Sunday, July 18, 2010

souper trooper

every once is a while you need a break from sweets... right? or rather... something to eat in between desserts.

when i was in still in college, my good friend marge showed me this soup recipe she learned while living in italy. pappa al pomodoro! it's easy, cheap and delicious- the three most important meal factors to any poor college student. i had not made this soup in a while, but once i had the thought of it in my mind, i was on a mission.

everything you need is in this picture:

1. stock
2. onion
3. garlic
4. basil
5. can of whole peeled tomatoes
6. stale bread
also olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (my preference), parmesan cheese

this soup gets better over time. if it gets dried out just add a little more stock as you warm it up. i also LOVE this soup b/c it gives me something to do with my fancy baguettes from balthazar once they go stale.

this is what is should look like as it's all brewing:

even my little brother had three bowls in one sitting.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

athletes like cupcakes

recently my good friend pete was visiting from london. pete is an amazing sound genius and he tours with lots of awesome bands. last year i met up with pete and his girlfriend (my good friend) gil in melbourne. pete was on tour with spiritualized and we saw them perform at mt. buller. it was beautiful. other than one scary encounter with a big spider, the weekend was magic.

so... pete was just recently in nyc with athlete. i have seen the athlete perform before, and it's always a good show. to top it off, the guys in the band are beyond lovely. we had only exchanged a few words last time i met them, but for this trip pete let me know they would all have some free time in BROOKLYN. athlete were performing at the bell house (great venue) and there was going to be time for dinner beforehand. i suggested we go to get fresh-- they have an amazing prix fix. dessert was not included in the prix fix, so i decided to make dessert myself. ALSO-- pete brought me lardy bread all the way from the UK, so i felt he really earned a cupcake :)

these cupcakes are always a hit!

'better than magnolia' (so says athlete) blueberry cupcakes with maple icing

3 1/4 cups cake flour sifted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tblspn baking powder
1/2 tspn coarse kosher salt
1/4 tspn baking soda
6 tblspn (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tspn grated lemon peel
1 tblspn maple syrup
1 pinch cinnamon
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries, frozen for 4 hours

*oven to 350°F.
*sift flour and next 4 ingredients into large bowl
*whisk melted butter and oil in medium bowl.
*add eggs; whisk to blend.
*whisk in buttermilk, milk, vanilla extract, and peel.
*add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just to blend.
*stir in frozen blueberries.

*bake cupcakes 20-25 minutes

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
10 tblspns (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
maple syrup (to taste) (14 - 1/2 cup)
1/2 tspn salt
1 1/4 tspns vanilla extract
4 tspns (or more) whole milk

cream sugar and butter. add salt. add vanilla, add syrup. still in milk slowly till you reach desired consistency. chill for 30 minutes.

1 cup chilled fresh blueberries covered in sugar (for decoration)

the boys really liked the cupcakes, and dinner was delicious. the band played well and the crowd was so joyous. to top it off they recorded a little video for my friend willa, who is a big athlete fan, and was out of town!