Prep Day

Prep Day

I think most of you know that I’m the 2nd Counselor in the Young Women‘s Presidency at my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Well, because I also LOVE to bake cupcakes, I tend to get called upon when it’s time to serve goodies. (Oh darn!) We are hosting the stake dance at our meetinghouse this weekend, and I’ve been asked to make 150 cupcakes for part of the refreshments!

I made some adjustments to my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and have hopefully (fingers crossed!) got the kinks worked out making the batter in tripled amounts. Can you imagine 13 dozen cupcakes, one batch at a time… neither can my mixer! So today is my tester day. Sometimes recipes won’t work properly when they’re halved, doubled, and so forth. But so far, so good!

I’ll be prepping for my baking day by measuring out my dry ingredients, measuring out some of my wet ingredients – that way making the batter itself won’t take as long as it usually does. It’ll just be a matter of mixing things together, not measuring, scooping, and so forth.

I’m also going to make my frosting ahead of time and see how that works out. Since my recipes are vegan, I have to be careful with over mixing. I make sure to use a dairy-free butter substitute in my buttercream that does NOT have water listed as the first ingredient. While I’ve found that substitutes like accidentally-vegan Blue Bonnet Light (where water is the first ingredient) will work for baking, it┬ácannot keep from separating in something like buttercream. I personally use Earth Balance, which has an oil-blend as the first ingredient and it whips up just like real butter would in a buttercream recipe.

Here’s my go-to recipe for buttercream:


Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


Ingredients:

1/2 cup Earth Balance “butter”

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

about 1 teaspoon (or more to reach desired consistency) coconut almond milk, or other non-dairy milk


Directions: Whip together the Earth Balance and shortening. Add confectioner’s sugar (confectioners’ sugar?) and mix together. Add vanilla and salt, and slowly add coconut almond milk, a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. It won’t take much, don’t over pour! Frost cupcakes (or anything that tastes good with frosting, right?!) and enjoy!

Things I learned today

Things I learned today

1. Some cavities can be dealt with WITHOUT a shot in the mouth. Olivia was lucky enough to experience this. Back when I had mine filled? Not so much.

2. All swings are not the same. Especially at Bauman Farms. And even more so when you’re wearing Saltwater sandals that catch bark dust chips and you keep making mommy take them off so she can clean them out.

3. Sometimes dealing with a government office can be pleasant. Well, not terrible, at least. Seriously. (I know, right?)

4. Toddlers like straws. A lot.

5. Making homemade ice cream is REALLY exciting. Even to adults. ­čÖé

6. I’m kind of obsessed with Oreos. I’ve tried almost every single kind that has come to our local Walmart. Today’s were Reese’s Peanut Butter Oreos. Not too shabby; personally, I think they’d be better sans the half squirt of chocolate. Ideally, they’d be chocolate cookie, peanut butter filling, and dipped in chocolate. Me! Chocolate! Who knew!

7. It’s okay to have a laundry switching, laundry sorting, laundry folding, laundry put-away-ing Family Home Evening. Especially when you can’t even open the Laundry Room door due to the massive piles of laundry in the way.

8. Even when we really REALLY want something – Heavenly Father knows what’s right for us. That job that Cameron was dying to get when Keybank decided to dissolve his postion? That company is┬ánow doing the same thing, eliminating all those positions all over again. A former co-worker of Cam’s is currently employed there and will have to be back out, hot on the job market all over again. We’re thankful, and happy, we decided to be patient and let – take it, Carrie Underwood!Jesus, take the wheel! (I’m not a huge fan of this song. Still couldn’t resist.) Yay for still having a job!

9. Vegan sweets are sometimes the BEST sweets. Even when you’re not vegan.

10. Safeway bag “boys” (in this case, bag man) seem to find graphic t-shirts a fantastic excuse to flirt with you. Well, me. But hey, don’t take my word for it – try it. Then yes, an excuse to flirt with you. Too. Today’s example:

I was wearing this shirt in the checkout line at Safeway and the rather creepy bag “man” said something. I THOUGHT he said, “Oh, you like BAG guys?” and I could feel my mouth drop! Who SAYS that?I had Olivia with me, I think I look married but I guess, maybe you can’t look married, ha!

