A Lot of Cupcakes

When you choose to take a service trip to Uganda, it costs a lot of money. Even if the program you are going to travel with keeps their costs low, flights and food are generally going to stay pretty expensive. For a college kid the price tag on a trans-Atlantic tip can be pretty frightening, however there are things that can be done to help lower the cost.
Luckily I have a generous church family that quickly step up and offer financial support (I love that my church values international missions) and through them I have nearly 80% of the funds that I need. Of course I don’t have a lot of spare change floating around, so I have had to come up with ideas on how to fundraise the rest of this money. What on earth could I make and sell that would be enjoyable for me to do and people would actually want to buy?

Oh yeah. CUPCAKES.

Now, I love to bake and cook, and at school I did not get a lot of opportunities to do so. That made it a little scary when someone asked me to make 50 cupcakes for a children’s party that would happen two days after I returned. I hadn’t made cupcakes in like four months, I didn’t have a reliable chocolate cupcake recipe, and I had to do all these cupcakes and frost them in one day, because the party was in the morning. What was I going to do?

Yeah, I was going to plan. I was going to pre-measure my ingredients, I was going to wash dishes as I went and keep the space decently clean. And that’s what I did.
Because I needed 20 cupcakes of both chocolate and vanilla I did two batches of each (both of the recipes make anywhere between 12 and 14 cupcakes), and since the order included 10 strawberry cupcakes, I did one batch of those.

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It did take nearly all day to get through all five batches and two batches of frosting. What helped me was the pre-measuring, really.

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And knowing ahead of time what the plan was going to be. I knew that I did not want to make another batch of frosting after I made the second one, and since it was vanilla (and I knew I had more than twice what I needed for the two dozen cupcakes on my table), I just added some cocoa powder to it and all of a sudden it was chocolate frosting. Imagine that.

Part of what saved me was that I was listening to the radio while I was working. I knew that talk radio would keep me from getting bored with the repetitive task at hand, and so I was able to stay focused and chug right along. I was chugging so hard along the tracks of the cupcake-making train that I forgot to take pictures after I made the vanilla cupcakes. Such is life.

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I still have about 20% of my funds to raise in the next few weeks that I am home, so I’ll be baking some more. At least this time I know how to handle a large order with out a freak out.

These are the links to the recipes that I used. I find these recipes very effective, I have them printed out and have made each of them multiple times:
Vanilla
Strawberry
Chocolate 

PS
You may be wondering what happened to the extra cupcakes that were left over from the batches that weren’t sold for the Christmas party, and I can tell you that they went to a good place. The bellies of some firemen. There was a fire in town the same day as the party and so I gave the rest to the duty crew that responded.

PPS
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Freyja had a little too much fun while helping decorate the tree.

Freyja had a little too much fun while helping decorate the tree.

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Quick Rolls

Sometimes time is short, sometimes patience is wearing thin, and sometimes you jus don’t have yeast in the cupboard. Sometimes this happens when you really, really want to have rolls with your dinner. Sometimes you have to make due with the self-rising flour that you do have, and search the web for a means of making rolls.

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I like that I found this recipe because the ingredients are things that we normally have in the fridge or cupboard, and that makes it easy. Also total time to make the dish, including clean up of the prep utensils, is less than 20 minutes. Not bad for rolls. Not bad at all.

All you need is self-rising flour, milk, mayonnaise, and a little sugar (you can follow the link above for quantities). I added a dash of garlic powder, although I couldn’t really taste it once they were cooked. To take it to the next level, though, one could add a combination of herbs, cheese, and salt to the dough and maybe make some rolls that remind oneself of a particular biscuit from a seafood restaurant.

That being said, these rolls are more like a dinner biscuit than a yeast roll. That’s okay, though. The moment you have the mix rolled you put in the oven for about 15 minutes, and thats all you do. You can’t complain, they taste great, the texture is good, and they are fast.

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I will definitely make these again, they are easy to do in the last minute, and pretty hard to mess up. You can flavor them to match the meal, or you can top them with butter and keep it simple. This is probably going to be a recipe I take back to school with me, and keep it in mind when it’s time to make a dinner for the hall.