Monday, March 7, 2011

The Secret Word of the Day...(Part 1)

CUPCAKES!!! *hollers and jumps around crazily in memory of the old Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse days*

I've been inventing cupcakes *jumps and shouts* again and I've gotten a lot of requests for their recipes. So since my three favorite things to do on this blog is: 1.) brag about my exercise accomplishments, 2.) whine, and 3.) talk about food, I figured I'd post a couple cupcake *screams* recipes along with my bragging and whining.

Cherry Pie Cupcakes

(AAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!! No, the joke doesn't get old. Yes, I am cracking myself up!)

Cherry Compote (store bought -- I was lazy)

Butter Cake
6.75 oz all purpose flour
2 oz potato starch (also called potato flour)
1 1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TSP salt
1 3/4 C sugar
10 TBS unsalted butter (room temp)
3 eggs
3/4 C almond milk
1/4 C half and half
2 TBS Jim Bean Whiskey
1 TSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees
1.) Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together. Set aside.
2.) Combine milk and half and half in a large measuring cup; stir. Set aside.
3.) Combine sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl; beat until light and fluffy.
4.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated between each one.
5.) Add in flour mixture and milk mixture alternatively; beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
6.) Pour batter into paper lined cupcake tin (around 2/3 full) and bake for 15 minutes or until done.
(makes 24 cupcakes)

Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
2/3 C sugar
1/4 C water
4 large egg whites (room temp.)
1/2 TSP cream of tartar
3 TBS sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (room temp. and cut into small chunks)
brown icing dye

1.) Combine sugar and water in a small pot. Mix to get all the sugar wet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, without stirring, and cook until sugar reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2.) While sugar boils, place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and using a whip attachment, whip eggs until foamy and frothy on low speed.
3.) Add cream of tartar and turn speed up to medium-high.
4.) When soft peaks form, add 3 TBS of sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
5.) When sugar reaches 250, pour a slow and steady stream into the meringue.
6.) Continue to whip meringue on high speed until it's room temp.
7.) When meringue is cool turn the mixer to medium and slowly add butter, a couple TBS at a time. Keep beating until buttercream is smooth.
8.) Mix in a little brown icing dye to make the frosting the color of pie crust

Assembling Cherry Pie Cupcakes (AAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH! *waves arms wildly*)

1.) cut a small well into the tops of the cupcakes.
2.) spoon into the well approximately 1 TBS of cherry compote and a little extra to cover the top of the cake.
3.) then frost the cupcake tops to look like pies.

Cheater method --
1.) make butter cake from a box
2.) dye some white store bought frosting with a little brown dye to make it look like crust
3.) assemble as above.

Now on to the bragging and the whining -- I walked a little over 2 miles in 30 minutes this morning after dropping 3ft off at school. And... strangely enough, I don't have anything pressing to whine about at this moment. Lucky you!

Total steps today (so far): 12,672 (as of 3:19 pm)

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow when I give you the recipe to the "Peanut Butter Cup"cakes with my bragging and whining.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I've Been Liberated...

3ft woke up fever free and went to school today. He begged and pleaded and against my better judgment I let him. Of course, when he came home, he had a low grade fever again but he's in high spirits because he got to go to school and see his friends. It's been as hard for him if not harder as it's been for me being cooped up in the house for nearly a week. The Grumpybutt was beyond excited to be out walking this morning. We've all been pretty miserable.

To celebrate my freedom of the snotty boy child, 3ft, I went on a 7 mile walk OUTSIDE! And better still, I forced my friend, Riana, to go with me. Now before you even start to feel sorry for her "forced" march, it's her fault it ended up being 7 miles.

I said: Let's walk to Safeway. I need a couple things.

She said: Let's walk to Richard's (it's a craft store here in Livermore) instead. I need some red dye and pearl dust for the McQueen cake I'm making.

So we walked and for the record, Richard's is further than Safeway. Then when we got to Richard's at 9 am they weren't open yet so we walked to Target which is further still. Then back to Richard's and then we still ended up going through Safeway before going home. It was all her fault. But it was a lot of fun!

So because of that happy little liberated jaunt I've already passed 10,000 steps for today.

Total steps today (so far): 18,825 (as of 2:49 pm)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still Quarantined...

