Saturday, September 23

Grande Mocha-Latte Ya Ya Cupcakes (but in miniature)

I'm loving the Couture Cupcakes article in this quarter's Donna Hay (volume 27), so when were were invited to Quarter Poker Night at the Cantoni's I wanted to take a little treat.  This couple is so nice.  JT moved to Phoenix in October of 2004 and I was in town in November looking for houses and they had us over for dinner after looking at houses all day.  Their house is exactly how I thought Arizona houses should look, they live on South Mountain, have a huge adobe style house, the desert landscaping looked perfect and they hosted a great dinner.  I've seen them a few times since then, so I was excited they were having a party.  (Oh, here's a picture of our other dog, Bidi looking especially cute with her bone.)

 On Thursday, Hubby had a happy hour to go to, so it was me and my season premiers; My Name is Earl, The Office and Grey's Anatomy.  I love TiVo or I might have missed something.  Thumbing through the Donna Hay, deciding which cupcake to make, I spotted what they called the Black Cupcake.  I decided that's what we'd take over for poker. They're chocolate with a coffee icing,(hey Donna, it'd be catchier if you called them Mocha-Choca-Latte Ya Yas). The cake recipe is really simple:

Black Cupcakes from Donna Hay

125g butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 1/4 cups plain flour 1t baking powder 2T cocoa powder 1/4 cup milk 100g dark chocolate, melted; coffee icing 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup water 1/4t cream of tartar 2T instant coffee 3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 320.  Place the butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat until combined. Fold through the milk, stir in the chocolate and spoon the mixture into four 12-hole mini-muffin pans lined with paper.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on wire racks.

To make the icing, place the sugar, water and cream of tartar and coffee in a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. While the motor is still running gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until thick and glossy.  Makes 48.

Hubby is usually a reluctant tester (he doesn't like sweets so much), but when he walked in and tasted one of them I got the best compliment.  He said, "Now that's what a chocolate cupcake should taste like." 


Do you like this container?  I found it at Arizona Baking Cake Decorating (ABC) on Indian School and 28th Street.  It's convertible into three different types of carriers; cake, standard cupcakes and mini-cupcakes.  For $20 some-odd bucks, I think it's a great deal.

Have a fun weekend! 

Wednesday, September 20

We Belong

It's 10:00 PM and I'm already back home and watching the news from the Pat Benatar concert at the Celebrity Theater.  It was really good and I had a good time.  K.F. was my date.   Hubby wanted to go with me, but he was at home watching his new Justin Timberlake video.  OK, that's it.  I'm off to download a new ring tone.

Monday, September 18

Honk if you hate the Redskins

I remember going to the grocery store with my Mamaw when I was younger and a radio DJ said, "Honk if you hate the Redskins!"  Next thing, I hear tons of cars honking, including my grandmother.  It was so fun, visiting her in Dallas, watching football games on Sunday; Go Cowboys!  I really don't consider myself a "sports" fan, but I do love the ceremony that goes along with it.  Having friends over, snacking, willing your team to win from the couch, I love it.  Over 20 years later, every time the Cowboys play the Redskins, I remember that car ride.

We haven't really stopped since our trip to San Francisco last weekend, so this weekend I'm purposely trying to take it slow.  Friday we met Mel, RJ and crew at Postino's for a late birthday celebration and had a night cap at Chelsea Kitchen.  Saturday, Hubby had golfing and I booked a manicure at the Wigwam.  A Red Door Spa just opened there and I have a preferred membership, so I get nice discounts and stuff.  It was a drive, over 35 miles.  I got there about 4 hours before my appointment to layout by their pool, use the gym, get hydrated in the steam room.  That night we met Vic and Bec out for dinner at the Rookery (sp?).  The front dining room is under construction, but they're still serving full dinners downstairs.  If you have a loved one addictied to their mobile, this is the place to go, no cell coverage in the basement.  Today, I went to the Orange Table in Old Town for breakfast (more on that later, it's so good) and I've been cooking and nesting around the house the rest of the day.  Oh to the right here is a picture of Bica, he looked just too cute here.  She's very photogenic, like her mama.

The crew came over for the game and I cooked a Mexican Roast Beef from a recipe I found in this month's Better Homes & Garden (see I can be productive at the spa).  In the beef broth just mix in equal portions of coffee grounds, cocoa, cumin, and chili powder.  I added some potatoes and onions, turned on the crock and 6 hours later, we had a fantastic dinner.

While cruizing the Internet, I found some articles on Donna Hay or guess you're supposed to say Hay Hay Donna Hay Day when you make one of her recipes.  I found her magazine later while at the grocery store, so I thought, why not?  I picked up Volume 27 which was the Cupcake Couture issue- ooh-la-la!  I decided to make her vanilla bean mini cupcakes with a divinity icing I've made before.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Your Mom!

Okay, so we have a little issue with "your mom" jokes in my office. You can turn anything into a "your mom" scenario. It's really quite juvenile. The other day we're going to LuLu's Tacos in Gilbert for lunch and we notice this sign on the side of a dump truck. A little PhotoShop later, here's what got sent out:If you look closely, it's a picture that conveys that you should lay down under the dump truck. Our version, it could be "Your Mom!"

Sunday, September 17

I left my heart in San Francisco

From my last post, if you guessed San Francisco (in your head because nobody posted a comment), then you are correct.

Hubby was a good boy last weekend, he surprised me on Wednesday with tickets to San Francisco.  I've never been.  I was really excited and actually had trip jitters; Isn't that great! 

I arrived in San Jose and Hubby picked me up (he was already there on business) and we hit California traffic right at 5:30 PM.  Our trip to the city was fun, we saw headquarters for Google, eBay and Oracle (which is important if you're a computer geek).

As a first time tourist to San Francisco, I had a few must sees and a few if we make it, it would be nice.  Can I just say, that I think we were able to see most of the biggies.  As tourist, generally, we can site see quite quickly.  We don't have to, sit, contemplate, photograph and discuss.  We look, take a picture and move on.

Look at all the places we got in on Saturday (and the zig-zag around the city we made):

  1. Leave hotel at Union Station (walk to)
  2. Dim Sum for Brunch at Chinatown
  3. Walk around Chinatown (taxi to)
  4. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (taxi to)
  5. Pier 39 (wipe bird poo off Hubby and taxi to)
  6. Citizen Cake (taxi to)
  7. Hotel for massage (walk to)
  8. H&M (taxi to)
  9. Little Italy for Brazilian Independence Day (taxi to)
  10. Hotel

Did I mention that we TAXIED EVERYWHERE?  We couldn't figure out how to jump on one of those freakin Trolleys and I didn't see one with Rice-a-Roni on the side.  Very disappointing.

On Sunday, we had our rental car, so we were able to be a bit for efficient, we made it to:

  1. Haight Ashbury for breakfast at The French Cafe
  2. Lombard for the curvy street
  3. The Golden Gate bridge
  4. Ghiradelli and Del Monte Squares

So, I don't mean to make this a look at me pictorial of our trip, it's just that most pictures of Hubby ended up like this:

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