Sunday, November 28, 2010
It seems a little silly writing about New Year's when I just put up my Christmas tree. This week, when I got home from Salina, I put up my multicolored tree. It's pretty ridiculous, actually. Kelly will tell you so. But hey, I like bright colors, so I suppose my tree should match.
My tree is one of my Christmas traditions I've built for myself. I've found it necessary to start making my own traditions up, because it's pretty tough to keep holiday traditions alive when your parents divorce and move away. So my tree is it. Some of the tradition is through the ornaments. I've got Santas my aunt painted for me, and porcelain versions of the Seven Dwarfs (yes, my parents started me early on the whole Disney thing). There's a collection of cloth ornaments a dear family friend made for me, one each year when I was growing up. There's the super gaudy old ornament with sequins and fringe, and I couldn't even tell you its origins. Mixed in with all the old stuff is the new, though. I've got the colored globe ornaments, but also my 2008 National Championship ornament, next to my Bolt ornament I got last year. There's lots of sparkle too. And a fair number of animal ornaments too.
My other two favorite traditions I've also made plans for. First, I watch White Christmas. A lot. If you let me, I'll force you to watch it too. But also, every year I go see the Nutcracker ballet in Kansas City. It's something I used to do with my mom, then later with various boyfriends throughout the years. I know this show by heart; the songs, the choreography, the costumes (the Dance of the Flowers is my favorite). This year, I'm pretty excited because I just bought tickets to see it with my friend Lauren, who used to dance in the show. I know she will love it just as much as me, and we'll get to do our Christmas tradition together.
Anyway, New Year's Eve is still a little far away to really plan for. I've got to get through the winter holidays first. But for this week's challenge, I had to make a New Year's-themed cupcake. I know champagne is a little cliche, but I hope all of my friends from the Kansan will appreciate what I made this cupcake with: a nice $5 bottle of Andre. Yup. Definitely some sentimental value there, some memorable Wednesday nights at the ends of semesters. I couldn't resist.
So I used this champagne cupcake recipe, which called for whipping the egg whites instead of adding eggs straight in, making the cupcakes a bit lighter than normal. The strawberry Andre gave them just a hint of flavor, but the icing is what really made these cupcakes. It might be in my top three icings ever. It was just a basic buttercream, but with the Andre added, and it almost seemed to have a fizzy flavor. Not possible, but I stand by what I say :)
I'm posting these cupcakes over at the New Year's challenge. I'd really appreciate if you'd go vote for my chocolate peppermint cupcake (number 4) to help me win last week's challenge. Thanks!