Poor 3ft is still rocking the fevers and the snot. On top of that he's complaining about his ear hurting. So I was finally able to get him some antibiotics. I'm hoping he can go to school on Monday because he's not going to make it tomorrow either. Stupid fever. Stupid snot. My poor baby.

I wasn't able to walk outside again today which is such a travesty because the weather was beautiful out. But I did jog around my apartment again. I did 3.547 miles in 40 minutes. I wish I could get it down to half an hour but I'm just happy to be able to jog that long and get that "far", you know? Especially when I couldn't jog for 10 minutes with my Wii Fit when I started this whole process. I know I'm in better shape. I just wish it was more betterer shape (yes, I write. So what? :P).

I've noticed I haven't posted any new recipes or anything or even really talked about food other than Jelly Bellys. But with the Grumpybutt being picky in one direction and my other boys being picky in the other. I've really struggled to come up with meals (that I haven't already talked about) to please everyone. Last night I made 4 cheese tortellini with red sauce. Mr. Grumpybutt LOVED it and 3ft picked at it and hardly ate any while the whole time telling me how delicious it was. But then I'd forgotten that a month or so ago 3ft hurled up spaghetti with my red sauce and could just not be into red sauce right now. Oy. So I have more tortellini (thank you Costco) and I think I'll make an alfredo sauce to go with it. Which I think would be super delicious.

I've made some different healthier version cupcakes. So far the favorites have been the "Lemon Meringue" cupcakes and the "Cherry Pie" cupcakes. I'm getting an itch to make something and my husband bought me the master set of Wilton cake decorating tips just because so now I can make my stuff really fancy! Now I just have to figure out what I want to make. If given the choice, my husband will ask for the "Lemon Meringue" cupcake again because it's his favorite but I feel like experimenting. So we'll see.

Total steps today (so far): 13,262 (as of 1:45 pm)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whoop! Wednesday.

Woohoo! I did it again. (I love endorphins) I just jogged another 3.5 miles in 40 minutes.

I'm still under quarantine with 3ft and his cooties. Since his fever STILL hasn't broken (although it's not as high), I'm probably going to be stuck inside tomorrow as well. I miss my walks. Don't get me wrong, I love knowing I can jog a 5K but it's inside, boring scenery (I don't have any awesome landscapes on my walls), and my floor creaks (so I feel a little self conscious about what my downstairs neighbors think I'm doing). At least the music is good as I jog in my room with my tunes on low (the Grumpybutt is sleeping after all).

I get bored just jogging so I also do jabs, punches, and other fun arm movements -- I did the "swim" and the "monkey" with my arms today as well as some boxing moves. Depends on the song and how it makes me feel to determine if it's silly moves (I'm sure my neighbors are laughing their butts off watching me in my window) or serious moves. But, hey, I figure any moves counts and it's more fun than lifting my weights -- which I also do.

I'm getting serious again, at least today I am. My brother-in-law is getting married in less than a month (on April 1st), and I have to dress up -- sorta. It's not super formal or anything but I do have to wear something nice. I'm not the bride (thank goodness) as I'm already married to his brother and I think his fiance deserves a sainthood for putting up with him so I won't be the center of attention -- but there WILL be photos being taken and I know I won't be able to avoid them all. So, time to get cracking on this inch loss deal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trudging Tuesday

I am still mired in the muck of mucus without a pair of waders. I will be absolutely amazed if I don't catch what 3ft has with the amount of snot he is producing and the exponential times I've had to man the tissue as he blows his nose. My hands are chapped from washing them so much and lotion doesn't have a chance to help because before it can soak in I've had to hold his snot and wash my hands again.

Envy me. I have all the fun. No, really, I do. I know you're all jealous.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new pedometer? I super heart it. Without even trying, I walked over 5 miles. I'd tell you how many steps that was but 3ft found my pedometer thought it was pretty cool, started pressing buttons, and wiped out my display. Yes, he's still living but just barely. It's pretty cool to just wear it all day and see how far you walk. My plantar fascia is acting up again so I didn't jog today but I walked quite a bit. Can you imagine how awesome that number would've been if I'd jogged? Over 8 miles. Crazy.

Hopefully my foot feels better tomorrow so I can make that happen. It'd be awesome.