Category: friends

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!

God Save the Cupcakes!

I know it’s officially “Christmas time” (or at least that’s what the retailers want us to believe), but humor me with this one non-X-mas related post, & then I promise you for the rest of the month it’ll be non-stop holiday hijinks.

Last year, actually almost 2 years ago- early in 2010- my insanely talented friend Chrisie (who you may remember from my giveaway in 2009, when she donated an absolutely gorgeous Cupcake Rehab painting) contacted me with a request. I know Chrisie for a loooong time, well about 10 years. We met at F.I.T. in a Fashion Illustration class (that was so much fun) & I’m pretty sure the universe broke when they put us in a class together. Anyway, she had an idea; she wanted to make an entire series of cupcake paintings, inspired by me and Cupcake Rehab, and the next one she wanted to do was a punk cupcake. Now seriously… if anyone knows me, they know that there is probably no better person to create such a cupcake. Okay, maybe that’s not 100% true, but I’m into punk, and cupcakes, so really I am sort of an authority on a punk cupcake. I used to be a punk cupcake...

Not that you’d really know it anymore- I’ve grown up and mellowed out a lot since my days of spike bracelets & collars, pink hair (my favorite of the “not-normal” colors I’ve ever had), rebellion, anarchy, anti-authority and the ever-chic look of wearing safety pins in my ears. Now I shop at places like Anthropologie & wear ballet flats & J. Crew sweaters (but yes, underneath the sweater is a Clash t-shirt), my significant other is a cop (even if he is in a death metal band, he’s still law enforcement!) & while I do sort of have a ‘faux hawk’, or rather a side cut, I haven’t dyed my hair in months (for the first time in 13 years I see my natural color, & I dislike it just as much as I used to, except now there are strands of gray for me to dislike as well). But I still listen to the music, and believe in the ideology. Bottom line is this: I learned a long time ago it isn’t worth it arguing over what’s really punk and what’s not, or who’s really punk and who’s not, especially when it’s based on outer appearance or clothing. Just like it’s pointless to assume that someone is less “punk” than you because they don’t dye their hair/shave it into mohawk/don’t have fully tattooed biceps/etc. You shouldn’t always judge a book by it’s cover, and knocking others for listening to things besides one genre of music isn’t “punk” either; it’s pretty lame, and you’ll realize it one day. Being an individual means being yourself & NOT wearing a uniform, even if that uniform is neon Liberty spikes, a studded & patched denim jacket & piercings. I do still wear my jacket, though.

“The Jacket”

So anyway, I’m getting way off track here. Let’s just stick with the cupcakes. Chrisie pitched me her concept: a cupcake with a pink mohawk, and I had these liners from Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies that were black with white polka dots, and I figured they’d be perfect (I also used them on my white chocolate almond cupcakes and others, they’re awesome liners). With those things as my base ideas, I started coming up with stuff immediately. I decided to make a vanilla cake with a dollop of chocolate buttercream frosting dyed black, and then do the hot pink “mohawk” on top of that in royal icing. Then I started thinking about “props”; stuff that would add a bit more to the “punk” theme for her painting. I remembered that I was in possession of an old spike bracelet I used to wear in high school, so I thought I’d put it around the bottom of the cupcake like a spike collar. I also suggested maybe incorporating a sort of Sex Pistols kind of typography and safety pins somewhere. I took the photos on a black background so it’d look a bit more dramatic, and also so it’d be easier for her to paint in whatever background she wanted. She came up with an amazing composition! (I’ll post the recipes I used for the frosting after all the images for anyone who’s interested)

So here’s the big reveal! I have been SO EXCITED to share this with you, for so long now. I’ve been waiting patiently since January of 2010 to post this, that’s a big deal for me! This is coming from someone who can’t keep birthday presents a secret without losing it & can’t stand to wait ’til Christmas to open my own gift. That said, I’m not one to rush an artist into creating a piece of artwork, so I’ve been patient, and it’s been totally worth it. She told me about a month ago it was done & sent me the pictures of the finished product, but I wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving to blog it. Here are two pictures of my cupcakes that helped to inspire her, followed by the amazing painting Chrisie did from using my pictures as reference.

So friggin’ cute with the little mohawks.

And… are you ready? Seriously?

Are you?

Okay, drumroll please. Here’s her painting! Ta-da!

……

How incredibly awesome and beautiful is that!? It’s ridiculous. I know, I cannot even fathom her talent. It’s like a friggin’ photograph. I’m telling you- she’s crazy. Chrisie is so amazingly talented, and she recently opened her own baking business, Eat Cakes. To get on the mailing list, shoot an e-mail to eatcakeorder@gmail.com. To see more of her artwork or commission her to do a painting, visit ccomis.com. There might be more collabo’s between the two of us involving cupcakes & paintings in the future. I’m excited.

