Category: blog event

Happy 6th birthday, Cupcake Rehab.

Happy 6th birthday, Cupcake Rehab!

Wow. I’m a terrible, terrible blogger. It almost completely slipped my mind that my blogiversary was coming up, & I almost let it go by without a word. Isn’t that awful? It’s pretty awful. It’s like a mom forgetting her kid’s birthday. Or a wife forgetting her wedding anniversary. And if you don’t understand those comparisons- you’re definitely NOT a blogger. All the work that goes into this. Six years of doing this blog… the least I can do is mention it’s birthday!

So I made a giant cupcake & lit some candles. Isn’t that what everyone does for their blog’s birthday?

Well… I do.

Every year, I make it a point to thank all the people who have helped me with Cupcake Rehab since the beginning. It may sound cheesy to you, but I appreciate a thank you for being there for someone, so I always a make a point to do the same for others: thank you Jay & thanks to my parents who made baking requests that challenge me & who have eaten more than their fair share of treats (I know, what torture!). Thanks to my friends who have promoted my blog as if it was their own. Thanks to those who sponsor me & provide items for reviews & giveaways throughout the previous; like Yoyo, Sourpuss Clothing, the Washington State Stone Fruit Commission, Milton’s Craft Bakers, Duchy Originals, etc. And of course… my readers! You’re the reason I’m still going after 6 years! Despite Google changing things in favor of big business & despite blog hits going down across the board because of it, you’ve been there from the jump & I love you for it. And those of you who haven’t & who are new? I love you too. Anyone who reads my posts, repins my stuff on Pinterest, comments on the Facebook page, or answers me on Twitter- you’re all amazing. I love you. I appreciate each & every one of you, whether you read the blog regularly or just popped in once for a recipe. I swear I do.

Things around here have changed so much since that first post! My photography has gotten much better, thanks in (major) part to Canon’s EOS Rebel t4i. My writing has definitely improved, as has my recipe-writing. Also? I’ve expanded my repertoire so much; it used to be cupcakes 24/7, now it’s canning, cooking, candy-making, etc. I’ve enjoyed it all so very much, I can’t even tell you. I’ve grown so much, & in some ways a lot of you have grown with me. I love that I can look back at those old posts. I can cringe, or laugh, or maybe even get misty-eyed. It’s like having a big ol’ journal slash recipe book out there for the whole world to read.

SIX YEARS of recipes, laughs, questions, failures, successes, giveaways, reviews, and deliciousness. And some sadness. But mostly happiness. Filling our bellies & making lemonade out of lemons. Birthdays, deaths, engagements, celebrations, holidays. Six years of life at it’s most lived. Because really, isn’t the kitchen the heart of any home?

Let’s keep it going, eh?

I’m not ready to leave yet!

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Red onion revolution.


Happy July! I guess summer is officially in full swing, right? Summer is the time for fresh everything. Fresh veggies, fresh fruit, fresh herbs. And obviously, taking advantage of having those fresh herbs around is a must. So I try and use my fresh dill (see above) for pickles rather than dill seed as much as I can. ‘Cause before you know it, it’ll be fall and then winter again, and this will all be a memory. And because it’s summer, it’s also pickling time. Which means that anything and everything is in danger of being pickled.

So watch your back around me. You might end up in a mason jar, like this red onion.

Yup. Pickled red onions. Another stupid easy refrigerator pickle recipe that takes about 10 minutes to make and that looks absolutely gorgeous. I found the recipe on Punk Domestics, so big thanks to them & Comfy Cuisine for making the burgers & hot dogs at my day-after-father’s-day barbecue extra awesome. Yep- that’s right- these pickled onions are excellent on hot dogs, too. And sandwiches. AND THEY’RE SO EASY TO MAKE.

Fridge pickles were my foray into the world of canning. Just last year around this time, I ordered a canning kit and as it was on it’s way, I made some jars of refrigerator pickles. Just to get a feel for it. It was so fun and easy, I knew I wanted to keep doing it. So I made some rhubarb ‘fridge jam. The cool thing is that you can use any kind of jar for refrigerator pickles (and refrigerator jam). An old spaghetti sauce jar, an old pickle jar, an old glass mayo or peanut butter jar, a decorative jar, basically anything that’s food safe. But it doesn’t have to be a canning jar!

