Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wisteria Juvenile and new seedling!

October 28th, 2014....the 2 wisterias are almost a month old in a few days, and my 3rd youngest just started to sprout!

My #1 wisteria (extreme right) has 2 branches, each with 9 leaves and is currently growing its terminal stem rather slowly. Compared to the other one, it is exposed to most light during the day, which would explain its bigger, longer leaves.

My #2 wisteria (in the middle) has 3 set of branches, 2 of it is almost the same size as #1 while the new 3rd branch is catching up pretty quickly. #2's terminal stem grow quickly than #1's...and there's a tiny little node coming up soon.

Now for my #3 wisteria baby. It's funny because my husband and i thought it might be dead. It didn't show any signs of live..just an empty vapoury vase, untill 3 days ago i noticed there was a small little sprout peeking through the soil...and before we know it, it grew fast and strong...

The wisteria's are growing strong but i do notice they have started to slow down a little bit. I don't know if it's because of the season or the soil is starting to lose its nutrients. Perhaps after paying my rent, we must make another visit to the garden centre to get some plant food high in phosphorus.

Untill then, let this babies enjoy the fall light and grow..

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

It's fall and everywhere u go, there will be pumpkins everywhere! From the Jac-o-lanterns, cinderella pumpkins, odd ornamental ones that just reminds me of miniature Pokemons and also pies, cookies and The pumpkin.spice.lattes.

To be honest, i never had pumpkin untill i step to the United States. Growing up in Singapore, there's no such thing as autumn, and pumpkins are limited to those small green squashes that can usually be found behind one of the racks in the vegetable aisle or just packaged pumpkin seeds.

After being here for alost 3 years, i still wonder why my fellow Americans go crazy about this orange colored pot bellied berry. The fruit is rather bland and mildy sweet, despite its strong hue that reminiscent of a sweet potato. The pumpkin to me taste no different than a regular winter squash.

But why is this dear o' pumpkin so alluring?!

Perhaps its voluptuous curves are simply captivating...

This thing is extremely mysterious to me. I grew sweet pumpkins once in Denver and they florished abundantly.  But unfortunately, they died in my fridge because i just simply didn't knew what the heck am i to do with them.
If only i knew then that this adorable fruit is absolutely versatile!

Soups, Sauce, Roasted, Pureed, Cookie, Pie, Cake and many many more...

So i went shopping the other day and the Canned Pumpkin puree was on sale for 99cents. Why not right?

So pumpkin spice is all the rave right now, and there's only one thing that comes in my mind, and that is...CAKE.

But my first two encounter with pumpkin spice cake is sadly dissapointing. Twice, they came bland and dense. Why?! If we paid $3 for each slice from a boutique bakery, there should be standards. Yes, the pumpkin pureed is thick and might have caused the cake to be heavier and compact. But to me, that's no excuse, or maybe im just sad i couldnt enjoy my pumpkin cake properly.

Now this cake is a combination of two classics, the pumpkin spice cake and the red velvet. I noticed there's only 2 recipes that can be found online yet both did not include vinegar. The vinegar and baking soda in a red velvet cake is what makes it soft, light and velvety yet still firm enough hold a frosting without caving in.

The cake is best in room temp, however if the day gets a little sunny, do place it the in the fridge if uneaten to prevent the frosting getting way too soft. With that i would highly recommend thawing it out fot at least 15 mins to give the frosting some time to soften and get back to its slightly whippy consistency.

Overall, i'm truly satisfied with this recipe, it's lighter than the usual pumpkin cake i had yet still maintain its cakey velvety texture. You know it is a good cake when you can effortlessly squeeze the sides and it would bounce back to its original shape without having it fall apart immediately.

And many asked if i sculpted the lil pumpkins topper. Well yes i did, they are made of fondant. They are a joy to make and super kawaii! Tip: To make those delicate twirly veins, roll a super tiny piece of green fondant and wrap it around a toothpick till its halfway dry. With a lot of care, slide them when they slightly harden n attach it to ur main pumpkin body with a slight wet brush and pressure.

Now here's your recipe! Thanks for stopping by!

