The Chocoholic Cupcake: Another Valentine’s Day Dessert

A couple weeks ago I announced that I was going to make a few  treats in an effort to pick the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.   The only requirement for the dessert; it must have chocolate in it.  And as you might imagine, this is becoming a harder chore than I originally thought.

The first recipe I presented was for Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.  They definitely hit the spot, and after making them I had to wonder if I would be able to top them.

Well… now I present the Chocoholic Cupcake.  The cake is dark, moist, and less sweet than a lot of chocolate cupcake recipes.  I like to top them off with either  vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting which is sweet and buttery and compliments the dark chocolate cake.

I have to say that it is nearly impossible to choose a favorite between the two desserts I’ve made so far.  I have at least one more dessert to make before picking a favorite, but now I’m wondering if we should celebrate Valentine’s Day with just desserts and wine!

Chocoholic Cupcakes

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar, not packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. cocoa

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. skim milk

1 c. boiling water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. 

Prepare cupcake tins by placing paper liners in each cup.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sugars, eggs, skim milk, and oil.  With an electric mixer beat ingredients for 2 minutes.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; mix again until completely blended.  Add boiling water and flour; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in vanilla extract. 

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

I couldn’t resist decorating these cupcakes with bright gumballs from SweetWorks candy, along with Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate hearts and kisses.  Both are so festive!

And drum roll please…. 

TheMaryJaneFam blog, Raising Jane Journal, featured photos of my one and only Pink Paradise today.  They also shared a link to my Tin Can Tourist post as well.   I feel so honored!  If you have a minute,  please hop on over there and check it out.

Also, an important reminder all you glampers  –  the International Glamping Weekend is scheduled for  June 1-2, 2013.  Follow the link above to find out more.

I shared this recipe at:

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Tin Can Tourist Vintage Camper Rally

So, the day I’ve  long anticipated finally arrived.  A Tin Can Tourist Rally right here in the Finger Lakes.

When Bill and Denise Fletcher of Fletcher’s Vintage Trailer Sales told us about a camper rally they had planned for our area we had just started remodeling our 1972 Frolic Camper – aka – the Pink Paradise

And while we knew there was no way we would be ready to show off the Frolic, we graciously accepted an invitation to tour the fifty plus campers that were slated to be part of this years event. 

Fortunately for us, and everyone involved, the heavy rain our area was hit with the night before had ceased, the sun made it’s way out, and vintage camper doors were opened.

Many of the camper owners are do-it yourselfers just like hubby and I.  Like us, they have invested sweat equity into their vintage trailer projects and they seemed to enjoy sharing their stories with us as much as we enjoyed listening to them. 

As usual, I had my camera in hand, and here are just a few of the pictures I took.

It’s time to finish up the Frolic so we can show her off too! 

And yes, I’ve changed my blog theme again.  Like I said before, trying to find the right fit…

A New Look for The Joy of Caking And A Frolic Update

Finding a new look for a blog feels similar to buying a pair of good shoes.  You have to try them on and walk around in them for a while to see if the fit is right.

Having said that, I  just redesigned my blog and I am waiting to see if it’s a good fit, so please bear with me.

I also realized that there hasn’t been a Frolic (vintage camper) update in quite a long time.  For some reason, I don’t feel like we got a lot accomplished last month in the camper.  But, here are a few important accomplishments.

We hooked up gas to the original hot water heater and found the orifice was corroded closed and was preventing us from lighting it.  Hubby located a new one and changed it.  He also gave the burner a thorough cleaning.  We now have a working hot water heater.  Yea!!!

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Along with the making sure we have hot water, we also made sure the stove and oven were in good working order.  And here is what we found.

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Both the stove and oven lit without any trouble.  Yea, again!!! 

And do you remember the ugly wheel well that stood out and needed to be covered?

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That has been taken care of as well.  Since this picture, I have primed and painted the storage bench and lid.  There is still a bit of trim work to be done, along with a cushion to be made.  Progress is slow but steady. 

I’ve also been busy looking for vintage items to put in the camper.  So far, I’ve found a cute vintage coffee percolator at an estate sale for $3.00, and a vintage dish towel for .10 cents at a local thrift store. 

