Tag Archive: cupcakes

Reading Challenge: Save the Cupcake!

It is that favorite time of the month for me – Reading Challenge. Thanks to Samantha  at chicklitplus.comfor hosting this reading challenge which has forced me to read books I may not have otherwise.

This month I am wading into the world of Young Adult literature. Actually, it is a book written for the pre-teen set that my daughter picked up at the book fair last week.

Book Image from Good Reads.com

So the book, Confectionately Yours: Save the Cupcake! by Lisa Papademetriou, features Haley whose life has been turned upside down. Her parents have divorced, the family home has been sold, and her mom has recently lost her job. They move into Grandma’s apartment and Haley has to share her bedroom with her little sister.

I feel sorry for Haley who has had complete changes in her life. Now that school has started again she sees her friends, Marco and Artie, on a regular basis. Marco plays soccer and Haley encourages Artie to try out for the school musical as Artie has a great voice.

But this is middle school with changes on the horizon. Before Haley knows it, her friends are dealing with issues and leaving her out. Luckily for Haley, she helps her grandmother in her tea shop. Her grandmother makes scones and Haley makes cupcakes.

She may be a cupcake genius.

Slowly, her cupcakes help Haley open some new doors at school. They begin to bring new customers to Gran’s shop. But when they become an issue, Haley learns to find her voice.

This was a great quick read. My daughter took about a night and day of reading to finish it. It took me a little less. But the truth is Haley is a great kid – not too whiny, not too know-it-all. Plus the books are filled with cupcake recipes that we are going to make.

While this book may seem light-hearted, author Papademetriou deals with issues of bullying, autism, gluten-free diseases, the aftermath of divorce, parental job loss, and junior-high drama.  The Confectionately Yours series may not be as dense as a Judy Blume novel but I find their styles and subject matter very similar.

Quite frankly, after reading book #1 my daughter went back to the book fair and bought book #2. We are now anxiously awaiting book #3.

Lisa, I am not sure if I want to hug you or curse you but know that this is a fun series that is great for girls.

Read Lisa’s blog at LisaPapa which gets into the writing process. Find the book at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com for about $5.99 before tax and shipping.


Related Posts

 The Paris Wife

Breaking The Rules

Indigo As An Iris


Tasty Pumpkin Cupcakes

Wordless Wednesday

I have a great recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes that I found at AllRecipes.com.  It is a cake recipe that I made into cupcakes and cover with cream cheese frosting. They are a big hit. 

Gathering of most of the ingredients


The recipe calls for only cinnamon. I added nutmeg, ginger and a dash of allspice.


Dry ingredients on top, wet on the bottom.


Batter Completed


It made 27 cupcakes plus a little cake.




What are you doing in the kitchen?

Pretty, Pretty

Betty Crocker Easy Writer food decoration
Last week I shared the product that made our Dress Cookies. But what I did not talk about was one of the products that we used to decorate those dresses.
With every birthday party, I have kids decorate cupcakes. This is a fun activity and I try to find a new decoration thingy to try out. Sometimes it is a Wilton’s mix of sprinkles or colored sugars. But a few years ago I tried these Betty Crocker Easy Writer food markers. I found them at Kroger or Ultra. This link will take you to Walmart.
My thinking was along the lines of “won’t it be fun to write messages or put little figures on the cupcakes, maybe draw faces. “
That is not what happens.
We have discovered that the tip is very sensitive and bleeds quite easily. But that can also make for some interesting creations.

Swirly dress

My six-year-old created this swirl-of-color dress. He used the green pen to create the swirls on the blue frosting.
This weekend we are having a graduation party for the boys who are done with eighth grade and kindergarten. I plan to let the frosting on the sheet cake dry a little before I use them to write on the cake. That is the advice I have seen from other people on websites and I am heeding it.
As for the cupcakes I plan to make as well, I think the graduates can take care of decorating those tasty delights.
Every Thursday, I review a product or service. If you have a suggestion or product you would like me to review, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.

This past weekend was my daughter’s birthday party.

Picture by Mensatic

Because of the opening weekend of baseball and garage sale weekend, we put off her party by a week. Personally, I think we had better weather this past weekend and everything worked out well.

It was one of those parties that flowed together. I did as much cleaning up as I could during the week so the house was presentable. One of the girls came early so she and Sara played upstairs.

Once I got home from work, the three of us made the replacement cupcakes since Storm had eaten SIX CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES the night before. I was hoping he would get really sick and feel a little remorse. (didn’t happen). Luckily, I got them out of the oven in time. No burnt cupcakes. (I am easily distracted)

As the other girls began to arrive the level of noise rose as well. Then they all went upstairs again. As more girls came and I told parents pick up time (9 am tomorrow morning), I was given a few looks of sympathy and comments on how brave I was. Well, I had already put the kabbash on the girls sleeping in the tent because of the rain but in reality once you have done youth group lock-ins, a group of girls is less scary.

What they and I did not know is that my husband had given permission for our son to have his friends sleep over in the tent. Four middle school boys who can eat their weight in pizza. The next disaster would occur when we found out one package of pizza crust – purchased the day before – was a sea of mold.

Picture by Cohdra

So we moved on to the girls decorating cupcakes. They made their own colors and one girl has brought more  sprinkles, which was really sweet thoughtful and a lot of fun. Only 6 pizzas crusts were made into cheese or pepperoni pizza, drinks were passed out as the girls ate sparingly. They opened the gift envelopes and my daughter is very happy to know she has more money for that unspecified American Girl Doll matching outfit she has been dreaming about.

The end of the evening was to be watching a Selena Gomez movie as the girls settled in to sleep in the living room. Well, they started watching early in bits and pieces. We turned off the TV for pizza, cupcakes and then we go outside for s’mores.

This is the big hit. Girls and boys are interacting as they experiment with the s’mores. Some are working to make the perfect roasted marshmallow and others are going for the flame out. Soon all of the kids are playing soccer and finish off with a Ghost in The Graveyard game in the perfect amount of darkness and warmth.

At some point one of the girls said her favorite birthday parties end up being at our house. I ask why because I am running a no-thrills operation here. I haven’t ordered a big cake, the food is simple, there are no entertainers, there are no goodie bags to take home. I have a few set activities but let the rest go as it will. The girl states “it’s because we are always doing something and it is fun.”

Hmmm, I know there was a small movement to make kid birthday parties less of a fancy affair, less presentation and more back-to-basics. Plus with pocket books getting leaner, it is hard to make those goodie bags or fantastic cakes. Who knew that the kids would like it that way as well?

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.