Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Lynn DiMenna with Your Raspberry Buttercream Frosting!

The adorable
Lynn DiMenna!

Today it is all about Lynn.  Her actual birthday is tomorrow, but tonight she's enjoying a bash for the big one -- her 40th birthday -- and she was self-confident/proactive/generous enough to arrange for her own birthday cake, to have the cake she really wanted!  She asked me if I would make it (to her specifications!) and I was sooooo very happy to.  Lynn is pictured here with her own baking specialty, pistachio cake which she's brought into the office to rave reviews!

Black and white marble cake with raspberry
buttercream and home-made fondant confetti!

Let me tell you a little bit about Lynn.  We both started working in the same office, just weeks apart.  It's been almost a year that I've enjoyed her company.  Lynn makes me laugh every single day.  She has the quickest wit.  I see her walking down the hall toward my desk, and I just smile because I know some gem will come out of her mouth and make my day better.  We have challenging jobs in a very busy office, and the workload can be overwhelming more often than not, for all of us.  Lynn greets each day with such positive energy.  She has that lovely combination of Irish and Italian genetics, much like my Cella (half-McGeehan) cousins.  She can be serious, funny, sentimental, sensitive, and bold all at the same time.  If you listen to her talk about her family, in her downstate New York accent (sounding so much like my cousins) especially about her children, or the mother she misses so, you hear her heart talking to you. 

I'm 17 years older than Lynn.  She is months younger than my oldest child, yet we seem like peers.  I said to her the other day "I could be your mother!" and then I thought, "Oh God!"

Every day that I question whether I'm in the right place, doing the job I'm destined to do, I'm beginning to think that maybe I am.  Maybe I was supposed to meet the people I work with now.  Maybe I was supposed to face a challenging new role and make a lot of mistakes and learn a little bit, even at the ripe old age of 57.  Definitely, I am fortunate to be working with people like Lynn who come together in a common mission, because our work has to be a team effort or it won't happen.  The challenges forge bonds of appreciation for each person's contribution.  We all have days when we would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else, doing anything else, but doesn't everyone?  I think so.

Surprise cupcakes for the
office celebration

For Lynn's office birthday surprise, I made dark chocolate cupcakes and raspberry buttercream frosting.  The cupcake recipe is my stand-by.  You can use a dark chocolate cake mix as well.  They're all very good.  Here's the recipe for my raspberry buttercream frosting:

makes enough to generously frost 24+ cupcakes or a 9/10" round cake

Beat together in large mixer bowl:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening (I know, but it's necessary for the body/texture you need)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract

Slowly add: 
2 lbs. confectioners sugar
1/2 cup milk
pink/rose food coloring if desired
(careful, it will want to fly out of the mixing bowl!)

Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more or less milk to get to your desired consistency.  Generously pipe or spread on cupcakes that are completely cooled.


  1. Jeannie!
    I am the one who is lucky and blessed to have you in my life! The cake was a huge success! Pics will surely prove it.
    HUGS to you. xoxoxoxo
    Thank you again, friend!

  2. Happy Birthday Lynn! What a gorgeous weekend this shall be for you to celebrate. Weather forecast couldn't be better. Enjoy!!!

    The cake and cupcake pictured are absolutely beautiful, Jeannie.

    Theresa Knickerbocker

  3. We REALLY must ""tawk!"
    Lynn DiMenna