Monday, October 3, 2011

Paddy Cake Bakery - Bloomfield, PA

This weekend was a wild one. My cousin was getting married and I was hosting 4 adults and 2 kids at my house. I got up at 0-dark-thirty to run and did 13 miles. I was ready for a cupcake right after but I had to get home, entertain, prepare lunch for the troops, get ready for the wedding etc so I put it off. We had a couple of hours to kill between the wedding and reception so this week's cupcake is from....

Paddy Cake Bakery in Bloomfield.

We had taken my van with me, hubby, my mom, my dad, my sister, and 2 cousins. I am not certain that anyone really understood *why* I needed a cupcake, especially one of my cousins who was hearing about my blog for the first time. In fact, this was her "check in" on Foursquare:

So, it was a little after 4pm and they closed at 5pm. Sadly, that meant that the selection was less than desired. As I scanned the shelves, I didn't see any cupcakes. I almost cried but then I spotted a 6 pack of them. Phew.... I was saved.

As I was checking out, I told the ladies there about my blog and they insisted that I come back for a specialty cupcake (turns out they had one almond torte cupcake left but I am allergic to almonds). I promised that I would but still decided to enjoy one of the cupcakes in the pack as well. I shared the rest with my family.

See that one on the bottom, in the middle? Yup, that looked to be the tastiest to me so I bit in.

Wow. For not even being a "specialty cupcake", this one was pretty delicious. The cake portion was really moist and the icing was smooth and so very tasty. Everyone else seemed to enjoy them as well. I'll definitely come back to Paddy Cake for another go around but for now, I give them a thumbs up!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dozen Bake Shop - Lawrenceville, PA

Today was my first 20 miler of the MCM training. I knew I needed to have a cupcake that was 100% going to be worth it. Not sure if I mentioned this before but I had the idea for this blog while running a few months ago past Dozen Cupcakes in Lawrenceville. Cupcakes have become so trendy and I've heard they played a major role in that happening here in Pittsburgh. I had really been looking forward to checking them out. Then, just as I started training, I got word that Dozen had closed. I was crushed. My inspiration for the blog was no longer around. <Insert sad, pouting face here>

I had "friended" them on Facebook and one day, a post came across that they would be reopening under new management. I was over the moon. I've been waiting and watching since then for my opportunity to get there for my weekend cupcake and today was it. My run had taken me past their establishment twice today so I had some time to look forward lust over what I was going to be consuming...

After my run, I made my way across the city to Dozen Bake Shop.

And walked straight to the cupcake display:

Honestly, I had expected there to be more selection but I also understand that it was a Sunday morning. Most of their patrons were getting breakfast-y items, not cupcakes. I chose "Death by Chocolate" and headed toward home.

While fighting the Steelers traffic, I received a text from a friend that she had an extra ticket for the game. My hubby has been amazing during all of my training. He's been the "babysitter", "massage therapist" and "cheerleader" for me, and I thought getting him the ticket would be a great way to pay him back for part of what he does. I drove straight to her house and then to ours to surprise him. Along the way, I called a neighborhood friend to see if she could watch the kids while I took hubby to the train stop. I pulled in, told him to get in the van and drove him to the station.

I was worn out and ready to go inside and eat my cupcake. But, even the best laid plans go awry, right? Just as I pulled back in the driveway, he called me to say that the next train wouldn't be coming for 40 minutes so he would miss the start of the game. I hurried back to the stop, picked him up and drove him to the North Shore so he wouldn't miss kickoff. Then, back to my house for a shower and lunch. I hadn't intended to be driving so much after running 20 miles but it is what it is, right?

After cleaning up, I finally got to try the cupcake.

No pics of me this week as I was in my pajamas by the time I finally got to eat it.  Let me just say that, just like Heinz Ketchup, it was worth the wait.

It was chocolate upon chocolate with chocolate on top sprinkled with chocolate. Seriously, unbelievable! It was huge so I shared it with my 5 year old. After I was done, she asked if she could lick my plate. Hmmmmm, someone is taking after their Mommy....

Moist cake, delicious chocolate, delectable treat. Yup, running 20 miles was sooooo worth it. Thanks Dozen! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kribel's Bakery - Bridgeville, PA

My long run this weekend was a race, the Montour Trail Half Marathon. I tried my best to run it at my hopeful marathon pace but I ended up going a little faster than planned and finished in 1:54:31. After it was over and pictures were taken, we headed to pick up my cupcake before meeting up with friends for lunch. Unfortunately, traffic was a nightmare and the Garmin was having issues so we went after lunch instead.

Today's cupcake choice took us to Kribel's Bakery in Bridgeville. Apparently, they also have a Brookline location.

I had called them to make sure they had cupcakes and the lady on the phone asked if I needed any held for me but I declined, figuring there would be a good selection and I'd rather see them in person. Well, all they had in their case was chocolate cake with chocolate icing, vanilla cake with chocolate icing, or vanilla cake with vanilla icing. B-O-R-I-N-G! (By the way, I asked and they don't do specialty cupcakes...)

I chose chocolate/chocolate with "jimmies" on top.

