Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gratitude Month, Day 10 & 11

Life is Good: cupcakes for everyone!

I know, I know. I don't have a Day 8 post. It was a complicated day for me personally. I've written it in my head, but I don't know when I will type it out. I hope you will hang in there with me while I attempt this one post a day thing. If I were a morning person and could get up a little early to write, that would be awesome. But I have never been a morning person. EVER. EVER. And these days, I'm not a night owl, either. Sigh...

Day 10:
Today, I'm grateful for the opportunity to celebrate our Little One's birthday this weekend (a week+ early) with little friends. There will be balloons and balls and boxes to climb into and out of...and cupcakes!

So grateful for the internet and those who share their recipes! I grabbed this one from and adjusted it a bit. Here it is:
Susie's Eggless Chocolate Chipped Cupcakes
4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups ground Enjoy Life brand semi-sweet mini chocolate chips* (due to nut allergies, we can't use traditional cocoa powder like the original recipe suggests)
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil 
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vanilla extract (I use Madagascar)

1. Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together wet ingredients (using a spoon).
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and let sit five minutes to let the baking soda do its "magic".
4. Spoon batter into cupcake pans. I filled mine a little over 3/4 full to get cupcakes that rose enough for a bump but did not run over.
*I used my mini cuisinart and ground the chips to a rough powder so that the cupcakes appear to be "chipped" but spread out more than chips would, thus making the flavor throughout the batter, not just when you take a bite with a chocolate chip in it. Grinding the chips much longer would (hopefully) color the batter to a light brown and taste more like a chocolate cake. I haven't tried this yet, though!

Our Little One loves doggies. So much so, that when he sees any animal, he says, "Arf! Arf!" before saying the real noise. In my mind, I had this brilliant idea to make dog faces on top of his birthday cupcakes. In my mind, it was brilliant. In reality, oh, man. These are, quite possibly, my worst cake & frosting fail thus far. And I've had a lot of fails! I'm pretty sure my cakes & cupcakes are banned from Pinterest! ; )

Day 11
Veterans Day--so grateful for veterans and the people who love them for their many sacrifices. Here's a graphic that I posted on my personal Facebook page:

Quite a few of my Facebook friends posted photos of themselves when they served in the military. Some of them I never knew had been in the military. All of them looked so young. I was especially taken aback by a guy just a year or two older than me. In his photo, he has camouflaged his face and is carrying a machine gun. His mother commented that she really didn't want to see that photo. I understand why. It was really jarring to me. I'm just going to stop there. So many thoughts, but I'm just not articulate enough today to make sense of them. But it is truly jarring to me to think that very, very young people---whom we might even call kids---eighteen, nineteen, twenty years old---are the ones who, time & time again, were protecting our freedoms, fighting for the freedoms of others, losing limbs, giving their lives...

And on Veteran's Day, I'm grateful that my Grandma told me this story about her brother, Bob. I still remember sitting in my grandparents' "front room". Grandma was peeling potatoes in "her chair" by the piano and told me, solemnly, this story about the last time she would see her brother alive. 

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