Tag Archives: cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

-Marissa Tomko

Eating pumpkin during autumn and winter is just a thing that everyone does. I have fought my love for pumpkin-flavored treats for almost twenty years until I finally realized it was a losing battle. Nothing else tastes quite as festive! Plus, with all of the rain we get here in the Northwest, it’s nice to be able to hold a little bit of warmth right there in your own hand! Admittedly, I am not much of a baker. However, I have been inspired to try my hand at this whole baking thing. I stumbled upon KG Cookin’ Cupcakes, a blog run by a UO student who is all about baking cupcakes. Enter my new favorite fall-time indulgence: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream, a recipe by KG.

PUMPKIN CAKE:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
A few shakes of cinnamon
2 eggs
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
A splash of vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and blend until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, alternating with additions of milk. Blend until fully incorporated. Divide among lined muffin tins and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.

CHAI BUTTERCREAM:

1 1/2 sticks butter (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
Splash of vanilla
A couple shakes of cinnamon
About 1/4 cup chai concentrate (KG used Oregon Chai. This depends on taste and consistency: the more chai, the more runny the buttercream will be)

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and the chai and blend until light and fluffy. If the frosting gets too runny, add some powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe the mixture onto completely cooled cupcakes.

Happy baking!

Image from http://kgcookincupcakes.blogspot.com/

Good Earth: Home, Garden & Living Show Promotes Sustainable Living with Fun, Interesting Exhibits

– Mike Munoz

www.eugenehomeshow.com

Two weekends back, residents from all over the Northwest visited the Lane Events Center to learn about sustainable living, organic foods and chicken farming.

For the 6th year in a row, the Good Earth: Home, Garden & Living Show came to the Eugene to teach residents how to lead more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles. The show featured over 250 exhibits and 65 seminars as well as live entertainment and art. The event center was broken into several sections, including home improvement, gardening, food, and recycling.

The south side of the event center featured the home and gardening sections, where companies introduced eco-friendly home improvement tools, varying from window installations to recycled yard furniture. The companies Rexius and Willamette Graystone had large models on site that showed off their environmentally friendly landscapes. Another company, named By the Yard, displayed lawn chairs and tables made entirely out of recycled milk jugs.

The gardening section was also home to one of the more unique displays of the show. An exhibit, simply titled “Chicken Farmer, had custom chicken coops and garden beds on display with live hens and rosters. With the roosters making their presence known to the entire convention center every 10 minutes, the display certainly drew a crowd. The purpose of the exhibit was to raise awareness about some of the advantages of raising chickens in an urban environment, including free eggs and free fertilizer.

The show also featured a fairly large food section, in which vendors displayed dozens of organic coffees, spices and wines. A local Eugene company, The Divine Cupcake, offered featured tower displays of their organic and vegan cupcakes. This cupcake café offers a delivery service as well as custom options for their cupcakes such as gluten free or soy free. The Divine Cupcake is home to some strange and unique flavors such as the “Thai Me Up” cupcake, where they use peanut curry for flavoring the cake. Or try the “Swizzle Stick” which is topped with cayenne pepper.

Finally, the north section of the event center included art, live entertainment and food. Children and parents flocked to the Cascades Raptor Center’s (see a FLUX article on the center here) exhibit on birds of prey, where kids had the opportunity to get up close and personal with hawks and falcons.  The north hall also featured various art exhibits, including large sculptures made out of scrap metal by Ian Beyer Metals.

With hundreds of helpful exhibits on sustainable living and entertainment for all ages, the Good Earth: Home, Garden & Living Show proved to be a success for the 6th consecutive year.