Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cupcakes and Puppies!

I have been exceptionally busy these past few weeks, so this is just a quick post. I do have some knitting to show you, but I'll save that until next time. For today, it's just about cupcakes and puppies!

Blueberry Cupcakes

I much prefer a cupcake to a muffin. Do you? I think it's the lighter texture to the confection and its whimsical character. These cupcakes are inspired by ones that we enjoyed on our trip to New Zealand. While in Christchurch at a fancy department store I had a wonderful blueberry muffin with white chocolate frosting and I've longed for another ever since. This is similar but instead of using chocolate frosting I made a lemon frosting to please Steve (who isn't fond of chocolate but is very very fond of lemon frosting). But I do think he could have waited until I took the pictures before he had his first one! Boys will be boys *le sigh.*



Cupcake Recipe:

This is the Food Network's classic white cake recipe into which I simply folded approximately 1 cup of blueberries as a final step. The recipe is found here. I often use this recipe for a basic white batter as it produces a nice light cake. It yielded 18 cupcakes.

The frosting is a a simple butter frosting but instead of adding vanilla extract I used lemon extract. I used lemon because it goes well with blueberries and the clear lemon extract kept the icing a nice crisp white.

Lemon Butter Frosting:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sweet (unsalted) butter - softened
1 tsp. lemon extract

Beat ingredients, scraping bowl often.


On to the Puppies

Actually, it's just one puppy. But it feels like more. We had forgotten what raising a teething puppy was like! Alex, our first German Shepherd, we adopted twenty years ago and he passed away in 2001. Enough time to have forgotten what all is involved! But, as promised, a little about Simcha. Simcha is a pure German Shepherd of West Germany descent which means he is less likely like to have health problems from inbreeding. He is very very smart and is growing by leaps and bounds! He was twelve weeks old before he came home with us, rather than the typical eight weeks. That means he had 4 additional weeks with his litter mates. On the shelf, so to speak, until we spotted him. I mention this, because that additional time with his litter gave him ample opportunity for wresting and developing a strong self confidence and, to our mind, a rather exalted view of his position in the pack. A position that must necessarily be bit lower in our home. As Jane Austen might observe, he is to remember when mingling in society that he is to always be the lowest and the last. Hard to remember when you are a little dog. And, he's so darn cute, it's hard for us to remember too!



Until next time, be well, love well, and do find time to enjoy a cupcake!

PS Simcha is playing with a toy Moose that was sent all the way from Canada from my dear friend Monika (Smoking Hot Needles) and her son, David. To say Simcha was overjoyed with his gift, would be an understatement. Thank you Monika and David!

34 comments:

mr. pineapple man said...

oh no! i only have granulated sugar... maybe I can mix it in the mixer and make it into powdered sugar...

subliminalrabbit said...

thank you for the amazing-looking recipe (i have some blueberries just waiting for something like this) and WHAT A CUTE PUPPY!

Willow said...

Simcha is just so so cute! Especially for such a low low puppy!

Did I share that I have a grand puppy now? Bailey lives with my youngest girl and her husband. I can't wait to meet her!

Oh, and I must encourage you to stop by All Things Tea in Camarillo (off Carmen Dr.) Donna the owner has a new on site baker! Mmmmmm!

Denise said...

Claudia, Simcha is adorable, I can imagine you have your hands full with him:) I do hope you'll share many stories of him with us, as you did dear Mr. Puffy... along with your beautiful knitting of course ;) speaking of which I really do need to pick up my needles again. I always seem to put them down when spring comes around. Hope you're well my friend. Oh and yes, I would much rather have a cupcake than a muffin, but only for afternoon break. If it is morning then I'd take the muffin ;)

Kristen said...

Oh how I envy you with your little pup! We have had several German Shepherds in our life together but have been without one for several years. I sure miss the doggy days. Just one suggestion: please post EVERY DAY! I will love every detail! (I look forward to your knitting as well!)

t does wool said...

Simcha is getting sweeter by the day...and I must try that frosting...the lemon addition sounds so fresh tasting Claudia.
I love a muffin in the morning as well...but I would take one of your baked goods any day...any time~!

Tracy said...

Oh, my goodness... just LOVE that photo of Simcha...he is such a cutie-pie...*swoon*... Do hope the "baby" stage will ease with time. I admire what you're taking on with all this... I'm not sure I could do "baby" pet all over again...LOL! I'm a cupcake gal too--give me frosting any day! That is once I'm done this cleanse-detox I'm on... LOL! These cupcakes are gorgeous...mmm... Happy Days, Claudia ((HUGS))

Monika said...

The cup cakes look delicious!
You and Simcha are very welcome. Next time maybe I'll stuff our Gremlin in a box and send him for Simcha to play with. :o)))

At Home Mommy Knits said...

I don't envy you all the puppy training but I do envy all the puppy snuggling! Your pup is adorable.

Channon said...

Good thing you put that photo very near the bottom of the post. I don't know that I'd have read a word otherwise! Simcha is adorable, but I do think I see some imp in his eyes too...

