Snippets of my life as a cupcake-baking, knitting, fishing aunty.
So, it's been nearly two months since my last entry. I just can't be trusted with a blog. Naughty blogger!
Just a few days after my last entry, my beautiful boyfriend very unexpectedly asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes. We went shopping together and picked a gorgeous sparkly ring that still makes me go all gooshy every time I look at it and I promptly took photos to share with my friends on here. Short story - batteries went flat in the camera, so the pics are still waiting to be uploaded and posted. You'll just have to wait a bit longer. We'll be getting married in March 2010, so y'all have 18 months to get your airfare saved!
Another unexpected but wonderful thing happened recently. B and I drove to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, so he could compete in the Axial Tiny Tuff Stuff National Remote Control Rock Crawler Competition. I mentioned it to my mother, who informed me that my ex-step-mother and half-siblings lived in the town we'd be staying in. Small world! I hadn't seen them for about 8 years and very much wanted to see how my little brother and sister were growing up, so I surprised them with a visit. We spent some truly lovely time together, going out for lunch one day and taking a picnic to one of my step-mum's favourite spots the next. My "little" brother is much taller than me and is a well-spoken, polite, intelligent, handsome young man who is the perfect combination of both his parents. My sister is everything I find gorgeous about little girls - she's a chatty, funny, intense, clever girl. She has beautiful red hair and wears glasses and is just adorable. Distance means we won't see a lot of each other, but I'm really hoping to stay in better contact with them. The competition? B didn't do so well, but he had fun and bought some new bits for his toys, so he was happy.
That's about it for now. A few little things are going on in my life, some good and some truly shitty, but they all even out in the end. I'm keeping myself entertained by reading trashy bridal magazines and throwing out all the leaflets and promotional bumpf I've been sent since I entered a few competitions at a bridal fair in September. No, I don't want a chimney sweep or belly dancers at my wedding, thank you. No, I won't be paying >$5,000 for a photographer to point and click a few times. No, I'm not paying $25 per guest for personalised bottles of booze as bomboniere. No, I don't want to remortgage the house or take out a credit card at 35% interest to pay for the wedding.
Are you married? Where/when/how? Tell me your wedding stories and pink to your pics, if you have them online. I'm loving hearing the love stories!
After ten hours of solid baking and nearly five hours of frosting, I had 10 dozen large and 200 baby cupcakes ready to be sold. My friend Lisa and I schlepped around the hospital we work in, doing the hard sell while wearing RSPCA Cupcake Cook sticker-badges. It took us four hours but we sold every last cupcake and raised over $350 in the process. It would have been closer to $500 if my vanilla cupcakes had been less dodgy - the batter looked wrong somehow and they weren't as light or soft as I would have like them to be, so I sold them at half price. That'll teach me to try a new recipe under pressure to perform. I got to make my delicious peanut butter frosting again, one of my favourite flavours (and when I make it, my friends colleagues always ask for the recipe).
Once I've found my media card reader, I'll upload a couple of pics from the day. There were only a few taken because it was such a mad rush to get them out the door and on sale. I'll have to tantalise with a list of flavours.
Our kitten, Milo, is addicted to Whiskas Cravers. He's putty in my hands whenever I bribe him with them. I accidentally left a bag of them on the coffee table one night and awoke to find it punctured all over by tooth and claw holes where Milo had tried to get into the bag. He also does this adorable meowing-while-munching thing that always makes me laugh. I liken it to a premenstrual chocolate addict chowing down on a slab of mudcake, exclaiming how delicious it is with every bite and groaning with pleasure throughout each chew. Seriously - if you have cats, get your butt to the supermarket and get some Cravers as a treat for your feline friend.
Monday 18th August is RSPCA's Cupcake Day, a great fundraising challenge. Basically, I'm going to make a truckload of cupcakes in various cute forms (mostly animal) and sell them at work to raise funds for the RSPCA. If you're cupcake-obsessed like me, why not sign up as a cupcake chef? If not, keep your eyes open for a cupcake sale near you on the 18th. If you'd rather buy something a bit longer lasting, check out the great cupcake teatowels and other Cupcake Day merchandise here. If you're in Brisbane, I'll be selling my cupcakes at the Mater Private Hospital in South Brisbane. Leave me a comment or email me if you'd like more info or if you want to pre-order some cuppies!
