 bag spring lettuce mix from Trader Joe’s
  • 4 ounces crumbled Haloumi cheese (You can find it at Whole Foods, Armenian markets, or gourmet grocery stores)
  • a bunch of fresh tarragon
  • Olive oil
  • Lemons
  • Salt, to taste

Toss the first five ingredients. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Taste as you go and stop when it reaches the  flavors of the incredients reach the right balance.

This salad is very easy to make and very delicious. Yum!

table