Celebrating the little things

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Yay, it’s FRIDAY!

I get to help judge a speech tournament at the local high school, so I’m very excited for the weekend to start. Granted, it’s not like it’s been a terrible week or anything, but it’s always nice to have a few days to yourself.

No matter what, I try to remain optimistic and grateful with whatever the week has brought me; some weeks are better than others, but no matter what, it’s a nice feeling to realize that you are content with life overall. This is made easier when you appreciate and look forward to the smaller moments that happen throughout the day. Sometimes I really have to think hard to come up with a moment, but even if it’s a very tiny one (it didn’t rain today, my favorite song came on the radio) it never fails to brighten up my mood.

It’s those little moments that happen all the time that make up a lot of our most precious memories. Like the time you told a joke so funny that your sister peed her pants. Or those Saturday mornings where you would get up super early so you could make your bowl of cereal and watch the good cartoons before the house wakes up. The peaceful start to your day with a warm cup of coffee in hand and reading a chapter of your favorite book. That last one is a personal favorite at the moment; if I miss my morning coffee I feel so out of whack the rest of the day!

Celebrating these small moments has always come fairly easily to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I rush and get annoyed and snap at someone due to a fit of impatience, but I have always embraced the idea of making sure that the everyday moments are noticed just the same as the big ones. It’s true about what they say, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

What better way to celebrate little things than with happy little cupcakes?

I haven’t always liked cupcakes since they tend to be so much of a sugar bomb. I can’t handle the sweet cake AND the super sweet frosting. This recipe, however, is different because I think it strikes a balance between rich and sweet with that little bit of tang from the buttermilk.


Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield — 18-20 cupcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup + 1 tablespoons sugar (if you like your cupcakes on the sweeter side, add a little more, I like mine less sweet, especially with frosting)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes then left until room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°, line muffin cups with papers.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, make sure egg is fully integrated before adding the next one.
  3. Add flour (mixed with baking powder and salt) alternating with buttermilk. Beat well; stir in almond extract.
  4. Divide batter evenly among pans and bake for 17-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick is clean. Remove cupcakes and let cool in the pan.
  5.  Now onto the frosting – place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl, beat until the cream cheese is smooth.
  6. Gradually add your butter, roughly 3 tablespoons at a time.
  7. Add powdered sugar and vanilla all at once. Blend until combined and smooth.
  8. Frost your delicious cupcakes (make sure they are fully cooled!) and cover with a ton of sprinkles!
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