Thursday, April 28, 2011


Me encanta hornear.

Pues, en este momento, supongo que es más o menos obvio, ¿no?

Mañana Zach y yo darémos una presentación sobre El laberinto del fauno para nuestra clase de literatura española. Entonces, para que la haga la pelota a nuestra maestra, horeneamos alfajores, galletas tradicionalmente árabes que originaron en España, pareciéndose a gli canoli de Italia.

Hoy día, hay variedades a través de latinoamérica; las retratadas arriba se parecen a las de Argentina. Sin embargo, todas son absolutamente deliciosas.

Because what better way to get brownie points in Spanish 341 than by baking alfajores?

Yes, pun absolutely intended.

Alfajores are an Arabic confection that originated in southern Spain as early as the 12th century, back when the Moors inhabited the area. The original treat resembled a cylinder filled with creamy, sweet caramel, and over the years has been adapted into countless variations, though the original recipe remains pretty much the same: flour, honey, almonds, and spices.

Without all of the innovative new ingredients brought by the Arabs, though, alfajores took on a totally different form in Latin America, where they are more or less two layers of cake with filling in between. The most common Latin American variation, the Argentinian alfajor, consists of two biscuits joined together with jam or dulce de leche and covered in a dusting of powdered sugar.

Adapted from Taste and Tell
Recipe makes about 4 dozen

You'll need:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
  • 3 sticks butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 14-oz cans dulce de leche

Sift flour and confectioner's sugar. Add to a food processor or electric mixer along with the butter, and pulse until dough resembles coarse meals, 20-30 seconds. While mixing on low speed, slowly pour in water and vanilla and mix until dough comes together. Divide dough in half, roll into two discs, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out one of the chilled discs of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter of about 1.5-inches in diameter, cut out cookies and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, 15 minutes. Transfer baked cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble cookies, spread a layer of dulce de leche on the flat side of a cooled cookie. Use another cookie to layer on top. Serve immediately.

Note: do not frost the cookies until serving. If you need to store them, keep the unfrosted cookies in an airtight container and the dulce de leche in the refrigerator. Both stay good for up to 3 days.

I'm not totally sure what alfajores have to do with Pan's Labyrinth, but then again, I'm not sure what Pan's Labyrinth has to do with modern Spanish literature. So they make a rudimentary pair, I'd say.

And besides, it was about time Zach was introduced to the magic that is dulce de leche.

And I've always wanted to make alfajores.

And they are one of the most delicious cookies I have ever eaten.

And that is not an exaggeration.

I think it'll be a pretty successful presentation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{DBC} maple mousse-filled almond cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I am not the biggest fan of splatter films. Mainly because of the unnecessary amount of disturbing gore.

Do I care how many ways the directors of Resident Evil can hack and slash away at their poor, defenseless protagonists?

Do I really want to sit down and agree to watch a marathon of Scream films on my own volition?

Does it interest me how many of my irrational fears Saw is able to play on and give me nightmares for days?

Not in the least.

Ironic, given how much Assassin's Creed I've played this semester, but that's besides the point.

So you can imagine my unwillingness to watch Zombieland back when it had just been released. You can also imagine how persuasive my cousins and sister can be.

Truth be told, despite the gore, it was a sweet movie. Bizarrely profound, too, for a zombie flick.

Rule #32: Enjoy the little things.

Now, I'm not really one for proverbs, particularly cheesy ones that appear in pop culture as a sad excuse for contemporary philosophy. But I'm also a cheesy person, at heart, and some of them strike in me a chord that resonates more than it probably should.

But I loved that line.

Loved it for its simplicity, its accuracy, its innocent optimism.

Loved it for the juxtaposition of a group of nondescript individuals trying to survive in a world falling apart around them, with sheer determination and will to survive solely in order to finally enjoy a Twinkie.

...I could do without the Twinkie, but the sentiment remains the same.

It has been a long month, to be honest. I've been ready for it to be over since week one. It just felt like swimming in an endless sea of work, papers, studying, stress, with no lifeboat in sight to guide me back to shore. But upon reflection, it wasn't bad at all. Heard some phenomenal news from a friend, visited a few other dear friends who I hadn't seen in months, strolled through grounds on quiet, breezy evenings, got a few new clients for henna, played an obscene amount of video games that would probably shame a college male, and baked.

Baked cupcakes, again, if you can believe. The April Daring Baker's Challenge was a maple mousse serve in an edible container. At first I thought, chocolate cups, of course. But chocolate and maple? Sugar overkill. So that idea was shot.

For a minute I was stressed out. Heart pounding, mind racing, eyes darting across cookbook pages to try to determine what on earth I could do instead. Bacon cups were definitely an option, and were actually recommended in the challenge recipe. But...expensive, since I would have purchased turkey bacon, and would have needed quite a lot of it.

And then it hit me: almond. I love almond and maple together. But I didn't want to make a nut crust out of almonds and almond flour, because I speculated that it wouldn't have held up well. So instead, I [with tons and tons of help from Tommy and Noosh, as always!] went with an almond cupcake, hollowed out some of the inside cake, piped it with maple mousse, topped with a neutral cream cheese frosting, and warm, crispy turkey bacon.

[Yes, I was skeptical at first too, with the bacon, but really? It's delicious. Just...delicious.]

Maple Mousse
Adapted from the April Daring Baker's Challenge

You'll need:
  • 8 oz pure maple syrup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 package [1 tbsp] unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a medium saucepan over medium-high flame, bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Pour in some of the hot maple syrup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan and whisk thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, then heat for 45 seconds in the microwave (in increments of 10-15 seconds) until gelatin dissolves completely. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.

Whisk maple syrup mixture occasionally for an hour, or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.

Whip the remaining heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup to lighten the syrup. Fold in the remaining cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

Remove from fridge and divide mousse equally among serving dishes. Keep chilled until serving.

Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Sugarplum Musings and Cathy's Kitchen Journey
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes, you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup [1 1/2 sticks] butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsps almond extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature

For the cream cheese frosting, you'll need:
  • 1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake pan with papers.

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add in sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in extracts. In a separate bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Set aside.

In a clean, dry, stainless steal bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peak forms. Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the cupcake batter, to lighten the batter. Gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Divide batter equally among cupcake papers, filling each paper about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.

To prepare the cream cheese frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in confectioner's sugar. Mix until smooth, and refrigerate until using.

To assemble cupcakes, remove a small cone from the center of each cooled cupcake. Put the mousse inside of a piping bag or ziplock bag with a hole cut out of the corner. Pipe mousse into the cut-out centers of each cupcake, filling them generously. Frost with the cream cheese frosting. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Yes, some months are longer than others, and yes, sometimes the stress feels like it'll never end, but if you only remember to enjoy the little things, it's never as bad as you think.

...I think finals are in a week.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

salted caramel bread pudding

In my head I pictured it as a nice daytrip to the city, catching up with an old friend, gracefully strolling through art museums, admiring the gorgeous weather and scenery, eating some quality meals over quality conversations, and a pleasant drive home.

...Then again, when does anything ever go as planned?

Yesterday Noosh and I took a roadtrip to DC to see Kevin, whom I haven't seen since his visit last September [if you will recall the bread pudding and apple pie that were both epically conquered within 24 hours.] Dropped the car off on the outskirts of the city, took the metro in, and made it just in time for the three of us to grab some lunch at Capital Brewery. And by 'just in time' I mean about an hour and a half after the fact, since Kevin's phone lied misinformed us about the hours of operation of a few locations.

But it was a delicious lunch just the same. Even if they did leave the sauerkraut off of my Reuben [to which I remember Kevin and Noosh asking me if it was really a pity at all that they forewent the fermented cabbage, but I happen to enjoy sauerkraut very well, thank you very much]. Would recommend for sure, if you're ever in the area.

After lunch we strolled through the city for a bit, catching up on life [I distinctly remember telling Kevin beforehand that I'll be leaving the country, but he seemed to disagree], and mid-afternoon met up with Cory and Daniel [who had driven up for the day, after sleeping in until almost 11], at the National Gallery for the Chester Dale: Impressionism to Modernism, Nam June Paik, and Canaletto and his Rivals on Venice exhibitions. [The Venice exhibit was truly breathtaking, but all three were phenomenal.]

