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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cupcakes cupcakes!

When hubby and I got married five years ago, we wished for a KitchenAid Standmixer. Oh such a cool huge machine, all the cool people have one, and all the things you can do with it! We also put several attachments on our wish list and got most of them... the icecream maker, the ravioli and pasta maker, the slicer, the meat grinder, did I forget anything else?

So what has it been doing for the past five years? Sitting under the sink... collecting dust! One thing I have to tell you about myself is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE food with a passion. I don't know what happend to this little girl who used to only eat plain rice with fish sauce or soy sauce and who didn't like any of the cookies they gave out in school, etc. My poor mom had such a hard time trying to get me to eat normal food. But gradually, over time, I started really enjoying food as a teenager, and all of a sudden I would eagerly try out anything new, anything strange, and wasn't a picky eater at all any longer! So miracles can happen!

So I love food and consider myself a foodie, I love trying out new restaurants, new combinations of food (all my friends know that the only things I do not like are raw celery and root beer) and I also love to cook. I've never been a baker though. I don't know why? I have a ton of baking books (I also am fascinated with cook books, and before we had Julian one of my favorite things to do was watching the Food TV Network all day long, especially on the weekends!) but I mostly just look through them, get cravings, get inspired, and ooh and ahh over the pretty pictures and the endless possibilities.

I think I prefer cooking over baking since I typically don't like to follow recipes. I'd rather watch all the cooking shows, look through cook books and then try my own thing, add a splash of this and a splash of that. Even as a kid I loved to experiment. One of the favorite things to do was wait until my parents and sister went out shopping on the weekend... then Chef Phanit came to life in the kitchen! I would slice and dice, cook, broil and sautee all kinds of things! And was sick to my stomach by the time they came back from eating all these random things :) But I loved it!

Anyway, I am rambling again (which unfortunately happens a lot and easily when I write)... I normally don't bake, but I had a breakthrough over Thanksgiving last year.

One of the reps at work brought in a superdelicious, supermoist Chocolate-Flan cake! O-M-G it was like a slice of heaven! I think I visited heaven about three times that day :D And I don't even believe in heaven!

We were invited to spend Thanksgiving at a friend's house so I thought I would attempt to bake this cake, after I was assured it was much easier to bake than it looked like.

The cake was a huge success and surprisingly easy... all I had to do was buy the ingredients and follow the directions (imagine that!).

Oh, just google "Kraft Chocoflan cake" and you will find the recipe. And yes... pour in the chocolate batter first, then ladle the flan over the top, the chocolate batter will float to the top and it will come out just like in the picture... a little science experiment in the kitchen!

Then I had some very successful baking episodes during Christmas time, making cookies, etc. with Julian. Fun and easy! And so delicious!

Then I have been looking through all these beautiful blogs, all the cute cupcakes and other pastries and cakes everyone was baking and displaying so beautifully that I just got infected and inspired and wanted to bake as well.

Plus it reminded me of how much I do miss cake & coffee time in Germany... the Germans really do take time and effort out of their day to lovingly bake cakes from scratch, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc. and sit down with their friends and family on the weekends to enjoy a slice of heaven and cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon. What tea time is to the English, Kaffeeklatsch is to the Germans :) As I saw how even busy moms had time to bake cakes, I thought to myself... yes, I can do it too, why not?

Julian is also at a prime time where he just loves to help with anything I do... rather he insists :D I don't have much of a choice if I want to avoid tears and a mad & pouty little toddler!

As it was a Saturday, I decided to visit JoAnn's Fabric with Julian, and look at all this cool stuff for cupcakes...

Heaven!!! We also bought a few things for craftime at home, just fun things to do to color, craft and create with the little one when we are inside and don't feel like taking a trip to the park, etc.

Then I also bought this magazine... hmm... maybe I should just get the subscription and save a ton of money? I wish they had the digital version ironed out, the magazine is supposed to be available for the iPad but all the customer reviews stated that only one issue was out as a ditigal version, which I confirmed. Oh well, I still bought it... if I want to bake, why not have a few good chocolate recipes, right?

Now I'm ready to bake and create! I will keep you posted on my journey :)

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