Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Let’s celebrate with Red Velvet Cupcakes…and a Shakespearean insult or two!
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While the world is full of red balloons and “I love you” cards, I thought I’d go in a bit of a different direction here. We’re going to talk about insults. More specifically, we’re going to talk about how to insult other people…Shakespearean style. (After all, no-one knows how to insult someone like a balding guy wearing a skirt!)
I read a bunch of Shakespeare back in high school. I actually kindof enjoyed it…but then again, I’m also kindof a nerd. I had to memorize the prologue from Romeo and Juliet and repeat it in front of my 9th grade English teacher. I still remember it. “Two households both alike in dignity. In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” Correction: I still remember some of it.
But back to the insults! If a coworker gets on your nerves, why not deliver up a nice Shakespearean slam. Something like:
- “I was seeking for a fool when I found you.” –As You Like It
- “There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.” –Henry IV, Part I
- “Go, ye giddy goose.” –Henry IV, Part I
- “Thou hast in thy skull no more brain than I have in mine elbows.” –Troilus and Cressida
- “You are as a candle, the better part burnt out.” –Henry IV, Part II
Ok, let’s take a break and talk about a classic Valentine’s dessert, shall we? Red Velvet Cupcakes. As a Southern boy, I grew up around red velvet cake. It’s delicious, and so appropriate for both Christmas and Valentine’s Day. (Although if you ask me, it’s appropriate for any day ending in “y”!)
I pulled out my recipe for Classic Red Velvet Cake and transformed it into these Red Velvet Cupcakes. And let me tell ya…these bad boys didn’t last long. I topped these cupcakes with a classic cream cheese frosting, and then took them into the curling club. I put them on the table, turned to talk to a friend and then turned back to see nothing but crumbs. Mission accomplished!
- “You ratcatcher.” –Romeo and Juliet
- “You scullion, you rampallian, you fustilarian.” –Henry IV, Part II
- “You’re a fishmonger.” –Hamlet
- “Your bum is the greatest thing about you.” –Measure for Measure
- “More of your conversation would infect my brain.” –Coriolanus
And with that, I leave you with a whole array of possible Shakespearean insults. Drop one of these into conversation, and I promise no one will make fun of you again. (Well, they might…but it’ll be behind your back.) Seriously, though, happy (early) Valentine’s Day to everyone out there. Go grab a Red Velvet Cupcake (or two) and dream up who in your life needs to be slammed Shakespearean style!
And one last insult for good measure. (It also happens to come from my all-time favorite Shakespearean play.)
- “Where gott’st thou that goose look?” –Macbeth
Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
- Using a countertop mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add egg and egg yolk; mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder). In another bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients (buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla).
- Add ½ of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl; mix on low speed until fully combined. Add ½ of the liquid ingredients; mix on low until fully combined. Repeat with remaining dry and liquid ingredients. Once all ingredients have been added, scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula and mix on medium speed until batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake at 350°F for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using a countertop mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fully combined.
- Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar (½ cup at a time) until frosting reaches desired consistency.
- Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Once cupcakes are completely cool, fill piping bag with frosting and decorate as desired. (Note: I used an Ateco #827 large star tip and Valentine’s Day themed-sprinkles.)