Since I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately, (pie’s-in-a-jar and all), thought this was appropriate for today’s throwback post.
Back in my NYC days (probably about 2 years ago Tracy, Andrea, and I attended one of Butter Lane Bakery’s cupcake baking classes. What a treat - literally. You might be thinking, “everyone knows how to make cupcakes”, but we learned specific techniques in terms of making banana batter and cream cheese frosting from scratch, the art of frosting, etc. You get the point. It wasn’t rocket science, but it was delicious. And what’s better than sitting around a table with a bunch of strangers (and two friends) eating cupcakes? That’s what I thought.
½ lb Butter
2 ½ Cups Granulated sugar
1 Splash of vanilla
1 ½ cups of buttermilk
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3 Cups cake flour
2 Cups pureed bananas
Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix until sugar and butter forms a cream. Crack eggs into a separate bowl, add a splash of vanilla extract to the eggs, then add the eggs to the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Combine baking powder, baking soda, and salt with flour. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by buttermilk, then add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until combined, but be careful not to over-mix. On a low speed, mix in your in banana puree. Mix for one minute then remove from mixer and finish mixing by hand. Scoop cupcakes and bake for 23 minutes at 300 degrees. (Yields 36 cupcakes)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
½ lb of butter
16 oz cream cheese
8 cups confectioners sugar
1 splash of vanilla extract
Combine butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl and mix on a medium
speed for 5 min. While mixing in at low speed add sugar. Once combined, add a splash of vanilla extract and mix on a medium to high speed for 3 min, or until smooth and fully combined. Frost and enjoy!
Tonight I will be taking the red-eye back east to Rhode Island for an extra long weekend which means tomorrow morning at around 8:30 AM I’ll hug my parents who I haven’t seen since Christmas. Needless to say, I am so SO excited!
They’ve rented a beach house down in Narragansett for two weeks with the rest of my extended family so it will be great to see not just them, but my aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course some of my friends who still live in RI. Ahh, long beach days, sunsets, BBQ’s, warm summer nights, wind blow hair drys, the sounds of the waves crashing, good laughs, and so much more. How am I supposed to work today?!
J and I are pulling together a last minute BBQ for the 4th and sent out a makeshift invite to our friends on Sunday night. It’s pretty easy in SF - just pick a park, invite your friends, and divide and conquer on the goodies. We’ll be headed to Crissy Field.
Here are some ideas/must-haves I’ve pulled together…still brainstorming!
Watermelon is a must. Add blueberries and cheese for an extra festive way to serve it up!
I’m debating throwing one of these together as well. My mom makes trifle every 4th and it’s quick and easy - angel food cake, strawberry and blueberry jello, strawberries, blueberries, and cool whip - and it’s so pretty.
Corn & Chile Salsa with Red, White & Blue Tortilla Chips
Festive drinks in mason jars
Roll up Picnic table via Napa Style
For a 4th of July in San Francisco it’s a good idea to wear layers. The sun can be warm, but the breeze and clouds can be chilly. I think a maxi dress or long skirt with a light cardi will do the trick. A hat is another staple item when spending the day outside in SF.
I love this from the Gap - classic and sexy.
I’ll let you know how it turns out!
For a look at last year’s festivities check out these snaps from RI.
About a year ago a bunch of us went to Lil Frankies in NYC’s east village for a nice hearty Sunday dinner. Lauren, (my current roommate!) happened to be in town visiting and we wanted to show her our idea of the perfect cozy NYC spot for wine and pizza as a way to wind down the weekend.
One thing that is AMAZING about this gem besides the food of course, is that they offer Wine by Consumption. What does this mean you ask?
As far as we know, we are the only restaurant that offers a program like this. We are willing to open any of the bottles on this list and pour you a glass. Or a half a glass. Or open the bottle and leave you alone with it until you have reached your limit, or the bottom. You let us know when you are finished and we will measure the bottle and charge you accordingly.
How great is that? This was the only restaurant I knew that offered such an amazing service until I moved out to SF and discovered Frances - another gem.
*Picture above: Sunday family dinner = Two pizzas, two pastas, two salads, two bottles of vino. Thanks Frankie. Saying we left full is an understatement.
A couple of week’s back we threw a little birthday party for Lauren (my roomie) at our apartment. We wanted to make it as festive as possible, but had very little time (and money for that matter) to throw this shindig together. I saw this trick on Brit’s blog and gave it a whirl. Totally make shift, but totally adorable.
My attempt below. Unfortunately I only took this one picture! I think I was too caught up in prepping the appetizers. I could only find green tape, but it worked all the same.
The birthday girl and her mistletoe headband below.