A Tribute to Up and to the REAL LIFE Flying House

Rating: Chocolate Cake

It began as an “uggghhh” kind of morning.  I woke up to the sound of a snow plow scraping against ice (and potentially my building).

Me:  Mother Nature, why?  Don’t we deserve Spring to come?

Mother Nature:  Muahahahaha…I waited until you were routinely going outside in a light jacket and then decided to wreak havoc.  Revenge is sweeter when it includes physical and psychological torment!

Yes, Mother Nature seems evil right now.  Soon, once the warm weather hits, she will be a rosy-cheeked, cookie baking grandma again.  Until then, think Evil Queen from Snow White.

A look at the computer screen told me that I had a two-hour delay from school.  Woo-freaking-hoo.  It’ll take me nearly that long to get to school.

Then, I stubbed my toe.  I blame Mother Nature for distracting me from important things like…walking.

Anyway, all of a sudden, my day started to look up.  First, the two hour delay changed into a snow day.  The pajamas went back on.  Coffee began brewing.

And then I saw this article, yeah, you know, the one that shows us that the house from the movie Up can happen.

In my excitement, I made two important decisions:

  1. I must own that house and live in it.
  2. This blog needs a food tribute to this movie and this real-life floating house.

Read on for recipe…

Uplifting Sugar Balloons

Inspired from The Kitchn’s sugar cookies and lemon frosting

about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (1/4 of a standard cream cheese package)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and add the sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, and beat until golden.
  • Add the cream cheese and again beat until well incorporated.
  • Add the flavorings and lemon zest.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl then add, bit by bit, to the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  • Heat the oven to 350° F. Divide the dough into smaller balls and roll out 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out cookies.  I didn’t have a cookie cutter (especially a balloon shaped one!) so I cut these out with a paring knife.
  • Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. The bottoms of mine were just starting to brown around 9 minutes, which was perfect.  They are nice and sturdy.
  • Let cool before icing or decorating, and store in a tightly covered container.

Ingredients for icing:

I choose a lemony icing because I thought that it would make the cookies taste light and summery, just what we need on a day like today!  After all, a good balloon should be bright and sunshiny.

Yields 1 cup icing (more than enough for 1 batch of these cookies)

  • 2 3/4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • Some sprinkles or food coloring if you want it colored


  • Put lemon juice and zest in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Add in butter.
  • Place in microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in powdered sugar and whisk in. It should take 30 seconds to come together as a pourable icing.
  • This icing forms a perfect top crust that hardens over, so be ready to ice as soon as things come together. Don’t make this while your cookies are in the oven.  Start when things have come out and are already cool.

If you want, arrange in an artistic pattern!


One thought on “A Tribute to Up and to the REAL LIFE Flying House

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