Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

cuppy cakes!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Despite my solemn promise of a cuppy cake recipe yesterday, I totally did not share a cuppy cake recipe.

Why am I saying cuppy cake? Because I’m currently super adorable, I guess?

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See?

Oh, that’s not adorable.

That’s the kind of thing that happens at a 5 year old’s birthday party.

(Crockett’s nephew turned five. Wearing that mask is one thing I did yesterday that was not publishing a cupcake recipe.)

(Apparently seeing myself in a Spiderman mask was enough to knock me out of that ‘cuppy cake’ nonsense.)

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We also helped my mom move a couch into her garage. It’s a nice leather couch. It’s for sale on Craigslist – let me know if you’re interested (and not halfway across the country)! It’s from Scandinavian Designs but was the only piece of furniture in her guest room and does not make much of a guest room bed.

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We went grocery shopping and brought home whatever we felt like for lunch. Crockett apparently felt like a tiger roll.

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I, less sensibly, felt like a big sweet chili tofu steak.

We shared, because he did not begrudge me my odd choice.

Now, without further ado… Cupcakes!

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(What? I told you I forgot to take pictures of them!)

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s what you need to know about these cupcakes. They have been gradually and professionally optimized by me to consistently bake up gorgeous at 5000 feet, give or take. In other words, this is a high altitude recipe. It will probably be fine at sea level, but if your’e up in the air with me know that this does not need any alterations, mmkay?

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 30 cupcakes – can easily be halved or two-thirded (two thirded? really?)

15.5 ounces all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 salt 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup water
3 eggs

Heat your oven to 350. Line your cupcake tins with papers.

Note: remember what I said last week about making buttermilk with milk and vinegar? That’s not ideal here – buttermilk is actually the flavor of red velvet, so use the real stuff if you can. If you really think you’ll never use it again and want to buy just half a pint, make up the extra 1/4 cup with 2% milk.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar with the oil until combined and then add the remaining ingredients and whisk until uniform. Add half to the dry ingredients and stir until they’re all moistened, then add the rest and beat the crap out of it by hand for about two minutes or by machine for about twenty seconds. You don’t usually do that with cake batter, but the amount of acid in the batter means it’s going to stay tender and this will help give you a light texture by putting a bunch of air in the batter.

Using a half cup measure or a half cup ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake paper. If you’re making all thirty and using regular tins with space for twelve cupcakes, leave the center two empty in each. If you’re baking them in batches, which I suggest, beat the batter for a second before filling the liners each time.

Bake for between 13 and 17 minutes – I would tap the top at 13 and if the dent sticks, give it two more minutes. If it still feels a smidge squishy, give it one more. No more than that. Seriously, don’t do it. You’re asking for dried out cupcakes. Turn out of the pans to cool and frost or wrap well and freeze.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (three packages)
1 pound butter (four sticks)
1 – 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar (it comes in one or two pound bags)
2 tsp vanilla

Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Seriously. This is the most important part. DO NOT SKIP THIS PART.

Blend the cream cheese and butter together until TOTALLY combined. It will seem ok to have little lumps but it is NOT OK. If you see a lump and you think it’s the last lump, it is not the last lump. Keep mixing.

Sift over about 1/2 pound of your powdered sugar and carefully beat. (This will be messy. It’s worth it.) Do it again, mix in the vanilla, and taste. If you want it sweeter, which I usually don’t, gradually add what you have left, tasting as you go. It’s easy to over power the cream cheese tang, so proceed carefully.

Use to frost your cupcakes. You’ll have a tiny bit left over, so you should probably just eat that.

 

just play it cool babe

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

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This is the recipe I was going to share with you yesterday. However, while sweating my ass off last night:

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Yeah, that’s not a glow. That’s sweat.

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(The fact that a panting dog decided that even in 100 degree weather it was appropriate to sit ON ME didn’t help.)

Where was I? Other than sweating? Oh, right, I was going to tell you about the pasta. The thing is, the magic of the pasta was the jalepeno noodles themselves along with the watochi I got from the farmers market. The watochi is a weird watermelon based salsa thing, which is fab, but honestly? Without those two things? You’d have a very hard time replicating the pasta. So, I basically made a sauce with the watochi, some chicken stock, and some water, then added some ground ginger and salt, and poached/sauteed the shrimp in it, then stirred in the cooked noodles and some thai basil. It was SUPER good, so if you find a watermelon based salsa, I recommend throwing together something similar!

I had it with some Basa Ruedo Blanco, which is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a Spanish white and it’s very bright – tangy, almost. If anything was going to make me forget the 100 degree weather, it’s Basa.

Nothing will make me forget the 100 degree weather.

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While we ate it, Crockett tried to prevent the hops from taking over the world.

Thursday morning (wow, this post is seriously belated), Crockett got up to run with me before leaving. He’s pretty fit, and I ran faster than I probably would have otherwise.

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Plus, his charming attitude really made my day.

Ok, fine, I probably wouldn’t have wanted my picture taken at that point either.

While he was packing his suitcase, I packed this little bowl o’ tasty for my lunch:

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It’s fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, and water packed mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a smidge of olive oil. And TONS of salt added at eating time. I’m learning to love raw tomatoes, but only when they’re salted to within an inch of their lives.

Also, if the hops plant doesn’t take over the world, the three basil plants we have will.

I packed up and left him to get himself to the airport, which meant leaving his car at a nearby park and ride.

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So my mom took me to pick it up ON HER SCOOTER.

