Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

This is not really a cooking blog, although it certainly seems like that as of late, but it is the holidays, so… yes, there is a lot of cooking going on.

I’ve been watching Cupcake Wars on Netflix, and I’ve been craving sweets, so this cupcake recipe popped into my head.

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes.

One thing I have learned on Cupcake Wars is that lemon juice will curdle some things. I guess it’s the acid in it, so I’d probably use lemon extract to get the flavor without risking the curdling. (Or just buy a lemon cake mix, but that’s cheating.)

I want to make a lemon cake mix, (or a white cake mix and add some lemon extract if lemon cake mixes don’t exist at my local Piggly Wiggly or Harvey’s), some fresh raspberries and make a compote, assuming that’s Chef language for cook down the raspberries with a touch of sugar (or cheat and buy some raspberry preserves), take out a bit of the center of the cupcake and add the raspberry compote/preserves, and top it with a raspberry cool-whip icing, with a fresh raspberry on the top.

I don’t want this to be a heavy dessert. The raspberry filling is going to be the sweetest thing in there, and that’s how I like the idea.

I think this would be super delicious with an angel food cupcake, which is already light and fluffy and awesome with fruit toppings.

Actually yes, I think what I’m going to do is use an angel food cake mix and make that into cupcakes. I’ll take out a bit of the center of that and add the raspberry compote/preserves, and make a cool-whip frosting with lemon pudding in the mix and fresh raspberries whipped in to top it with.

I might make this on the 23rd when I make the dessert lasagnas, depending on if Sandra’s willing to let me use her kitchen for three desserts (I promise I’ll clean up!) and if I can find raspberries this time of year.

More than likely I’ll make them next month after things ease up from the holidays.

Until the 23rd then, loves!

Baking Bread with Sandra Part 3 of…

Well, we tried again, this time making a beer bread without the beer. It turned out super hard and didn’t rise like we thought it would. Again.

I talked to my Mama, who has made bread successfully before and  she gave us the following tips.

1.) Add more yeast.
2.) Knead it harder and longer.
3.) Add some sugar to help it rise.
4.) We should have used the beer when we tried to make a no-beer beer bread, as it added sugar and starch to the recipe, which we needed.
5.) Try not to make so many loaves. We tried to make 8 loaves, and probably should have done six or fewer.

So, we’ll probably try again after the holidays. We’ve still got plenty of yeast and flour, but we’ve got some baking to do on the 23rd, in preparation for Christmas, and so probably won’t try the bread again.

Stay tuned to So I Think to Myself… for two, yes two, dessert lasagna recipes, and check out Life, Laughter, and Blogging for a Tricolor recipe in a few days. What is a Tricolor? Beats me. My guess though is that it has three colors.

Making Bread With the Cousin Part 2 of…

Alrighty then, the cousin and I made a quick (ha!) trip to Wal-Mart and bought two more bags of flour and a larger mixing bowl. ($11.47 for a bowl?!) and decided to try again after we saw how our first batch of bread made.

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It kind of looks like a loaf of biscuit, doesn’t it? It ended up absolutely yummy, but incredibly dense. We weren’t really sure what we did wrong until after some research. It turns out that we added too much flour to it, which is odd, because it was a very wet dough. Also, we probably didn’t give it enough time to rise like we should have.

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See.. it just doesn’t look quite right.  At least it tastes good!

No, she's not crazy at all!

No, she’s not crazy at all!

The cousin took a selfie on my phone, so I’m putting it on my blog. Love you, cousin!

More to follow after this dough rises.

Making bread with the cousin, part 1 of…

Well, Sandra, my cousin, and author of Life, Laughter, and Blogging, and I decided to make depression era bread. Depression era bread is very simple in concept. Its five pounds of all purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water. Optionally you can add butter.

Well, we decided even we could do that!

So we started out.

Dumping in the flour. We're so excited about this point!

Dumping in the flour. We’re so excited about this point!

We were following the guidelines given to us by a Pinterest post. One whole 5 pound bag of flour!

