Saturday, September 3, 2011

I SPY....

A new tooth! And boy am I happy that there is an explanation to the Mr. Crabster I have had on my hands this past week.  My usually sweet-as-apple-pie baby turned on me over night...and out came the fangs, literally.  I kept trying to see if a tooth was the culprit, but every time I tried he would stick out his tongue, bite my finger, or jerk his head in the opposite direction.  Finally, I got smart and tricked him by playing a game that I like to call "upside down baby" it always results in full on open-mouth laughter. As I dipped  him back and his cheeks dimpled up in a smile I saw "it" barely protruding through the skin.  Thank goodness.

But I have to say, I sure am going to miss that gummy grin, it melts my heart. 
I had plans of posting a bunch of updated photos of my little guy and our new temporary home, but apparently I have maxed out our computer's photo capacity....maybe if I wasn't so darn fond of this precious boy...
But then I would miss out on moments like this. And I can't have that.  So as soon as we make more room or get a new computer I will go baby crazy with pictures.

In the meantime...I might just go cupcake crazy.  I have several recipes I have been dying to post, but time has not been on my side lately.  So here ya go, these are Caley tested and approved.

The first one is a White Wedding Cupcake and let me first say that I do not like boxed cake mixes, and usually if a recipe calls for one I won't even give it a chance.  But I was running short on time and this one caught my eye. Plus, I was looking for a cupcake that would stay a pretty white and not brown on the edges. This one not only did just that, but also stayed light, fluffy and oh so moist.  It still had a wee bit of cake mix taste but I actually didn't mind it, and will definitely make them again.

So if you need a quick, easy, and guaranteed to work recipe this would be your best bet. Plus you make up for the time saved when making the frosting, but trust me it is SO worth it. I will share my Oreo Frosted cupcake with you tomorrow (or when I can squeeze in some more blogging time).

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Cupcake:

For the Cupcake
Source: Recipe Girl


1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
3. Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Frosting:
Source: Annie's Eats

1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped*
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor or blender.  Puree until completely smooth.  Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer** fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer – don’t worry, it will come together!)  Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

The only thing these cupcakes were missing was a fresh strawberry filling, which I had every intention of making but ran out of time.   I think it would take them to a whole other level and really pull together the cake and frosting into one glorious union! If you have never made Swiss meringue frosting it is a MUST! It is seriously the prettiest and easiest to pipe frosting I have ever worked with.  ***Just a helpful hint, if you are like me and make it ahead of time (which can be done) don't freak out when you thaw it and the strawberries separate into a juicy mess. DON'T lay your head down and sob (not saying that's what I did...but I will say there were some tears and some blubbering words....and if I wasn't so pressed for time I just may have taken a long moment to actually lay my head down and offer up a good sob or two. Just sayin.) Instead of the latter, roll up your sleeves, grab your nearest hand mixer and whip the heck out of it until it resets back into the beautiful meringue it was made to be. Trust me it will come together. And you will fall in love all over again. That's all.***


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