Yes in my Mess.

homemade hostess cupcakes to celebrate @wearethatfamily new book! (recipe & giveaway)

Kristen and I met over Hostess cupcakes.

OK, not really.  Our family moved in next door to hers.  Two introverted moms who said hello in the yard...we had boys who, despite their age difference, hit it off.

One day, Kristen's son was over playing LEGOS with kiddo and the boys came into the kitchen....just as I was contorted into some awkward position taking pictures of...cupcakes.
(Looking back at those pictures now makes me cringe, and I was *really* trying!  Ugh.)

I was embarrassed they'd caught me taking pictures of food.  What would he say when he got home?  "Mom, Mrs. Edwards made cupcakes and before offering us one, was lining them up on a tray, bending over at a weird angle, moving them around, and taking pictures of them."

Instead, her son walked right up and said, "do you have a blog?"

And, that's how I knew I was living next door to THAT family...We are THAT Family.

homemade hostess cupcakes to celebrate @wearethatfamily new book! (recipe & giveaway)
Kristen and her family have become friends, and truthfully, inspirations to our family.  They've since moved to a new neighborhood, but we still think of them as our neighbors to this day.

A few years ago, Kristen had a life-changing experience.  She traveled to Kenya and witnessed the poverty, hunger, and devastation there.  She also heard a call.  A call to do something.  She and her family have answered that calling in a beautiful way...opening Mercy House Kenya

Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch
In Kristen's new book, Rhinestone Jesus, she tells her story.  It all starts with a Rhinestone Jesus pin she wore to high school, and well, the story continues to this day.

Kristen said, "Yes" to her call.  Did she have millions stashed away to give?  Did she know exactly how to start a non-profit?  Was her life in perfect order and everything in place?  No.  Kristen said yes, as she puts it, in her mess.  #yesinmymess

rhinestone jesus quote

One of my favorite passages in the book is this one:
"We often don't do anything because we think our contribution won't be enough.  Or we convince ourselves that we must do something great for it to be important.  We don't act because we lack confidence.  We convince ourselves that our contribution couldn't possibly matter."

So, whether you're being called to start a maternity home in Africa...or you're making dinners for new moms in your parish like another Kristen I know, or you're fostering and adopting a child like my friend, Karen, or you're ministering to people by feeding and entertaining them in your home like Sandy, or you volunteer tirelessly at your child's school like my friend, Melissa...Rhinestone Jesus encourages us to say "yes" in our own mess.

{If you'd like an opportunity to win a copy of the book, please scroll down past the recipe.}

homemade hostess cupcakes to celebrate @wearethatfamily new book! (recipe & giveaway)

print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

(adapted from Food Network magazine, makes 20)

For the Cupcakes
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 & 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

For the Ganache
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Icing
1 stick unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
white food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners for about 20 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes: Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Place the chocolate and butter in a large bowl of an electric mixer, pour the sugar syrup on top.  Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Beat the eggs into the chocolate.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the batter.  Mix until thickened and combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

(They will sink in the middle...they'll puff up when filled later.)
For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir gently until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; and stir.  Let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

homemade hostess cupcakes to celebrate @wearethatfamily new book! (recipe & giveaway)
Assembly:  Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier and the top puffs up (do not overfill). (It's OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.  Feel free to scrape the excess off.)

Spoon a little cooled ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

homemade hostess cupcakes to celebrate @wearethatfamily new book! (recipe & giveaway) Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Mix in the milk and powdered sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed.  Tint white by mixing in white food coloring (optional...the icing will be an ecru color without it, but look very light against the dark chocolate). Spoon into a pastry bag with a small plain tip, such as a #2 or #1, pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store in the refrigerator.

Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch
Kristen's book, Rhinestone Jesus, is available starting May 1 at many retailers and is available NOW on Amazon.  If you'd like to be entered to win a copy here, please leave a comment letting me know how you say "yes in your mess"....or how you'd like to start. ♥

{Entries accepted through 11:59pm CST, April 27th.}

yes in my mess kitchen photo yesinmymess8of9.jpg
{my mess.} 



  1. This sounds like a great book to read for me right now! I am leaving in 3 weeks for a mission trip to Bulgaria!

  2. Holy moly, I am seriously in awe of how neatly and stylishly you can write in icing...I can't even write with pen that nicely! These cupcakes look delicious! Would you believe me if I said I've never even had one of the store-bought ones? Even though I don't have any childhood memories of cupcakes like these, I can't wait to try making them!

