May 28, 2014

Frozen Treats Round Up

Hey all! So if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've kind of been busy painting the entire house. (Seriously, the sellers chose such dark and ugly colors that when I finished priming, I was kind of like, "Whoa, I can actually see in here now!") And now I need to get the floors refinished since they were in worse shape than I originally thought. Sooooo, I'm not actually moved in yet. C'est la vie. I'd rather get all this stuff done now while it's empty than have to move furniture. If I'm a bit more absent than normal, that's why.

But since this weekend was Memorial Day weekend, you know what that means? It's summertime! Okay, not really, but it's when the pools open, and that's what always said summer to me (and guess what? I totally have a pool now! Yay for condo amenities!). And you know what summer means? Ice cream.

So while I'm sweating my booty off doing home repair, you can enjoy these 14 Frozen Treats recipes. Just not all at once, unless you're going for epic brain freeze.

May 21, 2014

Cinnamon Breakfast Squares

You guys know what I need right now? Energy. I think I taped and spackled at least 30 cracks in my walls so far, and I keep finding more. I've only had time to prime one room, and don't even get me started on the sheer amount of cleaning the sellers left me with. Seriously, they were nasty.

So when I got the chance to try the new Cinnamon Crunch Morning Energy flavor of Honey Bunches of Oats, I held out my bowl like I was Oliver Twist. It's been the perfect way to start my mornings. Not too sweet (which I love in a cereal), super cinnamon-y, and I love the little cinnamon clusters. They're my favorite part. Plus lots of protein to keep me going when I'm upside down and backwards spackling a crack in the doorway arch.
I also got a chance to try these Cinnamon Breakfast Squares. These guys smell like French toast when they're baking up, it's fantastic. They didn't come out quite like I had expected, though. I think that I was expecting them to be cake-ier or at least crunchy, but they actually came out a little eggy. They actually reminded me almost of a really thick crepe with a sort of cinnamon streusel on top.

Now, don't get me wrong, they were actually really tasty. Sort of like a crepe-y, French toast-y hybrid, which is better than it sounds. And when it's breakfast, it's okay if it's a little eggy. The recipe recommends topping it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, honey, summer berries, and cinnamon or nutmeg. I liked them best with syrup and a good dusting of cinnamon sugar. And since strawberries are grown locally in my town, that's obviously the way I go when it comes to berries. (I'm not a huge fan of yogurt though, so I skipped it. It's a textural thing. If I'm not legitimately craving it, it makes me gag)
I made these for Mother's Day breakfast, and they were a big hit. My mom loved them, and that's really all that matters.

Cinnamon Breakfast Squares with Yogurt and Berries
Yield: 6 squares

1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cinnamon Crunch cereal
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup nonfat (skim) milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 container (6 oz) Greek yogurt, any flavor
3 cups fresh berries, or fruit of choice
Honey or pancake syrup, for drizzling
Cinnamon or nutmeg, for sprinkling (I used cinnamon sugar)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8x8" square pan.

In a mixing bowl, mix the cereal, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, lightly crushing the cereal as you stir.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together until well blended. Combine with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter (it will be thin) into the prepared pan, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the bars are set when the middle is lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

To serve: cut the bars into 6 equal pieces. Top with yogurt, surround with berries. Drizzle with honey or syrup, and dust with cinnamon or nutmeg. Serve immediately.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy so that I could try this recipe. I am under no obligation to give a positive review, nor do I receive any further compensation for this post. All opinions are, as always, my own.*

May 16, 2014

Stuff and Things 5/16/14

Life as I know it
Okay, so I'm totally living it up in my fantabulous new house and I'm doing all sorts of new house-y things and...

Okay, I kid. I'm writing this on Wednesday because I figure I'll probably be way too busy/distracted tomorrow, and while I don't normally mind skipping a Stuff and Things post, I'm less than 24 hours away from closing so I've got the kind of nervousness that grips at your stomach and makes you feel a little bit sick. Kind of like when I put in the offer actually. Part of me is convinced that something is going to go terribly, terribly wrong, since nothing has gone exactly smooth in this experience. So if I happened to have Instagrammed some insomnia cupcakes at 3 in the morning yesterday, this is why.

Let's move on to the pop culture, shall we?

