Bite Me

It’s February!

I’ve been bitten by the  love bug.

Not to be confused with the bug who’s life I saved during January’s vegan challenge.

February also begins month two of the 12 challenges of 2012.

What better way to show the world a little love than by doing random acts of kindness?

For the month of February, I will try to do at least one Random Act of Kindness (RAK) each week.

Random Acts of Kindness can mean buying a stranger a cup of coffee, sending a batch of cookies to your cousin, or even offering to shovel your elderly neighbors drive-way.

Pretty much anything goes as long as it puts a smile on someone’s face.

In attempt to keep the love flowin’, I’ll leave a little card with each RAK recipient encouraging them to do their own Random act of Kindness.

Card reads "You've been RAK'D! (That's a random act of kindness) Please feel free to pass this card along and do a random act of kindness of your own. Have a great day!"

Who knows?

You could get RAK’d in California.

Maybe it’ll even go international.

For now, it’s staying local in little, old Delaware.

My friend Lindsay is a teacher with a serious talent for working with the special education population.

She’s part teacher, part therapist, part freakin’ incredible.

Even though she gets stabbed with pencils on a semi-regular basis, she has a way of making every single student feel loved and validated .

I personally love her for getting me band-aids after being bit by ferocious first grader.

It’s a running joke that someday we’re going to quit our jobs and open up a cupcake shop because not only is Lindsay a ninja teacher, she  has an incredible gift for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

Pretty bouquet of flowers, right? Look closely. They're cupcakes! Lindsay does cakes and cupcakes for weddings, birthdays, and any occasion requiring fun with frosting.

I wanted to do something nice for her given all the times she’s saved my life (and my ankles).

I thought I would surprise her with a cupcake recipe of my own and a little reminder that when the classroom gets crazy, all she has to do is dream about the day she will open her cupcake shop for real.

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These cupcakes are light and fluffy, yet very moist at the same time. Pureed beets give the vanilla cupcakes a pretty pink hue and add moisture and richness to the chocolate version, without tasting beet-y. You’d never know that they are low-fat and I think that more than makes up for the thick buttercream frosting that I slathered on top.

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Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

1 ½ cups all -purpose flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup pureed beets

½ cup seltzer water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 ¼  teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine beets, club soda, canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until there are no large lumps. Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Oops! I had so much fun during January's challenge that I made these vegan friendly. RAK!

Tidbit: To make Vanilla Beet Cupcakes, omit cocoa powder and reduce baking soda to  1/4 teaspoon. Increase vanilla to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

For the Buttercream frosting:

1 cup non-dairy butter

2 – 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Cream butter and slowly add sugar. Whip until light and fluffy.

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*RAK bit: Want more ideas for random acts of kindness? Check out THIS website.

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