Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Strawberries & lemons & sugar, oh my

Someone (hi JoAnn!) has asked if I might share the recipe for Lady Lucinda's Lemon Lulu Cupcakes, and I most certainly will! Dessert recipes are not ever meant to be kept under lock and key! :)

First, I'm not able to claim the original recipe as my own, but it can be found here. And, if you follow the instructions just exactly right, I bet you'll end up with this little darling:
(Raise your hand if perfect cupcakes on tiny cake stands make you happy!)

Now, we did not follow the recipe to a T, and here are the changes we made: For one thing, I renamed them just because I thought my young bakers would get a kick out of a long, silly title - and they did :)  As for the actual recipe, we left out the limencello altogether and rather than making the lemon curd ourselves, opened a jar of Trader Joe's. The girls had asked for strawberry frosting, so instead of using the recipe's lemon buttercream, we mixed 8 ounces cream cheese, a stick and a half of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, about 3 cups powdered sugar and lots of finely chopped strawberries with a healthy dose of red gel food coloring. Once each cupcake was thoroughly covered - we do not skimp on the frosting around here! - the girls topped their masterpieces with bigger strawberry pieces and then beamed while their mama, auntie and I oohed and ahhed over their very fine work.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hiking for good manners

Today I am thankful for a husband who, upon seeing that his wife is quite out of sorts, will toss her into the car and deposit her in the woods for a 4 mile hike. There's nothing like tromping through the trees with my one and only to turn my temper around.. and it reminds me for the 8 million-billion-trillionth time that I am loved :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweet treats & sky-high heels

Last Tuesday my two favorite 7 and 9 year-old girlies came over for a cupcake baking party. Naturally the only fitting thing to bake on such an occasion was a batch of Lady Lucinda's Lemon Lulu Cupcakes with Stupendously Scrumptious Strawberry Frosting. We spent all morning playing in the kitchen, and believe me when I tell you those two can measure sugar, spread lemon curd and wield piping bags with the best of 'em! I think we're going to make this a quarterly event; it was much too much fun to wait a whole year to do it again!

Then, just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, I made the very momentous decision about which shoes to wear to our sis's wedding. (Incredibly serious contemplation going on around here these days, as you can plainly see.) I have a sneaking suspicion that they're too young for me, but never mind! The color and the black piping and very ladylike straps sucked me right in, and besides, they were on sale! I also suspect that I really have no business parading around in 6-inch heels, but I've decided that should the worst happen and I trip at the reception and end up in the grass, legs and arms all akimbo, at least no one will ever forget Shannon's special day :)
And you would think, wouldn't you, that with a backdrop of screwdrivers and hammers, I took this picture in the garage or something, but no - it's in our bedroom on our dresser. We're still staining all of our interior doors, the very same doors we started working on IN APRIL, and there is no escaping the 2 trillion tools lying all over the house :)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Music to my ears!

And my eyes! And my heart!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A garden party

Our sis is getting married in precisely 39 days and on Saturday, after a wonderful Thursday-to-Friday whirlwind of baking, cooking and cleaning, my Mama & I welcomed a group of lovely ladies, all gathered together in order to shower our girl with love and fairy tale wishes.

What a privilege it's been to have a part in this season of her life, and can we all agree that whenever we see someone so dear to our hearts, being surrounded by such a genuine outpouring of love, it's just like getting a big, sparkly present ourselves? 

Let's have a close-up of the desserts, shall we? :)
Can you tell that my sis is marrying into a family that already loves her to pieces? :)
And this is what I have to say about this last one: