Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soooo this is probably gonna be odd....

Soooo HELLO.... its been ohhh let's see.... almost 3 years since I've posted ANYTHING on here and I'm pretty sure none of you are still reading at this point. (And if you are.... sorry for the no doubt slightly boring time) I just came back across my blog from oh so long ago the other day and missed it.

Obviously its been way too long to even bother catching you up to speed (once again... that's IF there is anyone still out there in blog land concerned with my ramblings) however... to make a long story short I'm working full time at an organic pizza restaurant that I love. Yes, some people will frown upon this and say "Hey you're 26, you have a Bachelors degree... maybe its time for something more challenging aka socially acceptable" blah blah... sure, you're probably right but at least I'm one of few people who get to wake up in the morning happy to go to work. I love it. I serve food that I would actually eat and would encourage others to eat because it's local, fresh, organic and tastes bomb. I work with awesome people. My bosses are very flexible with my schedule each week. I make good money that gets the bills paid. So for now... it works.

I'm also going on a little over a year with the man of my dreams. Jimmy makes me feel the luckiest girl in the world everyday. I moved in with him in April (BIG step for the queen of anxiety) and I love love love it. Waking up next to him every morning and going to bed with him every night is a little slice of heaven. Barf, I know. I could go on and on but he is the most caring, sweet person with the biggest heart in the entire world. My apple red commercial size KitchenAid standing mixer that does all the hard work for me and has always been in my dreams became a reality because of this man's strong belief in my baking. When I unwrapped it I couldnt believe my eyes and I'll always remember what he said.... "Babe, I'm giving this to you in hopes that you will look at this as the first step to making your bakery dream come true" Yeah... I'm pretty gd lucky.

SO... the main reason I happened to feel a little pang of sadness about my long lost blog when I realized that I've been doing so much baking and running lately and have no where to keep all of that useless information organized.

Yes, I have a recipe box chock full of my scribbles and most of them are covered in flour, cookie dough, and probably wine from the actual act of baking with the recipe card being just a tad too close to the baker... but I miss having a reason to capture the beauty of a perfectly piped buttercream frosting on camera and put it somewhere where I can look back and remember not just the recipe, but how it appeared.

I don't remember how HTML works and I haven't thought about font colors, web page backgrounds, and yada yada since the last time I was on here but ya know what??? Its whatever. Time to wing it. With that being said... whether you're out there or not.... today was a pretty phenom day. Day off of work.. started it off with a sub par 3 mile run because my legs were aching from a 5.5 mile run and a whole lotta barbell lunges at the gym the day before. Woof. Got home and played with the dog, debating what to make for lunch which ended up being Artichoke Gratinata.. a recipe from the Italian queen herself Giada DeLaurentiis. Make it. NOW. So easy and if you like a giant bowl of vegetables as your meal this won't let you down. Inhaled my lunch, ran a few errands (important things you know... Starbucks for my wake up call aka blonde roast, bank, grocery store yada yada) Then I got home and I created a beautiful work of cupcake art for a coworker's belated birthday and right about now its time to share it...

Butterscotch has always been a favorite of mine ever since I started eating my Grandma's amazing butterscotch chip cookies. They're beyond fantastical. With big butterscotch chips and a soft chewy cookie dough... Totally droolworthy.

The only thing better than butterscotch has got to be anything that involves sea salt and caramel together. Trader Joe's dark chocolate caramel with black sea salt??? I'd eat one of those bars PER DAY if it was socially acceptable. Hence why these were the perfect idea for worksi tomorrow... my friend Taylor is gonna feel like he died and went to heaven. I mean... just sayin. And I, of course, had wine nearby to aid in my cupcake baking. And too much wine usually results in this:

Two glasses in... that SkinnyGirl wine got the girl feelin fiiiiine.

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Sea Salt Caramel Frosting:
2-1/3 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup almond milk
3/4 cup butterscotch chips, roughly chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups in approximately 24 muffin cups (I say approx because my batter NEVER makes enough for the normal 24 cupcakes... usually more like 18-20)
2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In large bowl... or standing mixer... beat butter on medium speed about 30 seconds or so. Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl down occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time then beat in vanilla.
4. On low speed, alternate adding flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Add flour 1/3 of the mixture at a time and milk 1/2 at a time until blended. Stir in butterscotch chips.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups filling about 2/3 of the way.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took about 21 minutes exactly) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Caramel Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
3 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Stir in the brown sugar with a whisk and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
3. Add the milk and return to boiling. Once boiling, remove from heat.
4. Allow to sit and cool for 30 minutes then gradually add the powdered sugar and stir. Frost cupcakes as much as desired and sprinkle with course sea salt.
5. Restrain your inner cupcake monster and try not to demolish all at once. Key word: try.