Monday, December 26, 2011

"Sinterklaas Kapoentje"

Dear Santa,

I just wanted to write a letter and thank you for all the wonderful presents you brought.
I really enjoyed the all the belly laughs, peanut brittle, and of course the college books and tuition.

I'm hoping you enjoyed a nice rest today and that you spent every hour in your pajamas eating candy and watching Doctor Who (like I did).

Happy Boxing day!

Love, Mags

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Like Gingerbread Houses For Lazy People"

I've gotten really into s'mores lately. I know it's totally the time of year to focus on things like buche de noel and gingerbread houses buuuuut here's the thing. They are soo much work. Okay fine. You're right. I don't know anything about buche de noel (other than it sounds fancy. Buche!) but I do know this, gingerbread houses are out.

You know why s'mores are better than gingerbread houses ( I honestly keep typing gingerdread houses)? Because you can eat the whole thing without any of that worry about destroying beauty because there's melted marshmallow all over everything anyway.

I know, join me on this one.

Okay, all right, I don't hate the idea of gingerbread houses. They are in fact very lovely works of edible art buuuuut, here's the trouble; when you make a gingerbread house it usually goes one of two ways.

1) you are in the first/second/third grade making a gingerbread house out of random candy with a milk carton of questionable hygiene as a base, and in the end don't actually eat any of it (because really, ew!).


2) you're a crafty artist type and you meticulously blueprint, bake up, and assemble an entirely edible masterful work of art that you then destroy by eating. Or you don't eat it at all (ever!) you just leave it in your house to act as a temporary air freshener.

Weird. It's just weirdness all around. People, don't waste candy. Make s'mores. This is happening.

I know right now that you're thinking of s'mores as a boring one trick pony for summer camps and 9 year olds, but dream with me a little. You know that urge you have to play with the Christmas candy? It is more than welcome here.

There are endless ways to dress up s'mores, it's much more than just marshmallow and chocolate. Think Reese's cups, think Andes mints, think pretzel twists. Oh yeaahh.

Want a little more hands on? Make your own graham crackers!  Feeling saucy?  Cut them into some fun shapes (I went for a button design).

What's that? No open flames around to toast your marshmallows? Make friends with your broiler (you won't be sorry).

Wash it down with some milk, drag out your favorite board game and you've got yourself one totally relaxing winter night.

Gingerbread houses.... pffft...

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Tale Of Tins, Biscuits and Bandits" Or "The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!"

This is a story of cookie tins, biscotti and how santa can suck it. 
Let's start with the cookie tin part.

You know what's a wonderfully old timey, awesomely retro thing to do this time of year? Mail somebody cookies! I have always wanted to do it, the idea seems so romantic to me, it makes me think of care packages, and military wives, and moms with kids off at college. And every year about this time, when they start putting out all the cute little cookie tins, and spices go on sale, and I'll Be Home For Christmas starts playing, I get this little twinge of disappointment when I realize that most of the people that I could give cookies to, live just around the corner. I know, poor me right?

Enter the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

Around the end of October Lindsay of Love And Olive Oil mentioned the idea of having a cookie swap between food bloggers. This instantly struck me as an amazing idea. I did not however, sign up. I didn't even think to. My first thought was how interesting it would be to watch how it all turned out.With my blog only a year old and in many ways still basically a fetus, I figured it was something best left up to the seasoned cooks. But sure enough as the days passed and the October pumpkins made way for the siren song of Christmas tins, I started to reconsider. 

How amazing would it be to step a toe over the line between the interwebz and reality. To actually share the taste of the food we've all been making instead of just the pictures. It was terrifying, and exhilarating and giggle inducing all at once.  I headed back to Lindsay's page to find the signup sheet still open. I typed in my name, hit enter, and that was that.

Cue the biscotti...

As soon as I signed up I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to bake up those deliciously indestructible nutty delights, what better cookie to send through the mail?! It's like training wheels for first time cookie shippers. And believe me, I am a first timer.

