Pinstrosity in the Making

Idle hands and minds lead to unexpected results, no? (Which is precisely why I’m not blogging every day anymore… I’m suddenly busier.)

To start: we had a bake off at the studio on Friday. I wanted to explore my Pin Boards for something fun, but universally enjoyable by everyone. I opted to make the vegan red velvet cupcakes I made earlier last year, but wanted to switch them to a Blue Velvet cake instead. This is why.

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However, I also ended up with these by mistake/quick thinking.

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My downfall? I forgot how much red dye is actually needed to make red velvet cupcakes. I usually pour in a good tablespoon or three. For some reason, I thought that I needed less blue dye to make blue velvet.

Turns out that this:

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Plus this:

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Equals this ugliness on the left.

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Now, as you can see, I did end up with blue cakes. But that was some white cake box mix made with a cup of plain greek yogurt and a cup of water. (And then a lot of blue dye.) And then they were conveniently frosted electric blue canister frosting from Target. (Because I was just lazy at that point.)

But I had two dozen greenish brown cupcakes that were completely edible, but ewwww… gross.

So they became Grouches after some dairy-free frosting was made.

The recipe for the Mostly Vegan Cupcakes (dyed to your preference):

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I used organic cane… you can use vegan. Or Splenda. Or whatever.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (though, I probably would have preferred coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring (I didn’t go vegan on this. I’ve seen recipes put in as much as 2T of gel color or a bottle of dye.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, refined sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together the grape seed oil, milk, vanilla extract and food coloring. Stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, then stir in the distilled white vinegar. Pour the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 18- 20 minutes or until cupcakes come out clean after a toothpick test.

For the frosting, I mixed one stick of Nucoa plus 2 cups+ of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of almond milk. Then dyed it. The problem with Nucoa is that it doesn’t really mix THAT well. But it doesn’t have soy additives either. If you can, use some other non-dairy spread like Earth Balance or whatever.

Taste verdicts:

The vegan cupcakes were really moist. I probably could have baked them a little longer and they would have been fine. The original recipe called for a 10 minute bake time and that was NOT enough. They also weren’t very sweet, which was nice.

The Greek Yogurt Box Mix wasn’t bad either. Just kind of had a chewy texture. It was a little bizarre honestly.

Frosting the cakes:

So – for the fuzzy Muppet-ness, I used a Wilton #233 tip (Grass) to frost the cakes. I used white chocolate candy melts for the eyes and then dotted them with some Wilton brown gel. I DID buy some edible writers which did NOT work on the white chocolate. (They are getting returned to the store.) If you have the patience to make and dye your own additional frosting, feel free. I didn’t. For Cookie Monster, shove half a Chips Ahoy cookie where the mouth should be and viola! A Muppet.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Oddly Fashionable

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Pump 3.0 is here and it’s purple! But I couldn’t just let the purple flag fly alone on this one even though it matches just about everything in my wardrobe!

I’ve also had a Skin from Medtronic for the last couple of years that did NOT match my Pepto pump 1.0 at all.

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Tah-dah! So much better. (Well… not the double arrows, but I just had lunch and recovered from a low.)

Is the new pump working better? Too early too tell. However, I did get my first Calibration Error, which generally indicates that the blood sugar picked up on the sensor is wildly different from the one on the meter. Last night my pump said I was running much higher than I was. (200 vs. 100. Not even close.) So I stayed up until I was supposed to calibrate (midnight) and attempted to correct. Alarms everywhere. Also – no one told me that the sensor basically has to start from scratch after one of those errors. So I was up until 1 am worrying that I broke the damn thing… again.

The sensor is also picking up my post meal spikes more accurately.

Good signs, I suppose? Just wish they would tell me I was low faster. Even with my alarms going off at anything below 80, it still missed that 55 I had before lunch. Sigh. Not quite there yet.

Despite my friend’s claims, I don’t intend to continue to sabotage my equipment every two months.

I also purchased this:

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Yup – a custom medical alert bracelet and tag. I’ve spent a lot of money on really cheap bracelets that only say “DIABETIC” on them. Doesn’t really do much good if you are out in the wild with only your cell phone. (It’s a bad habit, I know.) And since they are cheap, they rust/fall off/unclasp/get stuck on my partner’s clothes/etc. Lauren’s Hope has lots of cute bracelets and ID tags if you want an investment piece. But I figured the only other ID I owned was from when I was a teen, so it was probably time to get a new one. I also got a “dress up” one with white swarovski beads. So excited.

And in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day:

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes! Slightly modified. I used a combination of this recipe and this recipe, plus a couple other mods. (Wheat flour instead of regular flour. Stevia packets instead of sugar. Bailey’s IS dairy, so only half the batch were completely dairy free. And I used Scottish Blend whiskey. Because I’m cheap.)

Enjoy!

Sugar Free Doesn’t Equal Carb Free

Case in point… these are still 40 grams of carbs. Made with Maltitol. (Why did I buy these again?)

“Sugar free” cupcakes

These little beauts are from a local cupcake only bakery limited to our region. They had a Groupon not too long ago, so I bought it. I know… why is the diabetic buying cupcake Groupons??? As much as I enjoy baking, I don’t always have time for it. Especially elaborate masterpieces like they create.

It was going to expire soon and I was in the vicinity, and I have a slew of young sorority sisters that I’m paying a visit tomorrow. Why not.

So I get 10 non-sugarless cupcakes for them. And 2 sugar free cupcakes for me and the hubs. And I felt like I was the first person to ask the gal behind the counter for nutrition facts. Go me! At least they were prepared. (I’d hope so for special cupcakes like that.)

Since my blood sugars have been running oddly lower than usual during 3/4s of my day, I’ve decided not to dive into these quite yet. Especially since I just know it’s a flat 40 grams… and God knows what else…