Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy, Sunshine Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, after weeks of gray, dreary weather, I needed a little pick me up. I decided to combine two of my favorite things in life: baking and themes! What did I come up with? "Happy, Sunshine Cupcakes." They were amazing: an orange cake with homemade raspberry icing. It is was my first foray in making icing and it was not a bad start at all.

Not only did it give me the pick up that I needed, it gave me a non-chocolate treat. See, I gave up chocolate for Lent and Jelly Beans and Twizzlers just don't cut it at times.

As for the picture. Yes, that is a plate in the background. It reflected what little light I had to work with. I think that the fact that I am experimenting with light with a step forward in my food photography.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You know you're a history nerd when...

You pray that your niece is not born on March 15th! March 15th, the Ides of March, is the same day Julius Caesar was killed by his most trusted friends and confidants.

It is just not a good day...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fried Ravioli...Yum!!

In the past year, cooking and baking have become a serious hobby of mine. I really enjoy looking at food blogs and other food websites, and I also like the actual cooking process. I like that I can take a bunch of random, individual items and create something new and different. I feel inspired, relaxed, and artsy. It is slowly becoming the creative outlet I have been looking for (take for example my sea-foam green cupcakes).

Last Thursday night, my roommate asked me for some appetizer ideas. She, and all the girls in her family, were going on a weekend get-a-way and they were going to have tapas on Saturday night. I quickly thought back through the recent postings on my favorite food blog and offered up some ideas. After listing a few, it hit me: fried ravioli. It is simple, only a few ingredients, and you don’t need utensils to eat it. Although my roommate did not make the fried ravioli, I could not get it out of my mind. After a long day at school dreaming about the 2:55 bell and my fried ravioli, I finally got home, went to the store, and got out my frying pan.

Side note: I do not like change. If something works well for me, why switch it up? So for the past year I have been very much against using Panko breadcrumbs. Even though recipe after recipe say to use Panko breadcrumbs, I refused. I like the breadcrumbs I use. But, I thought: “I want my ravioli to have a thick, crunchy crust, lets try the Panko crumbs.” I felt like Meryl Steep when she took a chance and hired “the smart, fat girl” in The Devil Wears Prada. I don’t know what came over me, but I sure am glad that it did. Panko breadcrumbs are my new food obsession! Use them, I promise!

A little bit of this, a little bit of that, some freakishly hot oil and done! The ravioli was warm and gooey on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I love mixing food textures and temperatures, so I decided to take it up a notch: I dipped the ravioli in cold marinara sauce. It was so good that I made it again on Saturday night.

My roommate may have been the one on a get-a-way, but I had fried ravioli, wine, and the Olympics! To make it even better, it was the men’s figure skating re-runs. I love you Johnny Weir. (What do you all think about this idea: rather than Johnny Weir star in a reality show about his life, he needs to be the first bachelor on the first gay season of Bachelor. It could fly…at least a lot better than Jake’s season did. Ha ha!)

PS-I know that this is not the best picture, and my second batch looked much prettier than this one, but food photography is a whole new issue. It was not the best ravioli to fry, and I still working on my frying techniques. I am just going to have to persevere and keep making this!