Essential Eating

If there’s on thing I don’t mind spending oodles of money on, it’s food. I think it’s because I was brought up thinking “food is a neccessity.” Now that I think about it logically, it doesn’t make that much sense. I mean, I could buy a shirt that would serve me for a good amount of time or a nice meal/extravagant dessert which would be a momentary fill to the stomach. Regardless, I’d still go with food. All the way, hands down.

That being said… I have NO problem indulging on over-priced baked goods. Muffins, scones, croissants, danish, cinnamon rolls, and let’s not forget… cupcakes. While visiting San Francisco in late May, I stumbled across Kara’s Cupcakes at the Fisherman’s Wharf, right by Ghiradelli Square. At 3.50/cupcake, it could be considered pretty steep, but worth it! We chose a variety of flavors: The Java, Roasted Banana (with the pink cutout), and Lemon (with the blue cutout).

karas_cupcakes

Of the three, I liked the Lemon one the best; light, with a bright flavor and matching color. I have tried so hard to make a good lemon cupcake from scratch and can never achieve enough “lemony” flavor, so I really appreciated this cupcake.

Next was the Roasted Banana. Very moist, and unlike regular banana-flavored baked goods, you could really taste that added depth that came from roasting the bananas before baking. Plus the rich cream cheese frosting didn’t hurt either.

I wasn’t amazed by the Java (chocolate cake with expresso buttercream), overall it was my least favorite. The buttercream frosting lacked enough flavor to really scream “java!” and the chocolate cake was a bit dry for my taste.

Overall I wasn’t blown away by the textures- but the flavors made up for it. The cakes were slightly on the dry side (and this is in comparison to another boutique cake shop, called Sprinkles). The pink decor and the simple yet cute logo sold me, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for cupcakes.

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what about muffins?

My sister was lucky enough to inherit the fashion genes, and sent me this t-shirt:

ugly cupcake

Besides being the most comfy shirt ever, I pretty much love it because it’s sort of true. Being the muffin of the family, I’ll pay some tribute to these hearty, breakfast-worthy, not-too-sweet-yet-still-satisfying treats. Even if they aren’t eye-candy in the way a cupcake can be.

Just this week I had some leftover blueberries- too mushy to enjoy fresh, but not bad yet- and the most natural progression was blueberry muffins! (I was getting sick of egg sandwiches/egg n’ cheese burritos for breakfast as well) Allrecipes.com has proven to be pretty solid if you follow the reviews, so I pulled up one of the recipes…”To Die For Blueberry Muffins” and had at it!

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I didn’t do a fabulous job at distributing the berries but overall they were tasty enough. For a muffin, it was really sweet, next time I would reduce the sugar, and probably add more blueberries. Also, being somewhat lactose-intolerant, I never have real milk around the house, only soy, evaporated, or condensed. After this experiment, I’d stay away from using condensed milk in recipes. It made the batter really weird and sticky, sort of like toffee. It could have added to the overly-sweet flavor too. Too much sugar tends to make the cupcake/muffin resemble a sugar cookie (the crust on top and the flavor)… I’ve made that accident more than once!

More muffins to come!

a plethora

…of cupcake blogs exist out there. As much as I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon, I couldn’t help myself (just like the whole cupcake craze.) Hopefully this’ll be a great way to add to the pool of edible inspiration, not to mention an outlet for my crazy sweets obsessions 🙂 Plus, it’ll remind me to upload these food photos!

I’ll start with the mint chocolate chip cupcake. I made this initially from the book, “500 Cupcakes,” and adapted because I felt the original recipe was too dry. Here’s the staged result 😉 :

Minty-chocolate-goodness

I’ll have to dig up the recipe for it later… I’m a fan of how whimsical it looks- the pastel green has a really fresh feeling, and I was surprised to find out how many people really like the mint-chocolate combo (I know it’s a classic, but not my all-time favorite)….

Also, I used basil in the photo, for you herb-connoisseurs who could see right through me 🙂 (where is my embarrassed emoticon when I need it!) but you get the idea…. working on my photography skills, hopefully they’ll get better!