My Very Own Dot Com!

Hi all,

I got my very own url! Check out my new post on this site:

http://www.teaspoonsf.com

See ya there!

Caitlin

Don’t Be a Pig Cupcakes

Another cupcake post, so get ready. I have actually not made this many cupcakes in a while, but they are just so fun to decorate that I had to find another excuse to make them. At work, we have a kitchen with dishes, dishwasher, refrigerators, the whole works. I like that we are environmentally friendly and don’t use disposable dishes, but at the same time, the kitchen gets dirty, gross, and I get mad when I cannot find a clean mug to have my tea in the morning. If the dishwasher is running, people somehow cannot manage to clean their dish and put it on the drying rack, so they put it in the sink and think it will magically get cleaned. Well the magician used to be our receptionist, but our company grew too big and she obviously has more important things to do. In comes the new magic called the kitchen contest. The past 2 months have been fine, but May has come which means my team is up at bat for the “Queens of the Kitchen” title (I just made this up but we are one of the few teams comprised of only women). We decided we are going to start with a bang and try to “bribe” coworkers to help us keep the kitchen clean. Our director split us up into days and it turns out she picked the right 2 girls to start it off (me and my friend). I decided I wanted to make pig cupcakes and was hoping to think of some sort of phrase to get across the point of “don’t be a pig, do your dishes”. I assigned this task to my counterpart, and she made a great poem to sit next to the cupcakes.  Now for the fun part…piggy cupcakes!

Supplies needed to make pig cupcakes:

Mini and regular sized yellow cupcakes of your choice

White frosting (I was lazy and used the canned kind, but not as tasty as the homemade stuff)

Red food dye

Jumbo marshmallows

Chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Kitchen Scissors

Frosting tool (or ziploc baggie)

Edible Pens

First step is to put some white frosting into whatever frosting tool you may have. I have a nifty plastic thing that has different tips depending on how you want to frost your dessert. But, you can also put the frosting into a plastic bag and clip off a corner so you are able to squeeze the frosting out with control. Dye the rest of your frosting pink with just a little bit of red food dye. Now you can frost all of the cupcakes with a layer of the pink frosting. After they are frosted, you need to cut a marshmallow into thirds. Use one third as the snout, and cut another third into fourths, and use two of them for ears.

Now place the snout onto the center of the cupcake and make 2 dots using edible pens. You can replace this with a little frosting, or whatever you like since I realize that the average person does not have edible pens handy (I’m well aware that my crafting habit is a little on the extreme side). I also put a little frosting on the marshmallow ears so it looks like it has the pink insides. Place the ears on the top right and left sides of the cupcake, where normal ears shall go. Next you use the frosting tool to make the white background for the eyes, placing these right above the snout. Add the chocolate covered sunflower seeds into the center of the white. And oink oink! You got yourself a lil piggy.


Nowww for the fancy piggy. I only made one of the fancy pig because he took more time and I always get worried the double layer might fall apart in transit (fyi it didn’t due to my amazing cupcake carrier). This time you do pretty much the same steps as above, except use a mini cupcake for the head, and turn it on its side to sit on top of the big cupcake. Since the head is smaller, I used just frosting for the snout since the marshmallow was going to be too big. I also got out some ribbon that has wiring in it to make my favorite part, the curly cue tail. Oh and I also cut some pieces of marshmallow to make some feet for the guy.


And these 24 little piggies went wee! wee! wee! all the way to work.

The poem:

May has arrived, a busy month indeed

The San Francisco office is operating at full-speed

But then you come into the kitchen and your world feels so serene

You look around and realize it’s because its the lovely ASM ladies’ turn to clean

Our dishes and our countertops, the fridge and the floor

Before the month is over, you’ll be yelling Encore, Encore!

We’ll fill your month will laughter, surprises and if you’re good, even pie

But you must do your part to make sure the kitchen isn’t a pigsty!

And the display at work:


I’m sure you are all dying to know if it worked. Well, the month is not over yet, but people are still gross and don’t do their own dishes. Surprise surprise. I knew cupcakes weren’t going to change that, but at least I had a fun excuse to make them.

A fun kitchen fact to leave you with: if you have ever accidentally put dish soap instead of dishwasher soap into the dishwasher like my coworker did last week (I’m blaming her if we don’t win the contest), I am now the expert. Put 1/2 cup of oil OR vinegar, lots of salt on top, and run the dishwasher a full cycle again.

And now I am going to go wee wee wee all the way to bed.

As Easy as Pie Stand

Do you know where the phrase as easy as pie came from? Well I didn’t either until I googled it just now. I always doubt my phrases that come to mind, so I have to double check them before writing them down. Usually it works to my benefit though, since I learn a little something. I figured that “as easy as pie” referred to how easy it is to make pie, which I thought was a little strange since it is no easy or quick task. But, no. It was originated in the 19th century, referring to the ease of eating apple pie. I guess it’s easy to eat since it tastes so good? I still don’t fully understand it, but  there is your fun fact for the day.

