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Monday, April 24, 2017

What Miracles Taste Like ♥

Did you know that a herd of unicorns is called a *Miracle*?
This blog entry is dedicated to what I think *miracles* should taste like.

If you didn't already know this...
I've been this crazy unicorn loving tutu wearing woman for years now. 


So, of course when I saw that Starbucks came out with a Unicorn Frappe this last week, I may have been the only person who was sad seeing articles about it! ...Because more than drinking the drink..I would have loved to be a part of that product development team! After all, I have years of expertise in the tasting of glitter & unicorn rainbows. 

Starbucks...why didn't you call me?
I am pretty sure that I would have suggested the unicorn frappe taste a little something like this though:
Cotton Candy ♥ (my cupcake recipe/tutorial for these here)

Fantasy vanilla rainbow with a hint of glitter almond ♥ (my cupcake recipe/tutorial for these here)

My Blue Moon Ice Cream Cupcakes ♥ 

My White Chocolate Unicorn Bark
....Swirled with Rainbows, bedazzled with Sprinkles & Sixlets!
See the video on how I made it on Fox 11 Living with Amy here!



Make your own little edible *miracles*:
White chocolate candy melts (12 oz bag)
Hot pink candy melts (12 oz bag)
Yellow candy melts (12 oz bag)
Purple candy melts (12 oz bag)
Sky blue candy melts (12 oz bag)
Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
5 medium sized microwaveable bowls

Have prepared in small bowls on the side:
-Confetti sprinkles
-Bugles (for unicorn horns)
-Silver dragees
-Edible glitter
-Edible sixlet pearls

Directions:
Bowl 1: Fill with white chocolate candy melts
Bowl 2: Fill with hot pink candy melts
Bowl 3: Fill with yellow candy melts
Bowl 4: Fill with purple candy melts
Bowl 5: Fill with sky blue candy melts


1. Microwave each bowl separately in 30 second increments until candy melts are smooth and melted.

2. Pour white chocolate candy melts onto the parchment paper lined pan, smoothing it out with a spatula until it is about 1/4-1/2” thick. 

3. Immediately start to pour each color of melted candy melts onto top of the white chocolate in little colored blobs.

4. Using a toothpick or a lollipop stick, create a swirling pattern of all the colors. Do not over mix or the colors will turn brown. I know it is fun to swirl, but the less you swirl the colors together, the better “swirly rainbow unicorn” look you will get.

5. Immediately sprinkle the confetti sprinkles, bugles, silver dragees, sixlets and edible glitter on top of your artistic creation. (Don’t wait too long or the unicorn bark will harden quickly and the sprinkles will not stick). 

6. Put your unicorn bark in the fridge & let it cool/harden for 15 minutes. After it hardens, break up into little pieces and enjoy filling your tummy with rainbows & joy!

What the unicorn bark looks like before you break it up!
Sweet with a little bit of crunch.
It's a miracle!


♥♥♥


I wonder what's next after Starbucks' Unicorn Frappe...
Chocolate Emoji Poo Frappes?! ♥
.....Recipe for this guy coming up on my next blog entry!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sunshine Filled Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes!

My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 8 years ago now and was one of the biggest reasons I moved back to Wisconsin from California.


This last January - very suddenly - we almost lost her. It was truly one of the hardest things I've ever been through.  I think what made it even harder is that I am pregnant with my first baby girl. And maybe in my own fairy tale mind, I've always dreamed of sharing this moment intimately with my mom. I just didn't know that I would need to share my baby bump with her to give her motivation to live.

Long story short, my mom was transferred to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee-they discovered the problem was that she had been retaining carbon dioxide, so her brain was starting to shut down. The doctors made the decision to hook her up to life support. I drove back and forth from Appleton to Milwaukee to visit and talk to her, just to be there for her. 

My mom and me on my wedding day ♥

There were times at the Froedtert ICU when I'd succumb to weakness, lay my head on her chest and we'd cry together, I'd try so hard not to leave her shoulder wet with my tears. She needed me to be strong for her. So I'd explain to her that this wasn't going to be forever. That this situation was temporary and that all these tubes she was hooked up to were a way to help her recover from all she had been through. I stepped away from our hug to show her my baby bump and told her that she had a granddaughter to meet soon, and to use this as one of her big motivations to fight her way to recovery. Even though my mom couldn't respond through all the tubes, my pep talk about the baby moved her to tears so I  ran back to hug her and hold her again. This was one of those crazy life altering moments when I realized that between being a future mother myself, and caring for my mother, I was gaining enough strength to be the person I needed when I was younger ♥, For both my mom and my baby, and honestly...for myself too in the midst of all this.