So now I’m just waiting for the “punks” to come here & get on me for selling out & making such a cliched “punk cupcake” so I can stick my foot up someones’ ass… okay anyway, here’s the 411 on how to do the frosting, including food coloring & tips. The cupcake is just a plain vanilla cake so that’s easy enough for you to figure out.


“BLACK” CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Get some:

  • 1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate squares, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (approx. 1 lb) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons black food coloring (I personally recommend Americolor Super Black for this)

Then do this:

  1. Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add food coloring a little at a time, until desired shade is reached. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  4. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using. Also, keep in mind the longer the icing sits the darker it will get, so don’t add too much color, it’ll just wreck the consistency of your frosting. Using a large round tip, pipe a circle of frosting on each cake. The using an offset spatula, smooth it down into a flat surface for the ‘mohawk’ to sit on.

ROYAL ICING “MOHAWK”

Ingredients:

  • 2 large egg whites (or substitute powdered egg whites)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bright pink food coloring (I used Wilton Rose icing color)

Directions:

  1. Combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the extract, this will thin out the icing. Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cupcakes. Then add the food coloring and beat.
  3. Using a large star tip (I used Wilton 1M), after the buttercream frosting on the cupcakes has “set”, pipe three to four “stars” in a row on each cupcake. Ta-da! Mohawk!

So put on some X-Ray Spex or some Sex Pistols, do your best Joe Strummer imitation, brush your bangs into your eyes like Joey Ramone and eat some mohawk cupcakes. Or don’t. I don’t care either way. Oi, oi, oi.

Donation Time: Animal Care & Control of NYC.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever), help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty, to help someone get through a difficult period in their lives when they need it the most, or to promote animal welfare and help keep them safe and get them into good homes. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, August was Just A Dog, and September was the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund (which was an important charity close to my heart) and last month Yoyo donated to the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program again, in honor of my mom, and last month it was Delaney’s Dream. This month, it’s another important cause: Animal Care & Control of NYC.

Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) is the largest pet organization in the North East, with an estimated number of 43,000 animals rescued each year. As a not-for-profit organization since 1995, Animal Care & Control has been responsible for New York City’s municipal shelter system, rescuing, caring for, and finding loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. AC&C facilities operate in all five boroughs.

To find out more about them, visit their website and take a peek at their ‘about us‘ page. If you’re in the NYC area, and you’re in the market for a loving rescue pet, consider  adopting one of the many adorable adoptable pets they have! Otherwise, consider helping us out today.

What am I asking of you and how can you help us?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on December 2nd. That’s TODAY. You have one whole day, 24 hours, to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store- crayon rolls, hobo bags, pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies! Plus, if you use the coupon code CUPCAKEREHAB you get 20% off!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!

Donation time: Delaney’s Dream.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever), help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty, to help someone get through a difficult period in their lives when they need it the most. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, August was Just A Dog, and September was the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund (which was an important charity close to my heart) and last month Yoyo donated to the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program again, in honor of my mom. This month it’s Delaney’s Dream.

My friend Becky knows a little girl named Delaney. Delaney is a little girl who has Neuroblastoma. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a rare extracranial childhood cancer. According to Wikipedia:

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an annual incidence of about 650 new cases per year in the US.[1] Close to 50 percent of neuroblastoma cases occur in children younger than two years old.[2] It is a neuroendocrine tumor, arising from any neural crest element of the sympathetic nervous system or SNS. It most frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands, but can also develop in nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis.

Neuroblastoma is one of the few human malignancies known to demonstrate spontaneous regression from an undifferentiated state to a completely benign cellular appearance.[3] It is a disease exhibiting extreme heterogeneity, and is stratified into three risk categories: low, intermediate, and high risk. Low-risk disease is most common in infants and good outcomes are common with observation only or surgery, whereas high-risk disease is difficult to treat successfully even with the most intensive multi-modal therapies available.[4]

Note: Esthesioneuroblastoma, also known as olfactory neuroblastoma, is believed to arise from the olfactory epithelium and its classification remains controversial. However, since it is not a sympathetic nervous system malignancy it is a distinct clinical entity and is not to be confused with neuroblastoma.[5][6]

About 20-50% of cases do not respond to high-dose chemotherapy and relapse is common. Other treatments are available, but all in all the outcome remains poor. Delaney turns 4 today, and while she’s considered NED (no evidence of disease), like I said relapse is common. She’s in a trial vaccine to prevent that from happening, and hopefully that’ll work, for more information on little Delaney, check out Becky’s post about her and the donation day today. And then please buy something and help her family pay for her medical bills and get her the treatment she needs. She’s a miracle of a little girl, and deserves to have a happy 4th birthday, and many many more.

