With all due respect and mad props to the ubiquitous Carrie Bradshaw, I doubt the heady euphoria she felt as she slid her foot into those slinky Manolo Blahnik shoes was even close to how I felt when the hunky* FedEx man graced my doorstep holding this thing of beauty:

That's right! It's a beautiful yellow Kitchen Aid stand mixer, shipped right to me courtesy of Julie at The Little Kitchen. She hosted a giveaway on her blog, sponsored by the good folks at Duda Fresh and I won (remember when I said I wanted awesome equipment for my kitchen? Merry Christmas to me!)! Truth be told, I've been stalking food blogs for months, entering stand mixer contests, hoping that I'd get lucky. And I did.

Not only did I win the mixer, but I also received a bag of Duda Fresh Meyer Lemons and a gift card to Williams Sonoma. I think Erin may have been almost as excited as I was, as she insisted on being the first to switch the beater on to cream the butter, and asked later if she could hug it :) Adam even wanted in on the action, teaching me how to attach each implement and how to properly lift and lower the mechanism. Anything that gets my 15 year old son in the kitchen with me is priceless in my book.

Our first batch of yummy was Snickerdoodles, at his request. Then came a recipe that showcased the lemons: Julie's mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes (see below). They were scrumptious, even though mine weren't quite as mini as Julie's (I used the 'mini' bundt cake pan that I had, which it seems in reality is more of a medium size than a true mini). Even Erin, who has declared chocolate a food group, agreed that the lemon batter was 'sublime' as she licked her 'new favorite beater'. I love that her vocabulary grows along with her culinary skills.

I cannot wait to put this mixer to good use, and know that it will be front and center during Cupcake Sundays. In fact, I think the recent lull in our typical schedule has been revived, as Erin declared that it would be a crime to have a mixer this beautiful and not use it every single weekend. So she's planning the recipes for this weekend, and gearing up for the return of Cupcake Sundays with two new recipes that we hope will become favorites.

Thank you Julie and Duda Fresh for shipping this big ray of sunshine to our own little kitchen. We promise to take good care if it!

Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes, courtesy of Julie at The Little Kitchen:

ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used Kerrygold)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 3 Dandy Fresh Meyer lemons)
1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar, for dusting

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup mini bundt cake pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or large bowl and electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and mix well. Add Meyer lemon zest and juice and mix well.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture along with half of the yogurt and mix, to combine. Repeat & combine (be careful not to overmix). Add the remaining flour mixture and mix, just to combine. As you're mixing, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Add vanilla and mix.

Using a medium or large cookie scoop, add 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp to each bundt cake cavity. Tap pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles that may have accumulated.

Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in several cakes comes out clean and cake edges are golden brown.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a cooling rack and place on top of the mini bundt pan. Flip the pan over and remove the pan, leaving the cakes to cool on the parchment paper (on top of the cooling rack). Allow cakes to cool at least 15 minutes before dusting powdered sugar on top. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Inspired by Everyday Food's Tangerine Cake

 

*Oh, and the hunky FedEx guy? Let's just say that I had grand plans to put some funny images–think before and after– here to illustrate how that mixer can make anyone buff, broad and sexy. But have you googled 'hot fedex guy' lately? Do yourself a favor and don't; it's approximately 3 minutes you'll never get back.