Yesterday, was my dear husband's birthday. Every year, I try to make his birthday special. Part of my ritual for a great birthday is, of course, a cake! Since we have been living in Poulsbo which is just a ferry ride away from Seattle, I have been heading over to Sluys' Bakery and ordering my husband a very delicious Champagne Cake each year. (I have featured Sluys' Bakery on a previous posting on my blog. Love Sluys...a great Norwegian Bakery.) Even though I adore this delicious cake that Sluys' Bakery prepares and totally recommend it, this year, I decided to bake my husband something myself. I wanted to put my love into something delicious....
I decided to surprise my husband with some cupcakes. I love cupcakes, as do most people, which explains why cupcake shops are now the rage and springing up everywhere. My husband and I attended a wedding recently and the bride and groom served cupcakes. These little cupcakes are showing up everywhere!
So, inspired by the red velvet cupcakes we had enjoyed at the wedding, I settled upon a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Joy the Baker, which I have featured on my blog in the past. She lists this recipe under her cupcake category and mentions that these are her favorite red velvet cupcakes. So on my husband's birthday yesterday, I headed off to the grocery store with my list of ingredients that I didn't have in my pantry and refrigerator. My list included things like white distilled vinegar, cream cheese, baking soda, buttermilk and some fresh eggs. After buying the ingredients, I pulled out my mixer, put on the paddle attachment which Joy suggested I use, put on some music, and went to work making the cupcakes. I had my computer out and would refer to Joy's recipe from time to time. I wanted to make sure I followed her directions so that my cupcakes turned out as delicious and beautiful as they were in her photos.
I mixed all the ingredients together and popped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. After the inserted toothpick came out clean, and I knew they were ready, I let them rest for 10 minutes in the pan and then removed them. While they cooled, I assembled my ingredients for the cream cheese frosting. Joy's frosting recipe was very easy and delicious. I love a good cream cheese icing which is part of why I love carrot cake so much. Joy's icing has a touch of cinnamon in it which gives it a great taste. After the cupcakes were cooled completely, I spooned the icing into my icing bag and piped some of the delicious, creamy icing onto each cupcake. For fun, I put a few sprinkles on each one after they were iced. Then, stuck a green candle on each finished cupcake.
A few months ago, I had purchased a white wire tiered cupcake holder at a nearby World Market store. I pulled this out and arranged all the cupcakes on it....putting a few on each tier. I was pleased with my display and hoped my cupcakes tasted as good as they looked. I put them on my dining room table and hung some balloons on my chandelier...just as I always do for family birthdays.
Then, I pulled out some of my favorite desert plates that my sister brought back from England for me. My sister and I both love beautiful china. My sister, Jeri, was working as a flight attendant and hand carried a piece of the china back each time she flew to England several years ago. We both have the desert and teacups and saucers in this pattern. The name of the pattern is Provencial Flowers. I selected plates from my china cabinet and then pulled out champagne flutes to set up near the cupcakes.
Right before the birthday boy arrived home from work, I poured some champagne in our glasses and garnished each one with a fresh strawberry. With everything in place, Sadie Mae, our Maltese, and I were waiting at the front door to greet my husband and wish him a happy birthday as he walked in the door. My husband, Mark, was surprised and happy to see the cupcakes I had made him and the balloons tied to our chandelier. We toasted his birthday together with the champagne, and then he enjoyed one of his cupcakes.
My husband, Mark, had requested a new pair of cowboy boots for his birthday gift. Having lived in Houston, Texas, for around 18 years, I know cowboy boots are something that you HAVE to try on. I actually have about six pair of cowgirl boots. So, after the toast and cupcake, my husband and I headed out to a local western shop before meeting some friends for dinner. Mark tried on several pairs of boots and settled upon a nice, black pair. I bought him the boots he selected and also a black and white cowboy-styled shirt. The shirt looked great on him and will be great for wearing to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo when we visit Houston again during rodeo time. He can also wear it to the local rodeo. With gifts in hand, we left the shop and headed over to meet some of our friends at a local Japanese steakhouse. Our good friends, Mike, Gina and Pam, were meeting us at the restaurant to have dinner with us and celebrate Mark's birthday. Here is a photo of our chef for the evening...
Thank you, Gina and Mike, for the beautiful new tie...
After a delicious dinner enjoyed with friends....and a few birthday hugs and kisses, it was time to head back home.
After we arrived home, we noticed this wine and card that was left by our door. Another gift from some friends who were sweet enough to remember Mark's birthday. They had called Mark's cellphone while we were out shopping for boots and told him that they had left him a little surprise by the door. Thank you, Marilyn and Kristina...
Once home with Miss Sadie Mae, we lit Mark's birthday candles and enjoyed another cupcake....or two..... :)
Thank you to our friends, Pam, Gina and Mike, for joining us for an evening out to celebrate Mark's birthday. Thank you, Marilyn and Kristina, for the wine and card that you, thoughtfully, left by our door. Thank you to our loved ones.....Ashley, Brandon, Amy, and Elliott and all who called to wish Mark a very happy birthday. Thank you to my dear sister, Jeri, who never fails to deliver a beautiful and fun rendition of Happy Birthday on the phone each year. Thanks to the many facebook connections...friends and family....who took the time to write a personal message to Mark on facebook.
Happy Birthday, Mark! I wish you many, many more wonderful birthdays! I am blessed to have you in my life and so happy to be celebrating each birthday with you! May all your birthday wishes come true! I love you! xoxo (I love it that Pam's lipstick from her birthday kiss is still on his cheek as he blows out his candles....never wipe off a kiss is my motto! )
Wait, there's more....
I would like to, last but not least by any means, thank our Granddaughter, Brenna, for the fun Happy Birthday dance she performed and posted on facebook for her "Papa" in honor of his birthday. Thank you, Brenna.... We love you! xoxo
Hope you enjoyed Brenna's video. To view the recipe that I used for the cupcakes, click on the link that follows. Please note, that I omitted the red food dye so my cupcakes will not be the color of the ones in the photos on Joy's blog, however, I can assure you, the cupcakes are just as delicious! Hope you try them. Have a beautiful day, and thank you for visiting my blog today. Thank you, Joy, for sharing this wonderful recipe on your blog. Here is the link: My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes