Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste

This may be a little too much information for some of you, but the others that stumbled upon this blog by a “Piggy Paste” Google search will feel right at home.

I can’t remember when I first started to get toe fungus but I think it was somewhere around 4 years ago. I did absolutely nothing for a long time, then about 2 years ago I decided it was time to take some action.

I started with the cheapest treatment in a bottle I could find at Walgreens and after diligently using it every night for 2 months, I felt like it was only making my toe nail look more and more like a small plank of wood.

Since then I made my own salve and tincture, each containing a variety of mold fighting essential oils: tea tree, cinnamon, lavender, orange, patchouli, you name it. I stuck with that treatment for about a year and a half, cleaning, applying and pretty much nothing else. And you guessed it, my labors yielded close to no results. It actually begun to spread to my other big toe, which brings me to this blog post. Enough is enough.

I did some long over due internet searching for how to rid toe fungus, and came across something I don’t know why I didn’t try sooner, apple cider vinegar. The past few days I have been soaking my toes and it does seem to be working. So that was good. But I decided to take it one step further, go out on a limb and buy what seems to have decent reviews, Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste. I just liked the name too much to pass it by. I DO believe it’s going to work or I wouldn’t have spent the 30$ at Rite Aid. So, I went ahead and trimmed my toe nail down, like many online users said to do, applied my first “pea size” drop, and here we go. May the odds be ever in my favor.

Wed. June 18th 2014

Just by chance it is exactly a year after I wrote this post. I thought I should post an update. I used Dr. Paul's Piggy Paste and unfortunately my toe still has fungus. I now just cover the fungus with nail polish and try to forget it's even there. I think my next attempt at beating the fungus will be a trip to the doctors and a bottle of meds. Hummbug. 


High Altitude Baking: Cupcake vs. The Pie

I’ll cut to the chase here, the pie obviously wins. No need to read further unless you are interested in fighting the good fight and want to try to make cupcakes at high altitude.

Pecan Chocolate Chip

Since arriving at Rock Creek Lake Resort I have felt a desire and a need to contribute to my homey work place in a way other then by regular duties of waitressing, cleaning cabins, washing dishes and helping out in the kitchen. So, I decided to take up baking.

I chose cupcakes because I good friend Katie is close to obsessed with a cupcakery called Sprinkles in Southern California. After being introduced to their heavenly sweets, I knew I wanted to try to duplicate them. I challenging feat I know, someone with little to no baking background trying to reproduce the most popular cupcake chains cakes at 9,700 feet in elevation. But I though I would give it a go. And to be honest, the cupcakes I make are good, but they just don’t sell. They can’t compete with the pies, #1. And #2 they hardly hold a candle to Amy’s doubley fudgey brownies and Doug’s white chocolate and dried cherry.

I’m thinking I just haven’t found THE cupcake to make up here yet. But I wont stop trying.

“There are two mice trapped in a bucked of cream…. I’m the mouse that didn’t give up, churning the butter into cream and crawling out.” I loved Catch Me If You Can.

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Marshmallow Filling

Makes 1 dozen

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon table salt (unless you use salted butter, I leave this out)

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F (if above 5,000 ft). Line muffin pan with baking cup liners. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside and cool until just warm to the touch. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream and milk until combined. Sift remaining flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until batter is combined. Fill cups 2/3 full. Don’t overfill or they will have muffin tops and fall off. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

Marshmallow Filling:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff

1 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream

To make the marshmallow filling: in a medium bowl beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, Marshmallow Fluff and 1 ½ tablespoons of the heavy cream on medium speed until fluffy.

Once cupcakes have cooled, cut out a small circle in the center of each cupcake. These cupcake are really rich so when making you well, scoop on the conservative side or you will have an ultra sugar rush when eating these cupcakes. Not necessarily a bad thing.

If you don’t have a pastry bag, get a sandwich bag, put it inside a mug, fill it with cream, snip off the tip and vaw-la! A pastry bag.

Peanut Butter Frosting

6 ounces butter

½ cup confectioners’ sugar (add more for thicker frosting)

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup peanut butter

½ teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

Combine sugar and salt in bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in bowl. Beat butter and peanut butter in mixer until smooth and creamy. Alternately add sugar and milk mixture until fully incorporated. Add additional milk for a softer consistency. Frost on top of cooled cupcakes.

These cupcakes are REALLY rich. As you have read, they have a lot of butter in the cupcake, filling and frosting combined. They didn’t sell really well but the crew really liked them. I thought the frosting looked find of funny but tasted delicious.

High Altitude Baking: Chai Tea Cupcakes

I was browsing the Internet for fun cupcakes recipes and came across a blog that told the story of a baker’s love affair with chai lattes. She tried multiple recipes trying to get the perfect chai tea cupcake before making the recipe that I found. I thought I would give it a try since her photos looked fabulous and she was quite witty and fun to read. I altered the recipe for Rock Creek Canyon at 9,700 feet, which is the recipe you will find below.

I’m not a chai lover per say – and this most definitely biased my opinion of her cupcake (well my high altitude rendition of it). I thought it tasted more like a holiday spice cake but then again I don’t have a very refined chai pallet, so maybe there really was a distinctive chai taste and I just missed it. Again. I’m not a devout baker, just a sweets lover trying to compete with pie.

Chai Cupcakes

Makes 2 dozen

Cupcake Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup yogurt or sour cream

4 chai tea bags

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. Doesn’t it look purdy?! In a small saucepan, warm the milk until it just simmers. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the chai milk to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape the bowl, then add the yogurt/sour cream and mix until just incorporated. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over batter and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the chai milk mixture, mixing on low until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat until just mixed. Scrape the bowl, then add the remaining milk and mix until combined. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.

Fill each cupcake liner with 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


1 cup butter or margarine, room temp (also good substituting butter for cream cheese)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon (up to 1/2 teaspoon more, if desired)

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Original recipe by Darla. High altitude adjustments made my me.

These cupcakes DID sell better then my last, the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and marshmallow filling. I am thinking that the customer likes it when the cupcakes have cute, simple names and “Chai Tea Cupcakes” may have been a winner.

High Altitude Baking: Vanilla Cupcake with Strawberry Frosting

This cupcake may be the one. So far it is my favorite. Every time I bite into one I can’t help myself but to do the happy food dance. I think it may be the frosting that makes its so good, but the cake itself is also quite very tasty.

The cupcake is also great with a spiced honey cream frosting making it taste just like a snicker doodle cookie. I will post a recipe for that one next time I make it, so I can put up a photo.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen

½ cup butter, room temp

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1/3 yogurt or sour cream

1/3 milk

½ teaspoon salt (unless you use salted butter, then leave this out, which I do)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until incorporated. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix. Add milk and yogurt/sour cream, mix. Add remaining half of dry ingredients, mix. Tah-dah!

Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full of batter. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Strawberry Frosting

This is enough for 2 dozen, so half it or save the extra for later. Or make a tasty treat by spreading the extra frosting in between gram crakers or tea cookies. Like I said, I’m a baker by necessity. I need to bake because I like sweets and the frosted gram cracker is like the lazy-man’s cupcake.

½ cup fresh strawberries (about 3 or 4) you can use frozen too

1 cup butter, room temp (cold makes it lumpy)

pinch salt (if using unsalted butter)

3 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

Puree strawberries in a food processor. Mix sugar and butter by hand at first, then I like to switch to a hand mixer. Beat until combined. Add vanilla and strawberries. It will be dense and creamy and Oh So Good!

Cool your cakes. Hehe. And frost. I like to use a spatula and go for the homemade look. If you swirl it around then it looks a little like a rose (if you use your imagination)