The Pina Colada Song Cupcake

You know the song. Everyone knows the song... Let's all sing along

If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You're the love that I've looked for, come with me, and escape.
while eating this delicacy:

These are absolutely freaking awesome. I made them for the Iron Cupcake: Earth challenge. This month's secret ingredient is Soda Pop - or if you're from the Deep South "Coke".

My particular poison is Mountain Dew. It's like kryptonite for my diet. SRSLY. But Dew and Cupcake? That's better than Jack and Coke.

The recipe:
  • 10 ounces of Pineapple Supreme cake mix by Duncan Hines
  • 1 ounce of French Vanilla Instant Pudding mix. <--- HAS to be instant.
  • 2 eggs beaten within an inch of their lives
  • 1/2 cup of veg. oil
  • 150 mililiters of Mountain Dew (roughly 2/3 cup give or take)
Beat the eggs until they scream for mercy but not until they're stiff. Dump everything else on top of the eggs and mix until well blended. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into them comes out clean.

About 7 minutes before the cupcakes come out of the oven, make the topping. And put a pot of water on to boil. You'll use this water in a bain marie type of thingy so make sure that your bowl/pan you're going to use to mix the topping in will fit down inside it while it's bubbling. I used a rice tureen inside a soup pot. I only wish it had been a smidge deeper (the tureen).

Since we're in a tropical mood and we like Pina Coladas, we're making an alcohol-based topping. You'll need:

  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Captain Morgan spiced rum
Place all of these in a deep metal bowl and blend until the mixture lightens in color. At this point the cupcakes should be ready to come out of the oven. Place the bowl of sauce into the bubbling pot, take the cuppies out of the oven and set aside. While the cuppies cool, use your hand mixer and blend the sauce over the water until it's smooth and hot.

The sauce is not like frosting. You've got a couple of choices for how to serve it. For tableside presentation, put the sauce in a bowl and spoon over the cuppies (de-papered) as they are served. For that extra special touch, add a teeny orchid on the side. For storing, up-end the cuppies into the sauce so that the top is evenly coated then set aside to cool.

Personally, I heart the silicone cupcake molds because you can pop the cuppies right out and on to a plate. So my family ate the first batch with the spooned-over-the-top sauce. The second round we used the dip-n-serve method. They tasted equally delish either way.

Now for the good stuff:

I'm competing to win Fabulous Prizes from the following lovely sponsors of Iron Cupcake: Earth. Make sure you vote for me at No One Puts Cupcake In The Corner starting April 29th @ 8pm! Voting ends May 4th at Noon. Remember that if you want to get in on the action, you can go to Iron Cupcake:Earth.

The April ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

•A creation by FRUITFLYPIE,
•a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES at
•a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,

•PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY,, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!

Corporate prize providers:


HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,




Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, .

Cruisewear Progress Report #1

Remember this dress?

Well, here it is 90% finished:

I'm pretty happy with it. Just have to sew the bodice to skirt, hem it and then put the buttons and buttonholes on.

On second thought, maybe it's only 75% done...

16 weeks!

Read and post cruise reviews

Remember the cruise? And the insanity that causes me to have to sew an entire wardrobe for it? Well... I've figured out that I have to sew one item per week +/- to get done in time to pack my bags and head for the dock.

In Their Easter Bonnets

Or rather frocks, they were the grandest (little) ladies at our Easter function. Don't you think?

And to think it all started with two cute hairbows. Which of course we didn't get any pictures of. Drat. I'll say this about these dresses, they were really easy to make. Just a couple of hours each. The hardest part was the peak in the front/box pleat.

I'm thrilled with the result, even if I'm not overly excited with the way the fabric drapes. It's REALLY stiff. I'd expected cotton to eventually soften up. And it may eventually. The up side of it being so stiff is that I wasn't really worried about them running around the yard and playing with their cousins.

Wardrobe Refashion

2 month pledge

I've decided to take the plunge and join in the pledge not to buy any new clothing. I wish I could say that I was able to make the pledge for life, but I'm chicken. REALLY chicken. So I'm going to join up for 2 months and see how I make out.

The Pledge

I Nina, not a llama, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of
"new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge
that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my
own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge
that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted,
recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so
that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings!

Signed Nina, not a llama.

I'm determined not to fall off the wagon.

This all gets under way May 1st, so check back!

Cruisin' Together

Not the sappy song by Huey Lewis, either.

August 31st we embark on a 5 day cruise from Jacksonville to Key West to Nassau and back to Jax. It's the first vacation since our 1st anniversary that didn't have a child along (including in-utero). I'm so jazzed about it.

And of course, something this momentous (did I mention it's our 9th wedding anniversary?)

deserves a complete new wardrobe. Lucky me, I got in my shopping spree *before* Wardrobe Refashion starts. Sneaky me, I know.

Anyhow, one is not permitted to look like a hobo stay at home mom at dinner. Apparently ratty yoga pants and stained snarky t-shirts are inappropriate. And here I was looking forward to wearing my Cthulhu for President t-shirt. Shucks. I'll just save it for 2011. I break it out for election season because you know, why vote for the "lesser" evil and all. But my rant on the two-party political stranglehold is a post for another day. Today it's ALL about the amazingness that is the fabric I have and the patterns I have to create a wardrobe worthy of the most fashionable diva the Love Boat ever saw.