(picture credit: sparksofhope.org)

When my dad, my brother and I made the difficult decision to take her off life support, we didn't know what was going to happen so we circled around her and prayed ♥. Miraculously, after the tubes were removed, she immediately started talking! The first thing she said to all of us is, "I just want you all to know how much I love you."

She had to have felt the love in that room, and that we were praying for a miracle. My mom is back. And she gets to meet my daughter in a few months. I have a lot to be thankful for. We still have some things to figure out, Parkinson's is a difficult disease and I hate it more than ever now!!! It can affect many people through many different random symptoms. And I still believe the issue with her breathing has something to do with it.

It's officially spring now, and we have a lot to look forward to. A June baby is coming! The summer, the SUNSHINE! 

So........I am dedicating this recipe to all who have had some dark moments this past winter, and desperately need some sunshine! Baking these brightened MY world!!!!! (and made baby dance in my belly when I ate them!)

Lemon Poppyseed SUNSHINE cupcakes!
I tell people that I pureed the sunshine and poured it into the center of each cupcake! The pureed sunshine filling and the lemon buttercream frosting are my favorite parts to eat!


Ingredients for a warm sunshine filled tummy:
(like a Care Bear?)
2 2/3 Cups Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
3/4 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cups fine baking sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chobani greek yogurt
2 tsp lemon extract
1-2 tablespoons poppyseeds (or more if you like poppyseeds!)


Instructions: Preheat oven to 325. Line cupcake pan with 24 wrappers. In a stand mixer, cream butter until creamy & fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar for even more fluffiness! On a lower speed, beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the greek yogurt and set aside. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract. Gradually begin to alternately add dry ingredients, yogurt, and liquid lemon to the creamed mixture in the stand mixture until all is blended. Once batter is evenly blended, fold poppyseeds in with a spatula. Using a scoop, fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake for 22-24 minutes.  (It is ok to fill the cupcake liners up pretty full! They will puff up very nicely if you are generous with the batter).

Optional: While baking, whisk sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl on the side (6 tablespoons sugar, 6 tablespoons lemon juice). When the cupcakes come out of the oven, use a small spoon to pour the lemon juice/sugar over the top of each cupcake to saturate with lemon flavor!



Ingredients for "pureed sunshine" filling:
1 box instant lemon pudding
2 cups cold milk
Follow the instructions on the box!

To fill cupcakes: Wait for cupcakes to cool. Core out the center of each cupcake with a spoon or a cupcake corer. Set the "cores" of the cupcakes to the side. Fill each cupcake with "pureed sunshine" filling. Put the "cores" back on top of the filling of each cupcake for a wonderful (and delicious) surprise!


Ingredients for Marshmallow Cloud Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
(the stuff dreams are made of!)
13-14 oz Marshmallow Fluff or Cream
1 lb softened butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons lemon extract
Dash salt 
8-10 cups powdered sugar (depending on how thick or creamy you want your frosting clouds. Use less for creamy frosting or more for thicker swirls)

For decor: Sixlet pearls!

Instructions:
Use a spatula to scrape the fluff and the butter out into your stand mixer. Mix well until fluffy and well blended. Gradually add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Now add your powdered sugar, slowly until the frosting reaches desired consistency. The more powdered sugar you add-the more stiff the frosting will be for decorating!

Use a large open star tip to swirl dreamy frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle edible sixlet pearls on top.

Take a moment to smile, enjoy this beautiful moment, let the sun warm your tummy as you eat your cupcake(s)...because life is short ♥.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Baby Cupcake!

SURPRISE! I'm having a little cupcake.

My Mister Cupcake and I had a magical enchanted fairytale wedding (see my previous blog here). The wedding day was so magical in fact, that we conceived our first baby on our wedding night!

..And it's a girl.
Since I love all things glitter and I still have plans for the revamping of my cupcake brand, I am super excited that my first baby will be a girl. She can follow me and my sparkly glitter filled trail of adventures. (Which include baking and making people happy and many other things!)