UPDATE: It did not go smooth. Of course it didn't go smooth. This time it was because the sellers had some weird mom & pop mortgage company that refused to cough up the pay off figures. But everything's all set now and I own a house and my kitchen table was still in the antique store! The house needs a little love, but that's what next week's for.
Left to right: The key; the sightline from the living room, through the dining room library, into the kitchen; my new kitchen; my new walk-in pantry complete with spice racks.

Movies- Beyond this point, there be spoilers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Why is Black Widow standing like that?
I don't know, it was a bit meh. Like standard action movie meh. I was not as impressed as I was with the first one.

Things I liked: Falcon (I do what he does, just slower). The Cap/Widow dynamic (not romantic, almost more like siblings. Nat definitely was acting like the older sister). Nick Fury being badass. Robert Redford as the baddy. Cap's most heroic moment being one where he chooses not to fight.

Things I didn't like: Black Widow's characterization. I felt like they weren't sure what to do with her. Like the writers were all, "wait, so she's sexy and she kicks ass, but she's not a romantic interest? Wtf am I supposed to do with that? I guess we'll give her some sassy one-liners and use her as a plot device. Oh and let's figure out a way to make her kiss Steve anyway." Urgh. I can't say that I wasn't expecting it, though. The superhero movie genre has a long history of doing really poorly with female heroes (which is weird, since they have plenty of source material to draw from). There were a couple glaring moments that seemed completely out of character, too. Like, crying in the hospital. Yeah, Nat would be upset, but showing weakness in front of others? Please. If it had been just Steve, maybe I could buy it, but they've shown no reason that she would trust Agent Hill. The next was at the Apple store (and, may I ask, did Widow always have hacking skills? Because that felt really plot device-y), when she said, "the guy who designed this was slightly smarter than me. Slightly," or something like that. No, nononono. That's something Tony Stark says. Natasha is an international superspy assassin. She knows there are people a lot smarter than her. She can admit that. Overestimating your own skills--or letting your partner do the same-- is a good way to get killed. 

The last you could make an argument for, but it still felt really out of character to me, was when Natasha jeopardized the mission when her own life was in danger. First of all, the badges being bombs or whatever was really obvious. If I could see that and Nat couldn't, there's a problem. She should have seen it coming. Secondly, while you can argue that Natasha has only ever looked out for herself, they set up the story of the Winter Soldier with a story of how she almost died to protect her mark. So you tell us about how she nearly dies to save one person, but then she balks when it comes to saving 20 million people, including some she would see as allies, and maybe even as friends? That whole bit just did not feel right to me, and I think we can chalk that up to bad writing.

But I'm okay with the part where she sasses Congress. Because that she would totally do.

And there were two things I left feeling really confused about. 1) Steve and Sam seemed really super friendly for a first meeting. Even the way Nat greeted him in the beginning seemed weirdly familiar. Maybe they were just running buddies that never got a chance to actually introduce themselves before, but it just came off a bit odd to me. Had they spoken before? I get Sam being friendly because it's Captain America and all, but they just came off more like people with history. And then when Steve and Nat need a place to crash because the entirety of SHIELD is after them, he goes to the dude's house he met running three days ago? I feel like I'm missing something there.

2) The Winter Soldier. For all that this is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they really don't talk much about the Winter Soldier. Nat said everyone in the intelligence agency has heard these stories over the past 50 years. So, what, the Nazis rescued Bucky, they gave him a new arm (with tech that seems a little advanced, but I guess we'll list that under suspension of disbelief) and put him in cryo for 20 years (I'm starting to think Hydra stole tech from Torchwood), and then went, "gosh, we need to kill this dude, hey what about that dude we have on ice for no reason I can understand, I guess we'll use our sci-fi B movie tech and wipe his memories because that's totally a thing we can do and hope that he does what we say, and then we'll put him back in cryo"? The only explanation we got was that Hydra did a rather nebulous "something" to Bucky when his unit was captured. I am not satisfied with that.

Can we just give all the superhero movies to Joss Whedon from now on?

Castle- Are you serious. Are you actually serious. The show is called Castle. When it ended the announcer voice said, "Castle and Beckett will return solving murders this fall," but you expect me to believe that Castle died in a fiery crash? That episode was so predictable and you end it with a not-so-cliffhangy cliff hanger? And of course it has to be right before the wedding so Beckett shows up to the crime scene in her wedding dress because apparently I'm watching a soap opera and not a procedural drama, and it's not like that's a thing that has happened on every drama ever.

Ugh. I just got finished telling a friend that Castle is not Bones and did not suck after they got together, but this season has been mostly let down, and that finale the let-downiest episode. Don't sacrifice content for drama, why is that a difficult concept?

And, here's a revolutionary idea, not every season needs to end on a "will they survive?" It's old now. Played out. I know they'll live. Come up with a new shtick.

Supernatural- I thought that Sam and Cas were cool with letting Dean shake hands with Gadreel because they wanted Gadreel dead. WTF HAVE YOU BEEN WARNING AGAINST IF YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING, SAM???? Because I did. When Dean went to shake his hand I was all, "NOOOO, you need all the allies you can get and he can get to Metatron don't let Dean near him what are you doing."

Although, I did love the LotR reference. And the Indiana Jones one (Last Crusade was the best). And Cas is "very pop culture savvy now"

Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven is a prime number and I assume that can be very intimidating.

Arrow- Hhjasjkdnalkenfldesf. Way to play with my feels, you guys. I mean, with Ollie and Felicity and Ollie's all like, "You're the woman I love." And I'm all like whaaaaaaaaaaat are you even that must be some kind of play, he did that on purpose, he's, I don't know, he's tricking her so she stays safe or something, I mean I love Felicity but Sara. And then Slade's all, "Muahahaha, I have the woman you love. And I know it's really Felicity." And I was just like nooooooooooo, Slade if you kill Felicity, I will slap you in your coocoo bananas face. And then like 2 seconds before Felicity stabbed him with the cure, I was like, "I get it, he bugged the house!"

But then Sara left again. T-T I don't like Nyssa. She's Ra's al Ghul's spawn. She's no good. You belong in Starling City, Sara, don't leave me, you're giving me abandonment issues. And she gave the leather jacket to Laurel and said Ollie needs him. Ollie and Laurel cannot get together. The first time, Ollie ran away from her. On a boat. And got marooned on a hellish island for five years. The second time, Tommy died. Ollie and Laurel are a well established BAD IDEA. Sara needs to come back, I already miss her little assassin face, but OH NO QUENTIN LANCE DON'T YOU DARE DIE ON ME I CAN'T LOSE THE ONLY OTHER DECENT CHARACTER IN THE LANCE FAMILY.

And then Ollie leaves Slade in a prison... on the island? And it turns out Argus had a base on the island all along... those little sh*ts. Who wasn't on the island?

And yay adorable baby Diggle! And yay Thea's leaving forever, because I can't do anymore Thea tantrums. The girl is actually five, and not in a good way.

Posts from this week

May 14, 2014

Frozen Mango Lemonade #MixItUp2014

Hey guys! I close on the house tomorrow, so my mind is probably totally elsewhere at the moment. But, I still happen to have something pretty awesome for you because I love you.

In honor of the Vegas Uncork'd festival at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, has asked food bloggers to participate in a "digital mix off."

Me, I'm a simple girl when it comes to drinks. Now that the weather's finally warming up, I started thinking about some of my favorite warm weather treats. Slushies from the convenience store, a frozen lemonade from the boardwalk, a mango lemonade at a local restaurant...

... Hold up. Frozen lemonade. Mango lemonade. Frozen mango lemonade.
You guys. That was the best idea everrrr. The tart lemon juice, the sweet mango, the slush.

I do love me some slush.

It's so good. I may have drank the entire first test batch all by myself. And it's so simple to make. Just dice and freeze a mango, juice two lemons, add sugar, water, and ice, hit the frozen drink button on your blender, et voila.

Plus you could totally make this a little more adult and sub in some white rum for the water. Possibly all of the water. That would make it about an ounce per serving which isn't too much, right? Booze is not a thing that I know.
I made this for the family on Mother's Day and it got thumbs up all around. And then we went to see Captain America because my mom is cooler than your mom.

Frozen Mango Lemonade
Yield: 4 servings

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup cold water*
1 mango, diced and frozen
Approx. 3 cups ice**

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, lemon juice, and water until the sugar is well dissolved. Add to a blender along with the frozen mango and the ice. Blend on high speed (or if your blender has an "ice crush" setting) until the ice has been finely crushed and looks slushy. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you prefer your lemonade more tart, reduce the sugar to 1/2 - 2/3 cup.

*Replace with white rum for a more adult version
**The measurement is approximate. I just filled the blender with ice.

Recipe by Kim

May 9, 2014

Stuff and Things 5/9/14

Life as I Know it

SIX MORE DAYS. Six more days until I close. Supposedly.

I'm not going to believe it until it's here.
I can still play it in the Sims. -.-
I've got everybody all confused. My mortgage company sent me an email the other day, and I was kind of worried until I opened it and it was like, "Congratulations on your closing!"

Slightly premature, mortgage company. Shouldn't you know when it is, since that's when I pay you the money? You'd think they'd know.

But I got a couch, so there's that. Well, more specifically, my aunt gave me a couch. It was my cousin's, and it was less expensive for her to buy a new one than to ship it down to DC. Plus its also kind of massive, and she says she didn't like it because the fabric shows your butt imprint. This is a serious concern, but since I'm also kind of obsessed with decorative throw pillows and blankets, I think I can live with it. It might be too massive for my living room, but it's a sectional and comes apart, so I can always put a piece in the bedroom or something.

Other than that, I've been in a kind of limbo, house wise. I saw a really cool 1950's kitchen table in the antique store, in great shape with all four chairs, for actually a decent price, but I didn't want to buy it, not knowing how much room I'll have or where it would go. It's probably not there any more. I've also had my cart full for about 2 weeks of things I need, like a vacuum cleaner and a set of pots, but I can't click buy because it's bulky stuff and I have no where to put it. Meanwhile, the house that will eventually be mine has five big closets and a walk in pantry, and there's even a shared storage space for the building. SO MUCH STORAGE, I NEEDS IT PRECIOUS.

I've been going a little crazy. I'm just frustrated with all this lingering crap.

Oh, but some good news: you know how I talk about the brother and the sister-in-law? Well, she's not actually my sister-in-law, but they've been engaged for forever and a day, so it's just a lot easier to refer to her as the sister-in-law then as my brother's perpetual fiancee. But she's going to be the for-real sister-in-law in October! So I've totally been pushing for storm troopers. And that the officiant should be a dalek. I don't know if I'm going to be a bridesmaid; last time we spoke about it, that was kind of up in the air, since my brother's best friend's wife is due to give birth like two days before so he won't be able to make it. So they were thinking of going with no wedding party, but I said that he could contact the local chapter of the 501st to be his groomsmen. AKA STORM TROOPERS.

And then I was being helpful with the guestlist (ACTUALLY HELPING, I'm so proud of myself), because I'm apparently the only one who knows who's married or engaged or has a steady boyfriend-- just don't ask me the names-- and the sister-in-law looks up and goes, "I'm sorry Kimmy, I never asked; is there someone you're going to bring?"

Guys, I didn't even blink. I just said, "Benedict Cumberbatch. God Mo," I call her Mo, "it's like you don't even know me. How could you forget my imaginary husband?" And basically she just started laughing and we were not getting anything else done after that. But then my mom was like, "You totally should invite him," because I come from a family of enablers, "because if he doesn't show up, he doesn't show up. But he might." And when I told her the RSVP cards would need Royal Mail stamps, she was just like, "So we get some." Because etiquette.

And then Mo had a dream that he did come to the wedding, and she was so happy for me (this is her wedding, might I remind you) and that we were basically giant dorks together the entire night and now she's really down with this idea. And then I was texting a friend this whole story saying I guess I need to find his fanmail address or something since my entire family has decided he needs to be invited to the wedding, and almost immediately, she texted me the fanmail address.

Me: Umm, that was fast. Do you just keep this handy in case I need a date for a wedding?
Her: Maaaaaaaybe

So that's the story of how everyone in my life is conspiring to invite Benedict Cumberbatch to my brother's wedding. I am not saying this is a bad idea by any means, don't get me wrong-- because it was mostly my idea-- but at this point, I feel like I'll be the least disappointed if he doesn't show. Mostly because on the 0.03% chance he does, I'll probably hide in the corner the entire night taking stalker photos.