Since lunch was at the Original Pancake House, I had no room in my stomach for a cupcake and decided to eat it in the evening, after dinner. We had friends over but I knew they wouldn't mind being a part of my blog. Hubby snapped a quick pic prior to consumption:

Seriously, I hate to say this because I am sure Kribel's is a lovely place, more than likely family owned and operated and what not but Oh my Lordy Lord, that cupcake was NOT GOOD! It was dry. And the icing tasted pretty much like chocolate flavored Gu, which isn't a bad thing when you are running but on a cupcake, blech!

Oh no...I just looked at their website as I was linking the mention of the place at the top of the blog and THIS is what I read : "Come see us soon- baking with love for you since 1931!

 Oh, the guilt I feel now.....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Graham's Bakery - Castle Shannon, PA

After 17.5 miles of running, I was more than ready for a cupcake this weekend. Unfortunately, I had a 3 hour volunteer shift scheduled for noon, so I only had time to shower, get dressed, and throw a little lunch down my throat before I had to head out. When I returned home, my first thought was "cupcake time".

Graham's Bakery is about a mile from my house. I have heard wonderful things about it. They have been around for over 45 years and apparently, they specialize in cookies and cakes. Luckily, they had a wide selection of cupcakes as well.

I chose one called "Chocolate Mousse". Seriously, I would think it would be all chocolate so I was surprised when this is what I got:

It was a vanilla cake with vanilla icing and some shaved chocolate on top. Honestly, not the best tasting chocolate shavings either. They were kind of waxy :( The redeeming quality of this cupcake was the inside which was filled with mousse.

Graham's doesn't rank in the top for cupcakes as far as I am concerned. Love the idea of the Mom and Pop bakery though - maybe I'll go back and try a cookie sometime.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vanilla Pastry Studio - Pittsburgh, PA

Today's run was followed by a trip to Vanilla Pastry Studio which is in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. For those who don't know the area, you don't go to this section of town at night. Luckily for us, it was daytime and the streets seemed pretty safe. The bakery was easy to find with it's large sandwich board in the front:

We walked in and it was a "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" moment. The decor was charming and the cupcake display was vast.

It was difficult choosing which cupcake to get this week. They had cookies and cream, chocolate fudge, red velvet, strawberry, and peanut butter cupcakes just to name a few. After much deliberation, I decided on a vanilla caramel cupcake. Even though it was hard to watch it go into the box instead of into my mouth, I took it home to enjoy. (Hubby got a cookies and cream cupcake and the kiddos split some chocolate gobs).

Vanilla's website describes this cupcake as "Vanilla Butter Cupcake with Caramel-Vanilla Buttercream". I am not sure of the make-up of the beads and a cursory Google search didn't help me with that. They were good, that's all I know.

You probably can't tell but I am saying "Hurry up and take this picture so I can eat this cupcake" in my head.

My review for Vanilla as well as the cupcake is A+++. Seriously. Amazing. The buttercream icing was sweet and tasty. And the cake portion was melt in your mouth delicious. It's really a shame that this location isn't closer to my house because I'd love to go back there more often. (FYI: Happened to notice a S'mores cupcake on their online menu and am a bit disappointed those weren't offered today...)

I'm not sure where I am heading next week but seeing that there is an 18 miler on my schedule, I hope to pick somewhere good...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hills on Hump Day

Today's Food:

3 scrambled egg whites with green and red peppers, 1 slice of toast, 1/2 banana, grapes
2 slices of homemade wheat pizza, salad with carrots and spritzer.
Back to Nature wheat crackers, Cheddar Babybel cheese, grapes
Whole wheat rotini with sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, sauteed veggies (red and green peppers, carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes), and applesauce
Killed my chocolate craving with half of a Hershey's Special Dark bar (forced hubby to eat the other half...LOL!)
1/2 banana with peanut butter, bowl of dry Crunchy Corn Bran cereal

Today's Workout:

My legs were totally fatigued this morning from yesterday's mileage so luckily I wasn't planning to run until evening today. I met up with Bernadette and Carolyn for 6 miles of hills. They really kept me going today - I am so lucky to have such awesome running partners:)

Splits today were 10:36, 9:32, 10:12, 10:35, 10:39, and 9:52.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Musings

I was on vacation all last week. I still took pics (trust me, there are some gorgeous ones of me shoving a S'mores into my mouth and also a few of some Lucky Charms cereal bars) but I don't have time to post them all. I'll just start fresh today...

Today's Food:

3 scrambled egg whites, 1 slice of provolone, organic ketchup, 1/2 banana, grapes, 1 whole wheat sandwich thin
Spring Mix salad with 3 oz grilled chicken, carrots, and fat free ranch.
1/2 bowl of Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal, 1/2 orange, grapes.
3 oz grilled chicken, rice, broccoli
Yummy homemade banana bread

Today's Workout:

Finally got some strength training in! Seriously, it felt so nice to use my muscles for something other than running. I wore my "Cupcake Chasers" shirt to the gym this morning and it made me smile. I also walked the kids back and forth from our neighborhood park. It was a great day!