I'd been wanting to bake my own biscotti for a while, something about it always seemed intriguing and fancy and cutesy, you know, because it's made for dipping in coffee. But I never got around to it before, a recipe more fancy or more chocolaty or more french would come along and make a supremely crunchy cookie seem like a project best suited to take the back burner. But it remained on my baking bucket list, and I thought about it from time to time, whenever I watched a warm mug of coffee send its lonely wisps of steam into the air, friendless...cookie-less...

Biscotti my love! Your time has come!

I chose a lovely old chocolate orange recipe from Bon Apetit  to guide me on my way to biscotti bliss, and one of the things that makes this particular batch of cookies so enticing ( apart from the dipping. Mmmm coffee) is that it's made with bittersweet chocolate and orange extract, so it totally tastes like a Terry's Chocolate Orange! Which, in case you didn't know, is also cutesy to the max. Match made in heaven, right?

Can we just take a minute and talk about these chocolate oranges? I'd never even heard of them until I my late teens (you couldn't even get them in the U.S. for the longest time), but when I finally tried one Ugh! They were so amazing!  And so weird! Even the commercials are weird (I love them almost as much as I love the candy)

Back to the cookies, one of the things I noticed when baking my own biscotti was that it was worlds away from the teeth cracking boulders I remember eating ( and enjoying, am I weird?). In fact they were a heavenly level of crispy, almost shortbread-like which makes me wonder how they'd fare snorkeling in a cup of coffee (and in hindsight makes me hope with fingers crossed that they arrived to their loving homes in one piece ?!). Yes, okay didn't actually try them with coffee. I know, what's wrong with me? That's the whole point, right? Out of the two batches I ended up making, I crunched down one or two (baker's spoils, you know ) three dozen were sent away in the mail, and the final ten were stolen away in the night by what I can only assume was Santa on a practice run. Or my boyfriend. But I'm leaning toward the Santa theory.

I wasn't cookie-less for long though, as part of the cookie swap I got three dozen more cookies in the mail (snickerdoodles, coco-choco-mini blondies, and peanut butter cookies mmmm) that were ALL crazy good! So good in fact that I stashed them away in the night to a secret hiding spot where Santa would NEVER find them. Give me coal all you want, dude, but you ain't gettin your furry mittens on my delicious noms. No sir!

Thank you ladies for sending me your delicious treasures, thank you Lindsay and Julie for hosting such an amazing event, and as for Santa... move along... nothing to see here...guy.

Chocolate Orange Biscotti
Originally Bon Appetit via Epicurious

Makes 2 dozen

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or 1 1/2 tsp orange extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
print a shopping list for this recipe

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then orange extract and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half. Wrap in plastic and freeze 20 minutes to firm.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Place 1 log on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut log on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices upright on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining log.

Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Saturnalia Yall!

Hello my lovelies! My peeps! My Kittehs!

So... remember when I was all "I'm gonna do Christmas HARDCORE!"? Well... it's almost December and I've been cooking up step one. And guess what, it totally involves you!

I love old-timey stuff, in fact outside of my food adventures I'm a total vintage whore,(I'm a Capricorn, what can I say?) so I thought what better old timey Christmas thing to do then send out holiday cards?! And no these aren't all fancy and printed on super glossy paper, I'm talking good old fashioned glitter and glue slapped atop a solid layer of crayola colors.

So, here's where you come in, I want to send one to each of you!

If you're interested in getting a lovely hand made holiday card from yours truly just send an email with your mailing address to withasideofdesiree [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll shoot a little glitter straight to your mailbox.

Don't worry, I promise not to send you spam or drop by your house for Christmas dinner or anything weird. I just want to send a little holiday cheer to all my lovely readers as a thank you for visiting my little corner of the net.

 I really do appreciate you guys, (I'm talking seriouspants here) and even if you're not that into the card idea, I just want you to know that your positive energy and your lovely comments are always the highlight of my week. Seriously, cyber hugs yall.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Some Sweet Day We'll Be Together"

Dear Thanksgiving,

I wish we could be better friends. I know that you're all about friendship, family and bounty, but I work retail. Right now all you are to me are those fleeting hours of sleep I get before Black Friday.

