Tag Archives: Cupcakes

Thankful Thursday

3 Apr
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” 
― John Henry Jowett

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There is always something to be thankful for. But, you know what is even more pleasant than a day full of personal gratitude? It’s when someone appreciates and is thankful for something you’ve done for them. 

Last week, when I made my cute little Peep bunny cupcakes, I took some to my local fire station, but I also took some to several of my new neighbors. Officer Rick, a Texas State Trooper was out throwing the football around with his two sons, so I took some over there. Then, there’s this adorable little girl, Carly, who lives a few houses down. She always runs out to say hi when I’m out walking. I took one over there,  and also to the two houses next door.

So, Sunday evening when I was out for a walk, little Carly ran out to the street and said, “Thank you for the cupcake,” and then she gave me a big hug. Later that evening, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor with her daughter Hailey. She drew a beautiful thank you card with a picture of her cupcake.

  
  
Isn’t that precious? Needless to say, more cupcakes will be finding their way to Hailey’s house.
I can always find something to be thankful for, but being appreciated is very, very special.
   

 

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:Firemen Love Cupcakes Too

26 Mar

Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. 

~Lora Brody

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Yesterday, Mom and I stopped by McKinney Fire Station #5 with a dozen bunny Peep cupcakes and some brownies. I thought Mom would get a kick out of having her picture taken with a cute fireman. Well, turns out that they were having a training session with several stations. One of the visiting firemen from station #7 said, “Let me just grab one of these before they’re all gone.”

I just wanted a quick picture, but he insisted we go back to meet the other firemen and get a photo with the new shiny red fire engine in the back. They were so kind to Mom, even helping her walk down the long hall, then later one gentleman helped her into my car. We have the nicest firemen!

  

I’m always telling my mom about my many trips with cupcakes, brownies, or cookies to the fire station. Now, she got to see firsthand why I do this. Firemen and police officers are willing to risk their lives every day for us, the least I can to is bake a few cupcakes. Everyone likes to be appreciated.

  

   

 

  

Tuesday Tip of the Day: Literally

22 Oct

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
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This kind of reminds me of the old, “Give a man a fish” quote. I much rather learn something new than have someone do it for me. I love learning, I love teaching, I love sharing. So, I’m sharing with you.

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My friend and baker extraordinaire, Miss Elizabeth, over at Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square, was making these adorable high heeled shoe cupcakes, so I asked her to teach me how to make them and tell me what magical frosting tools she uses.

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I love to make cupcakes, brownies and cookies, but if I can learn how to frost these beautiful rose cupcakes, wow, I’d be even more amazing. (Modesty is not my strongest attribute.) So, Miss Elizabeth loaded up a frosting bag and showed me her technique. I was a natural!

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Here is the “tip” of the day, literally. The #1M Tip by Wilton for the rose and the large tip coupler to keep it in place. Now, practice, practice, practice. I’ll never be as great as Miss Elizabeth, but she promised to call me next time she has to decorate a zillion rose cupcakes, so I can practice.

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If you’re one of those people that rather buy the fish than learn how to fish, then you can go over to Sweet Spot Bakery in McKinney and order some rose cupcakes. Order a whole bunch so I can go over and practice.

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Wednesday:Words of Wisdom and Bravery

11 Sep

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. –Thucydides
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I spent all morning and early afternoon sorting through more boxes, unpacking and trying to get a little bit more organized. Well, hours later, the bedroom, bathroom, and closets looked messier than before. It’s funny how ten stacked up boxes look messy, but the contents of ten unpacked, strewn about looks like a tornado set down and swirled around all day.

By 4 or 5 o’clock, I’d had enough of that. Time for baking a few brownies and mini cupcakes for Art Club, but most importantly, a bunch to take to a few fire stations tomorrow. I made over 150 mini cupcakes with a little cherry in the middle, and one batch of brownies. I’ll make the frosting later tonight and frost them in the morning so they are fresh. I hate dry frosting…don’t you?