So again, what am I asking of you?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on November 1st. That’s TODAY. You have one whole day to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store-  crayon rolls, hobo bags, pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

Not only that, but you’ll be helping to comfort someone who needs it, maybe give a little girl an extra chance at life, and give her parents some peace of mind. Think of children you know… and if they’re healthy, be thankful. And then lend a hand to a child who isn’t. Pay it forward.

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!

Pink Ribbon cupcakes.

You may or may not know that my mom is a breast cancer survivor (4 years now). Since the day she found her lump, even before her diagnosis, she’s been in contact with the amazing people at the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program. First a hotline volunteer, then the amazing social workers, then the rest of the staff. They’re a terrific group of hardworking people, and they helped her so much when she was going through treatment, and after. She was a keynote speaker at their annual Celebration of Survivorship in 2008 and now, she’s joining them as a hotline volunteer!

So my mom had to go and do some training for the hotline, and it was a role-reversal: like a mom sending her kid off to school with cupcakes, I sent her off with some. The ladies over there are always asking or dropping hints for some of my treats, so I thought this would be a good opportunity. They work very hard, and do some amazing work for breast cancer patients & survivors, the least I can do is send some goodies their way. What better time than October; breast cancer awareness month!? A few days ago, Yoyo even donated 100% of one days profits from her webstore to them. The total amount donated? $179.00! Now that’s a gift!

For these, I kept it simple, not too gimmicky. No frosting made to look like boobs. Just some vanilla cupcakes (white cakes, to be exact), pink sprinkles and pink ribbon sprinkles, and used some pink ribbon cupcake liners. But I added a little something extra; a light pink confectioners sugar glaze over the frosting. Yum!

This white cake recipe is one of my favorites because it has a light almond/vanilla flavor. Also, you don’t have to separately beat the egg whites into meringue, so it makes it easier and quicker. It’s a vintage recipe that came with my vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster, so it uses shortening. I’d recommend sticking with butter.

BASIC WHITE CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup soft shortening (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 350 F to preheat. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners (or grease two 8″ cake pans, or one 13″x9″x2″ pan).
  2. Sift together, into a deep mixing bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, ¾ cup of the milk and flavorings. Beat on low until blended, then beat on high for another minute or two.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ¼ cup milk, and egg whites, and beat ½ minute longer on high. Scoop into muffin tins to fill them about ¼ or ½ way (or into greased cake pans, about 1 ½ deep) because they rise a lot. Bake for 30 minutes (or 40 minutes for oblong pan). Cool completely.

The glaze is made using milk, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and pink food coloring. I frosted them with a plain vanilla buttercream using an offset spatula and then just dipped them into the light glaze. Then I used a combination of a rolling technique and a spoon to apply the sprinkles. If you’re looking for similar materials, Sugarcraft sells lots of pink ribbon baking items. Go take a look. That’s not where I got mine from, but there are lots of similar things there. And remember to check your boobies, ladies (& gents!).

Oh- and if you’re in the Vegas area, check out Retro Bakery from October 11-16th because it’s pink week! During that week, all the cupcakes will be pink and 10% of sales go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Donation time: Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever),  help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty, or to help someone get through a difficult period in their lives when they need it the most. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, August was Just A Dog, and September was the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund which was also an important charity close to my heart. But this month Yoyo is once again donating to the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program again, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month which is this month- October.

The Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program is an amazing organization. They run a hotline so that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer (any stage) can call and talk to a survivor, someone who’s been through it. In addition to that, they have social workers that will help uninsured (or insured) women navigate the healthcare system to get the best possible care and the care they need. Also, they have a fantastic program with classes for survivors, whether it’s 6 months or 6 years. Classes like yoga, belly dancing, pottery, painting, Reiki, everything! They promote self-exams, and have social workers in local hospitals so that when women are diagnosed they can talk to someone right away. They’re the ONLY bi-lingual breast cancer hotline in New York.

And it’s all free. They don’t expect anything or ask for anything, they never hound people for donations or make pests out of themselves. They’re an amazing group of people and they deserve to have funding so they can continue their work. As you may know, my mother is a breast cancer survivor (4 years!) and she also is a volunteer on the hotline. So like I said, this is a cause close to my heart.

