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Wee Bit of Holiday Cheer

1 Dec

Spiked Eggnog CupcakesI enjoy cooking but absolutely ADORE baking. That is why I was so tickled when a friend of mine gave me “Intoxicated Cupcakes — 41 Tipsy Treats” by Kate Legere because we all know baking with booze is the best! img_2366.jpg

If you’ve never tried Southern Comfort’s Egg Nog, run to your local grocery store to pick some up today (it comes out around Thanksgiving and is often gone by the second week in December). It’s non-alcoholic and oh so rich, thick and yummy. To that I added some Bambarra Rum from a recent trip to Turks & Caicos and voila—yummy Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes were had.

I took these to a party at a local brewery and received some many amazing comments: “These are really delicious.” | “I love the small size, you can just pop them in your mouth.” | “Loved how these complimented the beer.”

Here’s Kate’s recipe for the cupcakes. I made them mini size for a twist. To fill the cupcake liners, I used a teaspoon measuring spoon (a knife helps scoop out the batter). Her recipe calls for a glaze that includes corn syrup. I’m not a fan of corn syrup, so I made buttercream instead.

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I actually made two buttercream icings: the white one is an eggnog buttercream, the brown one is Bailey’s buttercream….cause folks I’m here to tell ya, Bailey’s and rum go very well together.

For Bailey’s Buttercream:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
4-6 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

(Note: if you want to make these cupcakes “regular” size: use 8 tbsp unsalted butter, 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar and 8 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream)

Place butter in a bowl of your mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy (about a minute or two). Gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. I like to scrape down the sides at this point. Then add in Bailey’s until smooth. You are looking for a smooth consistency so you can pipe on top of cupcakes.

For Eggnog Buttercream:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
4 tbsp Eggnog

Same instructions as Bailey’s buttercream. You could add a splash of rum if you like. You could definitely taste a bit o’rum in the cupcake so I didn’t add it to buttercream so it wasn’t too rummy.

This is going to be a regular go-to recipe for me. Delicious and easy to make,  a real people pleaser and a perfect treat for the holidays.

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Not So Wordless Wednesday

20 Mar

“Writing is…. being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment.”

Mary Gaitskill

Getting Back In The Groove

29 May

Happy Tuesday after a long weekend!

Getting back to the work week after you’ve had an extra day off always seems to take such effort. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I turned off the alarm and slept in an extra hour? That was nice, but today the alarm was set again and I had to go back to the regular routine.    Image

My hockey team, the New Jersey Devils, are getting a few days off before they begin the Stanley Cup finals. I’m sure they are enjoying kicking back and relaxing but they also love playing their sport so they’ll be back in the gym and back to practice, and while that first day back will take a kick in the pants, they’ll be glad they did.

That’s how it is for me and this blog. I had taken some time off to do some other things (like painting, traveling, and editing my novel). But now it’s time to get back in the game and back in the groove of regular posts.

Believe it or not, the free style writing of the blog does creative wonders for both my novels and my plays. A wrist problem kept me from participating in this year’s Script Frenzy so I’ll have to set my own deadline this summer to get that new play written.

Perhaps I’ll make a point of writing on the beach with a deadline of Labor Day.

Now that’s a groove I could get into.