This weekend Saucy and the Cheerios will be hawking cupcakes and hats at a special event! It's an opportunity for them to do some fundraising and also help a wonderful local cause, the Hands On Street Ministries.

This organization is dedicated to supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of inner city youth in our community. It is a good opportunity for the Cheerios to give back... to understand that not every young person is as lucky as they are. The girls are excitedly planning to bake Christmas cupcakes for the ministry in December.

Local peeps, if you are out and about and would like to do some holiday shopping while supporting a worthy cause (or two) then please pop by Ms. Tammi's house at the address listed above tomorrow afternoon. She has graciously organized this event and opened the doors to her home to the vendors in attendance, all to benefit disenfranchised young people.

Oh, and if you are short on spending money: bring your old unwanted gold jewelry - The Gold Refinery will be on site paying CASH for your mismatched earrings and broken chains. You can put that money right towards hats and cupcakes!

The cupcakes offered will by some of our most popular flavours and special edition holiday choices, so get there early. Plus, the hats will be on display and ready to take - you won't have to place an order and wait for delivery (unless the ones you want sell out fast).

Hope to see you there,

everybody wins

Today was a good day for Saucy and the Cheerios to repay a favour. One of Saucy's cheer coach friends has spent a fair bit of time helping her out with the new rules and helping Saucy make sure the Cheerios get placed at the proper competition level this year.

To repay this kindness, the Cheerios visited their practice with a signed poster to wish them good luck with their season and cupcakes in their school colours of red, black and white.

This, Dear Reader, is why Saucy lurrves the sport of cheerleading. In what other sport would the coach of a competing team help another? In what other sport would teams come together and cheer for each other... not against each other? Today both teams saw their coaches visiting with each other and enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow, if they are competing against each other at the same event, they won't cast each other the evil eye.

Today, everybody wins!

angel food cupcakes

Saucy usually has her stuff together but this week, she didn't. It was The Fan's birthday on Wednesday and Saucy had the family over on Monday for birthday dinner (homemade lasagna... mmm...).

She made the mistake of asking Snooks and Loopy to run to the store for an angel food cake mix - time was of the essence and there was a cheer practice later that afternoon. She planned to bake up mini angel food cakes in these sturdy, upright paper cups.

Well, you can see that she did it, but when she tells you this was the nicest looking one of the lot, she's not lying. She waited AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME for the girls to return with the cake mix BECAUSE THEY WERE LOLLYGAGGING AND GADABOUTING AND TRAPSING through the aisles of the grocery store.

*insert nagging mother voice here*

By the time they returned with the mix, Saucy whipped it up, scooped it, and set the tray in the oven. When it was time to leave for practice, they were just not quite finished. You know how angel food bakes up - super high. Well, they were super high. Until Saucy turned the oven off and left for Cheerio practice, leaving them to... uh... finish.

For the record, they finished. They didn't burn and they weren't overcooked, but they sure as hell weren't pretty. Saucy used a long pastry filling tip and squirted the middle with lemon filling and topped them with whipped cream.

A pastry bag filled with whipped cream: it hides almost all imperfections. This week, it saved the day.

bucket list

When tidying the office this morning, Saucy happened upon an interesting document. It was entitled Bucket List and it was compiled by Loopy and two of the Cheerios: JWOWW and Beegie.

Saucy giggled as she scrolled through the sixteen items on the list so far. She thought she might share them with you in order to offer some insight to the working mind of a sixteen year old girl.

To clarify, that is somewhat of an oxymoron, "the working mind of a sixteen year old girl" as you will plainly see from this list. 

Saucy is convinced this would be one stressed out, ticked-off mime by the time the entire ordeal was over and he would immediately seek employment as a coffee barista.

Please, not for Victoria's Secret. Please.

Okay, as long as it does not involve road tripping, hitch hikers, sky diving, hump back whales, or mimes.

They would like to record an album.

Perhaps it is the first scheduled stop on their world tour whilst promoting their album, as the opening act for Dane Cook.

And lastly, 

Hey, at least it's not a milk carton. That's something. Everyone has a dream.

Dear Reader, what was on your bucket list when you were sixteen years old? Did you do it? It's never to late.

new batches

A new season of cheerleading means new batches of Cheerios... and new batches of cupcakes! This weekend the veteran Cheerios made room in the kitchen for the new girls and things worked out sweetly.

Twenty Cheerios worked together to make twenty flavours of cupcakes to sell at the Christmas market on Saturday. They churned out old standbys and a few new ones.

As you can see, the new ones were beyond cute... they were adorable.

