Archive for the ‘cupcakes’ Category

A Roundup of Fall and Holiday Cupcakes (redux)

October 21, 2010

Note to the reader, this is a reprint from a post I did a few years ago, but Henry and I were looking online today for Halloween cupcakes, and realized that the best ones were right here! Enjoy.

Well, it happened.

Someone found me by Googling hedgehog cupcakes.

Which reminds me that was in a post about summer cupcakes, and it is high time for a roundup of fall cupcakes. Ready? Start your ovens!

(Complete recipe and decorating instructions linked to the titles.)

Pumpkin Patch

There are lots of weird, overly-orange-pumpkin-homage cupcakes out there. This isn’t one of them. I say this is pumpkin done to perfection.

Apple Cupcakes

This one is a little weird, only because I’m not sure I’m on board with red frosting. But what’s fall without an apple cupcake?

Touchdown Cupcakes

If you’re a football family, you’ll need to become a football cupcake family.

Wicked Witch Cupcakes

Halloween in general has gone off the deep end in recent years, but these are simple Halloween classics and won’t (I think) scare my children.

Hairy Daddy Longlegs Cupcakes

Cutest cupcake with least appealing name. I could have done without the word “hairy.”

Eyeball Cupcakes

How is it, exactly, that bloodshot eyes came to represent Halloween? I’m not sure how I would explain that to my kids, but these are the most beautiful bloodshot eyeball cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

Tombstone Cupcakes

Now these I love. Most delicious graveyard I’ve ever seen.

Sweet Monster Cupcakes

I was okay with the green on top, then I read something about a gooey, green pudding surprise inside. Pretty cute monster, though.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

I won’t say no to toasted coconut!

Tiny Turkey Dinner Cupcake

Also, weirdest fall cupcake ever. Not really sure what to say here. But if someone Googles “cupcake that actually looks like a turkey dinner”  I am SO HERE FOR THEM.

And a few just for the grownups, though kids might like them, too. If you’re willing to share.

Zucchini-Ginger Cupcakes

This is suitable for breakfast in my book!

Cranberry Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche Pecan Frosting

You had me at “cranberry-flecked” cupcakes, ever before we started talking about the frosting.

Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

I’ll share the recipe for these soon (because I know you probably can’t read that one below), these are from the lovely Cupcake Deck which every cupcake lover should have. Gorgeous photos, beautiful, yummy cupcakes. Mine came this year on my birthday from a fellow cupcake lover, and I could (and probably will) make every single one in it.

Dean & Deluca Fall Cupcakes

Or just order these from Dean & Deluca.

Three each of Pumpkin with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing, Cinnamon with Mayan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting.

$55 for nine cupcakes plus shipping and WORTH EVERY PENNY, I AM SURE.

If someone wants to send them to me, I promise will do an exhaustive quality control check and report back.

Happy fall! And if you find a good fall cupcake photo, please share it in the comments.

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Bride’s Connecticut, a custom wine label and a complete detour to Scrabble

January 21, 2010

This fun little feature  and accompanying image is in the spring/summer 2010 issue of Bride’s Connecticut, and was the result of a creative summer collaboration with Lucinda Wesson at Chocolate Creative Design, Sarah True at True Event and me.

The wine at Chamard Vineyard is delicious and inspiring, as is the location—a gorgeous vineyard venue for weddings and special events, with Sarah True as your coordinator. And thinking custom wine labels are just right for your vineyard event or a gift for a wine-loving friend? Call Lucinda for this custom touch!

The image is from a May 2009 wedding on Nantucket, and my creative client Antonia hand-painted these dolls as cupcake toppers. As soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for ring shots as well—if you look carefully, you can see that Bill’s ring slides down around his likeness, while Antonia’s delicate band ring rests on top of her likeness, like a miniature bridal headpiece.

And yes, those are bananagram tiles, and I knew they were my perfect clients as soon as I saw them in her room.

