Archive for June, 2011

Favorite Shots: Rat Poison

This is probably what I will have to use on them varmints that live in the pumphouse at camp. Is it a problem that I am working at a summer camp, and I’m scared of spiders and owls? Probably. An owl flew right in front of my car the other nigh, and my heart stopped beating for a full four seconds.

The U of M has cool things at it, like elements and dead cockroaches.  You should go to college there.

Cheerio,

L

Pipe Dream #38: To Inflate Cake – White Cupcakes


I made cupcakes for a family gathering. I believe it was the first time I had specifically been asked to make something for “the family.” I was pretty much honored. I made chocolate cupcakes with a one bowl recipe that I’ve linked six dozen times with a leftover praline pecan filling (recipe soon to come), and a new white cake recipe with lemon filling.

This particular white cake recipe requires that you whip the egg whites separately from the rest of the batter and then “fold them in.” I’ll talk about “fewlding in” some other time. I don’t exactly believe in it. Anyway, you can’t stir them in a ton or else they’ll deflate and yer cake’ll be flat. So they say. You can see the recipe below for more detail.

I started out on the chocolate with just one layer of petals. They begged for more frosting. I obliged them.

Packaging and moving was something of a hassle because I didn’t have my cupcake carrier, but thankfully they arrived in one piece. I need to think of a way around my cheapskatedness and order real cardboard cupcake holders for mass transportation.

See the weirdness of the frosting on the lemon ones? That is because I somehow interpreted the ‘ounces’ as ‘tablespoons’ in my other favorite frosting recipe. For your reference, there are 3 tablespoons to one ounce. FYI. JIST in case ewe wanted to know it. Because I didn’t.

My auntie even had this little stand to put ’em on. Oh for cute.

Even though the frosting was more corrupted than the CIA in the third season of Alias (abc’s amazing spy thriller that I was addicted to long before my family got Netflix), at least  someone ate them. P.S. Isn’t she just the most beautiful thing alive? Pretty sissy, playse come visit me soon.

And they were well received.

Be happy,

Lauren

White Cake

Adapted from JoyofBaking

2 large eggs separated

1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup room temperature butter

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract (if you want)

1/2 cup milk

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Separate the eggs, placing the whites into one container and the yolks into another. Let come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 8in pans, or in my case, cupcake tins.  Normally I use PAM, but this recipe really calls for the butter and flour method, which is actually pretty effective.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add 3/4 cup of sugar (reserving the rest) and beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Now add egg yolks, one at a time, until completely incorporated.  Add vanilla and almond extract until combined, about 30 seconds.

Now add the flour mixture and milk.  Starting with the flour, add 1/3 of the mixture and mix until incorporated.  Now add 1/2 milk mixture, mix until combined.  Add half the remaining flour, combine.  Now add the rest of your milk and combine.  Add remaining 1/3 of your flour mixture, and mix until just combined.  This whole process should take less then 2 minutes.

In a separate clean bowl with clean whisk attachment, whip eggs whites until foamy then add the cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks occur, and then gradually add in your remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Take a rubber spatula and fold the eggs whites into the cake batter.  Make sure they are fully incorporated, but do not over stir the batter, as you do not want the eggs to deflate.

Put batter into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pipe Dream #37: To Be A Storm Chaser


I have only seen clouds like this one other time in my life. They’re mesmerizingly ethereal. I’m not sure what conditions create these kinds of clouds. Maybe tornadoes. I think there was one that night. P.S. I have problems keeping up with current events. The tsunami in Japan this year? I didn’t know about that until a couple days after it happened. And I’m a PR major.

These clouds are kind of like James. He’s all like, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” I mean, they’re sort of like that. Storms in life, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, all that. In the case of these clouds, the tornado storm is producing something super beautiful.

To me, it would be worth chasing tornadoes to catch a glimpse of these clouds. They’re worth it. So unique and captivating. I wish I was more willing to chase figurative storms, knowing that experiencing them would produce faith and perseverance in my life.

I’ll work on it. Or at least, if I don’t chase them yet, I’ll complain less about current life-storms. For example, the toilets I find plugged on a weekly basis. Oh camp. Thank you for producing a wealth of perseverance in a great multitude of people over the years.

I like clouds,

Lauren


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