I'm on a cupcake kick. It helps control portions far better, so if I want to feed a certain number, it's easier to know I have enough. Plus, there's that whimsy factor...

betty said...

Thanks for posting the recipe, and how can Steve not like chocolate.

Simcha is indeed very cute. I've never dealt with a puppy, but we adopted our current Large Dog when he was 6.5 months, and he was pretty difficult for the first year because he was a "teenager".

Michelle said...

Those cupcakes look so good. I love lemon and blueberry together. What a good puppy you have!

Kathleen said...

Oooohhh I do love cupcakes. Yours are just too pretty to eat! But I would!!!

Gotta love the extreme cuteness of puppy days. They're rambunctious and seemingly a little bit of the tasmanian devil at times. But the cute and sweetness of the baby seems to out weigh the chewed up shoes and table legs. They grow so fast. The baby days are gone too soon. Yours is soooooooo precious!

Looking forward to your latest knitting!

Katherine said...

Oh Simcha you are so very sweet and oh so cute! I hope you have an easier time with his social skills than we had with Miss Macy the JRT. She really likes to be boss and my experience with German Shephards has been that they can be a bit bossy too. Time and patience will win in the end.

The cupcakes look yummy and tempting!

Anonymous said...

How timely -- I was looking for a cupcake and frosting recipe to take to a barbecue tomorrow night -- and this is perfect!

Love, love, love Simcha. Thanks for the progress report! And many sympathies for puppy training. I've been there!

Ursula

Ally Johnston said...

Puppies grow so quickly, I'm sure it will be no time at all before you have it all sorted.

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Impossible to resist a post with cupcakes and puppies! I love cupcakes - might need to try out that recipe...
Simcha is adorable! Look at him with that sweet moose toy - My dad has always maintained that puppies are so cute because it keeps you from killing them when they eat your shoes.

Bridget said...

I'm going to give those cupcakes a try, they sound yummy!

Uh-oh. That is trouble on four paws, if you ask me ...

Kiss Simcha for me!

Carol said...

Precious puppy! Kisses to Simcha!

Rebekah said...

Oh my goodness he is absolutely adorable. I love German Shepherds. My grandfather had several during my years of growing up, they were the best dogs.

diana said...

Simcha is absolutely adorable. I could just take him in my arms and hug him.

kim said...

Oh.My.Gosh! Simcha is beautiful! The color and that look. I'm so happy for you.

The cupcakes look sinfully divine too...

amanda said...

Claudia, congrats on the addition of Simcha. What an adorable little pup - hope the housebreaking goes well!!

Hilary said...

Thank you for the recipe!! I *definitely* prefer a cupcake to a muffin, and the lemon frosting sounds DIVINE. I love anything lemon. And oh my goodness, I just want to reach through the computer screen and squeeze Simcha. What a cutie! Look at those paws! I love the Jane Austen reference. :) I hope he learns it soon!

Cozy Knitting said...

OMG-the LOOK! You can't help but laugh when you get a look like that. But one has to be stern to a puppy! I don't know how to not laugh when one cuts the eyes and looks oh, so sweet!

knittingdragonflies said...

So cute!! He is so loveable! Thanks for the cupcake recipe! They look yummy!
Vicki

Knitting Out Loud said...

Lemon frosting!!! But white chocolate sounds pretty amazing too.

Your puppy is totally adorable!

Murielle Creative Knitting said...

Not so big on cupcakes although they are pretty, but now the doggie.... he defines a-do-ra-ble. What a sweet widdle ball of fur. How are your shoes doing? :)

the casbah kitten said...

Hello Claudia,

I haven't visited you in a while but wanted to stop in and say 'hi'. And how nice to meet Simcha - he's adorable!

Love those cupcakes. . . hmmmm, I feel like baking now.

larissa said...

Simcha is beautiful and has the most awesome twinkle in his eyes! we haven't had a puppy since we had our kids - out dogs were almost 2 and 4 when we adopted them and although we would love a puppy we need to be able to keep all the legos and game pieces off the floor first.

i never realized that you could mix blueberries in with cake. i thought you need the thicker muffin batter to keep them from sinking to the bottom. i will definitely try these because cake batter is so much yummier! Have a wonderful week, C!

Anita said...

Goodness, I've been so busy that I'm behind on my blog reading... I hate that I was late to the party here. Simcha is absolutely gorgeous! What a sweet face. It's been a while for us with puppies too, maybe one day in the near future I can talk Kevin into a new puppy. :)

Your cupcakes look devine! What a great idea.

raining sheep said...

I am with Steve, I am definitely a 'lemon' person rather than chocolate. I am so laughing at your Simcha post. He is very sweet. I watch the Dog Whisperer (even though I don't have a dog) and it's probably my favorite show on earth. I love how he deals with dogs and understands them. He definitely believes that the Human should be leader of the pack.

SE'LAH... said...

Great recipe - thanks for sharing.
Cool gift you made for our friend Tracy...so nice.
Hope you are doing well.

One love.

Teddy Rose said...

I am so in love with Simcha. So cutie. Keep those baby pictures coming.