Then he said something that didn’t register at first and I realized he had pointed, and was now staring, at my shirt. It dawned on me that he had actually said BAD guys. Well, I really hope he said bad guys, ha. “Oh… heh…” *cringe*. He then proceeded to discuss with me how not all the guys on my shirt were bad guys, “sometimes they’re allies.” Yes, thank you. Stop staring. Eyes are up here. Did I need help out to my car? Thanks, but I’m good!

I guess I should take this as a sign that even with my chub creeping back (sob) I’m still okay to hit on?

11. You can be 28, greasy-haired, carrying a few extra ell-bees, tired of your motor-mouth tween, and still look nice enough to hit on. Score. I guess?

Just thinking…

Just thinking…

Today is full of #hashtags and Mancrush Mondays and Throwback Thursdays. But being a busy mom, as much fun as it would be to post a photo of me and schoolmates from 1998, I never remember. Let alone remember WHERE the photo is to scan, post, or instagram. Kinda like my dying What I Wore Wednesday. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? EXACTLY.) So I’ve brainstormed a NEW #hastag//clever-day-of-the-week-named-thing for my family.

Most of you know, or maybe not, that we’ve pulled our older two kids from public and public charter schools that they were attending and that we’ve decided to homeschool. Last week was our first full on week of REAL schooling. Getting settled in, making sure we were busting out assignments and logging our attendance. We’re trying out ORVA through K12, and so far so semi-good. I’m sure it’ll get better but that’s another post entirely! Between homeschooling, Paparazzi, keeping up with my housework, working towards my DREAM of Wookieecakes (yes, vegan bakery!), and still finding time to stay sane and use my baby (Nikon D5100) to photograph my other babies (the human cute ones!) – I thought about sliding in a clever ruse to get my family to try a few new things.

So no, there probably won’t be a regular #hashtag or clever name, but I think we’re going to start our little adventure with mashed up Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a bit of vegan butter, pink Himalayan sea salt, and the ittiest bit of pepper as a side dish in our dinner tonight. My kiddos are pretty good about trying new things and they LOVE vegetables and fruit – we are so blessed as parents, you have no idea – picky free around here. But orange mush? I’ll admit it. It seriously looks like orange mush, lol. But it IS so good. I had half of one today for my lunch… now to push them to try something new and crawl out of their little mini-distinguished food homes all comfy and cozy.

I hereby declare today – TRY-IT SATURDAY. EH, eh? *nods*

Depending on how ambitious I’m feeling perhaps we’ll even go for Try-Me Mondays! That is if I ever get to the grocery store.

10:30?!

10:30?!

10:30. And no post. Tsk…

There’s plenty a-brewin’ here at casa del Wagner-o. [I have no idea what I just said.] Just no time to post it seems. That’s a recurring problem I seem to have.

I started to toy with a vegan sugar cookie recipe this last week and while it ultimately did not work as planned, they still were delicious. More on those tweaks tomorrow, including pictures of the ballooned shapes that we ended up with! And the story of the exploding disposable pastry bag. FACEPALM. Wasn’t a great night.

Do you follow me on Instagram? If you do, you saw the delicious cupcakes I drafted up from scratch this afternoon – incredible! If I do say so myself! It’s so exciting to have thought of an idea and then actually be able to transfer what I wanted and visualized into a┬áreal, living, breathing thing! AHH! You should have seen me piping the frosting. Once everything fell into place it was an indescribable feeling. I felt like I was God painting happy little clouds in the sky – with Bob Ross – seriously! THAT feeling. Those happy little flower-iced cupcakes… happy happy little cupcakes… stress just melted away.

I hear most women eat chocolate when they’re stressed. Me? I write a recipe, make it into Almond-Joy-esque cupcakes with coconut cream filling and vanilla buttercream frosting – then I throw some toasted slivered almonds and chopped chocolate on top. Heaven. Pure, stress-free, liberating heaven.

Happy little cupcakes… stay tuned for photos!

Challenge Day #3

Challenge Day #3

Picture

Day three is “what makes you happy” – good heavens. Talk about a loaded question! There are so many things that make me happy, so many things that are important to my well-being, I wouldn’t even know how to make an entire list or where it would end. But to begin?

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If nothing else, that seems like a great start to me.

(And just 14 minutes shy of my deadline, ha!)