I tried to make you a pie,( you know, to turn things around) but it didn't really turn out. And it wasn't a very pleasant process either, I sort of lost my kitchen timer and screamed at the pie crust. Yeah.

But it's okay, I have high hopes for our relationship after I graduate school and become a night baker. We will turkey it up hardcore, harass everyone into eating only our food, and eat until our pants pop. I promise.

For now though, I have big plans for your buddy Christmas (I'm off that day, high five!). He's right around the corner and just as full of recipes to try out, mess up and, savor.

So...thanks anyway,


Bacon Sweet Potato Pie
Originally From Food Network Magazine, but I'm guessing they disowned it because I can't find it anywhere

If you like the idea of this recipe, just use your favorite sweet potato pie recipe, swap out the vanilla extract for bourbon and add a few sprinkles of diced cooked bacon on the top.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"I Think That We Should Play A Game. You Be Tarzan, I'll Be Jane"

I find myself getting a wrestling urge, and to tell you the truth I've got my eye set on someone in particular. Change. Right now Change is being a total ho and I'd like nothing better than to teach her a lesson. I know, I know that I was the one that invited (begged) Change to drop by my house for a little fun, buuut... I'm kind of over it.

She makes me work too hard. She makes my days chaotic and my pictures look fuzzy, and my voicemail inbox full.

Because of Change, I spent my entire morning on the phone to everyone who's ever worked at my soon to be culinary school. The entire morning. And guess what I got squared away?! Nothing.

In between phone calls and the leaving of voice mails, I was also trying my best to squeeze out some grainy pictures in the crummy grey low-light of an autumn drizzle... having zero luck and getting pissed.

Hey, you know what else you can call autumn? CHANGE!


She's trying to make me sing for my supper. But I say NO! That is not how we play. You were supposed to drop by and make everything better, not force me to work it all out! Way to bum me out Change!


But you know what? I've got your number. I know exactly what you're trying to do. You're waiting for that big cinematic moment, when I'm all red faced and kicking and screaming. You're waiting for your cue, when the music swells and you see I'm about ready to deck you, to make that mind blowing reveal.

"Show me! WAX ON WAX OFF!" you'll scream as I'm cracking my knuckles.

And it'll hit me 'GOD, THAT is what all this was for!' then we'll laugh when I realize how far things have come. And how much better life is, blah blah blah...

But for now Change, I still think we should wrestle. Even if you are kind of my teacher, I think it would make me feel better, you know? At least... for a while...


Upside Down Pear Cakes

Adapted from Roost and Tartelette

Makes 12


4 oz butter (1 stick)
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup almond flour
1 2/3 cups Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour mix (or regular flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
11/2 tsp cinnamon

3 pears of choice, thinly sliced 
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt and cook the butter until it starts to turn a golden brown (smell deliciously nutty) and little dark brown bits starts to form. Remove from heat, pour into a small bowl or measuring cup and let cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, the sugars, and the eggs until light and fluffy. About two minutes. Add the soured milk and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and the vanilla extract. Then divide out evenly between the cups of 12 greased muffin tins. Top with pear slices, then fill to the edges with the almond batter.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out of the tins (so the saucy top has a little time to firm up). Serve warm or chilled.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"The Denial Twist"

Last Monday I came upon a realization. A decision. A fork in my road. I realized that if I really wanted to do the things I dreamed of doing, I was going to have to make a change. Struggle a little bit, and be bold. And that really the only thing standing in my way was me. Me. This idea was incredibly hard to swallow. In fact it was terrifying. So what did I do? I headed straight to the grocery store.

This very same Monday I suddenly got a craving for something not so high brow, it's a yellowy orange and comes in a little blue box. I just wanted a little taste but when I bent down to check on the prices I noticed there was really only a dime or two difference between big box and little, so big box jumped in my cart and followed me home. Until the next day... when I found myself thinking about those noodles again. Just how delicious they were and how nice it would be to have another taste. You know, just a little one. About seven days and four boxes later the boyfriend and I decided to head out to see a movie then have lunch at Panera. Lunch time rolls around and I ordered, you guessed it, just a little bowl of delicious cheesy noodles (again). And you know what? They were so good that on the way home I made a quick pit stop in at Kroger you know, just for one last box. From the outside it's pretty obvious that something weird was going on. I know how to actually cook now, something without actual food in it shouldn't hold such a power over my waking hours. And yet for some reason it did.

