Monday, April 19, 2010


Last night Casey and I, along with Dearie, went out to the Nielson family's house for dinner. Casey and I were in charge of dessert, and, not having planned ahead, started looking for a recipe with ingredients that we already had. We finally decided to bake some vanilla cupcakes. This is significant because the last two times I have tried to make cupcakes from scratch they have failed miserably. I mean miserably. I don't have pictures, but believe me, they were sunken and exploded and horrendous. Failed baking is not a usual occurrence for me, but after the last two incidents I was starting to lose faith in my baking skills. However, seeing as we had a limited repertoire of ingredients, we decided to make these. I don't know what it was (probably Casey helping me, it seems like anything he touches is a spectacular success), but these cupcakes were wonderful! We didn't have any form of chocolate to make chocolate frosting, so Casey used his resourcefulness and used hot chocolate mix. It worked just great, but I think traditional frosting would probably be best. Here's the recipe (they're really good), and some pictures.

Vanilla Cupcakes from Martha Stewart
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; scrape down bowl, and beat in vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, about three-quarters full each. Bake until golden and tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool completely.

I was very proud. (Casey said that failed baking isn't even an option for him, so I guess it wasn't that exciting for him.) Moral of the story: Never give up, but if what you're doing isn't working, maybe ask for help.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Ball of a Time

Last night at 8 pm mountain standard time, we officially attended our very first ball. The BYU Traditions Ball is an event that the Student Alumni Association sponsors every year and after seeing all of the advertisements on campus for the last few weeks, we decided to go. It was pretty fun. There was a live orchestra, and we danced for quite a while. Unfortunately for Katalyn, my dance 180 skills have all but disappeared, but they did have a little dance instruction thing which helped me to remember at least a few basic waltz steps. I think Katalyn got tired of waiting for them to play a sing that I could dance to without looking stupid, so she went and requested a waltz.

Our friends the Jones' were also in attendance, and it was very fun to see them.

Basically, we had a great time getting all dressed up and dancing the night away, so we feel that it was a pretty successful first ball.