Friday, October 21, 2011

Guy Fieri in Santa Barbara

Pin It Now! Yesterday afternoon a co-worker excitedly informed me that her daughter had just spotted Food Network's Guy Fieri at Norton's Deli on Figueroa Street.  If you're not familiar with Guy, he hosts Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Guy's Big Bite as well as Tailgate Warriors on Food Network.  He is also a New York Times Best-selling cookbook author. 

Guy was in town with his son Hunter (according to his official Twitter) filming new episodes of "Triple D" as he likes to call it.  Prior to his stop at Norton's, Guy and the crew were spotted at local favorite, Lito's.  A good friend and co-worker, Mike Eliason, snapped these shots of Guy arriving at Norton's.  Enjoy!

(All photos in this post courtesy of Mike Eliason)   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Pin It Now! Recently our good friends A & T invited us over for Fight Night.  I won't pretend to know the first thing about boxing or ultimate fighting or whatever it was, but getting together with friends is always great.  It's also a good excuse to get in the kitchen and make something yummy to share.

I decided to make chocolate cupcakes with a creamy peanut butter frosting.  I can't remember what chocolate cake recipe I used for this particular occasion, but there are lots of good ones out there.  Yummy Mummy features the famous Magnolia Bakery chocolate cupcake recipe here.

When it comes to making frosting, I admit to completely winging it.  Here's the gist of it:

Peanut Butter Buttercream
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar

Cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.   Add the vanilla and 1 cup of peanut butter and cream until well mixed.  Sift in powdered sugar (I usually go 1/2 cup at a time) until it reaches the desired consistency.  Finishing ideas: mini chocolate chips, mini peanut butter cups (Trader Joe's makes the perfect tiny peanut butter cup), drizzled ganache... Hungry yet??

National Chocolate Cupcake Day and Why I Love Cupcakes

Pin It Now! Yesterday was National Chocolate Cupcake Day.  Did I have a cupcake to celebrate?  You betcha!  My favorite local cupcakery is just a hop, skip and a jump away from my office, so there really was no excuse not to.
(Forgive the poor quality of the first few pics.  All but one were taken on my phone.)

Everybody loves a cupcake, right?  Right.  Well, cupcakes hold a very special place in my heart.  On August 15, 2010, the love of my life got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  Over a box of cupcakes.  Nestled among the treats stood a ring box disguised as a cupcake.  Adorable, right?!  I know.  One of the many things I love about him is his creativity.

When it came time to plan our wedding, having cupcakes as our dessert was the obvious choice.  We of course chose Crushcakes!  They were a huge hit and everyone loved the tie-in to our proposal story.

So even though National Cupcake Day 2011 has past, why not enjoy a cupcake today?  Or tomorrow?  Any day is cupcake day in my book.  Cheers!

(Photo credit: Kiel Rucker Photography)

Spooky Mummy Oreo Cookie Pops

Pin It Now! With time screaming by the way it has been, Halloween will be upon us faster than you can say EEK!  I knew I wanted to make something new this year besides my standby of chocolate cupcakes with various monsters and ghouls festooning the tops.  I came across this post from How Does She and immediately fell in love with these spooky cuties! 

I'm embarassed to admit that I've never worked with melted white chocolate prior to this experiment, and was perplexed when my end result was clumpy and unappetizing.  I tossed the whole mess and grabbed some white candy melts instead.  They melted beautifully and actually taste pretty good!

I thought I would be clever and skip the step of dipping the lollipop stick in candy and "gluing" the cookie in place on it.  The cookie pop ended up falling to pieces in the melted candy.  Don't skip this step.  Unless you want to start all over again. 

To speed up the process, I stuck the pops in the freezer for 5 minutes between "gluing", dipping, etc..  Worked like a charm.

You will love making these cookie pops.  They are very easy, adorable and according to my Hubby are quite yummy!  I also made some chocolate dipped ones and some dipped in orange (colored, not flavored) candy - pics below.

The clear lolli-pop bags are available at Michael's in the candy making section.  Tie with a pretty ribbon and voila!  I'm already dreaming about Christmas-y cookie pops...  stay tuned!

Happy Halloween!

Finished product! 

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