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Cupcakes for my sister’s birthday

My younger sister’s birthday passed recently.  It’s in the middle of September, right as the leaves are starting to turn rich colors.  Oh wait, I live in Texas.  I meant right as the weather is starting to cool off to a brisk 90˚. Yes, as a Texan, I like to cash in my hot weather bragging privileges as often as possible.

Lately, we’ve been celebrating birthdays the way we used to celebrate birthdays.  By that, I mean that we buy a cake, we cook food, we open presents, and we buy a cupcake piñata (okay, this year was the first year for the piñata).

cupcake pinata

In the past few years, as we, and by “we” I mean my sisters, my brother-in-law, and I (my brother, lucky man, is not thirty yet), turned thirty it seemed we began to shy away from our birthdays.  Our father would call and tell us our birth story (my favorite part about my younger sister’s is that she was born during MASH, great show), and we’d listen happily until the end when he would say something along the lines of, “Can’t believe it’s been thirty-three years.”

Then somehow the fact that we were not published authors (I may as well confess  that except for one of my siblings writing for a living is all of our dream jobs. Yup, my poor parents) or even doing what we imagined ourselves to be doing after thirty would cause a bit of gut wrenching regret.  That is the part about birthdays that gets me down as I get older.  I tend to do better with age, but birthdays do also now remind me that it would be more difficult to accomplish certain things now than when I was twenty. As a child, I really never could comprehend what adults meant when they said, “Ugh, another birthday.”  Really?  Don’t you mean, “Heck yeah, another birthday with cake and ice cream!”  If you’re lucky, maybe you even got the princess shaped cakes like my mom made.  Anyway, my niece has, with her mere presence, encouraged us to move past our vanities and celebrate birthdays the right way again.  So, my dad and mom got my sister an amazing lemon cake with fondant icing molded into the shape of a book because she has finished a book (better than me) but not started sending it out yet.

My older sister and her husband did what they do amazingly: fed us fajitas, bought cupcakes, provided a place for the party, and served one of my favorite appetizers, jalapeno poppers (see end of post for recipe).

And, at my younger sister’s insistence, my older sister bought a piñata.  The piñata spectacle was a sight to see.  All the men just watched, kinda tilting their head in bemusement (we hope it was bemusement and not horror, jk), as my sisters, my niece, my mother, and I blindfolded each other with a sweater, loudly cheered one another on, and dangerously swung blindly at the piñata.  All in all, it was a very successful over thirty birthday party (I have to say it: forty is the new thirty anyway, right?).

Leftover cake and cupcakes the next day

 Jalapeno Poppers


  • Jalapenos
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Corn meal
  • Oil
  • Ranch for dipping

Preparing Poppers


  1. Cut open and remove seeds from jalapenos
  2. Stuff jalapenos with cheddar cheese and cream cheese
  3. Prepare your fry station by the stove by doing the following: crack 2 eggs in a dish that you will be able to roll the jalapenos in.  Next to this, put a cup of flour and a cup of corn meal on a plate. On the stove, heat up about a cup of oil.
  4. Roll the jalapenos in the egg, then flour and corn meal mixture, and then fry in the pan of oil.
  5. Serve with Ranch or other dressing and enjoy!