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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Kickoff Spring With Cupcakes!

No food screams Spring to me more than cupcakes. Granted, I eat cupcakes year round because I have a serious cake obsession, but Spring and Summer is when I really go in.

This semester has been nothing short of hectic for me. I’m running myself into the ground with two jobs and what seems like a million credits and honestly I’m looking forward to Spring Break to rejuvenate. Flowers are budding and trees are blooming so I too need to refresh myself during this new season.

I’ve set aside some time to revisit one of my favorite hobbies– baking. While everyone else is busy cleaning, I’ll be focused on learning how to relax and take a break from being a workaholic. Oh yeah, and naturally I’ll be looking for new foods to experiment with.

 A few weeks ago (or months, I lose track of time) I downloaded 25 Delicious Cupcake Recipes- Delicious and Easy Cupcake Recipes for Every Occasion. I wanted to try something refreshing since spring is a refreshing time of year. I opted for the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. They were something different, something Springy, and that in my mind, that first big burst of sunshine to let you know winter is well on its way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar, beating on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients in small batches alternately with the sour cream. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Divide the batter in the prepared pans and bake at 350°F for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10  minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with your favorite buttercream or cream cheese icing.

FYI– I added some fresh squeezed lemon juice to my batter just to bring out the lemon flavor.

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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Cupcakes, Desserts, Spring Treats, Sweetness

 

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Woman of the Beat Generation—Diane di Prima Tells Us “What She Ate Where”

About a year ago, I took an English course called Women Writers and the Metropolis. At the time that I registered for it, I was more or less concerned about finding a class that fit into my schedule and counted towards my major, but over the scope of the class I became more and more intrigued in the actual contents of the course and I found myself actually looking forward to going to that class. The reading selections were refreshing and enjoyable and didn’t put me to sleep. Since March is Women’s History Month, I’ve decided to use this space for both nostalgic and honorary purposes.

One of the assigned readings was a chapter from Diane di Prima’s book, Dinners and Nightmares. I have to be honest, I was biased towards Diane di Prima and automatically decided that I would not be any fan of hers. This was because I read How I Became Hettie Jones two years prior and di Prima’s name was dropped as the husband stealing home wrecker who lent a helping hand in the demolition of poor Hettie Jones’s marriage. Di Prima was already an established villain in my mind. But I digress. So we read the second to last chapter, “What I Ate Where” and after that I for some odd reason or another, I felt not only intrigued but also slightly inspired.

As a woman of the Beat Generation, Diane di Prima’s writing style undoubtedly reflects the movement that she was a part of. She rejects basic rules of writing such as capitalizing the first word in a sentence, grammar and sentence structure is whatever she wants it to be and pretty much she writes how the average person thinks— scattered all over the place. But for reasons that I can only try to explain, I loved every bit of it.

In “What I Ate Where” di Prima recounts some of the meals she shared with her fellow Beatniks on a typical day in the life as well as on special occasions. Di Prima recalls meals that make absolutely no sense at all. Her Thanksgiving of 1955 menu consisted of “clams on the half shell, roast duck, filet mignon, salad-mushrooms-asparagus, hot rolls, Chablis-vin rosé, and Italian pastry.” Now I love combining different foods together for just for thrills but this menu was just too much for me.

The only thing worse than Thanksgiving was di Prima’s account of “the food on east Fifth Street” that she shared on a daily basis with fellow Beatniks. The comfort food that was consumed on a daily basis was a poor mans meal. Potatoes in tomato soup. That’s what they ate. What did they call this dish? They called it menstrual pudding.
 Now normally I would draw inspiration from stories to recreate a dish but on this one I’ll definitely pass. Nevertheless, di Prima’s accounts in “What I Ate Where” delighted me because they seemed to come from a genuine and honest place and I was grateful that she shared these memories with us. I honestly believe that di Prima ate these crazy meals but more so, her accounts helped me to get a better understanding of the Beat Generation. I am intrigued by their rejection of cultural norms, their innovative mindset, and the literature produced all in the making. If I were a New Yorker living in the fifties, I more than likely would’ve been a Beatnik.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Weird Meals

 

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