Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Coffee Cupcakes

I love baking so much that when I was looking for a job, one of the things I looked forward to most about being employed was baking cupcakes for my co-workers. Since I work later at the conservatory on Wednesday's I used this morning to whip up a batch of sumthin' sumthin' for the gardeners and administration staff. I was originally planning on making mocha cupcakes, but to my disappointment, I noticed that I didn't have any cocoa powder while in the middle of my recipe. I switched gears and decided to make some vanilla cupcakes even though I didn't have any vanilla extract (my baking staples are extremely lacking considering that I like to bake so much). I was thinking about just making a vanilla buttercream, but thanks to Gwen's persuasiveness, I decided to make a coffee buttercream.

This picture definitely emphasizes my kitchy canisters and spice jars instead of the cupcake...this was not an accident.

Ok, that's better.

I made up the coffee buttercream by mixing 1/4 c. each of vegetable shortening and ebal with a bunch of powdered sugar and some leftover coffee from this morning. I then added a lot of coffee grounds to intensify the flavor. They were a complete hit and I'm happy to say that my cupcake carrier survived the cta.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome to Our Pad

One day, little Jenny was at Carousel daycare in Indiana and saw a little boy with a bowl cut walk into the girls bathroom. Like any frightened 6 year old, she naturally went and got the attention of a near by counselor to send this sucker to time out. Well, little did young Jenny know that this was a little girl with an incredibly masculine disposition - mainly caused by a bowl haircut. This little girl was Gwen and now they're living together in Wicker Park.

That's the best damn story you're ever going to hear and our apartment has to live up to that same amount of awesomeness. This starts out with an embroidered sign that my mom made for her and my dad's first apartment (craftiness runs in the family!) and a kick ass, cheap meal of black bean burgers and homemade french fries. The first few months of rent are rough due to security deposits and up starting costs so I'm trying to make economical meals rather than fancy ones.

The black bean burgers have one can of black beans and one can of chickpeas mashed and mixed together with crumbled crackers, sauteed vidalia onion and garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Other than looking like dog shit, these were pretty good! I also made some homemade french fries that were baked with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Gwen and I ate this meal with really cheap beer on cheap furniture while watching crappy cable. Yep, it's starting to feel like home.