Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate almond butter cupcakes

Have you ever made almond butter buttercream? If not, you're missing out on pure joy. Here's roughly how I made it:

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons Earth Balance natural buttery spread (healthy margarine, basically)
1/3 cup Justin's Maple Almond Butter... mmm...
1 tablespoon molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon almond milk, if needed

With an electric handheld mixer, cream together the butter & margarine. Add nut butter, molasses and vanilla and beat until very smooth, 2-3 minutes. Beat in sugar, then dribble in milk if necessary for the right consistency. Beat continuously until frosting is pale tan and very fluffy.

This recipe was modified from the Peanut Buttercream in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Obviously I'm not vegan. Sorry. The cupcake part of this, however, I did not alter one bit from their Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe, and altogether it was absolutely delicious! Except how it made me feel later...

Once I use up the rest of my wheat flour, never again will I bake with it. I've been living mostly gluten-free for two years and it's refreshing to wake up and feel healthy in the mornings, rather than feeling like my intestines are dying. So if you have any gluten-free recipes you absolutely can't live without, please share. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A bit of Penland

Greetings! I was just reading the OCAC blog and realized it's about time I share my happenings with anyone still reading my own blog... is anyone out there? A lot has happened since I last wrote - I started a job in picture framing, moved out of the Guild and into a studio with another potter who I'm assisting, and went to Penland School of Crafts for Elisa Helland-Hansen's workshop. If you're an artist and you haven't heard of Penland, where on earth have you been? It's a magical place. Here's just a snippet of photos from my 2-week adventure:

All I knew about Elisa when I started the workshop was what I read in Penland's catalogue, and I was delighted to have fallen in to her class. Elisa is an excellent instructor and skilled potter. When it was her turn to show slides, she first stood in front of the audience and sang a Norwegian folk song, then showed slides of her pots and photos of Norway, encouraging us to visit. I do hope to visit someday and trek the moutains of Norway with her.

North Carolina is a potter's haven - there were so many studios to visit! Michael Kline's studio was one of the first stops. We missed him that day, but this ferocious beast was there to greet us instead. Thankfully these lovely ladies managed to tame it.

Elisa & I modeling each other's pitchers in front of the salt kiln. We did 4 different salt & soda firings in 2 weeks!

Pitcher from a soda firing, sold at the workstudy benefit auction to classmate Bobby.

The night I returned from Penland I couldn't resist a decadent treat in one of my cupcake cups. I made a dozen of these to bake cupcakes in - not sure how they would actually fare in the oven & I haven't tested it yet, but they are sweet little dessert cups in any case.

If you'd like to keep up on my pottery happenings more regularly, check out my Facebook ceramics page.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I'm looking into moving and I'm not sure where to start. A road trip would be fabulous, but not in my budget right now, so perhaps some of my lovely readers could give me some advice.

Portland and San Francisco are at the top of my list, although I've never been to Portland and only briefly visited San Fran. North Carolina is another one. So what's the ceramics scene like in those areas? I'd like to attend grad school in fall 2011, but where to start looking? An awesome social dance scene, especially with swing dancing, is required as well...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blooms of May

The new Arvada Ceramic Arts Guild website is live! Thank you Justin McCammon for helping us out.

If you're in the Denver area this weekend, stop by the Guild to see our Spring Show & Sale, "Blooms of May for Mothers Day," featuring cut flowers from Arvada's Fiori di Flavio in one-of-a-kind vases along with other pottery, ceramic art, paintings & jewelry. The Gallery is open April 30 - May 2: Friday noon-9PM, reception at 5; Saturday-Sunday 10AM-5PM. This vase is by the Guild's Kit Martinez.

One of these days you'll see some pots made by me! Teapots, mugs and dinner sets are in the works. Become a fan on Facebook to get more regular updates: Erin Casey Ceramics

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Springtime at the Guild

The Arvada Ceramic Arts Guild is hosting their annual spring show & sale in a couple weeks. Join us for the reception on April 30th from 5 - 9 PM for refreshments, pottery and good company. The gallery will also be open Saturday & Sunday from 10 AM - 5 PM, May 1-2.
The Guild is on Facebook - tune in for regular updates @

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The perfect cup for your tea

In December a young man came to the gallery looking for a mug for his tea-loving girlfriend. She preferred her tea on the cooler side and he thought a tall mug would be suitable for her. As a potter and tea aficionado, I have enjoyed tea in many different vessels and I can say that a tall mug actually keeps the beverage hotter longer than in a short, stout cup. I have tea on the mind more than ever now that I'm organizing a tea show at the Guild, so here's a guide to find the right cup for you.

At the office: A mug with a wide base, possibly thick for more stability. Consider getting one personalized with your name if you're worried someone else will take it.

For those on-the-go: A tall handle-less cup to fit in a cup holder. A lid and silicone sleeve will help. Bonus: if you frequent a certain chain coffee shop, bring your mug and say you want your second cup refill of the day... you might get a discount.

For hot tea that stays hot longer: A tall cup with a narrow opening, and thick walls to help insulate.

For hot tea on the cooler side: A shorter cup with a wider opening. Lightweight cups with thin walls help because they won't hold heat as long.

For relaxing on a cold day: A handle-less tea bowl to embrace in both hands, with thick insulating walls.

For a tea party: A handmade teapot in which you can steep tea for several people and pour into smaller teacups, preferably cups with character that would strike up a conversation.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Electric kiln for sale

I bought this electric kiln last summer and never got around to hooking it up. Now that I've joined the Guild I really don't have a use for my own kiln and when I do, I'd like to buy a larger one. Do you know any Colorado artists who need a kiln? Craigslist posting here. Paragon model A-66 B, $300.
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