Green velvet cupcakes... & a list.

Monday night, after Jacob came home from a boy scout meeting, he walked over with a smirk (you know, the kind that older brothers get when they have "dirt" to spill regarding their younger siblings) on his face, and handed me a paper that he'd found laying on the art table.
It was a list created earlier that afternoon by my little list-making daughter.  Here is what it said (written in all cursive btw... as you can see above, she likes to write in cursive)...
List [for] when Jacob's gone
  1. see if Mommy's on the computer
  2. if not, ask for Club Penguin [an online computer game that "ALL the girls" are playing]
  3. if is, ask for Wii
  4. or for T.V.
You see, she didn't actually do anything wrong per se.  But Jacob knows how we feel about being "plugged in" 24/7.  How we don't feel that it's necessary to take 5 minutes to grab the D.S. (and all of its accompaniments) in order to ensure *entertainment* on a 2-minute car ride.  How we don't always welcome the 10 calls a day by 8 year old girls phoning to request that Hailey stop everything she's doing- not so that they can have an actual CONVERSATION mind you- so that she can "log in" to the world of penguins & puffle pets.
And he's heard us openly discuss when we've realized that the pendulum has swung a little too far in the wrong direction... a few too many meals eaten around the television rather than around the table... far too many nights of me frantically catching up on my computer (blogs, twitter, pinterest, facebook, e-mail- although that last one always seems to be deemed the lowest on the priority list)- or spending far too long composing that "perfect" post... and way too many undiscerning "yes's" in response to the "can we watch..." or "can we play [insert gaming system of choice]..."  {cause sometimes if I have a mound of dishes to do, or heaven-forbid- a long list of unchecked tweets- it is just easier to say YES}
Well, looks like it's time for a little pendulum shift.  The one in which we remind our kids {& ourselves} of just how much there is to DO & enjoy that does not involve a plug.
So, yesterday- after Hailey came home from school, I did- as usual- have a mound of dishes to do.  But this time, I asked her to stay and keep me company.  We chatted it up... and by the time we were finished, I couldn't get her to stop talking :).  A welcome change from the lethargic, short-spoken girl- who has gradually stopped asking me to play a board game with her... stopped asking if she can help me cook... stopped asking me what we're going to do together when Jacob leaves for his meeting.
We talked... we laughed... we formed a new list (of the grocery variety), we headed to the store, and after that, we baked.
{gettin' into the st. patrick's day spirit a little early, since jacob will be camping on the big day... (i keep reminding ryan that st. patrick's day is, in fact, a "big" holiday)}
DISCLAIMER:  These are dangerously delicious.  I only had a bite of one, and I'm scrambling to give at least 1/2 of them away before temptation prevails.
green velvet cupcakes
*adapted from organic and chic 
makes 24 cupcakes (or 25, in our case)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp professional green food coloring (I used 1 tbsp of Wilton leaf green icing, & 1 of AmeriColor forest green gel paste... left over from here and here.)
vanilla whipped buttercream (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350.  Place liners in 2 muffin pans for 24 cupcakes.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, vinegar, and baking soda together.  Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until well blended.  Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and food coloring.  Then add the cocoa powder mixture.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, checking with a toothpick.
Let cool completely in pan for 10 minutes.  Then set on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Frost with the vanilla whipped buttercream...
vanilla whipped buttercream
makes 3 1/2 cups frosting, enough to frost and fill one 8-inch layer cake or to frost 24 cupcakes
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a standing mixer or with a hand mixer until soft, about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the flour, and the vanilla extract, and whisk until there are no lumps.  Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup milk, whisking constantly, and heat until the mixture comes to a low boil.  Then reduce the heat to low and keep whisking for a few more minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat, but keep stirring.  (After you have removed the pan from the heat, the mixture will continue to cook for a minute or two on its own.  If you overheat it and get small lumps, try to whisk vigorously to get them out, or pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.)  If necessary, place the pan over a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and allow the mixture to cool.
Once the milk mixture has thickened, set it aside to cool to room temperature.  You can stick it in the freezer to rush the cooling.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the butter-sugar mixture.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
...and enjoy each & every luscious bite.


  1. OMG. I am dying over all of this. You guys are so adorable.

  2. Love the cupcakes! And the reminder that I definitely need to unplug more. A lot more.

  3. Looks so yummy! I think we will try these on Saturday as my birthday cake!

  4. Oh my! Only God knows how much I need some time off. He also knows I need those cupcakes badly. Happy day, Torrie :)

  5. Yes, yes, yes! As usual, we are on the same page. Tell me again why we can't live in the same place? ;)

  6. total same page...i have even started leaving my cell phone at home for little outings. need a vacation on a deserted island for about a week.

    cupcakes = yum!

    missed you last week - just now catching up!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...