Cupcakes in a Cup

You have seen mini cupcakes.

And standard size cupcakes.

And cupcakes with glass in them…

And cupcakes in a jar…

But have you seen cupcakes in a cup?

Due to district policy k’s school can’t serve the birthday cupcakes until the end of the day so I decided to make cupcakes to go.   I have been making cupcakes in a jar as seen here at Jessica’s The Novice Chef for the teachers’ birthdays but decided I didn’t want to waste jars on 5th graders.  I found this idea on Pinterest from Anna at Cookie Madness to package the cupcakes in a plastic 9 oz. party cup.   This would make it easy for the teacher to pass them out right when they are leaving at the end of the day and nobody would have to worry about messing up their cupcake on the way home.

Because it is a scientific fact kids prefer the frosting to the cupcake, this method also gives them a healthy dose of buttercream frosting in addition to being transport friendly.    Did I use the word healthy and cupcakes in the same sentence?

k picked mint chocolate chip cake for both her cake and cupcakes this year.  My inspiration for this cake came from Steph of Raspberri Cupcakes.  Isn’t her cake amazing?  I doubt my mint chocolate Lego cake will be magazine cover worthy as is hers.

However, I used my favorite buttercream frosting and added 1/2 tsp of peppermint flavor instead of 2-3 tsps of peppermint essence.  I don’t even know if they are two different things.  I also omitted the chocolate pieces for the cupcakes because I’m saving them for the cake and figured k’s class wouldn’t know the difference.

I originally made a double batch of the recipe below.  Double would normally be enough for a batch of 24 cupcakes with plenty for swirly, fancy cream on top.  However, it did not make enough for 30 cupcakes and the middle layer.  I ended up having to make another batch to finish.  If you want to make a double batch of frosting work put a thinner layer between the cupcake layers and not as high a swirl on top.

Buttercream recipe – for 12 cupcakes with lots of swirls.   Simplified directions.

  • 2 stick unsalted butter – room temperature unless its August in Texas and then you might have to stand in your refrigerator to make it.  Mix until smooth.
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint flavor, adjust to taste  (usually I use 1 tsp vanilla here).
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar (about 4 cups or 16 oz.) sifted.  Added alternately with cream
  • 2 Tbl of heavy cream (can use milk, but I like the cream).  Added 1/2 tsp at a time until you get the desired stiffness.

For my cupcakes I used my version of Ina Garten’s Clyde Beatty’s Chocolate cake.  Because I make several substitutions I finally wrote up my version here.

I sliced the cupcakes in half.  Added a layer of buttercream.  Put the next layer of cupcake and finished just like a regular cupcake.  As you can see there was plenty of room for the frosting in the cup.

Isn’t it exciting the ribbon that has been hiding out in my ribbon box for years matched perfectly?

She is growing up so fast.  She is 11 now.  Some days she show definite signs of pre-teen and some days she is still a little girl.   Love her, love her.   I am blessed to be her mother.  Thank you God for this wonderful gift.

Last year:  The Cake Pop Kid

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Fall Fun

Oh My!  How time flies.  Here is an update of the last three weeks.   Lots of photos would be nice but that would mean another week of not blogging.

We enjoyed my annual company picnic in October. My boss, Lydia, and her husband, Roy, host this event every year for their employees and our families.  Roy grills enough meat to feed an army.   My contribution each year is the homemade ice cream.  The bounce house was a nice new addition this year.  It was a great tool to keep the kids occupied.  It is a very relaxed atmosphere and I enjoy it because I am not in charge.

We left the picnic early to attend the trunk of treats event at our church.  k went to a few trunks then decided she wanted to ride the horse.  I didn’t get to watch her because my slot to volunteer at the train came while we were waiting in line.  She came and joined me at the train until the event ended.

The next weekend was Halloween.

Little k has been looking forward to this season for a couple of months.  She loves to dress up and has been planning her costume forever.   She went as Medusa inspired by the Percy Jackson movie.   There really aren’t any Medusa costumes to be found so we came up with one based on a dirty blonde dreadlocks wig and plastic snakes tied all over.  The snakes glowed in the dark.  That was fun in the closet, but didn’t really work outside.

Medusa

Medusa

She was a little disappointed in the actual Halloween event.  She thought her younger cousin was going trick or treating with her, but that didn’t happen so I took her by herself.  I know some kids her age weren’t interested in it this year, but she likes the social aspect of being with the gang and all the dress up.  Since there was no gang this year, she lost interest after we went a couple of blocks.   She wanted to go home and pass out candy.  As we were headed home, she admitted the main reason she liked Halloween was because she liked to dress up…

which is the reason she is very excited her co-curr class this 12 weeks is now theater.  She has been looking forward to theater class since she saw her first play (I sort of made that up).  She has been interested in plays for as long as I can remember.