I started baking treats for my local fire stations probably a dozen years ago. I always bake at Christmas, and I love to make those bunny peep cupcakes at Easter for the guys, but sometimes I just feel like baking and sharing for no particular reason. They are always happy to see me, but I’m always thrilled to say thank you and see their sweet smiles.

I’ll have pictures tomorrow. It’s a special day to remember. If you have time, say thank you to a fireman, police officer or soldier tomorrow. They would do anything for us, we can at least say,”Thank you!”

A few smiling faces from the past. Now, you can see why I do this.

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These guys are awesome.

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And sometimes they’re funny,

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Saturday: Some More of My Peeps

20 Apr

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl
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A beautiful day here in McKinney. I went to the 9:30 Zumba class, and went for a walk when I got home. Then…time to finish decorating the rest of the cupcakes that I didn’t have time to finish yesterday. If you recall, I couldn’t find anymore bunny Peeps, so I bought the yellow chicks. Here ya go…

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Then, all my peeps and I delivered a few more cupcakes to neighbors, friends and of course, the firemen.

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Firefighter Eddington at Station #5. (My local station. They were on a call yesterday when I stopped by)
Then, off to Station #8. Captain Chandler came to the door with a big smile.

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He was joined by a hungry companion.

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I did tell the firefighters that I ran out of bunnies, but seeing as they were “chick magnets,” that they could appreciate the humor.
After my deliveries, I enjoyed the sunny afternoon having lunch and visiting with friends on the Square. A good day with all my “peeps.”

Friday Friends, Firemen and Funny Peeps

19 Apr

“You never forget a beautiful thing that you have made,’ [Chef Bugnard] said. ‘Even after you eat it, it stays with you – always.”
― Julia Child, My Life in France
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I had all the ingredients set out last night so I could get up early and start my baking frenzy. As I opened the fridge to take out the eggs, oh no, only two eggs. So, off to the store I went. Foolish me, I thought I’d have time to make frosting, bake and decorate ten dozen cupcakes in the morning, take a long walk, and be out of the house by two. Ha! But, I did manage to post my progress hourly on my Facebook page. Here’s the progress.

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Set out ingredients, then go to the store for the eggs I forgot.

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Make a funny face with the cake mix and eggs.

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Make two batches of cream cheese frosting. Vanilla and chocolate.

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The chocolate cupcakes had a dollop of cherry pie filling, the yellow had a peach slice.

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Frost and decorate a zillion cupcakes and mini cupcakes…then share with friends.

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Justin and Karri…my good friends at Papa Murphy’s Pizza. Hi guys!

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Firefighter Taylor over at Station #1. He looks pretty pleased.

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The firemen at Station #2 invited me inside. On my way out, I found a lucky penny next to the fire truck. ( a very lucky sign. Someone up there saying, “Good job!”)

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My senior friends at Towne creek loved the cute cupcakes, too. I took a few over to my friend Lynne’s house, and took a few over for the triplets next door. BUT… I ran out of peeps. Oh no. I had more cupcakes to decorate for tomorrow. I went to three stores tonight and everyone was out of the bunny peeps. So, I ended up having to buy some yellow chick peeps at Walgreens. I have a few more firehouses to get to tomorrow. (I was disappointed at first, but then I thought…huh, those cute firemen are “chick magnets,” so it will be quite appropriate.)
So, here’s to all my “PEEPS” out there.

Saturday Sweet Spot

4 Aug

Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate. ~Sandra Boynton ( Think about it!)

Saturday morning writing group is one of the things I really look forward to every week. Our group is small, but we are close friends. Over the years, we have learned, and shared, laughed and cried. Friends!

We started meeting at Saxby’s Coffee Shop in McKinney, then they changed hands. We floundered around a while looking for a comfy meeting place. We started meeting at Coffee2 on the Square. Just a few months ago, Sweet Spot Bakery opened up inside the coffee shop, sharing the space. Yummy cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, cakes, and freshly baked breads aromatically and visually tempting locals and visitors.

