"Hey. What are you doing?" Husband asked me, slightly testily.
I gave him a blank stare and said, "Huh?"
"Put the phone away. How often do we have sweet moments like this together as a family?" he reprimanded me.
I reluctantly put my phone away mid-email and sat fuming at his command. I thought of all the many many times I sat driving the kids in the car and how I never thought any of those moments were ever sweet. (Usually there is fighting and yelling about something.) But somehow, in the peace of the night, with the beautiful crescent moon and Husband driving, it was just that - sweet.
Even as I type this post, I'm having another sweet moment with Son, who decided to wake up early and spend time with his madly typing mom. He agreed to sit quietly next to me as I blogged, while listening to his favorite praise song "Blessed Be Your Name" and kept a good running conversation with me about the things that are important to him. Normally I like to blog and type alone, late at night, but having Son as a companion and a conversationalist next to me turned out to be another sweet sweet moment.
So I'm trying harder to look at the teeny tiny moments of sweetness, and to not get caught up in the madness I normally do. I'm trying to slow down, appreciate Son and Daughters where they are right now, instead of always trying to figure out where I hope that there will be. Instead of dreading their moment of waking up (which I hear right now), I'll look forward to the sound of their sweet voices getting up in the morning.
These cupcakes are the perfect small appreciation of the sweetness of daily life. The strawberry frosting paired with the velvet cake is a delicious combination, that reminds me to stop, and just appreciate all that is going on around me.
**Notes - this are the freeze dried strawberries I used for the frosting. Do not pulverize them too much ahead of time as they will do their best to soak up the moisture in the air. Pulverize right before adding to the frosting.
Chocolate Velvet Strawberry Cupcakes
Makes 24 regular sized cupcakes
The Velvet Cupcake
1½ sticks of butter (12 tablespoons), room temperature
1½ cup of sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special dark for a rich color)
2¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1½ cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. In the large bowl of a mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and make sure the egg is well incorporated.
In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In bowl, or large measuring cup, mix vanilla extract, white vinegar, and buttermilk. Set aside.
To your butter sugar mixture, add half of the flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat again until just combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat, and then add the rest of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined. Do not over mix. Use a spatula and some elbow grease for the last stage of mixing.
Scoop cupcake batter into pans. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until centers spring back lightly when pushed. Remover from oven, and allow to cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 30 cupcakes
1 cup of butter, softened
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
1.2 oz (34 grams) freeze dried strawberries, pulverized in a mini food processor
5-6 cups of confectioners sugar
In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add pulverized strawberries. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. 2 more cups of sugar. Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost cake.