a.dash.of.sprinkles

cupcakes & wishes. my two favorite things.

Jumpin’ bacon cupcakes!

Over the last year or so, Liz and I were fortunate enough to work on a wish for adorable Milo. Originally his wish was for a sensory room, but it was changed to a SPRINGFREE trampoline, something that he could enjoy with his favorite person ever, big brother SAM!

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This was taken at the Springfree store in Issaquah. They invited Milo and his family to “test” the trampoline he would be getting!

Knowing how important sensory items were to Milo, his amazingly talented wish coordinator, Jessie, suggested we bring as many sensory items to Milo’s trampoline as possible. So to make his trampoline reveal extra special, we brought in as many things as we could – rope lights, an outdoor speaker (to enjoy his favorite jams!), and a pretty legit bubble machine.

Milo MAWWe decided to have a big trampoline reveal party with all of Milo’s friends and family last Sunday as a way to also celebrate his 8th birthday! And wouldn’tcha know it…Sunday was the ONLY day it rained in weeks. Of course, right?! None of the kids seemed to care. In fact, I’m not even sure some of the kids (ie: Magnolia) even noticed they were getting wet. 🙂

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IMG_8049There were other things we tried to do to make the day special for Milo. We made them custom “WISH” shirts. I’ve never used these before but they are AMAZING. Basically you print on the sheet and cut out the design perfectly. It prints on a white background and it’s the white background that sticks to the dark fabric to make your print out stand out. Well, I learned another trick and didn’t even need to print anything! I cut out letters using my Cricut and ironed them on and voila! It looked like they were silk screened onto the shirts! Waaaay better than regular iron-ons! Okay, I probably just got more excited about this whole process than normal people should be…*deep breaths* (Cort – this was my idea for the Walk shirts!)

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I also made Mom one of our famous tutu’s. She even wore it during her interview with Q13!

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At this point, I should also mention that Milo’s favorite food is BACON. Can you blame him?! Seeing as he shares his “favorite food” with both me and Liz, I decided we needed to have bacon cupcakes of some sort to celebrate his birthday wish day. Thankfully staff at the Make-A-Wish office were willing to be my taste testers. I tested a Maple Bacon cupcake, a French Toast cupcake, and a Chocolate Bacon cupcake with Nutella frosting. The Chocolate Bacon cupcake won, hands down. I pretty much followed this recipe, but made a small, kinda-gross-if-you-think-about-it (so don’t) adjustment…

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

*Makes 12 cupcakes

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Kim, I totally stole your cupcake pic because I forgot to take pics as I was baking/frosting. 🙂

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 4-5 slices of chopped bacon (or more if you love bacon, like Milo)
  • *reserve 1/8 cup of the drippings after frying bacon
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used a double boiler)
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  •  1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with baking cups.

2. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat. Drain and cool, reserving 1/8 cup of drippings. *I like to chop bacon before frying it. Seems easier to me, but you can cook slices of bacon and crumble afterwards if that’s easier for you.*

3. While the bacon is cooling, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the hot water, buttermilk, oil, drippings, vanilla, and egg. Stir until just combined. Fold in the bacon crumbles. Batter will be very runny. Spoon batter into baking cups.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the frosting! Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low for 1 minute. Add the vanilla.

6. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. It should look very creamy.

7. Add the Nutella and heavy cream, then mix on medium to medium-high speed for about a minute.

8. Once the cupcakes have cooled, fill a pastry bag or Ziploc with the icing fitted with a star tip and make a pretty swirl. Garnish with bacon!

