Category: apparel

A not-too-shabby giveaway from Shabby Apple!

When Darla from Shabby Apple asked me if I’d be interested in doing a giveaway, my response was pretty much HELL YES. Well, that was my internal response, externally I attempted to be a bit less extreme. But I was so incredibly excited to share this website with you guys, my awesome-amazing-fantastic-terrific-wonderful readers and not only just share the website… but actually GIVE YOU something from the website! Before I get to that- how cute is the name Shabby Apple?

Shabby Apple, in case you aren’t familiar with it, sells the most beautiful clothing & vintage-y retro inspired clothing, (and aprons, which I’ll get to in a minute); dresses & maternity dresses, little girl’s clothes, swimwear, fitness wear and gorgeous jewelry & accessories. I was just talking a few days ago about how “old fashioned” I am, and then bam! I find out about this site. Talk about kismet. My personal favorites: this adorable retro navy blue sailor dress, this super cute striped jersey dress, and of course, this black one (with a great name, Mary Jane Watson!). Lucky for you, this awesome site found me, liked my blog and wanted to share some of the delightful-ness of their merchandise with my readers!

So, I chose, just for you, my lovely readers/fans/followers/stalkers/etc… my favorite of the aprons, the Wildberry Pie empire waist apron, which was featured in USA Today. Yes, the winner of this giveaway will receive this gorgeous apron, retail value: $38.00 US.

Super adorable, right? And oh, oh, what’s that on the wall? Oh yeah. That’s right- a cupcake!


A bright patch of colorfully printed poplin provides the perfect backdrop for your wildest culinary creations. Detailed with contrasting pattern at the tie-back waist and halter straps, and pleating at the empire waist, this full bib apron will keep your sundresses spotless while you conjure up another kitchen miracle.

That’s us, right readers? Whipping up kitchen miracles. And the apron. I know. Totally & completely cute. Even cuter? The little story that’s included with the apron on the website:

Clutching the copy of The Joy of Cooking I had pilfered from my great aunt’s bookshelf as if it would somehow protect me, I walked up to the door of the guest house with all the grace and courage I could muster, and opened the door. A fresh breeze blew in off Lake Michigan, filling the airy entryway with the bouquet of scents that make up Door Country limestone beaches, smoking fish, pitch pines and midwest tradition. I breathed it in. This was not a vacation; this was a test.

I had prepped for weeks for this, the first encounter with the future in-laws and their extended family a whole gaggle of gracious ladies and hungry gentlemen from scattered points around flyover country as they descended on Sturgeon Bay for the Fourth of July. It was a longstanding family tradition of lounging, fishing, and eating obscene amounts of the women’s blue ribbon prize-winning home cooking, culminating in the family’s giant Independence Day feast, where the best of the best was on display for everyone’s viewing, and eating, pleasure.

I was assigned the pie. The test to see if the girl from the big city could be a proper wife and keep their loving son fed. (Apparently my vast knowledge of the best and cheapest places to eat out in New York didn’t count) The only small problem was I had never actually made a pie. So for weeks I practiced, watching YouTube videos of Julia Child or Martha Stewart whipping up extraordinary pastries and following along in my tiny galley kitchen, only to turn out crusts that could chip your teeth or filings so sticky you could barley swallow them. None of this was helped by my fiancee’s constant whistling of “Can she bake a cherry pie?”

I made my way down the hallway of my bungalow and into the kitchen, the sense of fear and dread welling up inside of me. But there on the counter was a little bundle tied up with string, my name handwritten on the outside of an envelope. I opened it.

Someone wise once said, “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.” I think the trick is to look good doing both, thought these would help. Good Luck! Aunt Sue

I undid the bundle. Inside was a sweet, handmade vintage apron, and two index cards stapled together, with “TOP SECRET: 4th of July Boysenberry Pie” written at the top. I put on the apron, tying its rick-rack apron strings behind my back in a big bow, pulled the butter from the fridge, and took a deep breath.

Did that story draw you in? Make you want to know more? Make you want to make a wildberry pie of your own? Especially while wearing this apron?

Thought so.

Me too. But what I bet is that right about now you really want to know how you can win this Shabby Apple apron, dontcha? I bet you’re dying to get your hands on it. I don’t blame you. Here’s one more view, from the back, for you to revel in the cuteness. Polka dot trim!

Yeah, you want it. Okay, so here’s the deal. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ONLY (sorry international peeps, I’ll get ya next time). What you eligible U.S. residents are going to do is the following:

  1. Leave a comment here stating (briefly) why you relate to the apron’s story above. Short & sweet is good, no novels please! Also, make sure you leave me a valid e-mail address, I’ll need it to contact you if you win!
  2. Optional ways of getting additional entries: Follow me on Twitter, follow Shabby Apple on Twitter and become a fan of both Cupcake Rehab & Shabby Apple on Facebook, then come back here & comment again.
  3. You have exactly one week from today to do so. Comments will be closed as of midnight EST, July 2nd, 2011.
  4. Then, thanks to random.org, I’ll choose a winner. Ta-da!
  5. For those of you who do not win, since there will only be one winner… there’s a coupon code for you, so you can buy your own apron, 10% off. The code is “cupcakerehab10off” and it expires in one month.

