Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mocha Spice... was good and not-so-good. I don't want to say 'bad' because it really wasn't bad. Just not-so-good at parts. I did some grocery shopping. Good. I saw a few one-act plays, one of which featured one of my students. Good. It rained all day, and I was woken up this morning by the shaking of the apartment in the wind. Not-so-good. I tried a new cupcake recipe. Very good. I realized around 1pm that I had student papers to respond to by 10am tomorrow. Definitely not good.

So, you see, today was a mixed bag.

But, overall I think I can say that I am pleased with today. I'll feel better once I get the student papers taken care of.

In the meantime, a word about the cupcakes.

I tried the Mocha Spice cupcake recipe that I found here.
This was possibly the most complicated batter I've made so far, but that was only the case because of the incredible number of spices involved. There was such a great deal of measuring go on. However, all the measuring done, the cupcakes were a success.

The idea of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and (to me the most frightening) ginger in my chocolate cake was a bit unsettling. But, I think the fact that the cake was more mocha than straight chocolate made me feel a bit better. Who knows.

Anyway, the spice is quite appropriate for fall, or pre-winter as we are now having in Maine. And the basic chocolate icing I made for the top is nice and comforting in its Hershey-ness.

Here's the glamour shot of the cupcakes on the tower my mom sent me a couple weeks ago.

And here is the naked shot. This cupcake is fairly boring to look at, but the flavor more than makes up for that.

And please notice the blue cup of milk slightly behind the cupcake. I had to drink milk as I iced the cupcakes just because the frosting looked so rich. I wasn't even tasting as I went, I might have gone into a sugar coma if I had.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

too much fun.

so, this weekend jose came up to visit from VA where he's currently on full-time staff with Camp Bethel. so we had to take advantage of the time and hang out with everyone. as you can see...

*this was a repeat of a picture taken last year with all of us. dan cut out sean with his big hand.
*me and nay at sonic.*
*it was her first time ever at sonic.*
*jose, nay, anna, and sean.*
*me, nay and sean in his new car that was the most awesome thing ever.*

*me and sean. haha.*
*this is a traditional pic of the three of us as well. i <3 ballet.*
*jen and i were sitting on the slide and then sean decided to try and bump us off... it didn't work, so jose joined. jen is in mid-fall in this picture. priceless.*
*boy band. jose, dan, pat and sean.*
*jen, me, nay and anna.*
*also a repeat pic (we're so unoriginal). we actually got jumping pics but this pre-jump pic was funnier :).*
*me on the jungle gym!!!*
all of these pics were taken close to or after midnight. the park pictures were taken around 1:30am. i had worked all day (7am-12pm, 1pm-5pm) that day and had to work the next morning (7am-12pm). let's just say it's a good thing jose doesn't come up more often. i was extra sleepy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here we are ready to begin carving, high hopes of the wonderful designs just waiting to appear.... With each scoop of insides, yes it will be amazing!

About now Keven says, "I think I need my glasses"

Then I said, "You're face looks so serious", Keven said "I'm just trying to make my pumpkin not look like ass"

So here's the finished product

He thought he was smiling, but it's kind of scary

They look really good in the dark!

Happy Halloween Everybody!

Sunday, October 19, 2008



i just found out that i was registered to vote the other day and i sent in for my absentee ballot. i.e.--->
but here's the problem... i haven't been following politics AT ALL because i didn't think i was registered to vote and i work 32 hours a week and go to class and do homework and try to sleep sometimes and blah blah blah.
i was wondering if you would possibly fill me in on who you're going to vote for and why...


thanks guys. i'm excited to see what you all have to say. i'm being serious about this. keep in mind i have 7 less days to decide who to vote for than the rest of you voting at the polls.


See what I mean?

These are banana chocolate chunk cupcakes.

Verrry different from their cousin, the banana bran muffin I made earlier this weekend. If you'll refer to my last post, I think you'll see that there is no contest.

In making these cupcakes, I tried my hand at ganache-making for the first time. Let me just tell you - there is not much easier or more rewarding than making ganache. It was spectacularly simple. After I bought the food processor, that is.

I also want to introduce you to September, the newest cupcake-cessory in my life. I picked up this super nifty cupcake carrier at Kmart, of all places. I was browsing the breast cancer product area and lo and behold! a cupcake carrier!

Of course I had no choice but to buy it. Gone are the days when I have to carry my heavy ceramic Ikea platter all the way from my car to the office. Forget arm soreness or precarious balance issues! September has just made my life sooo much easier.