I actually got the jars I used for the onions (and the pickles below) at a local dollar store. The name is ‘Frutta Delprato’; I had never heard of them (a simple Google told me they’re available in NZ and AUS- weird!), they had a gold tone one-piece screw-on lid, and it didn’t seem canning-safe or as reliably made as a Ball jar, so I got a few to just use for quick fridge pickles and fridge jam. And of course for storage. It’s always good to have extra jars lying around, especially for excess pastas, grains, rice, nuts, granola, etc. Just be sure to always sanitize them. I know it sounds really obvious, but it’s a must for any food storage container, especially when making pickles or jams. Thoroughly wash both the jar and the lid in very hot sudsy water and rinse before using. I should really thank the canning boom & this whole Pinterest mason jar craze for making this stuff so freakin’ popular & readily available. I plan on going back to that dollar store and stocking up on some more of these jars.

You can get jars in many shapes and sizes: Leifheit jars, Quattro Stagioni, Le Parfait or these pretty Bormioli Rocco jars are all excellent ideas for storage or refrigerator pickles. Of course you can use your canning jars too, but I find that I’d rather use a separate jar and save the canning safe ones for actual canning. Although apparently Quattro Stagioni can be used for actual canning too, I can’t personally vouch.

PATTI’S PICKLED ONIONS (adapted from Comfy Cuisine to make one half-pint)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add sliced onion and blanch for 1 minute. Drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring brine ingredients to a full boil. Add drained onions and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Let cool and pack into pint jar.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.

And that’s it. Seriously. You’re done.

The only thing is… you might have bought an extra red onion or two. Or maybe not all of your red onion would fit in one jar. And maybe you also have some extra brine. That means you’ll want to make something else to use those up. So you might want to make some red onion refrigerator pickles.


Pickles, pickles, everywhere. Wow, look at this: a two for one recipe post today! You guys are so lucky. I hadn’t made pickles with red onions before, just white onions. Now I’m wondering why I never did! It seems kinda obvious now that I think about it. It might be because I have mostly white onions in the house, and when I have a red onion I use it for salad (I adore red onions in a nice crisp salad with blue cheese dressing!).

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES WITH RED WINE VINEGAR & RED ONION

Makes about one pint (16-oz.) jar

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium pickling cucumbers, or one large cucumber (unwaxed), sliced
  • 3-4 sliced red onion “rings”
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher or pickling salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed slightly
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill (or 1/4 teaspoon dill seed)

Directions:

  1. Boil the vinegar, water, pickling spice and salt in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, put your garlic and red onion in the jar, and then pack your veggies in the jars. If you prefer a less raw taste, you can blanch them first or even cook them in the brine. They’ll stay crisper if you don’t, however, and that’s how we like ‘em here: crisp.
  2. Pour your just-boiled brine over the veggies in the jars. Wipe the mouths clean and seal. Don’t seal too tight or the lids will explode when you open it from the building of gases as it ferments.
  3. Let them sit in the fridge for one to three weeks before eating. The longer they sit, the stronger the flavor.

I really like the way the red onion looks in the jars, don’t you? It’s pretty.

So it took me like, I don’t know, a half hour tops to make both of these. Probably less. Don’t tell me you don’t have time for this stuff, ’cause that’s a bunch of crap. Anyone who says they don’t have time to cook, or bake, or make things is a freakin’ lunatic liar. I swear. And you can hate me for saying this but it’s true. Not everything takes a long time- you’re probably just lazy.

But that’s okay. Save the awesomeness for people like me.

And speaking of awesomeness, this year’s Can-It-Forward Day is July 14th. Don’t forget to get involved. Here’s a little info and background from FreshPreserving.com:

National Can-It-Forward Day

Join National Can-It-Forward Day on Saturday, July 14, 2012!

National Can-It-Forward Day lets everyone share the joy of fresh preserving. If you love garden fresh produce, we would love to show you how easy it is to preserve it to enjoy throughout the year. Whether you’re new to canning or are a Master Canner, we have recipes, tips and tricks to help make fresh preserving easy and fun!

