Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Star of the Week - Mina's turn!

First the pictures - here's the star wall, where Mina's pictures are displayed. You may not notice from the angle, but Mina had to share star of the week status with another student who shall go unnamed. Mina was less than thrilled about this, and referred to her as "that girl."

This year, Jeff did the honors at story time. He shared, "Otto Goes to the Beach." Todd Parr is one of my favorite children's authors. I think I was first introduced to him by Jeff's cousin, Amy. I believe she bought Jordan a Todd Parr work called," The Family Book."

"Otto Goes to the Beach," is one of Mina's favorites. It relates the hardships befalling "Poor Otto," as he makes his way, friendless on the beach. Despite the rocky start, he finally finds someone who shares his interests.

It was very amusing having Jordan relinquish the spotlight for Mina's sake. He behaved himself admirably, and I'm proud of him. At one point, he roused the class to recite the author's catchphrase - "Poor Otto," at the conclusion of the page.

Or as he put it, "Can you all say Poor Otto!"

One more attempt at a family picture.

And then, it's time for snack! See post below for details on recipe and such. I departed from my healthy snack attempts and just gave Mina what she really wanted. Pink cupcakes. With lots of sprinkles that she attempted to pick off and eat by hand. Each and every single one.

Yes. Here it is. I made a LOT of them.

The cake recipe is a modified one that uses white Dunkin' Hines cake mix, strawberry gelatin, fresh strawberries chopped up, whole milk, eggs and oil. I know, I'm kind of shuddering too. Look, I went to law school, not Le Cordon Bleu, ok?

The frosting is a glaze that consists of Dunkin' Hines vanilla, with some pink food coloring. You can also use red. I melted it in the microwave until it liquefies a bit. Then I dipped each cupcake into the "glaze." I used an offset spatula to tidy it up a bit. I then used a star-shaped cookie cutter as a stencil. I placed it on top of the cupcake and filled it in with sprinkles. I let it set for a second, then lifted the cookie cutter off. I dipped the bottom of the raspberry into the bowl of glaze so I could use the glaze as a "glue." I then placed the raspberry right in the center of the star. They all held up! The glue trick I made up on the spot. I remember reading somewhere that you could use water on fondant to stick pieces together. So, I thought maybe the glaze would act the same way.

I'm fairly sure I once saw this cookie cutter trick in Martha's mag. Only she used a plastic stencil and some powdered confectioner sugar on a cupcake to create the design. Most excellent! Once you get the hang of it, it's easy.

Before eating, make sure you have the right beverage. Look at Jordan - he's making sure that Mina is using her water bottle and not his. His has a black top. Everything is a competition with these two.

And then, dig in! I ate one last night, and they are very good. Very moist and VERY sweet. With the exception of chocolate, sweets aren't really my thing anymore. But I do like cupcakes. I'm also not ashamed to admit that I love boxed cake mixes. I don't care, I never claimed to be a master baker. I brought enough to share with the teachers, and they went over well. I also sent a batch to work with Jeff, so there are none at home calling my name after the kids go to bed. Those hours between 8 - 12 are lethal for me. It's better to just not have anything tempting at home.

At the end of the day, Mina got her request. The pinkest cupcakes ever.

And we got a chance to celebrate our little star on her special day.
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