Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Blooming Daffodils in my Garden

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tale Tuesday: Fade Away Part 6 aka A Tale of Two Zombies

Seth suddenly turned around to look out the window as if he'd just remembered something important.  Outside, on the sidewalk, he could see Vanessa talking to Beth, the waitress.  He turned partially toward Lyn, saying "I'll be right back" over his shoulder while heading toward the door.  Once outside, he was so nervous he almost walked right past Vanessa.

She suddenly noticed him and asked, "Are you leaving?"

Seth replied, shyly and hesitantly, "No.  I, uh, wanted to talk to you for a minute."

"Oh." Vanessa added, "About what?"

Seth looked at Beth, hesitated, then continued, "Are you doing anything tomorrow night?"

Vanessa smiled expectantly, "No.  Why?"

"Would you like to get together?"

Vanessa replied enthusiastically, "Sure!  How about if I meet you here at 7:00 and we'll decide what we feel like doing then?"

Seth smiled shyly, seemed relieved, and giggled a bit as he said, "Okay.  Great!  See you tomorrow night at 7:00.  Well, I should head back in."

Vanessa smiled and waved, "Okay.  See you tomorrow."

As Seth turns to walk back inside, Lyn watches Vanessa giggling as she continues her animated conversation with Beth.   Seth walks back to the table, feeling incredibly pleased with himself.  As he approaches the table, Lyn smiles knowingly and says, "It looks like you had a good conversation." 

"Yeah." Seth replied while beaming.

"I'm glad you met someone."

"We'll see," he said hesitantly.

"I have to admit I'm a bit jealous."

Slightly surprised, "Why?"  Seth asked.

"If you two start dating, you two will forget all about friends like me," Lyn explained while smiling.

"Nah."

"You say that now..."

"Yeah, yeah," Seth said while trying hard not to laugh.  "You'll meet someone soon. Everything always seems to work out for you."

"You mean, except for turning into a zombie?  Normally I'd agree with you.  Right now, not so much."  She smiled, then added, "At least being a single zombie is easier when I have friends like you."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Meals with Mincie: Huckleberry Dessert

While huckleberries can be obtained elsewhere, those that grow wild in the forests of Washington state hold a special appeal.  Perhaps it's the thrill of the hunt, gathering them by hand, and the feeling of connection with those who picked them before us.  Perhaps it's the fond memories of picking expeditions in years past, but for me, it's the delicious dessert Mincie made for Easter each year, simply called Huckleberry Dessert.

After moving to Washington state, each August, when the huckleberries were ripe, Mincie and her family would make a trek to the mountains to gather huckleberries.  They would be carefully transported home and some were made into huckleberry pie while the rest were washed and frozen and saved for future pies, syrup, or hucklebery dessert.

Each year Mincie's family would gather on the Saturday before Easter to celebrate the holiday.  It was often the first cookout of the season, with grilled burgers, potato salad, lime jello salad, and pineapple grape koolaid becoming the traditional meal.  Easter egg hunts, using real boiled and colored eggs, were also part of the tradition.  Mincie's grown sons would hide eggs for the younger children to find and in later years as the younger children grew, they would also hide eggs for Mincie's grown sons to find.  After a rousing, competitive round of egg hunting, the family would enjoy the refreshing and deliciously sinful dessert known simply as Huckleberry Dessert.

Huckleberry Dessert
Ingredients:
1 small box of vanilla wafers
2 T brown sugar
2 T butter
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
lemon juice
1 T vanilla
2 C. berries (blueberries may be used in place of huckleberries)
cornstarch
1 stick of butter
2 C. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. chopped nuts

First Step:  
1) Crush one small box vanilla wafers (Reserve 1/4 box for topping)

2) Mix 2 T each of brown sugar and butter and combine with vanilla wafer crumbs.

3) Mix and press into 9"X13" baking dish.
Second Step:
1) Whip 8 oz. of cream cheese until fluffy.

2) Gradually add 1 can of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk

3) Continue beating until well blended.