The Runaway Wallpaper Flower

Pumpkin Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 (Yield 2 and half dozen cupcakes)

Dry Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of allspice

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of buttermilk, room temp
4 eggs, room temp
1 and 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white granulated sugar
2 tsp of vanilla paste (or extract)
1 tbsp of white distilled vinegar


1) Preheat oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk till combined. Set aside for later.
3) In another large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mix it with a paddle attachment till well combined. If oil seems to seperate, mix a little longer.
4) Pour the dry ingredients in two batches, only mixing till it is combine.Do not overmix the batter or the cake will be tough and rubbery. 
5) Pour the batter 2/3 in each cupcake cups. 
6) Bake it in 350°F for 20 mins or till it springs back when touch. 
7) Cool completely!

For Frosting:
2 sticks of softenbutter
80z cream cheese, soften
5 cups of confectionary sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste
1tsp of ground cinnamon
3 tbsp of half and half (more or less if necessary)

1) In a stand mixer (or a large bowl), cream the butter and cream cheese for approximately 5 minutes untill it is very light.
2) Pour in your confectionery sugar a cup at a time and gradually mix it.
3) Add in the half and half to loosen the frosting slightly.
4) Add in your vanilla and cinnamon.
5) Continue mixing your frosting at medium to high speed for 15 minutes untill it gets into a nice whip consistency. Add more or less sugar or half and half if necessary.  
6) Frost your cupcakes when they are completely cooled and decorate them as you wish.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wisteria Sinensis Seedlings, Part 2!

Hi everybody! I'm back! with 2 good looking wisteria babies!

So halloween is around the corner, that means my Wisteria is almost a month old. I've never been so excited over growing things besides the time when LO was in my womb...i miss those days..

Anyway, the two seedlings are doing really great for the past few weeks and they have not shown any signs of being limp. They unfortunately have outgrown their wine glass habitat and have no choice but to tolerate the conditions in my apartment for the moment untill i find a suitable new glass house for them.

Weather wised, it has been unpredicatable in colorado. Its very cloudy one day with a chance of frost and extremely sunny and warm the next. But this week, we are very lucky to have the sun shinning and little to no windchill.

As you can see, the third one have yet to sprout. Im beginning to worry that it is one of those duds...but i shall wait 1 more week. I somehow refuse to pry and poke my fingers into the soil to see if it's germinated.

My #1 is doing great so far without the wine glass over it. It has a new node that is going to sprout soon. The leaves are bigger, wider and are facing the direction of sun.

#2 is doing great also, it is slightly younger than #1 that explains its small size for the moment. But no worries, it will catch up soon!

Since the windowsill gets pretty chilly at night time and the apartment cooler, i would place them on my counter, because the vents are directly opposite my window. Many times the heat from the vents manage to kill my plants during winter and i do hope it won't kill my wisterias.

Since winter is approaching, i though of getting a small fish tank and growlight to continue its growth throughout winter, and most likely i would have to place it next to my dining table.

But for now, let them grow...

Growing Wisteria from a Seed ( Wisteria Seedling)

Recently my husband purchased me a few packets of Chinese Wisteria Sinensis from ebay after much persuading.


I fell in love looking at this beautiful tree online and research it before growing. I understand that this tree requires patience to grow; and patience is definitely i'm short of. Especially if it takes more than a decade to bloom, and growing from a seed won't gurantee lushes flowering either. Another challenge i have is the fact that i live in a basement apartment, and have no patio whatsoever to place and grow this outdoor tree.

But, i do have an east facing window in my kitchen. It gets really bright from dawn till 11am, and for the rest of the day, my windowsill gets light but more to the shady side.

So why not try growing a wisteria (bonsai) indoors? I have nothing to lose but a few bucks from purchasing the seeds, pots and soil.


So i received my packet of seeds, and planted 3 of them about almost a month ago. It is fall by the way, which is the best time to grow. Followed the instructions, soak them in warm water for 24hrs and plant them an inch deep and waited.

If you noticed, i placed a bulbous liquor glass (wine? i think i don't drink) over the soil to act as a miniature greenhouse, trapping the geat and moisture supposedly to help it germinate better. It gets pretty chilly at night and the wine glasses act as a barrier against the chill and the hot drafts from the vents nearby.

So i planted them at the last week of September, and the first one peek through within 3 weeks! And the second one followed about a week later (4 weeks).

Throughout its very young stage, i kept the wine glasses over it all the time and only remove it during watering. I only water about a 3 oz worth of lukewarm water and whatever excess flows out at the bottom.

So for now, i just let it grow and i give you more updates in the next post! :D