That’s all. Easy peasy. So go on, get to entering!

All we want for Christmas is… everything!

A while back I did a post on “Coveted Cupcakery”- items that were cupcake-related that I thought would make excellent gifts, and I’d link to it, but sadly most of the items were Etsy items or Johnny Cupcakes items and they’re no longer for sale (that post was done in 2007, give me a break here). And then last fall, I did a post on aprons called “Apron Overkill“; including and all the ones I desired and ones I recommended for gift-giving. I haven’t done anything like it since, but I’ve wanted to. So I thought perhaps for Christmas this year I’d list some awesome gift ideas, ranging from pricey to affordable, reasonable and a bit out-there and back again, for the hostess with the mostess, or the baker who ain’t a Quaker, or the cook who.. I don’t know what rhymes with cook that’s appropriate for this. This post contains not just cooking or baking materials mind you, this encompasses a variety of foodie and baker related items. And it is by no means a comprehensive list… it’s just a sampling of ideas to push you in the right direction.

All of this stuff is stuff I would want to get, or stuff I can guarantee any cook or baker worth her salt would love to recieve for the holidays. Don’t hold me responsible if you buy any of these and your wife or girlfriend throws your clothes out onto the lawn because she wanted a gaudy ring from Zales instead (hey- I’m not judging, I’m just saying). I am not in any way responsible for bad taste or ungratefulness.

Anyway… here we are. The Cupcake Rehab Christmas Gift Guide 2009. Enjoy!

THE CANDY MAN CAN ($ – $$)

topstitch1.) Handmade TOPSTITCH Pouch: Every woman out there knows that there are times when you just need a pouch. For those unmentionable items, or for makeup, or keys, or whatever. And if they’re cute, then it makes them even more necessary. My friend Yoyo makes these by hand and sells them in her Artfire store. They’re totally adorable and extremely affordable. They come in all kinds of sweet prints, including foodie prints like this pears and apples one… and sometimes she even has cupcake ones for sale too. Her other prints are fantastic too, a personal favorite of mine are the sugar skull pattern and the tattoo print. She also makes coasters and she’d probably be willing to do custom jobs as well. So if you know a woman who loves to stash stuff in little bags and pouches, then this is totally the gift for her. Plus, it’s homemade, and what’s better than that? And if you tell her I sent you, you might get a sweet extra too.

TOPSTITCH pouch: $10.00

TOPSTITCH Artfire store | TOPSTITCH blog

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2.) Fancy cupcake wrappers & liners: Any baker who makes cupcakes loves liners. It’s a fact. Pretty liners are like shiny little jewels to us, just waiting for us to fill them with a new cupcake recipe. Boring liners are so 1980′s. Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies has a beautiful selection of cupcake liners and also gorgeous wrappers. Everything Lyns carries in her store is high quality, and incredibly unique. I personally am in love with these black filigree wrappers (shown) and the Sunflower wrappers, as well as these gorgeously gorgeous pink and gold foil cupcake liners and … uhm, hello? Tartan plaid cupcake liners!? Lyns also carries quality extracts and icing flavors, and cupcake boxes and packing supplies for those of you who give your baked goods as gifts this time of year. Again, a pretty little assortment of jewel-colored cupcake liners and fancy wrappers is a nice stocking stuffer this time of year for a baker… so think about ordering some from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes.

Wrappers: $6.75 – $14.00 for varying amounts , and cupcake liners: $7.00 – $10.99 for varying amounts

Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies website

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3.) Williams-Sonoma Penguin or polar bear Spatula: Things like this make mundane tasks like flipping cookies a tad more exciting. A penguin spatula! Another stellar idea for a stocking stuffer, or maybe part of a little gift set you create yourself (maybe tuck in some cupcake liners or silpats and muffin tins? Or maybe just have him peeking out of a stocking Christmas morning?), these flexible spatulas are super cute. There’s also a polar bear, if you’re more of a bear person than bird person, and the polar bear is no less cute than Mr. Penguin over here. The handles are brushed steel, and the nylon heads are heat resistant up to 400° F. Both little creatures are dishwasher safe, 11½ inches long, and are Williams-Sonoma exclusives.

Penguin or Polar Bear flexible spatula: $12.00 each

Penguin spatula | Polar Bear spatula | Williams-Sonoma website

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4.) Buttercream Cupcake Goat’s Milk soap: I love the assortment of cupcake soaps you can buy on Etsy.  This one especially intrigues me because it’s made with goat’s milk. I know, right? That’s pretty interesting. But that’s not all it’s got in it: Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin(kosher), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Soy bean protein (conditioner), Fragrance oil and coloring are also ingredients in this cute little cupcake soap, in addition to goat’s milk. It’s scented with a vanilla buttercream scent and approx 4.5 oz.

