this is your 100th post.

It really is my 100th post. And I’m so overthinking it, that I haven’t been able to post anything for 3 days. I feel like it needs to be awesome – the awesomest post yet! But I can’t meet my own expectations. I’ve started this post about 20 times now – and subsequently deleted each one deeming it un-onehundred-worthy. Well, I give up. I’ll never write again at this rate, so I might as well just get through 100 and be done with it.

he can relate.

I thought about giving away a prize – but what? And how? I could give away a copy of the book…but to who – the 100th caller? That would mean I’d have to give out my phone number and actually have to talk to someone (other than my mom) on the phone, which is something I haven’t done in about 5 years. So that’s out.

I still could give away a prize…but what? I want to thank the people who made 100 posts possible by giving something back. What do you want, people? I got it! Suggest a prize. Leave a comment, and suggest what you’d like to win. I’ll pick a winner out of the comments, and give that person their dream prize. Remember, keeping the prize within reason = a higher probabality of you winning. I can’t make you a cupcake husband or anything. If I could do that, don’t you think I would have already?

So, in addition to the create-a-prize contest I just thought of,  how ’bout celebrating the blog itself with a top 5 posts list. The list was carefully selected, based entirely on whatever ones I liked the best.  I never claimed to be running a democracy here.

So, without further adieu, here are the Top 5 Small Indulgences posts, out of 100, starting with #5:

5.cupcakes in bloom. 

 

These were some of my favorite cupcakes to make, and this post got a lot of positive feedback – so this was actually more like a “reader’s choice.

 

4. It’s peanut butter apple time.

 

I was really proud of this cupcake invention – still one of my best (possibly THE best).

 

3. just shoot me.

I just want to again remind everyone to let their inner fabulous shine through. (this photo did not appear in the original post, but serves as a reminder that one can be fabulous at any age).

 

2. meet the cupcakes.

 

And in the end, the cupcakes you bake, are equal to the love you make. Or something like that..

And my number one post out of 100 is…….

1. All I Really Need to Know I Learned this Summer.

 

This just about sums up why I even started the blog to begin with: the joy baking, writing, and all of you have brought into my life can’t be expressed in words – but I had to try. 🙂

So thanks again for the memories. I think I’ll celebrate by making a cake.

And don’t forget to suggest your prize!!  You could be the lucky winner of whatever you want to win!

 

 

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mousse: it’s what’s for dinner.

So I’m kind of excited that I’ve learned how to make a bunch of different mousses in my class this summer – caramel mousse, mascarpone mousse, chocolate mousse, fruit mousse, and my personal favorite – peanut butter mousse. The problem is that the class runs from 7 to 11. At night. I go straight from work to class, without eating dinner. So, by the end of class, I’m always starving. So what do I do? Yep, I eat the product.

peanut butter mousse cake. if this cake were a man, i'd marry it.

And now, I’m addicted to mousse. It’s so light, and fluffy, and delicious. I mean, half of it’s air right? So I’m really eating only half the calories, since we all know air is calorie-free.

there's chocolate caramel mousse (and air) in there.

Now, the wheels are churning, and I’m working on some Small Indulgences incorporating mousse. Cupcakes filled with a complimentary mousse? Mini mousse pies? Or maybe even stand-alone mousse cups! Thoughts? Suggestions? Any mousse-related mini-desserts you’d like to see? If you can dream it, and it involves mousse, I can make it. Or die trying. Ok, I probably won’t die. But a mousse-induced coma is a concern. It could happen.

fruit mousse on the bottom, hope on top.

 

cakes with candy.

Today is my mom’s birthday. So what do I do? I bake her a cake of course! I stick with the theme, and keep it on the small side, because, just like every time I baked anything for her in the past, she insists I return home with 1/3 to 1/2 of it. I mean, I get it – it’s just her and my dad, and although she loves sweets, my dad really has little interest in them – so there’s only so much cake one person can eat. So I’ve learned to keep it small, and to make it something I like too, since i’ll be snacking on it for the entire next week. 😉

I get my sweet tooth from my mom – she loves it all, just like me. And she’s also been one of my go-to taste-testers for many years. So, coming up with a confection for her can be a bit of challenge – I want it to be something I’ve never made for her before, and honestly, I want to show-off – who doesn’t want to impress their parents, I mean seriously? So, I started off with a blank canvas – a simple 9″ one-layer vanilla cake.

I cut it in half to make two layers, still not sure of where this was going. I starting thinking icings…chocolate…no…peanut butter…yes! ok, now what? It still needs something extra…candy! reeses peanut butter cups….no, i did that recently already. I started randomly opening cabinets and stumbled upon a giant bag of M&Ms – mom’s favorite!!!

And it begins….

it's what's inside that counts.

I iced the bottom layer, and covered it with M&Ms; put the top on, added a border of more M&Ms around the base, piped a good old shell border around the top, personalized it, and garnished it with a few more M&Ms.

a cake not only a mother could love.

It’s peanut butter apple time.

Yesterday, I was eating apple slices and peanut butter for breakfast. I was reminded recently of how much I loved this combo when I saw a friend munching on this dynamic duo and offering me a slice. So I started incorporating the combo back into my regularly scheduled consumption. As I was enjoying said breakfast, I started wondering how it came to be – who thought to combine the two, both tasty in their own right, into one super snack? He/She must have been really smart. Because I’m also really smart, an idea came to me  just then – peanut butter apple cupcakes. woot!
 

the magic equation

Instead of running on the treadmill, or doing my homework, I decided that I must make this vision a reality, ASAP. I started with a peanut butter cake recipe which I’d used before and enjoyed. I peeled, cored, and chopped a granny smith apple (my fave), and folded 3/4 of the choppings into the batter. While they baked, I concocted a peanut butter buttercream icing on the spot with no recipe (I told you I was really smart). I felt it needed a little something extra (boy I really didn’t want to use that treadmill) so I used the remaining 1/4 apple choppings, added some cinnamon, and caramelized them.

it's a win-win-win.