I've Missed You!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm still here, just have been busy.  Here is a sneak peek of what I've been working on. 

Mt. Dew Cupcakes

Jungle Theme Baby Shower Cupcakes

Hosting some girlfriends from out of town this weekend but haven't decided what to bake yet.  May try out a new recipe, I'll keep you posted!

I've been thinking of sharing some other crafts and household diy projects here on Tasty Sweet.  I'll still keep you up to date on all my cupcake adventures, don't worry!  I hope you'll check back to see what else I have to share.  I'll be back after the weekend with a real post.  Have a great weekend everyone!

And The Winner Is.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel

The winner of the How To Eat A Cupcake Give-Away is comment #1, Brooke, chosen by random.org.  Congratulations Brooke!  Still interested in your own copy of How To Eat A Cupcake?  Order a copy here.  Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Orange "Yet To Have A Real Name" Cupcakes

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yes, that's right, these cupcakes do not have a name.  "Orange Cupcakes" could do but I think they need deserve a little more.  These are my sister's brain child.  Last weekend the weather was unseasonably warm (and has stayed that way since, yay spring!)  and our afternoon was spent hanging out at my parents.  They have a great deck overlooking their 11 acres and it's a great spot to soak up the sun.  My sister had told me the previous day she would love an orange cupcake, she wanted it to taste like drinking an orange soda while sitting in the sun on the deck! 

We had our inspiration of orange extract, orange soda and orange slices!  All with their own great orange flavor.  We wanted to incorporate them all and some orange juice to make the perfect orange....and I think we did!  My sister is the the best baking assistant ever.  I did my thing adding ingredients, mixing everything up and she wrote down ingredients/amounts as I shouted them out.  It was fun, sister bonding in the kitchen.  The only thing we didn't come up with was a name for these cupcakes!  I experimented with some square silicone baking cups too after raiding finding them in my Mom's pantry.  The orange colored ones were perfect!  So here's the recipe we came up with....

No Name Cupcakes   
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pure orange extract
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup orange soda
¼ cup whole milk
1 tbsp. orange juice
*optional electric orange food coloring

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add orange extract and orange juice.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Alternate adding dry mixture and each of the remaining liquids (soda and milk) to the batter.  Mix well after each addition.

The batter is a pale orange, this is where you can add coloring if desired.  *I added just a few drops of Wilton orange food gel.

Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes.  Makes 12-15 cupcakes.


Beat 1 cup butter until smooth.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar, blending until smooth.  Add ½ tsp. orange extract, 1 tbsp. orange juice.  Add 3 ½ to 4 cups additional powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add 1 more tbsp. orange juice to taste and to reach a smooth consistency.  Beat on high until light and fluffy. 
Frost the cupcakes using your favorite decorating tip.  In this case, I simply snipped off the end of the icing bag and went with an easy circle swirl. Topped off with orange slices and they make a great sunny day treat.
Be creative when using the orange extract, orange soda and orange juice.  Each adds a little different orange taste.  The extract can be a tad bitter if too much is added, the soda add a lightness to the cake and the orange juice adds a sweetness along with the orange flavor.  Add/subtract any of these to your liking.
We had fun taking pictures of these cupcakes too.  I love piling them in a basket along with the oranges.  Just waiting for someone to pick!

So, what would you name these cupcakes.  For now, they're stashed in my recipe binder as "Orange Cupcakes", let's come up with something better suited for them.

Make a batch and be sure to enjoy them while soaking up the sun.  Get your vitamin D and C all at the same time!

Don't forget you have until Tuesday to enter the How To Eat A Cupcake give-away!  Just think you could be sitting in the sun reading that book and eating these cupcakes!  Sounds like a perfect day to me.

Check out my "Linking Up" page to see where I'll be sharing this post and check out the great link parties on there!

How To Eat A Cupcake Book Release Party and Give-Away

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Congratulations to author Meg Donohue on the release of her debut novel, How To Eat A Cupcake!  The book is on sale today and has already received rave reviews.  This book was first brought to my attention by my book-loving friend Emily who offers up book reviews, author Q&A's and fun on her blog, Mrs Mommy Booknerd.  We're long time friends with different kinds of blogs and this book allows us to come together to celebrate.  So, welcome to our online realease party in honor of Meg.  I wish there was a way I could share cupcakes with each of you to celebrate.

Check out Emily's blog to see her review of How To Eat A Cupcake and read the Q&A with author Meg Donohue.  My questions for Meg of course were related to baking and cupcakes.  Check out her answers!

They say not to judge a book by it's cover but obviously having the word cupcake in the title and cupcakes pictured on the cover sucked me right in. As a reader, the story kept me hungry for more from the first chapter.  As a baker, I was instantly drawn to every flavor mentioned, wanting to bake each of them myself.  Meg has a wonderful way of describing everyday things with a sweet or savory reference to food.  I felt myself being hungry while reading this book.  ~"Again, that view: shimmering bay, bridge the color of red velvet cake, sun just beginning to turn the sky a startling shade of peach above the Presidio's gray-green slope of eucalyptus trees." (Donohue, p.11)  Meg also has a fantastic way of describing the characters.  I was obviously drawn to Annie, the baker of the two main characters. ~"....jeans that showed off my hourglass figure--hips made for baking, not birthing, was my line of choice.  Besides, everyone knows that a skinny baker is not to be trusted." (Donohue, p.55)  That's just a taste of what you will enjoy while reading this book.  It's really a great story that will leave you craving more.

