Throwback Thursday: Butter Lane Bakery - Cupcake Class

Vintage edition.

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.

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients

½ lb Butter 
2 ½ Cups Granulated sugar 
3 Eggs 
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
 
Ingredients
 
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!

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Maid of Honor Speech at Monica & Tim’s Wedding

I don’t expect any of you to watch this 10 minute speech in full, but I do want to share the clever twist Katie (matron of honor) and I put on our speech. We didn’t want to get up there and give the speech everyone expected. We didn’t want to get up there and talk about our inside jokes with Monica that no one else would understand or care about. We didn’t want to cry or to bore people to death. I’ve seen a number of pretty horrific speeches in my day and we just didn’t want to be “those girls”.

So, what did we do? Well, since we were lucky enough to be able to give the speech together as maid and matron of honor we decided to divide and conquer…and came up with nearly 25 “tips” for Tim to keep Monica happy for the rest of her life. OK, so it might not be the most original idea out there, but I have to say, we were pretty darn funny. Plus, who better to listen to than the two girls who know Monica better than anyone else with a little humor involved? The crowd was pleased.

This was the first speech at a wedding I’ve ever had to give so going into it I knew very little about what I was supposed to do and say. After some research and chatting with friends here’s a mini outline of how it turned out.

Intro’s (who you are and how you know the bride)

Thank You’s (thank both sets of parents)

Tips for Tim (we alternated back and forth)

Closing Remarks (spoke from the heart)

Toast

I know this isn’t rocket science people, but it’s wedding etiquette which I am still learning a thing or two about.

xx,

J

Secret Santa 2012

WIth another year gone by, another successful Secret Santa took place on Friday night. Here’s a little glimpse into our 3rd annual SS!

This year was a little different than the last couple. I couldn’t be in NYC to participate in the fun with Heather, Tracy, Becca, and Erika so we improvised…with Skype! Heather was their lovely hostess, in her new SOHO apartment and I joined promptly at 7:30 PM ET via the web + my mac. I shipped my gift to arrive in NYC early last week (thank goodness it arrived in one piece, pictured above) and my SS shipped their gift to SF. 

The breakdown:

I had Erika - and since she has yet to visit me, my gift “brought CA wine country to her” - a few items included: these chalk board wine glasses, this bottle stopper, this Napa maptote, + these cork candles 

Erika had Tracy

Tracy had Becca

Becca had Heather

Heather had me - part of my gift was this amazing little gem, the spotless juicer from Anthro + the cutest polka dot computer sleeve I’ve ever seen

I really mean it when I say I felt like I was there and even though I wasn’t, I am so excited I was still able to participate. We hung out via video chat for almost an hour and I watched all the girls open their gifts, gave virtual hugs, cheers, and kisses, and even let the gals say hi to Jeremy and my fam who were all hanging around in the next room (J and I are spending the holiday down in FLA). Video chat is such an incredible thing when you live far away and I vow to use it more in 2013 :)

Well, here’s to another successful SS, another great year gone by, and to a Merry and Happy Everything!

+++

Looking back:

Secret Santa 2011

Secret Santa 2010

Headed to the Home State!

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?!

Last Minute 4th of July BBQ

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!

Eats

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

Bevvys

Festive drinks in mason jars

Colored straws

Watermelon beer

Stuff

Roll up Picnic table via Napa Style

JAMBOX

Wear

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.

Throwback: Lil’ Frankies - Wine by Consumption

Vintage Edition.

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.

This past Saturday afternoon Jeremy and I joined Sarah and Garrett and co at Rodeo Beach in Marin County for a day of picnicking, surfing, and lounging around. Rodeo Beach is two miles north of the Golden Gate bridge so makes for the perfect half day trip.

The beach is known for its pebbly sand and gorgeous bluffs (tip: sit with your back against the bluffs to hide from the wind). We brougth wine and cheese, a baseball and baseball mitts, blankets, a JAMBOX, + great company - and we had ourselves a lovely day.

A day on the beach in the middle of February, is just one more reason I love CA!

DIY:Use Electrical Tape To Make Candy Cane Cups

via hellobrit

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.

The 2nd Annual Secret Santa NYC took place while I was back visiting the week after Thanksgiving. This year Heather was our lovely host, in her new Brooklyn apartment!

The Rundown

Becca had Tracy

Gift: Wine aerator, wine glasses, wine bottle stoppers, bottle of wine (What can we say, Tracy loves her wine!) from Crate & Barrel.

Tracy had Heather

Gift: Chalkboard cheese platter, chalk, spoon straws, cocktail glasses (gosh we are getting older, Crate & Barrel dominated this party!)

Heather had Erika

Gift: Madewell sweater (So Erika and so cute!)

Erika had Me

Gift: Love Notes Scarf - This pretty little thing came with this love quote - “Where there is love, there are always miracles” - Clearly I would LOVE a gift like this! Each scarf comes with a different quote and this one couldn’t be more fitting. AND SF is the perfect city to wear one of these babies every day. yay)

I had Becca

Gift: Sparkle iPhone case, champagne glass, champagne recipe cocktail book, J.Crew bangles, bottle of sparkling rose (sparkle themed gift just for B!)

Then, once the gifting was done we had a fabulous little dinner at one of Williamsburg’s finest Italian tapas spots (forget the name, ugh!). Success. Love you girls and miss you loads and loads!

Here’s to a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year.

xx

J