You want answers…

Coming fresh off a great birthday! I spent the day playing in a mini one day hockey tournament which was more than a perfect way to spend my birthday. Thought that I would answer some of the random questions that people asked so here we go:

Apron or no apron when baking?

I try to remember to wear them I mostly seem to remember to wear one right around the time powdered sugar comes out of the mixer and lands all over me, and the counter, and the floor, and the dog. :) When I do wear an apron I usually wear the cute pea pod one that Cookie Baker Lynn made for me. I have almost worn that one out. :(

Do you know how to make good hamburger buns? Do I need to convince my family that they must delete the expectation of store bought from their brains before trying any of my attempts? LOL

I do have a great recipe, go here.

Is your name pronounced “Pea body” like it is spelled, or “Peebiddy” like the city in Massachusetts?

It’s pronounced Pea Body, though everyone from the east coast tends to call me Peebiddy. It’s fine, I’ve been called worse. :P My close friends either just call me Pea or Peabs (which is my nickname).

Hi Peabody, how do you stay motivated to keep blogging? Do we, your avid readers, let you know how much we appreciate your posts?

Well for a long time the blog was my therapy so that helped. It’s hard some days to keep motivated. People come here expecting unusual recipes or funny stories, both can be hard to come up with, especially after 6 years of writing. Lately I’m motivated because people have given me money to keep the blog going. Since when I worked out my budget for living after the divorce I didn’t include this blog because I was making okay ad revenue, which now I am not, I depend on donations really to keep this blog going.

So the second part about do the readers let me know that you appreciate my posts: I say yes, though truthfully I have wondered where the commenters have gone. I have the same amount of traffic but far less people are leaving comments which makes me a little on the bummed out side. But people have lives I know. :) And of course there are those who interact with me on Facebook and those who financially donate to the blog that let me know that they appreciate the time I put in.

Are you ever “baked out”?

Often, especially in the summer months when I have zero desire to turn the oven on.

If it can be any question, then what type of mascara do you wear? You have great eyelashes!

This one made me laugh. :D Well unfortunately for the average person I have exceptionally long natural lashes. I mean really long, I can’t wear certain sunglasses or eyeglasses because my lashes hit the lenses. But my every day mascara is cheap ol’ waterproof Covergirl in the orange tube. When I go out and want to bat my eyes for the boys, I wear Bare Essentials Buxom. I got it as a sample once at Sephora and it makes my lashes pop more than usual.

Well there you have some of your questions answered. I will work on more in the days to come.

As usual, I had to make myself a birthday cake. I decided I wanted something pumpkin, screw that it is summer. I did that last year as well. This is normally a layer cake but works fine as cupcakes as well. The frosting in the picture is piled on, but you will want to use MUCH less frosting when doing yours. This is a wonderful, but sweet frosting so a ton of it is over kill.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes
¼ pound unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup 100% natural solid pack pumpkin
½ cup nonfat buttermilk
½ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners.

Combine together in a medium bowl flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.

Place pumpkin and buttermilk in a small bowl and combine thoroughly. Set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl . Increase speed to high and beat an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 30 seconds. With mixer on low alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Immediately pour the cake into the prepared pan, filling each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake on the center rack of a preheated 325F oven. Bake for about 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcake from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Brown Sugar Icing

2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ pound unsalted butter, cut into 8 1-ounce pieces
¼ tsp. cream of tartar

Heat brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 1-ounce pieces of butter, and ¼ tsp. cream of tartar in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Transfer the bubble hot mixture to a 3-quart stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding. Place the cooled mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on low for 30 seconds.

Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, while adding the remaining 6 pieces of butter, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute. Refrigerate for an hour.
Adapted from Desserts To Die For by Marcel Desaulniers, 1995

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  1. I will comment. Just to say Happy Birthday!

  2. Thanks!! Perfect timing I’ll be giving that bun recipe a try tomorrow for our traditional 4th of July Hamburger and Hot Dog meal.

