jana banana

February 20, 2008

Knit Bag

Filed under: food, friends, knitting — Jana @ 6:18 am

I knit this bag a while ago but it was for Chantel’s birthday so I couldn’t very well post a picture of it yet. I think it turned out cute for my first bag. It’s not the most practical for every day use but we can all use a date night bag, I figure.

Knit bag

I also made some super lemon cupcakes to celebrate at sewing night.
cupcakes 005

Think Fast because I am about to reveal my secrets of cupcake making… Ok they are totally easy.  You will be disappointed when you hear what they are because you probably already know most of them, but for those of you who might not… here you are:

I always start with a cake mix, I like the texture more, and the fact that they are so easy.
I used a lemon supreme cake mix, the trick to getting more credit for using cake mix though, is to add stuff to it.
I added the juice and Zest of one large lemon to the mix. If you want to make something taste really lemony, the trick is to add the zest as well, it gives it that kick. But only get the yellow part off the lemon, the white underneath is bitter tasting.

cupcakes 001

Then I followed the directions on the box… However I never bake my cakes as long as the box says to. I always start checking them about 3 minutes before the lowest time on the box. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out ALMOST clean, it’s done. You can also check it by pushing lightly on the top of the cake, if it springs back, it’s done. I like to take my cakes out a little early because the residual heat from the pan will continue to cook it a little more after you take it out of the oven, and if your cake is already over done it will come out really dry.

Then for frosting, as always, I make up my own recipe. I like to add real ingredients, because this gives the cupcakes that homemade taste.

Super Lemon Frosting

  • 1 stick real butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 stick cream cheese (4oz)
  • Juice and Zest(finely grated) of a large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Mix together cream cheese, and butter until smooth. Add lemon juice, Zest, and vanilla, mix well. Slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until fluffy. Add a few drops of food coloring of your choice (if desired) and mix until the color is uniform. Frost cupcakes. Top with lemon heads candy and zest curls if desired.

cupcakes 004
I also made these mini cupcakes, just for fun.



  1. That bag is do dang cute. Awesome job. Thanks for the cupcake tips. I’m also with you on the frosting. I hate store bought stuff. Another trick you might want to try that my mom always did is to add a little pure almond extract to your frosting. It works well with the cream cheese and the chocolate ones. So yummy.

    Comment by Linds — February 20, 2008 @ 7:16 am

  2. And they WERE fun. I feel so lucky to have read your cupcake secrets. I am going to have to test them out! You will know if I succeeded if I have gained 20 pounds the next time you see me.

    Comment by happygoshoppy — February 20, 2008 @ 7:48 am

  3. I can’t believe I forgot to mention the gorgeous bag! Chantel is one lucky birthday girl!

    Comment by happygoshoppy — February 20, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  4. The cupcakes were delicious! Thanks for the tips Jana. You are so talented in the kitchen… and with yarn! I love the bag.

    Comment by Tami — February 20, 2008 @ 9:33 am

  5. I always slightly undercook my baked goodies too. It makes all the difference.

    Comment by Tami — February 20, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  6. man im sad i missed sewing night, those look AMAZING, cute bag too. lucky chantel.

    Comment by lauren — February 20, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  7. I am bummed that I missed out. I really need to start checking email a little more often. That bag is so cute. You inspire me to want to learn the art. Chantel is very lucky and I am sure she loved the gift.

    Comment by Shannon — February 20, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  8. You could totally sell those. Although I’m sure it too a lot of time to make. Seeing your expertise and creativity in the kitchen makes me feel like “I’m not worthy!!!” (See my latest blog entry compared to your masterpiece cupcakes.)

    Comment by Krystal — February 20, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  9. Seriously…I think that you can never out-do yourself, and there you go making something else freakin’ awesome. You are so talented. Are you still drawing? You better be – some talents are just not meant to be wasted!

    Comment by Misty — February 20, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  10. Gourmet cupcakes! Those look tasty. I really like the pattern you knit on the purse. Way cute. Say hi to Lee and Carmen for me.

    Comment by Reese — February 20, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  11. that bag is so cute! you are so talented!

    Comment by debbie — February 20, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

  12. Cute bag, lucky Chantel and those cupcakes look delicious I’ll have to try them

    Comment by Niki — February 20, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  13. That is the cutest bag ever!!! I absolutely love it. I loved the cupcake tips too. I don’t make them very often so I can use all the tips I can get. You are amazing.

    Comment by Gwenny — February 20, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

  14. That bag is so cute! Love it. And thanks for sharing your lemon cupcake tricks- I prefer using mix, too!

    Comment by Julie — February 21, 2008 @ 7:03 am

  15. Good lookin grub dude. I’m the only guy to comment on this post wich I hope doesn’t make me to femmy. I’m definatly going to try making your cupcakes they look really good right now!

    Comment by Morgan — February 21, 2008 @ 7:09 am

  16. PS… I guess the bag looks cool.

    Comment by Morgan — February 21, 2008 @ 7:24 am

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