Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes & Kittens!

Ohhhh what a week.
It's supposed to be my reading week yet today is the only day this week that I feel as though I'm taking a break. I've worked everyday this week... which is good! Don't get me wrong. I definitely need the money but I've been craving a day like today where I wake up, make cinnamon buns (my week "off" includes diet and exercise) and lounge for hours.
So I'm ready for the laziness that is today.
Tuesday was my friend Marion's birthday so I made her some cupcakes which were inspired by Martha and also by my best friend who made a similar cake for valentine's day.
Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup cocoa; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups canola oil, and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1/4 cup red food coloring*** (I only added a few tbsp of it because 1/4 cup is like 2 of those little food colouring bottles) and 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and beat until well combined.
3. Add flour mixture, alternating with 1 cup buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
If you don't have buttermilk use this substitute: 1 cup of regular milk with 1 tbsp of white vingear.

4. In a small bowl, mix baking 1 1/2 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp vinegar until combined. Add to batter, and beat for 10 seconds. Spoon batter into muffin cups or greased-muffin pans.
5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans, and allow them to cool completely before icing them as desired.
And also very pretty and very tasty.
So, friends, I have big news.
John and I are getting a roommate.
After a year and a half of sad faces, pleading, idea-planting, etc, we are getting a kitten!
It's not quite the puppy we had been talking about, but a kitten makes a lot more sense and, having never owned a dog, I am a little biased in the feline direction.
I'd been looking online to see if there were any little babies that would want to come live with me at the apartment for a nominal fee (read: free) and found some darling ones.
If you also could track my google search inputs from this week this is what they would look like:
kittens; gray and white kittens; black and white kittens; "tuxedo" kittens; tabby kittens; 3 month old kittens; adorable kittens

Yes, I google searched 'adorable kittens'. Do it. There's one with a little hat on. Adorable!
Anyway, I got in touch with a woman who's cat had 4 kittens and she needed homes for them. 2 boys and 2 girls but since we picked out a male name already we're going to take one of the little boys. I bought the essentials last night: litter box, litter scooper, 5 kg jug of litter (my poor weak arms), food and water bowls, kitten food (awwww), and cinnamon buns for John.
I made the cinnamon buns this morning so that John doesn't use his golden power of veto today against the kitten. And I made him look at the search results for 'adorable kittens'. Just in case he had his doubts.
I will present him to you once he is home and confident enough to come out from under the bed or wherever he is bound to hide.
I'll lure him out somehow.
I almost bought this thing called a kitten mitten from the dollar store but I believe I could craft my own. It's essentially a yellow dish glove with mice on strings attached to each finger.
Doesn't beat the ACTUAL KITTEN MITTONS though.
Note: I've been pimping this clip out to everyone but I don't think anyone has watched it yet. Now you'll be so curious. Click on that link. You won't be disappointed.
My cousin Mike got John the 4th season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for Christmas and we're hooked. What a show. If you like laughter you will like this show.
Get ready for 1000 kitten posts in like T-minus 6 hours.

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