Yummy Spring Cupcakes

So I had been itching to make a batch of some cute cupcakes to scarf down after I found these wonderful vintage inspired cupcake liners from The Bakers Confections on Etsy. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at baking, but the real truth of the matter is that I don’t get to do it that much. So perhaps I have great POTENTIAL… but am still working out many kinks. Anyways, I really love lemon and raspberry flavored things, so I decided to do the cake part lemon and the frosting raspberry. Here’s something that I’ve learned the hard way: if you are going to make butter cream frosting, DO NOT use salted butter. No matter how bad your hand wants to pick up that savory, fatty brick of goodness, head my advice (and probably the advice of every baker who knows anything).

Anyways, this batch of cupcakes turned out pretty delicious and I thought I’d share the recipe. I looked up several different recipes and kind of took bits and pieces from each to form my own. So here it goes:

For the Lemon cake (12 cupcakes):

1 1/8 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

2/3 cup buttermilk

lemon zest from one lemon

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake tin. In your mixing bowl, add together the flower, baking powder and salt. Then add the ingredients in the order they are listed, giving each ingredient a few minutes to get well acquainted with the others. The recipes I read said I had to mix certain ingredients in other bowls with my hands and let them sit and then add them, but I didn’t have time to do all that and they turned out great. Spoon the batter into your liners about 3/4 of the way and your all set! Mine only needed to bake for 18 minutes, so just check them with a nice or a tooth pic if you have to go over that time.

For the Raspberry Vanilla Butter cream Frosting (unless you have your own recipe):

1 stick of butter

1-2 cups of powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/4 tablespoon raspberry extract

1-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Start with your butter. Make sure it is room temp and has a nice smooth consistency. Mix the butter by itself with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Sift your sugar in one cup at a time at low speed, and eyeball it to see where you’d like the consistency to be at. Once the sugar is well incorporated, add the salt and extracts. Then add the milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time while watching the consistency. You might not need 3 tablespoons, but only 2 or 1 so pay attention!

Enjoy your yummy spring cupcakes and let me know how they came out!

Week Review: Not So Bad

I know at the beginning of the week I mentally prepared myself to intentionally not get stressed. It turned out not to be that bad at all! I got so much done on Monday and Tuesday, that the rest of the week kinda just came together. There were some hiccups, not gonna lie. Yesterday our power went out for almost three hours, and Abram had a melt down. But all in all, I think it was a success! I could barely get my head on the pillow before I was asleep every night.

 

KONY2012: My Part.

I hate it when I get ahead of the game with my posts and have them done the night before, and then one day of focusing on other things throws me off. I also hate that the last sentence is probably not a well structured sentence.

Blah. Ok. So back to square one (Talk about a Negative Nancy this morning, geez).

So KONY2012… we’ve all heard about it, and I’m sure everyone that has heard about it has something to say of the matter, whether it be good or bad.

Well before I get into it, I just want to first say this (and this is not something I will do often, because normally I appreciate contrasting opinions to my own): If you have something not nice to say about KONY2012, I’d rather you just keep it to yourself as far as this post goes. I understand all the pro’s and con’s and have heard every pessimistic and cynical view in the book about the issue. But until you have a well planned and financially backed solution for the surrender of the LRA, then your negativity doesn’t do any good. I lovingly ask you not to discourage those who have the passion to at least do SOMETHING.

Ok, so now that that uncomfortable part is over… I am super excited for Cover the Night on Friday the 20th! If you haven’t seen KONY2012: Part II, I recommend you go now and watch it. The video addresses a lot of the issues that people had with the first video and goes into more detail about the plan and how we can all do something. The awareness around the world right now about this issue is incredible, and it makes the hairs on my arms stand straight up.

Something someone said in the second video really caught me. I’ve heard a lot about how we need to just stay here and take care of our own country. But one of the guys interviewed in the video talked about how Kony and his rebel army are terrorizing four countries in Africa right now. FOUR. Now according to our standards, that is a threat to the world community and calls for collective action. And personally, the argument that we need to to deal with our own country’s problems has never really made sense to me. Why not do both? The homeless guy downtown and the child being tortured in Africa are just as much my neighbors as my actual neighbor next door. We are all humans on this planet together. It is not o.k. for me to ignore the orphan and the widow in another country simply because I was born in this one. I won’t ever buy that plea, no matter how intelligent the argument may be. Another thing I like about the second video is that they specify that if you want to serve globally, you have to start locally. There’s the answer to that.

So here’s the dealio: I’ve got 250 donated KONY2012 posters that Lake City needs to see Saturday morning, the 21st. That means I need a team of people to help me put these posters up Friday night. Now this isn’t some crazy, illegal stunt that we are going to pull. This will be respectful and non-destructive action. Again, go watch the second video and see how it’s done, or watch the first if you haven’t got around to that one yet either!

Here’s where I get really vulnerable for a minute. The truth is, I am a VERY PASSIONATE person. But I am TERRIFIED of what people think of me, a struggle I am currently being stripped of right now. I know there is the chance that every one of my friends that reads this that lives in Lake City may think I am a complete fool. And if that is the case, well then I am one of millions. I’m gonna choose to be o.k. with that. I’m not special, I just want to take advantage of every chance I get to do something that involves putting my self aside.

This campaign hopefully will be an incredible, worldwide success that results in Joseph Kony’s capture. This is a chance to bring about global unity, even if it is for a few minutes. Sounds like a piece of heaven to me. There’s also the possibility that this could fail. But if that is the case, at least we can say we tried.