Sunday, September 26, 2010

Get Ready For Halloween with $60 from CSN!

Sorry kiddies, the contest is over! Stay tuned for more giveaways soon!

We go a little ga-ga for Halloween. Well, I go a little ga-ga for Halloween. My planning begins in August - I have to make sure everything is ready way before October even begins. Costumes needs to be established before Value Village is completely picked over. Baked goods need to be prepped so we can get out cookie boxes out into the world well before the big day. Decorations for our house need be at the ready because, after Canadian Thanksgiving, this place needs to be channeling the Adams Family.

Okay, I go a bit crazy when it comes to decorations. Last year, after moving to our new apartment, we had nothing but a skeleton to put up. So depressing. This year will be different - I've been collecting decorations all through the year. Almost enough to get the right spooky atmosphere that I'm going for. But I don't think Mr. C would like if I changed our curtains into black lace and covered our couches with orange and purple fabric. I was even on CSN, looking at black dining sets. Ours is way to Ikea-cookie-cutter to be scary.

I think Martha gives me some unrealistic expectations. I mean, look at this table setting:

Amazing. But realistic? Maybe if I had unlimited time and money. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Well, we can't help you with the unlimited time thing, but C&C and CSN are partnering up again to give you $60 to help you make your house a little more spooky. Or, you know, to replace that broken blender. But make sure you buy that black blender.

Here's how you enter:

1) Leave us a comment telling us how you prepare for Halloween. Do you set up a Haunted House for the kids on your street? Do you make a really gory costume? Do you set up your table just like Martha does?

2) You must follow us to qualify for the giveaway. Click on the little Google Follower button on the right hand side, and Bob's yer Uncle.

3) For a second entry, tweet this message: "Check out @CCCakery 's Super Spooky CSN Giveaway: " then leave me a separate comment here telling me you've done so.

4) I'll be rolling my nerd dice once again on Sunday, October 3 in order to pick a winner. That means all comments must be entered by midnight on Saturday.

Good luck, all you ghouls and ghosties!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tiger Tiger Cupcakes

I grew up in Hamilton. Yeah yeah, I've heard it all before. You can go ahead and pity me if you'd like - everyone else seems to. I don't mind. The thing is, growing up in Steeltown is not too bad. In fact, some of the best memories I have took place around that city: Getting pipping hot fries straight from the fry truck and eating them right under the power lines, catching buckets full of fireflies on a steaming hot summer night, crying tears of joy with the rest of the town while we watched the Leafs squeak into the playoffs.

That last one is a little sad, seeing as we always ended up crying tears of remorse when the Leafs eventually lost in the playoffs. You may not know this, but Hamilton is really not known for their stellar sports teams. The Bulldogs do well, though I always thought they did better while they were still the Canucks. The Blue Jays had quite the hay-day when I was growing up, but I think they may go the way of the Expos sooner than we think.

Finally, there's the Tiger Cats. The CFL's little joke. But, if you were born and raised in Hamilton, you are required to love them. Even after a ten game loosing streak, we would all go down to the local creamery joint and watch the game together over a big bowl of Tiger Tiger ice cream. It's a favourite around Ontario - I even managed to find some out in western Canada - but some of you Yanks may not know what you're missing. Picture a creamsicle, then shove some black licorice strings in the middle. You've got yourself Tiger Tiger. May seem weird, yes, but I promise you, it is amazing. I still have cravings every year during the end of football season. Instead of running around looking for a carton, though, I've decided to start making cupcake versions of the Hamilton treat. The recipe I've developed tastes just like the ice cream. Dare I say, it tastes better than the ice cream.

tiger (4)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Amp'd Up Coconut Cupcakes

Why hello there! It's been a while since we've chatted, eh? Well, let me tell you my sob story - I get up for work at 6am, try to stuff knowledge into children's heads for a while, then fight Vancouver traffic in order to make it home at 6pm. After that, I just want to  shovel food into my pie-hole and go to bed. Before I'm able to do that, however, I've got to make up lesson plans and worksheets for the next day. Boy oh boy, do I ever long for the weekend. No, nix that. I long for the energy to make it to the weekend.

