Friday, September 23, 2011

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

It's the first day of fall in Seattle (well, I guess all over the Northern Hemisphere it is too)… and it is 83 degrees outside.  Have I mentioned that sometimes Seattle weather drives me nuts? We get summer weather in the fall and… rain every other time? Whatever, I still love you Seattle and no matter what you do I'm still not budging. That and I really like my apartment. I have a pretty view and a pretty rocking convection oven.

Regretfully, it'll be back to rain come Sunday. That is why I am writing this post outside and drinking a beer (shhh, don't tell anyone it's not 5 o'clock yet!)

As peach season was, and almost still is, in full swing in Washington, my CSA box was loaded with the fuzzy fruit. So much so that I really couldn't eat it all by myself.  I churned it into ice cream, baked it into batter and dutifully snacked on slices throughout the day. Still, I had a few left over and and BAM, birthday cupcakes!

When my dear friend, Katrina, turned 24 a few weeks ago we went out to The Saint, a new-ish tequila bar in Capitol Hill.  Now if bringing your ergonomic cupcake carrier to the bar doesn't scream "coolest person alive," I don't know what will.  Per usual, I topped the cupcake off with my (now) signature goat milk buttercream but I could have never anticipated how well the flavors would mesh together.  Sweet n' tangy. It's kinda my thing.

It was apparently everyone else's thing too.  I'm not usually one to toot my own horn, but most, if not all, of my friends said "these [were] the best cupcakes I have ever had!" The cupcake is light like a muffin but slightly denser like cake. Of course, having pockets of peaches scattered throughout the batter doesn't hurt either.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Wouldn't you know, I'm not the biggest fan of cantaloupe in its purest form. Cantaloupe margarita? Sure! Pass the pitcher! Blended into a grocery store fruit salad? Sure! I can handle that.  On it's own in a bowl right in front of me? No thanks.  I don't know what it is, but even when my mom tried to get me to eat it as a little kid, it was the one food I picked at and refused to eat.  I think it's a texture thing.  Maybe?

Regardless, I got a big ol' cantaloupe in my CSA box a few weeks back and had a boy from coming over for dinner. I had two issues at hand. One, I had to use said cantaloupe. Two, I had to make a dessert to impress said boy. After flipping though a cookbook or two, I landed on Sir Lebovitz's cantaloupe sorbet.

You know what? I loved it.  And I loved it just as much when I finished it off a few days ago. My friend Matt loved it when he came over to drink wine.  Moral of the story, even people who who don't like cantaloupe will love this sorbet.

What I love most if that the sorbet still retains all of the cantaloupe flavor, isn't overly sweet and the lime perfectly sets off the flavor.  So if you get a CSA full of melons, look no further!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

DIY Iced Coffee

I'm pretty picky about my coffee, but I think that comes with the territory of living both in Seattle and a part of the country where, in the winter, the sun doesn't rise until 9am and it starts setting at 2:00.  Oh geeze, I didn't mean to get off to such a negative start there… oops. Hey! We have the most gorgeous summers in the whole United States! Positivity! As I type this I'm sitting on my couch staring out at clear blue skies, Mt Baker and float planes taking off & landing in Lake Union. How many of you can say you did THAT today? Well, minus the 3 million-ish inhabitants of the Seattle Metro area.

Right, back to the coffee. As you can probably tell, I may have had a bit too much of it this morning.  It's pretty easy to overdo. Not only is iced coffee much more concentrated, when it's mixed with some almond milk and a little bit of stevia extra… it's incredibly hard to stop myself.  It also doesn't help that I refuse to drink it in anything other than my treasured possibly-stolen-from-The-Cabin mason jar!

FOCUS. I had seen "recipes" (I use that term incredibly loosely) floating around the internet for a while now. As I usually order iced coffee from Cafe Ladro as much as possible in the summer, I figured making it at home would save me a small fortune. It's pretty simple: stir together some coffee grounds with water, let it steep while you sleep, strain, & BAM. MAGIC.  As the name suggests, iced coffee is served over ice so all that magic you just made lasts forever.  For me at least 1 billion dollars at the coffee shop worth.

Sadly, as summer and kinda coming to a close, I'll have to start making the switch back over to Americano's. Who wants to be my sugar daddy and either serve me Americano's in bed every morning or buy me an espresso machine? I'm really not too picky.
Standing on high counters + living alone = bad idea. Crisis = averted. Sorry, Mom.


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