Some people might not know my nerdy Scrabble background (who else do YOU know who has been in Real Simple magazine for playing Scrabble with friends?), and while I am not the player I once was (two children and a business will do that to you), I do offer all my booked wedding clients the chance to take $250 off their package if they can beat me at Scrabble.

P.S. I’m really not that good, but it means I actually get to play once in a while!

Summer Fun List

August 24, 2009

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Say what you will about pool boys, they all have one thing in common: they sure are cute!

We have FINALLY gotten a nice stretch of summer weather in New England, just as we begin the countdown to fall and the real world, if we can refer to kindergarden and nursery school as the real world. But we have one more year of civility, i.e. starting school after Labor Day and not a minute before, so we plan to spend the remaining hours of official summer doing things on our Summer Fun List.

Even though we’ve done most of the things on the list already, you can never have too much of the following:

1. in-season fruit picking. We’re on to nectarines, peaches, blueberries (of course), and a slightly peculiar variety of raspberry that doesn’t seem to know it is neither July nor September. Pears and apples are nearly ready, but NOT YET, I say. Then, pie and crisp. Or crispy, as we call it around here.

2. beach and all its assorted activities, including cocktails for grownups (check), searching for sea glass (check), finding the elusive blue piece (just this weekend! and I wasn’t even there!), crabbing (check) and generally getting wet, finding treasures and getting sandy (check, check, check)

3. the carousel

4. the lake (though really–why is it amber?)

5. ice cream. there hasn’t been nearly enough this year.

6. more farm stands and less A & P.

7. more stomp rockets and sprinklers

8. more bike riding and scootering

9. more summer reading (we just finished The Long Winter from the Little House series, and it was delicious reading about freezing cold while fanning ourselves.)

10. more cupcakes. always more cupcakes.

11. birthdays. we love summer birthdays around here.

12. more time at our favorite haunts, like making toy boats and climbing on wooden tugboats

13. more pool time. always.

14. more Maine! Checking that off the list next week

15. more cape cod and friends we miss

16. gazpacho

17. tomato soup

18. BLTs with homemade bread

19. pesto

20. did I say tomato?

21. more baby twin cousins! (Pictures soon, mama!)

Clearly, we can’t get this all done by Labor Day. September, you have some things on your list.

What’s on yours? We can always stand to add a few things to ours!

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Whoops

April 28, 2009

As I’m looking at that last blog post, where I tell you that I hope the next update I give you about the twins in our family will be many weeks from now, I just have to wonder a little about karma.

As of yesterday morning at 6:39 a.m., my sister is no longer home or pregnant. She and her husband, are, however, the proud parents of a girl and boy, born nearly 10 weeks premature. As many of you saw on Facebook, the initial reports are good and stable, so we will hope and pray for continued good news on the baby front as these little ones grow and mature. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and words of congratulations!

* * * *

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, look who we had at our place this weekend!

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We had a summit of some of our favorite friends, some with babies and kids, many of them meeting for the first time. Will reveled in his role as oldest, as you can see.

(Henry was unavailable for his closeup, he picked this day to debut a stomach bug, previously unseen in our home.)

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A girl after my own heart. (Of COURSE we had cupcakes, thank you Sarah and Rush!)

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Mmmm.

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This trio, now 14 months old, made their long-awaited debut in our state with their adventurous and completely laid-back parents. We’re so glad you came!

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And the last time you saw this guy, he was about half the size and sleeping. We’ve been waiting for his visit, too, thanks for coming, River!

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And even though Lil just came from across town, we’re so glad she was here, too.

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Next time? We just need to add all the friends we missed this time, and at least two more sets of twins when they are ready to join this mayhem!

Fisheye fun

April 14, 2009

Our cousin Ben is engaged to a photographer, which makes for great discussions at family gatherings. She just got a fisheye lens, so we had some fun with it this past weekend. I haven’t downloaded my tries with it yet, but I just love these photos, courtesy of Steph Stevens Photo (and the last one courtesy of her fiance, Ben.)

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And of course we had bunny cupcakes for Easter, didn’t you?