"It's really nothing" I told myself, "Just the good old wintertime spread" I joked with my mother "I'm perfectly happy so I know it's not stress! It's just soo delicious!" I heard myself lie but I had no idea what the trouble was.

All the while deep in my mind there was processing, mulling, learning to deal. Two more boxes of Kraft Dinner came and went and I had a conversation or two with my closest of besties, and suddenly things were slowly starting to take shape.

I looked at myself, I realized that I like many ladies before me I was absolutely strangled by the idea of my own success. Panicked by the prospect of failure and desperate to find an easy way to forget all about it and just go back to the complaining I was so comfortable with.

But today instead of running back to the box, I've taken a leap, I've signed my papers, made my very last (and real this time!) batch of mac and cheese, and officially signed up to start culinary school in 2012. Provided of course that the world doesn't end ( wouldn't that suck?!).

To all you smart girls out there who are munching on noodles and waiting to make a move, this is your sign.
Today is your day. Leap.

Carpe Diem Mac and Cheese
Adapted from  Smitten Kitchen

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2  cups (about 8 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups broccoli florets
Frozen tater tots 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 3/4 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Parmesean  set the cheese sauce aside.
5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil.  Add the broccoli florets and the macaroni and Cook  for 5 minutes, then strain (the pasta will be underdone).Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Portion out the mixture into 6 ramekins (or mini pie plates). Sprinkle the remaining cheese and top with frozen tater tots in whatever design you like. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes . Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Vanilla Stink Eye" or "I Swear I Never Touch The Stuff!"

How to make vanilla  extract

Step one, get the idea while browsing on Pinterest (in the middle of the night) head straight to the container store website and order the exact same cute little bottles.

Step two wait, wait, wait for the bottles to be mailed to you.

Step three, finally get the bottles in the mail and realize that you're totally dumb and ordered the 10 ounce bottles instead of the 1 ounce. Rail at decimals for a while but move on.

Step 4, head to the liquor store at 9am because you work nights and that's the most convenient hour. Sound like a total lying wino when you tell people that "it's just for vanilla extract" and you "don't even really drink". Make sure that you overbuy and choose the largest bottle you can find so that when the clerk rings you up and puts the giant booze bottle in a brown paper sack you'll be sure to look classy with a capital 'K'.

Alright, so I had a few problems getting started on this project, but making vanilla extract is actually really easy. All you need is high proof liquor ( I used vodka), some vanilla beans and a container that seals up tight.

Step 1, gather yo stuff. You need three vanilla beans per 8 ounces of vodka. You can make a ton if you like but I just made 2 cups worth this time.

Step 2, split your vanilla beans down the middle, leaving about a half inch of uncut bean at both ends (so it looks like a canoe)

Step 3, place 3 vanilla beans in a container ( with a tight fitting lid) large enough to hold a 8 ounces of liquid and fill 'er up. As it turned out my oops bottles from the container store were actually the size I needed after all, if I'd gotten the teeny tiny ones I would've had to wait to use them.

Step 4 put the lid on, give it a good shake to let the booze and the beans get all cozy, and set the bottle(s) in a cool dark place for at least two months. Give it a shake every week or two to keep things lookin right. After your two months are up, it should be ready to use.

It should also be a lovely shade of brown by then, but this is my first batch (so it's still a baby). I'll update you in two months (when my baby grows up).

Happy baking!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Sloppy Joe, Slop, Sloppy Joe"

Hello my babies! How was your Halloween? Was it deliciously skantastic, or did you stay at home and greet trick or treaters? Guess which option I chose(here's a hint, I dressed as a Tardis.).