I have been keeping myself busy with canning Pear Cranberry Jam.  I think I’m in love.   I taught myself to can this summer and most of the jams I have made have been plain, one fruit, jams.  This seemed kind of boring for Christmas gifts, so I decided to try this recipe from the Ball book.  I added one vanilla bean to the pear/cranberry mix while they cooked up.  It was lovely.  Pears have been at a great price so I’ve made about 40 half pint jars so far.  Hubby likes to give something to lots of his coworkers, then there are k’s teachers, friends, etc.

I tried a recipe of Apple Jalapeno Jelly also.  It is okay.  I think the recipe I tried had too much bell pepper in it.     Does anyone out there have a favorite Jalapeno recipe.  My sister has a wonderful Apricot Jalapeno, but I haven’t made it since she has become a master at it.

Finally, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner but before that big event is k’s birthday.  She wants a Lego party.  We aren’t doing a big party this year because we had a big Harry Potter party last year the day the Deathly Hallows Part 1 came out.  This year she can invite 2 friends for dinner and to spend the night.  I am going to attempt a Lego Cake.  Yikes.  Every site/blog I read that Lego cakes said it was harder than they thought and it didn’t turn out the way they thought, but the kids liked it anyway.  So I’m going with that and will try not to worry if its not perfect.

I found this verse an unexpected reminder that we should rejoice in the person God made us to be and not compare ourselves to others.   What are you joyful about this week?

“The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
though they cannot compare
with the wings and feathers of the stork.”  Job 39:13 NIV

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Looking Forward

We found out Friday afternoon we weren’t selected for the houseparent position.  Yes, we are disappointed, but not devastated.  I think several things helped reduce the devastation factor for me:

  • Prayers by us and on our behalf that God’s will be done
  • The lovely things people have said to encourage us and express their opinion that we were competent for the job
  • The time that had lapsed from when we interviewed to when we heard
  • Thinking through the possibility of rejection ahead of time
  • Not being in a position where we desperately needed a job.  We both have good jobs that appear to be stable.
  • This is not the worst news a person could receive.  People all around me are getting devastating news of losing loved ones, incurable disease, divorce, and other tragedies.  Our hearts go out to those who are truly in the valleys of life right now.
  • Looking forward to what might lie ahead.  I know God’s way is always the perfect way.
  • Being busy with life already and not sitting around waiting for something to happen
  • Having a wonderful husband to share the journey.  We went through this together.  I know all of my emotions that I have shared are not his, but he was equally, if not more, disappointed.

Many have shared their stories of times in their lives they thought their path would go one way and God sent it another.  I’ve heard stories of the passion people have for various ministries and the love they have for others in need and have been encouraged by their submission to God’s call.  I’ve received suggestions for other directions we could go including other homes, adoption, and foster care.

Honestly, some of these ideas scare me more right now in my life than being a houseparent to 8 kids.  Its all in the perspective isn’t it?

We truly want to be more than pew packers and I know that is why we decided we would see where God took this path.  While being involved in the local church and its activities is definitely a good thing and greatly needed, the things I’m involved with personally take very little faith for me to do.  I do the things I think/know I can do a good job at.

I’m looking for one of those experiences where I tell God like Moses or Gideon I’m not the one, only to find out when I submit to Him, that He is the One and will do great things if I allow Him to.   It seems like these experiences only happen to a few, but is it because only a few are listening, watching, ready?  Or is it that most of our lives we are following Paul’s advice “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,  so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”  I Thes 4:11-12 NIV   In fact most of the faithful mentioned in the Bible still lived normal every day lives, day in and day out until that one significant event happened we read about in the Bible.

I don’t really know.

In the mean time, we will watch and pray and look for guidance from the Almighty and continue to do the work He has already given to us.

Thank you to all for your encouragement through this process.

 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Here are previous posts on this journey:

Have a great weekend!

Here is the Company Girls link.

Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Family | Tagged | 13 Comments

Ghoulish Treats

Monday was a staff development/no kids day for k’s school. Our little hospitality group has been planning for this day to bring in fun food treats. The staff ate lunch on campus and we provided afternoon desserts and snacks.

Thanks to Tara for the pictures as I wasn’t there to see the finished product in person. We worked in shifts because most of us work. I set up the tables, gathered supplies, and dropped off my goodies on my way to work. Tara and Trisha came in later and finished setting everything up all pretty. I came back at the end of the day for the clean up.

Ghost Nutter Butters by Tara

Thank you to Maricela and Katrina for making all the cupcakes.  I got to do the fun decorating.

