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Category Archives: Baking

I pulled off the impossible…

I LOVE giving gifts.  I will search for weeks to find the perfect gift for someone I care about.  If I can’t make it, then its off to the internet to do research…

Our youngest nugget turned 7 this month.  Do you remember being 7?  Small things seemed like magic and big things…well, those were almost miracles….

Three months ago, I heard that Justin Beiber was coming to town.  My daughter(s) love the Beibs.  I have to admit, he’s even growing on me…..although I feel like a perv when I watch his newest video.  He’s just…so young
Anyhoo… I hopped on the ol’ net and found out that if I paid $30 every quarter of the year, I could sign up to join the OFFICIAL Justin Beiber fan club.  Why on earth would I do that?  Oh yeah….because you get the presale code to buy tickets before they go on sale!!! Hellloooo   Plus you get swag.  Real, official JB swag.  I was so in…. Signed, sealed, and tickets bought.

What I didn’t think about:  having to keep it a secret for three months!!  Holy shit, how was I going to pull this off???

Believe me, it was uber-hard.  There were so many times I started to say something about it and would stop myself in mid-breath. Literally.   But, we did it.  We pulled off the impossible, and this past weekend..we surprised her with her tickets AND the Justin Beiber offical fan club card and hat.

The theme for the party this year was…what else….Justin Beiber.  I ordered custom designed invites, cupcake labels, and water bottle labels from my good friend Yulia over at Sarah Hope Designs.  She does FABULOUS work and I would recommend her to anyone who asked for a designer.  Love this girl!!  Check her out here:  or check out her FB page.

Syd had already decided she wanted to party at Skate King, so it all came together fairly easily..

And for your amusement, here are the pics:

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She still hasn’t come down from the excitement.  I gotta say…we done good….


A cupcake for my cupcakes

Tomorrow, my daughter’s best friend leaves for college.

Not only is she the oldest nugget’s bff, she is truly like my child.  They have been friends since they were eight years old — that’s TEN years!! Unheard of with girls these days!!  Never had a big blow up…never had the drama with each other.  And I love her.  And my heart is breaking.

But I can’t show her that. I’m so proud of her; I don’t want her to feel bad for leaving.  She’s doing what she set out to do — get the hell out of dodge, and I couldn’t be more proud.  It just sucks for right now.  But we will have Skype convos and I plan on visiting her very soon.

Last night was her going away party.  It was all good until it was time to say goodbye.  I  had promised myself I would not cry. If you know me, you know that is like telling an alcoholic not to drink – I just can’t help it. As we were leaving, all three girls started to cry.  I mean, snot running, unable to catch your breath, sobbing…  and then I felt my own dam start to crack.  Shit! I had to get out of there.  So I bribed her with one last visit before she leaves – to pick up Nutella cupcakes, her favorite.

After all, when you’re sad, what else makes you feel better than to throw together a batch of cupcakes??? Oh, wait… you don’t do that?  That’s just me being a dork??? Oh…well…that explains a lot!

I’d made these before, following the recipe here:

THIS time, I opted to toast Hazelnuts to top the frosting.  Yeah….not a fan.  Could be I toasted them way too long, but the smoky taste was too much for me.  I ended up scraping off most of them….

I asked my lil’ nugget to be my helper.  She poured the sugar and melted the butter for the frosting.  It helped her not feel sad too.

When I asked her to be the taste-tester, I could tell she wasn’t enthused.  Then, she took a bite.  And her whole face lit up in surprise.  She said “Wow, Mommy…I thought these were gonna be gross, but they don’t taste gross at all!!

Guess that’s good enough for me.


Whew!! Now that this weekend is over….

I did it!!!

I managed to almost be in two places at the same time.  No small feat, mind you…since my magical powers only work on children under the age of 1 and the elderly (who tend to have lost most of their hearing anyway…).

Somehow, I booked myself to “cater” desserts for not one but TWO parties on the same day.  One for a co-worker celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary, and the other for my dearest friends’ of whom happens to be my goddaughter (heaven help her!!).   It was important to me to do the best I could for both parties, but it seemed that Murphy and his goddamned law were determined to derail my best intentions.