Now onto my pie/cake/cookie stand post. I first got the inspiration for this when I was at Dartealing, a cute tea room in Soma. I first found the tea room while walking to lunch near my new office, and then decided to go for a girlfriend’s birthday a few weekends ago. It is my favorite tea room in the city yet, and is very similar to the tea room that I want to open one day. I will be sure to tell you more about my future tea and craft room in another post! Anyways, instead of only having 3 tiered stands like many tea shops, they had cute 1 tier cake stands. I examined them, and found out that all there was to it was a candle stick, glue, and a cute plate on top. The shopping started.

I went to the Alameda Point Antiques Fair recently, and I was at my first booth and found an awesome plate. It was the first booth of hundreds, so I put the plate down, walked around the whole booth to think about whether or not I wanted the plate. In the meantime, a lady picked up my plate and was looking very interested in it. I started hovering over her because I immediately realized how much I wanted the plate now that I couldn’t have it. Then, the terrible thing happened which made me learn a valuable lesson. She bought my plate. MY plate! But I had no claim on it since I wasn’t holding it or had paid for it. I will never do that again, that is for sure. Fast forward to last weekend at a consignment store called Leftovers off of Polk Street. I found another cute plate, carried it around the whole store with me until I was ready to purchase it. On the way out I found a candlestick holder too! Killed two birds with one stone. At that point, the only thing between me and making my stand was dinner plans and a glue gun.

I tried bargaining but the lady told me it was too cute to lower the price. Totally understandable.

Purchased the glue gun, and was on my way to put together the stand. I put the glue on the rim of the candle stand and placed the plate on top, centering it on the stamp/brand on the bottom of the plate. Little did I know that the stamp was not in the center. While I realized this, the glue stuck and was not moving. My perfectly cute stand was lopsided. I called over a helper who knew what he was doing. He turned on my hair blow dryer and took a knife to it and finally it undid (good to know you can’t get the glue too hot- no dishwashing!)


My lopsided stand 😦

Now back to square one. This time, I turned the plate upside down and put the candlestick with the glue on the rim to the real center of the plate. Muchhh better that time. And voila! A beautiful, colorful, dessert stand that only cost me $10. Luckily the repairman was free of charge.

See how the stamp throws you off?

Grab a cute plate and an old candlestick and you can make one too! Another idea is to paint the candlestick to go with the plate colors. I’ll keep you posted if I try that version too 🙂

Buster in a Bag

People go through great lengths to get free stuff. This stuff accumulates around the house, and its best value is the tax break from donating it during spring cleaning. I am just as guilty as the rest of them, but in this case, I came out the winner! Last summer, I had a long week at work and free tickets to the Friday night Giants game. Granted I am a whole-hearted Giant’s fan, I was in no mood to be anywhere but my couch. However, the tickets were free AND it was t-shirt giveaway night. Two things a girl can’t pass up. We waited in the long line to receive an XL Buster Posey bright orange Giant’s shirt. There were three things wrong with this scenario: a) Orange is not my color b) I do not wear an XL and c) I was grumpy and had to wait in a longer line than normal to get into the Giants game. None of this has anything to do with this DIY post, other than the fact that I dug up this shirt to re-purpose it for this project. I saw this DIY grocery bag post today as I was perusing Honestly WTF (one of my daily blog reads) and I rushed home from work with crafting on my mind.

The great thing about this project is that you won’t have to go buy anything. All you need is a big old t-shirt, scissors, and a safety pin. I went with my Buster Posey XL Giants free giveaway shirt, as you already know.

How to make your very own T-Shirt Re-usable Bag:

1. Pick a t-shirt, grab some scissors (fabric ones work well but aren’t necessary), and a safety pin.

2. Cut off the sleeves as if you were making a tank top

3. Cut the collar off in a U shape- again, as if you were making a tank top

4. Make 2-3 cuts in the bottom seam, depending on how small you want the bottom scrunched holes to be. Be sure to cut up to the seam, not through it. This will be used to string through the pieces of fabric.

5. Trim a strip of fabric off of the leftover sleeve you cut off.

6. Put the safety pin on the end of the strip and weave it through a section of the bottom seam.

7. Scrunch the fabric together to make a circle. Then tie together, leaving some strings if you want some danglies. Repeat until the bottom is tied together.

8. All done! Use as you please. Remember it is t-shirt material, so it’s not the most sturdy, but its seems like it will be a perfect farmer’s market bag.

I also added a strip of leftover fabric to the handle so I can bundle it up and tie it together to fit nicely into my purse. I am sure you can think of some of your own additions to spice it up and make it your own.

Well, I am happy that I found a use for that bright orange Giant’s shirt since it was just taking up space in the back of my closet. Plus, I can join the “buy everything you possibly can with a Giant’s logo on it since they won the world series” group without having to pay for it. I swear the only thing I have seen my father wear since October is orange & black, soon to be a tattoo he says. A story for another post.

