We all know I've been in a funk so many thanks have to be given to my BabySis for bringing the sun out enough to start burning off that fog of beotch-edness I've been clinging to. (An aside: how exactly do you spell beotch? biotch? beyotch? beeyotch? Not a clue.)

Poor thing. I called her to find out when her next day off was and she said, "Oh, I'm off today." And I said, "Oh Good! Because I am in a mood and I am biting everyone's head off like a rabid praying mantis... and I need my hair dyed. I have SILVER! Please come dye my hair and make me smile. And maybe have some coffee with me? Out?" She's such an awesome baby sister, she actually AGREED. So I told her I'd also buy her lunch. Because I'm like that.

Just the idea of washing all the pretty sparkly tinsel out of my hair had me smiling, so when she got here I bounced upon the balls of my feet and then lunged for the front door because I. Had. To. Escape. A bottle of age salvation and a plate of Moo Goo Gai Pan later, I was a changed woman. Seriously. I LAUGHED. I hadn't laughed all week! And while she dyed my hair, she informed me that at least half of what I thought was gray? It was NOT. It was Blonde. Hah! (and I don't care if she was lying. I'll take it.)

To pay her back for her sisterly love, I took her with us to Shaggy's baseball practice so she could flirt with the cute coach and co-coach. How was I supposed to know one has a girlfriend and the other is married? They hadn't let on At. All. Oh well; she still got to check out their butts. *grin* After that, I dragged her out for a quick bite and coffee, coffee, coffee while I giggled, joked, and basically acted like I was 16 years old. It was a blast. We didn't get back until after midnight. Always fun.

So. I'm a bit lighter now... a lot less stressed and looking forward to leaving next week for our Super Secret Spring Break Trip. The spawn have spent the last week guessing at our destination. Shaggy has even guessed correctly a few times and it's getting increasingly harder to hide the truth. I'm DYING to tell them. I'm so BAD at secrets! In order to give myself a boost of assistance, I've told them that if they guess our destination correctly... we cannot go. Heh. They've stopped bombarding me with locations.

Shaggy's birthday went down quite nicely, though dinner was super late getting to the table because of the day job. He'd caught four catfish the day before and wanted me to cook them up for his birthday dinner. First? I have never cut catfish (or any fish) filets so I had No. Clue. It was an interesting process to say the least. Still, he enjoyed it and then we all stuffed ourselves on Vanilla Chai Spice cupcakes. I've posted the recipe below - the base recipe is courtesy of the much talked about Magnolia Bakery (from Sex in the City) and then I've added my own touch with a little more vanilla and the spices:

Vanilla Chai Spice Cupcakes - makes 30 cupcakes
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chai spice mixture (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place paper cupcake liners in muffin pan.
3. Combine the flours and chai spice in a bowl.
4. Combine the milk and vanilla.
5. In a large bowl (electric mixer), on medium speed, cream the butter until very smooth.
6. Add the sugar, gradually. Once fully incorporated, beat on med-high speed until fluffy - about 3 minutes.
7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after every addition. (I beat for a full 30 seconds on med-high after each)
8. Add the flour in four parts, alternating with the vanilla-milk mixture, beating well after each addition.
9. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with batter. Give the pans a quick tap on the counter to level and release any air bubbles.
10. Bake** until the tops spring back when lightly touched (just turning golden brown).

** Here's where I have a BIG variance. The MB recipe states 20-22 minutes at 350. My oven runs a tad hot (about 25 degrees) and I still only bake these at 325 for 12 minutes. I'd suggest, if your oven runs correctly, you do these at 350 but start really watching them after 10 minutes. Literally, one minute they still look raw, the next they are almost over baked. Let me know what times you get back; I'd be interested to find out.

Chai Spice
Using a coffee bean grinder, grind:
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Store in any spice jar or airtight container.

Chai Spice Buttercream Frosting (base recipe also courtesy of Magnolia Bakery)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar (about 1 bag)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons chai spice mixture

1. Cream the butter until smooth.
2. Add 4 cups of sugar, the chai spice, and the milk and vanilla extract (I pre-mix these in the measuring cup).
3. Beat until smooth.
4. Add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. (you may not need all of the sugar)
5. Add any food coloring, if so desired, and mix well.
6. After icing, dust the tops of the cupcakes with cinnamon.

** Store icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Icing will set if chilled. Also - store cupcakes in an airtight container and eat quickly! They usually don't last past 3 days around here. I have, however, had a few people store them in an airtight container and/or sealed with saran wrap for more than a week in the fridge and they said they were still Very good, if allowed to come to room temperature before eating.


p.s. If you bake these, let me know how they turn out.
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3 Responses
  1. katkin Says:

    Thank God for sisters!! I love both of mine! Definately going to try the recipe. Sounds fantastic. Oh, and have fun on the super secret trip!

  2. Babysis Says:

    Aww.. I was wondering when I was going to be mentioned in your blog... I am leaving tomorrow and will be back on Wednesday with your charm... I might email while I am there anyway.. :)

  3. Babysis Says:

    oh.. and have fun on your trip also!!