Long Time, No Blog

You guys!
(Side note – the word “guys” looks really funny when you stare at it for long time. I started typing “y’all” but felt weird since my family in Ohio thinks I’m just trying to be cute when I say it. But really it’s just a part of assimilating to life in the South after seven years. I can’t help it! So, “you guys” or “y’all”…whichever you prefer…)
Hello again! Long time, no blog, huh? 
While I’ve loved this teeny tiny little space on the internet called Counting My Cupcakes for the past 3+ years, letting it go and spending more quality time in the real world has been wonderful. I’ve said it a million times before, so I won’t elaborate on it again, but obviously I’ve let CMC take the backseat in my life. 
On Saturday, Hannah and I did Body Pump together, followed by a breakfast date at our go-to spot, Metto Coffee & Tea. She mentioned how she’s determined to finish writing a blog post about a medical mission trip she took recently, which reminded me how I’ve been wanting to check into my own blog as well. It’s been quite awhile and I (semi-jokingly) told Hannah I don’t want the first post people to see when they visit the site to forever be the one about Christian persecution. While it is such an important issue to pray about, I think something a little lighter-hearted up front and center when someone visits this site better portrays what this space is all about. 
In the time that’s past since my last post, Greg and I visited my oldest brother Ryan in D.C. (my mom and step dad were visiting as well so it was a “kill two birds with one stone” kind of trip). We ate lunch and homemade pop-tarts from Ted’s Bulletin, as seen above. 
Highlights include a tour inside the White House, strolling through Arlington Cemetery, and my new favorite attraction: the Newseum. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a museum all about the media and how some of history’s biggest stories have been told through the news. There are several videos and other multimedia components that sucked me in. The best part was probably the teleprompter station where I got to hold a microphone and be filmed reading a weather forecast off of the prompter. I was…awful. But! It was super entertaining, especially for Greg who stood there and laughed at me the whole time. 
Meteorologist Greg and News Anchor Brittany at your service!

In other news (no pun intended), after pinning this recipe months ago, I finally made Dorothy’s Small Batch Quick Cinnamon Rolls. Best. ever. I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making homemade cinnamon rolls, but these were SO EASY. And more importantly, TO DIE FOR. I made them for Greg and I one weekend, fell in love, then made another batch in D.C. to enjoy with my family. 
My last update for today is about none other than the Zo Monster. She turned 2 years old! on September 11th. We had a birthday celebration for a co-worker the day before, so I brought the birthday hat home just for Zoey. She hated it, but I managed to get a few quick pictures before letting her have revenge and destroy it. 
I don’t know when I’ll be back here again, but feel free to connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Happy Fall!!!!

Capital Cuisine

I flew home from D.C. on Monday night and am now back in reality. But hey, it’s almost the end of the week already. Not to make you jealous or anything, but today is really like Friday for me, because I have tomorrow off too!

Three-day weekend followed by a three-day work week? I can get used to this.
I still have not shared much else about my trip, besides the ridiculous amount of cupcakes. But rest assured we ate much more than just cupcakes over the weekend.
Ryan took us to a local spot by his work on the Navy Yard. 
It was Saturday afternoon. The first Saturday of college football season. So we HAD to go to a sports bar to watch the Buckeye game. We were all dressed in our scarlet and gray ready for kickoff. 

….And ready to eat. Good thing the Bucks had a relatively easy game so it didn’t matter the food became a little distracting. 
I had a club sandwich on a ciabatta roll with tater tots. Their tots are apparently their name to fame, so I felt obligated to try them. 
Brooke got a burger with sweet potato fries. The tater tots were good, but the sweet potato fries were awesome. I had to swap a few of mine for a few of Brooke’s when she wasn’t looking.  
The Ugly Mug isn’t really in the most touristy spot, so it might not be the most convenient place to go if you’re visiting the city. I would recommend it if you’re nearby though.
One place you MUST go to is Ben’s Chili Bowl. You may have heard of it before. It’s been on the Food Network and has an interesting historical story behind it. We stopped by right before I had to get to the airport on Monday afternoon and the long line worried me that I wasn’t going to get to try it. But we stuck it out and ended up not being too rushed after all. It’s a tight little place for the amount of customers they get. It’s loud and a little on the warm side, but it’s all part of the atmosphere. You order at the counter and they bring your food to the table – almost instantly. 
A chili dog with potato chips and chili cheese fries on the side wouldn’t be complete without a vanilla milkshake to wash it down. I had been starving myself all morning knowing that I would be having this for lunch so it surprisingly didn’t make me feel as awful as I expected it might. After all, it was just one hot dog and we all split the fries. 

Not that this is a gourmet meal by any means, but the chili dog with a side of chips is only about $3.50. Not bad. And if you were wondering, the only people who eat for free here are Bill Cosby and the Obamas. That’s what the sign said anyway.
One night we got pizza for dinner from Bugsy’s. My dad has been raving about Bugsy’s since he visited Ryan a few months ago. And rightfully so. 
Ryan got a barbecue chicken pizza that was topped with roasted red peppers. Us girls split the Florentine Pizza- spinach, mozzarella and garlic. 
Both were just perfect. The crust was so thick and soft. There wasn’t too much sauce, which automatically gives it a few extra points in my book. 
That basically wraps up the highlights of the trip. Oh wait. We were in D.C. weren’t we? Only the capital of the country for heavens sake. So in case you’re curious, we got our share of sight-seeing in too.
Are you sick of me talking about D.C. yet? I understand if you are. I’ll stop now.
I have some great recipes planned to cook this weekend. Can’t wait to share!

