Crafty Me. And Cupcakes.

Triple Chocolate, Browned Butter Yellow Cake, and Champagne Cherry Chip

I had a very crafty childhood.  Perhaps it was because those were the dark days before internet, Wii games, and DVRs with on-demand kiddie shows.  The days when a stay at home mom had to do more than push a button to keep two active kids entertained.  Don’t read that as judgement, please – I’m about to become a button pushing mom myself.  But something about being pregnant has made me increasingly nostalgic about my own childhood, and my memories of the fun and crazy things my brother and I did, all in the name of daytime entertainment.  A lot of what I remember was food related.  Or at least kitchen related.  I specifically recall getting to do “experiments” – which involved a dish tub and a large number of random ingredients, some edible (flour, spices, etc) and some not so much (dirt, bugs), all mixed up with water into something that can only be described as nasty.  I’m sure it was a great way to keep a little one distracted and out of the way – but wow!  I can’t believe my mom supported that kind of craziness.  And cleaned up after it. Continue reading

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Soup Party

The lineup: Beef Bourginon, Potato and Corn Chowder, Chicken Orzo, Turkey Chili, and Creamy Corn Chowder

First, a confession:  I am not a lover of soup.

Clam chowder, yes.  A good thick chili, absolutely.  But anything along the lines of broth with stuff in it?  Unh uh, no way, thanks and buh-bye.  I have no idea why – although I suspect the lack of soup during my childhood (other than canned chicken soup when I was sick, uuuuugggghh) started me down this path.  It’s a texture thing, really . . . I just don’t want to drink my entree.

So when my favorite soup of the five made at a recent Soup Party happened to be the Lemony Chicken Orzo – the only broth based soup of the bunch – I was downright shocked.  Clearly, my 6.5 month old fetus has taken over my body, including my taste buds.  (And on that note, the baby is out to get me, as I spent all day craving jelly beans, frosting, and fudge. All three.  At once.)

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Chocolate Chai Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes are festive, don’t you think?  Besides being portable, and in handy single serving sizes – they just have “party” written all over them.  Especially when topped with colored sprinkles and all decked out with cute wrappers and animal shaped toppers (see below).  The best thing about cupcakes – at least from the standpoint of me, the laziest baker around – is that it takes very little effort to dress them up.  Pipe on the frosting instead of spreading it on and you go from home-baked to practically professional in the wink of an eye!  And, shhhhhh, don’t tell – piping is way faster!  Sometimes I think I should do a Lazy Baker class for moms and show them how easy it is to look like a pro and not waste a lick of energy.  But then I get too lazy to set up the class, and there goes another idea down the drain . . .

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