Vanilla buttercream cupcake soap: $5.50

Vanilla cupcake goat’s milk soap | KcSoapsNmore Etsy store

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POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME ($$ – $$$)

1.) Jessie Steele apron: I’m a big apron fanatic. I have like upwards of 9 of them, all different; some vintage, some handmade, some not. I’m an apron whore, I admit. And my favorite brand of apron (aside from the ones Yoyo’s made me, which are one-of-a-kind and no, you can’t buy them) is Jessie Steele. I just love their patterns and styles. I have three of them and each one is absolutely adorable. And I know that many other cooks and bakers would love them too, they’re not your average apron. They’re classy looking and vintage-y, and look like they just popped out of LIFE magazine from 1950-something. Trust me- these aren’t your average dollar store BBQin’ aprons. They make you feel glamorous while you’re whisking egg yolks or baking pizzas. They carry hostess aprons, half-aprons, chef’s aprons, children’s aprons as well as matching oven mitts & tea towels, and now they have a new line of salon aprons for hairdressers. The Josephine bib-apron in “Candy Canes” that I show here is limited edition, just for this Christmas, so you better get on that. But there are TONS of other patterns and colors, like the Ava bib-apron in leopard (I have it), and the totally cute Ava bib-apron in this 50′s retro kitchen print, as well as the sexy Sophia bib-apron with black lace. Rawrrr. And there are lots more, check them out.

Jessie Steele aprons: from $22.95 (children’s) to $32.95 (adult women’s)

Jessie Steele website | Search Google for Jessie Steele aprons

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2.) Carolyn’s Kitchen aprons: Another of my favorites is Carolyn’s Kitchen’s aprons, mainly because of this apron I show right here: the Dorothy Lollipop apron, and this apron too, the Vixen apron. They’re so adorable and Christmas-y I can’t handle it, and on top of that, they’re more like dresses than aprons. I want them bad. But I love that site for other reasons too.  Why else? Well, available to buy along with some of these aprons are matching garter belts. Garter belts! How Betty Page is that? Case in point: click here. I know, it’s adorable. And so tongue-in-cheek, I can’t imagine a woman who loves to cook or bake recieiving this apron or one like it and NOT loving it. Well, I can, actually, but those women are nutcases and if you’re significant other is a nutcase you should get out now, while you can. Seriously. Anyway, Carolyn’s Kitchen also sells rubber/vinyl gloves in colors and styles that match their aprons, which is a great idea, because if you’re hand washing dishes you will certainly mess up your manicure and when you’re wearing an apron like this you can’t have a messed up set of claws, ladies. The ‘About‘ page on the site is super cute too, a really fun read. And for you cupcakers, there are cupcake patterned aprons as well (love them too).

Carolyn’s Kitchen aprons: $29.92 – $42.00 depending on style/fabric

Carolyn’s Kitchen website

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digitalmeasuringcup

3.) Digital Measuring Cup: Now this is genius. A digital measuring cup that tells you both volume & weight, and also allows you to do cumulative weighing. Amazing. It’s an LCD display and it’s not dishwasher safe (obviously), so it’s a hand wash item. But how handy is that!? It can tell you the exact amount, no more guessing or rounding up or adding too much flour in your recipes. This particular model is from Sur La Table, but I’m fairly sure you can get them in a variety of places now. Now all they need to invent are digital measuring spoons and we’ll all be set.

Digital Measuring Cup: $35.00

Digital Measuring cup at Sur La Table | Sur La Table website | Search Google for digital measuring cups

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4.) ‘Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake’ matted print: Jenny’s Bake Shop always has the cutest merch, and this is no exception. How adorable would this print look framed and hanging (or leaning on the counter) in your favorite bakers kitchen?! A 5 x 7″ print, it fits in an 8 x 10″ frame. According to the Etsy page: This piece is based on an old World War II era poster that was issued by the British government. During wartime, it was important to try to keep the public informed, and as free from panic as possible. The original poster read: “Keep Calm and Carry On” , and at the top there was a graphic of a crown to signify that this directive came from the King. Well since then, a lot of people fell in love with this simple design and positive message and repro posters in all colors are now available. What you see here is our cheeky take on that design icon…we offer a bit more incentive than simply “carrying on”…in order for us to “Keep Calm” there’s gotta be some cupcakes involved! So cute! I for one would love this.

Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake matted print: $22.00

Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake matted print | JennysBakeShop at Etsy

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5.) Cupcakes Are Cool t-shirt: This adorable shirt is from dressingOnTheSide at Etsy. It’s a limited edition shirt, and it’s silkscreened on a super soft American Apparel t-shirt. I believe it comes in both petal pink and white, as well. What does it say exactly? Click here to see the full size image. It’s a unique gift for a cupcake lover or cupcake baker,  or just a baker in general, and when purchasing this shirt, you’re also supporting an artisan and buying handmade, which rocks. Support DIY! Support Etsy!