  3. Happy Birthday from me too! Your Snickerdoodle Blondies have made me very popular. Can’t wait to make the pumpkin cupcakes.

  4. So glad you had a wonderful birthday, Peabody!! Cupcakes look fab, as always.

  5. ♪♫ Happy Birthday! ♪♫
    You know, it’s totally unfair to post something so awesome looking when my kitchen is already heated up from the load of piecrusts I am making for later. Not to mention the endless list of bookmarked recipes… I am glad you had such a fabulous birthday dessert, I love cupcakes!

  6. Glad you had such a great birthday :) and great choice on the cake. It’s my opinion that pumpkin is always an option :). I debated about making my own cake again this year, but I stressed myself out so much while baking it last year that I decided against it :). Granted, my store bought replacement is one of my all time favourites (how could you not love something called “The Nut Buster” :)?).

  7. I can’t wait for it to get cool here. But here is Texas, so I’ll be waiting until about Halloween, I expect. The cupcakes look delicious–I love pumpkin anything.

    Happy (belated) birthday!

  8. Happy Birthday!!! Hoping you celebrate the wonderfulness of being you as we do!!!

  9. i’m glad you had a fabulous birthday and I noticed last night that your birthday falls right after Canada Day, so it’s like one celebration after another, which means more cake (I dunno, do you eat cake on Canada Day?)

    These look like durn good cupcakes. I refuse to eat pumpkin before October 1st, but once that hits, I’m making these. :D

  10. Glad you had a great bday!

  11. Happy Birthday! These cupcakes look awesome…I adore a good brown sugar frosting!

  12. Happy Birthday! I’m not much of a fan of pumpkin pie, but I like pumpkin in other things. I love apples in baked desserts, really for fall, but I am happy to make those desserts all year ’round!

  13. Happy Birthday! I hope that you had a great day.

  14. Happy Birthday again! I think I commented on the previous post, but I can’t remember for sure. Sorry to hear about the comment fluctuation. I think I actually comment on your blog more now, though, because of the whole ad click thing. I’m also glad that you don’t use the blogger comment system because it’s a hassle for me to blogger comment with my special blog commenting username. Thanks for all the great posts!

  15. Happy Birthday Peabody! Are you going to answer more questions because I just thought of one – do you listen to music or have the TV or anything when you bake? I like to have the Food Network on in the background when I bake :)

  16. Happy Birthday!! A couple questions if you are still taking them! My bf is trying to get me into hockey, what are the top three things I should know about the game that might impress him if I just happen to drop some knowledge on him?

    And to go along with the lash question, your skin looked awesome in that pic from the previous post, what do you use?

    Since I’m full of questions, here’s another, what are some of your favorite kitchen utencils/gadgets?

    Love your blog!!

  17. this is great for parties, my daughter is turning 7 this coming August, and I will definitely include this on the menu =)

  18. I have a lot less comments on my blog nowadays too, but my hits have been increasing by the day.

    And I never wear an apron ;)

  19. those look incredible. you rule! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you had a lovely day :)

  20. Love that you answered the random questions posted. You never know what us crazy readers are wondering about! Love your blog even though I totally suck at commenting lately.

  21. Good to know that you had a great birthday…

    Those cupcakes look terrific!



  22. love every single cookbook in your list! and you’re right – there’s no way she eats from that book and looks like that, becasue if she did that would mean that life really is that unfair :p

  23. Happy Birthday!! Just wanted to let you know that although I don’t comment regularly, I am a daily reader!!
    Your blog was one of the first I ever read when I discovered the wonderful world of food blogs… that was back in 2007 and I’m still here!! and I’m glad you are, too :)
    I felt an odd connection to you as my nickname was peabee (my initials pre-marriage), so I instantly knew you were awesome :)

  24. I don’t have too much to say, but I do always appreciate you being here. So thank you, and Happy Belated Birthday.

  25. Happy belated birthday. Hope it was an awesome one.

    Since you’re answering questions, I have to ask one – when buying kitchen items, do you lend toward the ones that you know you won’t use a lot but they’re just so cool or are you a practical make do with what you have kind of person?

