Well, lo and behold, I was “blessed” with another snow day yesterday when the county miraculously decided to close schools yesterday, as my friend put it, “before 4:30 AM!”  :)  I tried not to push myself too hard.  After all, if I have to make up President’s Day (boooo), I might as well enjoy my time now, y’know?  Thank you all for your kind words and advice.  I’m still an inexperienced young’un, after all.  To give you some perspective, let’s just say that I can’t even drive yet (legally) in the U.S. of A, and that I get up at 5 AM each morning to ride a big yellow school bus for almost two hours to my school.  Oh, the joy of magnet schools.  It’s so much easier to sleep on a bus though, y’know?  Plus, everyone’s exhausted, so the entire bus is pretty much silent at least half of the ride.  I cuddle up by the window with my fluffy hood on, plugged into my iPod, wrapped in a fuzzy scarf, heater on full blast… you get the idea.  :]   

I haven’t been talking much about f-o-o-d lately.  I miss food.  It was my sister’s eighth birthday today (time flies!), and as homemade gifts, especially if they’re edible, are the sweetest, I baked up a batch of muffins for her.  :)  If Mother won’t let me see a movie with my friends (“Dear John,” though I heard it wasn’t that great anyway), then I’ll seize the day by baking!  Yes!  Snowy days = baking anyway, right?  ;) 

I was actually planning on making some tropical fudge things at first.  These babies were going to be a tropical explosion with pineapple, guava, dates, and the last of my butter-toffee almonds.  Whipping out the ingredients and my just-received blender…’

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Mmmm.  However, disaster struck as soon as the ingredients hit the blender.

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My blender started to burn hotter than the Caribbean sun.  It began exuding that awful burning plastic-stench and, sadly, I knew I had to turn it off.  Since dried pineapple made up the majority of the fruit, the mixture lacked the moisture needed to… well, not kill my blender.  But I knew I couldn’t stop there.  I knew I couldn’t waste the pictures I took of the ingredients together.  And plus, I didn’t have anything else to give to my sister.  So the adventure continued…

I gave my sis a choice between a cake or muffins, and she chose muffins.  Muffins it was.  Remembering my first cake, I decided to soak the remaining tropical-fail mixture in hot water to soften up for incorporation into muffin batter.  And as the fruit softened up, it came to me.

candice’s stream of consciousness:
softened fruit –> moisture –> blender won’t die –> let’s blend into mush! –> muffin surprise filling!

I didn’t take any pictures of the mushy tropical mixture, as it pretty much looked like barf, but that’s beside the point.  I’ll shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

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Put it in the oven…

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et voila!  Warm, toasty, the teensiest bit of “healthy”-tasting muffins with a top secret, sweet-sour filling.  ;)

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Because it is every eight-year-old’s dream to frost their own cupcakes, I figured that muffins were close enough to cupcakes, and that marshmallow creme was close enough to frosting.  I let my sister decorate her muffins with an eclectic mix of random foods that I use in yogurt or cereal, like pumpkin spice granola, grain-sweetened chocolate chips, and star anise wafers.

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Oh, and holiday sprinkles.

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So random, but so good!

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She loved ‘em.  :)

The recipe for these tropical cardamom muffins is here, if you’re interested.  I’ll probably do even MORE baking tomorrow for my friend’s birthday on the 9th.  And then more for my other friend’s birthday on the 16th.  And then more for mine not long after that… wow.  Hopefully, I’ll be lucky enough not to start with a failure next time.  I plan on baking cookies sometime, Sarah.  :D

After dinner in the dark (my sister’s idea… who knows what she’s thinking), there was german chocolate birthday cake.  My sister was originally supposed to have a party today, but it had to be postponed until next week since we were smacked down with a blizzard.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend next week, as on (most of) Friday and Saturday I’ll be in…

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK!

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:D 

Q1: Any culinary trash –> worthy of critics’ cash stories out there?  Yes, I made it rhyme on purpose.  ;)

Have a great evening, loves!