Cupcakes Are Cool t-shirt: $21.00

Cupcakes Are Cool shirt | dressingOnTheSide Etsy store

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HEY, BIG SPENDER ($$$ – $$$$)

1.) KitchenAid mixer: The Pièce de résistance. Okay so, basically, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only for the cook/baker, but for everyone who partakes in the eating of whatever treats, confections and meals the aforementioned kitchen wizard makes. It’s a godsend, it makes everything easier- from mixing buttercream, making meringue, kneading pizza dough, whatever. It’s awesome.I got mine for my birthday last year and I adore it (she’s pink and her name is Lola, don’t judge me). Whatever color (it comes in a huge range, from copper and brushed silver to black, pink, red, green, blue and more… you name it) or style (Professional or Artisan) you choose, it’s a total slam dunk. Not only because of what it can do right out of the box, but because of all the cool attachments you can buy: pasta and ravioli makers, ice cream makers, etc. I can count at least 4 women I know right this minute who would love to get one of these babies under the Christmas tree. It looks gorgeous in your kitchen and it’s functional too. How cool is that? Very fucking cool.

KitchenAid mixer: approx. $239.99 – $529.99

KitchenAid website | Search Google for KitchenAid stand mixers

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2.) Tiffany Cupcake Charm: Let’s say your lady is a baker and cupcake maker, but she’s already got a KitchenAid mixer, or maybe she’s more into the jewelry side of things. Well you really can’t go wrong with anything from Tiffany. This is something you guys need to learn early- that little blue box looks a hell of a lot bigger to a woman. And now Tiffany makes adorable little cupcake charms. They come in both silver with pink enamel (shown) and yellow & white gold with multi-color gem “sprinkles” which is admittedly much pricier. But whatever your budget, the sentiment is the same: cupcakes are wonderful, whether in gold or sugar form. A sweet piece of jewelry for your sweetie. How corny of me, right?

Tiffany Cupcake Charms: from $150 – $1,350

Tiffany website | Search Google for Tiffany Cupcake Charm

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3.) CUPCAKES vintage style sign: For the ultimate in shabby chic kitchen decorating, this ‘Cupcakes 1c’ sign is it. It looks old, but it’s not, and it’s got so much character you know you’ll be constantly asked where you got it. A total conversation piece. Perfect to hang in a kitchen, or in a bake shop if you own one.

Cupcakes 1c vintage style sign: $78.00

Cupcakes vintage sign | mypaintedporch1 at Etsy

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4.) ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ necklace: I’ve been a fan of sudlow on Etsy for quite some time. I’ve been admiring the stuff in her shop from a distance for ages, especially the ‘Give Peas a Chance’ necklace (which is pretty funny for me considering Jay hates peas). Well this necklace features a cupcake, and a little banner that says ‘Let Them Eat Cake.’ And as if that’s not good enough for you, you can even request a custom phrase for the banner. And her shop has tons of other beautiful things, so check it out and get something for all the non-cupcake loving people on your list.

‘Let Them Eat Cake’ necklace: $65.00

‘Let Them Eat Cake’ necklace | sudlow at Etsy

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And that’s that. An array of gifts from low to high end, and back again, so there’s no excuse to buy anyone you know who’s a Cupcake Rehab-er or cook a shitty gift!

And speaking of Cupcake Rehab, don’t forget there’s always the Cupcake Rehab store as well… t-shirts, hoodies, kid’s shirts, mugs, mousepads & aprons galore, all with various Cupcake Rehab logos. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Because everyone loves cupcakes & the undead, right?

My favorite holiday (Halloween, in case you’re a dumbass who doesn’t read this blog often enough and didn’t know) is coming up rapidly, and I know this because Halloween candy is in some stores already, and I’ve seen some autumnal decorations pop up in other stores. This excites me and saddens me at the same time; saddens me because I love the summer and hate when it ends, but excites me because I love the fall and it means Halloween is coming. I rhapsodize about Halloween every year (almost in an insane way) during the season, and then do so wistfully when it’s over and I have to wait another 12 months to hang skeletons off my trees and carve pumpkins. I like to do it up big for Halloween.

So in celebration of that, I created a new logo image to use during the most magical time of year, and this is it … *drumroll*

Click the image to see it full size!

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I don’t know quite yet if I’ll use it as a layout on the blog, but the good news is: I’ve already put it on some t-shirts (women’s and men’s as well, and plus size too!), sweatshirts (unisex black/navy zip up hoodie or women’s raglan zip up hoodie) and stickers at the Cupcake Rehab store. So all you fellow Halloween/undead/Munsters/cupcake/zombie fans might want to check it out. I don’t think they’ll be around long after October 31st, so you basically have until then to get ‘em. But I wouldn’t wait if I were you ;)

And all you non-undead fans can still buy stuff too, the store still has the traditional Cupcake Rehab logo merchandise as well.

New Cupcake Rehab merch for the holidays!

Just in time for Christmas, Hanukkah and all the other seasonal festivities I’ve added some brand new items to the Cupcake Rehab store! I haven’t updated the store in a while, but theres tons of new stuff now. Like really exciting electronics and nifty clothing items!