The Cheerios were not familiar with the term "blue plate special" but they sure enjoyed creating these little breakfast cupcakes. One white chocolate candy melt, slightly warmed with a heat gun and then poked with a mini yellow M&M made a perfect yolky egg. French Toast Crunch cereal for toast and then carefully slicing down striped chewing gum for bacon - those were the stand ins.

They looked mighty fine all in a row. Quality control was lacking and one cupcake missed its bacon. One of the quick thinking girls announced to a customer "it was for vegetarians" and saved the sale.

Stuffed Lemon Buster, Egg Nog, The Full Minty.

Our Dirty Blondes (chocolate buttercream on vanilla sponge) were extra fancy, dolled up with sugar pearls, vanilla sparkling sugar and royal icing flowers.

The Bowman Bear was a dense pistachio cake with yellow buttercream and a decorated Teddy Graham.

Superkid, Double Chocolate, Mike n' Ikes.

The Hamburger Cupcake: available in chocolate and vanilla. Plain vanilla buttercream frosting topped with a tiny hamburger cookie. It was sort of the lunch special after the breakfast special.

The best part? The girls reward for their hard work came in knowing they'd done the job well... oh, and cold hard cash.

No, wait. This might have been the best part.

No, wait. This for sure was the best part.

ganache, marshmallow and a question

Saucy made a batch of s'mores cupcakes from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes  cookbook (thank you again, sweet Leica!) and they turned out really beautifully. The ganache was quick and easy and did keep its shine. A quick hit with the kitchen blow torch gave the topping it's toasted effect.

The marshmallow cooked up so easily (it's a gelatin and sugar water recipe) - but there wasn't quite enough in the finished batch to pipe generously onto 24 cupcakes. Saucy piped 18 not-so-generous cakes and got to wondering, do you think this recipe can be easily doubled?

It's not the gelatin part that has Saucy wondering, it's the boiled sugar and water part. Would bringing a larger batch of sugar water to the soft ball stage on the candy thermometer mess things up just enough so it wouldn't turn out right? Would the sugar caramelize before reaching 238 degrees?

If you have any thoughts on this, please let Saucy know. She'd like to let the Cheerios give this type of frosting a whirl this weekend at their first sale. It's a cost-effective type of frosting and some of the customers might like an alternative to buttercream. Making small batches would be a royal pain in the pom pom.

the tour

The kitchen is ready! The kitchen is ready! Let's go on a tour, shall we? Are you ready for too many pictures?

Let's start at the corner, a very good place to start.

In the corner, next to the dishwasher is the plate cabinet. 

Saucy planned a large spacious counter-depth cabinet to fit the display platters and the daily dishes. The daily dishes look like they came from Anthropologie, but they didn't. They're from London Drugs.

The first shallow drawer holds the daily cutlery, the oven mitts and the remote control for the little TV on the wall beside the cabinet.

The deep drawers below hold the cookware. Stainless steel pots and pans in the middle drawer, copper cookware in the bottom drawer.

Above the dishwasher is a very handy spot for drinking glasses! Please, when you are putting them away, put them away just so.

The sink might be the highlight of the tour. The deep farmhouse sink sits in a cabinet made of red oak stained mushroom grey - it gives a light grey/mauve effect. This cabinet piece is distressed and has different doors than the rest of the kitchen. Saucy adores the crystal door handles... she found them at Homesense.

Lynda Reeves famously said that "faucets are the jewel of the kitchen" and Saucy agrees! This bridge faucet with side spray accommodates large stock pots with its high arch design.

The Fan found that little metal kitchen sign in Europe a couple of years ago. 

The glass window is not original to the house, Saucy had it made and fitted during the first phase of renovations in 2007. The light fixture is from one of Saucy's favourite shops in town.

Beside the sink, a drawer full of measuring cups. Saucy wonders why she has several sets of measuring cups but only one full cup measure? This is a mystery. 

Below this drawer, a pull-out garbage. No photo! Gross. You don't want to see that.

In the other corner, another blue cabinet. This one sits on the marble counter and nests deep into the unusable corner space. 

Oh, and Saucy purposely chose to use the mismatched cabinetry in her kitchen. She kinda digs the look and figures that since the house is nearly 100 years old, it might look like the kitchen was added and changed over time, not entirely new. She didn't want that entirely new look. Both corner pieces are blue paint because she thought it might look like someone got busy and painted them blue by themselves. They got tired and didn't paint the rest of the cabinets.

Behind the tall blue door its deep shelving that holds baking supplies, baskets filled with granola bars and snacks, and the bread stuff.

The drawer with the spoon handle holds measuring spoons! Clearly you must be wondering why someone has so many damned measuring spoons.