These were a winner. Lots of people loved them. Milo sure did. I saw him eat two of them. And he ate them both like this:

IMG_8098Little snafu’s happened throughout the wish – the rainy party, the unexpectedly early/late delivery of every single item, and 2 yards of playchips literally dumped in their driveway that we hustled and moved to the backyard in less than 20 minutes…it was all worth it for this very deserving family.  Milo, Kim, Eric, and Sam – it has been such a pleasure getting to know your family.  I can see why Liz was absolutely raving about your family even before the wish began. 🙂

To everyone else, please send happy thoughts Milo’s way.  He hasn’t been feeling well the last couple of days and could use all the wonderful sentiments! Milos family

 

**Photos posted with permission from the wish family.**

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Make-A-Wish has some CRAZY volunteers…

I’m not sure how Cortney always convinces me to partake in her crazy ideas.  We are currently working on a wish for a teenager named, Marri.  At this point, she is undecided on her wish.  She is debating between wishing to meet Justin Bieber or go to Australia.

We wanted to make a thinking of you gift for Marri.  Our original idea was to orchestrate an elaborate flash mob with all of our friends to a Biebs song and we were going to contact Nathan Adrian (her favorite athlete) and ask him to record a little message to use at the beginning.

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Then we got real.  We sat down and made a list of all of her favorite things.  Justin Bieber.  Nathan Adrian.  Gorditos in Greenwood.  Bagels.  Purple.  Then we got together to incorporate all of that into a video.  The only way we could think to incorporate Australia into the video was to include a “Finding Nemo” scene.

IMG_7405This was Liz’s idea.  It was genius.

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My living room became the Great Barrier Reef.

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We also had to make Bieber and Nathan masks to use later.

IMG_7410Tadd was amazing videographer.  We didn’t really give him any guidance, but he always gets the best shots.  And he makes a great Nathan Adrian. 😉

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The next scene was at Gorditos in Greenwood.  We were pretty embarrassed dancing outside at the beginning because it’s located on a busy road and there were LOTS of cars staring at us.  And then we would forget the lyrics to the song and start laughing.  It was Cortney’s idea to serenade a Gorditos’ famous baby-sized burrito during the “Baby” section of the remix.  So we created eyes in our burrito out of Tadd’s sauce and cut a mouth into it so we could cradle it and feed it a bottle.

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IMG_7415Poor burrito baby.  It was delicious.

The next scene was shot at the waterfront.  But it started raining so we had to just hurry and film and get inside.  So sadly, no photos.  After the waterfront, we stopped by the Make-A-Wish office so we could film in front of the Make-A-Wish logo in the front office.

IMG_7420It took a few tries to get these shots right, but we got it eventually.

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Filming took almost a full day, but it was totally worth it.  We hope Marri loves it as much as we loved making it.  The link to the video is below.  We also put together a short video of some behind the scenes footage.  The thing with music videos is that since you only have to use the video and not any of the original audio, the original audio can be pretty funny.

We’re thinking of you, Marri! video
Bloopers from Marri’s video

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Whaaaat??

I’ve spent lots of time online looking up fun, new (mostly cupcake) recipes and sometimes it takes more than a few times until I find the perfect recipe, so I wanted to be able to share some of my delicious outside-the-box recipes!  I can’t cook, so you probably won’t find anything for dinner here, but I will have you covered for dessert.

Volunteering with the Alaska and Washington chapter of Make-A-Wish is also a passion for me.  I began my involvement as an intern, and then a volunteer.  After much persistence and many interviews, I have now been on staff for a couple of years.  However, being a wish granting volunteer is still a very important role to me and meeting wish families reminds me why I do what I do.  I’m frequently asked if its hard doing what I do and dealing with sick kids.  My answer is that I try not to think about them being sick.  I try my best to just plan something fun and exciting for each of my wish kids.  Most of the time, I can’t even tell that they look sick, because I don’t know what they looked like before they lost their hair or their face got puffy from their treatments.  Each of my wish kids holds a special place in my heart.  That being said, I have also spent many hours trying to come up with unique ways to make each of my wish kiddos feel special.  They might all wish to go meet Mickey at a Disney theme park, but I always try to do something special and different for each kiddo.  It’s safe to say that Make-A-Wish is truly one of my passions and I am thrilled to share all of my excitement with you!

My Make-A-Wish partner in crime. We love what we do.
P.S. The costumes were her idea. 🙂

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