10 September 2008

"barring cupcake-related disasters, the day actually is going quite well."

I know. I know. I don't know how it's happened, people, but I've actually sat down for more than two minutes and decided to write for this blog again. Prepare for trembling earth.

So, it's autumn, obstensibly. The leaves are changing - or at least that's what many movies and New England tourist guide pamphlets lead me to believe - kids are going back to school, and the weather is turning cooler. Actually, the weather here in Texas was nice for like ten minutes this past weekend. But now we've been beset by another heat wave which will apparently push Hurricane Ike down south further to Brownsville. BOO.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and it all kicks off on the second week of September, i.e. today, i.e. the offspring's birthday. She turned five this year, guys. FIVE. Was it seriously five years ago today that I was holding a newborn m'elle in one arm and a turkey sandwich with spicy mustard and a coke in the other? (Look, they don't feed you during the whole "giving birth" thing, and it is pretty exhausting business. Once that kid popped out, all I wanted was caffeine and tryptophan and a whole lot of drugs.)

m'elle just started pre-school at her brand new school, so today we had a lunchtime party for her birthday! It was a good chance to meet all of her classmates, most of whom are usually not there when I drop her off or pick her up from school. But before I take you on a visual journey of the sprog's classroom, let's talk about something that's really important.


I kicked it old school this year with the birthday cupcakes and made ice cream cone cupcakes. These were huge in the 80s; in fact, I'm like 90% sure that my own mother made them for my fifth birthday party at school, which is also the day that little Trevor Jones cornered me outside the girls' bathroom and gave me my very first kiss. (Best. Birthday. Evs.) No boys better be kissing my kid outside the bathroom at school, but these cupcakes ARE pretty tasty, so they may inspire acts of love. Forewarned is forearmed, folks.

Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Tasty, non? I topped them with Magnolia's vanilla buttercream icing, which proved nice and pearlescent, thus making the cupcakes look a bit like homemade ice cream. See?

Unfortunately, my baking skills do not extend to my transportation skills, and all the cupcakes fell down and were pretty much ruined. But thanks to store-bought icing (ugh), sprinkles and my ability to talk on the phone and type with one hand while refrosting cupcakes with the other, the day was saved! On to the party!

These kids? Are amazing. They sit next to m'elle in class and are total hams. Christian, the little boy, has Derek Zoolander as his personal life coach, I think.

m'elle, on the other hand, is not that amused by their childish antics, since she is now five. She does, however, sport amazing pizza-face that sort of makes her look like her very favorite movie character of 2008, The Joker (apple didn't fall far from the tree, what can I say?):

This is Titi, alongside Christian. His job today was to be the Caboose. That means he goes to the end of the line and makes sure everyone walks quickly. (There are also other jobs; m'elle's job today for instance was to be the Helper, which means she gets to help the teacher pass out worksheets and pencils. Exciting stuff!) I am like 88% in love with Titi and want him to be my bestie:

And here's m'elle's whole little class (plus her awesome teacher, Miss Nicole)! Aren't they adorable in their uniforms?

Oh, and speaking of the entire class, DIG THE NAME BOARD:

Can you spot the most amazing thing you've ever seen? There, at the bottom left? That's right! THERE IS A CHILD NAMED KANYE IN MY KID'S CLASS. I wonder if I can convince him to do an entire concert about aliens and robots who only come alive to the strains of "Gold Digger."

But possibly the coolest thing to happen for m'elle's birthday was the card that mere made. Posh Pants has blogged about it on poshdeluxe.com, so you can check it out there. BACON!! On a birthday card!! (In case you don't know, m'elle loves bacon. In fact, at breakfast, I usually have to take it away from her and tell her she can only have it if she finishes the rest of her meal. Like some parents might say about dessert. That kid should be super-grateful she goes to a Christian school, cause pretty much all other major religions are just not going to work with her lifestyle.)

I know I've gone on (and on) about the kidlet today, which I normally do not do on this blog, but one's fifth birthday is a pretty big day. Never fear, though, I've got six weeks' worth of discussion on politics, tv and dirty indie boys saved up in my head, so it's back to business as usual. Hopefully not six weeks from now.


poshdeluxe said...


and with a blog post that is basically about my favorite things on the planet: cupcakes and children.

seriously, i might as well go home now, cos this is the pinnacle of my day. i wanna hang out with some preschool kids! and be the caboose!!

but i guess when you don't have a child of yr own, it might seem kind of pervy to show up with cupcakes... sigh.

olivia said...

hi, i too am glad you're back to the blog, even though i do not know you. maybe i'm a little slow, but i just wanted to check--so after you make the cupcake, you put it in the ice cream cone? am i really dumb?

also i love love love your pictures with the kids. and i miss having really important jobs, like being the caboose. that has to matter at LEAST as much as my current job

Erin said...

I realized that as I was writing it, Sarah. "Hmm, cupcakes and kids. sarah's favorite things!"

Olivia, no, you bake them right up in the cone. Fill the cones about 1 inch from the top, and increase the baking time by five minutes. No mess cupcakes!

I too miss having important jobs, like being the caboose. And, for that matter, having naps. I'm going back to pre-school.