31 May 2011


I'm not a huge fan of cake. Really, only certain kinds of 'cake' turn my fancy. Cheesecake. Texas Sheet Cake. And once in a while, a cupcake.

So my sister chooses "Picnic Food" for our May theme in baking. And nearly the next day sends me this dangerous and sinful link:


Don't believe me? Just keep reading.

So a couple weekends ago, I'm in the mood to make these beauties. Let me tell you, this was the best cupcake making and eating experience I've had. That's right. Ever.

The cupcake batter secret is to do exactly what she says. Now, how against the grain is that for me, right?! But, margarita in my right hand and beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer next to my left, I followed directions for once, and beat the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. 5 minutes. 5 minutes! A thing of beauty ...

The fresh lime zest and lime juice I would say were the next most important parts of both the batter and the frosting. Well of course, besides the tequila ;)

2 of my children wanted to lick the batter from the bowl so we gave it a go. "This tastes weird" all around! Not too hip on the tequila taste as it should be; but AFTER they came out of the oven (the tequila baked out) it was a different story all-around: "These are awesome!" - "They taste so moist!" (Yes, one of my children used the word 'moist').

After again following the directions - this was a marker day for me - for the frosting, and whipping this butter as well for 5 mins (these are super-low calorie cupcakes btw), on went the deliciosity of frosting.

As you can tell, my husband didn't mind posing for the camera with tequila-enthused smiles all around *wink* In all seriousness though: these babies need no tequila to make them amazing. The perfect cupcake. There. You heard me. They're an 11!

Now, go make some for yourself - you won't regret it!

15 May 2011


The last couple months have been many things, but mostly a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. I've had several life-changing highs and excruciating lows. I usually sense the roller coaster is coming but it is not until I'm riding it that I realize I am flailing. Like water through a sieve, I leak toxins. I chose self-preservation rather than truth; rules rather than questions; movement rather than contemplation.

See, contemplation requires me to stop. Stop moving. Stop analyzing. Stop controlling. Contemplation allows solace, comfort, rest, moment-to-moment peace. It is about choice. We are always choosing. Ever notice that? Rice or beans; South or North; listen or judge; accept or defend.

I am being stretched in new and different ways. While I am no foreigner to this process by any means, being stretched is never 'fun'. It is typically painful and requires a new level of trust and faith in God to get me through. Spending time in contemplative prayer with Him who makes all things work together for good - and yes, that says ALL things - is an essential piece for me.

It has been hidden.

It is remembered. And uncovered.

02 May 2011

Strawberry Goodness

Spring = Strawberries in my world! So happy to participate in the Strawberry Baking promoted by my amazingly, creative food artist sis! (Check out her awesome blog here: http://shortcakessweettooth.blogspot.com/)

I ventured into the muffin-world for my Strawberry-themed recipe this past month. My boy asked me just tonight what my favorite fruit was and I had to respond with 'strawberry'. There are so many ways to enjoy this decadent fruit! I took a recipe recommended by my sister called Strawberry Muffins (the recipe is here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/breads/strawberry-muffins-2/).

In my usual fashion, I am not a great recipe follower (one of the many great traits I gathered from my Mom!) so some things were changed to protect the errr ... innocent- muffin-eater ;) I liked the recipe up-front but also knew I wanted to incorporate fresh berries rather preserves into the recipe. Changes I made: I used strawberry yogurt v. the vanilla yogurt as called for; and I completely left out the preserves and substituted about 2 - 2 1/2c. of fresh strawberries, folding those in last. I also doubled the recipe because I had plans to share with friends at a brunch at work! (The recipe doubled nicely). A few pics of the process along the way:

The muffins were super-moist (thanks, yogurt-y-goodness!) and tasted fresh for at least 3 days without refrigeration. I would recommend this recipe to all :) Enjoy!