Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today is a grrrreat day!

You want to know why? I already have my program done! I went to tutoring last night in the library and Phu helped me out. It is so relieving to be done, and not have to worry about it all weekend!
So today is my friend Katie's birthday, and my friend Jamie also just had a baby girl, Hayden, yesterday morning at 7:18am. I decided to make cupcakes to give as a gift to each of them. More specifically, strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting, from the Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor, by Anne Byrn. Also known as my favorite cookbook ever.
I took pictures all along the baking process, so I am going to blog the whole process. Let's begin!

Start off by chopping 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, really small. Yes, these strawberry cupcakes have bits of real strawberry in them!
Next, add the strawberries to a big mixing bowl with the rest of the cupcake batter ingredients: white cake mix, strawberry gelatin, 3/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup oil, and 4 eggs.

Then, beat the mixture together for 30 seconds on low, and 2 minutes on medium. See how it gets all thick and creamy? Mmmmm....
Next, put the batter into lined cupcake cups. Today I used dinosaur cupcake cups. Very appropriate for a young woman turning 21. Or a new baby.
Next, throw 'em into the oven for about 20 minutes at 350*F. Or until they spring back when you poke them. Don't really throw them though. That would be disastrous.
Now while those baby cakes are baking, you want to prepare the strawberry cream cheese frosting. Now I didn't really follow a recipe for this, but there is one in the book.
First, throw about a cup of chopped strawberries in a bowl. Now if you are really sophisticated, you can use a potato masher to mash up the strawberries. Now I'm just a college student, so I used a tall cup. Worked just as well. Also add one brick of softened cream cheese and some powdered sugar. Oh and a little vanilla. I was supposed to put in butter, but I didn't have any. I'd already been to IGA and the Dollar General; I wasn't going again.

Then get out your electric mixer and beat away. And add lots more powdered sugar until you get the thick consistency you want. I went through more than 2 lbs. That's a lot of sugar.

In an effort to find better lighting, I took this by our back door. No such luck.

Somehow in my picture-taking frenzy I forgot to take a picture of them fresh out of the oven. Oh wells, you can't have it all.

Next, take a big spoonful of frosting and plop onto a cupcake. Smooth it around and top with sprinkles. I wanted just pink-and-white sprinkles, but you gotta take what IGA will give you.

Isn't that gorgeous? Now if I could only sell them for $3 a pop on campus like I could in NYC.

I guess I'll just have to settle on giving them away.

Now since it is Katie's birthday, I whipped up some cute almond bark words to top her cupcakes.

And for Jamie and Hayden, just a simple BABY.

Here is the official recipe for those who are interested:

Strawberry Cupcakes

1 18.25-oz package white cake mix

1 3-oz. package strawberry gelatin

1 cup finely chopped strawberries with juice

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

Place cake mix, gelatin, strawberries and juice, milk, oil, and eggs in large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer for 30 seconds on low. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. Blend for 2 minutes on medium.

Spoon or scoop about 1/3 cup batter into each cupcake cup.

Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Let cool. Frost with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, softened

3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup mashed fresh strawberries

Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add strawberries and 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Yum!

Monday, September 22, 2008

All-College Hike week!!

This past week we had the All-College Hike on Wednesday. Yay for no classes! I took a nap during CIS 210's classtime. This weekend I went out to Cedarville, OH to visit my boyfriend Ben who goes to Cedarville University. He is a senior majoring in business finance, and he tried to help me write my program that is due Monday. He took programming in high school but was pretty clueless. Although he did try to help.
Anyways, once I got back to Greenville I worked on the program and then went andgot help on Monday morning. Hopefully next week's assignment I will be able to do all on my own.
It's hard for me to really get into this class, because I don't really see where I will use it. I guess I just don't understand why math ed majors have to take programming. Oh wells. It is exciting when you finally get a program written; I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully things will get easier!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Third week of blogging. I missed my deadline of having this post up by 12:00 am. Honestly, my mind was elsewhere, trying to figure out how to write my program. I had serious doubts that I would be able to come up with anything that would even function, let alone actually calculate the payroll without error. But, I did figure it out! For the most part.

Last night somehow my wireless got switched off, and suddenly I didn't have internet. At some point last year, my wireless switch completely fell off, so I had no way of turning it back on. So this morning I took my computer to IT and they ended up having to take my computer apart in order to get the wireless back on. I have no idea how it even got switched off in the first place. So, while I was already at IT I got help with my program and figured out how to fix it. Yay!

I did bake this week; I baked a Texas sheet cake and a pineapple sheet cake for the cross country team dinner. I have pictures, but currently cannot the cord that connects the camera to the computer. Boo.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Second Post, and a peanut butter cookie!

I am now in my second week of computer programming. Ahh! We had a quiz on Thursday that I was pretty uncertain of. Coming into the quiz I was pretty anxious. I had read the text a few times and taken notes during lecture, but I was still uneasy. Even during the quiz I was not sure of myself. I guess I pulled through alright with an 88%. I wish I could have done better but that will be for next time! Now it's time to get out chapter 3 and begin reading.

Onto the baking side of things, last night I went to my friend Kristi's house. We ate dinner together and then while watching some old episodes of Desperate Housewives, I decided to make peanut butter cookies. I worked at a bakery for three years while I was in high school and college, and I absolutely loooved it. Sadly the bakery closed because it went out of business. However, I still have their fabulous peanut butter cookie recipe! Beware, this makes a ton, but they are oh-so-good. Perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Katie's Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup margarine

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

3 cups peanut butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

4 cups flour

Cream together margarine, butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Add peanut butter. In small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda then add to creamed mixture. Refrigerate dough until firm. Roll into one-inch balls and roll in sugar. Flatten with fork using criss-cross pattern. Bake at 350* for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy! See ya next week!