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Coffee anyone?

From the 13th – 16th of this month there is going to be a vintage camper rally at Sampson State Park. The Pink Paradise will have to sit  this one out, but we are excited to see the other vintage campers that will be on display there.

And there you have it.  A new look for The Joy of Caking, and a vintage camper update. 

To see all of the posts related to the restoration process of the frolic camper so far, just type the word Frolic, Pink Paradise, or vintage camper in The Joy of Caking’s search engine found on the right side of the page. 

 

We’ve Finally Made Friends

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My sewing machine and I have never been very good friends.  Let’s just say I have never had the patience to be around her very long.  It’s really not her fault either – it’s mine.  Like I said, lack of patience.

I have had numerous problems with her; from threading the bobbin, getting the correct stitch length, and on occasion, sewing a straight line. 

How did I mend the fences so I could make curtains for the Pink Paradise?  I dusted her off  and whispered sweet nothings to her – that’s how.

She was a little hesitant about our renewed friendship because she spit her bobbin out at me a few times, ate my material a couple of times, and  ran me off course a time or two.  Eventually, persistence paid off and we got re-acquainted.  With a little work (okay, more than a little) I managed to make the curtains I needed for the camper – 10 panels in all.

Call it a miracle because it truly is; we are friends again!

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Vintage Camper Re-Plumbing–Not A Job For The Faint Hearted

The Frolic, also now known as the Pink Paradise, has had some serious plumbing issues. While much of the work is still being completed I thought I’d share an update.

Since a few of the exposed PVC pipes and copper lines showed obvious damage, we decided to remove the shower insert to get a better look underneath.

This was a good move on our part since we found the lines under it in need of replacement as well.

Here are some signs of the damage, and here are some before and after shots of the shower insert.

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To work on the water lines, check the pump, and remove the fresh water tank (to clean it and check for leaks) we had to remove the table, along with the recently upholstered cushions. I felt like we were moving backwards instead of forward.

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The 12 volt operated water pump (below) looks ancient, but the good news; it still runs!

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While working under the seat we found carpenter ants that weren’t very eager to vacate the camper.  Here is an example of the damage the can cause.

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Here is how we evicted them.  It took 2 foggers to do the job.

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Below, we have replaced the ant infested wood, cleaned what was a terribly dirty and looked almost unsalvageable fresh water tank, and started running new water line. 

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We found the kitchen sink faucet was filled with a mud wasp nest so we replaced that too.

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And here is proof of our progress.

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What’s next?  We still have to check the gas lines for safety reasons, ensure the hot water heater works, and check out the furnace too.  We need to  finish the bathroom plumbing, track down a water leak (when it rains) that we noticed in the bathroom, and hopefully after we get those things out of the way we can start rebuilding the bathroom. 

I have been working on the curtains for the Paradise.  I think you’re going to like them, but that’s a story for another day. 

So, are you ready to buy a vintage camper to re-do?  Or, do you want to hire us to do it for you?

To follow the Pink Paradise project from the beginning, and see all the updates along the way, type Pink Paradise into my blog’s search engine.  You’ll be able to read each post featuring the Paradise.

Demolition! Vintage Camper Update

I finally have made my way into the bathroom of the Pink Paradise.  It  has been slated for a remodel because one entire wall and the whole ceiling need replacing.  It appears that the critters that formerly vacationed there did a considerable amount of damage. 

Here is how I found the bathroom after pulling it out of the weeds.  Much of what you see on the floor are the remnants of black walnuts.

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Here is the bathroom after cleaning it for the first time.  I had to clean it to make it tolerable to work in.

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Here is the start of the demolition work.  The first thing I did was disconnect pipes and remove the vanity to give me more work space.  After that, I removed the toilet and upper cabinet.

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I found a couple interesting things while conducting demo work.  One, was a huge hole chewed in a plastic PVC pipe. I didn’t think an animal would have any interest chewing through a plastic pipe.  Guess I know better now.  It’s a good thing I tore things apart because this would have created a real problem if it went unnoticed.  I also found where one of the copper lines was damaged too.

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More evidence of that critters chewed their way into the camper.