I'm just too excited. As you can see.

By the way, the banana chocolate chunk cupcakes are fantastic. And, despite the recipe's proposed yield of 20 cupcakes, I ended up making 27 cupcakes all told. Success!

It is a good day to be a cupcake.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Muffins and Cupcakes are NOT the same

I got a care package from Mom this week, and one of the things in the package was a super sweet flower-shaped cupcake tin.

So...tonight I made Banana Oat Muffins from a recipe I found online. The muffins weren't terribly flavorful, but the shape was too cute.
This tin will make absolutely a-dor-a-ble cupcakes. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fall break.

here's a hodge-podge of pictures from fall break.
*dress up at grandaddy's house.*
*trip to huntington beach/ fort fun/ VA war museum*
*ballet on top of a tank... notice that anita is way too cool for my kid games :)*
*ANITTAAAAAA!!!!!!!! (you should probably start a countdown until the next time i come home :) let me know what you come up with!)*
*we were making pumpkin pies... it didn't look too good at first...*
*cookies! (katie and anita)*
*katie, me, anita+bonnets=fun times*
*haha. katie, josh, me, tina, anita, lauren, trav.*
*COUSINS!!! (but not complete)*
*they doubted me...* "i don't know what to do with my hands!"
*tina in her uniform. she's so legit.*
*my beautiful photography :) katie at yorktown beach*
*me and matt both looking a little crunk at yorktown beach*
*katie on a canon at one of the yorktown battlefields*
*wild child(ren) at buffalo wild wings with hosh, juancho and heather.*
*hosh stole my hat.*
*katie and i in our new coats... and our new favorite hats.*
*lifeguard stand at huntington beach.*
*hahahaaa. i almost fell off of this thing.*
*josh in anita's sumo costume.*

WOW!!! katie and i had a great time with everyone when we came home this past weekend. we were laughing today about how we got dead tired every day around 7pm because we were constantly doing things. it was great to have a few days off of work and school and it was AMAZING to be able to spend time with you guys, my family. i definitely am looking forward to coming home for christmas! love you all. talk to you soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Survived!

It's true...I survived the UMaine English M.A. Comprehensive Exam. I won't know if I passed the exam for another three weeks, but at least I finished the thing. :)

So, I owe you guys some updates!

First - of course - a new cupcake. Mom got me a pumpkin muffin/cupcake recipe early last week, and I made the cupcakes on Tuesday for our Thursday reading event.
Here is the recipe Mom suggested. A simple mixture of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

And here this is the point at which I distrusted the recipe and decided to add eggs, oil, and water. Adding these ingredients made a fluffier cake, and one of the things that people continually comment on is the lightness of my cupcakes. I'm not sure how my cupcakes are any lighter than anyone else's, but I didn't want to present a dense pumpkin cake this time.

It worked! My even distribution of batter still needs work. But...the cake was wonderful. Very flavorful and moist.

And here they are iced with cream cheese icing. The coloring was supposed to resemble fall foliage...not sure that it really did.

The cupcakes were a hit. Definitely a recipe I will use again. :) I guess I should write it down...

Anyway! Cupcakes down...Comprehensive Exam soon to follow.

For those of you who don't know, the UMaine M.A. in English literature program has a comprehensive exam that every candidate for the M.A. has to pass. We get a list of 30 texts when we enter the program and then we can take the test in any of the four semesters we are taking courses at the university. Most people take the exam in the fall of their second year. So...that's what I did. To make a long story short, on Saturday at 9am, we get emailed a list of 11 questions. We choose 4 and answer each of the four with a 5-7 page essay. Big weekend! The essays have to be emailed by 9am on Monday morning.

Friday afternoon, in preparation for the Saturday exam, I did a craft! I knew that speed reading another text wouldn't help either my anxiety level or my ability to tackle the exam. So...I decided to engage my mind in a more calming way. The necklace pictured below is what I came up with.

Please forgive the refrigerator hanging, I am not ready for pictures today. :) I made this necklace out of buttons and hemp. Totally fun and quite relaxing.

Saturday morning I got the exam, tackled three questions before going to bed at 11pm, and I did the last essay and revisions yesterday. I emailed that stuff away by 4:30pm, and it's been smooth sailing ever since. order to really ground myself and reach normalcy...this is what I'm doing right now:

You'll notice that this cupcake is completely boxed. I'm not trying anything fancy this time, and honestly, I had forgotten how easy cupcakes could be!

I have a tub of ready-made chocolate icing too. Ah...the simple life. :)