Saturday, August 14, 2010

Delicate Balance: Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes

On Monday I will have my 16 week appointment at the ob/gyn.  The good news is that this is becoming more real to me by the day.  While I still haven't told my mother, people are starting to notice my not-so-flat stomach, so we've had to let them in on the news.  Everyone has been gushingly happy (though few of those people know about our losses), and I'm starting to realize that there is a cult of expectation growing around me, people who fully anticipate me having a live child in January.

I'm starting to think about the laundry, the diapers, the feedings ... everything we've left behind as Ian has gotten older.  I'm starting to worry that I'm not ready to do this again, that I will lose years of Ian growing up because I'm simply trying to keep my head above water, that this next child will only get half of my attention from the beginning.  I watch myself cooking and folding laundry at midnight, knowing that it will be even harder to manage it all.

Then again, I probably don't need to be baking pistachio rosewater cupcakes, which is what I was doing last night at midnight. 

We had more or less invited ourselves over to a colleague of S.'s today, to visit and swim in their pool (though I use the word "swim" loosely here, since Ian ... doesn't).  They are impeccable hosts, and always make an elaborate dinner when we visit, despite our protests.  We asked what we could bring, and they suggested the cupcakes they'd heard so much about.  (Really?  I thought.  How about a quart of grape tomatoes, instead?)

S. made a special request for these, after I turned down his request for the margarita cupcakes, citing the problem with a pregnant woman eating uncooked tequila, and not wanting to be left out of dessert.  They're an interesting departure from your run-of-the-mill cupcake: incredibly moist (because of the yogurt), delicate but dense, light but well-defined.  They remind me of a dessert from the Middle East, perhaps.  The nuttiness of the pistachio is a perfect complement to the floral undertones of the cake.

Maybe they're a reminder to keep all of this in perspective, to breathe, to try to strike a better balance not just when life changes again, but now, when I can practice doing so with only my sanity at stake.

Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes

1/2 c. vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 c. soymilk
1/3 c. canola oil
3/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1-2 T. rosewater
1 c. plus 2 T. flour (you probably want to go with plain old white here)
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
generous pinch cardamom
1/3 chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin pan with 12 liners.  In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, milk, oil, sugar and rosewater.  Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt.  Fill liners 3/4 full.  Bake 20-22 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool.  Frost.

Rosewater Frosting

1/4 c. + 1 T. margarine (Earth Balance)
1/4 c. + 1 T. shortening (Earth Balance)
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. soymilk
1/2 t. rosewater

Beat margarine and shortening until fluffy.  Beat in powdered sugar VERY slowly (so you don't have an explosion in the kitchen); add soymilk and rosewater.  Beat again until fluffy.  Add more powdered sugar if you need to stiffen the frosting, but try refrigerating it, too, before you go overboard here.  You could add just a little bit of red food coloring if you were feeling like it.

Sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios if desired.
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  1. Your cupcakes look delicious!

    It seems like the balance between kids always seems to work out, since siblings develop their own relationship that occupies a lot of their emotional space. It will be good, don't worry! (ha). And you'll be ok, tired and maybe a few cupcakes less, but with a wonderful little baby to snuggle!

    I'll be thinking of you on Monday. GOOD LUCK!

  2. Those sound delicious! Good luck on Monday.

  3. Wow, I never would of thought of that combination. So glad you're here to do that for me.

  4. I don't know why I'm trying to comment as your blog hates me lately and doesn't like my WP credentials, but these look soooo yummy! I've been baking cupcakes the last 2 weekends for RSPCA cupcake day (last Monday I had it in my office; today my husband's doing it in his office). I might try these later in the week. I've baked so many lately and haven't had ANY myself!

    And I hope things continue well with your pregnancy - and that you are able to accept that they are going well. ((HUGS))

  5. You know, there is 6 1/2 years between my two children now. Kelsi, our daughter that passed away, was born in between these two, but even then there would have been a 5 year gap between the oldest and her. It was really hard (not even knowing the possibility of losing a child at the time) to get my head wrapped around the thought of the diapers, laundry, feedings and such again. It is so daunting. Even now, I am 14 weeks and my youngest just turned 4. It is all so foreign and new again. It is also starting to settle in that this might actually happen once again. The walls of protection are still very high, but every day that goes by and we get closer and closer, it becomes more real.

    And I still find that my favorite time to work is when the kids are asleep at night. Do doing these things at midnight, just might actually be "your time." :)


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