The main problem was the heat…96 degrees the day before the party.  And if you’ve ever baked, you know that frosting will not set when its hotter than hell.   So — I turn the fans on the cupcakes.  Literally.  That seemed to help a bit.  Then I just gave up trying to frost until about 10 PM, when it started to cool off.

For the girls’ birthday, I decided to go simple. Shocker, I know.  BUT — I wanted the two year old to have her own special cupcake.  And she loves Elmo . So I decided I had to make Elmo.  Might as well have decided to sculpt the Mona Lisa in Fondant.  Didn’t have the right tip.  Didn’t have any oreo cookies for a mouth.  Good Lord.  Needless to day I was at Michaels at 9:01 the next morning.  The party started at noon. 


Luckily, it all came together. I guess I work well under pressure, although my husband might whisper that my inner bitch comes out when I’m stressed.  I can’t deny it.

Cupcakes were a success.  Then my little one asked me to paint faces at the party.  Thirteen seven year old girls’ faces. I’m so sick of the disco diva face, I could puke.  By the end, I was begging for anyone to just let me paint a butterfly. Or Spiderman. Or SOMETHING different.

But, my girls had a great birthday. Or so it seems from the pics posted on Facebook.  Because, of course, I had to leave early (but late for me) to get to the next party.  After I went by my office to pick up the damn teddy bears I forgot for the centerpiece (couldn’t blow them off — they were saved from the wedding cake and were the theme of the party.)  Then swung by my house to pick up the cupcakes, brownies, strawberries, and oh yes – the guest book I was in charge of making – crap, can’t forget the hubby and kid…and then we were off to the second party.

This party was….interesting.  It was a group of people who were, basically, LARPers.  Live Action Role Playing Players.  Or just Role Playing Games.  There is a difference, I learned.  The party was based on a “comic-con” type theme.  Lots of comic books and memorabilia.  Which was fun for the geek in me.  A few role playing game (with no dice – I’m told that’s important!).  Labryinth was playing on the big screen, followed by The Princess Bride.  (LOVE).  And Pandas. Everywhere.    While it was not really my element, it was super fun to people watch and take snapshots.  And I’m not going to lie – I completely geeked out over the Star Wars stuff.  I know.. I know….

But they loved the cupcakes.  And the guest Book.  It was fun for me to see them celebrate their love and I wish them the best for the next twenty five!!



Yep that is a Tribble.  From the Star Trek episode “the Trouble with Tribbles”.  I chuckled…

From the party, my husband took me on a spontaneous date night at a super swanky restaurant called “El Gaucho”.  We had a gift card, and it ended up only costing us $50.  Damn Grey Goose martinis… I should have stopped at 2!! 

All in all it was a good weekend. Today, I barely left my house, and not just because I was hungover.    I cleaned.  I baked a pie with my daughter.  I didn’t even cook dinner!!!  And now, I’m going to bed!!!

‘Nite all!!

Who would eat a cupcake that looks like a Panda??


Okay, seriously….  I know these aren’t perfect, but aren’t they cute?  Even in all their sloppiness?  Part of the problem was the heat — It’s a balmy 94 degrees in the Pacific Northwest this week.  Our house has one little tiny air conditioner, and no matter how hard it worked, the frosting was just sliding off the cake.  GRRRRRR…

So I hurried and covered 36 mini cupcakes in buttercream, white sugar, and strategically placed chocolate chips.   When it came down to putting the chocolate jimmies, I got so frustrated I almost threw the whole pan away.  So that’s why some of them only have one little-tiny-supposed-to-be-a-mouth.

While it’s not entirely a fail, I’m not super pleased with the results.  Buuuut…they are for a friends party tomorrow and this girl is NOT going to redo them!!

If you want to see what I’m comparing myself to, click here:

Wish me luck on the rest of the cupcakes: one dozon double chocolate, and four dozen vanilla with some kind of frosting that I haven’t figured out yet.  🙂

two brunette sisters busy with crafting, cooking, teaching, reading and living

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