This year the National Can It Forward Day will originate from Minnetrista a cultural center in East Central Indiana, and the original home of the Ball Brothers. On Saturday, July 14th, Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball® brand fresh preserving products, and the Minnetrista Master Preservers will demonstrate just how easy it is to preserve fresh produce for delicious results. And, chefs from the American Culinary Federation will share their recipes using these preserved products. New and exciting this year is the Ball® FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker. Watch as it transforms fresh fruit, sugar and pectin into mouthwatering homemade jam. This small kitchen appliance allows you to enjoy homemade jam or jelly in just 30 minutes. It uses SmartStir™ Technology to automatically and consistently stir your jam or jelly while it cooks. You don’t have any guesswork and you don’t stand over a hot stove – you just set it and go! Who ever dreamed delicious could be this easy?

Set aside some time to learn simple ways to preserve the fresh food you love and share your canning knowledge with friends and family. Whether you watch us on-line, host a home canning party or join us in person, we hope you’ll share your stories. Like us on Facebook then post your Can-It-Forward Day stories and photos on our page and in your status updates. And, join the conversation on Twitter with #CanItForward. No matter how you participate, we want you to enjoy fresh preserving and Can-It-Forward Day.

It’s a great way to start canning, if you’re new to it. There will be video demonstrations and all kinds of fun stuff. Plus, there are downloadable jar labels, and a list of amazing nationwide Farmer’s markets that are participating in the 2012 Discover You Can program℠. So get on it! The Fresh Preserving website has tons of info for you. Canning isn’t something to be scared of, it’s totally fun… so get yourself some jars, some equipment & some fruits & veggies and start preserving. Shit. Making something new is so awesome & empowering, even if it’s just pickles. Stop being afraid of new things. If you take just one thing away from this blog, make it that. Alright… enough preaching for today.

And if you’re not into preserving, but you’re into baking, and you’re also into small kitchen appliances & KitchenAid.. then you’ll like this news. It’s somewhat exciting. I was asked by MarketVine (a Dell company) to create a little mini-store filled with a select amount of my favorite KitchenAid items. It’s right here on the website, and of course, you can always buy other things that aren’t in my store, since all of the items are sold via KitchenAid.com! There are great prices on there, and also some great refurbished items available for a low price. The store can be accessed by all pages on the blog just by clicking the banner up at the top- you see it? The one that says “My Favorite KitchenAid Things”? Yep. That one. Just click it and you’ll be transported to my little store where you can shop till your hearts content. You all know how much I love KitchenAid, and Lola, and so this is very exciting for me. If you’ve always wanted your own Lola… then go get one!

A sweet $50.00 giveaway!

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED as of 12:00 a.m. 3/25/12. The winner, according to random.org, is number 35. Number 35 is Elizabeth!

Congrats, Elizabeth!

________________________________________________________

Happy Spring! I dunno about where you are but here in NY, it’s 70-something degrees & lovely. And, well, now that St. Patrick’s Day is behind us, we can take a little while to relax before the spring/Easter baking starts. But we can start planning! And isn’t it more fun to plan to bake things when you know they’re going in pretty packaging?

I like to bake. You like to bake. I mean, that’s why you’re here, right?

They don’t call me the Rosie the Riveter of baking for nothin’, you know?

But I also like shopping. I like to shop for anything; my parents used to say as a kid I’d find something to buy anywhere- even a hardware store (which is especially true now since I’m older & discovered the wonders of home & garden DIY/canning), but one of my favorite things to shop for is cupcake supplies. Cute little liners, vintage-y toppers, sprinkles, etc. It sucks me in & I end up spending all day on websites looking at it. I feel slightly nerdy about that; I could use some comrades in arms. And I want to help you in your cupcake decorating obsessions. So me & Lyns from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies are pairing up to giveaway a 50.00 gift certificate to her website… for you!

Yup, $50.00 bucks for you to buy whatever you want: liners, toppers, sprinkles, extracts, you name it. Save it for Easter baking, save it for the fall (if you can wait that long) or Christmas, use half now & half later, use it all now to buy pretty spring-themed stuff, whatever! But all I know is there are TONS of things to choose from. Like these… which I personally love.

And how do you win?

All you have to do is ‘like’ her new Facebook page, then come back here & comment. If you don’t have a Facebook, then follow her on Twitter & come here to comment. If you have both, that means two separate entries & two chances to win. If you have neither, then just comment with the promise that you’ll tell every single person you meet about her website (kidding… ). For bonus entries, become a fan of Cupcake Rehab on Facebook and follow me on Twitter too, and if you already are doing those things, you can still comment & say so. That’s two extra bonus entries! Four chances at winning.