Food Friday: Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

November 7, 2008

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Okay, so I’ve been holding off posting these because I do like to actually post things I HAVE ACTUALLY MADE. But since this last week or so has been exceptionally busy, if I posted things I have actually made recently you would be reading about oatmeal and grilled cheese right now.

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So let’s assume that this gorgeous recipe from this gorgeous book (Cupcakes by Eleanor Klivans or the companion Cupcake Deck) is amazing. Everything else I have made from this collection is yummy and fantastic, and if I actually do get to make them YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW. Or maybe second or third.

I am looking forward to a quiet moment in my kitchen with this seasonal cupcake recipe, but if you get to it first I will gladly help you critique the recipe.

Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, cut into 1/8 – 1/4 inch pieces

Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 – 2 tsp. whole milk

Cupcakes
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth. Mix in eggs and crystallized ginger, and then slowly mix in the dry ingredients until everything is incorporated. Spoon batter into your muffin tin. If you are using a silicone one, you can fill the cups all the way to the top. If not, place cupcake papers into a metal tin and fill halfway. Bake until firm, about 20 minutes or so. Cool on rack.

Frosting
Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and light.
Set aside 1/4 cup of frosting, and mix cinnamon into this until it turns a light brown color. Add a touch of milk, so frosting is thick but pourable. Place in a sealable freezer bag with all air pressed out, and cut a tiny hole in one of the bag’s corners. This is now a makeshift pastry bag.

Frost cooled cupcakes with white frosting then, using the brown frosting, pipe a dot in the center of the cupcake, and two concentric circles around the dot. Drag a toothpick from the cupcake center to the edge to create the spiderweb pattern.

Molly Got Married

October 27, 2008

Molly got married this weekend, and it was wonderful!

Molly & Mom

Flowers from the church, enroute to the reception.

It was a perfect, sunny October day on the coast of New England, and all these beautiful people came.

Mike & Renee

Alena & Mike

Doug & Chelle

Wade & Elizabeth

Dan & Sara

Me & B

Former coworkers reunited. (It’s a fun place to work, as you can see!)

And then the beautiful bride and groom

And their sweet little sweetheart table

And they danced

And we had a delicious dinner…and for dessert?

Milk, cupcakes and cookies. Yum.

We had SO much fun, thank you for a beautiful wedding, Molly & M!

No surprise that there were a few bloggers in attendance.

From left to right, Mike’s Got Nothin,  Fabulous Former Blogger Whose Blog Identity I Will Not Reveal Here But Many of You Can Figure Out, Wearing Stilettos and Living on a Farm, These Little Moments, Hank & Willie, If I Had to Pick Five and Sunny’s Side of Life. We missed a few other bloggers in the crowd, sorry!

Things started to get a little silly. Did I mention how much fun we had?

But, if you made it this far, you’ll see my favorite shot of the night.

The shoeru’s bridal shoes!

And this is my Best Shot Monday.

Food Friday: A Roundup of Fall Birthday (and Holiday) Cupcakes for Kids

October 3, 2008

Well, it happened.

Someone found me by Googling hedgehog cupcakes.

Which reminds me that was in a post about summer cupcakes, and it is high time for a roundup of fall cupcakes. Ready? Start your ovens!

(Complete recipe and decorating instructions linked to the titles.)

Pumpkin Patch

There are lots of weird, overly-orange-pumpkin-homage cupcakes out there. This isn’t one of them. I say this is pumpkin done to perfection.

Apple Cupcakes

This one is a little weird, only because I’m not sure I’m on board with red frosting. But what’s fall without an apple cupcake?

Touchdown Cupcakes

If you’re a football family, you’ll need to become a football cupcake family.

Wicked Witch Cupcakes

Halloween in general has gone off the deep end in recent years, but these are simple Halloween classics and won’t (I think) scare my children.

Hairy Daddy Longlegs Cupcakes

Cutest cupcake with least appealing name. I could have done without the word “hairy.”

Eyeball Cupcakes

How is it, exactly, that bloodshot eyes came to represent Halloween? I’m not sure how I would explain that to my kids, but these are the most beautiful bloodshot eyeball cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

Tombstone Cupcakes

Now these I love. Most delicious graveyard I’ve ever seen.

