January 29, 2009
Isabella and I have spent many days cooped up inside, packing and avoiding the cold. One evening she found my Martha Stewart Living magazine and began pointing to the cupcakes, asking for some. And then demanding some. We both needed a break and some mommy/daughter time so I consented. I found a recipe that had ingredients we had on hand (not always easy to do with Martha Stewart) and made a quick batch of delicious, very moist chocolate cupcakes. Isabella also requested the pink frosting. These are, by far, THE BEST CUPCAKES I've ever had and they were super easy to make.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Martha Stewart Living, Feb 2009
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used the ol' milk with lemon juice trick)
3 tablespoons safflower oil (I used canola)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks, and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.
Basic Buttercream Frosting
Makes about 4 cups
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high.) Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)
January 27, 2009
We are in hyper-move-mode, going through stuff and purging. I'm selling a bunch of my science stuff on craigslist and Isabella is loving it...cool new toys just sitting out on the table.
It was really fun to watch her problem solve as she tried to stack this set of plastic graduated cylinders; all different sizes, open on one end. She kept saying "fy again" to herself and would then try a different combination.
January 26, 2009
Isabella enjoyed the dancing lion until he jumped off the stage and made his way down the aisles. Then she freaked out!
We spent half of Saturday out in the city, which was bitter cold when the wind blew. After lunch at The Hummus Place (fantastic food at fantastic prices!) on 7th Ave in the West Village we walked by Grom (an overpriced, over-hyped gelateria). Grom had an enticing poster in their window of some really good looking hot chocolate. We stood in the cold way too long debating whether or not we should get some. We have tried many, many delicous cups of hot chocolate and definitely have our favorites, but this stuff was amazing! Three of us (adults) split a small and we were all in chocolate coma heaven.
January 23, 2009
My title: Death By Chocolate Cookies...Seriously!
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.I feel like my bread is getting better and better each time! So fun, so easy, so tasty!
Our apartment tends to be a little too warm at times, so we know it is super cold outside when we feel cold inside. Last Saturday when the wind chill took the temperatures below 0 degrees we consciously agreed to stay inside. When I was cleaning I noticed a few of the metal window frames frozen on the inside. With a little inspection I realized the windows were never completely shut! No wonder we were feeling so chilled. Problem solved!
My friend, Tamara, and I went to a taping of the The Martha Stewart Show this week. It was the first time I had been to a Martha Show and a really long time since I had been to a taping, so it was a fun, winter outing. The theme of the show was the Superbowl and they had three guests: Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, and Emeril Lagasse. They had the biggest, brightest studio I've been in and the best giveaways.
A friend of ours invited us to go sledding with them Monday morning in Central Park, right after a nice snow fall. It was Isabella's first time sledding and playing in good snow. (We've played in the snow right outside the apartment building, but really, that snow is pretty gross.) She, okay, we all, had SO MUCH FUN! She almost fell asleep on the short bus ride home.
January 15, 2009
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup shortening, melted
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk and shortening; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
- Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes; cook until the second side is golden brown.
And, of course, the silly animal faces that come with a pancake dinner:
January 7, 2009
Angela and Jon's sweet baby, Olivia, was blessed in Connecticut while we were visiting. I got to play photographer and practice a ton with my Nikon. All the models were so patient and fun to photograph. I snapped 300+ photos of the event and had a hard time picking my favorites.