Okay honesty time, did you eat leftover Halloween candy with/for your breakfast today? I can't lie to you, I did this. Only the candy wasn't left over, trick or treaters took all my candy so I went out early this morning and bought a whole new stash at Kroger for half price (since it's officially November). I know, not an ideal set up for the most important meal of the day.

I mad up for it though, when lunch time rolled around I made sloppy joes (from scratch!) It's totally filled with real food, and it's warm salty protein delicious.

Also, it's the perfect way to gear up for round two of Halloween candy noms. You know... if you're into that.

P.S. Am I a total weirdo for singing Lunch Lady Land the entire time I was making these?

You can find the original recipe here on A Cozy  Kitchen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"It's Getting Weird In Here" or "Getting Handsy With Meat"

I made a meat loaf! Successfully!And it was delicious!
It's like bread, only it's a salty dinner meat thing!

Whatever, I know you know what meat loaf is. I'm just excited.

When I saw this recipe in the newest issue of Food and Wine I knew it was the perfect device for my crossover from baker to cook. It's meat, only loafy. You know, like bread. Work with what you know, to learn about what you don't know. Is that a saying? It needs to be. Anyway the idea worked out marvelously well.

It was quite an experience to create too, I had to get wrist deep in raw meat. Yeah, it got real.
The number one reason I don't cook meaty dinners is because before you cook it, the meat is just sitting there all CSI without the sunglasses, and my mind... it just goes places so very much the opposite of tasty delicious. 

 I know, I'm a lady sometimes. 

 However, when making meat loaf you sort of have to get super cozy with this stuff and squish it all together with your fingers ( a technique I usually enjoy), there isn't really any other way to do it. You either man up or don't make meat loaf. So, I put on my poker face and got my squish on. 
I also made green bean fries, but they weren't very good. Let's not talk about that.
But here's the deal, and what I realize now has been my problem all along. As a cook, you need communicate with  the food you cook, before you cook it so that you know what's going on (and what needs to be adjusted) but since food can't actually listen and answer you, touch and smell is how you swing it.

My problem: cooking is about communication, and I'm a bit of a wallflower.

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine my kitchen is college a party, and I'm new in town, here trying to make friends.

With bread it's simple (and we're total besties at this point). Bread already wants to be my friend, it's all fresh faced and getting born. It's like a drunken birthday girl who wants hugs from everybody and even lets me do a few braids. Bread is pretty easy to figure out, if it's puffed up and smiling I know everything's cool, and if it's flat, droopy (or looks pale) I know something not so great is going down.

Meat though is much more introverted and hard to read (I really like him, but our relationship is weird). He's at the end of his party, he's headed out the door on his way, ( and he looks busy) so I can usually only manage a sort of awkward wave goodbye.You know, from across the room. That he may or may not see. And there of course is the problem, no touch no communication, no tasty biteums.
Don't be like me!

You can't be so timid. You've got to tackle meat guy! (he sounds like a Scorpio so he won't mind) you've got to squeeze him goodbye so he knows you mean it. If he likes you, you'll know it. And if he's got a funky problem, you'll know that too.

 So by this recipe forcing me to get frisky (spending that mandatory squish time, all warm and cozy)  meat and I had a moment. We communicated, and it gave me this feeling of confidence.

Did meat being a guy get awkward there? Sigh. I should have made bread the dude....

Maybe not the most attractive guy, but definitely worth your time
Anyway the end result was amazingly satisfying, when I set it in the oven to bake I felt 90% more confident that it would turn out successfully because I'd had physical contact with what I was making. P.s. It was in a totally PG wholesome way. You know. Just to be clear.

And when it was all baked up and finished it was perfect. Okay maybe it was a kinda ugly because I'm new at this but the difference in taste was remarkable. It even got the double raised eyebrow from my boyfriend. Two eyebrows raised in delighted surprise. And all because I touched the meat. 

...wait! That's not what I meant!


Original Recipe for The Amazing Meat Loaf  can be found on the Food & Wine website Here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"I Am an Attractive, Intelligent, Confident Biscuit Woman"

I've been in kind of a funk lately, not the serious kind, just a sort of "Dear Life, I hate your face. Sincerely -Me" type of funk. This feeling comes around every now and then (usually after ladybusiness strikes) and I feel like punching myself in the face because I know there are people in the world with real problems but I still can't seem to get over myself.