These items include:

Hooded sweatshirts in new color choices of black or navy with the Cupcake Rehab “Gangster” puppeteer logo!

Hooded zip sweatshirts in black or navy with the Cupcake Rehab “Gangster” puppeteer logo!

Women’s zip hoodie in light heather gray or pale pink with the Marie Antoinette logo on back, and Cupcake Rehab banner on the front!

Cupcake Rehab logo hoodie, with the original CR logo on the back!

And… as if thats not enough, here are the most exciting additions of all:

Flip MinoHD, the worlds smallest camcorder… now available with the Cupcake Rehab gangster logo!

Flip Mino, a pocket sized camcorder now available with the OBEY CUPCAKE logo!

All this, and the other great items I’ve been selling are still available. So get yourself over there and get some stuff! And then, send me a picture and I’ll put you up on the site on the CRmy page. See? Fame is easily bought.

Jessie Steele-inspired cupcakes?

So for Halloween this year (my favorite holiday in case you live under a rock and didn’t know), the wonderful Jay bought me a little present: the Jessie Steele pumpkin cupcakes apron (and matching oven mitt)! I got it a week or so ago but I had to wait to post it. Yes, I’ve been lusting after it for a while and I finally have it. Yes, he’s very thoughtful for buying it for me. And yes, there’s a reason I’m telling you all this. Upon giving it to me he told me when I posted about it (because he knows me all too well and knew I’d blog about it right away), I had to post cupcakes as well. And those cupcakes had to match the ones in the apron. Hence, me waiting to post it. But I cheated, because I was very excited, and wanted to tell everyone! So stay tuned this week for … *drum roll* Jessie Steele pumpkin-cupcakes!

It is my humble opinion that one can never have too many aprons, and I’m pleased that Jay agrees and doesn’t see me as a crazy person for having 6 of them.

For those of you unfamiliar with Jessie Steele aprons, let me direct you here. They’ve become quite the hot commodity nowadays, this is my second one and I do have to say they’re really gorgeous aprons. I got this one for Christmas last year and I posted about all the ones I adore once before- and a lot of them are Jessie Steele. *shrugs* I can’t help it, they make designs that appeal to me.

So the moral of this story is Jay is awesome, Jessie Steele is awesome… and I’m awesome.

Foodbuzz treats!

Look what I got in the mail today!

Its a Foodbuzz apron and spatula! I was totally unaware that I was going to be the recipient of this, though admittedly I’ve been in a feverish haze for quite a few days now. Did everyone who’s a featured publisher get this? Or am I special? I mean I know I’m special, but… yeah. See, I’m still in a feverish haze.

I’ve been running a fever of around 101° fairly consistently since Friday night and I’m hoping it ends soon. So forgive my absence, I know there are many of you who come here every few hours and check to see what new stuff I’ve posted, and I hate to disappoint, but until I feel better there won’t be any updates. So sorry! But standing around in a hot kitchen mixing batter with a fever isn’t my idea of “getting well.”

I’m off to drink a gallon of cold water and pass out. Bye!

Shoofly cupcakes, direct from Penn Dutch country.

While I was away in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago (actually more like almost 2 months ago… wow time flies!), I became addicted to shoofly pie. I never liked it before, really, but I went into a place called Dutch Haven and as soon as you walk in, they give you a warm sample, with fresh whipped cream.. and, well… they had me at hello.

And let it be known, I despise pie. I DETEST pie. I hate fruit pies, I don’t even like apple pie! No, not even cherry pie! Even Boston Creme pie is detested by me, and no, I don’t like those frozen Sara Lee chocolate pies either. I don’t like lemon meringue or any of that junk. I don’t enjoy a dessert with a crust (except cheesecake!). But this.. this is different.

This is a pie from the Gods. Yes, I just said “From the Gods.” This is like, the gooiest, most sugary pile of confection to ever be referred to as ‘pie.’ In case you’re unfamiliar with the shoofly- let me school you here for a minute, courtesy of the almighty wikipedia:

“Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and also known in Southern cooking.

The more common version of the recipe — sometimes referred to as “wet bottom” — consists of a layer of sweet, gooey molasses beneath a crumb topping sometimes compared to that of a coffee cake. In contrast, a “dry bottom” shoofly pie is more thoroughly mixed into a cake-like consistency.

The dessert has earned quite a reputation in the “Dutch Country” of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where its distinctive flavor and texture is quite alluring to tourists.

The term “shoo-fly pie” first appeared in print in 1926.[1] The name is commonly thought to arise from the fact that the molasses in the pie is so attractive to flies that they have to be constantly “shooed” away.[2]

A Montgomery pie is similar to a shoofly pie though lime juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping.[3]. A chess pie is also similar, though unlayered and made with corn syrup.”

Word to your moms, bitches.

So anyway, its basically 600% sugar and 100% artery clogging and 1000% diabetic coma inducing. But it is so goddamn delicious you want to curl into a fetal position and eat an entire pie all by yourself while growling and hissing at anyone who tries to take it from you.