4) Add 1/3 C. lemon juice and 1 T vanilla.  Mix well.

5) Pour over crumbs and chill for one hour.
Third Step:
1 c. sugar
2/3 C. water
2 T cornstarch (4 if the berries are frozen)
1/2 C. berries
1 1/2 T butter
1 T lemon juice

1) Combine the above ingredients and cook the mixture until thick.  Cool, then add the remaining 1 1/2 C. of berries.

2) Pour the mixture with the berries added over the cream cheese mixture.

Fourth Step:
1) Cream 1 C. butter

2) Add below ingredients and beat well after adding each ingredient:

2 C. powdered sugar
2 eggs, one at a time
2 T. lemon juice

3) Once the above ingredients are thoroughly mixed, pour over the berry mixture.

Fifth Step:
1) Whip 1 C. whipping cream (unsweetened)

2) Spread it over the dessert

3) Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs & 1/2 C. chopped nuts.

4) Refrigerate for 2 hours (You can make it 2 or 3 days ahead. Stores well in refrigerator)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Form Friday: Art is Alive and Other Upcoming Shows


If you're in the Canton, Ohio area stop by and see me, along with 85+ other artisans at ArtisAlive.  As if the chance to see all of us live and purchase our phenomenal wares in person isn't enough incentive, we'll all be in costume and there will be food, drink, and entertainment throughout the event as well.

The Cultural Center for the Arts

1001 Market Avenue North
Canton, Ohio 44702


Friday, April 9 from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ArtisAlive is sponsored by ArtsinStark in cooperation with The Canton Museum of Art.

Tomorrow, if you're in the Pittsburgh, PA area, you can stop by the craft show at Arrowood at Southwestern.  Located at 500 North Lewis Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15122 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

I will also be able to be found at the Lawrenceville Little Flea beginning April 3rd.   More details on this event will be covered in next Friday's post.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thinking Green: Think Geek Delivers


Think Geek is one of my favorite companies with many items that are right in my strike zone. I ordered the Tee above for my husband and the one below for me.  I just ordered them two days ago and they arrived today.  Quick and cool.  Gotta love it!  Where's the green tie in, you ask?  Today, instead of an eco angle to my post, I'm going with the color for my theme and my lovely zombie Tee has a decidely green tone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tale Tuesday: Part 5 Fade Away aka A Tale of Two Zombies

"Yeah, Yeah."  Seth said, trying to ignore Lyn's last comment.  "Seriously, if I like someone well enough to date them and a relationship doesn't work out, I still want them in my life."

"I feel the same way, but if the relationship was serious, it's much harder to be friends afterwards", Lyn added.  "When a serious relationship ends, we've usually tried so hard to make it work that by the time we give it up, neither one of us wants to spend time with the other one."

"Exactly!" Vanessa said as if Lyn had summed it up perfectly.  "Besides, I don't want to be around a constant reminder that I made a mistake."

Lyn smirked as she replied, "Do you know what Oscar Wilde said about that? 'Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.'  I prefer to look at it that way."

"Well, I have a lot of experience then", Seth said while trying not to laugh.

Lyn turns to Vanessa, "I noticed you have a bit of an accent.  You didn't grow up around here, did you?"

Vanessa smiles as if she's internally laughing at a private joke before replying, "Czech Republic." She paused for effect before continuing, "Actually, I grew up in Georgia.  I moved here to get a fresh start.  Too bad I didn't know then just how much things would change."

"Do you still work?"  Seth asked.

"Yeah, but it's getting harder.  I work as a receptionist at the front desk of a hotel.  It was never what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but now..." she trailed off, then continued, "It pays the rent.  For now.  You should see the looks I get from the customers, though."

Lyn nodded, "I know what you mean!  My job's not what I wanted to be doing forever, either, but at least I like my coworkers.  I'm in an office, though, so it's easier to blend in."

"Yeah, you blend," Seth interrupted.

"Funny!" she replied to Seth, then turned back to Vanessa.  "What do you really want to do?"

