Decorating Ideas for Cupcakes With Team Logos As a Super Bowl Dessert

Everyone makes cupcakes. They are so simple to make, and make a great presentation. They can be made in any flavor, decorated or not, and are always a sought after treat. If one has a little artistic ability they can be made elaborately, though this is not a requirement for the enjoyment they bring.

I decided to try out some thoughts and designs, and will pass on my results here. Making cupcakes is as simple as having muffin tins and paper liners. Even the paper liners are not mandatory, though they help make it cleaner to pick up and move. Making a cake mix, either from scratch or from a box and filling muffin papers about half way and baking for slightly less time than a full cake layer is all easy as 1, 2, 3.

Once made, if decorating muffins is a frightening prospect, let that go and just enjoy. A simple smear of icing will make a delightfully edible treat. Actual decorating is really just, well, the icing on the cake. The main idea is to enjoy the process and have treats for guests and family. This year, the team colors are purple, black and metallic gold for the Ravens and red, metallic gold and white for the 49ers. These colors, or some combination, can be used as the main icing color or in combinations. The other color would be green to mimic turf.

Party decorating shops or cake decorating shops will likely have little decorations to use, such as little footballs or goal posts and such. If you choose to take the time to make your own, you might look for a small candy mold in football shapes. Melting chocolate or chocolate bark and filling the molds is quick and easy. Once the halves are chilled and hard, a dab of melted chocolate will glue the halves together. Allow to set and then make the laces down the side with white icing and a small holed icing tip.

Decorate some cupcakes with brightly green tinted icing and either just smear it on or use an icing tip number 233 to mimic grass. Even a small star tip can be used to create a grass effect. Set a little chocolate football onto the grass and there you have it. If you already have small Easter egg molds, these can be used the same way, by just planting the rounded end down onto the green icing grass surface.

I chose to attempt a loose facsimile of the actual logo for the teams. Making a brilliant red frosting for the background field of the 49ers look, I used a flat icing tip number 45 to make a rectangle in an approximate gold color over top. I piped in 49ERS in red using a number 4 round holed tip, then outlined the letters and numbers in white using a number 3 round holed tip. For the Ravens, I frosted the cupcake in deep purple. Using a toothpick, I traced an approximation of the raven logo, and then used black icing and a number 3 round holed tip to copy over that traced outline. I used white icing and a number 3 round holed tip to trace around the black icing to make the figure more noticeable. All in all, they are attractive and colorful.

Whether you take the time needed for making team logos or not, the goal is to have a sweet treat for all to enjoy. If you do not have the skills to use all the icing tips mentioned, simply spread on a couple of the team colors, half and half on top of a cupcake. Or ice the cupcakes in any color you prefer and pipe on RAVENS or 49ERS on each. The ways to decorate are only limited by your imagination. I hope these ideas will spark an idea for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.

The Twenty Percent Rule!

We all know not to go shopping when we are hungry; make sure to eat something before you go or even a Twinkie will look good if you are ravenous. Most people know to shop the perimeter of the store – that is where most of the unprocessed foods are located (think vegetables, meat, cheese, etc.). However, how many of you know the 20% Rule?

Setting your sites on the unprocessed foods will help you make better choices when it comes to carbohydrates. Unfortunately, we often choose to eat some processed foods as most of us realize that they are not all that bad. So, how do we determine if a carbohydrate is deemed “fit for consumption?” “The 20% Rule” is your answer.

Since not all carbohydrates cause blood glucose levels to rise in the same way, it is recommended to avoid eating anything where sugar is greater than 20% of the total carbohydrates. DO NOT look at the percent daily values (% Daily Value) listed on labels (usually the column of numbers on the far right) as these only illustrate what percentage of a 2000 calorie diet a particular food represents. If you are not on a 2000 calorie meal plan, (and most of us ARE NOT), those values do not apply.

