Friday, January 12, 2007

Still I Rise . . .Like a Cupcake

Feh, I'm better, thanks. And the CupcakerĂ­a plans are still in the works.

Two nights ago, the oven magically started working again; at least for 20 minutes anyway which was all I needed to finish the Red Velvets, my 3rd attempt thanks to Mr. Grumpy Oven. I did not sample or taste a thing, but worked more from feel and sight. I was a baker that had lost an important sense only to have the other senses heightened. I was like Jedi Baker in training; a master martial arts baker, sniffing the air for the exact amount of ingredients needed or the exact time of readiness. It did feel Next-Level to bake like this. It felt so much more intentional. I was all doing Tai Chi movements to pour soy milk and I sifted the dry ingredients balancing on one foot. I will say it was just as rewarding to complete the cupcakes without eating them.

It turned out, according to my many samplers, that these may have been the best ones ever. By the by, I used beet juice "red" natural food coloring for these. They did not come out the usual red-velvet radioactive red --which I think is a good thing -- but a pretty dark burgundy.


One more cupcake thing, I'm in love with cupcake baker Cheryl Porro over at Cupcake Bakeshop . She is not a vegan baker, but she is so creative and she bakes so beautifully. I'm going to try to convert some of her interesting recipes to vegan versions. Check her out.

I haven't talked about my dogs in a while, which isn't right because we don't do much without them. As Maya says, I have four daughters. Pug quality time includes long conversations --they listen really well -- and intense snuggling sessions and long walks on their double leash and frenzied welcome-homes even if we just went down stairs to throw out the trash. The girls drag them around like the-most-loved stuffed animal in the collection and dress them up in party clothes and now, Mina's new favorite, she puts eye shadow on them. Wherever we are, they are. Tripping us up, pawing at us for yet MORE attention. We just discovered last night that when I do entire scenes from Westside Story for the girls in my An-ee-ta or Mar-ee-a accent, Lupe goes crazy. She tries to paw my face and she squirms around on her back. She couldn't get enough of, TELL ME IT IS NUT TRRUU. PLEESS LET IT NUT BE TRRUU!

Most nights, I chop vegetables for our lunches the next day. Here's a little taste of what life is like with Sisters Pug. This is my view most evenings:
They will eat ANY vegetable and most fruits. They wait and wait for me to throw them something or for something to fall.





Look at Carmen trying to play it off, like she don't care if something gets dropped, but she's all tense and ready to pounce.

I'm under a lot of pressure from them.

Look, they're burning a hole in the cabbage.

Lupe will bite your fingers off for some kale. It's her favorite. Carmen loves cucumber best.
Have a good weekend, mi gente.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who got a bit nervous with the cutting board and knife teetering over those two darlings??? ;)

Melinda said...

Pug love. There's nothing better. For my Frodo, it doesn't even need to be a food product that I'm dangling -- she'll give me that pointed begging stare for a scrap of paper.

michelle/weaker vessel said...

Madness, I don't know if this means anything, but as soon as I read the way you lovingly describe your baking trances, I knew you HAD to pursue it. I had just read the Carl Jung quote: "What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits." You have to do this, girl. It's not going to feel like you're making linear progress all the time, but does anything important work that way?

I'm trying to go around this week and show some love to my favorite bloggeristas. Ever since I started used a feed reader, I've become more of a passive consumer of blogs, rather than a heavy-breathing stalker, so I know I never comment anymore. But I want you to know how much your writing means to me. I love it! And you, and your great family. :::suerte:::

Also, my dog Rooney loves tomatoes.

Anonymous said...

ha! those photos are hilarious...

re: food coloring: thanks for the link earlier.....a few days later i was in a whole foods-type store and happened to see a little jar of natural red food coloring (made with beets)...(there was also red and yellow). i made pink frosting last night, and it really worked! i forget the brand, though.

madness rivera said...

Hey E, was the brand Seelect? That's what I got from the local Wild Oats. Not easy to find in the stores . . .

Anonymous said...

yes!! i just checked....and i got it from wild oats, too (didn't know that chain was in CA)...

andrea said...

vegan red velvet cupcakes? I love you for taking that on. I'll admit, I'm pretty hardcore when it comes to red velvet cake-- as horrible as all the ingredients are, I figure I only make it once a year... and I'm a stickler for tradition, so there you go. but I'd eat red velvet all the time it were healthier. and if anyone could convert me, it'd be you.

