Archive for March, 2014

Women Who Rock: Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, a day for honoring the achievements and highlighting the struggles of women around the world, so it’s a perfect time for another installment the Women Who Rock series. This month we selected Mother Teresa of Calcutta because of the kindness and love she poured into the people she served.

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Photo: Túrelio (via Wikimedia-Commons); CC-BY-SA

Name: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), born Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu

Why She Rocks: Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charities in 1950 to serve those who suffered sickness and poverty in Calcutta, India. Eventually chapters of the order she founded were opened on every continent to continue her mission of loving and caring. Mother Teresa cared for orphans, the sick, the poor, and the dying as though they were her own and she loved those whom everyone else forgot. She also broke down barriers for those with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and provided medical care and basic necessities. Mother Teresa rocks because she cared deeply for those who were forgotten by many on Earth but were loved by God.

Famous Quote: Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

Additional Information: In researching this blog post, I found valuable information at Vatican.va, Wikipedia.com, MotherTeresa.org and Nobelprize.org. All of these are great resources for more information and I was really fascinated by the page on MotherTeresa.org that calls out quotes that are often falsely attributed to her.

Did you learn something new? Is there a woman who inspires you? Maybe you would like to learn more about another Woman Who Rocks. Let us know in the comments below – we love to hear from you!

I Pinned It, I Did It: Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

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At my company, there is a girl named Heidi, who makes the most anticipated food item of our entire year – the sausage roll. Every year, we all await the glorious day in December when we receive an e-mail announcing that the sausage-filled pastry has arrived, then we run as fast as we can to the art table to get a slice of our very own. It’s an incredibly fun tradition, and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I decided that I wanted to start a tradition of my own – something that I could bake and bring in each year as a thank you to my amazing co-workers. Two years ago, I found a recipe combining two of our favorite things – cake and booze – and my first ever “I Pinned It, I Did It” began with these Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes from the Brown Eyed Baker.

This recipe is based on the drink with the not-so-PC name, the Irish Car Bomb. An Irish Car Bomb is a cocktail where whiskey is floated on top of Irish Cream in a shot glass, and the shot glass is then dropped into a pub glass of Guinness. For the cupcake, you start with a Guinness and chocolate cake, fill it with whiskey and chocolate ganache, and then top the whole boozy concoction with an Irish Cream buttercream.

This recipe is incredibly simple, but just requires a bit of extra time to put all the elements together. And the end result is amazing – the cake is moist and the overall booze content is not overpowering.

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The three spirits you will need to have on hand are Guinness (and note that the only thing I could find in a six-pack was the Extra Stout – any type of Guinness works great in this recipe, so don’t worry if you don’t have the original), Baileys and the Irish whiskey of your choice (I prefer Jameson). Since Baileys and whiskey are good staple items to have in your bar anyway, this recipe becomes a winner yet again, because you don’t have to buy some obscure liquor that you may not ever use again.

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I only have a few tips on this recipe.

If you don’t have a cookie cutter or piping tip to carve out the cupcakes, I find a small spoon works just fine. Same with the ganache. If you don’t feel like dealing with the mess that can come from piping it, just use a teaspoon to drop it into the cupcake divot.

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For the ganache, she calls for cutting up chocolate, but I say why not use chocolate chips? It saves you the hassle of having to chop up a chocolate bar. Both times I have made these, I have used chips, and they work great.

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For the icing, you can either use a knife to smoothly apply it, or you can pipe it. One of the greatest tricks I have learned to make filling the bag easier is to stand up the bag with the tip on the bottom of a glass. This keeps the bag standing, and makes it easier to spoon dollops of icing into it with a spatula. As a side-note, if you don’t have piping bags, a freezer bag with the corner cut off works brilliantly.

I prefer to use St. Patrick’s Day cupcake holders, or plain white cups for this, and I top them with simple green sugar that you can find in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

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The cupcakes were a huge hit when I took them in two years ago, and I already have co-workers claiming dibs on them this year. Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoy!

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