Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Peach Tea Cupcakes Topped With Cream Cheese Frosting Garnished with a Mint Leaf

I’ve been desperately trying to recreate the complicated and intriguing peach tea cupcake recipe I found on Paula Deen’s website ages ago, but have been unable even to equip my kitchen with all the necessary ingredients and tools until now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stuffed with PRIDE!

After I posted yesterday, I got a phone call from my friend in New York. He was standing at the start of the Pride Parade, and called to say he missed me and wished I were there. This saddened me for two reasons:
  1. I really miss him too
  2. I really love the Pride Parade
A flashy queen from the 2009 Pride Parade!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Banana Oreo Muffin Experiment

With an overwhelming desire to bake, but without the necessary tools to make the recipe I’ve been so eager to try, I did what any baker would do in such a situation: made something up!

The Banana Oreo Muffin Recipe I created was so far from the one I was hankering to try, but so good in a completely new way. I said before that I try to bake with ingredients I have on hand (while also buying the ingredients I want to bake with in advance), so I took the two things I had an abundance of: Frozen bananas and Oreos, and combined them.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegan-y fresh (and lemony too!)

Lately I’ve been very conscious of what foods I’m buying and eating. I’ve decided to try to incorporate more organic produce and cut back my use of animal byproducts. I’m neither vegan, nor vegetarian but I am cutting out meat and trying to opt for dairy alternatives often.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade

The other day, my roommate asked me how I decide what to bake next. It’s a good question, and one that I can (sort of) answer. I told her that I decide based on what ingredients I have in the house, but this is only halfway true.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Almond Cupcakes = Love

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

We’ve all heard this phrase, and probably a few variations of it as well. I’m a big fan of “When life hands you lemons, get some tequila and have a party!

Now, we all have our rough days, but it is unlikely that actual lemons will ever manifest in front of you courtesy of this guy, Life. It is more likely that the lemons in our lives will have to be purchased from a grocery store or a farmers’ market. We could also get them from a friend or prepared already in some chef’s famous pasta of course, but that isn’t very relevant to my next pressing question: What on Earth do you do when the Produce Station is selling eight lemons for a mere $2.00?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Baby Steps

While ultimately I would LOVE to turn a few batches of cookies into thousands of dollars raised for charity, I am accepting my limitations and starting small. Raising awareness or paying homage to some often forgotten causes will be my starting point.

But the real first step: improve baking skills. Yes, this is the fun part!

In the spirit of starting small (and making my way up of course), I decided to whip up a batch of the smallest and cutest little peanut butter button cookies I’ve ever stumbled across on this Internet.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

English, Prison, and Cookies... OH MY!

My favorite class of my last semester was a very unusual one. While it was technically titled English 326,Community Writing and Public Culture — The Portfolio Project was anything but your typical English class.

In addition to weekly seminars that never failed to produce stimulating and unique group discussions, every member of the 14-person class partnered up with an incarcerated youth or high school student from East Detroit to work on a creative writing or art portfolio. We all also joined the Prison and Creative Arts Project (PCAP), an organization dedicated to bringing creative outlets to youth facilities and prisons.

Through this course and student organization duo, I met some of the most selfless and inspiring individuals I have ever met. I was exposed to the criminal justice system for the first time when I paired up with a 17-year-old youth at a juvenile facility outside of Detroit. I “gallery-sat” and helped watch over and sell beautiful works of art created by many very talented prisoners.

Throughout the semester, aside from our work with the youths, our only other assignments were weekly readings and journal responses to either the reading or our work. The final project of the semester was a to create something creative that would capture the experience and its effect on us. Thinking of the many baking blogs I was already following, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at one of the decorating techniques I was equally fascinated and frightened by — decorating cookies with royal icing.