Cupcake Luv

How Granola Can You Go?

***Don't forget! No Saturday Market on July 24 because of the Bellevue Arts Festival. See you Thursday!***

Last night, after we finished discussing Betty Smith's JOY IN THE MORNING, my book club got off into uncharted conversational territories, somehow ending up on the topic of fund-raising via bodily fluid donation. One member's husband even managed to pay rent on his college apartment by donating plasma twice a week! Another woman spoke up to say that, although she has gallons of breast milk stashed in the freezer, she can't sell it to a milk bank or even donate it because she was in Scotland during Chernobyl, and that puts you on the no-fly list.

"I bet if you made it into cheese you could sell it at farmers markets," spoke up a third, to a chorus of general groans. "No, really! Some people would be really into that! I have a friend who's trying to buy breast milk from this woman in Texas and have it shipped out."

Our beloved Bellevue Farmers Market offers just about everything a person would want to eat, but no Breast Milk Cheese vendors have yet approached director Lori Taylor. Nor Breast Milk Ice Cream vendors, which was the next suggestion. I suppose you could argue for the products being local, organic and sustainable--have pump, will travel--but surely only a handful of people in the entire Puget Sound could pass such a booth without tittering, so to speak.

You never know. No matter how interested and into real food and sustainability I get, there are always those much, much more into such things. Those who do CSAs and eat completely seasonally. Hundred-Mile-Dieters. Raw milk diehards.

Consider the cupcake I got at Cupcake Luv one Saturday. Here I was thinking I was eating a very bad thing, but, as it turned out, I was actually making the world a better place. For one thing, Cupcake Luv uses Shepherd's Grain, grain grown by families in the Pacific Northwest who don't plow the ground! Call me an idiot, but I had no idea this was a goal--hadn't I read in Jared Diamond's GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL that we humans had been happily plowing for thousands of years? Well, that's enough of that business because it turns out that not plowing--planting by direct-seed-- "means cleaner streams, healthier soils, and a reduced carbon footprint."

So not only was my cupcake conserving soil and water and protecting wildlife habitat, it tasted like a Creamsicle, had a luscious, moist crumb and was injected with Grand Marnier pastry cream. Yeesh. I think it was delicious, but I had to make sure, so I hid it toward the back of the kitchen counter and ate the entire thing.

Besides those amazing plow-free grains, Cupcake Luv uses all natural, local ingredients. Their pink frosting, for example, gets its color from prickly pear puree! Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter is a BFM bestseller, as is the Whoopie Pie: two chocolate patties with vanilla-marshmallow cream and chocolate chips. For those of you gluten-allergics who want to save the planet and eat your cake, too, Cupcake Luv offers a weekly, rotating, gluten-free special made from a combination of rice, almond and millet meal. Except for the solid "minis," all cupcakes are filled with pastry cream or fruit filling or ganache. Uh huh. You read that right.

Of course, now that I have you all worked up, this is a sorry time to remind you that the next Saturday Market will be July 31 because of the Bellevue Arts Festival. But do come by this Thursday! As a treat in itself, Cafe Juanita's own Chef Holly Smith will be doing a chef demo at 4:00 p.m. Check my mini-interview with her for the juicy details! See you there?