Tag Archives: cupcakes

Autumnal Cupcakes!

We have mentioned how much we love Cupcake Royale, and you know we’re crazy about pumpkin. So when you combine the two, we suddenly find an irresistible reason to drive to Seattle. Behold! Pumpkin cardamom cupcakes!

Pumpkin goes well with all the spices you find in pumpkin pie, but it wasn’t just cinnamon, allspice and clove. The cardamom elevates this cupcake to another level. I’ve eaten a lot of pumpkin-flavored baked goods, and this was an especially tender and delicious morsel.

Oh, but that’s not all. Cupcake Royale must have been struck by a lightning bolt of genius recently. They have a tiramisu cupcake that can be ordered affogato. The traditional affogato is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over it. We’ve been affogato fans for quite some time. However, Cupcake Royale takes a delicious tiramisu cupcake and drowns it in espresso.

From the moment I heard about the cupcake affogato, I thought it sounded like a good idea. It’s hard to explain how much of a very, very good idea this is. The cupcake soaks up the espresso like a ladyfinger. The icing is mascarpone mixed with Stumptown coffee – a great companion for the coffee-soaked cake. So, basically, there’s nothing about this cupcake that isn’t awesome.

These cupcakes make me want to wear a plaid scarf and my favorite legwarmers while I walk through a big pile of autumn leaves.



Filed under fall, food

yes, we are obsessed

Yesterday I managed to take Levi and his friend on quick trip to Seattle for some fun. We had a breakfast meet-up with my mom followed by arcade time at GameWorks. To my delight I was able to squeeze in a trip to my favorite cupcake bakery in Seattle before it was too late to try their August flavors of the month. Cupcake Royale may have outdone themselves this summer.

It seems that now everyone in our family loves Cupcake Royale – even the chickens.

Pepper bum rushed the box to find that Levi & his buddy had already eaten their choices, The Classic (white cake + chocolate frosting) and the Royale with Cheese (chocolate cake + cheese cream frosting). The Pulp Fiction reference gets high teenage boy approval ratings, as do the cakes.

When she moved on to our cupcakes, we didn’t let her eyeball them long. How about some oatmeal instead, Pepper?

blackberry buckle in front of strawberry shortcake

These cupcakes look pretty glamorous considering they traveled sixty miles between two teenagers in the backseat of my little black car and then held it together in our 80 degree house until the wife got home from work. The blackberry buckle managed to surpass my very high expectations as #1 blackberry fan. The super creamy frosting with a bit of tang from the cream cheese is killer, and that little sprinkle of streusel adds something extra. And ohmygod, the whipped cream frosting with that strawberry shortcake.

We ♥ Cupcake Royale for their sustainable business model. Can you imagine if everyone sourced local ingredients while they are in season? Even the flour is specially milled for cupcakes here in Washington state. Cupcake Royale donated $10,000 to the It Gets Better Project. They also promote the canning movement with monthly canning classes called Pantry Royale. If you’re in the Seattle area it’s not too late – there are two more canning classes this year.


Filed under food

It’s peanut butter chili time

We didn’t mean to fall of the face of the, er, blogosphere. We’ve gone full speed ahead into our goals for February. I’m walking to work everyday while I’m on a humane work schedule for awhile. Jess is doing yoga again. We’re trying to fit in further exercise at the gym and so far mostly failing at that. We have, however, met our big goal of tracking our food on sparkpeople.com and that is going really well.

We’re also almost completely cooking healthy food at home. I bet you’re wondering what we ate for our first meal out. This Friday Jess worked in Seattle, and Levi and I met her there. Not before stopping in Ballard for some cupcakes and con pannas.

That is the only coffee that has been purchased at a coffee shop so far. We have been pretty content with drinking toddy and stove-top espresso at home.

Strawberry frosted cupcakes with chocolate ganache and some heart sprinkles! The perfect way to celebrate the somewhat stressful end of Levi’s first high school semester. He was doing non-stop homework for the last 3 weeks.