I might have a hard time giving up the radioactive red, though. but that's just the crazy person in me talking.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Mad! I hadn't checked in for a few weeks and I want to say I am thrilled with your cupcake bakery idea!!! I'm a major cupcake fan, and indulged in a little cupcake making over the holidays too. But they weren't nearly so fab as yours, and they weren't vegan. We have an awesome cupcake bakery here in Portland called Saint Cupcake; I think it's doing really well. I also think a big part of their business is wedding cakes -- that is, they cater this huge beautiful tiered trays of mixed cupcakes INSTEAD of a wedding cake. I imagine this could be a pretty lucrative addition to a business -- plus, you could start THAT before getting a storefront up and running. Not that I know anything about that kind of business, but it does seem vegan wedding cupcakes could be HOT in LA. In any case, I wish you much luck!!

Laini Taylor said...

P.S. I have new notecards coming out from my "Laini's Ladies" line in a few months, one of which is a lovely lady holding up a cupcake, and it says: "Indulge: Have your cupcake & eat it too." In small letters it says "Deny yourself nothing." Seems esp appropriate for HEALTHY cupcakes!

madness rivera said...

Hi Laini - I can't wait to get some of those cards from you. I love your stuff. I HAVE checked out the Saint Cupcake website. It looks great and I know about them because they are planning to introduce some vegan c.cakes to their selection. Hey, have you gone to Food Fight Groceries?

Andrea et all, I don't think the vegan red velvets (more like burgundy velvets) are that much healthier. Ok, about 70% organic ingredients (in mine), which is good, and no partially hydrogenated shortening -- even better --and no unbleached flour or chemicals or salmonella eggs or curdled milk, but still kinda high in fat and low on true nutritional value. But I'm 100% sold on Vegans Need Decadance Too and Cruelty-Free Yumminess.

acumamakiki said...

I love how attentive your pugs are when it comes to vegetables and yes, I was a little nervous with your knife hovering over their cute pug noses!

I'm so excited for your cupcake venture ~ when I come to LA next, I'm hoping we can find madness cupcakes being sold!

Marigoldie said...

Loved the pug/veg slideshow!

And vegans need decadence too, yes ma'am.

SUEB0B said...

I know how you feel. My oven is straight from hell, parked in a beautiful 1946 OKeefe and Merritt body as it is. The door is loose so the heat stays blasting on and cakes and breads get crispy on the outside before they are done in the middle...I am going to Mom's to bake a birthday cake this afternoon (she doesn't know it yet LOL)

Those dog photos are great. My dear Goldie (Greyhound/Lab) looooves green beans, avocado, banana and especially melon. She will go out of her mind for a piece of canteloupe.

I don't think she would be down for kale, though.

Laume said...

I love the pug update. Those food stares - I know them so well. Rosita Bosita (her new nickname) thinks if she just NEVER LOSES EYE CONTACT with the food, eventually she'll get some of it. And usually she does. But every now and then I forget she's waiting and I eat that last bite and the look of horror and disappointment and sadness on Rosie's face - it's too much. So I don't forget very often. William says I spoil her. Yeah, like I don't spoil him even more!

And Sueb0b - I used to have an OKeefe and Merritt - LOVED that stove. I never should have let my husband talk me into getting rid of it when we couldn't easily find a replacement part. They don't make'em like they used to - I specially loved the built in storage for pots and the middle built in grill. At least I still have a gas stove. I can't abide cooking on electric.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad for the cupcakeria plans still moving forward. i can't wait to mail order a dozen. the frosting peaks are causing me to salivate

Alexandra S said...

Oh my! That cupcake looks totally heavenly! I joke that in my last life I was Queen of a land called Cupcakistan. They are like little two bite parties for the mouth. Yum!

Maddog said...

My last comment didn't see daylight... whatev, as the kids say. My ideas weren't that good.

I offer this, then this vegan is done with this blog silliness: stop making other people's recipes. And, antithetical to the comment-section lovefest, some tough love from Howard Aiken:

“Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.”

Next time, put all your comments up. This will help you get over your fears. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

i am so in love with your posts.
hee.
your dogs are too much.
your cupcakes are making me want to fly out west right NOW.

kick some cupcake arse, sister.