I should also mention that I had been carrying a 16-oz baguette in my purse for the grand majority of the day, including our museum visit. Also an unopened box of light brown sugar, but that was less of an issue since it was wrapped in a plastic bag. But I was pretty positive that museum security was going to kindly request that I discard the baguette, since, I mean who in their right mind carries an unopened, enormous loaf of French bread in their bag? 

Well, I got in just fine. So that's a tip for any of you who want to visit a museum and are worried about them taking your bread away from you: it's totally chill. Does make me wonder, though, what other oddities they must see on a regular basis...

Anyway, spent a few hours there before heading back to Kevin's apartment to make dinner. Because it seems as though whenever Kevin and I are in the same vicinity, cooking a meal is inevitable. Which I am more than happy about.

Canaletto, Santa Maria della Salute and the Entrance to the Grand Canal, looking East
[not my image]

A delicious dinner of bak choy, kalbi with radishes, Cantonese tomatoes and eggs, sauteed drumsticks, and chicken gizzards. Everyone pitched in, either prepping, cooking, dish-washing, clearing the table, what-have-you, so it was a very lovely little dinner party.

Can I just say, though, that only for you, Kev, would I try a chicken gizzard. And I must say, the taste was just fine. The texture I abhorred, with a burning passion. But at least that's something else to cross of my list, eh? [Even if I plan on never letting one touch my plate again.]

the spread, in terrible lighting

Kev put me in charge of dessert, as per usual, and so I went with another bread pudding [seems to be a tradition to bake bread pudding alongside our meals? sure]: salted caramel bread pudding, to be precise. Really, all I was thinking was thank the lord I can take this poor, abused loaf of bread out of my purse.

Salted Caramel Bread Pudding
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

You'll need:

  • 1 (16-oz) loaf unsliced French bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce [homemade or store-bought]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Using a serrated knife, slice bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread bread evenly across baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine milk, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and raisins. Toss toasted bread in the milk mixture until well mixed. Cover bowl and chill for at least 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently pour soaked bread into a greased casserole dish, cover the top with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover  and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until pudding is set. 

Pour caramel sauce into a bowl and heat for 30 seconds, or until warm. Serve with bread pudding.

The pudding is delicious. I wish I had had some more of my things over to photograph with, but Kev's gorgeous D7000 was fun enough to play with. After we thoroughly demolished the entirety of the bread pudding and salted caramel sauce, Noosh very kindly did the dishes as Cory and I played Fruit Ninja, and then the four of us [sans Kev] decided to go out for a midnight crepe run [because we needed more food after that feast, obviously] at Crepeaway. Also definitely recommend, if you're in the area [and they stay open until 4 am, I believe.]

Enjoyed some crepes, chatted some more, realized it was nearing 12:30 and we should probably head back to the metro station if we intended to leave DC that night morning, said our goodbyes, hopped on the metro, and drove home. Definitely one of the most painful late-night drives of my life, and I can hardly remember what happened between me parking the car and waking up at 1 pm this morning.

Save that it was one of the best daytrips that I can remember.

Edit: The very sweet hostess of Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Lisa, has invited me to participate in her Sweets for a Saturday with this recipe post. Thanks so much, Lisa! I'm truly honored. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

homemade oreos with peanut butter filling {revisited}

I love driving. Especially near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don't know what it is, but it's cathartic.

Just me, the stereo, gorgeous scenery, and the long road ahead.

I could literally drive for hours by myself.

I remember one occasion last summer, I was particularly unhappy about something. Feeling suffocated at home and needing to clear my head, I jumped in the car, and drove. Didn't have any idea where I was going, I just picked a road and drove. Took a few turns here and there, through the woods, across wide country roads, parked the car, stepped out, and sat on a patch of grass under the sun.

And it was wonderful.

I would still be doing frivolous things like that now if paying to fill up my tank to go to the grocery store didn't cost an arm and a leg. But the memory still brings a small smile to my face.