The drawer with the knife handle holds... knives!

And, the drawer with the little fork handle holds serving pieces.

Saucy just adores how her drawers pull all the way out, so she can easily find what she's looking for. No bending, squinting, or swearing.

The base cabinet below holds plastic containers filled with cereals. Saucy lurrves her some plastic container organization. It prevents little mice from having access. One hundred year old houses near the river attract little mice and Saucy likes to starve them if at all possible.  

That and she loves to kill them.  She's kind of the Walter White to the mouse world.  She justifies it because she's doing it for her family, but really... she just likes having the power.

Also in this corner base - the flat pans, cutting boards and pot lids. They all have a spot.

The old fashioned Pottery Barn phone is on this wall...

... so the drawer below has a handy phone book along with much-used smaller tools!

The little pot lights add so much light, Saucy can barely contain herself. It's like she's seeing her utensils for the first time.

Gadzooks, Saucy adores this corner of the world.

From afar... the cubby holes don't stash wine, that's flavoured vodka. The wine is elsewhere.

Behind these upper doors, more plastic stacking containers hold pasta, rice, and other dry goods. It's extremely tidy but you'll just have to take Saucy's word for it. Below, there are pull-outs for mixes and envelopes too. A place for everything!

The range and cooking area is directly across from the sink.

If the faucet is the jewel of the kitchen, then the pot filler is the engagement ring! It's the swoon-worthy, the smile-inducing older sister of the sink tap.

Near the stove, a drawer full of large utensils. Another shallow drawer holds the metal and stainless steel utensils. Saucy and her OCD like to sort these separately.

Next to the range, a bank of cabinets filled with kitchen linens and the parchment, foil and wraps (bottom drawer). There you will also find a handy place to sit for Loopy or any other Cheerio who wants to perch with an after school snack and do homework while Saucy putters.

Guess what? The toaster oven died! It made Saucy and Loopy sad, they used it almost every day. They plum wore it out. It was going to go right there, next to the coffee maker, below the microwave.

The chalkboard remains... for messages and doodles, close to the phone.

Dear Pot Filler, Saucy loves you.

Here's where the layout gets tricky. There was no room in the original floor plan for a very large family-friendly refrigerator. Saucy moved it into the old breakfast nook, and surrounding it with cabinetry she now calls the area the pantry. 

Like a butler's pantry, but with no butler.

Beside the fridge, concealed behind cabinet doors, the imaginary butler can find the water cooler, aprons, seldom used pans, and the fire extinguisher. It needs to get attached to the wall up there.

Do you wonder why everything suddenly looks so... pink?

Oh yeah! That's what Saucy's talkin' about. A custom neon sign. Saucy wasn't always known as Saucy... back in the day, the family called her Sasha Baby and she doodled up a design in a drafting class. Eventually she took that doodle to a neon artist and had it made for real.

And now, it's here. In the no-butler-butler's pantry, casting a delicious pinky glow on everything. 

Plus, it faces the doors that open to the deck and the outdoor kitchen. It will look pink and funky next summer during evening pool parties!

A home for the much-used Willams-Sonoma cookbook collection. And the milkshake mixer.

Here is The Wall of Sprinkles. Saucy warned you it would be EPIC. Eight shelves of 21 jars... that's... a helluva lot of sprinkles. Saucy was never good at math.

The wine cooler chills all of the wine that Saucy does not drink. It will, however, be a nice temperature to offer her guests.

But perhaps they would like an espresso or some sort of steamed flavoured hot beverage?

Above, teas and coffees are stashed. The little apothecary drawers hold the doo dads for the espresso maker, the strainers and tea pincers.

The bank of drawers hold less frequently used items that the non-existant butler may find handy in this area of his!

Just scissors, pastry cutters and scoopers. Lots of scoopers... let's put those Cheerios to work, shall we?

Graters and thermometers.

Cupcake papers (the plain kind most often used - the fancy ones are stored above the fridge), sticks and  bags. This is bottom-drawer stuff.

Under the neon sign, this area is wide open for work space. Imagine all of the cupcakes cooling and being decorated here.

The junk drawer resides in the butler's pantry because even non-existant butlers need junk!

This is where Saucy houses confectioner's sugar, baking sugar and flour. Each of those bins holds 10 kg.

And now the fun part... adding the cute stuff, the decorations that will make this kitchen thoroughly complete.

And then Saucy must roll up her sleeves and get to work. The Cheerios will be here on Thursday and Friday, making frosting and then baking for Saturday morning. She is enjoying the pristine clean look of the kitchen right now.

 It may never look like this again.

Seriously. Not even kidding.