Three for the price of one…

It wasn’t really a question so much as a statement so I will try to answer it, even though I’m guessing as to what they were actually asking:

“The divorce/cash flow seems so out of sync with what you write.”

I can only assume you mean that because I write about not spending money you don’t have then why don’t I have any money? Well first off when I was figuring out what I would need to live off of when my ex and I were no longer together this website was bringing in much more ad revenue and my budget was based on that. That ad agency joined with another one and I went to making about a 1/6th of what I was making when I made my budget. I switched to a new ad company which pays better than the last one but not nearly what I was making before. I substitute teach which is random money and no money in the summer. I work a couple other odd jobs that bring more steady income but not a ton of income.

I don’t consider things like Starbucks, new clothing, going out to eat, gym memberships, vacations, and even running this blog a necessity. These are frivolous things. Are they fun to have? You bet. But in essence a person needs shelter, food, clothing (but I already have some), and transportation to get to your job. So I have money to cover the essentials in my life. But what most people feel are essentials or what they are entitled to aren’t really essentials at all.

When teaching I once had a student call CPS because his parents wouldn’t buy him the shoes he wanted and that was child abuse. They of course set him straight, but sadly this is how a lot of people are. So when I say that I don’t have money to do things, I don’t because I don’t have extra money. And while I love my blog it does cost a considerable amount to run it. So people from time to time donate to keep this blog going. Truthfully when they don’t it’s pretty darn hard to keep it up.

So all my bills get covered. I score keep hockey to pay for my own hockey. I didn’t get to do the Breast Cancer for my mom because I simply didn’t have an extra $30 at the time. I don’t get to go out with my friends as much as I am asked to. Or if I do I don’t eat or I go with my guy friends so they will pay. :)

Don’t really know if that answered your non-question/statement or not, but there it is.

Now on to the real deal. These cupcakes. Growing up my mom loved to buy Neapolitan ice cream. I loved the strawberry and vanilla flavors but not so much the chocolate back then, weird I know. So I would sneak the ice cream late at night, but my not so stealth ways always gave me away when there were large chunks missing out of the strawberry and vanilla sides only…hmmm. Smart kid I was not. :D These cupcakes are a nod to those days. Devils Food Chocolate Cake with Strawberry and Vanilla Swirl Buttercream. And this time I will gladly eat the chocolate part!

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
9 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (use a double boiler)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two muffin pans (hold 12 cupcakes each)

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 2 minutes. Add the beaten yolks to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

In a separate small bowl, beat the egg whites on the high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when you touch them. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

I used the vanilla buttercream frosting from here.

I used the strawberry jam buttercream frosting from here.

To achieve the swirl look I used disposable piping bags, and one large cloth piping bag. Place the vanilla in one bag, and strawberry in another. Then cut the bottoms off. Slide them both evenly into the larger cloth pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Frost as desired.

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  1. They look tasty! You leave me wanting ice cream!

  2. Yummmm..these look awesome!!!

  3. They’re so pretty too!!

    I wonder if the person meant that you post about a lot of stuff that doesn’t sound like you’re miserably living in squalor so he doesn’t know why you don’t have money? Or you seem happy despite not having money maybe? weird statement. whatevs.

  4. The boys have recently discovered Neapolitan Ice Cream….these will be going on the baking list.

    ps…TOTALLY understand everything you have written about money…we are right there with you.

  5. Pretty cupcakes! I’d love to bite in one of those babies…

    Believe me, I know what it is to live on a very low budget and to spend money only on the essentials and a non-frivolous life (no holidays, no shopping, no going out to eat or have a coffee, etc…). And, yes, blogging also implies expenses.



  6. Those look fabulous and way up my ally – nummers!!!

  7. Your frosting looks gorgeous! What a fabulous cupcake.

  8. Oh yummy!!! :)

  9. Christine says:

    Thats so funny about you leaving the chocolate ice cream and taking the strawberry and vanilla. I always used to take the Pistachio and chocolate and leave the cherry flavor in the Spumoni ice cream! Your cupcakes are really gorgeous.

  10. As soon as it cools down a bit I will make these. But, at the momemt I refuse to light the oven.

    As a TWO time Breast Cancer Survivor I am always looking for ways to cure this scurge on the world. If you EVER, EVER need the money to participate in Breast Cancer related event I will pay in honor of your mom. But not the 3-day as I couldn’t afford that for myself. Plus, I can’t walk.

  11. THANK YOU for this inspiration. I will be putting the cream cheese filling in my blueberry muffins next time! Genius! Pure genius!!!

  12. Darlene says:

    Sweet!! I am very excited about the suggestion on how to do the swirl icing. I made Hydrangea cupcakes last week and struggled with the mess of trying to get 2 colours of icing in one bag. Holy stickiness!
    I am so excited that I must run home this evening and do it! Thank you!

  13. Yum! I actually didn’t like neapolitan that much growing up but I’m liking it a lot more now. Love the swirled frosting, it’s beautiful :)
    I know exactly what you mean about living on such a small budget. That’s been our life for the last few years and some people really don’t understand what’s frivolous and what’s not. It’s really frustrating.

  14. Mmm. The frosting looks really good. It sorta reminds me of bubblegum…which is werid because that’s no where close to the flavors of chocolate vanilla and strawberry :P

  15. hah, I was just going to ask how you got the swirl on the frosting. They look fabulous and very delicious!

  16. these look delicious! I dreamed about neapolitan cookies the other day, but these look way better. :)

  17. Such a pretty cupcake! Love all of the flavors too!

  18. Seriously, people just need to mind their own damn business.

  19. So pretty! I find it refreshing not to spend money on unnecessary crap like more clothes and overpriced coffee. Saving can be fun (ish)!

  20. I’m glad you post what you can. Sorry about the money…I don’t think you talk about things you can’t afford. I’m here for the desserts anyway.

    I’ve seen a couple of Neapolitan cakes and these look great. I made the strawberry buttercream before and it was so good. Anything with that must be excellent.

    Hang in there.

  21. I hear ya on the cost of running a blog…baking ingredients are expensive!

    These cupcakes look fantastic, and the two-toned frosting is so pretty!

  22. Too funny about the ice cream -I always went for the chocolate and the strawberry! Love these cupcakes… and that you shared how you got the really cool swirl of 2 flavors to work.

  23. i also used to go for only the vanilla and strawberry. its a good thing my sister only ate the chocolate portion, because we would sneak into the kitchen together and make an even sized dent in the carton.
    i just graduated from college and dont yet have a job so ive been on a tight budget as well. i feel the pain.

  24. Melinda K says:

    Now I want cupcakes and ice cream…not that my waist needs either. These look so good, my mouth is watering!

  25. Made these today and they are as awesome as they look!

  26. These cupcakes sound delicious! I love the Strawberry and Vanilla Swirl Buttercream! :)

  27. Diane D says:

    My dear, I have been in the lifestyle you are experiencing for the last 21 years! Yes, I had to make a lot of choices in order to raise my kids, now 23 and 21, but I am proud of them. They have bed-rock confidence that they can survive in the world without all the frills most people think are essentials. We are not deprived, just have scaled down our expectations.

    If I could donate something to help you keep this blog going, I definitely would. However, that would mean choosing not to eat for a day or two. I actually considered it seriously, as you are in my Top Ten favorite bloggers and I would be bereft without you.


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