I don’t have pictures of our dinner out. We decided some good ol’ vegan Chinese from Bamboo Garden in Seattle was worthy of our money. We gorged ourselves on fried rice and noodles and deep fried faux chicken, and as always they commented on how tall Levi has gotten. Many of the same people are there that have known him since he was a baby. Perfect place for our first meal out!

We are no longer calculating the cost of everything, but we’re still making a lot of the same food:

We had to make those delicious broccoli quiches again.

And we’re really getting into our groove on meal planning. This weekend we easily plotted out an entire week’s worth of food. That is an improvement over our usual 3 or 4 day ahead plan. I think before too long we will have worked out a perfect spreadsheet for a week of meals. It still is time consuming when you add in making the grocery list and doing the shopping.

Here’s the first of the really successful new recipes we’ve tried since our $5 a day project ended:

vegetarian chili with peanut butter

If you remember the black bean espresso chili, AKA Baller’s Chili, you know we love secret ingredient chili recipes. Well, I now have two absolute favorite chili recipes. Once again I reduced the oil in the original recipe to keep the fat down a little. I figured 1/2 cup peanut butter was enough, so I just used a tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onion and garlic. This recipe was TO DIE FOR.

If you were dying to know if we are still obsessed with peanut butter, you have your answer.


Filed under family, food

on today’s episode of cooking with booze

Okay, clearly this was yesterday’s episode of cooking with booze. Guinness stout and Jameson Irish whiskey. The point is, life is pretty sweet when you have time to cook with booze. All the sweeter when it is holiday themed.

I had to run off to work for some overtime (hey, that’s green $$$), but I managed to make some holiday dinner and dessert for Jess and Levi before I took off. I don’t have a picture of dinner (I quite literally had to RUN off to work). It was one of our favorite recipes, Martha Stewart’s colcannon paired with Tofurkey kielbasa. They just don’t have a vegetarian corned beef around these parts, and like I said, no time to get too crafty. But I did manage to whip up these before I took off:

Chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish whiskey frosting.

For the cupcakes, I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. For the frosting, I spiked my favorite cream cheese frosting with some Jameson.

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Filed under food


oh my goodness, I turned 27 yesterday. Krista is so full of surprises, she surprised me with birthday cupcakes from Cupcake Royale in Seattle. We were up in Seattle for the City Chickens Coop Tour, put on by Seattle Tilth. We had such a lovely day, touring backyard chicken coops, eating at Araya’s and picking up our cupcakes. I hope I remember to write about the coop tour very soon, because it was great.

This is a salted caramel cupcake dressed up for my birthday. Salted Caramel!

This is a strawberry cupcake made with 66% local ingredients. i wanted to lick the wrapper. Locavore cupcake! These small strawberry cakes are only available this month. Run, don’t walk to your nearest Cupcake Royale. They have locations all over Seattle. I understand that for some of you, this may involve a vacation to Seattle, but I don’t think you’ll mind.

I already felt so spoiled by Saturday’s activities, so imagine my surprise when Krista woke me up on Sunday with presents, a freshly scrubbed house, and some of my favorite people who came down from Seattle for the vegan brunch Krista was cooking up. We ate chocolate beer waffles, field roast sausages, individual hash browns (made in muffin tins! like hash brown muffins!) and fruit salad featuring rainier cherries. We ate ourselves into a brunch food coma, courtesy of the new VEGAN BRUNCH cookbook that Isa Chandra Moskowitz wrote.

Also, we drank mimosas because, hello? have you met us? we drink mimosas to celebrate everything.

Now that I’ve officially entered my late twenties, we’re going to go have some prune juice for breakfast and see what’s at the antique mall this week.

Today’s our one year anniversary, can you believe it? I want to buy Krista a meyer lemon tree for our anniversary, but I’m having a hell of a time finding a place around Olympia that has one for me. More about our anniversary later. It deserves it’s own post! So, to recap, here are some things I need to write about:
1. the chicken coop tour
2. our backyard jungle i mean garden
3. our anniversary
4. our house hunting

Here’s hoping I can hold myself to this high standard of blogging!

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Filed under family, marriage, summer