As you’re reading this, I’m probably on a plane somewhere en route to NYC for the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Holiday Bakeoff. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already!

I went to a General Mills blog event back in August and really learned a lot about myself on that trip. See, GM was awesome and put together a booklet with all of the bloggers’ pictures, blog URLs, and a blurb about each person. As I was on the plane, I was reading Twitter reports about how it said so-and-so was a homeschooling mom of 6 kids who loves housework and also runs a business out of her home while coaching little league and keeping up with her yoga practice. Okay, I might be exaggerating slightly but seriously, amazing things about these amazing women.

So I get to the hotel and flip open the book to see what it says about me. Any guesses?


“Amanda blogs about food and really likes the Real Housewives.”


I about fell on the floor.

And then I realized it’s my own fault. Because I talk about the Real Housewives. A lot. Way more than is probably considered “normal”. In fact, I bet that while you’re reading this I’m on the plane wondering if the hotel we’re staying at will have Bravo because tonight is the fight between Camille and Kyle.

I have a problem. I recognize it now and today I am here to tell you 7 things that you may not know about me so that next time someone needs to include me in a “Get to know your fellow bloggers” booklet, there’s something semi-interesting to say about me.

  1. My first car was a 1985 Z28 Camaro.
  2. Once, in a fit of blind rage, I bit a hole in my parent’s shower curtain.
  3. My best friend and I once ate an entire cheesecake while doing serious MySpace stalking.
  4. My favorite color is purple.
  5. My first job was at McDonald’s.
  6. I own every Anne Hathaway movie ever.
  7. I drink my wine on ice, in a plastic Starbucks cup.


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean split and scraped to remove seeds
For the frosting:
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla bean seeds; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.
To make the frosting:
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.
  2. While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Spread on cooled cupcakes and dip in sprinkles if you wish!



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