Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

We have all heard Mary Poppins singing "just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" and I am living proof of that, although I would like to think she meant agave (*nudge*nudge*).

It is no secret that this blog is in need of some "sweet treats" for its namesake. Well we are in luck because last night I did accomplished both.

I have been super stressed due to the events of last week, which are finally starting to wind down. The last of my family left yesterday and now the house is getting back to normal. Unfortunately, I am still tired and am running on zero battery. Not good.

But what do I do to relax? Yoga and baking, of course! I have been diligently going to yoga, even though I have been quite tired. I guess the upside is that it is a nice reminder that sometimes we have to take it slow. I decided to bake last night, too, because I had a mentoring meeting.

What is that and what is mentoring, you ask?

Well basically it is a program in my school where a small group of high schoolers are each paired up with small groups of 7th grade girls. We meet once a month and talk about issues that are relevant to their lives and all around have fun. I love baking for my girlies and yesterday was no exception.

And that, my friends, is my new-found Earth Balance. I do not use vegan butter in my own cooking (I do not know why but I just hate butter... the smell, the taste, the feel ---> gross!) so I never really have it around. For baking, I used to use Smart Balance for my friends. Can you believe it has whey in it? I was disappointed by this and have switched over since finishing up the last of the big tubs. This was my first EB experience so I had to take a picture. 1/2 Cup sticks rock!

At 10pm last night, I finally started baking. Needless to say, I have been so swamped with school work lately. The late hour was actually calming and baking relaxed me. It seems like a spoonful (or a cupful in my case) of sugar really does do he trick.

Enter luscious vegan dark chocolate cupcakes with a fluffy vegan vanilla buttercream.

I made a double batch, making almost 24 cupcakes, even though my group is only 7 girls. They each had two so either they were super hungry or really liked them. I am hoping for the second.

I loved the smile on one of my girl's faces when I told her they were vegan. She is allergic to dairy and is used to not being able to share in such decadent desserts with her friends. Her smile was priceless and really made my day. I am all about spreading love and happiness with cupcakes. Hippy? Maybe. But just consider the Black Eyed Peas (click on their name to see what I mean).

Due to the time I was baking, photos were not exactly great. I tried, I really did, but apparently natural lighting is the best kind. Now that is something I can agree with. On the up-side, now you get to see my cupcake holder with three tier capabilities. You hear me right: three tiers!

To make up for my lack of photos of the wonderful cupcakes, I will leave you with a few other treat photos. They are not vegan, and are actually quite the opposite, but they are true works of art.

My mom bought these over the weekend for my visiting family. They are from an authentic (I am talking real French chef and everything) French pastry shop and cafe near us that we have absolutely raved about. Needless to say, all the butter and eggs they use are not exactly Mandie friendly, but I love that place anyway. There is just a charm about it, you know?

I am off to take a shower and hopefully get some rest before tomorrow because I need it. Please help me wish for a snowday tomorrow. It would be a total lifesaver.

May your dreams be lovely and sugar...err...agave-plum fairy-filled ;)!


P.S. PB&Co. here I come (or here you come if you enter here :D)!


  1. Do you use agave in your baking? If so, does it change the texture? Those cupcakes look marvelous. :)

  2. wow so many great treats, i'd love one of those cupcakes please ;) awesome cupcake holder too, i've seen those at the stores but i never transport cupcakes anywhere so i can't justify a purchase, haha. whatever delectable creation is in your last pic, yum!

  3. you are so sweet! i'm dairy-free (except yogurt? haha) and i'm never able to join in on the cupcake/food extravaganzas with my friends! you need to come to NC!

    ♥ lindsey

  4. Thanks Mandiee! :) I loved your compliments. Hmm, plating food...well, sometimes when I am REALLY hungry, I just throw things on a plate and snap a picture (or don't snap a picture, depending on what rate my stomach is growling!). Other times I simply take my time and make it look like a masterpiece. Think of it as art. I love food and I do believe that it is a work of art. Finding new recipes and tweaking them or creating my own is also great. :) I hope that helps you! When I first started blogging, my pictures weren't that great. But, after you get used to using a camera, etc...things get easier. I would definitely suggest using as much natural light as possible, as it makes pictures look much brighter. However, I also love it when my pictures have that yellow-ish orange-ish glow from lamplight. Call me crazy, I know. =P

    Thanks for the agave tips. I will have to try it out and see what happens.

    Oh, I am feeling much better already! I went to a CoreConnect class at my gym and it was intense, but amazing! 30 minutes of core blasting moves. Abs of steel! :D Tomorrow is Zumba! I am excited.

    Talk to me anytime, girl, if you have questions and/or comments. I enjoy reading your blog too. :)

    Ps: The sniffle comment was funny. =P

  5. Yum yummy cupcakes! I bought this book too and I love it so much :) There are so many awesome recipes in there I dont know which one I want to try next.