  26. Jeanne H says:

    Happy Birthday, Peabody! :) How nice that your birthday is the day after Canada Day, so that it be part of the Freedom Festival! (Growing up in Detroit, MI with Windsor, Ontario across the river, the period from July 1 to July 4 was called the Freedom Festival. With the current economy, and since I no longer live there, I don’t know if they still call it that, but it’s how I always think of those days.)

    My own birthday was last week, and I baked my own cake too since it wasn’t too dreadfully hot. I made the pineapple upside-down cake from the 1979 version of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and it was good but my current favorite is still the Banana Butterscotch Chip Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting. That cake is amazing, and the frosting is to die for, so you can be sure that I will be trying the Pumpkin cake. (I’m not a big fan of making cupcakes unless they’re for serving a group, but I do like spices in cakes!) :)

    Best wishes for a happy and prosperous(!) year! :)

  27. YUM – Pumpkin cupcakes! The brown suger frosting looks like an excellent alternative to my standard cream cheese – can’t wait to try it.

  28. thanks for blogging for us! Have a good next year!

  29. Hi..I am one of your “lurkers” and I know how it feels to only get a couple of comments on my blog but a ton of “lurkers” so I should leave more comments I’m sorry..Happy Belated Birthday! and I love reading your stories :)

  30. I usually don’t comment, but I am now, to wish you a very Happy Birthday. Mine just went 10 days ago too, so I’m still in birthday mode :D

  31. Samantha says:

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Those cupcakes sound delish! =)

  32. Happy Belated Birthday! Glad you got to do something you loved on your special day!
    P.S. I share the same eyelash problem; 95% of sunglasses I try on hit my eyelashes.

  33. Happy birthday!

    I hope you do more Q&As…I love learning about the people behind the blogs!

  34. Happy belated Birthday Pea! These cupcakes look delicious as always!

  35. I love that your birthday treat for yourself was a “non summery” dessert. My birthday is in fall, and autumn flavors are always my favorite. I wonder if the first caused the second, or if my birthday was in say, May, I’d still love pumpkin, spice, caramel, etc; or if I’d want berries & stuff.

  36. Victoria says:

    These look wonderful!! I can’t wait until it gets cooler here (TX) so I can make these!! So ready for fall!

  37. These sound and look fantastic! My husband loves all things pumpkin.

  38. Happy belated birthday! I read your blog almost everyday and am always delighted when I see a new post. I’m sorry I don’t comment much. I figured you didn’t want to be barraged with gushing, but I’ll be certain to gush away!

  39. Birthday greetings Peabody and a big hug! Thanks for keeping on blogging for 6 years…your readers, myself included, do appreciate it! :) :)

  40. Happy belated birthday! Have you tried the Boozy Baker cookbook? A friend bought it for me. So far so good…

  41. (a) Happy belated birthday! Hope it was a terrific day =)

    (b) Guilty as charged. When I had my own (small….) foodie blog, I used to comment on here more. Grad school has put an end to this. Nevertheless, I do check out this blog every once in a while…and it remains one of my absolute favorites. I like your funny posts, elaborate culinary creations, and artsy photos. But I also love your simple recipes, shorter posts, and all the new stuff you’ve been doing on here.

    Keep it up! Hopefully, most of your readers realize that you have a life, too! You just happen to be better at baking and writing than most of us :D

  42. OMG! I never thought about turning this cake into a cupcake! I have to tell you this is my favorite cake of all times!

    I’m sorry I’ve been slow on the commenting. Turns out teaching (dispite what the politicians say) takes an enormous amount of time and effort. And it turns out being pregnant does not make me want to cook, or eat, really…

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful year!

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