Iowa State Fair 2012

The state fair is huge but really the only thing I care about is the food, it’s seriously the only thing I care about. The things I want to get out of the fair are simple, eat something on a stick and a bunch of other fried deliciousness

I didn’t purposely cut 90% of my sister out, but short arms make picture taking hard

Red velvet funnel cake, one of my favorites

Fried Oreos

Huge chocolate moose


Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes

I had seen a recipe on Pinterest a while ago for Jack Daniels dark chocolate cupcakes that looked super yummy. I decided to make a few adjustment and used Bailey’s instead of JD and also used more semisweet and bittersweet chocolate (mostly because I would have had to try a lot harder to get the dark chocolate, and have you ever tried 80% cacao chocolate? It’s not good).

Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes

This is the recipe that I adapted for the cupcakes, ganache, and frosting

  •  2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate, small bowl combine the eggs, coffee, Bailey’s, buttermilk, and oil. Combine both mixtures and mix until smooth (I use an electric, stand mixer, makes it so much easier). Pour into cupcake cups (about 1/2-3/4 full) and bake for about 20 minutes.

It got a little messy

Cool completely before frosting. In the meantime you can start making the ganache and frosting

Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 ounces dark chocolate chips (I used bittersweet chips, 60% cacao)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s

Put the chocolate chips in a small, heat safe bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan until just boiling. Pour over the chocolate and set aside for a couple minutes to melt. Then whisk till smooth and add the butter and Bailey’s and stir to combine. 

Ganache filling


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (I changed this a little bit from the original cause I didn’t want to use pudding mix)

  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups Dark Chocolate Whiskey ganache
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • slightly less than 2 lbs powdered sugar (very inexact, I just add it till it’s the consistency I want, you’ll have extra if you add this much, frosting should be thick but fluffy. If it gets too thick just add a tiny bit of milk)
  • more Bailey’s to taste

Combine everything and mix, adding powdered sugar till it’s the consistency you want. Then I mixed it long enough to make it nice and fluffy.

After you’ve got everything made I just got the ganache in a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner to fill the cupcakes with ganache. Same thing to frost so it’s pretty fast and easy. These cupcakes are yummy and this is some of my favorite frosting because it’s super smooth and creamy. 


I think I’ve had a few posts about running and the general trend seems to be an increasingly positive view of it mixed in with my lingering dislike for running. This is gonna be similar to that, so my bad if this seems redundant. I’ve really been getting in to running since February and pretty much since I’ve started I’ve progressed pretty well. I was running a couple weeks ago (it’s been a while since I’ve blogged…) as I was running all I could think was “I never thought I’d be doing this.” I’d gone out for a run simply because I was bored and it was actually one of my best runs yet and it felt great. On our 3 miles runs me and my mom have been doing right around 9 minute miles, this is slow for a lot of people but for me this is great! When I started running I was doing 12 minute miles! Last Monday we finished our best 3 mile run yet at 28:41, I’m just happy to finally be breaking 30.

Never thought I’d still be smiling after a run

I also ran the John Deere 5k this past Saturday with my mom and dad and got my best time yet, 29:29!  I wasn’t even feeling good that day is still got a new best time. I’d run well Monday but something was just not working with me on Saturday. I didn’t feel too bad but I could tell I must have been off because my mom kept looking at me and asking if I was ok. But even though I had an off day I still cut more than 5 minutes off my last 5k time (at the Klompen Classic in May I had finished in 34:54). This was a pretty huge improvement and I’m ready to keep getting better; next goal is 25 minutes!

I also need to get better just to keep up with my parents! My dad was 1st and his age group and my mom was 2nd in hers! They’re such rockstars

Music is definitely a powerful motivator for me, one day I started out running to this song and when I looked at my watch I was running around an 8 minute mile pace, bit faster than normal