I did have the chance to drive for a bit today, though, through the mountains, stereo blaring The Shins, peering through fog as thick as clouds. Drove to visit one of my dearest friends, Nora, who celebrates her twentieth birthday next week. Unfortunately, I can't up and skip all of my Monday classes and visit the day of, so I figured I'd take a small roadtrip tonight to see her.

Nora was one of my best friends in high school, and still is, though I don't get to see her quite as much as I'd like.

And yet, some things never change.

Like Nora's love for chocolate and peanut butter. Which, I've noticed, is a love that quite a lot of my friends share. And a love that's great for me, because it gives me an excuse to bake with peanut butter.

This isn't a new recipe, though I suppose since the last time I made it for Zach back in November, I've gotten a new lens. And learned a thing or two about the beauty of natural sunlight. The recipe can be found here, and is definitely one worth checking out.

I'm actually obsessed with these. They're amazingly delicious, ridiculously easy, and impossible to resist. It's a winner-winner situation all around, really.

And Nora loved 'em.

And I was happy.

And she was happy.

And I got to drive home through the mountains.

So I'd say it was a success.

Happy early birthday, Nora!!! Love, love, love, always. 

Edit: The very sweet hostess of Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Lisa, has invited me to participate in her Sweets for a Saturday with this recipe post. Thanks so much, Lisa! I'm truly honored. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

homemade samoas

I'm a judgmental person.

Not in a particularly pretentious way; I just form highly scrutinized opinions about people based on their often poorly executed life choices.

It's not like I can help it, either. It just...happens. Instinctual. Out of my control.

Not that you have anything to worry about, I assure you.

Unless you happen to fall into the above category.

In which case I'll metaphorically shake my head in disappointment and pity. Or literally. Either one.

Just this sort of thing happens whenever I enter or observe any sort of competition. Whether it be an essay submission for publication in a journal, a graphic design contest,  American Idol, fighting against a good friend in Super Smash Bros Brawl, what have you. This weekend, it happened to be a bake-off.

I'm not a very competitive person by nature, particularly when it comes to academics [to each his own; read: I don't care how well or poorly you do as long as I have access to caffeine and a comfortable sofa in which to study my butt off], but I can't say the same holds true if you hand me a video game controller or a spatula.

I feel the need to prove myself.

And when that happens, things get ugly.

To my dismay, this weekend's competition was not in my favor. The bake-off was held earlier today, and I must say some of my competitors were very skilled. Noosh was by my side the entire time, as only the best of best friends would, so the blow wasn't too hard-hit when I didn't hear my name called to the podium.

But now I'm just being melodramatic.

I actually wasn't too bummed about it, mainly because I felt as though some of the more skilled competitors (particularly one girl who baked an almond torte layered with a balsamic raspberry reduction and topped with a white chocolate mousse, a cake which I regret not having begged a recipe for) were overlooked completely by some less...well...


Let's just say, my cynical judging of others came in full force today when I witnessed nothing but cupcake pops, Oreo truffles, 7-layer-bars, and other desserts even your middle-school-aged younger brother could recreate if he had access to some butter, flour, sugar, and the most popular recipe submissions on Tastespotting.

But I suppose it was worth the four hours of my life that I will never get back, since Noosh and I are now able to cross one more dessert off of our list.

Homemade Samoas
Adapted from Once Upon a Plate

For the shortbread cookie, you'll need:
  • 1 cup [2 sticks] butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • up to 2 tbsp of whole milk

For the topping, you'll need:
  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12 ounces good quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz chocolate (semisweet if using sweetened coconut, milk if using unsweetened)

To prepare cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt on low speed. Add in vanilla, and add in small quantities of milk until dough comes together without being sticky (you may not need all 2 tbsp of milk). Add in a bit of extra flour if the dough seems too sticky. Gather dough together into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface until it is just about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 1.5 to 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough. Make a smaller hole in the center (I use the end of a small, round piping tip). Lay cookies evenly on lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

To prepare the topping, preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a 12-inch tray with aluminum foil. Toast shredded coconut for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown, to release its flavor. Cool on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, begin melting the caramels with the milk and salt. Stir continuously until the mixture is smooth. Remove pan from heat and stir in the cooled coconut.