At this point, most people would reach for our dear little friend. No, not that box of merlot. Perish the thought. I'm talking about good ol' fashioned caffeine. Admit it, you can't get through the day without that Double-Double from Tim Hortons. Yes, it's extremely crappy coffee. Yes, it tastes like watery dirt. But, gosh darn it, it's water dirt with caffeine mixed in it. I'm not a coffee person, though. Nor am I a tea or soda pop person. I suffer through the day without the help of the big C. I have vowed never to become a slave to the stuff - of course, we'll see how long that lasts now that I've got a 6 to 6 job.

There is one caffeinated drink that absolutely fascinate me - energy drinks. Why oh why would people willingly put that stuff into their body? Have you read the label on one of these things? They actually have to put labels on it, warning people that drinking more than one a day is a health risk. In yet . . . in yet . . . I'm absolutely intrigued with them. How do they pack so much caffeine in that skinny little can? And what in the world does all that concentrated caffeine taste like? More importantly, can it be made into a cupcake.

Why yes. Yes it can.

ampcoconut (11)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Whatever you do, do not make these cookies.

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Yes, they look crisp and tasty (they are) but inside of each one lives horrible creatures. One that will make your life a living hell - or at least put a small damper on your day. I'm talking about the dreaded poppy seed.

We've all been there. Before that big conference or big speech or big make-out session, we get a little nervous. In order to settle down our nerves a bit, we head by the local coffee shop to pick up some caffeine and sugar goodness. For some reason, the poppy seed muffin always seems like a fine choice at the time. It looks "healthier" than those cookies or scones - plus, it's hard to wrong with a lemon flavoured baked good, right? WRONG. You know how you can go wrong with a lemon flavoured baked good? By putting poppy seeds in it. Then, every time you smile, every time you breathe, those little black specks are everywhere. They hide in the crooks of your mouth until the right moment then - BAM! - millions of them jump right in between your two front teeth. So much for that big conference / big speech / big make-out session. You've been poppy-seeded. And there's no way to recover from that.

These cookies are far more dangerous than their muffin counterparts - the ratio of seed to flour is much much higher. Plus, they're way more addicting, meaning that you may accidentally down a couple dozen before your dentist appointment. I promise you, your hygienist will never be the same after that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bat Out of Hell Cookies

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Have you ever come up with an idea that is truly awe inspiring? An idea that is so ahead of it's time and so amazing that you wonder why no one has thought of it before? You know why no one has thought of it before? Because it's probably pretty stupid. I have come to the realization that the majority of my genius ideas fit into this category. Frankly, they're dumb. Unrealistic and dumb. But, for whatever reason, I think they're the best ideas ever and I have a hard time swallowing the fact that all these great thoughts floating around in my head are all duds.

For instance: spherical pies. No, it's not like two pies glued together to form some weird type of pop tart. It would be completely round and full of filling. Back in the day, I thought this was ingenious. What could be better than a large,  soccer ball-like pie? Nothing. Nothing could be better than that. The mechanics of eating such a monstrosity was completely lost on me - how would one serve a spherical pie? - but I needed to create it.

Ten years later (still no spherical pie) I've continued my descent into baking madness. My latest plan was to produce and market cookies inspired by aging rock stars of the 70s and 80s. No, I have no idea where this began, nor why I thought this was a good idea to begin with. But, months ago, I was positively inspired by it all. Think of the possibilities: Tesla's "Modern Day Cowboy Cookies", Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Bake it", The Stone's "Brown Sugar Cookies", and (my personal favourite) Queen's "Biscotti Rhapsody". Yes, now that I look back at it, this is all very silly (unless a cookie marketing agency would like to contact us and tell me otherwise). I actually went through with one of the recipes a couple of weeks ago.
batouttahell (2)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blueberry Yogurt Scones

Okay, I have to confess. Baking is not my first love. Shocking. I know. In actuality, my heart has always belonged to teaching - cupcakes have just weaseled their way in during the last couple of years. Though the summer belongs to new recipes, baking cakes, and stuffing our pie-holes full of cookies, the rest of the year is usually taken up by my classroom and students. Right about now, the test kitchen usually shuts down for the year and is replaced a room full of curriculum binders. This summer has been a wonderful one for C&C - we've created some amazing recipes, gained new followers, and thoroughly stuffed a belly or two. I'd hate to see it end.

Well, this year, it doesn't have to.

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