Saturday, July 30, 2011

Adventures in Baking: Strawberry lemonade cupcakes

A few times a year I find a good excuse to do some totally indulgent, ridiculously time-consuming cupcake baking.  Some of my exploits have been more successful than others.  Admittedly, my weakness is that my love of decorating the cupcakes is often at the expense of the taste of the cake itself.  After all, a marzipan ladybug atop a bed of bright green frosting grass is a steep enough accomplishment unto itself, right?  But why should taste be secondary to beauty?  I am happy to share with you that this recipe for strawberry lemonade cupcakes is straight up delicious.  The cake, the frosting and the toppings all work together to make something uniquely yummy that is not only pretty to look at but also distinctly crave-able (that's right, I'm inventing words).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Candied Lemon Slices? Really??? Oh yesssssss.

This is obviously a sign that I have too much time on my hands but hey, it's summer break and I don't feel a darn bit guilty.  And so, why not candy lemons?  Had I heard of a candied lemon before today?  Maybe.  Had I spent much time contemplating the magical potential of such a union of sweet and sour?  No.  But tonight as I lie in bed typing, I can't stop thinking about them.  I know they are there, those little slices of sunshine, chilled and shiny, stretched out decadently on the parchment paper nest I have created for them in my refrigerator and yes, they call to me.  But unfortunately for me, these little wedges of lemon heaven have been promised to cupcakes which have been promised to guests of a baby shower I am hosting tomorrow and alas, the shame of serving naked cupcakes doth trump my desire for the naughty pleasure of biting through the bittersweet rind of a candied lemon.

Just a Little Tipsy: Signed, Desparately seeking something to label

What has become of me?  Today, in search of some free label templates to use as book plates and decorations (featured in the pic above) for a strawberry lemonade themed baby shower (also check out the strawberry lemonade cupcakes), I stumbled upon a new love.  Labels!  Vintage labels, trendy labels, labels for school supplies, for my daughter's room, for my kitchen, for my ever-expanding office, labels of all sizes. . .why didn't I think of this sooner?  I shouldn't be surprised.  This new crush is the perfect collision of my desire to organize and my love of pretty things.  And yes, my guilty confession that I harbor the secret suspicion that if everything just had its place in my home, life would be perfect.  Well, maybe not perfect, but at least I wouldn't have to dig through my unfolded laundry twice a week to find my wallet.

Fresh Rosemary & Sage Beef Tenderloin

Tonight I massaged a raw tenderloin.  That's right.  I said it.  But friends, this recipe was totally worth the few minutes spent prodding and juggling the fleshy weight of the beef.  In the words of my husband, Jeremy: "This roast beast is delicious!".  I absolutely agree.  And I'm not lying, it's super easy.