The nominees (in no particular order) are:

Butterick 3052 from Patterns From The Past. Hi Michelle!

This pattern will be sewn up in views A & B. View A will NOT have the detachable frilly business because I have a cool grey, yellow & black patterned fabric that doesn't need it. View B is a silky butterfly adorned print that will go with my Lutterloh flounced skirt (not pictured).

Butterick 4369 that I picked up at a rummage sale.

This is being made up in a coordinating black, grey and yellow print from the same collection as the blouse above. I'm making the shorter version.

Vintage Vogue 2636 from LanetzLiving.

This is getting made up in a nice poly blend that is green with orange flecks, courtesy of my mother in law.

Simplicity 4044 & 9978 (sadly out of print) from my local fabric shop.

The skirt will be yellow (surprise) and the slacks will be grey to match the blouse above. Mix-n-match is a beautiful thing.

I'm making the skirt/midriff top at the lower left in a cruise-themed cotton. Now I just need to tone the midriff...

New Look 6244, 6521 & 6669 also from my local fabric shop.

Skirt: brown. Blouse: View A with the ribbon. Turqouise cotton with sheer turquoise/brown print overlay/sleeves.

Top: View A in yellow and pants in charcoal.

Dress C as shown on model with a white/pinkish cotton embellished with sequins with the strappy one underneath in plain white.

Some of these patterns I've had FOREVER and never got around to making them up. Well, the time is NOW.

I'm also making up Lutterloh 205, 154 & 155 (maybe I'll scan them in) also. Lucky me, there's the skirt pattern. Not having much luck finding the capris/top online. But well, there you go.

Once all the fabric is washed, I'll take pictures so you can see the fabulousness that is my biggest project to date. Now, I just need to finish my daughters' Easter Dresses. You know. That they have to wear in less than 48 hours. Pressure? Me? Naaaah.....

Why Does It Always Happen, Part II

How did I KNOW that as soon as I went into the Pit of Despair my office/sewing room that something was going to come toppling down? I swear, Murphy is a dead man. Dead I tell you!!!! Eleventy!11!

I promise, I'll post pictures. I swear I will. I have over 100 photos on my Nikon D70 waiting to be uploaded to my hard drive and then PhotoShopped ever so gently and then posted.

In the meantime, I am going to take some pain pills for my right S-I joint from where I pulled SOMETHING terrible while moving a filing cabinet. Did I empty it? No. But it wasn't "that" heavy. Except for one small problem... The darn cabinet is almost as tall as I am...

Why Does It Always Happen...

I swear the office/sewing room has some strange gravitational force that sucks everything into it and causes massive overflow of shelves and surfaces. I wish I knew how to stop it or abate the problem. It's driving me MAD I tell you, MAD! What I wouldn't give for a dedicated sewing room where I had a comfy chair, a cutting/pattern drafting table, room for Hildegarde and ALL my machines set up and easily accessible.

Le sigh...

The Intrepid Seamstress: She Sews, She Scores!

My darling Mother-in-law gave me a gorgeous sarong and shawl with coordinating fabric a while back and while I don't have the knowhow to wear a sarong, I dearly love the fabric and have wanted to *do* something with it for ever since she gave it to me. So, I decided that I was going to tame the beast and start sewing for myself rather than just for the kids. Partially because of Wardrobe Refashion and partly because I'm disgusted with RTW stuff.

I posted a poll over at SewRetro to see what should be my next project and unofficial result was a Very Easy Very Vogue pattern that used to be my Nana's. It's never been used before, so I wanted to make something from it. I took it down to my local FedEx/Kinko's and had them run it through the large format copier. $11.24 later, I had my pristine pattern ready to be altered. And boy-howdy did I have to do some alterations.

I had to add 6" to the bodice, 11" to the waist and 6" to the hips. Luckily, the empire-ish waist and A-line skirt made that a fairly simple endeavor. I didn't even swear ONCE! I guess that's why it's called "VERY EASY". I omitted the sleeves and pockets since I was going for a nice simple line and short sleeves and I don't coexist well. I've got fairly large biceps for my height and getting the ease right is twitchy.

The bodice is made from the front of the sarong:

I used the zig-zag pattern that used to run lengthwise down the sarong as the front and the back of the sarong makes the back of the bodice as well as the front of the skirt. The back of the skirt is made from the coordinating pink fabric while the hem is actually the border of the sarong cut and sewn along the bottom edge of the skirt.

The dress got the seal of approval from the Mini-Fashionista known as my oldest child. She's suddenly turned into an expert on anything fashion-related. Which doesn't surprise me since she's got an eye for color and so on. At 6 years old she painted an amazing rendition of koi fish. Look out world, she's coming. She's the one on the left.

Back to the topic at hand, not only does the dress fit like it was custom made for me (der), it totally matches the shoes I bought in Indonesia to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding. SCORE! I picked up some gorgeous beads at JoAnn's with a 40% off coupon and I'm going to make some matching jewelry to go with. Go me!