Did you miss me? Please tell me that you did, 'cause I missed you hecka lot. Wow, not blogging felt like a part of me was not being filled, like a void in my life. I'd have pangs of guilt whenever I think about it, as a parent would after neglecting her child. But the matter of fact is, I've been filling that void with something else. Occupying my mind and time and physical energy. What is it, you ask? WORK, of course!
I don't know if you've been following my blog, but that is a BIG BIG deal! I graduated this past May in the heights (or depths, I should say) of an economic crisis and I was a big fretball, worrying about not being able to start my career like I should. After 5 years of preparing myself as a "designer" the few months idling was very stressful indeed. But guess what? I did it!!! With the support of family, friends, and even you, my dear blog world peers, I survived the icky period of uncertainty, and finally am voyaging through the working world.
So, I am now officially a permanent junior designer at a very well established and exceptional design agency. I say this not to boast about my position, but because I'm so proud of the firm I am working at. They're all such hard workers and innovative thinkers and my only aspiration is to grow more like them. I was an intern at the agency for over two months, and then fortunately was asked to come on board as a permanent employee! The past few months has been an exciting and scary journey altogether -- trying to not fall short of their expectations, and what's more, my own.
Confidence seems to be such a key factor in learning and progressing forward and that's something I really want to work on. Of course, I'm not talking about Pride that shadows the potential of genuine relationships and creative flow, but the kind of confidence that revels in challenge and prevails through pressure. A lot of times I think "Oh boy. Am I up for this? Do I really think I can do this?", even for the little things. But each time, I tell myself that I can do it if I really believe in myself and put in all I can. Plus, my creative directors and fellow designers are so awesome that they're always leading, guiding and supporting the team.
Anyways, so here it is! An occasion for celebration! A "Cheers!" for attaining dreams and a "Thanks!" to all those who helped me get there! And it's just the beginning! :D
By the way, these sparkly cupcakes were made for a special birthday party order and I especially love them because they are mini. Anything mini is just that much more lovable, don't you think? The vanilla recipe is here and the red velvet recipe is from Joy the Baker, which she got from Hummingbird Bakery. Enjoy!!
OH! And one more reason for celebration: I have finally perfected the Cream Cheese frosting. After much struggle to keep it from being runny, and after my generous readers who left me with their fail-proof recipes, I found out why I have been failing! From some point, I started overbeating my frostings. I think I heard in a cooking show that they beat their buttercream for tens of minutes, and I somehow thought that would be the secret to my cream cheese frosting: WRONG. Totally, utterly wrong. Overbeating results in breaking down the "waters and such" in the mix and results in an unforgiving mess of a frosting. This time, I made sure I beat it just enough to blend everything and stopped there. And the result was a perfect billowy, sturdy frosting that's easy to pipe. Here, I'll post the recipe for you!
Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting
for 2 dozen cupcakes
adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Recipe, as well as from lucyinaz
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz Philly's Cream Cheese, cold
1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, confectioner's sugar, salt and vanilla until combined. At this point, the mix is going to look really dry and crumbly, but be patient and it will come together, about 4 minutes.
2. Add cream cheese and mix until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. DON'T OVERBEAT. Frost as desired!