Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Drama queen...or...Poet?

My whole life I have been labeled:

“drama queen”
                                                             “overly sensitive”


Granted, some of those instances I really was just being a pain in the butt. However, a discussion I had in my M.F.A. poetry workshop tonight helped me see myself in a new light. Perhaps this hypersensitivity is a positive quality in my life and not something I should wish to brush under the doormat.

Writers, and poets more specifically, are keen observers, sensitive to the world around them, aware, and not asleep. This is not some fancy way of saying, “ all poets are super emotional.” Instead it is the highest compliment (which, yes, I am indulging in giving myself as a poet). Poets, as discussed in class, are watchers of the world, unafraid to point out the injustices, inconsistencies, and oddities. When most can turn a blind eye and deaf ear to an issue for “convenience” or “comfort” it is the poets sensitivity that will force those issues onto the page until they are heard loud and clear, their words perhaps opening the blind eyes and deaf ears. If I may be so bold as to use this verb, they must endure this sensitivity so that they can be watchtowers for society.

Poets are unafraid of asking questions of the ineffable, pushing beyond even what language can express. They can push beyond mortality, ask questions that stir souls, and baffle readers with an entire experience in a few words.

I’ll stop this self-congratulating now and commission writers out there:

Accept this sensitivity as a gift…
Push boundaries farther than you feel comfortable with…
Watch the world around you with everything you have….
Write the truth; write with complete presence of mind heart and soul…

It feels good to find a niche, to realize my personality plays into something I love. So from now on I am going to try and embrace my hypersensitivity and be happy to be a watcher and feeler of the world around me to the fullest extent.

Merry cheer and light,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Can I getchya s'more cupcakes, ma'am?

There is nothing more American than toasting marshmallows over a campfire, squishing them between sweet honey graham crackers, and watching chocolate bars melt in the concoction. It screams of fall and camping and childhood memories to me. 

Soooo, when my nephew's first birthday party arrived and the theme was camping, I was on a search for the BEST  s'more cupcake recipe, and believe me, I've found it. They combine a rich chocolate cake, savory graham cracker crust, melted chocolate center, and light fluffy marshmallow frosting, perfection!

These babies are tedious to make, but (and I don't say this lightly) completely worth it. This might be the most delicious cupcake I've ever eaten. Cute too, right?

I've adapted them from foodbuzz.com


2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
 1 teaspoon salt
 2 large eggs
 1 cup whole milk
 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (this is a time consuming job, a few bigger chunks won't hurt the recipe a bit) 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 

 2. Mix the 2 cups & 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix ingredients together on low speed.
3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set aside. 

4. Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
*I used a potato masher to smash graham crackers. After that experience I would say a food processor would be a much better idea. They don't need to be perfect, either way.

5. Place 1 overflowing tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. The remaining graham cracker mixture is for the topping.

 6. Place a thin layer of chocolate  over the graham cracker crust...it should cover the crust. Transfer to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before removing.


 8 large egg whites
 2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 


1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. 
2. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately. 
*If the frosting is runny try adding powdered sugar and meringue powder

Then add a piece of hershey's chocolate and a wedge of graham to garnish, it's just like camping! Without showering in a river!

Party idea:
I had a lot of leftover frosting so I made it a dip for "mini do it yourself s'mores" on a platter and people were loving it!

These are a lot of work but so worth it for this little guy:
Happy Birthday Carter!
Aunty Mongo