This year I could just go to the re-usable Giants bag giveaway day, but where would the fun in that be?

Goooo Giantss!!

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is upon us which means group gatherings, which means lots of food, which all really means: I get to make a cutesy dessert for everyone to “ooo” and “ahh” over. I am recently loving the Foodbuzz daily buzz email which includes the top 9 food blog posts of the day. This particular bird’s nest post inspired me, and I was going to copy her exactly, but I found a work around that made it a little less time-consuming.

To start, I used Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcake recipe, and a cream cheese frosting, which I dyed green. It said it only made 14-16 cupcakes, but I ended up making 2 dozen mini cupcakes and 18 regular cupcakes. She must have had some pretty special cupcake tins that I am unaware of.

Random side note: during this baking extravaganza, my brother and sister-in-law came over with my nephew. I was hired babysitter for the night but before the big night out, they had some friends come over and hang out (I live in the city and they live in the burbs) to have pizza and pre-party. The kitchen aid was rockin’ in the background while the group’s power hour began (1 shot of beer every minute for an hour). This is when I began to realize the interesting dynamic of the situation. Take me, the young 25-year-old living in the big city, baking my Saturday night away. Then take the suburbanite couple, 28-year-old parents who responsibly put their baby to bed and started their big night of drinking. Role reversal at its finest. Don’t I feel like an old woman. Oh well, I will own it and move right along with my lil baking blog post.

Now the cupcakes are done, cooled and ready to frost. Prior to the frosting, get out your coconut and green dye and mix the two together to get your perfect grass like shade of green. Frost those cupcakes, add 1 or 3 egg type candies on top, and then press the coconut onto the rest of the frosting to get the Easter egg hunt on a cupcake look. And voila! You have cutesy cupcakes for everyone to “ooo” and “ahh” over. Success.


Oh, and I finally got to use my amazingly awesome cupcake carrier that I got as a birthday present. I carried the double layers of cupcakes to the picnic in the park, everyone ate those cupcakes right up, played some wiffleball home run derby, and left with a much lighter and single layer cupcake carrier on the way home. My ride home compared my cupcake carrier to an innie and outtie bellybutton. Good analogy I must say. Though the highlight of everyone’s day was watching Melissa accidentally do the splits while attempting a Happy Gilmore style wiffle ball pitch, I am sure the easter egg hunt cupcakes came in a close second. No doubt about it.

What you need to make Easter Egg Hunt Cupcakes:

Cupcakes of your choice ( I used Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcake recipe)

Frosting of your choice

Coconut

Green Food Coloring

Easter Egg Shaped Candies ( I used Hershey’s chocolate eggs and Jelly Beans)

Cupcake Carrier Optional but highly recommended

She is One Loose Tea…

I just got back from my first DIY blend your own tea class at Workshop SF and it will most definitely not be the last. It’s amazing how fast time goes by when I am doing anything craft/DIY related. Chris, the tea specialist and teacher was just adorable and obviously has a crazy passion for tea. I love tea as well, but he is well trained and knows his stuff. We started out learning about the history of tea and about all of the different kinds of tea there are. I learned that unless is has a base tea, like green, black, white, oolong, etc. then it is not technically a tea. The teas that just have herbs or flowers are usually called tea, but actually are mostly just hot water infusions. Some of the stories he had about the origin of tea reminded me of the stories I hear in yoga as to why we do the poses we do. One of the Buddhist myths about tea is that Dharma came to China and in order to serve the gods he planned to deny all rest and recreation to dedicate his body to the gods. One night, he fell asleep on accident and in order to give penance for this sin, he cut off his eyelids and threw them on the ground. Shortly after, shrubs grew where they had been on the ground, which later became known as tea. Dharma added hot water to the tea leaves, drank it, and felt that his soul was renewed.  And the rest is history.

After learning the fun facts of tea, the excitement began. We each had a mixing bowl, a scoop, and special tea cups with strainers to test our creations. Being a chai lover, I went straight to make my own chai spicy blend. The first batch was ok but a little flavorless with just black tea, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorn. For my second attempt, I added orange peel, fennel, and coriander. This was better but the fennel gave it a weird taste. Ditched the fennel, added more orange and cinnamon, and it was just right. Next I tried a white tea with hibiscus and rose hips. It was ok, but not good enough. I played with a couple variations of it but it just wasn’t working. I settled on a spearmint tea with chocolate and coconut as my second tea and named it “Thin MinTea”. I giggled a little giggle at my cleverness as I made my label. Though the guy next to me named his “Sexy Biotch” and commented that she was definitely a “loose” tea. He won the name game. The class ended after 2 hours, though I wish we had a little more time to test teas. But, I am not opposed to getting some tea and spices and try this ‘lil fun event at home! Overall, I would highly recommend this class to anyone who likes tea because it’s fun, interactive, and you get some great homemade tea to take home  🙂

p.s. I am new to this whole blogging thing so of course, I forgot my camera. Pictures to come in the near future!