I love Amish country, its so quiet and beautiful. I love the craft stores filled with homemade quilts and all the fresh baked goods that you know are made with excellent REAL ingredients. Plus we went to Hershey Park, which was fun except for me getting soaked on a water ride I was NOT prepared for (if you know me, you know I use a straightening iron religiously, and when my hair gets wet and dries on its own, it curls and I do not enjoy that- nor do I enjoy my M·A·C running down my face and YES I wore full makeup to a amusement park!) and then it started to get chilly and rain, so we were forced indoors. We took the chocolate tour and had a good time. But let me tell you honestly… after 4 days there I’ve never been so happy to come over that bridge and see a billboard that says ‘David Yurman on Madison.’ I LOVE NY!

So I said to myself, “Self.. you oughta make some shoofly cupcakes!” … well no actually… I think Jay or Jen (his sister) mentioned that I ought to make shoofly cupcakes at some point while we were driving over hills looking at cows and silos and getting delirious from shoofly withdrawal and the smell of road apples. So I didn’t think of it myself per se. But I was thinking of how it could be done, and how it could be done without making individual pies. Which I didn’t really want to do because then they wouldn’t be cupcakes… they’d be cuppies.

But thanks to the internet, I was inspired. So here we are folks.. shoofly mothereffin’ cupcakes.

SHOOFLY CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


Directions:

  1. Mix flour, sugar, shortening and salt together.
  2. Reserve 1 cup for crumbles.
  3. Mix molasses, boiling water and baking soda.
  4. Combine with dry mixture.
  5. Fill individual cups of paper-lined cup cake pan with mixture and top with crumbles.
  6. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
  7. Makes about 24 cupcakes.
ENJOY! Best enjoyed while wearing a bonnet. I’d let them cool a bit first though, not too long if you like ‘em warm, but just enough to let them settle.
These are basically the pie, except a bit firmer, and without pie crust, in cupcake liners. Actually they’re more like the cupcake version of the dry-bottom shoofly, which I myself never ate, I’ve only had wet-bottom. But you can’t make wet-bottom without a pastry or pie crust underneath it. So these are just okay. They’re not really sweet enough, the molasses is a bit overpowering. They could use more sugar, that would definitely be the only complaint, but its a fairly big one. So they’re not perfect, they still aren’t quite what I was aiming for, but they’re okay. I topped them with some whipped cream.. I used store bought spray-can stuff, but it can also be made by, well, whipping heavy cream.  The whipped cream helped balance out the non-sweetness. I’m gonna keep trying though. So I’m still on the quest for the best shoofly cupcake- if there is such a thing. Feel free to e-mail me suggestions if you have any! I know there are some Pennsylvanians reading this!
P.S. I took both of those photos of Amish Country myself, from a moving vehicle. I’d make an awesome paparazzo, wouldn’t I?

Apron overkill.

Last year I did a post called ‘Coveted Cupcakery’ in which I listed tons of items that were cupcake related that I was lusting after. Well… I’ve been meaning to sit down and do one specifically for aprons… since aprons are oh-so-hot right now and there are so many out there that I’m in love with. Anyway I’ve been meaning to do it and haven’t, so today, since its the one year birthday of this site…  I decided to actually finally sit down and do it after finding so many cute ones on Etsy. Not all of these are Etsy listings, but a good majority of them are. And not all of these are specifically cupcake related, however them being aprons by their very nature makes them suitable for cupcakery, but also for cooking or baking of any kind. And aprons aren’t only good for cooking/baking, they’re good for crafting too! You can keep your clothes neat while gluing or painting and look cute too. And the term ‘hostess’ apron exists for a reason- wear one that matches your outfit while ‘hosting’ company, or making cocktails and it’ll be a conversation piece for sure. Some people wear them while gardening too, but the ones I have listed here are far too lovely for that in my opinion.

Its never to early to start thinking about holiday gift ideas, or so the media and department stores will have you believe, so for the baker/chef (or crafty) lady in your life who gets excited over new beaters and measuring cups**, you may wanna buy her a nice new apron for her to ‘work it’ in the kitchen with. Or out of the kitchen, since these are so awesome she may wanna wear them just around the house. Or the yard. Or the mall. Whatever. Its also nice to get one for someone on the first birthday of their blog… *cough*… okay, so on we go!

The cupcake symbol () means that particular apron is a favorite of mine (although all of them are  my favorites, hence me listing them, I’m partial to some).

First we have the lusted after apron of the year: Jessie Steele’s ‘Audrey’ cupcake apron, either the original pink one or the newer “Pumpkin” colored one:

And also from the amazing Jessie Steele… the LEOPARD print Ava apron! I am unhealthily obsessed with leopard print… and the color pink… so… this apron is making my head explode. Seriously.

Now, for my third (or fourth) lusted after apron, we have this fantastic apron by Etsy seller perdoozythe ‘Bewitched’ apron! Featuring fabric printed with pin-ups!

