Friday, September 19, 2008

Pink cupcake gig

I had a cupcake gig over the weekend, almost a year to the day of my first one. Dan's coworker Josh requested pink cupcakes for a baby shower for his wife Marlena (my birthday twin!). I got organic strawberries at the farmer's market and tried two strawberry cupcake recipes. The first recipe used strawberry chunks, but I thought it tasted a bit muffin-y, so I tried a second recipe with strawberry puree. (I used twice the amount of puree.)

Strawberry cupcakes
Strawberry cupcakes

The cupcakes were a slightly pink color with a faint berry flavor. The cake was dense, but not too dry. (When I sampled the chunk recipe cupcake the next day, it didn't seem so muffin-y...and the strawberry chunks were rather nice...will need to conduct more strawberry cupcake taste testing!) I also made two dozen vanilla cupcakes, also topped with pink strawberry frosting. The frosting was very sweet, but had a nice strawberry flavor.

Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting
Vanilla cupcakes with pink dots

I need a Cupcake Courier, but it is always out of stock. What's the story? These disposable trays will have to do for now...and the cupcakes made it to the shower safely.

Pink cupcakes ready to go
Strawberry-to-go

We were greeted with mimosas on arrival...what a treat...Dan and I also were charmed by Victoria, big sister to the new baby, who arrived (early) during the week! Congratulations!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tahoe birthday weekend

Dan and I took Arrow to Lake Tahoe last weekend to celebrate Joanne's birthday and Sally's one year anniversary with the Lo family, and what a weekend it was! There were 13 humans and five dogs at the festivities...lots of fun! Joanne's husband Newt and dear friend Steven also rode the Tour de Tahoe, 72 miles around the lake...congratulations, boys!

And of course there were birthday cupcakes! Joanne likes mango, so I made this recipe using mango puree instead of papaya (yuck). The cupcakes were filled with mango buttercream filling, topped with cream cheese frosting and a dried mango circle (cut out with my trusty apple corer, which was used to make the holes for the filling too).

Mango cupcakes
Can you see the birthday girl?

There were red beets in the weekly CSA box, so I decided to try a chocolate beet cupcake recipe also. The batter was a pretty deep red, but the baked cupcakes just looked like chocolate. They were topped with white chocolate buttercream and a chocolate disc.

Chocolate beet cupcakes
Dimly lit cupcakes, with presents!

I think I overbaked both kinds of cupcakes, but they still were pretty tasty. (Frosting always helps.) It was a great weekend. We went to the lake, where the beagles stayed far away from the water. (Except for the ones who got thrown in.)

The three beagles
Sally, Arrow & Bonnie pose for Andy

Brody (golden retriever) and Dodger (lab/border collie) played in the water with the sporty humans while the beagles and the lazy humans lounged on the beach. (Yes, that would be me.)

Bonnie and Arrow
Arrow cuddles with Bonnie

We also were introduced to a fun and addicting new game that Steven brought, Wits and Wagers. And the beagles napped in the sun every chance they got.

Lazing in the sun
Napping on the deck

Thanks for such a fun weekend, everyone! Happy birthday Joanne!