Wednesday, January 30, 2008

in which she cleanses the palate

After I recovered from my sugar hang-over due to many and varied cupcake testing episodes this last week [the peanut-butter-cream filled chocolate ones with ganache frosting just about killed me with guilty pleasure - recipes forthcoming to those who want them when all is said and done] I want to take a moment to introduce a second brand spanking new blog I just started yesterday...

It is called simply de.lite.ful, named after a cookbook that I am writing with my mom. After you've had your fill of cupcakes this Valentine's it might be time to turn your attention to the healthier side of things for, mmmm, maybe a day or two, hee hee. The blog will provide recipes that are healthy and taste great. The book, due out later this year, will do the same and also briefly tell the story of my mom's journey to a healthy lifestyle after finding out that she had incredibly high cholesterol. The book will be mostly recipes and will give helpful information about how to prepare healthy food that you can actually enjoy eating, either all the time, like my mom, i.e., medically necessary, or just now and then, like me when I need to purge myself of holiday gluttony, i.e., trying to be smart and responsible. I figure most of us fit into one of the two categories, no?

We've had so many requests for the book thus far, that we thought a blog would be useful and fun until the book is actually here. At this point, we plan to post weekly with something delish to offer and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Suggestions, feedback, and comments are welcome since we want to make this as geared toward others' needs and wants as we can while accomplishing a formal roadmap, if you will, of how my mom has created a cuisine that even her grandkids will eat and enjoy! She serves her recipes at get togethers and large functions, all to rave reviews.

So, with that said I will forward you on to the site at We would be tickled pink if you thought enough of the idea to spread the word near and far. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cute as a Cupcake

I'm in charge of doing a cupcake class for Relief Society (church women's group) in two weeks. While I thought I knew how to make a cupcake, the cupcake craze has launched these buttery little gems to a new level, and I'm overwhelmed with all of the amazing possibilities out there!

So, this is where you come in.....

If anyone out there has a cupcake recipe to die for or a great idea, simple or complex, I'd love to hear about it! I am going to cover decorating and filling the cupcakes also, so any secret concoctions or techniques will be enthusiastically welcomed. (You can email me at Oh, and if you'd like the recipes I use in my presentation, let me know.

I'll admit, it's kind of fun immersing myself in this devilish and diet-wrecking endeavor, all in the name of culinary art. That's what I'm telling myself it is. The mean little bathroom scale will be lonely for a couple weeks because I have more important work to do! For example, I spent this afternoon perfecting my frosting technique, a la the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcake. (I was going to include a video of the Magnolia frosting technique, but I haven't learned how to put it in the post, so you can click here instead). Really, it's just frosting on a cupcake, but with a little twist it's a bit more than just slathering it all over the top - and slathering is the only method I've known about until this little project. Now, I've found there are piping bags and decorator's tips and a whole slosh of new ideas. And most of them make the whole process easier and more slick to boot. Now there's something to sing about.

So, here's a shout out to cupcakes. Think rich chocolate, think butter yellow, think lemon cream cheese, think fluffy buttercream and sprinkles, think....think....think. Isn't it fun? A little indulgent? Who cares! Think peanut butter-filled with thick chocolate ganache piped on top. Think raspberries, whipped cream, and dust clouds of powdered sugar. And may you have sweet dreams!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Notice to all 4- and 2-year olds, the following are not household cleaning products:

Nevertheless, while I folded laundry downstairs, my sweet helpers got busy with their own cleaning projects, obviously unattended. First, I rescued Ava after she slipped in the toilet water she'd sloshed across the bathroom floor while getting her paper towel wet for who knows what cleaning job.

Then I came upstairs and opened my pantry door only to find that someone (Jake had no choice but to own up to it) had sprayed a pleasingly thick layer of Pam on most of my pantry door which has 15 of those annoyingly-difficult-to-clean window panes. As I got him set up to clean the mess, he proceeded to bathe the kitchen floor in a layer of Windex in the process of cleaning the door. Ahhhh!

Shame on me for doing laundry!

Well, I wandered into the living room where I found a very large and lovely smear of vanilla yogurt across a seat cushion. You see, since yesterday, Jake has been roped in by the Bounty quicker-picker-upper ad line, and since he discovered that we actually had Bounty paper towels, he has entertained himself by washing the couch with wet paper towels. I showed him where the dirty spots were and was actually glad for the help. Little did I know that Ava was watching and wanted in on the fun. I think she just has it in for this couch. No, Love, vanilla yogurt does not a clean couch make. But I tell ya, it's doing a lot for helping Mommy feel a little cuckoo or like someone must be hiding in the closet with a video cam.

And all I had been wanting to do was get things settled around the house and head off to get some stuff at Costco! But wow, there was just no stopping today's freight train once it got going. And nope, haven't made it to Costco yet!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The F.T. Awards (Frozen Tongue)

Matt and I were the silent winners in this one, and we won't be uttering a peep! But if you must ask, what the boys don't know certainly helps us. Award stickers and F.T.s were handed out to each participant for a record 62 minutes in the great freezing outdoors. [Awards were for the Klondike Derby.] Temperature was only partly to blame (though it was getting colder very quickly), squishing and fighting accounted for the rest...and probably the most.

So, Sibling Squabbles be thanked - Really, I must give you mention when it's your due, seeing as I rather detest you most of the time. Today, however, I'll take you all the way to the bank!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Klondike Derby

Three boys. 34 degrees F. Dad jokingly bet $100 that they wouldn't make it all night in a backyard snow camp. Boys called Dad's bluff. The countdown has begun. Wish us luck (the parents, of course).