Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sweet Like Candy

I'm not sure how you feel about Starburst candies - but if you like them then you will probably LOVE these:

Pictured above are: cherry, lemon, and orange Starburst cupcakes.

In preparation for a coworker's upcoming birthday I tested cupcake and frosting recipes that taste like the colors of the candy rainbow. Starburst happen to be her favorite candy and I have made it my goal to turn everyone's favorite sweet into a delicious little cupcake!

They are pretty good but oh-my-goodness are they sweet. Maybe just a little too sweet with a little tang of sour - just like their candy counterpart!

Anywho - here's the recipe:

1 box Super Moist White Cake Mix
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Gel food coloring

Follow the directions on the box to make the cupcakes. My little twist is that I whip the egg whites to a meringue first. Once the ingredients are incorporated divide the batter into thirds and add food coloring to the desired color.

I also think we could flavor the cake as Starburst but I didn't have the time or the patience this time round.

1 stick butter (room temperature)
4 - 5 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 package each of cherry, orange and lemon UNSWEETENED Kool-Aid

Whip butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and milk to the desired consistency. Divide the frosting into thirds. Slowly add the Kool-Aid mix into the frsoting, tasting as you go. I used about 1/4 tsp of each. I think using the full packet would be overwhelming - so be cautious when adding the flavor.

Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting, matching the cherry frsoting to the red cupcakes, lemon to the yellow cupcakes and orange to the - well - orange cupcakes. These monochromatic little packages are beautiful.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dust off the old blog

Two things that are true about me:

1. I have never been good at keeping a journal/diary.

The thing that is funny about this is that the first blog post I ever wrote was almost exactly one year ago. Every diary from my childhood has the following: A promise to be a diligent daily writer followed by 6 pages of drivel, 300 blank pages and a final page confessing how lazy I had been at keeping my promise. Here's to hoping this is not the "final page"

2. My behavior is seasonal.

I get this crazy cooking/cleaning/exercise/eat right/look good bug right around every turn of the season. Yesterday was the first day my symptoms manifested and today was no better. Here is the current list of symptoms observed thus far:

My house is spic and span - as it clean as it as been since the turn to winter.
I made Jonathan go on a 3 mile walk with me yesterday.
I applied self-tanning lotion today.
I went to Old Navy and purchased a few cute tops.

I am marinating chicken and....
I baked a Plum Cake Tatin.

Oh. My. God.

Truth be told, the Tatin is the reason for this post. The second I plated it and sprinkled confectioners sugar on top I grabbed the camera and my laptop and thought, "the world must see this."

So here it is world. The Tatin... the tempting Plum Cake Tatin. Swoon.

Please note the caramelized sugar that rests atop the fresh juicy plums that rest atop the moist sweet cake that rests atop the warm juicy plum syrup that has pooled on the plate.

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten herself. Find the recipe on

The crazy cooking/cleaning/exercise/eat right/look good bug has clearly not set in completely.

....Unless you consider that I am about to grab that Tatin and eat right now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Night on the Town

ETA: I must confess that I started this post over 2 weeks ago but have been too lazy to finish and post it. Pretty sad... but here it is - finally.

So after a few weeks of no posts I must confess that I just didn't have anything to say. I mean of course I said a thousand things since the 8th of April, but noting that I thought the internet would want to hear. That was until Thursday.

On Thursday my dear friend Mallory came up to visit me and to hear my bitch about things. Over dinner, Mallory mentioned her displeasure with my recent lack of posts - which of course surprised me as I didn't realize I had such loyal readership.

So to pacify one of my favorite commenters here is a new post:

So that is the view Mallory and I shared over fried calamari at Shuckers last Thursday. Unfortunately what you do not get from this photo is maritime music that was being blasted over another ship's sound system on the other side of the pier, the jingling of twenty dog collars and the laughter of the tables around us. I am not much of a city girl but I really do enjoy having an evening out in Fell's Point.

So after my tasty dinner of fried calamari and steamed shrimp and Mal's semi-tasty cheesesteak and onion rings we walked around the square and visited a couple of the trendy shops like Su Casa, where we drooled over chic home furnishings and funny coffee table books like this little gem.

Of course no evening out with me would be complete with out sine type of dessert to finish out the night. Maggie Moos was an obvious choice until we noticed the glimmering silver lids beckoning to us from Pitango Gelato. OH! And my what a great choice. While it was a little bit pricey it was definitely worth the expense. I enjoyed a small swirl of dark chocolate and almond gelatos. Wow. So. Delicious.

In fact, while we savored our creamy desserts we found a quaint park bench in the square where we sat and reminisced about years past and reveled in each others friendship. It was so nice to spend a girls night out on the town - but of course we were shocked back into reality when we returned back home to the blaring sound of video games. Have no doubt however, that we joined right into the fun while wailing on the plastic guitars in Rock Band.

