Exciting Changes Ahead

Hope that everyone had a wonderful week! Highlights for me included a benefit for St. Jude, that I had been helping to plan for the last six months. It was a huge success and raised more than $100,000! I’m excited to help out with more of their fundraising events in the future. After a late night, I hopped an early morning flight to Palo Alto, where I watched the Stanford Cardinal (and their band), absolutely trounce my Oregon Ducks. Silver lining- truly excellent people watching.

Kicking off this week with a bubbles+sprinkles announcement! It’s time to switch up the model of this site a little bit. I’m happy to say that family and friends have very kindly shared the premise around enough to the point where this can be a full fledged business. Through end of year, there will be minimal posts shared here (although look out for recaps of future Afternoon Live episodes). Starting January 1, I’m going to relaunch the site with more of an online store focus. Spread the word! I’ll be offering staples and seasonal flavor options, as well as curated gift boxes, for all of your loved ones.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping bring this sweet little vision of mine to life! Hope that everyone has a wonderful week.

Xo,
Jenna

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It’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Time!

Yes, I may have sung that (multiple times) on Afternoon Live this week.

Does anyone else know the words to the rest of the song? When pressed, my friends and teammates actually referenced completely different songs on the same topic. Turns out that our favorite sandwich growing up, spawned a heck of a lot of catchy music.

That aside, thanks to Tra’ and the [best in the west] gang that supports the show. I loved sharing yellow cake cupcakes, stuffed with jelly of your choice and topped with a creamy peanut-butter and honey frosting. Video and recipe can be found here. 

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I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

A Gift From Savoie + Slight Sacrilege

Scandalous post title, right? To temper expectations, I’m not talking about anything too crazy. Simply, a dessert besides cupcakes appears in the pics below. By way of reason, they were a gift, they were pretty, and I’ve never said no to anything with sugar in it.

They were a gift for a week of celebrations! New team at work and lots of work ahead that I’m excited about. They were also an incentive to train harder for the upcoming Portland Marathon…and totally worked… (Hey, I put it in writing on here- now I have to do it).

There have also been an abundance of really upsetting natural disasters this week, around the country and close to home. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the hurricanes, and the fire in the Columbia Gorge. Place any order placed over the next 30 days, and 100% will be donated to organizations helping those in need get back on their feet.

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But the real star of the show is Jean Vullien, a perfect sparkler for just about anything. She, too, was a gift and a beaut at that. I’d never seen her before at my regular bubbles haunts, but research showed that she’s available at Elephant’s Deli, a Portland favorite of mine.

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She’s a girly girl. She’s full of tiny pink bubbles: 50% Chardonnay grapes, 30% Jacquere, and 20% Altesse. All are from France, specifically the region of Savoie. Notice how her region of origin is just as large as her name on the label? Savoie is no Champagne, but it’s close enough to be home to many delicious sparkling wines.

This beauty has floral and citrus notes, with a touch of something nutty- almond or hazelnut. Upon first sip, second sip, first glass, second glass, I noticed a creaminess and interestingly enough, a little bit of mint. The mint made it a bit of a palate cleanser- perfect for the different types of macarons. One fun fact that intrigued me was that 10,000 bottles were produced. Honestly, I was unsure whether that was something to write home about or not. I did some research and found this article to be helpful.

For less than $20, highly recommend… If you can find her…

Hope everyone has a wonderful and SAFE week.

Xo,
Jenna

Zucchini with Lemon Cream Cheese

Flashback to June 2013. I laughed in my dad’s face as he suggested a more sugar-free business model for bubbles+sprinkles. I laughed, not because eating healthy isn’t important to me, (I’m what you call an any-vore– I’ll try anything once), but because how much fun is a sugar-free cupcake? Cupcakes, [and bubbly], to me invoke connotations of celebrations, frivolous and serious. I see them as a way to break loose from your daily routine tracking calories and meeting deadlines. But I think I’m eating a bit of humble pie this week, as I tried my hand at Zucchini Cupcakes.

They were inspired by some lovely friends of mine, whom I met while visiting Guatemala. We’ve remained in touch over the past year, so I have to give kudos to the Peters family for this idea.

But guys, it was HARD! Baking with fruit and veggies means that sometimes a couple of iterations of a recipe are necessary. And I have no shame in admitting that this was a two-batch week. The first batch just didn’t dome as much as I would have liked and I didn’t get the cornbread-esque taste that I was going for. I checked. I adjusted. And I’m a fan of the following recipe:

Cupcakes (makes 12):
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting:
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • The juice of a lemon
  • Lemon peel for garnish

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Preheat oven to 375– a bit higher than normal. We’ve got some ingredients here that are a little bit more dense. Line cupcake tin and set aside. Combine cupcake ingredients and fold in zucchini, in large bowl. Here’s the kicker- don’t. over. mix. If you over mix recipes like this one, you’ll create pockets of air in the batter. This is a surefire (heh, pun) way to bake sunken cupcakes. If you’re using an electric mixer, I recommend 1:30 – 2 min on medium. If you’re doing it by hand: 3 min, tops. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way and bake for 25 minutes (again- a little bit longer).

While your cupcakes cool, let’s whip up some lemon cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese can be sticky to work with, I encourage you to get your hands dirty. Mix all frosting ingredients, ensuring that no seeds from the lemon slip in there. Frost your cupcakes and garnish with slices of lemon peel. I dipped mine in excess sugar for extra sweetness. Another option? Check out this video to learn how to make that perfect curly-Q.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Xo,
Jenna

A Berry Good Week

‘Twas a week full of berries, hence the post title. I was fortunate enough to return to Afternoon Live with the always fabulous Tra’Renee Chambers. I stuck my toe over the Oregon college rivalry border (Go Ducks!) and experimented with Marionberries. So many fun facts about Marionberries. 1) Created in a partnership with Oregon State University. 2) A variation of the blackberry, so those are a good alternative to the berries of Marion if you can’t find them; and 3) A combination of Olallie and Chahelem blackberries. (I can continue if you want… don’t hesitate to reach out!) 😉 Also fulfilled a request for both raspberry and blueberry cupcakes for a dear friend. Sensing the theme? Other berry good activities included my mum in town for lots of eating and sipping and some excellent cosmic bowling.

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Recipe for Marionberry Delight cupcakes can be found at this link. Enjoy!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna