What's a everyday occasion that's worth celebrating? For me it would be Natalie learning sign language. Every week she is learning new signs to help her express herself. Most of you know that Natalie is Autistic. She struggles with verbal communication. She is now four going on five and only has a handful of words she can say out loud. Ever since she started special education preschool they have taught her sign language. Fortunately, for us she has really picked up on it. By learning a way of communication she has become less inclined to harm herself in frustration. For us it's really been a miracle to see Natalie express her wants and needs.
Natalie isn't dumb. In fact, I don't even know the heights of her intelligence. I feel she is somewhere off the charts brilliant. Before she was taught sign language she made up her own. It was how we communicated with her. Madeline knows even more than I do because she and Natalie are so close. Madeline, who is Autistic as well, also struggles with verbal communication. Although, she is far and away above where Natalie is at. She too was taught sign language as an aid to help her express herself. When Natalie learns a new word...we all learn it so we can talk to her. I feel like whatever is holding Natalie back from talking is getting wiggled loose by the sign language.
The other day I cam out with an umbrella to pick her up from the bus. The bus attendant told me that Natalie said "Umbrella." as clear as day. That's quite the accomplishment for her since she's only really picked up on one syllable words. Yesterday she signed to me she wanted a cup of milk from a cow. Then said, "COW!" very loud lol. My favorite sign of all is, "I love you." It was something I wanted to hear so badly that I've been waiting so long for. She has only just learned the words verbally. Most people wouldn't be able to understand her but I heard her. She furrows her eyebrows and concentrates very hard to tell me she loves me. It just brings tears to my eyes. The screen is a little blurry as I write this. I really feel that every day occasions are the best sort.
On Thursday, after my doctor's appointment Madeline and I went into Walmart to buy stuff for our everyday occasion celebration. Madeline, got very excited about the prospect of vanilla Cool Whip Frosting for the cupcakes. It's her favorite flavor. She also picked out the decorations and cupcake liners as well. Although, I'm pretty sure she would have taken them all home lol. Of course she wanted to make them that day but I told her it was for today. When the school bus came she didn't want to come inside. When I told her that we were making butterfly cupcakes she sprinted to the door. Not really but she was pretty close lol.
I make the cupcake batter ahead of time so she could help me once she got home. We wanted to make a special treat for her sissy. She helped me taste the frosting and stir in the food coloring to make a pretty purple color.
She helped eat rogue sprinkles too! Once we were all done she got Natalie and they had a blast eating the cupcakes. Natalie was so delighted by the butterfly cupcakes she grabbed two and ran out to the deck to twirl around!
Here is my go to vanilla cupcake recipe:
Vanilla Butter and Cream Cake Batter
Vanilla Butter and Cream Cake Batter
- 2 1/2 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bleached cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- seed scrapings from a plump vanilla bean
- 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 2 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup cream
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Line the cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
- Cream the butter and shortening in an electric mixer, on moderate speed, for 4 minutes.
- Blend in the seed scrapings from the vanilla bean.
- Add the superfine sugar, in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
- Blend in the extracts.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 20 seconds after each egg is added.
- On low speed, add the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to keep the batter even-textured.
- The batter should be smooth and creamy.
- Pour the in prepared cupcake tins.
- Gently shake the pan from side to side to even out mixture.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 30 minutes until the cupcakes have risen and a wooden toothpick withdraws clean when inserted.
- Let the cupcake stand in the pan on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes then take out to cool the rest of the way.
The Cool Whip Frosting is a much nicer texture than most frosting. It's light and airy. It is on the sweet side for Alan and I but let me tell you...the kids loved it. Although, it is a light frosting it does hold it's shape. However, you really do need to refrigerate what you don't eat immediately because it's perishable and tends to melt if left out for long. As far as taste goes it does taste like a true buttercream vs. the shortening based shelf stable kinds.
|Cupcake Bandit Madeline--lover of all things cupcake.|
The weight of the frosting is that of Swiss meringue buttercream. One container fill up a pastry bag and can generously decorate 24 mini cupcakes. If you are making 24 large cupcakes I would recommend 3 tubs of the Cool Whip Frosting. The frosting is definitely a step above other pre-made frosting I've tried. Cool whip frosting is perfect for h cakes, cupcakes or whatever other desserts you prefer. I say give it a try!
|Cupcake Bandit Natalie- chocolate milk in hair, too small night gown on backwards, covered in frosting.....and she's absolutely beautiful.|
If you'd like to see more of my shopping experience please check out my Google+ Story! If you'd like to learn more about Cool Whip Frosting or would like to check out some awesome recipes check out these links below.
Cool Whip on Facebook
Kraft Cool Whip on Pinterest
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