The Glass Shard Cupcakes were inspired by this from AllRecipes.  I decided not to add the corn syrup blood since I don’t know all the teachers personally and was afraid it might by a bit too much for someone.  The recipe was easy to follow and the candy glass came out nicely.  One recipe made 3 cookie sheets of glass and I could have used half that much to do 40 cupcakes.   I began cutting the glass with a pizza cutter which worked fine and then I tried some kitchen scissors.   I had a little more control on the size of the pieces with the scissors.   As soon as you start cutting,  the candy splinters just like glass.  I tried wearing gloves to do this so I wouldn’t have to touch every piece of candy, but it just stuck to the gloves.  It was pretty funny.   So if CSI comes along my fingerprints will be on every single piece.  Sorry, but I did wash carefully first.

I cropped the picture down so you might be able to see the glass shards sticking out of the cupcakes.  It didn’t seem to bother any takers as more of these were eaten than the chocolate.

Our Black Cauldron Cupcakes had a green vanilla pudding inside for a surprise.

A few friendly pumpkins.

Trish brought this lovely Kitty Litter Cake.   I love that she brought newspaper to put under it.

And the all famous Dirt Cake made by another Kelly (We have 3 on our board this year, oops, one of us just quit.  I guess threes a crowd.)

Finally, something to wash it all down.

Tara brought this amazing punch.  It has Bicardi Fuzzy Navel, white grape juice, lemonade and Sprite.  It looked so amazing I wish I had been able to try some, but it was all down to the floating fruit when I got back.

Swamp water.  We collected it right into the jars.  Hee Hee!

I think it looked just like this when I got back.  Not too many takers on the black punch.  It was black cherry drink mix, grape drink mix, and frozen lemonade.  I thought it tasted really good so I wasn’t too disappointed to take it home.  We don’t buy those kind of drinks at home very often so its a complete treat for me.  My daughter and hubby won’t drink it.

I got all these great ideas off of Pinterest  along with a whole lot more we didn’t have time or space for.  Like these apple bites with almonds or marshmallows.  Lea Ann was going to bring this mummy cheese ball, but was terribly sick that day.  Thanks for not spreading germs to the entire staff.  Glad you feel better now.

So cute and so fun.

Hello Company Girls.  Have a great weekend.

I don’t know why this verse came to mind today.  May you have laughter this weekend.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

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Still no word

This is just a quick post to say we have still not heard anything concrete from our interview. We did run into the man we interviewed with at church 2 Sundays ago and he said they hadn’t made a decision and were still interviewing and we would hear one way or the other when they had decided.
My guess is they picked someone else that they felt fit better than us and they are doing all the background checking on them and won’t let the rest of us go until they have for sure hired someone. But that is just a guess. Every time the phone caller id has a number I don’t recognize I always have a little hope it might be them.

Have a good weekend. I will be making some fun foods for a teacher goody table on Monday and for a small get together at our house. I’ll get some pics to share next week.

Link back to Company Girls

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No News…

…is good news.

This is sort of a dump of emotions.  Bear with me…

We have not heard anything from the interview.  I guess the good news is we haven’t received a rejection letter, but every day on that drive home I wonder if the mail will hold the end of this quest.

No news is driving me bonkers.

No news means I’m second guessing everything I said in the interview.  Then I realize by doing that I’m relying on my own self to prove I’m good enough rather than allowing God to be in charge here.

Zoanna, one of my blog friends comforted me by saying “I don’t think the interviewer was listening for all the right words, but the heart of care and joy and desire to take in needy kids.”

Okay, so some moments I’m very calm and collected and at peace with whatever outcome might come.  Others, I’m excited, still looking forward to this new opportunity and planning a move.  Other times I’m already comforting myself that its okay if we don’t get the position and God knows best.

At times I can think of all the great reasons why I want to work with the children and my better qualities that would make me a great house parent and the good things that can come of this.  Other times I see a pile of paper or clutter in my own home or have an intense moment with k over why she hasn’t done her homework and question if I truly am what they need.

All that can be said now is “I trust you God, I trust you God.”

Please continue to pray with us that God’s will be done.

If you need an update on how we got to the interview start here:

Linking up with the Company Girls

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If It Is To Be

I used to be in a direct sales company that used this little catch phrase a lot at motivational events.

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

While I get the sentiment behind that expression that you do have to act upon decisions, dreams, goals, etc. or they won’t happen, this sentiment also goes completely against God’s kingdom. We have bought into the belief that we are in control.

I hate to break it to ya, but we aren’t.

In fact God wants us to rely only on Him. He says we must give up our life to gain it, we must be weak to be strong, we must die to live.

Let me always say, “If it is to be, it is up to Thee.”

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