TV- Here there be spoilers

Castle- I'm happy HRG... err, Senator Bracken is finally behind bars, but I'm not looking forward to next week's episode. The "we can't get married because you were young and drunk and accidentally married your totally unsuitable boyfriend/girlfriend who I may or may not perceive as a rival for your affections" trope has been done and over done to death. I was instantly disappointed when I saw the promo.

Supernatural- I'm so torn. I don't want Dean to hang on to the first blade, because it's clearly no good, and it's totally changing him and I don't like it. But I also want to see him fillet Metatron with it. I really hate Metatron.

Also, I can't decide if Gadreel is setting Cas up or he really switched sides. Cause I gotta say, since he stopped trying to be Ezekiel, I find him a lot more sympathetic. I know he still killed Kevin, but I think he really didn't want to, he just thought he had to. He has kind of been out of the loop since the dawn of humanity and all.

And since Crowley changed the timeline by saving his son, does that mean the Doctor has to come and fix the paradox? (Although, really Supernatural writers, the man was in Doctor Who, and now he's got a time-traveling son. That was a complete missed opportunity for a reference. "Time can be rewritten." That's all he had to say.)

I still miss Benny. Can we go back in time and save Benny?

Arrow- SARA'S BACK!!!!! I was really upset that she left. And the why she left. Now I kind of want to smush her little assassin face. (Although, the blonde wig over the already blonde hair still kind of gets me as not making a whole lot of sense)

MALCOM MERLYN'S BACK!!!!! I laughed for about 5 minutes when we learned he wasn't dead. It was this really intense, dark scene, but I couldn't stop laughing. Because it's John Barrowman. I haven't been this excited for a villain's return since Moriarty, so, yeah.

OLLIE DIDN'T HOOK UP WITH LAUREL BEFORE SARA CAME BACK!!! That was the thing I dreaded happening the most. Not death and destruction. Not Isabel hurting Diggle (although I was really scared that was going to happen. Because Summer Glau + Mirakuru = unstoppable. But then Felicity hit her with a van. *giggle* That's my girl.) But the writers making a stupid love triangle between Ollie, Laurel, and Sara, that was my greatest fear. Black Canary and Green Arrow is canon, okay? And Ollie and Sara make a better couple. (And Laurel is a useless character, okay?)

Except the season finale is next week, and that makes me sad.

Posts from this week

May 7, 2014

How to Make Monkey Cupcakes

Hey guys! These are the cupcakes that, to my eternal shame, I nearly posted on Star Wars Day. I was just so excited to share this tutorial with you that I almost didn't notice the date.

A few weeks ago, the sister-in-law told me she had signed up to bring monkey cupcakes to a coworker's baby shower. And that by "signed up to bring cupcakes" she actually meant, "signed up to bring cupcakes that she was hoping I would make."

Obviously, I said I would, because YAY CUPCAKES!!! When I asked her if there was a theme, she said it was jungle themed. So I said, "hmm, I might be able to wrangle some monkey cupcakes." And guess what? They were totally easier than I originally thought, so I figured I'd share.

I was inspired by these cupcakes on Persnickety Plates.

Things you will need:
Cupcakes, any flavor (I used my Birthday Cake Cupcakes because they requested vanilla. I just used some cake flour for a more tender crumb, some vanilla bean paste, and added rainbow sprinkles to the batter)
Chocolate Frosting (I used my favorite recipe, but any kind works)
Chocolate sprinkles (one of those tubs they sell with the ice cream works best)
Nilla wafers, 3 per cupcake
Mini marshmallows, 1 per cupcake
1 tube of black gel or writing icing, which can be found in the baking aisle at most grocery stores
Step 1: Frost the cupcakes. I can never frost evenly without a piping bag, so I just snipped off a corner and piped a good blob on top. Obviously, piping is an extra step and not necessary; I just found it easier.
Step 2: Add sprinkles. This is why a big tub of sprinkles comes in handy. If you piped the frosting like I did, you'll want to smooth it out a bit so you get more of a flat top. Then just stick it straight into the tub o' sprinkles, roll it around a bit to get even coverage, give it a small shake to knock off the excess, and now you've got monkey fur.
Step 3: Add the Nilla Wafers. Start with the ears. I usually found a spot that either didn't get enough sprinkles or where the frosting had gotten on to the liner. Basically, take the opportunity to cover up any flaws. Add the ears at a slight angle so you can push them into the cake itself. This way they're nice and sturdy. Add them on either side of the top half of the cupcake.

