Monday, March 21, 2011

Princess Cupcake

I think every year I go through a baking phase. It must be the nesting winter stuff. Not sure. I do know that every day you put the TV on and there is another freaking show about cupcakes. This has really fueled my cupcake love. Seriously, cupcakes are like the perfect little food.

Andrew and I baked tonight once again its all about the cupcakes really and here is what we came up with:


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Crane's R Us?

How does one acquire a crane?

Let me back up.

Before we built the house on our lot, there was a hunters cabin already placed there. It’s a cute little 10 x 20 un-insulated cabin with a small wood stove up on cinder blocks. We literally spent a year of weekends in that cabin with our dog, and eventually 2 dogs. When it was a “kid weekend” they kids would pitch a tent down on the field. I love that little house yet when the big house was officially ROOF ON we eagerly moved all of our crap into it and never looked back. For a time, the children slept in the little house still while we were in the big house. This worked out fine until the spring came and tilted the little house on its axis in the form of EROSION. Then they moved to the big house on their weekends.

Having served its purpose for the time being, it has become spider and mouse ridden. It also is in the wrong spot. Harry and I would like to move it to a different location on the lot (really only about 40 feet away) and turn it into a future chicken/goat barn. I think we are actually considering doing it this summer in fact which makes me very excited to get back to the swood planning! We are stuck though… how does one move a little house?
Do we move it like the ancient Egyptians?
Do we take it apart and move it 40 feet and rebuild it?

Stay tuned for the next installment of moving a small house…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Update from SWOOD!

Harry and I took a drive up to Swood today to check it out. We had not been up there since October and just wanted to check in and make sure all was well. We had to bring snowshoes because this was an exceptionally blustery winter including many feet of snow and the driveway has not been plowed at all. The street plow had pushed about 5 feet of snow at the base. We parked our car, strapped on the snowshoes and as we were about to head up, I noticed that there was foot prints through the snow bank and winding up the hill to the house!!! We followed that trail ALL the way to the side door of the house!! I thought someone was up there and got very upset until I approached the end of the trail to find this:

Which was located here in relationship to the house:

If you click on the picture you will see a MOOSE NEST!!! I was so excited! We have a MOOSE at our house!!!! how neat!
(dont mind the date on the photo, i can't figure out how to update it to 2011 lol)

Anyway, here is a picture of the house as it stands today with all the snow which as melted considerably. I am thinking there was at least 2 feet of snow still on the driveway and that is right in the sun.

(thats harry strapping on his snowshoes to join me on the trip down the hill.)

We were walking down the hill and I turned around to see Harry and I thought he looked so cute, I made him stop for a photograph. Luckily, I am always "manning" the camera!

I also took some video.

and when we got to the bottom.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pointlest blog ramblings

It is so funny to me when I listen around my office to what is going on in people's lives. I hear things about Apple iPad's and Droid phones, which one do I get the Nook or the Kindle? There is a sale at Gap...
In my head, I think wow that would be so simple to live like that. I would love to care about the Apple iPad 2 or the new Nook that I got. Instead, all I can think about are gas prices and when my chicken order will arrive or if my started seeds are germinating.

I think Harry and I are totally on the same page, we are really gearing up for some Shmoopywood time this summer. I think the puppy will LOVE being up at the cabin because we all know that *I* do! We have some things to do up there to make the place perfect. You know, like walls and running water.

I try to get my kids to understand. To pay attention to the world around them. To care for other people and to be good hard workers. I feel like that is not happening lol. I often wonder if my kids care only about themselves? I have one child who will sit and watch the news, and I think he probably knows more about the world than I do at times. That is fantastic, but when it comes to helping out, when it comes to making sure that Mom and Steppy don't have to do all the work to provide for the family, well he just always seems to be missing. The other child is constantly grouchy. Anything you say to her she just snaps back at you and OMG dont tell her that because if you do... it could be a long time before she will talk to you again. It is just at their age, they should be more aware of their surroundings, the government, money... things are way worse in their time than it was in mine! I just can't seem to get them to do that, they care more about the iPad2 and trips to Boston...

What about you guys? What have you done to prepare your family for what is going on in the world?