Welcome to "chuff to bits"! My blog about food, crafting, and other wonderful things! Stay tuned to find out what!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lemony Snackets

On the quest for wedding perfection (HA RIGHT!) I'm attempting some cupcake recipes to find something delicious to bake as an alternative to our wedding cake. mmmmm delicious cupcakes....drool....

Sorry, lost myself for a moment there. Anywho, I've had a craving for lemon cupcakes, and I do love lemon cupcakes, so I thought I'd try a recipe out. This is an adaptation from Joy Of Baking.

Another egg-free recipe for you.

1/2 cup salted butter (throw it in the microwave for about 15 secs to let it soften...if it softens too much put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes)
Recipe calls for unsalted and to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, but I didn't have any unsalted, so I omitted the salt. I suggest using unsalted though.

2/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs (I used Pane Riso egg substitute)
1 splash vanilla extract (recipe calls for a teaspoon but I dislike vanilla extract, even natural vanilla extract)

Zest of 2 large lemons

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk icing sugar
small carton whipping cream (2 cups)
2 small packets of Whip It whip cream stabilizer
icing sugar to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350deg. Whip butter and sugar together until fluffy then add eggs one at a time.

2. Zest both lemons (for god sakes buy a zester, it's worth it) and divide zest in half, add one half to butter mixture.

3. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt (if applicable).
4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk.

5 Fill paper or greased muffin tins with batter and bake for 18-20 mins, test with a toothpick.

For icing:

1. Begin whipping cream in large COLD bowl. (See my previous posts about whipping cream)
2. Add remaining zest and stabilizer once the cream has developed a matte skin with bubbles.
3. Continue whipping until you get stiff peaks. Gently fold in icing sugar to achieve desired sweetness.

4. Decorate cupcakes by dipping, spreading or piping.

Mine made 9 cupcakes and LOTS of icing, which will keep for a couple of days. Or possibly much less time, considering the dog REALLY enjoys whip cream:

Fail Penguin.

Well, failure has to happen sometime right? Or maybe it would be more apropos to say that success has to happen occasionally..... In my case it's the latter. In honour of Earth Day I present you with ........*drumroll* ..........Pollution Penguin! (or as I like to call him, Fail Penguin):

Nice yes? Now, in case you don't read my blog every day (I hope you don't because I'm not that good at the updating) you may not know that most of my snowglobes don't look like this. They often don't have that yummy layer of suspended bits of green-brown stuff floating in them. In fact, I took a picture so that you could compare:

Lots of lovely sparkly crystal clear snowglobes? CHECK! One ugly-as-sin, muddy brown water, floaty bits of god-only-knows-what snowglobe? CHECK! Hrm..... Well, score one for education I suppose. Now WHY did my cute little snowglobe turn into the snowglobe equivalent of a chemical dump? Ah, I cannot reveal such secrets young grasshopper. I will tell you though, that the snowglobe underwent some drastic surgery today. It was touch-and-go for a moment there, but the penguin, AND the lightbulb, both made it through ok. The cork however has moved on to a better place (cork heaven, you knew it).

SO, to sum up my story, the snowglobe I've been trying to get listed for almost two weeks now, will be in recovery for a little while. Sad, I know. However, as I have a few days off coming up, the things you can look forward to are:

1. That darned baby mobile. It's still coming, I promise.
2. More paper decor, including more wedding, and household non-christmas decor
3. A blog post about lemon cupcakes in my latest attempt to bake something for my wedding dessert.

And, as a final nod to those rascally penguins, here's a Youtube vid of a penguin being tickled.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Long time coming....or not

Well I'm officially burnt out. Work promises to be 12 to 14 hr days for the next several weekends. They don't pay out overtime so the only advantage to working this much is time off in lieu. The big problem is that by the time you've worked three 12 hr days, the only thing you really want to do is relax. You end up spending all of your free overtime just recovering from the work. It really means that all my Etsy and my wedding plans just sit around on my day off, mimicking my state of relaxation. I've got my eye on another job, but it's an awful commute, and still not really what I want to be doing. Frankly, what I want to do is logistically impossible right now.

I've developed an obsession with the life of another Etsy seller. Now, don't freak out on me here. I'm not stalking her or anything. I just admire what she's doing and aspire to similar goals. Now, since I'm phone blogging again, you'll have to do the hard work of typing her url into your browser yourself. Www.longwinterfarm.etsy.com She lives in the woods, makes items for her shop, and has goats. That about where my obsession ends. I'd never be able to make soaps and perfumes without breaking into hives. I don't have the resolve to live in a yurt and I'm not sure I could milk a goat. That being said, I have definite plans to move further into the Canadian shield, live somewhere with more trees, have a shop that supports our life, and raise goats (small, pygmy sized, comb-the-wool-off-them kind of goats).

At any rate, and at the risk of embarassing her with my adoring fan love, you should check out her shop. She has the most amazingly scented perfumes at incredible prices. I'm still dying to try her earl grey lip balm.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Technology, it's incredible!

It is, isn't it? I mean a few years ago the cell phone I had was the size of a brick. It made calls but only if you were lucky. Now cells phones are ubiquitous. They're everywhere and they can do anything. We're expected in our day-to-day lives to keep up with everything simultaneously, but to do that we need to purchase increasingly advanced technology that forces us to do more to pay for it. In my first year of university, which was well into the "computer" age, I was frustrated by the fact that many of my professors required essays to be typed on a computer. It was something I couldn't afford. I typed all my essays on an old electric typewriter. It meant days of retyping pages when there was a single error on the page, I was too embarrassed to hand in something that looked like it was written on a typewriter. So, it's with mixed feelings that I'm typing this post on a smartphone. I'm hoping that this is just a continuation of this new direction in my life where I attempt to be both less and more connected.
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