"You mean, what did I want to be when I grew up?" Vanessa answered, smirking.  "I wanted to be a writer.  Right now, I mainly write poetry."

Excitedly, Lyn replies, "So do I!  I read mine during the poetry slams here at the Zombie Zone.  You should come with me sometime."

"Zombie Zone?" Vanessa asked, as if she was terribly confused.

"Oh.  Sorry. It's how we've started referring to this place since it's one of the few places we can come without getting hassled," Lyn explained.
"Ah.  Makes sense.  The poetry slam sounds fun.  Sure, why not?"

"It will be fun!  You know what they say about us undead girls, right?"

"Undead girls just want to have fun?"

"You got it!"

"Can I come?"  Seth asked.  "I'd love to hear some of your poems!" 

Vanessa, slightly distant, looks at her watch.  "Sure, uh, yeah.  It's late.  I should go," she says as she stands to leave.  "Nice officially meeting you two.  I'm sure I'll see you around."

Seth quickly replies, "Well, this is pretty much our hang-out.  At least here they don't care what we look like or how much we've deteriorated."

"Always a plus," Vanessa adds, slightly amused.  "It's mine too.  See ya," she waves over her shoulder as she leaves.

"I hope we see her again," Lyn said.

"I could get very used to that." Seth quickly replied.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meals with Mincie: Chicken Salad at the Cascade Room

The Cascade Room at The Bon Marche was a favorite lunch stop during shopping trips to the Yakima Mall.  It was a wonderful shopping respite, with its white tablecloths, impeccable service, and slightly upscale menu.  Mincie would usually order the chicken salad but rarely made it for herself at home.  Apparently it was a special treat reserved for shopping trips.  When I accompanied her on these trips, I'd often order anything but the chicken salad until I was older and decided to try it for myself.  Once I did, I understood why she always ordered it.  Sadly, neither the Bon Marche nor the Cascade Room exists anywhere other than in my memory, but the following chicken salad recipe is as close as I've been able to come to their recipe and elicits fond memories.

Chicken Salad
1/4 cored red apple, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/8 cup sliced walla walla sweet onion (or other sweet white onion)
3/4 cup cooked chicken
2 Tablespoons walnuts
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1)  Chop apple, onion, chicken, and walnuts into small pieces.
2)  Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir until well-blended.
3)  Spread on toasted multi-grain bread and enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Form Friday: Zombies on my Brain Result in a New Project in Process

Many of you who know me well, know I frequently have zombies on my brain.  I'm not referring to zombies literally eating my brain (though I do feel that way before my morning coffee), but rather that I spend a substantial amount of time thinking about them and creating zombie themed projects.

I spent my Thursday evening helping my (almost) 9 year old paint planets for his science project which was due today and which he'd conveniently forgotten about until yesterday.  Since I had all my paints out, I decided it was time to drag a Barbie doll or two out of my basement studio and transform her into a zombie, a project I've been planning for almost two years now, but never attempted.  I have a bin full of assorted Barbies that I've rescued from thrift stores on various shopping trips.  When I pulled the first Barbie out of the bin I discovered that mice had nibbled on various parts of the dolls.  While I must admit I was initially bugged, I decided to work with what they'd left me and consider the chew marks as zombie bites.  Sure, I have zombie mice in my basement.  Don't you?  :  )

Initially, I painted her with leftovers that we'd mixed to paint a planet with, but once she dried, decided she needed more green mixed in with the grey, so I've since repainted her with a newly mixed, slightly more green shade.  I also need a slightly finer paint brush than the one I have to paint her face.  Then, while I like the way her wounds look, think they need to be a deeper red, so will be working on that next.

