Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nostalgia Cupcakes

My Grandma was famous for her orange cake. There was something magical about it. Maybe it was the swirl of cocoa powder in each slice. Or maybe it was the unique shape of the pan (which I still can't find). Whatever it was, Grandma's cake was always made with love and each time she made it, the cake tasted better than the last. I doubt any orange cake will ever match her's, but this recipe definitely comes very close. Without a doubt, these are the best cupcakes I've ever made. And the orange cream cheese frosting truly is the icing on the cake.

For the icing, this is a good base recipe. Add a dash of vanilla extract and adjust the orange juice and confectioner's sugar to achieve a spreadable frosting to your liking. Garnish with thinly sliced orange peel.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mimosas and Bouquets

I spent my particularly humid and hot Saturday afternoon brunching at my boyfriend's favorite restaurant, Comme Ca. I'm a huge fan of the bubbly, so bottomless mimosas sounded way too good to pass up. We munched on the Salmon Tartare before proceeding to the surprisingly light Croque Monsieur and famous Comme Ca burger. We wrapped up the afternoon driving aimlessly around LA and finished the day off with some retail therapy - a perfect afternoon.

"Just Because" flowers. The best kind of flowers.

Dylan's Candy Bar at The Grove. Made me nostalgic for our recent trip to New York.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall into Autumn

I love everything about Fall - Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, crisp air, fall fashion, and most importantly, the beginning of the holiday season. Unfortunately, it still feels like we're in the throes of summer in LA. But the hot weather didn't stop me from trying out this butternut squash bisque. The recipe is a great base, but I suggest amping the seasoning with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a few pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg. Next time, I'll try adding some heavy cream to make a more indulgent soup. Happy Fall!

Lots of peeling -  onion, large russet potato, carrots and, of course, squash. Be patient with the squash because its rind is coarse and tough. 

All chopped up and into the pot they go. Remember to season, season, season!

Simmer for 40 minutes.

Blend the veggies but don't use all of
 the cooking stock. Add the appropriate amount
 of stock to achieve your desired consistency. 


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