I've finally had success with the Swiss Meringue Butter cream, I think... last time I thought it was great- but then I tried some after it had sat in the fridge and it was curdled, and it would not come back together. This time I ate two cupcakes before I refrigerated them, just to make sure I had my fill in case it goes wrong, but so far so good. I used this recipe- (which was much simpler, and smaller, than the first one I used) the only difference being that I heated my egg whites to 160- for some added peace of mind. I usually don't worry about raw eggs, but I figured the few extra minutes of whisking and heating were worth it. Oh and I also accidentally melted my entire pound of butter- then had to harden it in the freezer and whip it back together again, no harm done though.
This is the best icing ever, seriously, I love that it has more egg white and butter than sugar- which makes it seem like a health food when you compare it to regular icing, which is basically just icing sugar. It tastes like sweet buttery air. Apparently it freezes well too- so I stashed the majority of the cupcakes in the freezer.
I've also been making headway on the sewing projects, very furtively answering the question, "what are you sewing mama?" so I don't ruin any Christmas surprises. I'm also toying with the idea of taking the credit for stockings so that I can put handmade gifts in there. We've been pretty discreet about Santa so far- and I think we could just turn him into some guy who represents the "spirit of giving", that you send letters to, and leave cookies out for? hm... maybe not- but maybe the idea of Christmas being a joint effort between Santa and mom and dad is not so out there, any ideas?