  3. What great inspiration! I would love to read that book! I love the part "We often don't do anything because we think our contribution won't be enough. Or we convince ourselves that we must do something great for it to be important." So much conviction in the best way though.

  4. I would love to read this book. I'm currently struggling to find a balance in the many areas of my life that demand my time (mom, wife, homemaker, God, commitment to healthy living, etc). I tend to put the Lord on the backburner and everything seems to fall apart. I need to learn how to embrace my Savior in the midst of the craziness.

  5. We said yes by seeking guardianship and then fighting a 3-year battle to finally adopt our niece. I've always had my doubts as to whether I'd be a good Mother... however, she (our now daughter) just needs good enough.

  6. I'm looking for a job and I would love to read this book while on that journey!

  7. I have always loved those Hostess cupcakes & yours are so much more meaningful. How will I say "Yes! in my mess"? I think for today it will be the recognition that if I trust in Faith, all will be well and that my contributions DO matter. What a wonderful reminder - thank you!

  8. "Rhinestone Jesus - when sparkly, safe faith is no longer enough" Wow. That title says it all for me. Yes please. More God please.

    Thank you Bridget!

  9. My Faith in #1 in my life...God comes first, He has complete control, and I trust in Him...Jesus is my best friend! I would love to read Kristen's book...

  10. We find small opportunities to teach my oldest about giving. The goal is to volunteer as a family.

  11. i say yes by going to teach little old ladies how to make jewelry every week. even though i can't always get it together to make jewelry for myself or others, i enjoy taking time to teach them and work with them. i'm glad god doesn't give up on me

  12. I guess I can start with my "mess" at home and teach my children about giving. Would love to read this book. Thank you!

  13. I am in a mess in my circumstances, however, I am yelling "YES!!" to God at the top of my lungs. I will be an overcomer, and endure to the end, even if it's still in a mess, I'll be saying "Yes!" all the way home to glory. Thank you for such a beautiful post today. I am happy to see that Ann Voskamp writes the forward. She is lovely.

  14. OMGoodness! That is the most wonderful, sweet story! I love it-"Do you have a blog" from an 8 year old. So funny. I am glad that you have said YES to what you do here and so glad that Kristen said YES to the call the Lord placed on her heart. Blessings- xo Diana

  15. I am finishing up homeschooling my youngest, I volunteer at a Pregnancy Resource Center that helps women that have nothing with education and baby necessities. We have a woman that is leaving an abusive marriage living with us plus all the normal stuff of taking meals to people, etc. etc. Once I am done homeschooling, we would like to expand more as opportunities arise.

  16. I would love this book - saying yes in our mess is what women need to do more of - we all face difficulties and why we don't face them together/sharing I will never understand. I am a redeemed mess and want to say Yes to God at every opportunity I am given.

  17. Those cupcakes look perfectly wonderful! Oh sweet chocolate. Thanks for sharing your mess with us :)

    So incredibly thankful that our Lord takes our broken, messy offerings and makes something beautiful out of them. He is able!

  18. I love this, Bridget! What a cool story. And super cool that the two of you are neighbors and friends!

    Cheers to not waiting and courageously saying "yes" in the middle of the mess. That seems to be where the Lord likes to work best. ;)

  19. We are about to move and everything has been crazy recently. I have turned down a lot of opportunities to help others since it has been busy with me, but I need to start saying "yes"!

  20. I love Kristen's ministry and am so proud of her new book. Great post! Thank you for including me ... my house is rarely perfect for guests, but I do love to invite them in anyway! Hugs! Congrats Kristen!

  21. Growing older made me realize that I didn't have to shoulder all the burden, that God was there to do that for me. I've learned to give it to him, to lighten my load and move on. And when I hear that little voice in the back of my mind, I finally realized it was HIM whispering, so I listen and say YES! If I pause then, sometimes, it's too late. I have to just react on gut instinct, to trust and answer YES.

    I would be honored if chosen to receive Kristen's book.

    Bridget, I am in awe of your talents and gorgeous cookies! Your site is my new joy!! Thank you for sharing.

  22. This book looks so inspiring. Before I became a mother I "sponsored" a girl from Guatamala and really enjoyed it.

  23. Yes is one of my favorite words. Though I'm not always qualified I try and jump in always knowing it is with these experiences that I get to meet new wonderful people and always take away more than I give!