A perfect night in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This Is An Awareness Test

I happened to see this on The Ellen Show today while i was off from work. This may be my favorite internet video of all time.

Awareness Test - Watch more free videos

Sunday, April 6, 2008

On My Wish List: Spring Time Edition

1. Rain Rain Go Away - Sky Umbrella from With all of the rainy days we have had lately the bright blue sky inside this umbrella would keep me far from gloomy.

2. Sloggers Garden Clogs in kiwi from Sloggers Garden Outfitters. Of course I need another pair of shoes! These clogs fit the bill for all my outdoor needs - especially once we get the garden started.

3. Flower Bulbs available at Brecks. Despite the one hyacinth growing in the front yard our property is mostly devoid of color. I desperately want to plant perennial flower bulbs in every bare patch of dirt we have.

4. Eastern Red Bud Tree available through the Arbor Day Foundation. While we are planting things I think it would be well worth it to plant a few red buds in the yard. We have plenty of space for these medium sized trees and the blooms in the April are indescribably gorgeous. These trees have been among my favorite for some time.

5. Fresh Glass Vase in aqua and spring green from Target. With all the blooms I plan on having this spring and summer I will need a new container to house them. This springy vase is lovely and easily available.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Birthday!

My coworker Jenn is celebrating her birthday tomorrow and of course this gives me an excuse to bake something. I have really been wanting to make cupcakes lately and with the celebration on hand tomorrow I couldn't resist the opportunity.

It was a beautiful spring day today which really put me in the mood to make something fresh and light. I had the idea to make orange flavored cupcakes - which I guess is not a new idea, but I have never attempted the recipe.

Here is what I tried:

Orange Cupcakes
1 package white cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 + 1/4 cups orange juice with pulp
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 Tbs orange zest

Orange Frosting
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp Grand Marnier liquor
1 Tbs milk

Here is what I got:

I think they look fantastic!! The sugared flowers on top really make them "springy" which I love. They taste OK ... I think for me they are a little bit too orange flavored - so if I make them again I will try cutting the orange ingredients in half.

Hopefully they will be a hit for the birthday tomorrow!

Friday, March 28, 2008

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things....

Previously unbeknownst to me the blogging world has themed topic days! This is very exciting.

I am proud to join the many participating in Flashback Friday whom are busy round the globe posting: 'My Favorite Thing - a picture of an object or objects (Books, art, photos, mementos, shoes, garden gnomes, television set, whatever) that is/are dear to your heart. What would you grab if your house were on fire?'

So what would it be? This is a very difficult question. Well since I am allowed to grab multiple things here is the list:

1. My Box:
On our first year anniversary Jonathan presented me with this box. My heart swelled at the site of this hand crafted gift from my love. Of course when he gave it to me it was bare wood and completely void of any finish (I later painted it with acrylic).

The box is brimming with the chronicles of our life together. On the bottom you will find the carnation he gave to me on our first date and on top you see the card he gave to me this Valentine's Day. I cannot imagine losing this catalog of our lives together. Luckily, as i just learned (from Jonathan himself) he would grab the web server - which has all of the digital pictures from our entire relationship. The web server and this box are good companion pieces.

2. This picture:
That's me with my mom. I think i was about four when this picture was taken. The original picture was taken in a photo booth. I used to carry around the original in my Popples wallet when I was a kid. This picture was the only thing in the wallet. I found the picture several years later - the same year my mom died. I enlarged the picture and put it into a frame as a gift to her on Mother's Day. She loved it. The entire week after my mom passed away I slept with this picture and cried myself to sleep... the picture hardly left my side. I would have a very difficult time losing it.

3. Buster:
To be honest, I don't remember the story of how this little guy came into my life. What I do know is that I have had him for as long as I can remember and that he has always worn that flirtatious red shirt. He still lives in my room though I plan to pass him down to my children.

4. Things Mom Saved:
It doesn't look like much but, this Tupperware holds memories that precede any of my own. Among the objects that my mother set aside as things that were special to her are: the scrubs my dad wore the day I was born, a scrapbook of all the notes and cards she received after I was born, a baby blanket that my aunt made for me, all of my report cards, old art projects, the tutu I wore for my first ballet recital, my favorite childhood dinnerware, and more.

There are many other things that I would never want to lose but these things are definitely at the top of the list. I will save some of the others for future posts.

I should also mention that when I was a kid, my aunt and uncle really did lose everything in a house fire. I used to be scared to death that the same thing would happen to our house. I had nightmares of my house engulfed in flames night after night. I used to keep a grocery bag on the knob of my bedroom door with my prized possessions in it - just in case the house caught fire. Many of the things on this list were the things that were in that bag.

I pray that I never have to scramble through my home searching for these cherished items.