Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And by the way...

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

~Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My first race!

I ran my first 5K in the Shamrock Run on Sunday. It's been quite the push getting myself back into running since I had Asher. But I did it! Nathan ran the run with me (last minute) and showed our friends who said he couldn't do it--that he could--without training! He even beat me by about 15 seconds! We had a good time pushing through together and found out that we finished pretty well. Nate finished 150/331 in his age range and I finished 70/704 in my age range. Yay! Now, Nate wants to take up running and is planning on joining me for the Drop Top 10k in June, in Hillsboro, OR. So between now and then I'll be working on my speed and pushing for six miles. Oh, it feels good!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes

Photo taken from

Brooklynn and I made these last Sunday night. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart's website and they turned out very good. The frosting is especially yummy, and I have to say that I enjoyed the cupcakes more on the second day. I wonder why this was so, or if I was just imagining it?

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Strawberry Frosting

Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined.
4. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not over mix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

*I made one alteration to the frosting recipe and added more strawberry puree. It did change the consistency a bit, so I used the beaters a little longer to thicken it up a bit. I had quite a bit of frosting left over, so there is the option to double the recipe and make the cupcakes taller and make 18 instead of 12 (which the recipe says it makes), LOAD the frosting on just 12, or have frosting left over for other treats. I happen to think that it would make great crepe filling--which is my next cooking adventure. :)

Brooklynn LOVES to help in the kitchen!

She felt like this strawberry needed a hug!?

Raring to go!

I was laughing so hard when I took this picture. She was trying so hard to smile big!

Such a great helper!

And so sweet, too!

She mastered self-discipline that night at the counter!

Mmmm. The best part!

Our Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes


“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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