Sunday, February 09, 2014

High Flow Paint, Morro Bay, Snickerdoodle Cupcakes and a Sunny Day, Finally (+ a Recipe and a Video)

(Some people like the way I write my notes, so I thought you might like a peak,too. I love the travel journals that some people create when they do quick watercolor and marker sketches. Someday I would like to do that, too.)

Saturday was a glorious, sunny and beautiful day. It was such a nice change from the snowy, grey days that we have had all week. I like those days, too, but I am certainly tired of the cold. It was a good day to get outside and let our bodies create a little vitamin D. I was not outside as much as I would have liked, but I did have a good time. I went up to the Meininger's (art store) in Boulder for a lecture on the new High Flow paints by Golden Acrylic, my favorite paint company. I am pretty excited about this new product as it can be thinned and used as ink with a dip pen or put straight into an empty paint marker. This means that there are many more colors available for some of those projects that I love. As always, we were gifted with a goodie bag of product samples, including hot pink high flow paint. It may have to make its way onto some Valentine's Day cards, should I find the time to make them.

I also stopped by Fabricate to get a bit more fabric for the Charlie Harper table runner I want to make, though my sewing machine is currently in the shop. The colors are more fall like, so I may have to design another project to usher in spring. I was tempted by many of the other prints they had, but practiced restraint.

Ethan and the boat crews have been in Morro Bay for the last two days. The folks in Morro Bay were very welcoming. The people at the yacht club invited the crews from both ships over to the club for a drink and some chatting. A hotel in town also gave them a room to use during their stay. Simple gestures like that make such a difference, making the crews feel welcome and appreciated. It is not like that in every town. Ethan says that Morro Bay is very lovely and that he would like to go back to visit in a more leisurely fashion some time.

It was a bit late in the evening because the crew had been out to the movies to see, "The Monument Men." The movie theater was a old style with only one theater where you could also see the rafters. I think it was nice to go in town and do something. The crew that Ethan is on is very stressed at they are short by about 25%, needing a crew of 20-25, and having only about 15. Thus, there is not much of a chance to forge friendships. By the time the work is done, everyone is tired. The crew on The Lady is full and much more jovial. Ethan is not sure if that is simply the difference in the personalities of the ships, or the crew numbers.
Morro Bay

Ethan is working hard and sometimes he feels like he makes mistakes. We reminded him that this is part of learning, afterall, this is his first try at sailing. Yesterday he learned that he was not fully understanding some of the sailor specific language. Someone explained some of the terms to him today and that cleared things up.

"Do it better" or "Do it handsomely" means that you need to do the task a bit faster, even if the quality is a bit lower. He thought that maybe he was not doing it very well.
"It's well" means that you have done a good job and the task is finished. That can be easily confused to mean that the job is okay, and nothing better.
"DSU" stands for Destitute Sailor's Union, the code word for the tips that the crew receives, which in the case of the Hawaiian Chieftan and the Lady Washington, will be used for something the crews will enjoy, such as a nice dinner in a restaurant. (I'm sure Rosie appreciates having a chance to not have to make that meal. it means an extra break for her especially.)
(If you'd like to learn more, I found this great blog, "Pauline's Pirates and Privateers." Be sure to notice the super fun ship lamp and knitted sea creatures. If my boy was still little, I would want to make these for him.)
Morro Bay by Jimkv

Friday's 14 Days of Valentine gift for Kohlton from Ellie was snickerdoodle cupcakes. They smelled heavenly. Kohlton thought they were very yummy. He told me that he thinks she is so clever and creative. He loves getting the gifts and seeing what wonderful ideas that she comes up with. In two years she has not repeated any idea.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
via: Sally's Baking Addition: A Sprinkle of Fun and Adventure


1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
3/4 cup (180ml) milk*
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) salted or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3-4 cups (360-480g) confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt, to taste
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
12 snickerdoodle cookies, mini size (read above for how to make them mini-sized)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in 1 cup of sugar - mixture will be gritty. Stir in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together. Set aside. Spoon 2 scant Tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner. Top with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top with 1 heaping Tablespoon of cupcake batter, until the cupcake tins are about 3/4 full. Some of the cinnamon-sugar filling from the center layer may peek through the top layer of batter. See photo above for a visual. Top each cupcake with 1 teaspoon more of the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the cupcakes for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes (the longer you beat, the creamier the frosting). Add more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if the frosting is too thick. Taste the frosting and add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Remove half of the frosting from the mixing bowl and transfer to a smaller mixing bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

To swirl the frosting, spoon half cinnamon frosting into the piping bag and half vanilla frosting into the piping bag. See above for a visual. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired. I used a Wilton 1M swirl tip. If you do not have a piping bag and tip, simply frost the cupcakes with both the vanilla and cinnamon frostings. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.

Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

*For the yogurt in the cupcakes, you may use plain or vanilla; regular or greek yogurt; any fat content; or even sour cream.

*For the milk in the cupcakes, you may use cow's milk; or soy milk; or almond milk. Vanilla or plain. I prefer using milk with some fat (like 1% or 2%), it makes the cupcakes moister.

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