Now maybe I'll have someone to wear tutus and throw fantastical joint birthday parties with. (She is due on my birthday, June 12th!!!!)
Here she is. At 21 weeks ♥
She has my cheekbones.
Looks like she has her dad's hair!
Isn't it amazing what they can do with ultrasound pictures?

.
...And wow, does she move around in my belly a lot!
She is photogenic & loves pop music, sweets, milk, potatoes, and orange juice.
I am thinking she'll be a big fan of dancing?! No matter what she wants to be..I want to be the best example to her that she can do anything she dreams of. The sky is the limit. 



Here I am at 25 weeks, baby cupcake is growing quickly now. (This picture was taken this week!)


Since my pregnancy is considered "geriatric" now that I am over 35 (sigh that word, geriatric, though), Kyrik and I found out the gender very early (around 9 weeks). A DNA test revealed she was a very healthy baby, no genetic problems. .....And it also revealed her gender!


...On a very snowy day in December we  threw a mini gender reveal party for several of our closest friends & family. Mister Cupcake & I already knew the gender. But our families and close friends did not.It was really fun to surprise them!

I made this cake (with a very gender reveal appropriate pun as the message):

When we cut the cake open....

it exploded with shiny girly pink glitter!

Our closest friends and family signed this adorable onesie ♥
We are going to frame it and hang it in the nursery.
(buy it on Etsy from BugnBun's shop!)

We served unicorn Fur! (Cotton Candy)
My little niece and nephew truly believed this was unicorn fur. I might tell my little girl that there was magical unicorn fur at one of her very first celebratory parties!

......After all, wouldn't unicorn fur taste like cotton candy?


Since we are going to be a bigger family, we also bought our first new home. We officially closed at the end of January. This is our kitchen.
I am going to bake my heart into art here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Very Enchanted "Disney" Love Story Wedding

A little over a year ago I decided to stop mass manufacturing my cupcakes and start focusing on the part of Amanda Cupcake that I love ♥. Oh goodness, I still have these WILD dreams of opening up a cupcake mansion with glitter walls and all things fantastical, I'd even love a chain of them like Starbucks! Those dreams will never go away. But what I did know is that I'd never accomplish those dreams going at the rate that I was. This cupcake queen was staying up all night almost every night for a little over 4 years, baking up a storm. My problem wasn't that I didn't have enough business. It was that I was making these little art pieces by hand by the thousands..and they were in such great demand I couldn't do it all myself! And perhaps I wasn't the one supposed to be mass manufacturing? Amanda Cupcake should have had a team of bakers helping her, so she could go out and sprinkle glitter all over the world like they loved to have her do.

I had tried to partner with Shark Tank and find an investor to help me build some capitol and with that, a team of cupcake bakers to make this dream come true. I got very close! One of the casting directors called me and I went through the process. But I didn't make it all the way on the show. But just that experience showed me that the vision of Amanda Cupcake was very unique and enough to get noticed. 

When Amanda Cupcake was noticed by Shark Tank but not selected, I realized that I needed to do something different. Maybe mass manufacturing wasn't what Amanda Cupcake was truly about.  So I decided to take a little hiatus, rest, and do some soul searching. My inner soul just said to "Be Still."

What I found..was time to spend with my family again. 

I did get a day job as a business manager (and in that, I have learned a lot of business skills-I look at my job as my investor, paying me to learn!)

I got healthy again through the practice of hot power yoga (I was starting to pack on pounds making those cupcakes)!

I found some new talents (and of course they mix very well with my Amanda Cupcake persona, you'll see what they are shortly!) 

..and I got married to my Mister Cupcake in September of this year.
(of course our guests threw sprinkles at our wedding)


One big score..I met my future husband (Kyrik) when I opened the Cupcake Mansion in New London. He lived right down the street. When I met him I was so focused on my business that I never knew he'd be my husband. 

....Until he came along and swept me off my feet. He wouldn't leave me alone. He supported my business. He spent many long crazy messy nights in a blur of powdered sugar with me. He was there during my many triumphs but also stood next to me, proud of me during my failures. And even when I was weary, he saw my beauty. 

Planning my wedding with Kyrik also helped me discover new talents. Event planning! We decided the theme of our wedding would be enchanted fairytale, inspired by DISNEY (because we are both such kids at heart and dreamers) !

The inspiration for my look was Ariel, The Little Mermaid. All of my bridesmaids were dressed as different Disney Princesses!Can you tell which is which? (From left: Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Snow White (my matron of honor), Belle, Aurora, and Jasmine).