The main issue (in my head at least) is the feeling that the life I'm currently living is a waste of my time and that I'm actually meant to go travel the world, swim with the sharks, and have torrid affairs in Versailles*. But really (logically) if this was a regular option wouldn't (you/I/we) be all over it already? 
"Travel the world you say? Nah I think I'll sit this one out"

My usual fix for this ridiculous funk is to sweat it all out in a zumba class, but inconveniently (ironically?) my favorite teacher just stopped teaching and left town to travel the world with her husband.With the sharks. In Versailles.

Yeah, okay maybe not with sharks but still, this is soo not helping my crazy head situation. 

This calls for some carbs.

I'm a weirdo, you know this. But something I've found to be a wonderful stress reliever when my head is all crazy is to somehow get my 'tudy self wrist deep in flour and butter. It's something about the squish and the temperature... and the squish. I don't know. Usually I go for pie dough (it's so buttery) but Joy's recipe for Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits might just place as my current dough squish favorite. Also, they're delicious, tall and flaky.

The general experience of baking bread whether I'm upset or not lends itself to a peaceful mind, it sort of empties my thoughts into my fingers through the action of kneading the dough. It's like hands-only yoga (or boxing depending on your mood). If I'm in a good mood I get giddy, if I'm in a bad mood it uplifts me, and if I'm in a really bad mood... I make two batches.

Confession: this was a two batch day.
 But guess what? I totally feel better.
P.s. Thanks Joy

Other things currently soothing the savage beast(breast!)

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?

*= with my boyfriend(Hi!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"LET THERE BE LIBRAS!" or "¡El Bigote!"

I am an embarrassing older sister. When I discovered this recipe for cupcakes with faces on Xiaolu's page, I totally bookmarked it with absolutely permanent plans to make them for my brother on his birthday.

When October 9th rolled around, I whipped out the recipe and baked up a bunch of these little cuties giggling while I put their little eyes together on their little cupcake faces. Yes I giggled, the whole time, like a dork.

I kept picturing my brother's face when he saw them, what he would think about their little mustaches and junior mint eyes.

Why is this embarrassing? Well...

My brother isn't exactly 4 Or 6. Or even 12.

He um... just turned 20...

I know. What's wrong with me?!? My brother though, he expects this from me. It has always been our relationship. We're not the type of siblings who will sit around with beers telling dirty jokes and eating boob shaped cake when we're  40.

Our relationship is this: every year he will get older, every year I will pretend that it isn't happening and make things for him that he and his preschool friends will enjoy, and every year my 6'1", goateed, fully grown brother will smile sweetly and genuinely thank me. Every year. I have no idea how I got lucky enough to get a brother like this. No clue.

Though I'll confess that if I gave me these cupcakes, I'd thank me too.

These cupcakes are AMAZINGLY good. And if it turns out maybe you want to be a grown up and leave off  the tiny faces, they won't turn out any less amazing because what we're dealing with here is chocolate cake, with oreo inside. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I baked these (I was mostly in it for the faces), I got a sort of hint they might be good when I smelled them baking, but when I sunk my teeth into that very first warm chocolaty bite, it was so good I had to sit down. True story.

They are love sonnet good. They are break into song good. They are chuck your boyfriend out the window because who needs a man when you've got this cake* kind of good.

... what?

It's a very lucky thing that the recipe only makes 18 cupcakes because they are dangerous. It is also very lucky that 12 of those 18 cupcakes actually made it all the way to my brother's house. Because really, eating all the cupcakes before they got there would be even more embarrassing than just putting eyes on top of them. But only slightly more.

Oreo cupcakes. With or without the eyes, you need these in your life. I won't tell your boyfriend. 
I  promise.

You can find the original recipe here.

* P.s. I totally love my boyfriend (who always reads my blog) just slightly way way more than cupcakes. Duh. (p.p.s.Hi Alan!)