All in all, I'm happy with the progress so far and am excited to see how she'll look when finished, after I give her a couple more wounds and gashes and whatever else comes to mind as I complete her.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on the process so far.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Thinking Green : Plastic Bag Flower Tutorial



With spring on the way, and several lovely, warm, sunny days in a row here in the Pittsburgh area, I just can't stop thinking about flowers and different ways to create them.  It's a bit early to plant flowers here, but I figured if I can't have them blooming in my garden, I can create blooms and put them on anything I choose.  I began my experimenting this morning by attempting to create flowers out of fused plastic bags but couldn't quite achieve any results the perfectionist in me was happy with.  Instead, I decided to turn to Google to see what others had created and posted.  I came across a tutorial for simple flowers made from a single plastic bag and modified the idea to make my own.  On instructables.com I also found a tutorial for lovely, but more elaborate, plastic bag flowers.

For mine, I made it as follows:

1)  Smooth out a plastic grocery bag, then fold it in half lengthwise, then in half again and continue this process until it is about an inch wide.  Then, fold it in half, end to end.

2)  Wrap a rubber band around it, about halfway down from the solid end (shown on the left side of the picture above) for a larger flower and about one third of the distance from the solid end for the smaller flower. 

3)  Cut off the solid end using a pair of scissors.


4) Pull apart the different layers and fluff them out until you're happy with your flower.

5) Use the long pieces of bag to tie the flowers onto your wrist, chair backs, cabinet doors, or fold over and place in a teacup, vase, or other container.  You  could also trim the ends off depending on how you want to use your flower.

Personally, I was happiest with the results from the smaller flower, but people's tastes vary, so I'm including both versions here.  Also, my method produces a double flower.  Later, I'll play around with this and attempt a single flower.
Large flower in a teacup
Small flower as a wrist corsage
Small flower tied to the back of a chair

What other uses can you think of for these?  Have you made something similar?  Thoughts or comments on the tutorial?  I'd love to hear your ideas and see your comments.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Meals With Mincie: Texas Sheet Cake

This large, delicious chocolate sheet cake was always a favorite whenever Mincie made it.  When I was in college, the iced brownies sold in the cafeteria were a close second.

Texas Sheet Cake
Mix and bring to a boil, then let cool:
1 cup oil
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons cocoa

Mix together and set aside:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat:
2 eggs

Add:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add flour mixture (first) and cocoa mixture alternately to egg mixture, beating after each addition.

Bake in a jelly roll pan at 350 for 25-30 min.

FROSTING:

Pour on cake while hot. Mix in saucepan to be added while cake is hot from oven.

Bring to boil:
3/4 stick butter
2 Tablespoons cocoa
4-1/2 Tablespoons milk

Add:
2 cups pwd sugar (or more to make right consistency)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoons salt

Beat for several minutes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Free Form Friday: Steel Town Etsy Team and a St. Patrick's Day Promo Sale

The Etsy Pittsburgh Team decided they needed a fresh start for a new year, so the few of us that were still active started the Steel Town Etsy team with a fresh attitude and shared responsibility for all the admin tasks that accompany being part of a team.  The number of new members has been wonderfully surprising, and many new networking connections and friendships are already forming.  We've had a couple of crafty chatty meetups already, the first of which was an impromptu gathering at a Starbucks in Squirrel Hill that started as a comment in one of our discussion threads on our Ning group.  The second was a planned meetup for dinner, drinks, and discussion at the Double Wide Grill on the Southside.

14 of our members came to the Double Wide Grill and all enjoyed a wonderful time getting to know each other better, or meeting in person for the first time.  For those of us who enjoy being creative, it's truly invigorating to be able to surround ourselves with other creative people.  Networking with each other and helping support each other in our crafty business endeavors, even inspiring and motivating each other, has already been a wonderful side effect of the new member growth explosion currently happening within our new Steel Town team.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the Steel Town Etsy team is having a 20% off promo sale in all participating shops, beginning Sunday March 14th and running through Saturday, March 20th.  Visit our blog or team shop for a list of participating shops, then find the hidden shamrock, convo the seller letting them know where you found the shamrock and which item(s) you'd like to purchase, then they'll create a special listing just for you, complete with a 20% discount.  Enjoy your handmade treasure hunt and may your St. Patty's Day be a happy one!
More pictures from the STE meetup are on their Facebook fan page.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Meals with Mincie: Mad Scientist Moment in the Kitchen