  24. pretty nice blog, following :)

  25. I love to bake so about a year ago I started a baking ministry. I bake things and take them to others who are serving people's needs. One of my greatest joys is to bake treats each week for a ministry who goes out and prays with prostitutes in the city. I love making specialty desserts for those ladies and men. This book sounds awesome.

  26. I love to bake so about a year ago I started a baking ministry. I bake things and take them to others who are serving people's needs. One of my greatest joys is to bake treats each week for a ministry who goes out and prays with prostitutes in the city. I love making specialty desserts for those ladies and men. This book sounds awesome.

  27. I was in the middle of the mess of trying to work full time +, my husband working full time + and never seeing each other or our kids. I know some people find a good balance, but we didn't. So I quit working, and am a full time homemaker now. We put our faith in God and His provision. Life isn't easy or perfect, but we are raising 4 kids on one income in this economy (lol) and we are thriving in God's glory!

  28. I love this idea! I'm saying "yes in my mess" because working full time outside the home and having a toddler, husband, dog and 17 chickens ... our lives are always busy.

  29. It seems the older i get, the less "qualified" I feel to serve Jesus. But "Just as I am" is the way he calls us all. What a blessing your friend Kristen will be to the women of Africa!

  30. I am still learning to "say yes in my mess" when it comes to finding a balance with home and work when I really feel called to spend more time ministering...Especially when it comes to hospitality and ministry in the home.

  31. Saying "yes" to moving 900 miles... it's a leap of faith. We don't have anything lined up house or job wise. Some call it foolishness. We are calling it trusting God. We still have some time to pull things together, but many of the details simply need to be worked out by Him.

  32. hah small world for you to! Your cupcakes look amazing! Saying yes to my mess is being ok with the house not "perfect" and really being n the moment with my kids!!

  33. I would say yes in my mess by starting to bake more for local charities. I used to take baked goods to a homeless shelter and I'd really like to start doing that more often.

  34. Saying YES to my mess... is TOUGH!
    No, I am not a mom or married. I don't even have a boyfriend. But I can assure you that trying to get through my 20s is tough with all the fierce competence out there. I work a lot and, get little money. Have to many dreams, but so little courage. I consider that I don't have any "real friends" and I often feel alone and in the middle of a Huge Mess. I want to accomplish a lot of things, a lot of dreams but often forget about them because I seem to convince my self that it won't be worth it or that someone can do better. I don't know how to say YES TO MY MESS but I sure would love to know how to. Regardless of what I want at the end of the day I know He has a purpose and a plan for my life.
    Here are some powerful words a homeless person said to me once: " Sometimes it is not about needing food or water, sometimes it is just about a sincere and genuine smile".
    These stuck to me because maybe it is not everyone's purpose to be this greatly known person for the great deeds you've done. But because maybe our purpose may just be to smile to someone who needs it. And let's face it we all need a bright, warm and kind smile from time to time. (:
    Cheers to saying Yes To My Mess!

  35. right now, God is showing me what it means to really trust him. I am in a mess, trying to figure out what to do with my life, just trying to figure out what He wants for me in my life i should say. I feel like when I'm in this "mess" is where God really speaks to me and pulls me out little by little. Sure trusting fully on Him is hard to do sometimes, But I know that fully relying on His strength will help me get through. So I guess you could say I'm saying yes to the mess he has given me. It know it will grow me more in Him in the end.

  36. Such a Godly mess! Two good friends passed away less than a year apart leaving wonderful men behind. Serving the guys and filling the holes they have left in service to our church fill my extra time while I live with Grandma, caring for her and working part time! I have to trust God when so many opportunities come to serve and I am feeling overwhelmed!

  37. I love this. This, though it has no cookie pictures, may be one of my favorite posts to date. I think sometimes we think we need to have it all together before we can serve God because together people are the ones that He wants. So not true! If we wait for the perfect moment to serve, it'll be like waiting for the perfect time to have kids or the perfect time to move or quit a job -- sometimes you just have to take the leap and not look at how big the gap is until you're safely on the other side. I'd love to be able to look for small ways to help someone in need instead of being so selfish and thinking that this life is only mine. Thanks for the inspiration you two!

  38. What a beautiful post, Bridget! I'm definitely putting this book on my kindle soon. Diana

    1. oops... signed in as my hubby ;) Diana Bauman

  39. I can't wait to read Rhinestone Jesus I love Kristen's writing and blog! Who can ever pass on Hostess Cupcakes? Not me! Yum!

  40. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Get your ex CRAWLING back to you...?


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