Sunday, December 23, 2012

Perfect birthday cupcakes

I made myself birthday cupcakes this year, and they were perfect.

Carrot cupcakes.
Crushed pineapple and five spice powder were the secret ingredients.
Creamcheese frosting
Rum raisins

Best birthday gift to myself. Ever.

Perfect carrot cupcakes

1.5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2.5 cups flour
1 lb carrots (2 cups grated)
6 oz crushed pineapple
2 tbpsn. brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tspn five spice powder
1 tspn ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda'

3 tbspn brown raisins
4 oz your favorite rum

2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp grated orange grind
1 tbspn milk

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. blend corn oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs. beat until fluffy. 
3. add crushed pineapple to wet mixture
4. in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon
5. over low heat, add carrots and brown sugar. cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes, until carrot is softened and sugar forms a light syrup
6. slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix to combine.Add carrots and mix well. 
7. add to a greased cake pan and bake at 330-350 for about 1 hours until outside is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
8.  Mix raisins with rum in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute.  Let sit and cool for 1 hour
9.  While cupcakes are cooling, make icing. cream together all ingredients until well blended and no clumps remain. Refrigerate for at least1 hour. 
10. After cupcakes have cooled, top with icing and rum raisins!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SF wine bar faves: Bacchus

Im sharing one of my top secret SF favorite spots. The best wine bar in Russian Hill.


Now that the secret's out, let me explain the superlative. Bacchus is in a tiny niche on the trolley car-passed, fairy light-lined part of Hyde street. Its cozy and filled with locals on a Saturday night. The owner is equally cozy and local- Bodhi is a norcal fixture and just a cool dude. And the wine selection is great. Just watch for exploding champagne glasses! ;o)

The neighborhood feel of the place is wonderful. Last weekend, we enjoyed a bread pudding from Frascati down the road. . . which the host hand-carried to Bacchus, replete with silverware. Ate it up with an amazing madeira that Bodhi had on hand, and enjoyed it to a a patron-curated playlist of techno, Beastie Boys and Radiohead.

Check it out. This is a quintessentially SF wine bar that offers an amazingly local feel.

1954 Hyde Street
San Francisco CA 94109

Monday, September 10, 2012

Palatable Portland: Clyde Common

The trendy Ace Hotel in Portland has a really yummy restaurant called Clyde Common.  The scene is totally hip(ster), but if you can get past the intense vintage mustaches and flannel - and if you can manage to get a server - the food's pretty rad.

It's classic new american (oxymoron, but you know what I'm sayin) fare - locally sourced ingredients, simply prepared in a way that showcases what went into the meal.  Think a deconstructed steak sandwich with roasted tomatoes and padron peppers.

Dessert was a highlight.  Peach shortcake done as a parfait - with panna cotta instead of yogurt (yummmm).

Clyde Common
1014 Southwest Stark Street
Portland, OR 97205