Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CCDCC = Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes + even more cupcakes

Well, I currently sit awake, unable to go to sleep. Working nights really screws with my sleep schedule. It gives me a perspective I've never had before, though. Being awake at 6 a.m. consistently. Before, the only times I'd been up at 6 I had just rolled out of bed and not happily. Now I'm getting off work at that time, and it's a totally different perspective. Not too many people are up and I can run errands if I want to. I stopped by Hy-Vee the other day and there were just a few old men drinking coffee and friendly clerks there. I get to see the sun rise sometimes too, unless it's like today or yesterday (translation=summer storms in Kansas). Yesterday it stormed all day, but I think in a place where it didn't storm I'd get bored. Mom says when it even thunders once up in Michigan, they think it's a storm. Hah!

One of the most exciting things I've done in the last couple weeks is see one of my very oldest friends get married. We lived down the street from each other, and she and her sister and I played together all the time. We danced to Spice Girls songs, went to middle school dances, threw birthday parties for my cats (come on, are you really surprised?) and spent a lot of our childhoods together. She got married and looked unbelievable in her dress. I'm so happy I got to see her. Congratulations Jessica! I guess I'm really growing up.

I've been baking cupcakes a lot lately, and then taking them to work. The biggest problem has been dragging myself out of bed in time to make them. Good thing I'm not planning them later, because I should have been asleep an hour ago. I am excited for later, though, because I'm about to go on a family tradition trip. Every Memorial Day (or thereabouts), my dad, grandma and I head down to tiny little Lewis, Kansas, a.k.a. where my grandma and grandpa grew up. In the '20s and '30s. Most of my dad's side of the family is buried there, so we load up a car with flowers and water for them, make the hours-long drive and go to the graves. On the way down, we stop in Claflin, which is where my mom grew up and my uncle still has his farm. My maternal grandfather and one of my cousin's daughters is buried there, so we plant flowers there and visit my uncles multitudes of animals. Then we stop in Larned at Pizza Hut for lunch every year. Then Belpre, a tiny town like three miles from Lewis, where my grandpa's sister is buried, then Lewis, where everyone else is. Then we drive around Lewis for a bit and the country, then back to Salina. It might sound boring, but it's time I get to spend just with my dad and grandma. It's a long day, but I'm excited.

So obviously I'm off work the next couple days. Last week at work we had a bake sale, and I decided to try these cookie dough cupcakes I'd been wanting to try. Yes, they're as yummy as they sound. First you make chocolate chip cupcakes, then make an egg-less cookie dough to fill it, then make a cookie dough-flavored frosting and top with mini chocolate chips. They were sooo tasty but so rich too. One and I was good on dessert for the day. They were all gone when I came to pick up my cupcake container, too, so I guess that means everyone liked them! :)

Then I was craving cream cheese icing, and I'd seen a recipe for lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing. I guess summer makes me really want to try more citrus-y desserts. I only made a half batch, and I think next time I'd make them more lemon-y. But the icing was pretty tasty.

Friday night I worked, so I stayed until 7 a.m. so I could go to the Lawrence Farmers' Market. I hadn't been yet this year, but I definitely want to make it back. Veggies seemed to be featured right now, but I can't wait till they have more berries. I really want to try more pies since my rhubarb pie lesson with Aunt Betty. Anyway, they had some really tasty snap peas and some grass-fed beef, which I can't wait to try.

Yesterday I had a really grouchy day, but a baking-related event really helped cheer me up. My friend from college Becka is in town from California and wanted to meet me to give me something. I was meeting another friend downtown for dinner, so Becka stopped by with Beale, her guide dog-in-training. She made me this awesome apron for graduation! It's even got cupcakes on it, how perfect! Turns out my graduation gifts definitely had a cooking theme, but none of the others were homemade like this. I haven't baked with it yet, but I can't wait to!

Yesterday and the day before I wanted to make cupcakes again, but I just kept sleeping later and later. I'm talking waking up at like 5 p.m. or later. Someone described me as a bat a couple days ago, and while I don't hang from the ceiling, I'm definitely sleeping in a dark room during the days. It's weird. I finally got time today, though, to make pomegranate velvet cupcakes. I've made them once before as well, and I found them on IHeartCuppycakes. They're basically like red velvet but with pomegranate flavoring and pomegranate cream cheese icing. I brought them to the newsroom, and the production guys spotted me with them on a camera so I took them over there. It's good, because otherwise I would have had waaay too many left over. Anyway, if you ever make these, pay heed because the frosting recipe kind of sucks. I like using Martha Stewart's cream cheese frosting and then adding the flavoring to that and adjusting the thickness.

So now I've got a couple days off, and we'll see if I bake any more. My guess is yes, but I might just feel like laying on my couch and not getting up!

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