When they were growing up, Mincie allowed her grandchildren to explore their creativity without ever telling then their ideas were crazy, even when they were.  My inner mini mad scientist would surface in her kitchen occasionally and while she'd ask questions to see what I was planning, she let me fail all by myself.  The most memorable of these failures is when I decided to use some of her extra pie dough to make a tart with a giant pixie stick for the filling.  While the inside of the pixie stick would have been arguably edible, for some inexplicable reason I thought cutting the large, striped, plastic tube into inch long pieces would make a delightful filling.  Needless to say, when it came out of the oven it was nothing but a lump of dough imbedded with molten melted plastic.   I don't remember her saying a single word as I sadly disposed of my failed creation.  She didn't need to, though, as I'd learned that not all ideas that exist in my imagination turn out as well in reality, but that sometimes you don't know how something will turn out if you don't try.

For today's mad scientist kitchen experiment, I modified the Black Bottom Cupcakes to create "Bloody Black Bottom Cupcakes" by adding red food coloring to the cream cheese filling prior to baking.  The mini cupcakes only take 10 minutes to bake and are as delicious as they are macabre.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Free Form Friday: The Eagerly Anticipated Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton...


Many of you already know that I'm a huge Tim Burton fan.  I honestly don't think I've ever seen anything by him that I didn't like.  After what has seemed like an eternity of anticipation, his version of Alice in Wonderland finally opened today.  While I'd love to have been able to rush to the nearest theatre for the first showing today, my schedule will not allow me to see it until tomorrow night.  I suppose after waiting this long, one more night isn't all that long in the infinite scheme of things.

One of the many reasons I love Alice in Wonderland is that the characters so cleverly represent different personality types and many worthwhile lessons are contained within the pages of the stories.  There's even a quiz on Facebook right now to determine which character best represents you.  According to the quiz, I would be the Cheshire Cat.  The results describe me as follows: "You're witty and humorous, almost creepy. You like playing pranks and watching mischief unfold. You appear at the seemingly right times only to cause problems. But still, you're funny and intelligent. You're the perfect ironic mischief to Alice's dreamy illusions."

The world of Wonderland is most definitely strange and unusual which makes it the perfect subject matter for a Tim Burton movie.  I came across an interesting blog post today entitled "Lessons From Alice in Wonderland" that perfectly complemented by thoughts.

I'd love to read your comments about why you like Alice in Wonderland, what lessons you've learned from it, which character you're most like/identify with, or anything else you'd care to share.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tale Tuesday: Fade Away Part 4 aka A Tale of Two Zombies

As she walked along the dark sidewalk, illuminated sporadically by street lights, her stride became hypnotic and she found herself in a reflective state of mind.  She wondered to herself how long it had been since she'd been outside her apartment during the day.  The first time she'd ventured out in her current condition, ignorant "norms", as she liked to call them, cringed as she passed.  The look of pure terror in their eyes and revulsion on their faces was not one she could purge from her memory.  She decided it was best to veil herself in darkness to avoid these encounters.  Her condition was much less noticeable by moonlight and she could almost pass as normal.  Funny thing is, she thought, I never really thought of myself as normal anyway.  I'd rather be a freak, than a norm any day.  But, seriously, why can't freaks and norms just get along?

People tend to fear what they don't understand.   This seemed to be especially true of the H2N2 virus.  Once contracted, the victim appeared to be dead - they had no breath, their pulse became nonexistant, blood no longer flowed through their veins, and they lost the ability to heal.  However, unlike a steadily decaying corpse, they appeared to be in a state of suspended animation yet needed to feed to survive.  She laughed to herself as she realized the need to feed made her sound like a terrifying monster with a hunger for flesh, even though any meat, animal or human, would immediately thrust her into a state of decomposition.  How ironic, she thought, that corporations had invested so much funding, and scientists had expended so much effort, to genetically engineer produce and livestock to maximize profitability, and now, virtually no one would purchase anything with the GE label.  Many cited rampant genetic engineering as the cause for the plague, though no one had been able to prove anything concrete with regard to the origination of this new mutated virus.  Even still, she'd started seeing grafitti around the city with the phrase "GE - we bring dead things to life" spray painted on numerous smooth surfaces.  She wondered to herself when that particular abbreviation had come to be affiliated with genetic engineering rather than with the company that made numerous small household appliances, then quickly dismissed it as she realized she'd reached her destination.

