Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall means pumpkins!  Well, and a bunch of other stuff.  But one of my favorite things about fall is baking pumpkin goodies.  I decided to make some pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to add a little twang to the sweetness instead of the usual buttercream frosting.  They were oh so delightful, it was hard not to eat them all in one sitting!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups canned or pureed pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or whatever proportional combo you like best of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and maybe some ginger)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the sugar, oil and apple sauce.  Add the pumpkin and vanilla and then beat in the eggs one at a time.  Mix all of the dry ingredients in another bowl, then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients.

Grease a mini muffin tin or use baking cups (I found some really cute ones at Michael's for about the same price as the plain white ones).  Fill about two thirds of the way.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and then flip the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
5-6 cups powdered sugar (can add more for thicker frosting)
2 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter and cream cheese together, then gradually add the powdered sugar and finally the vanilla (and any food coloring you may want to use).

Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

You'll end up with a lot of frosting, so unless you like gobs of frosting on your cupcakes, I recommend halving the recipe (I ended up with a bunch leftover; not that having some extra frosting in the house is a terrible thing!).  This frosting is fairly soft, but if you want to firm it up a bit just add more powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.  The frosted cupcakes should be refrigerated.

Inspiration for cupcake recipe found here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blitzed Out

I guess first of all, it turns out Blitz isn't a Leonberger mix.  A guy from the Leonberger rescue came out to meet him and said that he's not a Leo at all.  So we're going to go with Shepherd mix.  I still think he's got some Giant Breed dog in him, though.  So my new best guess is that he's a Shepherd and Newfoundland mix.  I finally got a chance to weigh him and at about 6 months old he weighs 60 pounds, but is definitely still underweight by 5-10 pounds.  Really, it doesn't matter what breed Blitz is or isn't.  What we do know is that he's going to be a very large, very awesome dog.

The weekend before Halloween we had a party where we invited friends to come over and carve pumpkins.  We always carve pumpkins in our screen room, which is essentially in the backyard, so of course we let the dogs run around and play while we played, too.  I knew our friends Meaghan and Eric would love Blitz because they love big dogs and his personality was right up their alley.  While we were carving pumpkins Thomas and I could both see how taken Meaghan and Eric were with Blitz. 

Later that week I talked to Meaghan about perhaps babysitting Blitz for us in the near future, that is, if he wasn't adopted the following Saturday.  She said she'd talk to Eric about it, but to definitely, definitely, text her after the adoption show to let her know if Blitz got adopted.

Saturday morning rolls around and as I'm driving Blitz to the adoption show Eric calls me.  Here's how it went down:

Eric: Hey, where's that adoption show you guys are at today?
Me: It at such and such roads in such a city.
Eric: Cool.  We'll be there in a few minutes.

And so just a few minutes after Blitz and I arrived, so did Meaghan and Eric.  They immediately filled out the paperwork; they said they just couldn't let anyone else adopt him.  So that was that and I sent Blitz home with them.

Blitz is now named Ronin and is getting along quite well with his doggy brother, Henry.  I'm so excited that Meaghan and Eric adopted Blitz.  They are really amazing dog parents; few people would go to the lengths that they do for their pups.  And on top of that this also means we'll get to see Blitz grow up and Dash will get to have play dates with him.

Here are two pictures of Ronin from his first weekend in his forever home

Pretty sweet, isn't it?