Archive for the ‘ cupcakes ’ Category

st. paddy’s day goodness.

happy late st. paddy’s day! i hope you all had your share of corned beef and cabbage. i know i did! i was really looking forward to st patrick’s day because i was going to be making my first corned beef brisket and cabbage (and potatoes, carrots, parnips). since cooking corned beef brisket usually takes hours, i decided to use the trusty crock pot. i had to work at 5 am, so before i left, i just popped everything in the crockpot, and hit go, and left it to do its magic. and magic did it do. the recipe i used was really a winner, incorporating carrots and parsnips, not just potatoes and cabbage, and also including a bottle of guiness! when i arrived home sometime around noon, i had to remove the parsnips and carrots, and pop in the potatoes and cabbage. my crock pot would barely hold it all, but i made do. the recipe suggested using a pineapple ham glaze to top the brisket, and broil for a few minutes. i did this, but not only did i do this, i decided to add bacon! what could make a dish better than it already is? bacon. just add bacon. that’s going to be my new motto — just add bacon. sounds good to me. so i cooked the bacon in the oven first for about 20 minutes, then when that was done, glazed the brisket, added the bacon, then added some more glaze. broil for only a few minutes, and make sure to not get distracted like i did. some of the bacon was burnt, but only a portion, so nothing to get crazy about. let me tell you. BEST. CORNED BEEF. EVER. it was soooo good. on st paddy’s day i usually eat it simply cooked with cabbage and potatoes, nothing fun, but always good, but i decided to do things different this year. do things different and you’ll almost always be glad you did (ALMOST, always). so i ate all this with a side of rice, cause i’m asian. i have to eat it with rice. =) it was great.

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Valentine’s Day

so i normally don’t really celebrate valentine’s day, because i feel that there shouldn’t be a specific day that you show your loved ones you care for them. that should be every day, am i right? well anyways, i’m not one of those people who despises it either. sure, it’s a hallmark holiday made so people can spend lots of money and eat lots of candy and buy and receive flowers. but it also means you can bake some cute things for your loved ones (or for yourself)! i didn’t have much time to bake on valentine’s day because i did have work, but i had enough time to whip up a batch of cupcakes for my boyfriend. he’s a simple guy, and likes simple desserts. he loves my carrot cupcakes, and after this valentine’s day, he has a new favorite. and nope, i didn’t make a traditional red velvet cupcake. i made vanilla bean cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream frosting. whatever i was going to make, i wanted it to somehow represent the holiday, and the pink frosting did the job.

i originally tried making a swiss meringue buttercream, but completely failed. i think the thermometer i used was broken, and i didn’t heat the ingredients up long enough. whatever the case, i will try again in the near future. so after that miserable failure, i decided i needed to whip up a quick buttercream frosting to go with my strawberry puree. let me tell you, the frosting turned out fabulous. you can really taste the strawberries, it doesn’t taste like artificial strawberry frosting in a can, it tastes like the real deal – because it was! all i did was made a simple butter cream frosting – confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla extract and a tbsp of milk, and added about 1/2-1 c of strawberry puree. i have no idea how much of it i actually added, because i tend to not measure things out in the kitchen if i somewhat have the hang of what i’m doing. i don’t even measure out my confectioners sugar, because i like to control the sweetness of my frosting. sometimes the frosting tastes too powdery, sometimes it doesn’t taste sweet enough – so i adjust everything to my own liking.

as for the vanilla bean cupcakes, i got the recipe from Annie’s Eats and they turned out superb. i didn’t actually have any vanilla beans to use for the recipe, so i used the equivalent of vanilla powder. the cupcakes turned out perfectly moist, with a light vanilla flavor. it paired perfectly with my strawberry buttercream frosting. it’s definitely a versatile cupcake. since the flavor is so light, you could pair it with nearly any type of frosting. you might be able to tell the frosting isn’t completely solid on the cupcake. i think i did add a little too much strawberry puree. but kept in a cool area (for instance, my refrigerator) the frosting does stiffen up, and therefor makes the cupcake almost perfect. !

 

 

Visit Annie’s Eats for the vanilla bean cupcake recipe.

Strawberry Buttercream frosting adapted from here.

happy 2010

happy 2010 everyone. i apologize for not being very active on my blog the last few months of 2009. it’s not that i wasn’t cooking or baking, i was just lazy. i’m hoping that i’ll be better about my blog in 2010 =) the last few weeks of december turned out to be pretty busy, as i got rehired at starbucks, and started selling baked goods. sadly i’m not at my old store, but the new store is fine, my coworkers are cool people, and i don’t have to deal with customers screaming into my ear through a headset which is a big plus. as for the hungry panda bake sale, i haven’t gotten numerous amounts of orders or anything. but it was nice to have some pocket cash in exchange for delicious goodies. i hope all of my customers were pleased. in my last entry i noted some of the items i was selling. well the big seller were these bad boys:

yep. those are the carrot cupcakes w/a cream cheese frosting on top. yum-o. the bf still has not tired of them which is really nice to know! i also had this on my list of items being sold:

that right there is my seriously delicious chocolate cake. it is…seriously delicious. there was no better name for it. moist chocolatey goodness is all i can say about that. red velvet cupcakes, who doesn’t like them? okay honestly, i used to not really care for them, but then i came upon a great recipe, and the frosting which is realllly what makes a cupcake amazing. they are really a great christmas treat. then came along the brownie cupcake: tastes like a brownie, looks like a cupcake. topped with a mocha-licious frosting. here was the largest order i fulfilled, which consisted of three dozen cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip and snickerdoodles), a dozen carrot cupcakes, a dozen red velvet cupcakes, and a dozen brownie cupcakes.

special thanks to tiff & jason for being my best customers =)

i picked up Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s "Vegan Brunch" cookbook last week, and  i decided to bake something yummy from the book and opted for the East Side Coffee cake – which i made with blueberries. at first i felt the crumble on top tasted a bit dry. but a few hours later i had another piece, and it tasted wayy better and delicious. so tip, don’t serve right away, wait an hour or two. as much as everyone loves a hot delicious pastry fresh out of the oven, i advise you to not do that with these =) the cake itself was perfectly moist, and it was not too sweet. i used frozen blueberries, which worked out fine. well, i hope you all have a great new year, and lets hope i keep up with my blog this year!

sheeBakes

sheeBAKES. get it? well if you don’t then you don’t know my name is Sheena. and Sheena bakes. =P

anyways. i haven’t updated this blog in about 2 months, and figured i should. it’s not that i haven’t been cooking, or baking, or eating for that matter (i have been doing a lot of all three). and i can’t really say that i’ve been busy, because really i haven’t, i’ve just been lazy. i still haven’t gotten a job, so i’ve had plenty of time to do some baking, and i have decided to sell some baked goods for the holiday season, just so i can earn a pretty penny or two. i’m hoping to get my logo done up by this weekend, and make up a flyer to pass out to get the ball rollin’. i’m still finalizing the list of goodies i’ll be providing, and i will have a finalized list posted on my blog hopefully very soon. so with that said, i’m hoping it won’t be a total disaster, and that people will enjoy what i can offer. i’m not perfect, far from it, but i’m definitely learning.

here are just a few things that i will be selling:

snickerdoodles:

shortbread cookies:

only the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies:

carrot cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting:

here a some a couple things that didn’t make the cut:

Madeleine cookies

these turned out too heavy, with a very bread-y texture, not a light buttery taste to it. i will have to perfect my madeleine’s, but i don’t think they will be selling for quite some time. i definitely aim to perfecting them, because i do love love love madeleine’s, i just know it will take time.

Mexican wedding cakes/Russian tea cookies/Snowballs

whatever you want to call them — these are really nice tea cookies, and around this time of the year, they are very popular, and the ones i did make were not bad at all, but they were not great either.

i’m pretty sure i will be adding one or two more cookies to the list, as well as a cake and a pie — and hopefully by this weekend i can post those as well.

in other news – i finally got what i’ve been dreaming of for so long:

my sister in california sent me my early christmas present / a thank you for helping her out with the baby for a few months. =) i’m happy to say that it has made my life significantly better, and i cannot see myself without one, now that i have experienced how lovely it is. i have yet to buy attachments for it such as the ice cream maker attachment, and the pasta rollers — but am definitely expecting nothing short of awesome from them.

tomorrow i have a big day of baking samples of my goods for my mother to hand out to her friends. gotta get my name out there =) i also plan on testing out a few other recipes to see if they make the cut.

well i hope to get this blog updated more often, perhaps this weekend if i’m not too busy baking (or doing last minute school work). bye bye now, fellow readers.