Friday, January 23, 2009

In Passing

From a half block off I see you coming,
walking briskly along, carrying parcels,
furtively glancing up into the faces
of people approaching, looking for someone
you know, holding your smile in your mouth
like a pebble, keeping it moist and ready,
being careful not to swallow.

I know that hope so open on your face,
know how your heart would lift to see just one
among us who remembered. If only someone
would call out your name, would smile,
so happy to see you again. You shift
your heavy parcels, hunch up your shoulders,
and press ahead into the moment.

From a few feet away, you recognize me,
or think you do. I see you preparing your face,
getting your greeting ready. Do I know you?
Both of us wonder. Swiftly we meet and pass,
averting our eyes, close enough to touch,
but not touching. I could not let you know
that I've forgotten, and yet you know.

by Ted Kooser from Weather Central

Rosemary Cupcakes With Chocolate Butterecream

Makes 24 cupcakes

These cupcakes are best eaten on the day they are made. The frosting can be made ahead and refrigerated. However, the frosting must stand at room temperature to soften before use.

For Cupcakes
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh, minced rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup sour cream
3 whole large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Frosting
18 tablespoons butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1. For Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, fresh rosemary, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tins ( you may want to use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop). Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and a toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

4.For Frosting: In a standing mixer, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then reduce speed to low and gradually beat in chocolate and cocoa powder. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
5. Spread frosting onto cupcakes, garnish with a bit of rosemary and enjoy!

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Let me introduce you to my new favorite word: SHIBBLES

Definition: when one has got the goody shivers AND one's nipples are hard

Example sentences (these are all true BTW): During a recent visit to Chez Panisse, I ate the cinnamon braised goat and immediately got shibbles.

I've never been patriotic, but I got a serious case of shibbles while watching Obama's inauguration.