Now that I've started working nights, I have daytime free during the week. I used to intern on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, and now I have all that time. On Monday, I used it to take a three-hour nap (I've also found that my sleep schedule is officially screwed up). It's nice to be home in the afternoon though and have that block of time for homework, sleep or whatever, especially with the gorgeous weather we've started having!
My sleep schedule is totally screwed up now, though. Basically I'll be awake during the day for four days per week and awake at nights for three, but I've discovered that it's making me sleep considerably more. Like yesterday, when I was going to do a whole lot of homework. I got seven hours of sleep at night, went to class, and then came home to take a quick nap...which turned into another three-hour nap. Throughout the day I took like three more naps, something I've never needed to do. Maybe my body is catching up on the last four years when I've repeatedly deprived myself of sleep. Or something like that.
In between homework and naps, I've been baking cupcakes. Sometimes I get on cupcake kicks; right now I really like making tasty icing for them. I made cupcakes twice so far this week, and just keep adding to the kinds I want to make. I've been making half recipes in case they aren't tasty, but so far, they've been successful.
First, I made margarita cupcakes. You might remember that I made margarita cheesecake once, but I thought that I'd take a shot at the cupcake category. I looked all over the Interwebs for a recipe, and found basically two options: one using cake mix and one that was vegan. Since starting baking, I've almost completely stopped using cake mix. If I can make it from scratch, why not? So that option was out. So I went with the vegan recipe, from Baking Bites, which uses soy milk and all that. Then I started making the icing recipe on that site — and didn't like it. So instead I made basic buttercream and added lime juice and tequila. Altogether, these were super tasty! I put a lime gummy on top, and the tequila added a little bite. My only complaint was that they stuck to the cupcake liners pretty badly, which probably has something to do with the vegan part. Or, I just screwed up. Either is totally possible. Point is, they were yummy.
Next I went with the classics — rice krispie treats, Easter-style. I'm not big into Easter, although Cadbury creme eggs are wonderful. But I'd been craving rice krispie treats for a while, so I decided to make eggs, which I'd seen on a commercial. Yes, product placement does work with me sometimes. It had been a long time since I'd made them, so it was rather nostalgic. I made the treats, then Drew measured them out into 1/4 cup portions and I shaped them into egg shapes. I had to butter my hands to do it. SO gross. Then dip them in a chocolate/shortening mixture (which wasn't as thick as I would have liked) and roll in sprinkles. It was a pretty easy springtime dessert. And newsroom folk liked it too.
So then I made cupcakes again. I got this book, 500 Cupcakes, a couple weeks ago. The book has base recipes and then three or so variations for each one, so I'm assuming that adds up to 500 recipes. Pretty pictures too, and a pictures-of-what-I'm-making-in-my-cookbook kind of girl. So there was a recipe in there for cookies and cream cupcakes. The batter was cookie-like in consistency, so I was a little worried about how they'd turn out, but they ended up being just a denser cupcake, which makes sense I guess. Basically it's a white cupcake with Oreo pieces mixed in. For the icing, they had a buttercream that you sprinkled chopped Oreos on top of, but I wanted it to be more cookies and cream-y. So I put some Oreos in the food processor and took them down to crumb size and mixed it into the icing. It was so tasty — kind of like what an icing version of cookies and cream ice cream would be. It was great flavor too. Put half an Oreo on top, and then I was done! I'll definitely be making those again.
I have one more cupcake I'd like to make before Easter, the Cadbury eggs cupcakes from the blog Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. Those eggs aren't cheap though, so I'll have to think about it.
There are a lot of people coming into town this weekend, but I'm not sure I'll get to see them all. Mark will be here, and Mary from NYC, and Drew's brother. I'm super excited to see Mary, who I haven't seen in a few months (which is a loooong time considering we used to spend every waking hour together in the newsroom). Not sure I'll get to see the other two, because I start my job on my own tonight! Well, I did a shift by myself Sunday, but not overnight. We'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!
Now I'm off to study for my impending computer science test. Ugh.