My goodness…it’s already New Year’s eve today. As you get older, the quicker the years fly. It’s crazy to think how desperately we wanted the year to pass as children…so school can be over, for freedom in the summer, for our birthday, for Christmas vacation. Ahh…to be young and carefree again. Childhood was fun; childhood was different. I remember how bright colors were, how beautiful the air smelled in the morning. Now do I stop to smell the roses anymore? No! I’m too busy groggily getting in the car, tuning in to Ryan Seacrest, and dreading going to work. I need to do something about that, folks! I need to bring back my childhood and enjoy life again! Okay, I was not expecting to write about such things, so soon. Eek! So anyway…
It’s New Year’s eve today and the weather in Orange County has been lovely since yesterday: it rained! Ahhhh! I am so THANKFUL for any bit of precipitation we get here! I absolutely LOVE the rain, love the cold, love the wind, love the gloom. It’s so beautiful to me. It makes me really happy and it makes me slow down and enjoy the little things when we have rain. Last night we had a chance of storm! Isn’t that cute? What that means here is that we had some wind, which makes Southern Californian folks feel like the world is about to end. I ended up sleeping like a baby last night. It’s a little bit windy right now and we were supposed to get rain today, but alas, that’s not how it works here in Southern California. We’ve had a whole, what, 5 days of rain this year? And when I say rain, I mean a light drizzle or sprinkle. Sometimes if we’re lucky we get medium rain. Whatever, I’ll take anything at this point!
Let’s celebrate the end of 2014 with some almond cupcakes, shall we? Scott was flipping through one of my dessert books (1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & Other Tempting Treats…a book I LOVE) and pointed to a particularly tempting treat: the almond cupcake. It doesn’t disappoint, folks!
SIDE NOTE: Oh, my gosh!!! Talk about the power of positive thinking! Phew, okay…let me regain my composure here. I clicked on another tab right now and ACCIDENTALLY closed THIS page, thinking I had lost everything!! I freaked out, desperately looking for a draft, and it said I had no draft!! So then I said, “okay, you knew this was going to happen, this is your luck, just get to writing all over again. It’s fine.” So having accepted that fact, just as I clicked on the “start a draft” button, I had a message saying that there’s a previous draft saved already and would I like to restore it. Sigh of relief!! I’m so happy it actually saved! Hallelujah!! I would just like to point out that the thoughts I had to myself were negative, but ultimately I found peace with the situation, which then turned into an overall positive experience. I have a tendency to be really negative, but it’s all about genuinely being okay with non ideal situations, accepting that something crummy happened, and being positive after the mishap.
So the point that I’m trying to get to here is that I FINALLY watched The Secret yesterday and it’s things I’ve been trying to work on. It’s about the laws of attraction and what you put out into the world is what you get back. So whenever one bad thing happens to you and it ruins your day, well, your whole day WILL be ruined. But if something bad happens, just brush it off and move on. Then that good energy will make good things happen because you’re being positive! It sounds simple and it sounds silly, but I’m committed to being positive from now on! I don’t want to call it a New Year’s resolution because I never stick to those; it just so happens that I decided this at this time of the year, end of story! Hah! Good things come to you when you’re positive. I can’t wait to share my experiences with this new form of thinking!
Okay, okay, cupcake time!
- 7 tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 4 tbsp light cream (I’ve never seen light cream, so I purchased just “whipping cream” and it worked perfectly. NOT heavy whipping cream, just whipping cream.)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup ground almonds (I crushed them in a ziploc bag)
- 8 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- few drops of almond extract
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then add the almond extract and cream. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold into the batter, then fold in the ground almonds. Spoon the batter into the paper liners.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place the butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the almond extract and beat until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of each cake, using a knife to form the frosting into swirls. Sprinkle the almonds over the top.