And finally- one more bonus entry for tweeting about the giveaway! Just copy & paste this into a tweet:

I just entered to win a $50 gift certificate to @sweetsupply from @CupcakeRehab! You can too: http://cupcakerehab.com/2012/03/a-sweet-50-00-giveaway/

You could also write up your own tweet, so long as you mention me & Lyns both, as well as a link to this post (duh!). Don’t forget; after you tweet it come back here & tell me for your fifth entry chance. Each of those things I listed are irrelevant without leaving a comment for each! The comments are your entries. I’ll pick a winner on the 25th at midnight EST via random.org. I’ll e-mail the winner ASAP so make sure you leave a valid e-mail address!

Easy peasy. Any questions? Feel free to e-mail me at any time. Otherwise, happy entering!

Military Monday.

Vintage WWII poster

I’ve been taking some time off from my Military Mondays this month, which you probably noticed. I haven’t forgotten our armed forces, though. And I hope you haven’t either.

But just in case, I’d like to remind you this week especially to remember our troops.

ADOPT A SOLDIER · A CUP OF JOE (GREEN BEANS COFFEE) · LET’S BRING ‘EM HOME · USO

OPERATION COMFORT · SOLDIERS’ ANGELS · GUARDIAN ANGELS FOR SOLDIERS’ PET

So while we celebrate the fact that the Iraq war is over, please don’t forget the lives that have already been lost.

Military Monday.

Vintage patriotic Thanksgiving postcard

This is the last Monday before Thanksgiving. Please remember all our troops who won’t be home, having turkey. No matter what the reason. And if you’re feeling generous:

ADOPT A SOLDIER · A CUP OF JOE (GREEN BEANS COFFEE) · LET’S BRING ‘EM HOME · USO

OPERATION COMFORT · SOLDIERS’ ANGELS · GUARDIAN ANGELS FOR SOLDIERS’ PET

Military Monday.

This month is the month of one of the most important “family” holidays to Americans. Being that Thanksgiving is a time when we share our homes, meals & what we’re thankful for with friends & family, maybe this year you could share some warm thoughts with a U.S. soldier as well. It wouldn’t take much time at all to either buy them a cup of coffee or “adopt them“, or write them a note of thanks. And also, please remember those who won’t be coming home to their families this year…

Military Monday.

Fantastic George Washington jack-o-lantern from the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Rhode Island

When you or your kids are putting on your Halloween costumes next week, or trick-or-treating, or making candy apples with the family, please remember all the children without parents… or parents without children thanks to these wars. Remember all the broken families these wars have caused. Just take one minute to think of them out of your day. Don’t let them be forgotten or taken for granted.

Hopefully what our President says is true, & by the holidays the troops will be home & this list can start to get shorter!

Army 2Nd Lt. Joe L. Cunningham August 13, 2011 27, Of Kingston, Ok
Army 1St Lt. Damon T. Leehan August 14, 2011 30, Of Edmond, Ok
Army Spc. Joseph A. Vandreumel August 14, 2011 32, Of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Army Sgt. Matthew A. Harmon August 14, 2011 29, Of Bagley, Minn.
Army Spc. Joshua M. Seals August 16, 2011 21, Of Porter, Ok
Army Spc. Dennis G. Jensen August 16, 2011 21, Of Vermillion, S.d.
Marine Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson August 18, 2011 19, Of Pace, Fl
Army Pfc. Douglas L. Cordo August 19, 2011 20, Of Kingston, N.y.
Army 1St Lt. Timothy J. Steele August 23, 2011 25, Of Duxbury, Mass.
Army Sgt. Andrew R. Tobin August 24, 2011 24, Of Jacksonville, Ill.
Army Sgt. Colby L. Richmond August 25, 2011 28, Of Providence, N.c.
Army Sgt. Devin J. Daniels August 25, 2011 22, Of Kuna, Idaho
Army Pfc. Jesse W. Dietrichaugust 25, 2011 20, Of Venus, Tx
Army Pfc. Brandon S. Mullins August 25, 2011 21, Of Owensboro, Ky
Army Spc. Michael C. Roberts August 27, 2011 23, Of Watauga, Tx
Army Pfc. Alberto L. Obod Jr. August 28, 2011 26, Of Orlando, Fl
Army Spc. Douglas J. Green August 28, 2011 Green, 23, Of Sterling, Va
Army Spc. Kevin R. Shumaker August 31, 2011 24, Of Livermore, Ca
Army Spc. Dennis James Jr. August 31, 2011 21, Of Deltona, Fl
Army Spc. Christopher J. Scott September 3, 2011 21, Of Tyrone, N.y.
Army Pfc. Christophe J. Marquis September 4, 2011 40, Of Tampa, Fl
Navy Cmdr. James K. Crawford September 7, 2011 50, Of East Concord, N.y.
Army Pfc. Douglas J. Jeffries Jr. September 8, 2011 20, Of Springville, Ca
Army Spc. Koran P. Contreras September 8, 2011 21, Of Lawndale, Ca

