Archive for March, 2012



Pipe Dream #92: To Be An Enigma

My friend Beth is serious and cold and ethereal and soft all at once. How does she do it?

L

Pipe Dream #91: To Develop My Manners In Case I Ever Eat With The Queen – Pumpkin Cupcakes

I realize this cupcake looks like a cross between my brain on a Friday and a stylized flower. Unattractive.

I realize that this mount of spice looks rather unlike a mount of spice and instead looks more like a bit of carrot soup with someone’s beard shavings from an electric razor. Unattractive.

I realize that this looks like some puke caught in a bowl with lentils mixed in. Unattractive.

I realize that I love pumpkin a lot and post about it continually, and that I have extremely inadequate manners which I’m sure are the reasons you read my blog. Attractive.

But seriously, I don’t regret these at all. Despite looking awful in a bowl, these babies are gorgeous in a mouth. They are the cupcake version of every wonderful pumpkin cake slash bar you have had. Oh, and if you follow the frosting recipe I put below, yours won’t turn out like the gloppy mess I had. Go Germany!

Please and thank you,

L

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Adapted from SweetandSavorybySarah

4 whole eggs
1-⅔ cup sugar
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces, weight cream cheese, softened
½ cups butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with liners if you are making cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Mix for a couple of minutes until it’s well mixed and some air is incorporated. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

By hand, stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients just until combined. There will be some lumps.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese and butter. Mix on high until fluffy.

Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Then turn on high and whip the heck out of it. Add the vanilla and continue to whip. I wanted a light and fluffy frosting so I had mine running on high for a few minutes after the ingredients were all added.

Once the cake is cool, frost the cake (or cupcakes).

Favorite Shots: Double Head!

Please watch this video. It will make your day, even if it is 20,000 years old in social media terms. When I saw these pictures, I immediately said double head! and was filled with an extreme joy. I figured out that this state of extreme joy takes up about five percent of my life emotion. I’m all about it.

Social Fail: A Digital Flip Book

Social Fail

A Digital Flip Book

by Lauren

Once upon a time…

The End.

Pipe Dream #90: To Drink Tea Like Water

When people found out I was going to be in England, everyone talked about the tea.

“Oh Lauren, you’re going to have so much tea. They drink it all the time over there. And they’re teeth are discolored too. Have fun with the tea!”

And I thought, “Ok, chill out. You don’t even know anything because you have never been there, and it is probably just another one of those cultural stereotypes that has been blown up by the media.” (I am so jaded when it comes to “the media” sometimes.)

And then I got here and realized that it was true. What everyone said, I mean. People drink tea like water. Even the kids my age have 7-8 cups a day, and that is a conservative estimate. We drink tea with every meal and several times in between, typically black tea with milk and sugar if you care for it.

All I can think is, your bodies are probably not de-toxifying properly. I mean, water is supposed to get rid of all the impurities in your system, but it you’re hydrating yourselves with tea? You’re on the road to rotting innards, my friends. And I am on that road too, now that I drink that much tea.

So far, no one has died from tea-related decay here, so that is good. Kind of disappointing, actually. Wouldn’t that be a good story? And the other disappointing part of the massive tea consumption is the singular lack of tea parties. There has been one tea party. Granted, it was awesome, and we drank out of real Royal Albert teacups, but it has only happened once.

They drink so much tea that they don’t even care about it. The novelty has worn off. So where I would appreciate some novelty, they can’t be bothered.

I made my own fun, though, when I did some sugar cookies for the party. If you want the recipe, you can click here. I included a different icing recipe below, which I tried on these cookies. It was all right. I did it better the second time, but I didn’t take pictures. Ah well.

Ta!

L

Milk Icing

Adapted from allrecipes

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (or golden syrup)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring

Mix well and add more milk or sugar until you get the consistency you would like for dipping or painting. I used a spoon to spread too.

Favorite Shots: Little Prophets

 

So you know how in the Bible there are books that are classified “Major prophets” and “Minor prophets?” I just found out that the only reason there is a distinction is that the major prophets (Isaiah and Jeremiah) wrote more. Their prophecies aren’t necessarily weightier; they just had a lot of talking to do. So they get the distinction of being a big deal. They are in the major league of prophets, if you will.

I also found out recently that my school has what we call the “little prophets.” Every winter, these flowers called snowdrops pop up in one corner of the yard while it is still cold. They are portending spring! They are a symbol of hope for the coming life, right in the midst of all death of winter.

Yay!

L

“For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not…But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53: 2-5


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