Thursday, December 27, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness...

The last few weeks there has been an inspiring trend occurring at our local Starbucks drive thru.   I don't know how it started but I'd heard about it - paying for the order of the car behind you.  A friend of mine posted on Facebook about doing it a few weeks ago but I had no idea it had turned in to a bit of a phenomenon at our local Starbucks until last night I asked my husband to grab me a green tea latté on his way home from errands and the car in front of him paid for the drink.

Today I went back through the drive thru and after a car pulled in behind me, I noticed the military personnel sticker on the windshield (we have a VERY high active duty and retired military presence in our city), so I grabbed my chance and paid for both of their drinks.  The Starbucks employee didn't even question it, he said it's been frequently happening!

Love it!  I don't want to see this one end this season!

Have you been a part of any random acts of kindness this season, either giving or receiving?  I'd love to hear if this is going on at other Starbucks...

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Angry Birds Cupcakes - Easy to do!

Do you ever have one of those times when your child comes to you all sweetly and innocently asking you to whip up a batch of something fabulous for a last minute school party?  Yep, that was me earlier this week.  My oldest is obsessed (might be a slight understatement) with Angry Birds and when he asked so nicely for me to make a bunch of Angry Birds cupcakes for his Leadership Class Holiday party, I knew I had to deliver the *gulp* 36 themed out cupcakes.

I scoured Pinterest for ideas and wasn't really finding decorating ideas that looked right too me.  I didn't want to do fondant decorations, but had no idea how to create a realistic cupcake that was easy to churn out a ton of.  While talking out my ideas with a friend, I had a brilliant idea to use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the round shape of the birds and she added the idea of using yellow fondant to form the beaks.  Seemed easy enough.

They were SUPER simple to create (any baking novice could do the same because I am by no means a professional).  My son's concern was that they look realistic and not be too artistic so the pressure was on to deliver.

I used pre-made yellow fondant I had left over from a cake (fondant lasts a long time as long as you keep it tightly sealed) to form the beaks free hand.  (my son helped)  You can also purchase small packs of pre-colored fondant at most craft stores.

One of the birds has brown eye brows, so I used brown fondant I also had left over to form the tiny eye brows.  I painted the other birds eye brows on with black gel food coloring (super inexpensive at Michael's).

I made my own butter cream icing, but honestly you could buy icing and color it to match whatever color you needed.  I found the size ice cream scoop that fit on top of the cupcakes and carefully scooped 12 colors of each on to the cupcakes.  I stuck each beak in the frosting scoop.  I used pre- packaged white frosting to do circles for the eyes and then used black gel food coloring to make a black dot for the pupil in each eye.  I also used the same black gel to free hand the eye brows on the remaining "birds".

If I had more time I would have piped green icing around each bird to mimic the grassy areas, but I'm still thrilled with how they turned out!

By purchasing the professional cupcake boxes at a local cake supply store, these cupcakes were a huge hit and made me look like Super Mom in the eyes of my son. 

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