Let there be Cupcakes

phontoWell hello there! Nice to see you! I’ve missed our little chats. Over the past 2 months I’ve spent a little a lot of time focusing on what’s important and less no time blogging. Don’t you worry I’ve written some hella brooding and serious mommy posts that I may or may not one day share with you all. Cue unbridled excitement. Calm your pits, Becca, I probably won't… I’ve also been working on a little, nay, huge project with a few of my favorite people, can’t wait to share that with you soon! Oh yeah, and we are moving. 2 thumbs down. But mostly, I’ve been watching Rocco grow and learn and eat and sleep through the night!!! #WINNING So after many a disappearing acts, I’m back. With cake. Yes, that’s right. This sugar free health nut is back WITH CUPCAKES. A few months ago I met the lovely Cori Larsen of Heaven Cupcake at a baking lesson and I watched her make beautiful fluffy cupcakes that I couldn't eat. I was, of course, filled with sadness. We decided to have a cupcake making party and try our hand at vegan baking. We all know I'm not a baker, which Cori, a seasoned Cupcake Wars pro, can attest to but we basically filled in vegan ingredients to her perfectly delicious recipe and we arrived at a kid-approved and man-approved finished product. I call that a win. Check out our recipe!!!!! FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_1Makes 12 regular or 24 mini cupcakes.

[Cori prefers mini cupcakes, perfectly pop-able]

2.5 cups of flour

1.5 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cup oil

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 cup almond milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons warm water [enerG brand is the bomb]

Preheat oven to 355. Mix dry ingredients and then wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Cori is a HUGE fan of her Kitchen Aid mixer, so if you have one bust that puppy out and slowly pour the wet to the dry ingredients until well combined. Don't over mix!!!! Then [using a tiny ice cream scoop, genius!] fill the lined tin and pop in the oven for 15-18 minutes rotating the pan around 6 minutes. See!? The brilliant tips keep coming.

FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_2Our attempt to recreate her famous cream cheese frosting with vegan cream cheese was sad… I didn't think it tasted awful, but it was a pretty yuck texture, so we opted for a basic buttercream. Cori googled a few Food.com recipes and we came up with this.

Vegan Buttercream | 2 ways

4 ounces Earth Balance, softened

3 tablespoons almond milk

1 cup confectioners sugar [more if you like it super sweet, I do not]

1 teaspoon vanilla

[For a special something, something add a pinch o cinnamon and a splash of almond extract]

[Optional] 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder! We added it after we iced half of the cupcakes with the vanilla. I personally LOVE the chocolate/vanilla swirl!

Cream all ingredients together with a stand or hand mixer. To make your cupcakes look oh-so-pretty use a frosting bag and a star tip to instantly elevate your creations to PROFESH levels. It also doesn't hurt to strategically place your sprinkles… That's not at all what we did… Okay, it totally is.

FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_3Enjoy and be sure to check out Cori on Insta, Twitter, and her site Flour & Coco.****

Bridal Shower Mayhem

ShowerDecorWeddings, ahhhh, Weddings. I dig a good wedding. Heck, I wrote wedding blogs for 2+ years. I love weddings. I've been in 5 weddings as a mostly-adult, but this marks the first time as a real bridal shower host. First, I was Maid of Honor [as promised in every yearbook since kindergarten] for my bestest bud when we were barely 21. I was still in college and broke as a joke, so I sorta threw a shower with my mom and the church ladies. Then was my little sis, again, super poor... I was planning my wedding too, so I don't remember how that shower went down. I know, such a jerk. After that was my dearest friend who had a surprise wedding. Yes, it was exactly as awesome as it sounds! So yeah, no shower. This year I was in two weddings. One AH-mazing affair in beautiful Negril, Jamaica and due to all of the travel, while I ended up being able to surprise my wonderful friend for the shower, I didn't get to help plan. So this July I had the opportunity to host my first real-life-grownup shower. My lovely friend Shirk Shirley got married to her Guido Prince Frankie. We had a mostly vegan shower-- what??? If I'm buying the food you best believe it's going to be healthy of sorts. Em, the ginger, hatched most of the decor ideas and the curly haired babe, Marilyn, did the drinks and baking. I, of course, made all of the food! Here are some shots of the day.Bridal Shower Entry TableShowerDecor2Veggie Bridal Shower Buffethummus cupsCaprese SkewersBridal Shower Vegan CupcakesTheGirlsLotsaWineWine is the best! It was an absolutely lovely day! I made my famous pesto pasta!! I made enough to feed an army, we had leftovers for days. Here's the recipe. Serves 4 hungry people or 6 sorta hungry people

1 pound of pasta, I like Trader Joes brown rice fusilli

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped same length as pasta

1 pound of green beans, trimmed and chopped same length as pasta

Cook the pasta per package instructions. I like my veggies to have bite to them, so I throw them in with the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Now depending on how you like your veggies adjust this time. Strain and toss with pesto[recipe below].

For Pesto

Basil, about a 1/2 cup

Spinach, about 1/2 a cup

2 cloves of garlic, more if you are a big garlic fan

1/4 cup nutritional yeast [easily found a most markets and super high in B vitamins]

3 tablespoons of pine nuts

Veggie stock, salt, and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Add all ingredients then add a tablespoon of veggie stock and blend. Add veggie stock tablespoon by tablespoon until creamy. It depends on your appliance and personal taste. In my Vitamix, I find 2-3 is plenty. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta and serve with cherry tomatoes on top! YAY SHOWERS!!!!!