When word got around to my family that I started this blog, saying they were merely surprised is a serious understatement. Shocked. Amazed. Baffled, is more like it.
“Erin has a blog about food?” They all asked, scratching their heads in confusion I’m sure. “Our Erin? But…but…but…SHE DOESN’T EAT ANYTHING!”
Their concerns are valid. It’s true. I don’t eat much. Surprised? I know, right? All these yummy treats, delectable dinners and I eat like a bird! It’s not that I don’t like food – clearly, that’s not the case. I love food. Making it and eating it. I think about food pretty much all the time. I just…can’t have very much of it at one time. I don’t know what it is about me, but I get full way quicker than any normal person probably should. At home, my portions are tiny. When we go out, I typically eat about a quarter of what’s on my plate and then I take the rest home. Waitresses are forever asking me if everything was okay. It must look like I hated my meal by how much I ask to take home (happened just the other night, actually.) It’s not you, Restaurant Meal…it’s me. I just physically cannot overeat.
Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’ll try to overeat every now and then. Well, not on purpose -that’s a bad idea. But sometimes it just kind of happens, especially when I have a free weekend day and I want to cram as much food-related fun into it as I possibly can. Oh, it’s fun all right…so much fun it comes that awful sick feeling that just ruins the rest of your day.
That’s what happened to me today. Why, oh, why do I do this to myself? It happens so rarely these days that it totally sneaks up on me.
Oh, man…my stomach hurts…I just can’t figure out why — oh wait, now I remember.
Just so everyone can laugh at my misfortune, I give you Erin’s Easy, 10-Step Guide to Giving Yourself a Wrenching Gut Ache. Got a dentist appointment you’d like to miss? Creepy neighbors want you to come over and watch a slide show of their two week vacation in Niagra Falls? No problem – just follow these simple instructions and prepare to call in sick. 🙂
- Step 1: Go raspberry picking. Be sure to sample liberally while you pick – you want to make sure you are getting the best raspberries, after all.
- Step 2: Decide that it’s pretty warm out and all that picking has left you hot and thirsty. Stop at Sonic. It’s on the way home.
- Step 3: Go ahead and get the large Cranberry Limeade – it’s after 2:00 p.m. so it’s only a dollar. (For the record, no one really needs to get a large anything ever – small or medium will suffice.)
- Step 4: Commence immediate chugging of limeade
- Step 5: Make frosting for cupcakes when you get home. Be sure to lick beater completely clean.
- Step 6: Continue sucking down that limeade
- Step 7: Once cupcakes are frosted, take a giant bite out of one of them in the name of blog photography, as it would be helpful, at least this time around, for your readers to see the inside.
- Step 8: Stare at half chewed cupcake for a second, decide there’s really nothing you can do with the damn thing besides eat it. Inhale the rest of the cupcake in approximately three seconds.
- Step 9: Wash it all down with the last of that giant limeade.
- Step 10: Wait about ten minutes. When tummy is thoroughly ablaze and face is sufficiently green, grab Pepto and pray for relief.
So, now that you are positively grossed out, on to the recipe! 😉 It was for sure eating all of that last cupcake that pushed me over the edge into Sickdom today. Two words, people: Worth. It.
I was craving fall flavors today, even though the way I got all sweaty raspberry picking proves that summer is not quite over. I just got way too excited to bake something with pumpkin – when I saw these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting over at Smitten Kitchen, I was hooked!
These are phenomenal! Moist, tender, spicy and delicious! The cupcakes are a great orange color and the whole house smelled of fall while they were baking. I decided to add some mini chocolate chips to the batter because I like the combo of cinnamon/spicy things and chocolate. I think the chocolate helps cut some of the overwhelming pumpkin flavor and adds depth. I made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting to go on top instead of maple. Maple is not one of my favorite flavors and I didn’t want to have to hunt down real maple syrup (which is hard to find) and pay out the wazoo for it (it can be pricey.) I also added a splash of vanilla to frosting. Otherwise, I kept the cake recipe the same. I highly recommend these bad boys – it’s like fall in the palm of your hand!
Take it from me though, go easy. Pick the cupcake OR the cranberry limeade – don’t try to be the hero and do both. 🙂
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from David Leite)
Before we move on – Like my super cute plaid cupcake liners? Do ya, do ya, do ya, huh, huh, huh??? Get thee to Hobby Lobby! They’ve got a TON of cute fall baking supplies. And…pssst… ::whispers:: they are including them in the 50% off sales on the fall decor items! YAHOO!
Note on the yield: The original recipe says it will make 17 or 18 cupcakes. I ended up with 22 and I think I overfilled a couple of my cups (I always do that…grrrr…) so I bet you could easily get 24 out the recipe.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, tossed in 1 tsp. of flour (keeps them from sinking)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pans with liners.
2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
3. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — filling about 3/4 of the way. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
FOR THE FROSTING:
- Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add sugar and cinnamon and beat until desired consistency. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with additional cinnamon.