DC Cupcakes Galore, Part 2

I warned you this was coming…more cupcakes.
Like I said, it wasn’t planned. I was perfectly satisfied with the cupcakes from Georgetown and didn’t need anymore. Then we were walking around the streets of downtown D.C. and I happened to glance into the window of a bakery. I saw people biting into jumbo, colorful cupcakes and I instantly had to know what that place was. I looked up at the awning to see the name of another relatively famous place – Crumbs Bake Shop. 
We were already on our way to lunch, so now I was going to have to be sure and save room for dessert. Because I was coming back. And once again, dragging my family with me.
Good thing we did.
The cupcakes from Crumbs were almost twice the size of the ones from Georgetown Cupcake (although they were more expensive too). We ended up getting pretty similar flavors though, besides the addition of Red Velvet. That one was the best. We also got the “Good Guy” (similar to funfetti), Peanut Butter Cup and Cookie Dough. 
These were all decorated so well and the their size made them even more appealing than the ones at Georgetown Cupcake. Like I said, the Red Velvet was awesome and the Good Guy sure lived up to his name. He really should be called the Very Good Guy. The icing, sprinkles and white chocolate drizzle made it taste like a donut. Mmmm. 
As much as I loved cookie dough by itself or as an add-in for ice cream, as a cupcake flavor it just doesn’t do it for me. 
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I may just be cupcaked out for a little while. 
Time to start planning some light and nutritious meals for the rest of the week to make up for the weekend!
Crumbs Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

DC Cupcakes Galore, Part 1

Warning: Be prepared for the unnecessary very necessary amount of cupcake-related pictures below.

I got a double dose of cupcake bakeries in D.C. so I will spare you an extremely long post about cupcakes, which probably bore you much more than I realize, and break it up over the course of two days.

I only had a couple things on my to-do list while in D.C. this weekend. Visiting the TLC show star Georgetown Cupcake was one of them. The other bakery (find out which one tomorrow) ended up being a surprise encounter and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Despite the “over-rated” reviews that I read about Georgetown Cupcake, I am so happy I went! And my family seemed okay with me dragging them along too (They ate the cupcakes just as quickly as I did).
So, we paid a RIDICULOUS amount of money to park in Georgetown and headed to the bakery. A twenty-minute long line later, we were inside and surrounded by happiness. Ok, maybe it was a little more craziness than happiness. Standing in line really wasn’t that big of a deal anyway, because were we handed a menu so we could get started on the difficult choice ahead of us! By the time we all decided what we would order, it was our turn to go inside. 
Ahhhhhhhhh. This is what I have been waiting for!
Brooke was just as excited as I was.
Even though we could have stuck around to eat the cupcakes in the bakery and get the full experience, there really wasn’t much seating with the crowd of people and all of us were ready to get home anyway.
The anxiety was building the whole way back. Good thing there was a sticker holding the box closed, or else I would have had to eat one on the drive. I don’t know when a little sticker became stronger than I am, but somehow it was. 
I guess you probably want me to explain what each one of these is? Starting from the upper left and going clockwise: Vanilla Birthday, Coconut, Peanut Butter Fudge, Mint Cookies and Creme, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Ganache. 
Since each of us wanted to try a little of everything, the cupcakes were cut into fourths and from there……it was a free-for-all. 
Those cupcakes didn’t stand a chance.
My favorite were the Vanilla Birthday and Coconut. The Mint Cookies and Creme was one of my choices to order, but that was probably my biggest disappointment. I could taste the mint, but would have liked more cookie flavor. I discovered the mint frosting went best with the chocolate cake base from the Chocolate Ganache cupcake.
I wouldn’t call these “amazing,” but they were worth the trip and experience. They were definitely good cupcakes. As a frosting lover, I would say they needed a little (a lot?) more of that.

Georgetown Cupcake on Urbanspoon

Sunday Blessings – On the Seventh Day

“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.”
...And ate ice cream.
Or maybe I made that part up. But that’s how I like to spend my days of rest…eating ice cream, that is.
This past week I had to work everyday from Sunday through Friday. Six long days of work. Not that you needed me to count for you. On that seventh day of the week (yesterday), I finally got a day of much needed rest. 
I can’t think of a much better way I would have liked to spend that time off than with some family, exploring a new city. In a big city like D.C., there are so many places to go and sights to see that it’s not exactly the most physically relaxing vacation. But it is very mentally relaxing.
Anytime I’m with that beauty up there on the left, I know I will have fun. The most difficult decision I have had to make is what flavor ice cream and cupcakes to get! That can be a little stressful, but I’m not complaining about eating ice cream and cupcakes. 
So it’s a good thing I’m not being completely lazy and just sitting around all weekend. We are getting plenty of walking into our days, to help balance the excessive sugar intake. Not to mention overstuffed sandwiches and deep-dish pizza. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you out of this heavenly food forever. I know the anticipation is killing you, but try to hang on a little longer. 
Today, I get another day of rest! And tomorrow too. 
I wonder if God’s “seventh day” was extra long…like three-day weekend long. I hope it was. And I hope He ate a ginormous waffle cone filled with the creamiest ice cream ever–one scoop of blueberry cheesecake and one scoop of cinnamon.