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The Family Circle magazine cover that inspired a day of baking.

I know…I know, it’s not ideal to take long breaks from writing posts but {oh my} our summer has been such fun and I haven’t had a moment to write. From cruising to camping, and even some stand up paddle boarding in the Irish Sea, it’s been go…go…go. Finally the kids have just gone back to school which means things are finally slowing down. My head is screaming, “write girl, write”! So I guess that’s what I have to do…hold on folks, it’s back to life in the Irish fast lane!

This weekend my eldest decided she wanted to have a friend sleep over. Check. Then she and her friend decided they wanted to do some baking. Check, check! Whenever my eldest is willing to step into the kitchen, for something other than dinner, I get a little thrill. She’s not the “cooking” type (not yet anyway) and I want to encourage her as much as possible, even if afterwards it means my kitchen looks like a bomb struck.

The homemade version!

The baking challenge the girls took on was recreating adorable cupcakes inspired by those on the cover of Family Circle magazine in April 2008. Yes, I keep magazines forever but THIS is exactly why…you just never know when a picture or article will inspire a moment. The girls saw these playful cupcakes and knew they had to make them.

Being kids, the girls dispensed with the directions immediately. First and foremost, they wanted to have fun. Second, I was told making cupcakes from scratch would take too long. Third, they just wanted to “do their own thing”! Check, check, check. The girls wrote their shopping list, got some cash from Dad, jumped on their bikes and cycled to the local supermarket for some ingredients. An hour-and-a-half later, they made it home with smiles on their faces (remember when grocery shopping used to make you happy?!) and started baking.

Recipe from Family Circle 2008

The afternoon passed with the smell of vanilla wafting through the air and the sound of laughter and “girl-talk” flowing easily. It didn’t matter that a quarter of the cupcakes looked more like messy mutts than pretty pupcakes. What was most important was two young friends spent time in the kitchen and had a ball. I think you’ll agree the results were pretty sweet.

Recipe – The picture (left) is from Family Circle magazine. If you click on the image, you can read it more clearly. The article was inspired by the book Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. If the recipe seems long, by all means “wing it” as my daughter did and use the photos from the article for inspiration.

Related Bits & Bobs to Inspire You:

Website and idea extravaganza from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, creators of The New York Times bestseller Hello Cupcake – http://www.hellocupcakebook.com/Hello_Cupcake_Book.html

Hello, Cupake!…The App – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hello-cupcake!/id463891492?mt=8

Video Interview with Karen Tack, author or Hello Cupcake!, What’s New Cupcake?, and Cupcake, Cookies and Pie, Oh My! –http://www.marthastewart.com/search/apachesolr_search/hello%20cupcake

Cupcakes in Dublin, Ireland at A Cupcake Review (greenseggsandhamstrings.wordpress.com)

How to Frost Cupcakes http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/03/frosting-cupcakes_n_1846665.html

Nutella Cupcakes http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/05/06/nutella-cupcakes-with-nutella-buttercream/

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