Friday, July 25, 2008

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Why Yes...I DO Crave Cupcakes

I read a LOT of cupcake blogs. And when they're not talking about baking cupcakes, they're talking about eating cupcakes. Most of these blogs are from people who live on the east or west coast, where you can't spit without hitting a cupcakery. However, for those of us in the south, say, Houston, for example...this is not the case. In fact, here, there are only 2 cupcake shops in all of Houston but they both sell other things. We do not have just a CUPCAKE shop.

...Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Crave Cupcakes. They are located in the Galleria area of Houston - the hippest place in town (high-brow, old money...the Bush Sr's live there). My friend A and I went to visit them today. They've only been open 5 weeks but with the amount of business I witnessed, I wouldn't be surprised if they were already breaking even.

I ordered the vanilla - just a simple vanilla bean cupcake with vanilla icing, rolled in yummy white sprinkles. ...I'm not gonna lie, folks...this was the greatest cupcake I have ever placed in my mouth. EVER. It was so different from any other vanilla cupcake I've rich, SO flavorful. It was like an entire vanilla bean set up house in my mouth...but in a good way! A got the vanilla on chocolate - chocolate cake with vanilla icing (though decidedly a different icing than mine). It was also VERY amazing. The chocolate cake had just a hint of bittersweet cocoa without being actually bitter. I brought home one of their Dark Chocolate cupcakes...which I'll try later (since I've already had TWO cupcakes today...Weight Watchers, what?!)

I also fell in love with the store itself. It's located on the corner of a hip strip center and it's entirely encased by windows - and half of that is the kitchen. You can WATCH them baking and icing the cupcakes from the parking lot. And folks...I drooled. I drooled as I watched the lady plop the batter into the cupcake shells with her ice cream scoop. I drooled as the girl iced each and every cupcake. I even drooled watching the woman roll out the fondant. And I wasn't drooling because it all looked tasty, even though oh-holy-crap it DID. I drooled...because I wanted to BE everyone of those women! I want to be dolloping my cupcake batter into huge cupcake shells and icing my cupcakes and yes - even rolling out fondant!


Soon...very soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

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...I Just Let The Cupcakes Do All The Work...

It's official. I did it. I sold my first cupcake. My first forty cupcakes, to be exact. They took over 5 hours from start to finish...and it was the 5 most fun hours I have EVER had "working". I am in LOVE with being a baker.

The woman to whom I sold them works at my company and I had never met her before today. We have an electronic bullitin board via our email system and last week she posted a request for someone who made homemade cakes. I responded and told her my forte was cupcakes and directed her to this-here blog. She hired me to make 40 cupcakes for her 2 sons' birthday party, which had a sports theme. ...And this is what I came up with:

I apologize for the horrible picture - one of my first major business purchases will be a GOOD camera. However...I'm quite pleased with how they came out. And the recipe was AMAZING! It was first experience with Billy's Vanilla Vanilla. I have made his buttercream icing many times but this was my first time pairing that with his vanilla cupcakes. And they are great. I still prefer this recipe...but most people don't. So I will mostly use my tweaked version of Billy's cupcakes for selling purposes.

Also, soccer balls are the HARDEST design ever. I'm ok if I never have to do those again.

The lovely lady who purchased these cupcakes (someday I will have a cupcake flavor named Lauren in her honor) just posted a photo of the cupcakes on the same bullitin board telling people how great they are (she's already had 2!). Here's hoping more work comes my way!

Monday, July 21, 2008

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I know...I KNOW. You're all sick and tired of hearing me babble about the cake world. But I promise you...THIS website is for everyone...

I especially enjoyed reading the post on June 21. I think I see a new carrot cupcake topper...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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And The Winner Is...

