Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine. . .

I've been baking a lot of cupcakes since Andrea's birth.  Although I prefer the challenge and creativity required by a full-size cake, it is both time-consuming and energy-depleting.  Time and energy are two resources I have very little of in my current state.  Cupcakes allow me to bake my cake and decorate it too.

Yesterday my family had a weenie roast and I volunteered desert.  What goes better with fire-charred weenies than s'mores?  And my personal philosophy is that any desert can translate into a cupcake.  I began with a graham cracker cake, filled with chocolate ganache, and topped with a marshmallow buttercream frosting.

I embellished them with chocolate swirls and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.


Paul took a picture of his face after he tasted them.  His seal of approval is important.

When Paul graduated in May I threw a little party for him.  The refreshment of choice was, of course, cupcakes.  I wanted these treats to reflect his achievements and goals but could not find a recipe for a calculator cake with pocket protector buttercream.  Paul suggested I base my cupcakes off of his school colors.  He's so smart that way.

For Utah Valley University's yellow and green I made key lime cupcakes with a lemon curd filling, topped with a lemon curd buttercream.  Representing the red University of Utah where he'll be attending this fall for graduate school I chose a red velvet cake with a strawberry center, dipped in chocolate ganache, and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

Andrea was asleep when I mixed the red velvet batter.  Much to my grand dismay, I was very low on red food coloring and unable to run to the store to replenish the supply.  Using what I had left my batter glistened a lovely shade of mahogany, and I weakly hoped that baking would miraculously turn them a lovely shade of scarlet.  I was so disappointed that the result was brown velvet cupcakes.  Paul keeps telling me he remembers them looking red.  However, he's a man of very few words and a picture is worth a thousand, so my evidence speaks for itself.

He seemed to enjoy them anyway, which is all I really wanted. 

After cupcakes we played "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader."  The result of that:
He he he. . . we had a lot of fun!
Andrea turned six months on my birthday.  Yesterday was her six month wellness check-up, and it was a rough one.  Andrea is not growing as well as her doctor would like.  She's still under 12 pounds and has dropped into the .5 percentile.  I knew she was small and ate like a baby bird, but it seemed that my attempts to feed her extra always ended in either her refusing to open her mouth or her spitting it right back up.  He told me to be persistent because she needs more calories.  He recommended I supplement with some extra formula after I nurse and increase how many times a day she eats solids.  So far not so good, but I'm not giving up.  He also said once we got her to eat more in the day she shouldn't need to eat two or three times at night.  Hallelujah!  Other good news-- even though she's small, she's hitting all of her milestones.  That's something to be thankful for.

Being a parent is more difficult and challenging than I ever thought it would be.  Worrying about this tiny girl is one of the many full-time jobs I inherited on December 13th.  Please say a little prayer for her.


  1. Those cupcakes look like they came out of a magazine! I bet they tasted even better!

  2. Those look amazing! and so fancy. I would just make a plain ol' cupcake, smear some frosting on it and call it good. lol

  3. I will have to invent a reason for you to make me a cupcake. mmmmmm.
    on the Andrea note - since she is six months you can try a few things. I know you probably have many suggestions.. but... supplementing with formula with a bit of oatmeal mixed in. sometimes I'd put a little cinnamon in there. or make a banana 'smoothie' just mixing in a banana into the formula/milk. she's old enough that you can start adding things like that. the rice in the milk or oatmeal in the milk also helped jax sleep longer at night.