Hmm... that's a LOT of flour.

Hmm… that’s a LOT of flour.

At this point we decided that the bowl was far too small.

Divided we ... rise?

Divided we … rise?

So we divided it in half and decided to start with the larger bowl. We made a well in the flour and added the warm water and yeast. I mixed it with my fingers, as the post said too.

Well… this is what happened…

I don't think it should be this sticky.

I don’t think it should be this sticky.

Kindergarten Teaching. Is it for me?

I like little kids, I like the idea of affecting them, of starting out their education right. To teach them to think, to create, to be the best little people they can be. My childhood self wanted to be a teacher (and a nurse, and a mommy, and a princess). Well, I’ll never be a nurse or a princess, and maybe not even a mommy, but I can become a teacher. Ultimately I’d like to teach on the college level at Liberty University Online, where I currently attend classes, but in the meantime, I’d like to teach little ones. Not pre-school, because, as my cousin so aptly told me, that’s just glorified babysitting, but kindergarten.

It’s what my gut says, though my gut has been wrong before. I know it’s a challenge, I know kids are a challenge, I know there will be tears and homesickness and tummy aches and confusion, and of course the kids themselves. However, I think it’s the grade I’m most suited to. The grade that allows for the most creativity, the most art, the most basic skills. It’s teaching the foundation of education. Letters and numbers and early reading and phonics, and simple fractions and basic math, and hygiene and classroom manners and art. It’s the basis for everything else they’ll learn. A good kindergarten teacher could potentially identify gifted children, children with learning disabilities, and keep mommy and daddy informed about their kid.

Why do people feel the need to discourage me from this? Are they right? Am I being stupid? Am I over-glorifying it? Is it because I’m already 32 and something of an introvert? I know it’s taken a long time to find my calling, and that this may not be it. I’ve spent so long, though, catering to people’s beliefs that I needed to work with computers. “You’re so smart,” they said, “you need to work with computers. You need to go into this, you need to go into that.” I thought for a long time that business was for me. I considered being a paralegal. I considered applied web technology, whatever the heck that is. Then… then my heart led me to history, and I realized that teaching was something I’d like to do. My childhood self certainly played teacher enough, teaching my stuffies and dolls their numbers and ABC’s.

This is the first time that the thought of something has triggered such an emotional response. I’m excited, I’m terrified, I’m nervous, I’m planning. I’m on Pinterest during all hours of the night looking at DIY teaching aids and classroom supplies. I’m researching into how to spot a child with learning difficulties and different ways of teaching to kids who think in different ways. Is it a sign?

I wish I had the answers for myself. I wish I had more self-confidence. I wish I just knew.

Have your family spayed or neutered

Loki and "his" doughnuts.

These are my doughnuts. There are many like them, but these are mine.

So, those of you who know me, or read my about.me page know that I love the kitties. Kitties are the best. This kitty is Loki. In a few hours Loki will be neutered! 😀 Go Loki! Obviously at this point he has no idea what is to come, he just knows that I’m not feeding him and he is angry.

Not my kitty

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, your ornaments are history.

This is not my kitty, but it is a kitty, and that’s almost the same thing. This is Merlin, who belongs to the cousin. He’s also getting neutered in a few hours! Stare into his eyes, they compel you to get your cat spayed or neutered.

 

Getting your pet spayed (for the ladies) or neutered (for the boys) not only means there won’t be babies, but it’s also healthier for your furbabies. They’re less likely to spray (mark their territory with urine), are less likely to wander, and are less likely to have reproduction related health issues. It’s a win-win for your pet.

And don’t go and use money as an excuse. Call around, many humane society sponsored shelters or other organizations offer discounts on spay and neutering if you are unable to make the full payment. Most times your pet will also get their rabies shot at the same time.

Protect your babies, get them spayed or neutered before their sexual maturity (around six months old.)

This has been a public service announcement. Sponsored by me. Paid for by nobody. Brought to you by the letters N and S. God bless.