Conversation with (almost) vegan green tea cupcakes

 [Green Tea Cupcakes with Green Tea Glaze from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World]

Dear (almost) vegan green tea cupcakes I just made,

As your maker, I'm going to be the first one to admit that I didn't really do you justice. When I checked up on you after 20 minutes and saw how gorgeously green and puffy you were, I thought "Sweet! These are gonna look great!" 

But after I took you out of the oven, you sunk on me. Right in the middle. How could you do that? Were you punishing me for not doing the toothpick test? Were you upset that you weren't purely vegan cupcakes because I substituted soy yogurt with cow yogurt? I guess I wasn't the best supporter, I mean, I did keep yelling "Stop sinking you a**hole!" which probably wasn't the most constructive thing I could have done to help you reach your fullest potential. I just pushed you too far and too fast. I'm sorry.

And let's face it, as a result of my impatience, you're kinda ugly. There's this little pool in which the glaze just sort of sits and sloshes over the sides, and even though I know it's sugar, margarine, and matcha powder, it just kinda looks like...slime. No one wants to eat slime. Not even if it's on a cupcake.

It's a good thing you taste incredible (not greasy, just the right amount of sweetness,) and that your glaze, even though it kinda looks like slime is so good you just want to eat it straight out of the bowl. Otherwise, I would disown you. 

The boy and I look forward to consuming all 12 of you. 

Green Tea Cupcakes with Green Tea Glaze
Makes 12 cupcakes
From the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

1/2 cup soy yogurt (I used regular plain yogurt)
2/3 cup rice milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 to 4 tsps matcha tea powder (I used 4 and got my matcha at Mitsuwa but I also saw it at Whole Foods)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners.

2. Whisk together yogurt, milk, vanilla, oil, and almond extract, beating well to blend yogurt. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Beat to break up lumps. Fill liners two thirds of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes (or insert a toothpick into one and see if it comes out clean) and cool on racks before spreading glaze on top. 

Green Tea Glaze (a.k.a. YUM)
2 tbs magarine
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp matcha powder (I used a 1/4)
1 to 2 tbs rice milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
Drop of vanilla extract
With a fork, beat margarine to fluff, then mix sugar and matcha to form a crumbly mixture. Slowly beat in milk, almond, and vanilla extract. Generously dollop on top of cooled cupcakes and enjoy!



My Holiday in Sweets

[From top to bottom: chocolate tart with kumquats from Esquire Grill in Sacramento; earl gray tea cupcake from Esther's Cupcakes in Sacramento; creme brulee cupcake also from Esther's; tree sugar cookie from Dolores Park Cafe in San Francisco]

I had a pretty crazy holiday break, but in between hugs and catching up, I managed to do what I do really well--eat sugar.

Originally I went to Esther's Cupcakes to try their green tea cupcake, but was sorely disappointed when there weren't any. We settled on the earl gray and creme brulee cupcake, and friends agreed that the frosting was the stand-out component of the cake. Mmmmm...

To make up for my green tea cupcake fascination, I'm actually going to ::gasp:: attempt to bake today. If you've been reading this blog you know cooking and baking are scarce. Eating is plentiful, making the food is not.

I'm lacking in domesticity, so send your best baking vibes my way--wish me luck!


A Rainbow After the Storm

[Taken by the boy from his work desk]

While I am with my family eating a lot of food and watching movies I've missed (Julie&Julia, loved it!), the boy continues to toil away at his desk. Today he sent me a photo of this rainbow from his work window, and it made me really miss him. This past week, when I've had time to slow down and actually screw my head on properly, I've realized just how important he is in my life. It sounds stupid, really, because of course he's important! He's your husband!

But every now and then, in between our hectic schedules, I need a reminder. Recently I went into crisis mode, and every time that happens I get the warm fuzzies by how my family and friends, especially the boy,  rally by my side. In all my times of neediness, I am reminded of what loving people I have in my life who really care about what is best for me.

I honestly  haven't been doing so hot these past couple of months, but after talking to and seeing family and friends, I see greener pastures up ahead. And they include bright rainbows.


Batting Short Straight Eyelashes

[Ohhh to have lush thick lashes. If you have lots of lashes, cherish them because I might steal them from you. Photo from here.]

After a grueling quarter, I'm ready to just sit, eat cookies and not think about anything academic. So let's talk about something more fun, something that I personally love playing with--makeup.

I didn't blog about this at the time because I had a million things going on, but I got eyelash extensions for our honeymoon. They were fantastic but expensive. I didn't have to put any makeup on, and for the first time, my lashes were LONG and CURLED. They were really noticeable in person (my boss saw me and said "well don't you look beautiful,") and if it weren't for saving money, I'd be at the salon every month to have them retouched.

Since I'm strapped for cash these days, I'm in the market for a new mascara. So far I have tried...

 -MAC Prolash
-Benefit Bad Gal

I've been using mostly the Bad Gal, but it always smears on me and I'm thinking I need something with more oompf so my eyes pop.

