Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A chocolate and peanut butter kind of week

I have watched “10 Things I Hate About You” three times in the last three days. Seriously. I think I might have a problem. I’ve loved the movie since it came out (probably because my mom thought it was inappropriate…what adolescent doesn’t love to rebel in some way?). A friend mentioned the other day their favorite band had a song on the movie, so naturally I had to watch. I had the soundtrack too, so I knew where it was. It’s just so great. “I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” “I think you can in Europe.” Or… “My insurance does not cover PMS!” Oh and Heath Ledger’s smile? SO wonderful. Sigh.

Anyway, point is, I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends lately. I’ve reconnected with a lot of old ones and am making new ones, and it’s totally wonderful. Like I talked about last time, I had a major life event happen recently — I became single for the first time in more than two years. If you know me well, you know I’m a serial long-term dater. My goal this time is to avoid that and just do things I want to and remind myself who I am. Some of those things happen to be watching movies, hanging out with people and baking, obviously. This week I combined a couple, when my friend Anne came over and helped me make cupcakes (and took a picture of me with them so I could prove I actually do make them!). It’s been a learning experience thus far, but it’s a good thing too. A little alone time isn’t bad. And keeping up with friends isn’t either.

One of my friends from school, Lauren, just got hired on as a copy editor at my newspaper. I’m so happy I get to see her regularly! She likes chocolate (or so she tells me) so I wanted to make her a chocolate-y dessert to welcome her. Kelly gave me some polka-dotted cupcake wrappers for graduation, and I bought some yellow sprinkle things to match, so a basic devil’s food cupcake and basic buttercream and voila! a chocolate dessert. I’m not sure I’d buy those sprinkles again, because they were definitely capable of cracking molars...but they tasted good, so it's a trade-off. They looked pretty though!

Fun fact about me — I LOVE peanut butter desserts. Cookies seemed like the right way to go, because I hadn’t made them in a while. I made this peanut butter cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen once before, and my roommate Eric LOVED them. I forgot why until I made them again, but they’re soooo fluffy and awesome. A lot of times peanut butter cookies get crunchy or hard, and then they’re just not as wonderful. These stay light, I think because you beat the hell out of the butter and peanut butter at the beginning. A few Reese's Pieces on top and you’ve got one of the best peanut butter cookies ever.

Like I said earlier, Anne came over to help me with a dessert this week too. Our sports editor at work missed a few desserts I made, so I told him to request something (I love requests! You should request something! It’s a challenge and I like those). He said peanut butter and chocolate. I’ve been kind of averse to this combo this summer because it’s been SO hot and muggy and it seems like such a heavy combination, but this cupcake had been sitting on my list of bookmarks for a while. Anne and I made them, but it really meant more talking than baking. They were tasty, although a bit rich for my tastes. The filling is pretty thick and the frosting so sweet, but if you like that combo, these are probably right for you.

For the holiday weekend, I drove out to the lake to see my dad, stepmom and stepbrother. My stepbrother, Justin, is in town from Canada, and he just returned there from London. It’s so nice out on the lake. We took the boat out after dark, anchored it and just stayed in the middle of the lake. The stars were so clear, and the Milky Way just looked like smoke. I made my first recipe out of “Booze Cakes,” a rum cake with a spiked chocolate icing. Very tasty and very pretty, although the rum in the cake didn’t come out as much as I thought it would. The bourbon in the chocolate sauce, though, you could taste.

So now I’m on to another work week. A couple things, I’ve switched so this blog has its own domain, ingredientsofa20something.com. Long and obnoxious, I know, but I didn’t really want to shorten it. The old address will still go there, but I thought it would be worth getting its own address. Plus, today I had centerpiece stories on the fronts of two sections of the newspaper! The first was about a local woman who is shaving her head to raise awareness for childhood cancer after her daughter was diagnosed. The other was about a woman who just returned from two years in the Peace Corps based in Togo. It's always incredibly satisfying to see these kinds of things in print (and online, with comments). Woo hoo!


  1. the cupcakes look awesome and I love the swirls on it. I would definately want to try these out...I found your site through daring bakers.


  2. Thanks! They were sooo rich but definitely worth it!


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