hazelnut cappuccino cupcakes.

the staff at the clinic, the hospital & the agency were all seamlessly helpful & phenomenally friendly during my may|june cycle [https://nikkisuzanna.wordpress.com/category/donor-blog/]. they have gone above & beyond with both of my donor cycles and i so strongly felt that they deserved a bit more than just a heartfelt ‘thank you!’ this time around. it wasn’t enough. & so i baked.

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i baked a lot.

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. . . .& with a lot of love. . . .

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sometimes the mere process of being a donor & going through a cycle can be so difficult that it’s nice to have a nurse with kind bedside manner or a case manager who understands what you’re going through. i always feel that i am [luckily] provided with these things when i am in the throes of stimming and just about ready to call it a day. i couldn’t be a donor if this weren’t the case. many thanks to the people who make these experiences so special. xx

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recipe courtesy of — love & olive oil.

fiftieth.

i was not at all pleased with the recipe i used for these vanilla bean cupcakes [so please forgive the fact that i’m not sharing it. it’s terrible]. i found it on a random blog, last-minute when i needed to throw cupcakes together quickly for my mother’s 50th birthday party.

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the cupcakes didn’t rise like they should have, even though i used a high-altitude recipe. i think the frosting completely killed them in the end because i did not use my usual buttercream recipe. i made a shortening frosting. nobody complained. but i think they were being nice. i know a bad cupcake when i taste one.

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i wish i would have planned a little bit more & tried harder at making her something nicer. just weeks prior, i had spent so much time making cupcakes & a cake for her grad party. . . .and then during her birthday week, i had really started to delve into this egg donation cycle that’s going on right now so i was completely drained.

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we had three birthdays back to back within three days, a fourth the week prior & i had a lot going on at work.

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i suppose i’m allowed to half-ass a recipe every once in a great while since that never, eveeerrr happens.

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i can’t believe my mum turned 50. it’s weird.

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staples.

i know this has already been posted twice before.

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but it’s a staple in my recipe book.

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for my mother’s grad party, i made her a victoria sponge cake [which can be found here — https://countrybumpkin.me/2015/05/13/victoria-sponge/] as well as carrot cupcakes.

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her party was so lovely.

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it had been raining for nearly a week straight. the kind of cold, sad rain that causes you to look out the window for hours after all of the indoor work has been done. she made large pots of red chili for everyone & the spread was fantastic. it was nice to be warmed by family [some from out-of-town & rarely seen], friends & a hot meal while celebrating.

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nick & i had to work full shifts that day. him at a new hospital over forty-five minutes from home. i arrived home a bit sooner than he did & tried to prep everything. however, we were still an hour late to the party & the transportation of the cupcakes and cake were tricky. . . .as it always is.

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eva had a lot of fun putting bows in boys hair.

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and climbing on people as if they were jungle gyms.

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vanilla cupcakes.

this recipe, as well as the easter fudge i posted yesterday, are courtesy of jane @ http://janespatisserie.com/.

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although we don’t celebrate easter, i thought it would be fun to get the kids in the kitchen with me to help bake treats.

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as this was my first attempt at using tip #233 — they turned out fairly rough.

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this vanilla cake recipe is unlike any other i have used. the consistency of the cake is spongy & full of flavor. it will definitely be bookmarked as a staple in my recipe book. the only struggle i dealt with was the high-altitude where i live. often times, i add a few additional tablespoons of flour to recipes to help avoid issues with rising while baking. i didn’t want to do that with these because sometimes when i add flour, it makes things dry. i wanted these just as they were meant to be. because i didn’t adjust the recipe for high-alt, the centers of the cupcakes dipped in a bit. they were cooked thoroughly & it did not particularly matter as i filled the fallen tops in with frosting. & they tasted delicious all the same.

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lemon cupcakes.

yet another birthday & here i am, baking. if i said that there were six in march. . . .i was mistaken. there are seven. it’s pure insanity.

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lemon cupcakes with strawberry buttercream | http://www.bakedperfection.com/2012/03/lemon-cupcakes-with-strawberry-frosting.html

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i sort of cheated. . . .i doubled-up & made these for two birthdays at once. my sister & one of my best friends are only four days apart and i needed the cakes sometime in between each birthday so it worked out perfectly. i made 1.5 of the cake recipe, doubled the frosting and split them in half for the separate events.

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carrot cupcakes.

i made these for a special birthday. & also for our new neighbors that moved in several weeks ago.

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i like to welcome new neighbors in our subdivision. . . .with baskets full of scrubs & soups & baked goodies. only, it usually ends with them staring at me with a dumbfounded look on their face. like i’m an alien. because people no longer do this simple gesture. a gesture that says ‘hey, glad to see some new faces. we. . . .us. . . .we’re your new neighbors as well & we’ll be over here if you ever need anything.’

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i took my favourite carrot cake recipe & made cupcakes with it instead of a cake. i think the carrot cake recipe is already listed in a previous post from last year but i’m going to reference it below anyway. it really is the absolute best. frosting & all.

carrot cakehttp://bekicookscakesblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting.html