Pics coming soon of the Cakes & More forum Royal Icing Theme Challenge. Having never used RI before, it really is a challenge!
As I was working myself up to get ready for work this afternoon, the phone rang. It was one of my work friends, wanting to know if I'd like to take an annual leave day as the ward was way overstaffed for the late shift. Hmmm, let me think on that for just a second..... see you Monday!
Hi to Coby and Ruth - thanks for reading and for commenting
Rose flavoured buttercream, that is. Add a bit of fondant, some food colouring and a few cutters and you have some cute cupcakes.
These were all made as part of the cupcake challenge on the Cakes and More forum. If you like to bake cakes, create beautiful things out of sugar and chat about it with other cakers, come along and play. If you join us, be sure to let us know you found the forum via my blog - I'd love to know who (if anyone) reads it.
Naughty blogger, being absent for so long without a crappy excuse. Whoops!
Since my last post, we have become parents to a 10 week-old Burmese kitten. We have named him Milo. This is partly because he's a chocolate Burmese and partly because B won't let me name my first-born son Milo (a long-time dream of mine).
Wanna meet him?
He's so much fun to have around and he's definitely good practice for parenthood - the early morning crying, the mess everywhere, the discipline when he goes where he shouldn't, the endless expenditure on food and toys and things to contain poo...we'll be fine when we do eventually have kids.
I have baked a few times but have struggled to find time with shifts at the moment. I made some fun cakes for my birthday party and was in so much of a rush to get the finished, I forgot to take pics. Cakes & More are holding a cupcake decorating challenge from 20th May to 20th June, so I plan to have a few good sessions with fondant, flowerpaste and my cutters. I'm planning to try out royal icing for the first time and also a few new types of frosting.
I'm here, honest! I've been baking plenty and making a bit of progress in my flower-making. Will be back later in the week to post photos of Easter cupcakes (yes, I know it's a month later now) and various other batches. Hopefully, I'll have some sugar flowers that actually look like flowers to show you!
Wish me luck and good sleep - I'm on night shifts for the rest of the week.
I haven't been having a baking-free spell -- oh no, on the contrary. I've baked plenty and taken more than a couple of cupcake-centric photos, but I've been on holidays with B and haven't quite caught up with everything.
Cupcakeries have made their presence felt in Brisbane recently, including The Cupcake Company. I was happy to see that they bake from scratch and aren't afraid to shout it. After taste-testing a few cakes from another cupcake store recently only to find that their cakes were very obviously from a packet mix, it's great to know that some cupcakers earn their money by adding that extra touch.
I'd love to declare that I bake from scratch -- mostly I do -- but just tonight I picked up 2 packet mixes for my cupcake marathon session on Sunday. In my defence, they're gluten-free mixes that I'm trialling. I wanted to make GF cakes for work on Monday as I have a couple of gluten intolerant colleagues. While I know for sure that my Hummingbird cake recipe works just fine and dandy with GF flours, I can't afford for two whole batches of cupcakes to go wrong if the flour isn't right. So, I s'pose I bake from scratch unless I'm in a corner.
Just to get your juices flowing for the pictorial lushness to come, random pics of cakes I've made in the last few weeks and not blogged about:
Peanut Butter & Banana cake with Banana Buttercream
Vanilla cakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream....this pic makes me drool!
St Patrick's Day Mudcakes with Peppermint White Chocolate Ganache and Shamrocks
Lovely Easter cupcakey goodness coming soon!
No, I don't mean laughing at a sulking child tripping over the gutter, or having a secret snicker when someone you loathe makes a particularly stupid statement in front of many, many people (although these are both things I do at times). I mean laughing out loud at blogs written by others. Today I was reading Vanilla Garlic and found this little rant by Garrett. As most of you know, I do love a little rant. He also has a recipe for the most amazing cupcakes - Cardamom Pistachio with Rice Pudding. They look and sound so incredibly delicious. I can feel another baking session coming up very soon. If only all these late shifts would be over!