This is the first time I’d been on a scooter. Does my face look like an ‘oh shit’ face? It’s not, I swear. Or if it is it’s because I was pretty sure I was going to drop my phone into the intersection. The scooter was super fun and my mom is a stable driver.

Anyway, now Crockett’s gone again and I’m back to being boring.

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Except this bowl of boring was accentuated with a metric ton of raspberries and wasn’t really boring at all.

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My sushi lunch (Sushi Hana, in Longmont), actually was kind of boring. The salmon was SUPER fatty, which I think is supposed to be a good thing (gosh I know so much about sushi), but sort of muted the flavor. Oh well, for $9.50 I think this was a pretty screamin’ deal.

To summarize: watochi, skinny salmon, and earth destroying plants. Make of it what you will.

I know everyone else is hot too – what do you do, other than lay in your basement and sweat, to deal with it?

frugality

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I’m not bad with money. I mean, I’m no investing genius, but I’m not rolling in debt. (Aside from a mortgage and school loans – but everyone knows that’s good debt, right? Right, guys?)

However, there’s an area in which my ability to budget goes out the window.

Ok, two areas.

The first one is the area occupied by Banana Republic in the local mall.

The second, and more relevant, is the area of food.

The two big areas are eating out and buying fresh groceries frequently and when I want them rather than when it makes sense. (Wait for sales? Sure! As long as I don’t have a vague hankering for whatever it is right now, that is.) A third is stockpiling things and then saving them, because I’m worried that I won’t be able to replace them. See: frozen Bing cherries from Costco. I’ve hoarded my last bag for months, and just started eating cherries again when I was able to buy a replacement bag.

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Now that I have six pounds of cherries instead of just three, I feel like I can eat them again.

Quirks. We all have ‘em.

Yesterday – cherries heated in the microwave with a little cinnamon, topped with Costco’s Greek Yogurt (not to shabby, for 2/3 the price of Fage) and some granola.

It was like breakfast pie.

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Today – same basic concept, different delivery. That’s actually cocoa powder that the still frozen cherries are tossed in, not cinnamon, and plain oats instead of granola. I stirred this up and and let it warm up during the drive to school.

The cherries are so sweet that neither breakfast needed added sugar.

Dear Costco, Please keep selling enormous bags of frozen cherries. Love, Emma.

pork bowl

I also end up throwing out food. Well, first I transfer food that I think we won’t eat in time to the freezer, for some future date. Then, when that future date is clearly never going to happen, I throw it out.

It’s sad.

I’m working on it.

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I’m working on it by eating the things in my fridge, even when I don’t feel like it anymore. Witness: pork and coleslaw, Monday afternoon.

Sooooooooo much pork.

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More pork, yesterday during office hours.

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I proctored my first test last night! This is only half the classroom – there were students in the other half and somehow I suspect they wouldn’t appreciate their last minute nerves ended up online.

I was in Golden from lunchtime until almost 9, and I packed lunch but drew a blank on dinner. I ended up stopping by the grocery store and grabbing some of that guilty pleasure sushi (you know, the kind with the shredded fake crab?) to eat during the exam.

The exam was more stressful for me than I’d expected.

sushi and grading

So I ended up eating the sushi after I got home, while grading tests and watching Breaking Bad.

Anyway, I’m aiming for pantry meals this week. Tonight I made mushroom and white bean soup – I’ll show you tomorrow.

What food do you hoard?

In other news

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Things that other people are eating:

After our big Michigan trip, Crockett’s parents continued their vacation. One of the places they ended up was the Mohonk Mountain House. Crockett’s dad sent me this hilarious picture, which he says means that the roast, duck, and lamb were absolutely delicious, the veggies were stellar, and the deep fried far east flavored lamb ball was revolting. I laughed for about half an hour when I noticed the caption.

When they got home, they took advantage of all the veggies that had grown up in their garden in their absence and made a chicken pot pie, with home roasted chicken. Short of having the bird raised in the backyard, that’s about as locally sourced as it gets. And also tasty looking.

Things Crockett and I have been up to:

My pre-Google savory almond fluffy pancake thingamabob. (Crockett was not interested – pictured in the background, him making his daily muesli.)

 

 

 

On Friday, when I drove to Google, there were balloons everywhere!

Does this make sense to you? The bag is printed? The bag IS recycled paper? I’m lost, Whole Foods – lost.

Friday night and yesterday I lifted the sugar ban for fruit (and sushi). I actually felt pretty good last week, though, and had some positive results fitting-into-my-pants wise, so I’m going to continue for a second week. Nothing past that, because I don’t want to change my ability to digest it (that may be a wives tale, but can you imagine how depressing it would be if all of a sudden sugar made my stomach hurt?)  How could I say no to these cute litte figs, though?

Sushi night was us and two other couples, one kid (came with one of the couples), and one other person at Happy Sumo. It was awesome – we just ordered drinks and platters and platters of sushi.

This drink is not mine, but it is a sake-tini, and I find that hilarious so I took a picture.

One of these is the tiny carafe of sake that Crockett and I shared and one of them is a vase with flower in it. It’s kind of amazing that I didn’t end up drinking flower water.

Not pictured: sushi. (Once it came out it was sort of a free for all.) Instead, I give you this picture of Crockett anxiously awaiting the arrival of said deliciousness. The sushi was super good, but you should take that review with a grain of salt because I like my sushi Americanized. Sauce it, fry it, bake it, add coconut and mango – it’s all good.

How’s your weekend going?