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The very BEST Valentines Day!

This might be a *bit* of an exaggeration. But I legitimately had one of the best Valentine's Day experiences yet yesterday, and the reason? Low expectations. In fact, zero expectations. And look what happened!

As a single lady, I'm pretty neutral towards Valentine's Day. I like chocolate a lot, so I figured I'd bake some cupcakes and call it a successful day. I actually spent a long time on the cupcakes I found three separate, perfect, from-scratch recipes for the batter, the filling and the frosting based on what I wanted and what ingredients I had on hand.

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I adapted the cupcakes themselves from Brown Eyed Baker's "Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes" recipe. I didn't follow her directions for the ganache and frosting, and I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour instead of regular flour since I'm trying to use it up. I don't love the taste or texture of rice flour, or whatever else is in that stuff, so I typically prefer to stick with buckwheat or coconut flour when baking gluten-free. Fortunately, this recipe was yummy enough to mask the weird taste of the flour. Success!

My little sister got a cupcake filling hole cutter-outer thing for Christmas, which made scooping out the cake for my chocolate sour cream ganache filling a breeze.I decided to make this strawberry buttercream frosting to go on top, since we had an old container of strawberries in the freezer. I was letting those defrost while I made the cupcakes.

SUDDENLY OUT OF NOWHERE I got a text from a friend. "Do you have dinner plans?" it said. After taking a moment to weep gently, I answered and we decided to meet for dinner at my favorite restaurant, the Roasted Tater. I pulled my cupcakes out of the oven to cool and dashed upstairs to shower. I got ready faster than lightning (LITERALLY!) and was about to leave when I stepped outside and heard men shouting at the bottom of my driveway. Which meant that the tow truck had FINALLY arrived to pull my dad's car out of the ditch he had slid into the night before.

You can't really tell in this picture, but the road is to the right of the car and it is raised above two rain ditches on either side. His car is stuck on one side, and directly behind the car (slightly to the left, just where the picture ends) is a way deeper ditch that we couldn't avoid if we kept backing the car out in the slippery ice.

All this to say, at the exact moment when I was heading out to Valentine's Day dinner with my friend, a horde of strong fellows and their towtruck we're blocking the way out and I basically had to sit and wait thirty minutes for them to get finished. Needless to say, my expectations for Valentine's Day we're BEYOND low at this point: no romance, no buildup of excitement for plans made in advance, and even my cupcakes we're probably not going to get finished at this point because I didn't know how long I'd be out.

In other words: a RECIPE for SUCCESS.

Here is the strawberry frosting. I worked a little on the cupcakes while I waited for the towing people to get done, but didn't get them frosted. My mom was barely able to restrain herself while I was gone from just eating them without frosting.

Eventually I got out, and surprisingly, EVERY OTHER ROAD IN TOWN was completely dry. Ours alone remained an icy death trap go figure. I picked up my friend and we headed to dinner, hungry and chatty. Nothing could prepare us for the exceptional evening the Lord had prepared for our hearts! We we're late for our reservation, but the hostess still let us stand in front of the line and that was special in itself. Then, once we we're seated, they brought out a basket of adorable heart-shaped biscuits along with their signature homemade jam and butter. We placed our orders and everything seemed normal. This was already my favorite restaurant, so I was predisposed to pleasant feelings before anything great even happened.

Then BOOM! Out of nowhere, the waitress brings us a plate with two chocolate covered strawberries and a bouquet of fresh flowers for each of us (pictured at the top of the post). Can you believe that? Two 22-year-old single ladies just enjoying a night out and it was like romance-central. I'm actually really content in my singleness currently (huge blessing!) but I guess God thought my friend and I could use a little extra TLC anyway, courtesy a local restaurant. Is my God a lover or what?

After gorging ourselves on delicious southern food and soaking up the adorable atmosphere, we headed out and I returned home to my cupcakes. My family was watching Whose Line Is It Anyway?and I proceeded to ice the cupcakes, which I was entirely too full to eat but (having had one for breakfast) ended up exactly as delicious as I'd hoped.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 11/10/2017






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