“firework” fourth of july cupcakes

Back in a previous life (aka when I had a kitchen that wasn’t just one of the walls of the room that makes up my apartment), I used to bake a lot.  I legit have zero counterspace except for little kitchen island that I bought so I have something to put anything on…which makes cooking/baking anything too elaborate a bit more difficult.  (I realize I’m not the only one with this issue, #nycproblems.)  Anyway, when I bake I tend to make a mess and making a mess of my entire room/apartment has deterred me from baking as much as I used to.

I still read scroll through a few cupcake blogs, and I saw some Fourth of July firework cupcakes pop up a last week, and I decided I needed to make them.  I do miss decorating cupcakes and being crafty in that sense…I’m pretty sure the wedding cake took a lot of me decorating-wise, not that I wouldn’t do it again in a second if Sara asked.  (Speaking Sara, it’s her birthday!  Happy birthday, roomie!)

Anyway.  Baking!  I made cupcakes, hooray!  I love funfetti cupcakes mainly because they’re…fun.  (Hence the name, right?)  And homemade funfetti cupcakes are super easy to make since it’s basically a cake from scratch with a bunch of sprinkles thrown in.  You just have to be careful about which sprinkles you use because the little round ones will bleed into the batter…so either use the “jimmies” or carefully stir as little as possible.  Or go like crazy if you like a little color.  I did a little bit of both.

017 Red spreads.  It rhymes!

Next, I baked them up…which only funny because I ordered dinner since I didn’t want to heat up my apartment by booking, but then I turned on the oven for the cupcakes.  Priorities?

020 Not high quality photography, but DELICIOUS.

After a bit of a baking emergency in that my food coloring was…really old, I attempted to head out to find food coloring at 11pm.  In case you were wondering, both Duane Reade and CVS don’t carry food coloring.  So I went to bed and saved the frosting for the next day.

I don’t have the greatest lighting or spot for cupcake photo shoots, but I think the frosting job turned out pretty well.  I used a “grass” tip to attempt to make the frosting look firework-esque.  I’m not sure if it worked, but it’s a different look than just piped frosting with a basic tip, so I like it.  And the colors worked out…if you’ve ever tried to make anything red, you would realize that it’s quite a feat to make something look red instead of pink.

024 Finished product!

028 I’m so clever sometimes.

And because this is a running blog…

029 My USA 1/2 Marathon bib was too perfect for the photo shoot.

030 Cupcake ran a half marathon, obviously.

And because I’m a nurse, I did surgery on the cupcake…

032 Funfetti insides!

And then put the cupcake back together because I’m a healing nurse:

031 My healing touch.

Being a nurse means that holidays don’t really mean much and I certainly don’t get them off, so I’m working on the Fourth of July.  It’s on a Thursday so it can’t be THAT exciting, and I’m hoping that maybe (big emphasis on the maybe) I can bolt crosstown in time to see the fireworks on the Hudson.  It probably won’t happen, but I can dream.  Or watch it on TV.  (Not the same, FYI.)  In the meantime, I packed up the cupcakes and will be celebrating America by working.  (Time and a half, for the win.)

035 Happy Fourth!

Do the cupcakes look like fireworks to you?  Just one person needs to tell me they do, I’m not so convinced.  Are you doing something fun for the Fourth?  Let me live vicariously! 

Also, worth a shot:  Anyone in NYC running long on Friday?  I’d like some company.

baking heaven

Yesterday was a fabulous day in the life of Susan!  I always say that I want to explore more the city, but I’m not necessarily sure where exactly to go.  When doing a search for baking supplies/store in the city, I came across the store NY Cake, which is pretty much the dream spot for anyone who has anything to do with baking.  They have basically any supply you could think of and piles upon piles of different options in regards to sprinkles and cupcake holders, etc etc.  Since I had baking plans last night (more on that in another post!), I decided to check out what they had to offer.  Plus, I think a day wandering the aisles of a baking store is a day well spent.

I hopped on the subway and headed to the Flatiron District, which is timely because I saw a picture of the Flatiron Building on Sunday and wondered where it was…I got to see it in person!  It’s known as one of the world’s first skyscrapers, which is why it’s famous.  Check out my amazing photography skills:

120810 Random (1) It’s pretty cool looking, I promise!

120810 Random (2)I also thought this building looked cool!

Anyway, back to my mission!  I found the cake store and my mouth dropped because they had so much stuff!  Sprinkles, holiday decorations, cupcake holders, different pans (I resisted the urge to buy the elephant cake mold…), cookie sheets, any flavoring you could imagine, on and on and on!  I love it.  I wandered for a long time while picking up some supplies that I needed for the baking adventure.

image That’s a lot of sprinkles.

I applied proper restraint and walked out without doing too much damage to my credit card, which is a good thing considering the fact that I wanted to buy everything.  Just like with running, you have to pace yourself!  :)   (I need to take my own advice when it comes to running, but oh well.)

After my bakery shopping extravaganza (they also do wholesale so if I ever open my own bakery, I can buy from them!), I was mighty hungry.  I passed by a bunch of sandwich shops and one called Press intrigued me the most.  I thought that they were going to have paninis, but it turns out they press your tortilla for your wrap right in front of you, then you fill it with whatever ingredients you want.  I had mine filled with grilled vegetables and a variety of other toppings (including guacamole…yum!) in a sun-dried tomato wrap.  They somehow sneaked peas into the wrap (I don’t like peas!), but it was still delicious so I’ll take it.  The best part?  A side of FRENCH FRIES.  If you happened to be around for the twitter banter about fries, you would know how much I love them.  I haven’t had them in awhile so I was super excited.  :)   Check out my lunch, food blogger style:

120810 Random (5)Yes, I took this picture with the emphasis on the fries.  Yummmm.

One reason I could never be a food blogger:  I’d be forced to take pictures of the bags of M&M’s I eat.  Well, I could be a food blogger, but not a “healthy” food blogger.  Everything in moderation, my friends…

That being said, I run a lot and therefore can eat a lot!  (Actually, I’ve been eating terribly lately…not all M&M’s, of course, but not eating the best dinner, etc.  And I can feel it in my running and life energy levels!  Crazy.)

Not going to lie…if I can head out for a run after my second day of work (both of which were NUTSO…didn’t eat lunch until 4pm on Monday since a big burn came in), then other people can squeeze in runs as well.  Even though I’m tired, I know that I’ll feel better after running even for just a half an hour.  So that’s what I did.

Tuesday, December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day…don’t forget!)
3.74 miles in 30:38, avg pace of 8:11

Nice quiet job in Central Park…definitely a good way to destress after a tough day at work.  One of these days I’ll talk more about my job…

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