My bouquet was inspired by my fantasy vanilla rainbow cupcake recipe ♥,
I added a "dinglehopper" of course since I was The Little Mermaid!



My bridal shoes. ♥ Hand-painted with Ariel & Eric on the bottom.

My very own best friends were transformed into sparkly Disney princesses! What a dream come true for all of us!

We designed the bridesmaid bouquets ourselves ♥ My mother in law helped us make them! Can you tell which one belongs to each Disney princess?

  
There were even Disney Princess cupcake charms on each bouquet! (to combine Amanda Cupcake & the enchantment of Disney)


We  threw  a"glitter heels" party before the big day where my bridal party hand glittered all of their own heels for the wedding!!!

..I grew so much closer with the girls in my bridal party during the wedding planning ♥.

And my mom too ♥

I gave my mom &future mom-in-law magic fairy godmother wands, with glitter shakers attached! (So they could sprinkle magical glitter on the guests all day and all night!)

Our ushers greeted our guests with glimmering gold glitter beards.

My dad walked me down the aisle....
King Triton and The Little Mermaid. ♥
(..or Amanda Cupcake & Papa Cupcake).


Our "Glitter Girl" and "Flounder"

Kyrik & I exchanged vows in the middle of an enchanted forest ♥



..with the Waupaca High School Madrigal Alumni serenading us with a Disney Medley in the background!

One of our best friends was our officiant. In the middle of our service, he broke out in song.."What is Love, Baby Don't Hurt Me..No More!"

For our unity ceremony, we mixed 2 different wines (handmade by Kyrik). Of course...I added glitter too!


Our first glass of wine together on our wedding day ♥ Saying cheers to everyone we loved!


Our choir surprised us by singing, "Kiss The Girl" from The Little Mermaid during this moment. ♥



While Kyrik and I were frolicking in the woods after the wedding in bliss..


Our guests were making their own unicorn horns at the DIY unicorn horn station!

Enjoying cupcakes with "Flounder!"

 ..Drinking cocktails out of glittered wine glasses!



....or going on a scavenger hunt for magical glittery potion bottles we made!


We partied it up at the reception!

 ...in tables decked out in enchantment, gold, glitter & handmade touches of Disney.
Cinderella Table.

Beauty & The Beast Table.

Snow White Table.


Peter Pan Table.

Alice In Wonderland Table.

Our sweetheart table. Complete with "thingamabobs" and a "dinglehopper."

The dessert table ♥ With Crowns and glitter and dinglehoppers as cake pop sticks!

Our pinata glitter cake!

We ate breakfast for dinner.

There were dances with Disney princesses...

A "Smore'sgasbord!"


A kissing wheel instead of clinking glasses...

Maleficent ("the best woman"-Kyrik's sister made an appearance at the reception)

And at the end of the night..
We released lanterns with our guests into a moonlit sky, with the song "I See The Light" From Tangled playing in the background.


I'm in tears writing this blog right now.
Happy tears, remembering what a dream this day was, and how all of our crazy ideas came together so perfectly to define us together as a couple. If it weren't for Amanda Cupcake..I never would have met Kyrik. Cheers to the future as Amanda Rudd, as Mrs Cupcake, and to going on adventures with this man who has set my wild heart free. I was looking for a business partner..but instead I found my partner for life!

("Shalala Shalalalala..Kiss The Girl"..)


Maybe...some Amanda Cupcake parties/events are in the future?


Credits:
Venue: Caribou Bay Retreat
DJ: Yo DJ Entertainment
Wedding Ceremony Music: My brother, Clifton Wright & The Waupaca High School Madrigals Alumni
Photography: Amanda Red Wedding Photography
Bride's Bouquet: Design Door County
Bridesmaid Bouquets: Amanda Cupcake/Laurrie Rudd
Bride's Dress: Justin Alexander
Veil: EllenMarieDesign, Etsy
Bridesmaid Dresses: Christina Wu/Elaine's Bridal of Appleton
Cupcake Charms: Milushka on Etsy
Bridesmaid Jewelry: aWishUponACharm, Etsy
Makeup: Hillary Kline
Hair: Blue Angel Salon, Waupaca
Dessert: Amanda Cupcake recipes made by my friend Brianna Ahles
Centerpieces: Handmade by Amanda Cupcake & friends!