Labor of Love

**This post is a couple weeks late… OK, a few weeks late.  We had some house-related catastrophes to deal with and much needed relaxing time to catch up on. Now that Labor Day has passed, I’ll be a little less lazy with the baking and the posts  =)

An array of mini chocolate cupcakes with blue rum and yellow vanilla frosting

Where has this summer gone???  I feel like I haven’t done that much baking (it’s just too humid and gross) and I have no idea where the time went.  It’s August and we hadn’t gone to the beach yet…

…Until my family came to visit this past weekend.  Originally, just my parents and little bro were coming over and my sister and her boyfriend were joining and we were all going to the beach and to get seafood and maybe go to the outlets and just hang out.  But my mom’s family didn’t have our usual summer get-together this year, so a last minute family BBQ was planned @ our house and my grandma, a couple of my aunts, and 2 of my little cousins joined in.  Vin and I went on a shopping spree @ the supermarket for meats to grill and bought packs of hot dogs and buns, salad, corn, ice, soda, beer, water… and we sweeped and vacuumed and cleaned and did yardwork… and then, on Saturday morning, I decided to bake.  I rarely get to give baked goods to my own family, let alone see them, so I wanted to make something special.  I bought these baking cups that looked like large disposable mouthwash cups, which would have been perfect for sno cone cupcakes.  Long story short, I wasn’t used to these baking cups @ all since they took twice as long to bake cupcakes (20 minutes for cupcakes? With THIS oven? Unheard of in this house!) and I was really rushing it with the frosting.  I used leftover frosting from C+H’s wedding and it wasn’t thick enough to hold the scooped ball shape, and it just looked sloppy.  I’m determined to try this again and put in more effort next time.

“Sno cone” orange and vanilla cupcakes with lime and vanilla frosting… and SPRINKLES!

But, as pathetic as they looked–sadly, I consider these the sorriest-looking batch of cupcakes I’ve ever made =( they still tasted good.  The cake batter was vanilla + orange and smelled like a creamsicle, and I did half lime frosting and half vanilla frosting up top.  Since I totally am a sprinkle hoarder, I had these emerald and clear sugar crystals sitting around that would work as the sno cone “ice crystals”.  They weren’t as coarse as they could be and I now see that crushed up rock candy bits would have been perfect… but they made do.  My family enjoyed them, especially my little cousin; he really liked the frosting, so much so that he just licked it all and put the cake down and went after another frosted cupcake.  (I totally am a terrible influence giving him sugar and junk food; the last time I hung out with him I gave him Starbursts, a lollipop, and bacon. =)  Even though it was kinda rushed, I was just glad I was able to whip up something for my family and I was happy they liked it, too <3


And to really share the love, I donated 70+ mini cupcakes to this charity my close friend D works with called the Dynasty Project.  D asked a couple weeks before their summer cocktail event and said it was on a Tuesday evening (tough school night), that if I didn’t have time to not worry about it, though I’d be able to drink for free (I’m not a lush these days haha), it was going to benefit a great cause, and there were raffle prizes to be won (what would I do with Jeremy Lin’s first jersey? =P   She was just throwing the idea out there…  but I had stored a crapload of extra chocolate mini cupcakes and leftover frosting in my freezer for special emergencies such as this one.  Of COURSE I’d help!  Plus, I made cupcakes for her fiance’s fundraising event so I couldn’t say no to D  =)

The night before the charity cocktail party I took out the Ziploc bags of cupcakes and swirled some blue and yellow frosting on the minis.  Transporting them into the city was a breeze and I was careful to hide them in the corner of my cube lest office passersby caught the beckoning aroma of chocolate cake and were tempted to steal one.  I mean, the scent is pretty intoxicating.  I opened one container to fix a tipped over treat and this intense scent of sugar sweet chocolate surrounded my cube.  I immediately closed it and put the clamshell container back in the bag.  That was a close one.  It could have been dangerous as people are starting to learn I deal from my desk  ;oP

Me + my meticulously laid out minis

After work, I brought the cupcakes to the lounge and D and her friends helped me set them up on the bar and we spread out a bunch of my biz cards.  Once all the minis were laid out, 72 cupcakes didn’t look like much.  haha   People came in and saw the cupcakes, but seemed to think they weren’t real or too nicely displayed to eat.  I mean, it DID look pretty awesome.  The lighting was really neat; the light blue and yellow frosting appeared dark blue and pink as the colored lights flashed by.  Once we messed up the arrangement and scattered the minis, people started digging in.  I couldn’t stay long and had to catch the train, but I heard that soon after I left, the cupcakes went quickly… one guy apparently nabbed 3 @ once!

Photo by Kyu Lee for the Dynasty Project

Seriously, between bringing cupcakes for D and her fiance’s charity group events and donating my wedding gown, I think I’ve done enough good deeds to last the next 5 years.  haha  It was a really nice event and I was glad I could be of service.  Plus, D and I bought a few raffle tickets and we actually won this awesome organic perfume set.  Good deeds really do pay off <3

Tune in next time for a bouquet of baked goods and bonbons for a beautiful bridal shower!

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