Saturday, August 30, 2008

"These are your best yet!"

I heard those words today from a rather tall man that I know quite well. Nevermind that his mouth was full of vanilla cupcake and chocolate frosting! That's right, I finally baked more cupcakes and started to work on perfecting frosting as this seems to be my weak area. Tonight I started off with a white cake which included pudding and a little bit of sprite. The combo of the two really makes for a great textured cake with a nice crumb. Then I decided I would mix up a batch of chocolate and regular buttercream frosting. But, after mixing the chocolate, I realized that I had enough to generously cover all of the cakes, so I decided that one kind was enough.

Catching UP: Airshow

So, these pics are a couple of weeks old but still worthy of a post. My parents came out from the State of Corn around the middle of August to enjoy the show. We had a great visit with them and got to attend the airshow on Friday and watch it from our deck on Saturday and Sunday. We also got some great glimpses in when we were walking down the street, riding in the car and on public transportation. It's pretty difficult to miss airplines rushing by overhead at mach speed!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Science Experiment

I was always a fan of lab in chemistry and biology. I wish I could rewind and go back to the lab to test my skills again. To mix, to waft, to put all things unknown into my crucible and boil and boil. Those were the days. Since I can't go back to school and frankly don't want to, I make my own experiments and they always occur in the kitchen. This weekend, it was an attempt to mix two of my favorite things, cheese and cupcakes. Sound gross? It's not. It's actually quite tasty and simple. Mix up a batch of cupcakes, lemon or vanilla are best. Then mix together ricotta, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon the ricotta over the cake mix and bake. The ricotta sinks to the bottom of the cupcake and provides dense cheesy layer. Dust the cake with a bit of powdered sugar and you have a successful experiment!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Back to Work I go!

So, after an extended weekend, I will be returning to work tomorrow. That means I will actually have to get up when my alarm goes off instead of rolling over and hitting snooze a bazillion times. It also means I will not have as much time to review my testing materials. While I can be a slacker studier at times, I typically have the best focus in the morning and will miss out on it for the next two days. It also means that I have two more short days to prepare for REG and well, I never feel like I am prepared. I think I could drink myself silly into a red bull high for the next two nights studying like a good little cpa candidate and still feel like a complete retard on Saturday at about noon. Not looking forward to it but will gladly suffer through it if it means it will soon be over! Good night everyone and if you don't hear from me anytime soon, rest assured I will be studying.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finally, some cupcakes!!

When I initially set up this blog, I did so because I was in the regular habit of baking frequently. I'm not sure if it is because it is now too hot to turn my oven on for extended periods of time or if I am too concerned with gaining some additional pounds but I haven't baked any cupcakes in (gasp) months! How can it be? Well, when you mix the summer weather with some good old Becker study books, the resulting combination is that there is no baking going on in the Chicago Cupcake lady's kitchen. Reluctantly, I have given up my hobby briefly in order to try to accomplish a personal and professional goal that has been in progress for quite some time and well needs significant attention.

Instead, I will share some of my favorite cupcakes to be purchased in Chicago. In honor of my Birthday, Mr. Cupcake took me to one of my favorites, Sweet Mandy B's. I had a cupcake for breakfast, yellow cake with buttercream frosting, and Mr. Cupcake had a homemade cinnamon roll. We then purchased a red velvet cupcake and chocolate with buttercream cupcakes to enjoy later. The picture below is of the chocolate with buttercream. The good thing is that Mr. Cupcake accepts the cakes from Sweet Mandy as a replacement for mine. Actually, based on his reaction I think he prefers them to mine. So, when I get around to baking again my first culinary goal will be to figure out the recipe behind these things. Trust me, you will be happy that I did when I make them for your next occasion!

Please enjoy the flowers as well and pay no attention to the permarings on my coffee table. I promise we regularly use coasters, it just doesn't look that way.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Aging gracefully....

For those of you who have stuck with me since the inception of this blog despite the length between posts, you may remember that I chronicled the planting of my flowers at the beginning of the summer. Well, I can assure you that I have a green thumb and that the combination of direct sunlight and lots of watering from Mr. Cupcake has allowed these flowers to bloom into beautiful reminders of life and growth.

See the pictures below for transformation from beginning to now:


So, the true point of my post, for those that know me well, is that I too am approaching another year of what I hope is aging gracefully. While I am no where close to being old, I'm also old enough that when I was a kid I thought that being my age meant old. And yes, my body is showing some signs of age that I am NOT going to share with everyone as I don't want to give away all of my secrets.

Let's just say I really enjoy attending the weekly yoga sessions in Millenium Park as it gives me the chance to stretch my body out. That's right picture about 100 people practicing yoga at 8am on Saturday morning in the splendor of downtown Chicago. This morning, we even chanted at the beginning and end of our session all in unison. It is fantastic. It attracts those who have aged gracefully and some that have not but all that are interested in finding a little time for themselves. Thank you Chicago park district for providing the opportunity.