As she walked through the door of the neighborhood bar that had become the local zombie hangout, she saw Seth, already seated, at their usual table and noticed that his skin seemed to have a bit more of a corpse-like pallor than it had when she'd seen him last, just a week ago.  She convinced herself that it must just be her imagination.  Anything else was unthinkable.  Just as she settled in at the table across from Seth, one of the young women from the drink throwing incident, as Lyn and Seth referred to the event from the prior week, begins to walk past them and suddenly stops.  She looks at them inquisitively, "Hey, weren't ya'll in here last Friday night?"

Seth smiles and nods shyly as Lyn replies, "Afraid so.  How is your friend feeling?"

"Much better now," she answered.

Lyn smirked as she answered, "Good.  Glad to hear it!"

She thrust her hand forward. "Hi, I'm Vanessa."

Lyn took her hand, shook it, smiling warmly, "Lyn."

She then looked directly at Seth, smiled sweetly, and asked, "Do you have a name?"

He smiled shyly and answered, "Seth."

While Vanessa's attention was focused on Seth, Lyn thought how her petite frame and dark, curly, chin length hair made her look a bit like a pixie.  "Would you like to join us?"

"Sure!" she answered and quickly grabbed a chair from the next table and sat down next to Seth.

Seth turned to her and smiled, "So, I have to ask, does your friend always throw drinks at guys?"

"No.  Not always." she laughed as she added.  "Eric and I were just talking but she thought he was hitting on me."

"Really?" Lyn replied with a sarcastic tone.  "Are they dating?"

"Actually, they're not.  They used to date, but now they're just friends."

"That sounds familiar," she answered while looking at Seth.

"He and I have alot in common, but we're just friends.  He's not really my type.  Funny thing is, the drink she threw at him was mine."

"We kinda caught that," Lyn replied through her laughter.

"I guess she can't handle being friends with him after dating him.  I can't understand why she'd want to.  I'd never do it."

"Why not?" Seth asked, trying to hide his surprise.

"After I break up with someone, the last thing I want to do is spend more time with them," Vanessa answered as if it was obvious.

"I can understand that," Lyn said.  I guess it just depends on how serious the relationship was.  Sorry to change the topic abruptly, but I must know.  Are you a zombie too?"

"I prefer to think of myself as mortally challenged," Vanessa answered as if she'd been slightly offended.

"What's with you two and that phrase?" Lyn asked while looking at Seth.

Vanessa turned to Seth, a bit surprised, "I thought I was the only one who said that!"

"Guess there's at least two of us." Seth answered excitedly.

Lyn tried not to laugh.  "How sweet!  It's a zombie love connection, as if you two were undead for each other.  Sorry, make that a mortally challenged love connection."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Meals with Mincie: Black Bottom Cupcakes

Over the years Mincie would collect many recipes from friends, church potlucks, family, and the occasional newspaper or magazine.  While I'm not certain of the source of the recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes, they made their appearance at some point during my high school years and became a welcome addition to her dessert repertoire.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Cake (mix ingredients together):
1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon vinegar

Topping (mix ingredients together):
1 egg - beaten
6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces chocolate chips

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)  Mix cake ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

3)  Mix topping ingredients together in a seperate bowl.

4)  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill each cup about 1/3 full.

5)  Top each cupcake with about 1 Tablespoon of topping mix.

6)  Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes.  Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7)  Makes about 18 - 24 cupcakes.

Note: the mini cupcakes pictured take only about 10 minutes to bake.

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