Don’t let these little elephant cookie toppers deceive you. These cupcakes are a mouth-watering combination of sweet lemon and fresh strawberries made baby shower-appropriate with light blue sugar cookies. I first tried this cupcake out on my research group a few weeks ago; when I’m testing a new recipe, I use them as my guinea pigs. “Research group” makes it sound like I have a focus group dedicated to taste-testing my sweet confections. Really they’re a cool group of graduate students getting together to discuss STEM education issues, but I kind of like the sound of having my own personal baking test subjects. I should bake for them more often. I tested this particular recipe out with two future purposes in mind: 1) as a potential wedding cupcake contender, and 2) for my friend Corey’s baby shower I threw the following weekend. There was no denying that I’d found a winning recipe and also a fantastic way to use up the overflowing meyer lemon tree in our backyard.
Despite attending two Pac 10 schools, I have very little interest in March Madness. I feel pretty much the same about it as I do about the Superbowl. If my friends are watching, I’m more than happy to make finger food all day and chat during commercial breaks. Except if there’s a game on my birthday (which usually happens during March Madness). In which case, you mention March Madness and I’ll shake my fist at you. This year, March has been a basketball-free month over here; even if my friends have gotten together for the occasion, I’ve been at home unpacking, sewing wedding banners, and stuffing invitations. Turns out wedding planning is a full-time job. Luckily it’s right up my alley – career shift, perhaps? For all of you with your eyes glued to college ball right now, I bring you the last dish from our anniversary day of cooking, spinach artichoke dip stuffed mushrooms, which just so happen to make a perfect game day party snack.
I’ve missed you! You know that raw excitement a dog feels when its human friend returns after being away FOREVER…or, say, 15 minutes? That’s how I feel about seeing you again. Amidst all the chaos over the past couple of weeks, I’ve paused several times to think about how I haven’t been very fair to you. I just disappeared without notice and without any indication of where I went or when I’d be back. A lot has happened since we last met (including this mouth-watering sweet potato hash, but we’ll get to that later). For starters, we drove to my parents’ house two weekends ago and spent the entire time crafting for the wedding. I sacrificed a pair of jeans to a can of paint to make wedding signs from old fence boards and brush color-coordinating chevrons on our corn hole game.