Kathy White, owner of the sweet shop, told us that in a few weeks, she was taking over the entire store and expanding the bakery. Yeah! We can use a fun bakery in downtown McKinney. Kathy is a sweet gal herself. Sometimes she’ll sit and chat with us, sharing ideas and stories, while we complain about our lack of self-control.

We wish Miss Kathy the best of luck. If you’re in McKinney, stop in at 120 W. Louisiana and support a new and exciting small business. Say Toni sent you.

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Kathy has a lot of exciting plans for Sweet Spot.

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Saturday Shout-out: To All My PEEPS

30 Mar

A “Hello, Happy almost Easter to all my PEEPS ( Yes, literally Peeps) out there.” I wanted to share my recent Easter exploits with you. Some of you may know already that I love to bake, be creative and share with others. Yesterday, when I was reading one of the many blogs that I follow, the hapsters were going to hand out plastic Easter eggs with candy inside and a happy message on the outside to strangers. I thought that was a great idea. I usually like to share my baking with people I know, but what about with strangers? So I decided to give it a try. Of course, I still had to share with friends and acquaintances. http://happsters.com/2013/03/29/spreading-happiness-over-easter-weekend/

Little Anna was thrilled to pick out a pink bunny cupcake and a yellow one for her brother John.

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Reese popped in Laura Moore Fine Art Studios while I was visiting. He was hungry.

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As I strolled around the Square in downtown McKinney, I found a young girl playing on the old court house steps. She asked her mom, and was my first random bunny cupcake recipient. Look at that big smile!

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Then, I stopped at the Garret Gallery and Miss Gail was sitting there. We chatted and she was pleased to have a treat for later.

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My next stop was my home-away-from-home, Snug on the Square. Tommy, the wandering troubadour was playing his guitar out front. I felt bad because as soon as I sat down beside him, one of his strings broke. He wound the string up and tucked it away and said, “That’s ok, now it’s a five string guitar.”

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I shared a couple more cupcakes inside. T.J. enjoyed his cupcake. I only had eight left, so I decided to save the rest for Fire Station #1 on my way home.

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Firefighter Boyd gladly accepted the last batch (litter, herd) of bunnies, thus completing my random
act of cupcake kindness.

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For more useless (TMI) information about bunnies, her are some fun facts from Animal Corner.

In the wild, the Doe (female rabbit) can produce a litter of around 3 – 7 young at one time. These litters of young rabbits (called ‘kittens’) are usually produced at 5 week intervals from January through to late summer. Kittens are born in underground burrows and are suckled by the female.

Useful information about Rabbits

Rabbits are not rodents. Rabbits are lagomorphs. Other lagomorphs include hares and pikas.

A well cared for house rabbit that has been spayed or neutered early in life has a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years of age.

The gestation period of a rabbit is about 30 – 33 days.

A group of rabbits is called a herd.

A group of rabbits lives in a warren.

The male rabbit is called a buck. The female is called a doe and has 6 teats.

The doe is larger. The young are called kittens and as with baby cats, their eyes open at about 10 days of age, their ears at about 12 days.

The smallest breed of rabbit is the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit which weighs just about 1 kilogram.

The largest breed of rabbit is the Flemish Giant Rabbit which weighs in at about 8 kilograms. – twice the size of the average cat.

The rabbit is by nature a night browsing herbivore, resting in its burrow by day.

Rabbits are naturally communal animals.

Male rabbits should not be kept together as they are likely to fight.

Does and Bucks should be housed separately for obvious reasons. (You could be over-run with baby rabbits).

Rabbits front teeth (incisors) grow continuously, like toenails.

Rabbits are vegetarians and have a great ability to digest fibre that the rest of us cannot.

Rabbits feet are supposed to be lucky!

A Good Friday

30 Mar

It was a good Good Friday. How was your day? I got up at the crack of dawn. Well, there really wasn’t a crack, as much as a full-fledged right smack in your face sunshine pouring in the windows morning. My plan for the day was to get up early and start baking a zillion cute cupcakes with the marshmallow Peep bunnies on top. Everybody loves them.