So again, what am I asking of you?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on October 2nd. That’s TOMORROW. You have one whole day to prepare, and then once it’s actually October 2nd, you have a whole 24 hours to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store- pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

Not only that, but you’ll be helping to comfort someone who needs it, and provide a distraction for women going through treatment or who are Stage IV by providing them with fun classes and events. This is the program’s 30th Anniversary, so let’s give them a great present, okay?

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!

Nutella vanilla.

Just some cupcake porn for you today. And a sweet idea for filling your cupcakes (and cookies, and cakes) without making your own filling.

In case you didn’t know, I have a thing for Nutella. I try not to have it around that much, just when I really crave it or want to use it for baking because I tend to eat it right out of the jar like a pig. And I could eat an entire small jar in one sitting if given the opportunity, no joke. It would be really embarrassing to have to go out and buy all new pants and clothes in a size 6 just because I went up a whole size from eating… Nutella. Anyway if you’re a Nutella fan like me, in addition to making these, you should try my Nutella “sangwich” cake. If you’ve never had Nutella, then you seriously need to go out right now and buy some. If you don’t like Nutella… then get the fuck out of here! Just kidding. But really, whatsamatta with you!?

Anyway one night last week I was pissed off, frustrated and kind of depressed, and what do I do when I’m in one (or all) of those moods? I have to create something. So I bake. And this is what I came up with.

So with these I did a basic vanilla cupcake and just used a disposable piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton 2A, found here) to inject the cakes with the filling. Nutella is a delicious, easy filling to use because unlike peanut butter, you really don’t have to add any sugar, butter or make a frosting out of it. It’s already sweet enough, and it has a great consistency. You can spread it on sugar cookies, use it to fill the middle layer of a cake, fill cupcakes, etc. You could even make a Nutella frosting if you wanted. Be forewarned- you would need to incorporate it into a frosting like a buttercream, because it won’t pipe well in it’s natural state.

Then for the frosting, I went with this amazing frosting I’ve been obsessed with lately that you can find here (except this time I used 100% white granulated sugar). Om nom nom nom nom. I filled one side of the frosting bag with some Nutella, then put the frosting in, and did a few test squeezes until I saw it come out half & half, or rather like the Nutella was “laced” through the frosting. I won’t bother giving you a cupcake recipe because you can use any ol’ one you like (even a yellow or white cake mix if you’re a big fat cheater). I used Billy’s Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe. But any one will do!

The tip is a Wilton large star tip (1M). If you need a frosting tutorial, lucky for you I wrote two up this past spring- take a look.

The little toppers are adorable, right? They reminded me of little Vespas, which went with the Nutella/Italian theme. In my head anyway. I didn’t make them, though. I got them a few years ago from Miss Amy O when she had her store (The Peach) on Etsy. She kindly sent them to me free when I placed an order (for my ice cream cone toppers, actually). Now she no longer has an Etsy store but she has a bakery/baking business. called Amy Bakes Cupcakes. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure she still makes toppers.

So there you have it. A really simple idea, but it’s so delicious. And you know what else is delicious? My Cupcake Rehab third birthday giveaway. Almost $100.00 in prizes up for grabs, and all you have to do is comment. Yep, it’s my blog’s birthday, and you have a chance to get the gifts. Go take a peek and enter! And also, thank you all for being fans of Cupcake Rehab! I really do love my fans & readers. You’re the absolute coolest, and I adore you. If I could give you all prizes I would. Seriously. I really would. You guys & your awesome comments make doing this blog fun and worthwhile. Even the occasional jerk or the few Single White Female copycat stalkers I have to deal with are worth it, because the majority of you are just splendiferous. And scrumtrilescent. So thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my incessant babbling.

Donation time: NYC PBA Widow’s & Children’s fund.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever), or help the children and families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee, July was Adopt-A-Bull, and August was Just A Dog. This month, however, is something that’s really close to home for me- the NYC PBA Widow’s and Children’s fund.

The Widow’s and Children’s fund provides assistance and relief to widows and families of Police officers who are killed in the line of duty. As you know, or may not know, Jay is a New York City Police officer. I know that it’s not an easy job, and while day-to-day he might not be called upon to do wildly dangerous things, every car stop has the potential of going wrong, and there is a chance that someday he might have to put on the Haz-Mat suit or use the gun. And I hope every day that that day never comes. But reality is- it’s a dangerous job, especially in a post-9/11 world. And for the officers who have families and children, the PBA has this fund which I think is wonderful. It might give a wife (or husband) some peace of mind at a terrible time in their lives. My great-uncle was Vice President of the PBA back in the day, and another great-uncle of mine was also in the NYPD (he then switched to the Fire Department). I have other cops in my family aside from them, and my father was a HAZ-TAC Lieutenant in the FDNY EMS who worked tirelessly on 9/11 and afterwards at Ground Zero. I take a lot of pride in the professions mentioned, and I wear my little white gold replica of Jay’s shield around my neck proudly. I’m so glad Yoyo chose this as one of her charities, as it means a lot to me. Civil Service isn’t always about eating donuts & drinking coffee.