And heres another Halloween-ish apron, just for good measure! The Chloe Vintage Inspired Halloween apron by Boojiboo! I LOOOOOVE THIS…

Now you know my favorite holiday is Halloween, and I happen to think zombies, vampires, spiderwebs, skeletons and witches are appropriate at any time of year, so therefore… heres ONE more… amuckdesigns’ bib apron! This one reminds me of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ for some reason.

This Japanese doll themed apron is sooo kawaii (‘cute’ in Japanese), I can’t take it. Again, from Boojiboo.

From Carolyn’s Kitchen, we have THREE, count ‘em- THREE gorgeous aprons that I would gladly steal if I had the opportunity, cop boyfriend or no cop boyfriend (sorry Jay- you know I’m an outlaw at heart). The Vixen (it comes with a matching GARTER!), the Cupcake and the Dorothy which is SO CUTE for Christmas…

For those of you who prefer half-aprons, or if you just like a variety, this Matryoshka pocket apron is the epitome of cuteness. Thanks to snappyshop!

And here’s another superduper cute half-apron, from Vanessa & Company, featuring an Asian style print of… kitties! I love me some kitties.. and some rick rack!

In case any of you share my obsession with sugar skulls and Dia De Los Muertos, check this baby out: Desperate Everyday Housewife apron by momomadeit!

Now this apron from jrdesign is very clever: aprons on an apron! Hot pink, red and black… whats a better color combination than that?

And this apron is called the ‘Chores Apron‘… but cooking and baking isn’t a chore, is it? However, thanks to Etsy seller sokano, when you actually do chores- if you wear this apron, they’ll seem a little sweeter. Made of fabric printed with vacuums and mops and brooms and trimmed in turquoise flowery print.

Next we have this apron by Cupcake Provocateur, which is called the ‘Rag Doll’ apron. I love this so much I can’t even tell you, it reminds me of Raggedy Ann:

Another half-apron, this time with a retro 50′s sock hop print! Totally cute stuff, coming from mymomwouldbeproud on Etsy.

From modernjune we’ve got a shnazzy number called ‘That 50′s Apron‘ which brings to mind shows like ‘I Love Lucy’ and those cool retro kitchens with colored stoves and matching fridges.

Here we have the ‘Fussy Little Teapot’ apron by MargiesGifts. So cute. I wanted to start singing “I’m a little teapot” when I saw this one!

From Heavenly Hostess, we have a stylish ruched-top pink apron that features smiling faces! Maybe they’re smiling because they’re thinking of cupcakes?

Also from Jessie Steele is this amazing pink EVA coated apron… its not available yet but the website says it will be soon. Its like, dominatrix meets baker meets construction worker meets awesome coolness. Apparently it converts from full-apron to half-apron… *drools*

Also from modernjune on the half-apron front, there’s this cupcake apron in pink polka dot… how can ya not love it? It also comes in a full-bib style, and in yellow, green and blue polka dot.

And last but not least… yet again, from Boojiboo, heres a cupcake-printed apron thats totally cute! it also comes in blue.

If any of these are sold out or unavailable, I’m sure an e·mail to the seller or webmaster could help you out. Sometimes they have more and just aren’t listed, sometimes they can custom make it for you as well. Now, if none of those are to your liking (which I certainly can’t understand)… you can try going to these websites and finding ones you like better! They vary from simple and the kind you won’t mind getting batter on because it’ll come off easy, to the fancy and pricey and dry-clean only kind.

I would certainly not kick anyone out of my kitchen or my home for buying me any of these. *I swear thats not another hint* As the proud owner of 5 aprons, I’m always up for adding to my collection. :)

I’ll be back very soon with a special ‘First birthday of Cupcake Rehab’ post.

**However… Its my duty to inform you that there are indeed some women who will punch you in the eye if you buy them an apron for any reason. Or if you buy them fancy measuring cups & matching spoons (even these pewter ones I’d beat someone to death for) or a new mixer. I can’t imagine why, but they do exist. Beware of them. These women would prefer expensive jewelry and perfume to any sort of useful home-related object and will most assuredly toss your clothing and belongings out the window if you buy them something from KitchenAid. I myself am not averse to receiving jewelry *coughcough*this is perfect*coughcough* or perfume, but I will surely not toss anyones anything out a window upon receiving a $300 mixer, say, or an apron set from Jessie Steele… as Jay can well attest to.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, thats amore!

Is there anyone who doesn’t like pizza? Maybe you don’t like sauce on it, maybe you only like mushrooms and anchovies, maybe you’re one of those weirdos who likes ham and pineapple (thats just sacreligious to me).. but either way, you HAVE to like pizza.