It was a massive production. While the mixer was blazing with the first batch of yellow cake mix, the oven was reaching 350 degrees. I put paper cupcake liners in 2 pans of a dozen, and started pouring in batter, adding a teaspoon of cherry pie filling in the center. While the cupcakes were baking, I started mixing up the cream cheese frosting, adding a little green food coloring. Then another batch of chocolate cupcakes.

Several hours and 48 cupcakes later, I placed pink and yellow Peeps on top of each one, using a pretzel stick instead of a toothpick to secure the bunny. Then I put a dab of frosting on a mini marshmallow for a bunny tail.

The first dozen went over to Fire Station 5. I took a couple over to Kerri and Justin at Papa Murphy’s when I picked up my pizza for dinner later. Six more went next door to the triplets and the family. Then, it was 2 pm and time for my senior art group. They enjoyed the special bunny treats. Who wouldn’t?

There are a few more unfrosted cupcakes left, but I’ll frost them fresh in the morning and find a few more folks to share them with.” Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.”

Oh yes! I always like to make a funny face with the mixes. What do you think?

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Friday:Fancy Cupcakes, Firemen and Flying Cranes

9 Mar

Every day is an adventure, and today was no exception. Friday is my volunteer day, and I always try to bring some snacks, baked goods, or a hearty meal. Today was a gloomy bake something fun kinda day. One of my favorite things to make are cupcakes. A single cake mix renders 24 yummy cupcakes that can be doctored-up very easily, not to mention goes a long way. I also had some white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough in the fridge. They were in little, ready to bake dollops.

Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes (not really a recipe- just what you need)

1 chocolate cake mix, follow directions, then add about 1/2 cup chocolate chips to batter
Place paper cupcake liner in 2 cupcake pans of 12 (makes 24)
Add 1 heaping tablespoon batter into each cup (should be about 1/2 full)
1 can of cherry pie filling- add one teaspoon of filling in center that has 1 cherry (not too much)
There should be some batter left so put a small dollop of batter with a teaspoon on top of cherry
Bake according to direction or when firm to touch
Cool then frost with favorite frosting. I made homemade cream cheese cran-cherry frosting. You can use canned frosting, (not my thing)
Add a cherry on top (take photo to share with friends)

After the cupcake baking ceremony, I baked some of the cookies. My plan was to take some warm cookies and a dozen cupcakes over to my local Fire Station 5, then bake the rest of the cookies at Towne Creek for my senior art group. There’s nothing better then a warm cookie and a cupcake to get the artistic juices flowing. While the cookies were cooling, my friend Della called. She was concerned because my last two blogs were so short. She thought maybe I was sick or something. Boy, she’ll be sorry she said that when she reads this long one!

So here’s the agenda. I took a dozen cupcakes and 10 warm cookies to the fire station. Firefighter Stephens answered the door and was more than pleased to receive the goodies. Then, I drove over to Papa Murphy’s to pick up my take-and-bake pizza for dinner later, and took 3 cupcakes for Justin and Kerri who work there. (I did leave some cookies and 1 cupcake for my dear husband who was home with a bad cold.) I went home, dropped off the pizza, and packed up the car around 2pm with my art supplies, cupcakes, and cookie sheets and dough.

My friend Krys joined us today to teach the group how to make origami cranes. Wow, a lot of folds and patience required, but everyone made a very cool crane. After origami, I popped the cookies in the oven. We feasted on cupcakes, warm cookies, and cheese puffs that Krys brought. Then, I did a quick variegated sky demo with acrylic paint on canvas.(Forgot to take photo-oops.) The time flew by as fast as flying cranes. (I remembered crane photos)

I got home around 6:30, put the pizza in the oven, and we ate at 7. Then, the only thing left to do, write this tremendously exciting summary of my day.(Not really exciting) Fancy cupcakes, firemen and flying cranes sums it up.

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