Cupcake Inspiration

I might attribute my love of cupcakes to this little girl in my life who loves tea parties and all kinds of delicate little desserts. I also have goals to make undetectably gluten-free cupcakes. Some of the cupcakes I aspire to:
Trophy Cupcakes are simple and lovely. I love their flavor ideas too.

I'm not there yet--I have yet to master real buttercream. For J's birthday tea party last summer, my strawberry "buttercream" was tasty, but too soft to hold much shape. On a side note, I was pleased with how my first ever petit fours turned out (gluten-free lemon pound cake covered with very simple fondant).

In my mind Cupcakes don't have to be too manicured or adorable to be appealing. The cupcakes from Babycakes NYC just look delicious. That flower on top is a nice touch.

These cupcakes from Swirlz Bakery in Chicago (the ones pictured are gluten-free!) have that same pleasing simplicity--with a little pizzazz.
(sorry I can't find the credit for the picture. It's lovely!)

Martha Stewart's cupcake book offers inspiration for getting more creative with cupcakes: monsters or witches for Halloween, gorgeous cupcakes for weddings and special events. Turning the pages of this book definitely makes me want to tie on an apron and START BAKING.

Okay. I think I have to go try to make gluten-free gingerbread now--or gingerbread cupcakes.

the advent inspiration

When I show what I've done with my advent so far, it will be clear just how inspired i have been by this one from inchmark.

When we're learning, we have to start somewhere, right?
Felt has been both trying and very forgiving. I thought starting with the cheap stuff would make me feel less daunted, though I'm starting to see more why people swear by the good stuff. (I'm pretty sure I could live happily inside of Purl Soho, but that's another post.)


Kitchen Wish List: Beautiful Things

I have been day dreaming about how I would make my kitchen a little more beautiful. For practical reasons I like to keep objects in the kitchen minimal, so objects that are lovely and serve a function are best.

+Spring and Summer market posters, Wolfie and the Sneak
+Heller stacking melamine dinnerware by Vignelli, Unica Home

+Fleur de lys glasses, Anthropologie
+Alexander Henry Lemons fabric
+White enamel cake stands, America Retold
+Digit jars, Anthropologie

+Playwonder wooden play kitchen
+Retro double timer, Anthropologie
+Tolix barstool, The Conran Shop

I would also love one of these cabinets:

This traditional Scandinavian cabinet has bins for storing flours, pasta, etc. It also has jars with airtight seals for storing spices.

via The Kitchn.

What would you put in your dream kitchen?


Lists: Food

I am a serial list maker. I collect and hoard them. I like to check things off too. I made these lists a couple months ago--how have I done so far?

dishes + desserts i want to make this year

1. gluten-free strawberry napoleons
2. semifreddo (HONEY SEMIFREDDO. Ice cream you can easily make without an ice cream maker.)
3. frozen yogurt pops (VANILLA FROZEN YOGURT. Heavenly. I need to make this again, without the vanilla.)
4. taquitos (Joy of Cooking. Another winner.)
5. tamales
6. chicken mole (Cooking Light--chocolate and chicken? Everyone was happy. Really.)
7. thai basil curry
8. saffron rice
9. gluten-free granola
10. gluten-free cakes like bob's red mill

ingredients i want to try this year
1. currants/currant jelly (TRIED IT--it's supposed to be delicious in fruit tarts, which I haven't tried yet)
2. parmigiano reggiano (TRYING IT--everything feels fancier when I grate a little over the top)
3. vanilla bean
4. black japonica rice
5. creme fraiche
6. goat cheese (again)
7. figs (again) (I was going to pass, but I gave in and bought a box. They were a treat on their own, though I do recommend figs with sweetened ricotta as well)
8. prosciutto (I ended up with Serrano, and we would eat it in something again)
9. maseca

red balloons

My life is full of beautiful, fragile elements. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a collector. I am a writer. I am lucky to hold such a beautiful bouquet of balloons.
Welcome to my creative journal, my collection of projects, ideas, and attempts in many creative fields. Film. Food. Handmade. Design. Photography. Sewing. Raising my children. This last one may be the most creative endeavor of all.
My hope is to organize myself enough to learn more, and to dedicate more time to writing. I also hope to do more creative and fun activities with my kids.
My sister-in-law shared this lovely quote with me, and it has stuck--
"Let us then, be up and doing. With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Here's to new beginnings, to focusing, to seeking new skills, to being more organized, to being more creative, and to doing creative things. Most of all here's to doing.