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I have removed the wallboards so we can start to rebuild.  I found a wire that goes to the 12 volt light chewed in half. 

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I was happy to find this piece of history in the Frolic.  I’m not sure what B-200 or Crism Birch stands for.  I suspect that it’s a model number and the style of the interior.  Anyone know???

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While the bathroom is tore apart my hubby is going to replace the water lines and add an outlet, or two (there aren’t any).

I think the bathroom project is going to take a little more time than initially expected…

Vintage Camper – Pink Paradise – Update #3

I’ve been updating you on our progress in the Frolic – AKA – the Pink Paradise, and it may not look like we’ve made huge strides since my last posting, but believe me, we have.  There are so many small details that we’ve tended to.

A reminder of what the Frolic looked like before.

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Frolic – main living space nearly done.

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New covered seats and lot’s of new trim work.  I picked up two awesome rag rugs for a dollar each at the dollar store.  They fit in perfectly!

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If you’ve been following along, then you know that when I decided to start remodeling our vintage Frolic camper I had my work cut out for me.  I wanted to salvage as much of the original camper as I could, while sprucing her up with a bit of my own style.  I think I’ve done a fairly good job at both.

Instead of ripping out and replacing appliances, dark cabinets, the table and booths,  and the counter top, I have managed to work with them, and around them. 

Part of the ceiling that had already been torn out prior to starting this project left us no choice but to replace it .  Opting for the wainscoting added a touch of my tastes.  And using scraps of building materials we had on hand has helped immensely with remodeling costs. 

There has been a lot of trim work to contend with.  And lot’s of  other not so obvious details – for example,  the installation of several new (white) light switch/outlet covers to replace the originals that were dark brown, painting the table leg, cabinet hardware,  heater cover, and outside edge of the fridge – just to name a few.

I still have some decisions to make concerning the interior lights.  And I still have to decide on what to build to hide the ugly wheel well.  A good neighbor will be helping me make the curtains this week or next, and of course the decorating is yet to be done. 

I just started working in the bathroom which has been on my remodel list.  I’ve found some water damage on one wall and the wall will need to be torn out and rebuilt.  We have also moved outside to start some roof coating too.

My dollar store gingham wallpaper helps tie in the gold vintage stove/oven.

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The heater before painting.

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The heater after painting – more trim work still needed on the wall to the left.

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Other side of the camper (upper) – before painting.

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Other side of the camper (upper) – after painting.  The gas light has to be reinstalled in the center of the cabinet but some gas line work has to be done first.

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This was the clothes/storage closet – before modification.

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This will now serve as our TV/storage center – after modification.

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My handsome man helping patch the roof.

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We were  honored to receive an invitation to a vintage camper rally in Vermont this month from Mariah of The Comet Camper.  Mariah is a girl after my own heart.  She’s redoing an old camper and she’s incorporating a lot green technology into her project .   She wants The Comet to be off the grid. Go check it out!

As for the invitation, unfortunately we had to decline because the Pink Paradise isn’t near ready.  But there is always next year!

I promise to continue to keep you updated on the Pink Paradise and I’m anxious to present a completely finished project to you.

So, are you a retro travel trailer kind of guy or gal?  Or do you prefer all the luxuries of modern-day campers?

If you missed my other posts on the Frolic – AKA – Pink Paradise, check them out here.  The posts below start from the beginning and take you up to most current work that has been done on the Paradise.

My Vintage Travel Trailer; The Beginning

The Pink Paradise – Update #1

Pink Paradise – Update #2

We’ve Finally Made Friends

Vintage Camper Re-Plumbing – Not for the Faint Hearted

Frolic Travel Trailer – Pink Paradise Update – 2013

Tips for Buying a Vintage Camper that Needs Renovating, and the Chandelier

The 72 Frolic Bathroom Remodel Is Nearing Completion!

Baby’s Got  A New Pair of Shoes! And…

Can’t get enough of these campers?  Check out all of vintage campers I photographed at the Finger Lakes Tin Can Tourist Rally last September.

If you’re looking for a customized glamper let’s talk!  And if you are looking for a parts (new & used) for your camper then check out Fletcher’s Vintage Trailer Sales. Please make sure to mention that you found them through my blog.