To follow the 20% Rule, all you need to do is look at the line listing the Total Carbohydrates and see how many grams are listed. This is easy to find as it usually is listed in bold black letters. You then figure out twenty percent of that number and check it against the grams of sugar. If the grams of sugar are greater than the number you just calculated, this is a food to be avoided.

As an example, let’s look at an English muffin where the Total Carbohydrates are 31 grams. The easiest way to calculate 20% is to first calculate 10% (very easy because all you have to do is move the decimal point one space to the left) and double that number. In our English muffin example, ten percent of 31 would be 3.1, and twenty percent would be 6.2. When we read our English muffin label and find out it has 2 grams of sugar, since 2 is less than or smaller than 6.2, the English muffin would be a great food choice. It’s that simple!

On the other hand, one cup of orange juice has 29 grams of Total Carbohydrates and 28g of sugar. No need to even do the math, no matter how “natural” it may be, orange juice is NOT a good choice thanks to the 20% rule. Only apply this rule when deciding if a carbohydrate is a good food choice. Exempt from this rule would be milk & dairy products such as cottage cheese as the sugar they contain is lactose, which is a complex sugar; unfortunately, soy milk, unless the unsweetened type, always fails the 20% rule because of its high sugar content.

So, the next time you go grocery shopping, be prepared to read the labels and use The 20% Rule. Just wait until you go down the cereal isle, and you will really see the wonders of Cheerios!

Baltimore Orioles and The History of Camden Yards

In April 1992, Camden Yards opened it’s doors as a brand new $100 million facility that was designed under the architectural guidance of HOK Sport and constructed by Danobe Construction. Located just two blocks from Babe Ruth’s birthplace in downtown Baltimore, the centerfield at this 85-acre facility is also the site at which Ruth’s father once operated Ruth’s CafĂ©. In the beginning, there was some debate over the name to be given to the new ballpark. Some felt that it should be named Oriole Park after it’s tenants, the Baltimore Orioles, but others were set on calling it Camden Yards. In a pleasing compromise, the park was ultimately named Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Just like every other ballpark in Major League Baseball, a number of memorable events have been hosted at Camden Yards. Among them, the 1993 All-Star game was held here. In September 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. awed fans by competing in his 2,131st consecutive game and, ultimately, breaking the record set by Lou Gehrig. The following year, in 1996, Eddie Murray hit his 500th career homerun. In addition, the only no-hitter ever pitched at this ballpark was thrown by Hideo Nomo in 2001.

Spectators who visit Camden Yards will be greeted with a variety of amenities, including the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame memorabilia, the Camden Club and sports bar, a cafeteria and gift shop. Additionally, fans can enjoy a stroll on Eutaw Street, which houses cement imprinted bronze baseballs that are designed to commemorate homeruns that have been hit at the facility. The design is Camden Yards is in amenity in itself as it has revolutionized the way that new facilities are constructed. A combination of steel columns, beams and trusses have made it a classic, while it’s 48,000 spectator capacity have made it accessible. Although it’s concrete trusses, a brick facade, natural grass playing surface and an asymmetrical playing field have served as inspiration to modern facilities being built, Oriole Park at Camden Yards itself was influenced by other ballparks, including Fenway Park, Ebbets, Forbes and Wrigley Field.

Baltimore Orioles fans can also participate in regular tours at Camden Yards, which includes a closeup look at the suites, scoreboards and control rooms, press levels and the dugout. Public tours are given daily with private tours available upon reservation. For those who desire an even closer look, perhaps a meeting with one or more of the Baltimore Orioles players or coaches would fit the bill. Time permitting, baseball notables may sometimes be found signing autographs up until 45 minutes prior to the opening pitch.

Collectors who wish to request an autograph from any one of the players on the Baltimore Orioles roster should send their letter and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:

Player’s Name

c/o Baltimore Orioles

Oriole Park At Camden Yards

333 W. Camden Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

Fans requesting an autograph should limit their request to two items per letter. Popular items to have signed include photos, index or trading cards, baseballs, etc. Patience is key when requesting autographs through the mail, but the best time to reach an athlete is often during the off-season.