Happy Father's Day!

This was an interesting couple of days. On Friday, a friend of mine, who is a terrific father, told me I inspired him to make banana bread... and take pics! And then Saturday I spent the day giving my first private baking lessons to a co-worker's wife. The family would be attending a Father's Day gathering of 50+ people and she wanted to make a few of the recipes she'd seen here on my site. Good things are happening all around!!

My father passed away last August and this is my first Father's Day without him. I'm very sad about that. Much moreso than I expected to be. But on Friday, my dear friend Rich (aka Mr. Crankypants) called me up - - - and that always makes me smile. Not only is he a terrific person but Rich is also a terrific father and although he's too young to fully appreciate it, one day Rich's son will realize what a terrific guy his dad really is. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like Rich. No, he doesn't pay me to say these things... I just really feel blessed that he puts up with me cuz Lord knows that's not easy! LOL!

I think Rich has a love of bananas. Recall that in this post last month, I wrote about the peanut butter and banana cupcakes I made for his birthday. Well, when we talked on Friday he told me how I'd inspired him to bake some banana bread. And not some regular old box mix banana bread (which would have impressed me right there) but he baked this banana bread from scratch! He used Jessica Seinfeld's recipe and adapted it to his own liking. I'm so proud of him for taking an existing recipe and making it his own!!! In making his super-special banana bread Rich omitted the cauliflower, added more banana instead, and a tablespoon of ground flax seed. Pretty snazzy huh?? He said it was really good and next time he'll add even more banana, and leave in more banana chunks. His son helped him measure out the ingredients and eat the yummy results. What a fantastic Father-&-Son project and I thought it was something really appropriate to share with all of you on Father's Day :)

As you know, I take a lot of baked goods to the office. I mean, I bake... a lot! And even though DJ and the kids consume their fair share... and I give a lot away to my neighbors... I take quite a bit to work. Last week, a co-worker who has eaten plenty of my cupcakes and cookies visited my blog for the first time. He was really impressed and emailed the URL to his wife thinking she'd like the recipes. She contacted me and asked if she could pay me to make her husband's favorite Red Velvet cupcakes for Father's Day. We chatted about it for a while and she confided that she's really not much of a baker but asked if I would teach her because she wanted to learn. I enthusiastically agreed! As it turned out they had plans to attend a Father's Day gathering for over 50 people and she wanted to make the Red Velvet cupcakes w/cream cheese icing that she'd seen here as well as the Mint Chocolate cupcakes she'd seen here.

We spent about 7 hours together and I coached her thru baking, frosting and decorating about 84 cupcakes from scratch. She made the cupcakes, the icing, frosted and decorated them all with me just doing the coaching, demonstrating and supervising. She'd never used a pastry bag in her life but I'm really proud of how she did. The photos below aren't the best since the lighting in their kitchen was a bit of a challenge... and it's hard to see the green color of the mint icing... but she did a great job and I was happy to share my love of baking. I hope her family appreciates her hard work in making these cupcakes for Father's Day :)

Here she is using the pastry bag to pipe cream cheese icing on the red velvet cupcakes

Sprinkling red sanding sugar on the red velvet cupcakes

The finished red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

The undecorated mint chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream icing (the mint green color of the icing doesn't show very well in the picture - sorry)

And the tray of decorated mint chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream icing (again, the mint green color of the icing doesn't show very well in the picture - sorry)... some are dusted with cocoa powder and some have chocolate sprinkles

She was a great student! As I said, I'm really proud of the results she achieved... and I really enjoyed playing teacher for the day.

Have a delicious day.... and Happy Father's Day!!