I’m from New York, and here we have quite a pizza tradition. Once you leave New York you will never get a good slice of pizza (real pizza, not Ci Ci’s or Pizza Hut) again, unless you go to Chicago- they’ve also got quite a pizza scene. But New York pizza and Chicago pizza are very different. New Yorkers eat their pizza thin, Chicagoers (Chicagoans? WHATEVER) eat their pizza thick and deep dish. But either way, in NY, pizza is a way of life here. You can’t walk down ANY street without seeing 5 pizza places. They may not all be the best, but they’re better than pizza in, say, Wisconsin… I can bet my life on it. Some of the best pizza I’ve had in my life was at Ray’s pizza (the REAL Ray’s!! I know, there are about 700 Ray’s pizza’s and they all claim to be the original…) at 5 a.m. after a night of bar-hopping. Pizza at 5 a.m.? Yeah, sweetheart, this is the city that never sleeps. Some of the other best pizza’s were at random, tiny, small holes-in-the-wall that you’d never even know were there.

Well today I give you a recipe for crusty pizza dough. Is my pizza dough as good as the “best”? Who knows. But its damn good to me. It involves yeast, and I know a lot of people (including myself, admittedly) get intimidated when yeast is involved, but trust me. Its so easy a monkey could do it. I guess pizzeria owners would get a bit miffed at me for that one… but really its true. You will however need a strong mixer with a dough hook for this recipe. Which brings me to… have I mentioned how much I love my KitchenAid? Have I? I think once or twice I may have mentioned it in passing. Even covered in flour shes gorgeous! I’ve named her Lola. If you love to cook and bake from scratch a mixer like this is really an excellent investment, and I’d seriously suggest it. But an easy shortcut is to buy some dough from your favorite pizza place and make some homemade pizza. This is something kids would love: have a homemade pizza night and let them make their own pies! Plus its fun to watch the dough rise, too.

As anyone knows, what really makes a pizza is the toppings. I prefer cheese or extra cheese, or margherita. Jay likes broccoli and mushroom, chicken and mushroom, pepperoni… you get the idea. You’re free to choose your own toppings… I don’t care if you take it old school classic with pepperoni, make a white pizza, go margherita style and use fresh tomato, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella or go all rustic and use potatoes. Its up to you. I’m just giving you the base- the rest is in your hands!

As Lidia Bastianich would say, “Tutti a tavola a mangiare!” (Everyone to the table to eat!)

CRUSTY PIZZA DOUGH

Ingredienti:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105° – 115° F)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2½ -3½ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal

Indicazioni:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a mixer that has been warmed (run it under warm water for a bit). Add salt, olive oil and 2 ½ cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.
  2. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Knead on speed 2 for about 2 minutes longer.
  4. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft until doubled in size- about 1 hour.
  5. Punch dough down. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  6. Brush 14-inch pizza pan with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough across bottom of pan, forming a collar around the edges to hold the toppings.
  7. Add desired toppings. Bake at 450° F for 15-20 minutes.*

* For me, in my oven, it was closer to a half hour.

Remove from oven, cut… and eat! This recipe is for one pie. I split it to make two smaller pies (one plain and one mushroom which is the one pictured), and it fed three people total, with no leftovers. You could double this and make two large pies or four small ones, etc, etc. I also added ¼ tsp olive oil to the dough before putting the sauce and toppings on. I find it makes the dough smoother and its easier to spread the sauce on. If you like thin pizzas… make the dough VERY thin before cooking, because it rises and gets thicker in the oven. I thought I made my second pie pretty flat but it turned out more like a deep dish, which was a very nice surprise.

I do not use a pizza stone, I use a regular old school round pizza pan. I’m fairly sure the cooking time would change if you used a stone, so just be aware of that.

I’m told it was the “the best dough” people had ever tasted. Heh. Take that, Ray’s pizza! ;)

Oh- and if you are unaware what the title of this entry refers to, please, meet my husband Dean Martin and learn a thing or two.

Breakfast Cupcakes at Tiffany’s.

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is one of my favorite movies ever. The first time I saw it I was working as an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was 17 years old (yeah, I really worked there when I was 17) and got to work early… while waiting for my two fellow interns and my boss’ assistant to arrive, I popped the Truman Capote penned movie into the VCR and immediately fell in love. In the meantime, the two others came and so did (my boss Dierdre’s assistant) Stephane, and all three of them also simply sat down and became enthralled. Three of us were seeing it for the first time and one for the gazillionth but we all watched it till the end with nary a sound.

Ever since then its been a favorite, and I even own three copies of it. One on VHS, two on DVD: one being a special edition that came in a box set with ‘Roman Holiday’ and ‘Sabrina.’ I love Audrey Hepburn as an icon, an activist and as an actress. And not only that, but I’ve coveted many a piece of Tiffany’s jewelry in my relatively young 27 years. I have a ‘Return to Tiffany’ heart necklace and bracelet, but they don’t have cupcakes on them. Tiffany + cupcakes has to be a dream come true for me!

So why then would it be a surprise that I’d fall in love with this necklace?

I must have it.

And there’s a matching bracelet.

I saw that Mrs. Cakespy recieved one for her birthday, lucky lady!

…. And I want one too!! It matches my layout AND my logo! *sigh* I love Tiffany.

Oh… there’s an actual recipe coming, I promise. Two to be exact. ;)