Sweet Monster Cupcakes

I was okay with the green on top, then I read something about a gooey, green pudding surprise inside. Pretty cute monster, though.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

I won’t say no to toasted coconut!

Tiny Turkey Dinner Cupcake

Also, weirdest fall cupcake ever. Not really sure what to say here. But if someone Googles “cupcake that actually looks like a turkey dinner”  I am SO HERE FOR THEM.

And a few just for the grownups, though kids might like them, too. If you’re willing to share.

Zucchini-Ginger Cupcakes

This is suitable for breakfast in my book!

Cranberry Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche Pecan Frosting

You had me at “cranberry-flecked” cupcakes, ever before we started talking about the frosting.

Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

I’ll share the recipe for these soon (because I know you probably can’t read that one below), these are from the lovely Cupcake Deck which every cupcake lover should have. Gorgeous photos, beautiful, yummy cupcakes. Mine came this year on my birthday from a fellow cupcake lover, and I could (and probably will) make every single one in it.

Dean & Deluca Fall Cupcakes

Or just order these from Dean & Deluca.

Three each of Pumpkin with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing, Cinnamon with Mayan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting.

$55 for nine cupcakes plus shipping and WORTH EVERY PENNY, I AM SURE.

If someone wants to send them to me, I promise will do an exhaustive quality control check and report back.

Happy fall! And if you find a good fall cupcake photo, please share it in the comments.

*      *      *

Best part of watching last night’s debate?

Reading the live feed from election.twitter.com at the same time. Each wink generated about 500 new tweets, doggone it!

Food Friday: A Roundup of Summer Birthday Cupcakes for Kids

June 13, 2008

Poor Henry—he’s been two for a few days and we haven’t yet given him any chocolate cake to shove in his face yet. (I did make good on my chocolate promise and gave him a few chocolate chips before bed on his birthday. “YUMMY!” he reported.)

We celebrated with ice cream and presents this week, and he had cupcakes at school, but we’re focused on Sunday for a combined birthday/Father’s Day celebration and I HAVE BEEN BUSY, mostly just drooling over the choices out there in kid heaven on the web.

Will had a cake full of sea creatures that we made here at home when he turned two, but with Henry, I’m going simple and doing cupcakes. I was leaning towards dogs and cats, but then I turned to the glorious Internet and have you SEEN what’s out there?

Butterfly cupcakes
(We had these beauties at an April birthday party, and creative mom used white yogurt-covered pretzels, very pretty.)

Hedgehog Cupcakes

Should you ever need to know how, here are instructions for making a HEDGEHOG cupcake. Someone, someday will google that and I will BE HERE READY with that handy information.

Flag Cupcakes
Perfect for a birthday anywhere near Memorial Day, Flag Day or July 4.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Though even as a child this struck me as being a little redundant (cake inside a cone), they sure are cute.

Clown Cupcakes

If there are any kids out there who don’t think clowns are creepy. These cupcakes, however, are not creepy.

Shark & Beach Cupcakes

I’m so making these. Probably for MY summer birthday.

Froggy Fun Cupcakes

If only I had known about these when Will, dubbed Froggy in utero, turned one. I just couldn’t visualize a frog-green cake, so I opted for the safe, white haven of piped organic cream cheese frosting with egg-free, milk-free organic carrot cake baked into a sheep mold. Hey, we take our food allergies seriously in our family.

Lollipop Cupcakes

These are too sweet for words. Literally. I can think of lots of little ones who would love these.

Fishy Cupcakes

What kid ISN’T a fish fanatic?

Bug Cupcakes

LOVE these. I wish I could make these for Henry, but I don’t want to traumatize him. He runs from flies and bees, saying, “Scary!”

Okay, I need to figure out which ones I’m making and get cracking! Oh, how I love cakes and cupcakes. This was so much fun I think I need to make this a regular event. In the meantime, I have a date with some chocolate buttercream.