Archive for June 25, 2012

Recipe for Disaster?

I thought I’d share a few disastrous moments with all of you. What fun would it be to read this if everything is always great? Cuz sometimes mistakes happen.

The most recent disastrous moment was adapting my small recipe to bake a much larger batch. Sometime back I created an Excel spreadsheet that would automatically recalculate a new large batch by just typing in whatever amount I wanted to make. This is something I started out doing by hand with pencil and paper and was easy when it was just 2 or 3 dozen and I’d scribble 1 cup of flour is now 3 cups of flour, etc. Excel was one of the tools I used in my past career as a project manager and seemed like a natural fit to use in this business for adapting and calculating new recipe amounts. I’ll stop here to acknowledge that I’m probably getting the old rolled-eye from people who know there are software applications out there for this purpose–that I’m reinventing the wheel. I know, I searched for them, but I had Excel on my computer and it was quick and easy to set up.

That said, Excel doesn’t make mistakes … but the operator can. In my haste to adapt the new chocolate walnut zucchini recipe, I copied and pasted a blank recipe swapping in the new base ingredients. Where once there had been a need for cups of milk, the new recipe only needed tablespoons and I forgot to adjust that calculation. Oops. Instead of adding 6 tablespoons of milk, yeah… it wasn’t pretty. That day I tossed out a very watery batter for 8 dozen cupcakes. And said some choice words as I did so. Luckily, CropCircle Kitchen composts!

Now, whenever I’m adapting a new recipe in my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet, I take a minute to patiently double check the math by hand just to make sure. See kids, you do need math skills when you’re older even if you don’t think you’ll ever use it!

Schedule for Tuesday, June 26th–Saturday, June 30th

Tuesday: in the Financial District at Milk & Kilby, 11:30-3
Wednesday: in Back Bay at Stuart St & Trinity Place, 11:30-3
Thursday: open for work place visits, email requests
Friday: in Copley Square at 220 Clarendon St (corner of Boylston), 11:30-3:00 pm
Saturday: on the Greenway at the Open Market at Milk or India Streets (just up from South Station past Dewey Square) 10-5

We’ve got a few new flavors this week: banana chocolate chip caramel, ginger mango, and lemoncello plus we’ll have strawberry walnut oat squares.

Schedule for this week, June 19th-24th

Tuesday: in the Financial District at Milk & Kilby, 11:30-3
Wednesday: in Back Bay at Stuart St & Trinity Place, 11:30-3
Thursday: open for work place visits, email requests
Friday: in Copley Square at 220 Clarendon St (corner of Boylston), 11:30-3:00 pm
Sunday: SoWa Open Market, 500 Harrison Ave in the South End, 10-4

Since this week is supposed to heat up, we’ll have more strawberry pecan oat squares and we’re adding Poland Spring flavored seltzer water in addition to the plain water always available to quench your thirst–we’ll keep ‘em icy cold this week.

Hit the Brakes–it’s the Cupcake Truck!

I had hoped to be able to share some of the good, the bad, and the ugly stories of life on a cupcake truck on these pages with you. What I didn’t expect with this business was that I would be so busy and sleep-deprived that I wouldn’t even have time to post our schedule sometimes. Well, I’ve actually got a few minutes to write something so let’s start with a joyful, happy little story that made me laugh.

Last week I pulled into our local gas station, Hat Off’s, and if you know Stan’s you know this place is busy and can be a little crazy to get to the pump. To my delight there was an open spot and I headed for it. A woman in a mini van was just pulling out of her spot on the same side and was delighted at the sight of my truck. She began to pull up beside me to me to ask if I had any salted caramel, and, well, she forgot she was in a mini van and that my truck has a long nose. I motioned to her that she was very nearly going to end up in my truck with me when she hit the brakes coming about 1/8″ away from my truck. I gotta say, that was the first time anyone has ever nearly collided with me to get a salted caramel cupcake. No, I had to tell her, I’m sorry I don’t have anything on board. I didn’t get her name, but why it sticks in my head is that she told me my story touched her. Well, thank you for that. Come by and see me on the street and get your cupcake–you made MY day!

Schedule for this week including Father’s Day, June 12th to June 17th

Tuesday: in the Financial District at Milk & Kilby, 11:30-3
Wednesday: in Back Bay at Stuart St & Trinity Place, 11:30-3
Thursday: open for work place visits, email requests
Friday: in Copley Square at 220 Clarendon St (corner of Boylston), 11:30-3:00 pm
Saturday: on the Greenway at the Open Market at Milk & India Streets (just up from South Station past Dewey Square) 11-5
Sunday: SoWa Open Market, 500 Harrison Ave in the South End, 10-4

Unfortunately the Ft. Point location at the Channel Center did not work for us for a few reasons, so we’re going back to work place visits on Thursdays while we work on finding the right fit for that sweet little cupcake truck to park. Since Chronicle re-aired last summer’s food truck episode we’ve gotten a lot of requests for visits–thanks Chronicle! If you want a visit from us on Thursdays, email and we’ll set it up. Please note that we can only travel Boston and out to the 128-belt.

For Father’s Day–this Sunday–what better cupcake for dads is there? Guinness, of course, we’ll be fully stocked starting on Friday so you can get dad a 6-pack! And if dad doesn’t like Guinness, we’ll have other options for that 6-pack.

And oat bars will be on the truck again this week. See you streetside!

New item on the truck . . . and it’s not a cupcake. *Gasp.*

Last week we brought a new item on the truck, and no, it’s not a cupcake. Gasp. Why? Cuz we love to bake and just can’t stop.

We’ve got a wicked raspberry oat square—a little less sweet, a little more full of pecans and, oh, so good. We’ll have it again this week and we’ll be sampling all week long so drop by for a taste.

This week’s schedule (Tuesday, June 5th—Friday, June 8th)
Tuesday (June 5th) in Financial @ Milk & Kilby 11:30-3
Wednesday (June 6th) in Back Bay on Stuart St 11:30-3
Thursday (June 7th) info below in Fort Point @ the Channel Center 12-3
Friday (June 8th) in Copley @ Clarendon St 11:30-3
Saturday and Sunday (June 9th & 10th) closed for the weekend

In other Cupcakory news . . . new location on Thursdays
We’re trying out a new location in Fort Point at the Channel Center on Thursdays. In case you’re not familiar with Fort Point it’s in South Boston, also near the seaport district. The address is 10 Channel Center Street and we’re parked behind the building. This location is open to the public, there is 15 minute parking in front of the truck as well as metered parking on A Street. To find us—cuz we’re a little hidden—head for the parking lot at Channel Center (Iron St) and bang a left. You’ll see two buildings, we’re snug in between.