Confession of the week: I watch bad TV. Like, really, really bad TV. Ask my friends. One of the things I enjoy about coming home from work is turning on some Real Housewives show and turning off my brain. That's not to say I don't enjoy good TV too; I'm still working through the Wire, enjoy rewatching Firefly, etc. But sometimes, it's just nice to not have to think about my entertainment. Right now, I'm watching the Bachelorette, which all in all seems like such a terrible thing to put yourself through (being on the show, not watching it, although that's a close second). Who could ever possibly think that going from not knowing to being engaged to someone after like five dates in beautiful foreign locations is a good idea? Only to be followed by months of not seeing each other while the show airs? Terrible, terrible idea. But mindless entertainment.
One of my last times baking with Aunt Betty, we tried some nice desserts good for hot, hot weather. Which, by the way, it felt like 109 degrees one time when I checked today. One was cream puffs, which I've always wanted to make. To make them, we made Joy of Cooking's pâte à choux, which makes the outer shell thingy. Then you pull out its innards and fill it with vanilla whipped cream. They're a little messy, yes, but very tasty bites.
Another thing we made that day was homemade ginger ale. Granted, it's not baking, but you do cook down the ginger into a syrup, so I'm counting it. Aunt Betty LOVES ginger, so when I saw this recipe for the soda, I knew we had to make it. It was pretty simple, and the soda was great. It had quite a bite to it once you mixed it with soda water, but was a nice refreshing drink.
And for this week's cupcake, we have a very special kind that I hate. It was Kelly's 21st birthday a couple weeks ago, which was quite the event. She loves german chocolate, and I HATE coconut, but it was her birthday, so I made her german chocolate cupcakes. I used Martha Stewart's recipe but edited it a little. I made the cake as is, and the frosting as well, but used the frosting as a filling (I like pretty piped cupcakes so I wanted a prettier frosting). On top, I put Smitten Kitchen's easy fudge frosting. They were well-received, although I can't say I tried them. Nope, no coconut for me!