Military Monday.

Super cute cheesecakes in a jar from My Baking Addiction

With each Military Monday, I find myself wondering when this is going to end. Where are we hoping to take this? Why are we still over there? When are our boys & girls going to come home, safe & sound? I hate to think anyone has died in vain, but what is the ultimate goal? Maybe I should rewind time to 2003 & ask Mr. Bush… or I guess I could ask Mr. Obama what he seems to think about it & what he plans to do.

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson August 6, 2011 28, of Angwin, Ca
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson August 6, 2011 34, of Detroit
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves August 6, 2011 32, of Shreveport, La.
Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null August 6, 2011 30, of Washington, W.Va.
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills August 6, 2011 35, of Fort Worth, TX
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason August 6, 2011 37, of Kansas City, Mo.
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston August 6, 2011 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass
Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas August 6, 2011 31, of Minneapolis
Navy Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill August 6, 2011 31, of Stamford, Conn.
Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers August 6, 2011 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii
Navy Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff August 6, 2011 34, of Green Forest, Ark.
Navy Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis Langlais August 6, 2011 44, of Santa Barbara, Ca
Navy Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall August 6, 2011 32, of Shreveport, La.
Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron August 6, 2011 26, of Canton, Ohio
Marine Sgt. Adan Gonzales Jr. August 7, 2011 28, of Bakersfield, Ca
Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Robinson August 7, 2011 29, of Omaha, Neb.
Army Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino August 8, 2011 28, of Pitman, N.J.
Marine Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott August 10, 2011 23, of Manchester, N.J.
Navy Hospitalman Ryley Gallinger-Long August 11, 2011 19, of Cornelius, Ore
Army Pfc. Rueben J. Lopez August 11, 2011 27, of Williams, Ca
Army Spc. Patrick L. Lay II August 11, 2011 21, of Fletcher, N.C.
Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris August 11, 2011 23, of Stillwater, Ok
Army Sgt. Jameel T. Freeman August 11, 2011 26, of Baltimore
Army Sgt. Edward J. Frank II August 11, 2011 26, of Yonkers, N.Y.
Army Master Sgt. Charles L. Price III August 12, 2011 40, of Milam, TX

Military Monday.

Patriotic Rice Krispie treats by ClassBrain.com

Another week, another list of soldiers.

Marine Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr August 5, 2011 21, of Vernal, Utah
Army Spc. Spencer C. Duncan August 6, 2011 21, of Olathe, KC
Army Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett August 6, 2011 24, of Tacoma, Wash.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols August 6, 2011 31, of Hays, K
Army Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger August 6, 2011 30, of Lincoln, Neb.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 David R. Carter August 6, 2011 47, of Centennial, Colo.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe August 6, 2011 28, of York, Pa.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell August 6, 2011 26, of Long Beach, Ca
Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown August 6, 2011 33, of Tallahassee, Fl
Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar August 6, 2011 24, of St. Paul, Minn.
Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman August 6, 201127, of Willits, Ca
Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn August 6, 2011 30, of Stuart, Fl
Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson August 6, 2011 35, of Rockford, Iowa
Navy Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange August 6, 2011 25, of Philadelphia, PA
Navy Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara August 6, 2011 26, of South Sioux City, Neb
Navy Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day August 6, 2011 28, of Taylorsville, Utah
Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell August 6, 2011 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.