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Archive for the tag “Cooking”

Sesame Street Cupcakes

I am so EXCITED to share these cupcakes!

My cousin’s little girl (Abigail Jo) turned two this week.  For her birthday party on Saturday I was asked to make some special Sesame Street themed cupcakes. Sesame StreetMy cousin (Roni Jo) planned to use Annie’s Eats Sesame Street party as inspiration for her little girl’s birthday party and had hoped I would take on creating the cupcake tower Annie had created. I’m always up for a challenge so of course I said yes! Plus, it was a reason to bake, I don’t get many chances for that – I eat most of what I bake and it’s not very healthy to eat a whole cake on your own!

Some relaxation time baking was nice to schedule in – however it was just that. I had to schedule it in and break up the cake making process. The timeline for these cupcakes was spread out over several days.

Wednesday: Attend a friend’s party – can’t stay long. Make buttercream frosting & fondant.

The fondant will be used for several features on the characters and the iconic street sign with Abby’s name on it. The buttercream will be used for the fur and feathers of the characters.  Of course I had to make both – no store bought stuff here (well almost – black is almost impossible to make look good when coloring it yourself).

Thursday: Meet with my realtor.

The beak for Big Bird

Identify & create feature pieces for the characters.

  • Mouths – fondant
  • Tongues – red hots
  • Eyes – purchased candy eyes
  • Noses – orange Reese’s pieces
  • Beaks – marshmallows & red fruit leather

Bake 70+ cupcakes – I used a different flavor of cake for each character. Yumm!

  • Elmo: Strawberry cake
  • Cookie monster: Chocolate
  • Big Bird: Vanilla and Party Confetti
  • Oscar the Grouch: Mixtures – each one is different and a surprise.

Friday: Frost 70+ cupcakes – Fun part!! Decorate cupcake stand…

Saturday: Get up at 6:30 am to volunteer at a the See Jane Run ½ marathon until 1:00pm.

Finish frosting cupcakes and then somehow transport them to Roni’s house.  Set-up display for party by 4:30pm – help with the rest of the set-up.  Enjoy the party, take pictures, play Sesame Street themed games, and of course EAT cupcakes!

Go dancing to the sounds of Willison Roos.

Annie’s tutorial is very thorough, making the party and cupcakes super easy to replicate. I appreciated this. She has such great ideas, it is wonderful that she shares them with us on her blog, Annie’s Eats.

This was the first project of this kind I have been asked to partake in and it was so much fun. I hope I get to do more of them in future!!

My question to you – When am I baking a cake for you?

Spicy Black Beans

I love to cook but in recent history it hasn’t really been something I put my heart into.  Most things need more than one person to make a meal worth cooking, and that isn’t a regular thing around my house.  BUT…this week was one of those times when I felt the need to be creative and I felt like being creative in the kitchen.

My idea was to use up some dried black beans I’ve had for a while.  To do this I decided to make the spicy black beans from Damn Good Food, a cookbook I purchased at Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis, MN a few years ago.  They use the spicy black beans for their Huevos Rancheros recipe and let me tell you, they are damn good!  The decision on how to prepare the black beans was set, however what to with them after they were prepared wasn’t as easy.  For that I turned to my spicy life for some suggestions…a friend was having some people over for a party and some spicy black bean dip sounded like a wonderful dish to bring along and share.  So it was set…now to make the beans.

This cookbook is amazing, everything is made from scratch just the way I like it.  I had the beans already soaking overnight (well two – because it took me a while to figure out what to do with them), I just needed to cook them.  In theory that in itself wouldn’t have be much more than putting them on the stove and letting them boil for an hour (or two), but these beans required more attention than just sticking them in a pot and boiling them (of course most good things require more attention than sticking them somewhere and letting them boil).  The recipe called for a special barbecue sauce (made from scratch – of course) and I amazingly had enough of the ingredients (or substitutes) to fake it and fake it well!  Adobe chili peppers…vinegar…salt…oil…and some other things made a great bbq sauce that I now have plenty of to use elsewhere.

Beyond the barbecue sauce there really wasn’t much more than garlic, peppers (many kinds) and onions in the beans, but man are they good!  For the dip, I took the beans…smashed them with a fork…added some sour cream…paired it with some tortilla chips and called it good.  The decent sized bowl of dip I went to the party with was empty within an hour or so after arriving…so I wasn’t alone in thinking it was good!!

Did I mention how damn good these beans were?  You should try them!

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