Alrighty, blogging friends. Thank you so much - I have absolutely LOVED everyone's suggestions for my budding cupcake company. I have decided on a short list and would, once again, love to hear some votes:

  • Simply Cupcakes (my original favorite...even though there is already a shop in LA with that name)
  • So Cupcakes (again...a favorite and one that I thought was original...but those of you in Salt Lake can visit a shop with that very name!)
  • Seriously Cupcakes (my new favorite...and, as of this post, is completely original)
  • Cake THAT! (Thank you, KaRyn...)
  • My Favorite Cupcakes (nice one, Kristen!)

What do you all think?

Here are a few of my favorites that I won't be choosing...but absolutely LOVED:
  • Frakkin' Awesome Cupcakes (Cami, I may use that as a tag line for my company...)
  • Fairy Cakes
  • Cupcake Escape (...try saying that ten times fast...)
  • Like Muffin Tops...Only Better (when I read this, all I hear is Jane Krakowski singing "Muffin Top")
  • New Boot Goofin' Cakes! (because...what the crap, Zach?)

Thank you, friends. From the bottom of my Boston Creme filled cupcake heart...thank you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

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Allons Enfants De La Patrie!

Happy Bastille Day!

I was in the MTC on Bastille Day mmphbmmph years ago. I was lucky enough to have a French teacher - Seour Cannon. She decided that for French class that day, she'd teach us the words to the Marseillasie, the French National anthem. It's an amazing song and, even if we didn't completely know what we were singing, it was/is incredibly powerful. For the rest of the day (and several days after), every time we left for our tri-daily walks, the entire district would break out and practically shout the song.

I learned later, while in France, that the French LDS hymn book did not contain the national anthem as it contains lines talking about filling "our trenches with the impure blood of our enemies". ...I love the French.

Andrew asked me yesterday if I knew what Bastille Day was all about...and shockingly and embarrassingly...I couldn't answer. I knew it had something to do with Louis the something and Marie Antoinette maybe? Yeah...I've repented and done my homework. Check it out here. this awesome episode of one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

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Cupcake _______ ?

Ok, my favorite blog readers. I need some help. I am trying to push my cupcake company idea off it's day-dreaming butt and I need serious input. I am having the HARDEST time coming up with a company name. Nothing so far has really jumped up and bit me...and I really feel that if I'm going to make this happen, I need to be bitten! So, come on campers, show me your creativity!

...And if I end up choosing your suggestion, I will totally overnight you some yummy yummy cupcakes.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

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Loving the Deseret

I am back from a week long trek to the Utah. A wonderful time was had by all...well, at least by me and Andrew. We spent the first days chasing a perfectly perfect one year-old boy named Max...I may have mentioned him before. He's without doubt the single cutest child EVER. Here...take a gander:

See? He's my favorite. I cannot believe how much he grows in between my visits. I am the youngest child and this is my first nephew. So, I've never spent a lot of time around growing babies. I love knowing that I am going to watch Max grow from birth to an adult. It is so much fun watching him figure out things like walking and talking (as evidenced by the video). We had such an amazingly wonderful time with Erik and Monica and Max. I love their home and I love feeling at home in their home. Thank you, Keller Family!

We then spent the rest of the week with Andrew's family - immediate and extended. Our real purpose of this trip was a family reunion on my mother-in-law's side. It was her father's 80th birthday and their 60th wedding anniversary. We spent lots of time playing around the Salt Lake area. We spent the 4th with my father-in-law's family up in the mountains...I have forgotten how beautiful Utah can be. It was fabulous to meet my new extended family! I never realized this part of getting married - not only do you get a new family, you get new cousins, new aunts and uncles, and most importantly, for me, new grandparents. I haven't had living grandparents for 10 years. see BOTH sets of grandparents this week was just perfect!

In other news, Andrew and I still love our Rock Band. Our band, Frakkin Awesome, is a headlining act now, with Andrew kicking serious bottom on the guitar and I'm doing pretty fabulous on drums. Though occasionally I like to dust off the microphone - last night I got 100% singing "Black Hole Sun".

PS - for you readers living in the Salt Lake and surrounding areas who I missed seeing, please forgive...this trip was very time I'm there let's hook it up, mmkay?