Take a third Nilla Wafer and add a little bit of frosting to the bottom. Place it in the middle of the bottom half of the cupcake, so it looks like a muzzle. Then take the the black gel icing and add two dots for nostrils and a mouth.
Step 4: Add the eyes. Take a mini marshmallow and cut it in half with scissors. (You may have to reshape them slightly as the scissors will squash them a bit). Place them cut side down (this lets them stick) where you want the eyes to go. Take the black gel icing and pipe a dot on each for pupils.
And that's it. You can have a ton of fun giving each monkey a different expression. Even this non-decorator had no trouble with it. I did this on super-short notice, too, no time to go to Candyland for specialty items. Everything I used came from the grocery store.
These are perfect for a jungle-themed baby shower or birthday party. Or you know, any day of the week.

May 4, 2014

"Darth" Chocolate Cupcakes with Sith Lord Red Velvet Frosting for Star Wars Day

Dun dun dun dun da-dun dun da-dun. Dun dun dun dun da-dun dun da-dun.
Dun dun DUN dun dadada, dun-dun. Dun dadada, dun-dun. Dun da-dun dun da-dun.

That was my attempt to transcribe the Imperial March into text. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, allow Chuck and Morgan to demonstrate:
This was one of my favorite scenes ever. *sniffle* I miss Chuck

Anyway, happy Star Wars Day, you guys! May the fourth be with you!
I originally had something completely different planned to post today, and then I realized what the date was. May 4th. May the fourth. It's Star Wars Day and I was going to post "how to make monkey cupcakes." Monkey cupcakes. On Star Wars Day.

You guys, last year I interrupted my Doctor Who series with a Star Wars Day recipe because I just couldn't bring myself to post something for the wrong fandom on Star Wars Day. And I nearly posted a completely non-geek related tutorial on Star Wars Day.

If I hadn't noticed my mistake, I would have had to hand in my nerdy baker card. I wouldn't have been able to stand the shame.
Luckily, I was able to save face with these cupcakes. I was racking my brain for ideas when I thought, "Dark side... dark chocolate. Dark chocolate cupcakes." And then I figured I could top them with Darth Vader chocolates, because obviously I own the Darth Vader silicone ice cube tray (Hi, I'm Kim, and I'm addicted to silicone ice cube trays), and then I thought, "well, then they'll be Darth chocolate cupcakes," and I giggled for about five minutes straight at that.

But then the frosting worried me. If the Darth Vader heads were chocolate, the frosting couldn't be chocolate, because then you couldn't see them. But what other color could possible represent the Dark Side?

Then the answer was simple. Red, like a Sith Lord's light saber. Red velvet frosting.
These cupcakes are enough to tempt anyone to the dark side. The cakes themselves are light, tender, and fluffy, but still have a rich chocolate flavor. I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder for the cupcakes, because the dark side needs dark cupcakes, and I think that helps give it an extra chocolate pow.

And as for the red velvet frosting, I really just took my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe and added red velvet emulsion. The emulsion adds flavor as well as color, and guys? It's fantastic. I loved the chocolate frosting by itself, and the emulsion just took it to the next level. (It also photographed a lot brighter than it is. In person, the frosting is more of a rust/brick color. I'm looking at these photos, thinking, "it kind of looks like I frosted the cupcakes with ketchup.") I'm not a red velvet aficionado, so I can't really say how true it is to the red velvet flavor, but it's good and that's really all that matters.
Come to the dark side. We have cupcakes.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

1 cup cake flour
½ cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, alternating with the buttermilk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until everything is well incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

Recipe by Kim

Red Velvet Frosting

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅓ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In a different bowl using electric beaters, beat the butter on low speed. Add the emulsion and vanilla. Gradually add in the sugar and cocoa, alternating with the milk. Beat on high speed until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Homemade