Meg offered a special treat to those who pre-ordered her book.  She sent out a recipe for Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting.  The recipe was created by pastry chef Alyce Shields just for How To Eat A Cupcake readers.  I gave the recipe a try this weekend.  I may change that familiar saying to, "when life hands you lemons,  make lemon cupcakes".  They make a great accompaniment to this book.  I suggest eating a cupcake while reading the book!
my version of the Meyer Lemon Cupcake

I'm pretty sure there is no right or wrong way to eat a cupcake.  I've found I myself sample just the cake after they are baked and also just the frosting before adding it to the cake.  I feel the need to sample them separately to make sure they are right for each other.  I'm a bit of a cupcake/frosting matchmaker if you will.  Although when served a whole cupcake, there are factors like size and additional toppings to take into consideration, so each cupcake is eaten differently each time.

make sure to check out p. 31 for the character Julia's "how to" of cupcake eating!

Now I bet you are all starving to know how you can get your hands a copy of this book.  It's quiet easy really, just follow these simple steps:

1.  Head over to the Tasty Sweet Cupcakes page on facebook and "like".  If you are already a fan of the page, this step is complete.
2.  Come back here and comment that you "like" me, you really like me!  (The song Popular from Wicked is now playing in my head!)

Would you like a few bonus entries to better your chances to win this book?  Here you go:

1.  "like" How To Eat A Cupcake's author Meg Donohue's facebook page.
2.  "like" Mrs Mommy Booknerd's facebook page.
3.  Come back here and comment each time you like either of these pages.

It's just that easy folks.  So now go and spread the love over on those facebook pages, tell them I sent you!  Give a special sweet congratulations to Meg on her debut novel.  I'm anxious to see what she will give us next.

Here are a few other rules, tid bits and necessities:

~When commenting, be sure to be signed in or be sure to leave your name/email address in the body of the comment.  I need a way to contact you if you win.
~1 copy will be given away here and 1 copy will be given away at Mrs Mommy Booknerd.
~Contest open to US and Canadian residents only.
~Give-away sponsored by Harper Collins and book will be shipped by them.
~This giveaway will close on Tuesday March 20th.
~A winner will be randomly selected via random.org and named here on Wednesday March 21st.

Birthday Week

Friday, March 9, 2012

Last week I had a short break from baking but I'm right back at it this week.  Doing a few special orders  but I'm also on a mini Birthday vacation here.  No, not laying on the beach, whooping it up in Vegas or hitting the slopes in Utah (I have friends that have recently done/doing each of those things....so jealous!).  Just enjoying 5 days off from my real job (the one that pays the mortgage) and counting down the days to my birthday. 

You see, I tend to make a big deal out of my birthday.  I've never been one to care about saying my age or shy away from making the day (sometimes a week) all about me!  So each of these days I'm trying to make the most out of every minute and enjoy.  I've had a few surprises including a homemade giant cookie with malted milk balls inside ~which is my absolute favorite candy!  Last night I had friends surprise me by taking me out to a wonderful sushi dinner.  AND I've got a Hobby Lobby gift card burning a hole in my pocket!  Did I mention my birthday isn't until Sunday?  Looks like this is turning into a Birthday Week!  Dinner out again tonight, bloody marys and brunch tomorrow, seeing author Jodi Picoult tomorrow night and celebrating with family on Sunday.  The best part of our celebration on Sunday is that my Mom still bakes me a birthday cake. 

This year's cake is a Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake.  You see my Mom is an amazing cheesecake maker and when I found this recipe over at Annie's Eats it was instantly added to my list of cheesecake requests for Mom.  I'm told the cheesecake is done and waiting for Sunday.  WHAT?  Cheesecake is done and we are not eating it until Sunday?  No, the flavors need to meld according to the cheesecake queen!  When it comes to cheesecake, Mom is boss so I guess we'll listen to her and wait.  I'll give you a full review next week but I already know it will be fantastic!  I'm also thinking of having the Cheesecake Queen (no, she doesn't make us call her that) do a guest post here on the blog.  She's entered her cheesecakes in a few competitions (and won!) so I'm hoping she will decide to share some cheesecake tips, tricks and maybe a recipe here with all of you.

O.K. on to the cupcakes bringing sweetness to my week.  Yesterday I delivered some treats for Sheila to bring into work for her birthday.  She requested Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting.  The Cherry Chocolate Chip I made in cute tulip papers in an attempt to summon Spring.  The weather has been warming up, snow has melted away, it's just a matter of time now!  The light lemon taste made me think of Summer and lemonade too, I'm thinking there will be many more lemon type recipes coming soon.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Today I made some Blue Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  These were for a bridal shower with a nautical theme.  I made some edible toppers (blue anchors using a candy mold) and some non-edible (flags with the couple's monogram or names).  The mini cupcakes were placed in blue/white paper cups. 

Congratulations to the happy couple!

I also picked up my Girl Scout cookie order yesterday.  Thinking up ways I could incorporate them into cupcakes.....or I just might eat them!.....stay tuned for that.  Also, check back Tuesday for a special post for the release of How To Eat A Cupcake and give-away!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, I know I will!

Books and Cupcakes

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Look what came for me in the mail the other day!

Pre-order a copy for yourself here.  The author, Meg Donohue, is offering a sweet deal to those pre-ordering too.  If you pre-order by the on sale date of 03/13, she will email you a Meyer lemon cupcake recipe developed just for How To Eat A Cupcake readers.  Check out her blog for details.  I'm very lucky to have an advanced copy.  I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover but who can resist a story involving cupcakes?  I can't!  The title had me at hello but the story has sucked me in! Be sure to check back here on March 13th (the book's on sale date).  My book loving friend over at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd  and I will have reviews, cupcakes and give-aways!