Using a spatula or knife, spread the coconut-caramel mixture on top of the cooled cookies. If caramel begins to firm up, reheat until it is soft and spreadable once again.

While the topping sets up, melt the chocolate in a small bowl, either in the microwave or over the stove using the double-broiler method. Dip the base of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate to a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, and drizzle the finished cookies with chocolate.

Store cookies in an airtight container. Cookies stay fresh for up to 3 days.

We made three batches and ended up with...hundreds of cookies. Literally. We still have so many left over, which I suppose is good news for all of our friends. Nevertheless, despite taking hours to make [6, to be precise], Noosh and I had a blast blowing off work to bake these.

And even though the competition didn't exactly end in my favor, I had an amazing time with Noosh, raising money for a good cause, tasting and critiquing other girls' desserts (because if you can't let your prissy, elitist, competitive side shine through during a bake-off, when can you?), and chatting with supportive friends who came by to visit and omnom.

And even though these weren't an "official" winner, these cookies are gold.

[Could be why I saved quite a few of the leftovers for myself, but you didn't hear that from me.]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

creme brulee cupcakes

I love chess.

The tactics, the suspense, the passion for sacrifice, the need to always be two steps ahead of your opponent.

But most of all, I love how humbling of a game it is.

Weird, right? But it's true.

You see your opponent's bishop close in on your cornered king, and your stomach drops as you realize that it's all over. But instead of fighting it, you tip your king over in a show of grace and humility, accepting defeat as an homage to your opponent's skill.

And then you shake hands, part ways, and promise yourself you won't lose the next one.

I love chess because humble defeat is what happens to me every time I make a resolution. Humble defeat in the form of eating a cupcake.

No sugar for 80 days? Well, one [read: two] days won't kill me.

And it was delicious so, in my eyes, totally justified.

Wait a hot sec, did she just say a cupcake was delicious?

Yes, in fact. It was delicious. This isn't to say I love cupcakes now or anything, but I suppose some can be tasty.

These were made for my good friend, Daniel, who turns 20 tomorrow. His favorite dessert is creme brulee, and since I couldn't very well transport 6 ramekins via car for 20 miles, I settled on a cupcake variation. Caramel cupcake, topped with a cream cheese frosting, and decorated with sugar shards. Deliciously moist and perfectly sweet.

Creme Brulee Cupcakes
Adapted from Creative Loafing
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the caramel cupcakes, you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk

For the cream cheese frosting, you'll need:
  • 1 8-oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

For the sugar shards, you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake pan with papers.

To prepare cupcakes, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in batches, alternating with buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated.

Divide batter evenly among paper cups, about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To prepare the cream cheese frosting, cream cream cheese, butter, and shortening on medium speed until fluffy. Lower speed and slowly add in confectioner's sugar. Add vanilla and increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Refrigerate frosting until using.

To prepare sugar shards, line a 12-inch tray with aluminum foil and grease lightly with butter. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves, then remove spoon. Continue mixing by swirling the pan (do not stir), allowing sugar water to come to a boil. Once the sugar turns a pale yellow color, watch diligently; it will begin to dark relatively quickly. Continue swirling until sugar turns a golden brown color. Immediately pour sugar onto greased pan, swirling the pan so the sugar spreads out evenly. Allow sugar to harden completely before using, at least 2 hours. Once set, break sugar apart and form shards of different shapes and sizes.

To assemble cupcakes, frost the tops of each cupcakes with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. Take a few different-sized shards and stick them on top of the cupcakes, making sure to pierce the cakes to maintain stability. If not serving immediately, store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Cupcakes will last up to 3 days in the fridge.

I'm home for the weekend, and spent a good portion of the day visiting friends in the city [after a wonderful brunch with Nitya]. Picked up Daniel and Cory and drove them over to Ellewood Cafe to meet up with Matt and Chelsea. It was nice, sitting in Ellewood Cafe, catching up with old friends, cappuccino in hand and cupcakes on the table. Like a scene from a movie. Complete with snark and insults flying from all mouths.

Just the way I love it.

As for my defeat this weekend?

Well, I don't plan on losing the next one.