Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘the little engine that could


A baker I am not. While I AM honing my culinary skills, it’s more in the cooking department than the baking one. Anyway, seeing as it was Niko’s birthday I figured I might as well make a cake – or at least cupcakes. And seeing as my baking skills are not 100% reliable (Last year’s birthday cake broke in two when I took it out of the pan – and my baking confidence fell, with the crumbs, to the floor. Thank goodness for the mending powers of icing!), I figured I better make a trial batch. Yes, trial batch! (Even though the Duncan Hines box instructions are pretty clear, you just never know.)

So this year, Niko’s actual birthday fell before his party, giving me the perfect opportunity to test out my baking powers. Things I realized:

1) Cupcakes don’t break when taken out of the tray! Woot! Woot!

2) Box instructions, make for dang tasty cake!

3) Homemade icing is the way to go.

Post round one of baking and prior to round two, I had a conversation with my long-time (since Grade 4) friend Alison. She’s one of those Molly Homemaker types, that makes all housework, cooking, baking etc. seem like a snap. For her daughter’s second birthday she made Elmo cupcakes, fondant and all. So my cake box recipe is a stark contrast to her baking resume. Our conversation went sort of like this…

Alison: Are you making a cake for Niko’s birthday?

Me: Yup, cupcakes. And I made a trial batch today!

A: Trial batch? What? Is it homemade?

Me: No, but with the whole cake-breaking incident last year, I just want to be sure I know what I’m doing.

A: But you’re making your own icing right?

Me: No. Store bought baby!

A: Come on! Icing’s so easy and homemade tastes way better.

Me: Who are you my mother? (Note 1: If you’re reading this Mom, please know that this line was meant with the utmost love and affection. Plus there’s that joke about how everything really is –  just so easy!)

Anyway, lo and behold, after a quick search of Canadian Living’s Butter Icing recipe I rallied my confidence and in the infinite wisdom of that little train that could I said, “I think I can. I think I can.”

Note 2: Please don’t get me wrong. Alison and I are very good friends and her berating of my baking was all in good fun. Plus it motivated me to up the ante on little Niko’s cupcakes. And in the end, it was all worth it!

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Alli & Baby Niko

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