The kiddos started school on Thurs and I believe it was Tuesday evening when the Toad was looking at his schedule for a basketball PE class (he is one of the coaches) and saw that it listed the oldest kid's teacher (also, one of the coaches) having a birthday on FRIDAY. Greaaaaaate. So, called one of the other mom's in the class and set up a plan for a pizza party. I got the cupcake and card duty. Here is the card that I came up with:
I stamped the various sport equipment from Melanie Muenchinger's Sporty Accessories using Archival Jet Black ink onto Gina K's 120# pure luxury white to spell out "ALL" and colored with various copics. I know that there are those who list all the specific markers that they use when coloring. That will never happen on this blog, I'm sorry to say. I color like I create: grab, try it, grab something else. I have a color chart of all my copics and I look to see what colors I think I want to start with and then just keep grabbing until I get the look that I want. There literally can be 20 markers out on my desk at one time. Some used, some not. And I can't remember which ones I grabbed for what!!
Anyhoos!! After coloring the main images, I cut out the football and adhered it over the hockey stick and golf club to finish off the "A". Some light shading was done below and around the various equipment to keep them from floating in air. I sponged a scrap piece of luxury paper with some Distress ink in Fired Brick and Vintage Photo. I then used my Spellbinders Stars Five to cut and emboss the two different stars. I sponged around the red star with some Riding Hood Red and matted them off center to give some depth to the "red" star. I pulled out SU's retired "It's Your Birthday" and masked off one of the sentiments so that I just had the "birthday". Using my every trusty stampamajig, I lined up the birthday and stamped using Archival Jet Black ink. The main image was then matted on some Basic Black and Riding Hood Red. The base is Pure Luxury cardstock and measures 5 x 5.
Looking at the finished product, I realized that I matted slightly off kilter (I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that I was literally working on a pile of stuff!!). Oh WELL. I did not have time to risk ruining the image by trying to tear the thing apart and re align!!
As I mentioned earlier, I also had cupcake duty. I don't know what came over me, but I got the idea to make some type of "gourmet" type cupcake (since, you know, I have sooooo much time on my hands to experiment!!). I found a recipe for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes on Confections of a Foodie Bride blog, but since I was making cupcakes for a male teacher, I didn't think that going pink was the way to do it. So, I got the idea to make Limeade Cupcakes. Let's just say that these cupcakes are refreshing. I know that I will be making more of these in the future!
9 oz Limeade concentrate, thawed
White Cake mix (yes, it comes in a box)
3 egg whites (I used the stuff you can buy in a carton. Too lazy to try and separate egg whites)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil and limeade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds then increase to medium speed for about 90 seconds (make sure the batter is still a bit lumpy so you don't end up with dry cupcakes. My first batch was over mixed!!)
Spoon batter into cupcake liners that have been placed in a muffin tin. The original recipe states to spray the liners with non-stick spray. I did that for the first batch. Skipped it for the second batch and my cupcakes turned out fine! Fill cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes (again~~my first batch, I over baked. Go low and add time as needed!) or until a toothpick in the center cupcake comes out done. Remove pan from oven and cool for about 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a baking rack.
Now~~the original recipe calls for a Lemon Buttercream Icing. I did NOT like the buttercream with the Limeade. It was waaaay too sweet. Even my kids thought it was too sweet. So, back to the computer and this is what I came up with:
Sturdy Whipped Cream Frosting
1 (8 oz) package reduced -fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Lemon extract (the original recipe calls for almond extract. I wanted the citrus zing)
2 cups heavy cream (I used whipping cream)
Chill a large mixing bowl and beaters. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon extract in the chilled mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the whipping cream. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of bowl a couple of times. Continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.
Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with a couple of drops of desired food coloring in a food processor and mix until sugar is evenly colored. Sprinkle over freshly iced cupcakes if desired.
Now, the whipped cream frosting is not like your regular frosting. I think I could have whipped mine just a tad bit longer. I would not use this recipe if the cupcakes are going to be sitting out for several hours (for a couple of reasons. 1) The whipped cream is likely to "fall" 2) The whipped cream is CREAM. I'm not into having it spoil and someone getting food poisoning!!)
I wish I had a picture of the cupcakes. But, I did not have time to try and take a picture before I had to deliver the cupcakes and get myself to work. Just take the recommendation of my 13 y/o son who said: "These look REALLY good" and later: "The cupcakes tasted even better than they looked!"
I have a few more projects to share with you, but I'm going to spread them out over the next few days!! (ok, ok....kid is clammering for my computer as he has homework to do! Geesh!! Doesn't he know that I'm trying to blog here?!! hehe). I appreciate you dropping by again!! Let me know if you try the cupcakes and what you think of them!!
Remember to find some creativity in your day!! Till then.......