As Jay put it: “I don’t get paid for what I do every single day, I get paid for what I might have to do.”

So again, what am I asking of you?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on September 2nd. That’s TOMORROW. You have one whole day to prepare, and then once it’s actually September 2nd, you have a whole 24 hours to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo  always has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store- pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! The inventory cycles and not everything I listed might be in stock tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Anything you buy is going to be awesome. Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

And- get this- anyone who mentions me by name or mentions ‘Cupcake Rehab’ when ordering gets extra goodies!

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!

Donation time: Just A Dog.

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes on Twitter & Facebook yesterday. Nothin’ like that to make a girl feel loved. But now I have a favor to ask you.

Like I’ve said for a few months now, on the second of every month this year, I’m going to be asking you, my dearsweetloyaldarlingbeloved readers, to do something. It’s nothing that will drastically change your life in any way, or your financial situation, but it will help others. And potentially, in some cases help to save a life, to bring people together, to provide soldiers with things that will comfort them in war zones, or provide a safe place for animals until they’re adopted (if ever). Which is what this month’s charity will do.

Every month in 2010, as you can see here, my GENEROUS & BIG HEARTED friend Yoyo is donating 100% of one days’ profits in her webstore to a different charity. January was the Villalobos Rescue Center, February was the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, March was Mollie’s Fund, April was Let’s Bring ‘Em Home at LBEH.org, May was Soldier’s Angels, June was Green Beans Coffee and July was Adopt-A-Bull.  Last month, between my friends wedding & all my distraction with the start of summer gardening, etc, I slacked off and didn’t do my monthly reminder post to buy something from TOPSTITCH on the 2nd. Thankfully, Yoyo still raised $134.00 for Adopt-A-Bull! So let’s keep the streak up for August and all buy something for Just A Dog.

Just A Dog is a pit bull rescue based in San Diego, California. You can read about them here, or check out the adoptable cuties they have here. But most importantly, on August 2nd, you can make a purchase from TOPSTITCH. 100% of all the purchases that day will go directly to Just A Dog. I love all animals, big & small, perfect & imperfect, naughty or nice… but I have a soft spot for the “underdog” (no pun intended)- the animals that had a rough start, the ones who’ve had unfortunate things happen to them, the disabled, the injured, the abandoned, the ones that get a bad rap. So for me, pit bulls really tug at my heart. They’ve been abused and used and tortured and then in turn labeled as such monsters that it’s heartbreaking. And if this page doesn’t make you in the least sad, then you’re just an asshole. We have to really start retraining ourselves to not assume that a few dogs can represent an entire breed no more than a few people represent an entire race or religion. Breed Specific Legislation needs to stop as well. Our dog Indy is part Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is another dog under the “pit bull” umbrella, and it would kill me to see anything happen to him because of the  random fact that part of his DNA is a “bully breed.” He’s the most loving, sweet, and cuddly dog ever, and so are any and all pit bulls I’ve ever met.

So again, what am I asking of you?

I’m asking you to buy something from TOPSTITCH on August 2nd. That’s TOMORROW. You have one whole day to prepare, and then once it’s actually August 2nd, you have a whole 24 hours to make a purchase. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase… even a small $2.00 order can mean a lot to an organization that needs money to help people who need it. So go check out what TOPSTITCH has to offer and then tomorrow, don’t forget to go back and buy something! Yoyo has a ton of awesome, unique, handmade one of a kind merchandise in her store- pouches, mini-pouches, key fobs, wristlets, APRONS, even catnip toys for your kitty! Everything is very well made and even better, made with love. The bigger pouches are great for carrying your makeup in your bag everyday or for using as a small purse to just run to the store with, and the smaller pouches are the perfect size for personal items & “unmentionables.” Although the small ones can also fit a camera or iPod too. I definitely have been making my contributions each month, and so has Brianne! So then should you. She has plenty of affordable items, and they’re all one-of-a-kind and well made. So please think about contributing to this cause and in return getting an awesome handmade item! What could be better than helping people and getting something unique in return?

And don’t just shop at TOPSTITCH today, shop there everyday. Because we should all support our local artisans and craftspeople! Buy handmade!