What's your favorite mascara? Can I have your eyelashes? 


Etsy Gift Ideas for Facebook Friends

I saw this on Etsy and thought it was clever.
If you let Etsy connect to your Facebook account, it will generate gift ideas for the friends who have left tags in their interests section.

Let's see it in action!

 [Click here to generate some gift ideas for your friends]

My fellow future librarian Stacey likes the designer Orla Kiely. Therefore, Stacey might like:

My friend from college, Angie, put Pride and Prejudice under favorite books, therefore she might like:

And my music obsessed audiophile friend Paul might like some Wilco handcrafted items...except for that polishing cloth, it doesn't fit in the bunch. (It's okay Etsy, I don't expect you to differentiate between the band and a vintage brand name.)  

I wish I could have done my own, but my profile doesn't pop up as an option...not that I need anymore things for myself this year. :)

Here's to all your shopping endeavors this holiday season! 

Getting Away and Where To Go

[This beautiful print is by Nidhi Chanani. I love everything in Nidhi Chanani's Etsy shop!! Please check out her work here, and you can buy this print now for 15% off for the holidays! I think it would make a great present to anyone appreciative of illustration and cuddling. I'm still trying to decide which one I want for our apartment.]

Sorry. I've been delinquent, I see that my last post was on Sunday. It is finals week, and the mean scary monsters called stress and anxiety overtook my body and made me do some scary things, like eat In N' Out multiple times, leave coffee cups all over my desk, and wallow on the couch with my favorite procrastinating question--what am I doing with my life and am I fulfilled? Let me sit here and ponder that for three hours while I watch episodes of Gilmore Girls I've already seen and eat out of this bag of Craisins.

While I've been unproductive, it occurred to me that our 6 month wedding anniversary and our engage-a-versary fall on the same day--January 3rd! To get me out of my funk, I've declared that we celebrate, with possibly a weekend retreat where we don't sit on the couch and wallow because I am so done with that. 

I just don't know where to go or what to do. 

Where do you go to regain strength and find clarity? Any suggestions for a weekend getaway in Southern California?


Warehouse Sale Recap

On Saturday, I had a blogger date with Brandi of not your average ordinary to go to the Warehouse Sale, which had two of my favorite things in the whole wide world: stationery and cupcakes. I had a chocolate mint cupcake from Vignette Patisserie and bought a few treasure bags filled with letterpress cards from Delphine Press, which was a great start to a really nice Saturday. Here are a few photos from our lovely morning!

[Chocolate mint cupcake made with organic ingredients--really yummy--courtesy of Vignette Patisserie]

[Brandi had this pumpkin walnut cupcake and loved it, and this girl knows her food! Check out her food blog, Pizzelles.]

[The Delphine Press table had every stationery lover's dream, an entire table filled with printed goods at a discounted price. I think I picked up about 25 different items before settling on a few treasure bags.]

[Fun little bags filled with cards, tag, ribbons, and other cute treasures]

[That stack of cards was a mere $3, and these soy candles smelled really good. The cute thing about them was that a small pack of matches is tucked inside the packaging.]

[Can I buy the entire table?]

Thank you to Delphine Press and Vignette Patisserie for letting me shoot some photos, and to Brandi for driving and hanging out with me!  I think every Saturday should be reserved for stationery shopping and cupcake eating.


Adventures in Furniture Shopping

The IKEA incident of 2006 turned me off from furniture shopping with the boy for life. There really isn’t much to the story--if you can imagine the boy looking at a couch amorously, and me with my head buried in one of the cushions repeating “this...is...so...UGLY”--then you know the story. I don’t know what it is about furniture that makes me hyperventilate, but apparently this couple got a divorce over the furniture (scroll down to the "The One Child Policy").

Post wedding, we ditched our old futon with the intent of buying something the cat wouldn’t destroy (heh, if possible.) After almost six months (wow, has it really been that long since the wedding?!) of sitting on the floor with pillows propped up against our coffee table, we finally bought a real live couch.

[Huzzah! A place to sit!]

And it wasn’t even #1 on my list, it’s the one the boy wanted the most. And I didn’t even hyperventilate this time. Or pout. Aren’t you proud of me?

...it could just be that I was tired of sitting on the ground. But for now let’s just think that I let the boy have the one he wanted because I’m growing, k?

It also afforded me the opportunity to buy this ruffle-licious pillow from Target, which is super fun to play with.

While we're on the topic of our apartment, I went ahead and took a photo of my really messy desk, and the knick knacks that surround it, where I do all my blogging.

[My natural habitat]

I'm really glad to have a new place to take naps and cuddle. Thank goodness it didn't turn into another Ikea incident!


Warehouse Sale, 12/4, 9-1 PM

Letterpress stationery? Graphic design books? ORGANIC CUPCAKES?? And just one freeway stop away from me? I'm totally there. For more details, see the Delphine Ephemera blog

Pink Argyle All rights reserved © 2010

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley

HowJoyful Design