19.7.12

denver to miami to reality

It's been a month.
Needless to say, I've been busy.
I drove from Denver to Miami with my sister about three weeks ago, leaving her there for a job she accepted 2 weeks prior. It all happened extremely fast and now my partner in tv series-watching/popcorn making/yoga practicing/grocery shopping/beer drinking/hiking/eating/skiing/lounging/crime is 2,082 miles away. As sad as I made that seem, it's truly a wonderful thing. Lauren has taken the next step in her life as a professional adult, no longer providing childcare of the highest quality for the most grateful families in Boulder (many children cried upon her departure), but now assisting the management of **luxurious** spas on cruise ships all over the world. Her dress code has shifted from yoga pants and tank tops to pencil skirts and blouses, she couldn't be happier. Either could I. Congratulations Lauren.



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 The drive was a ton of fun, we drove 13 hrs to Dallas on the first day and got there just in time for dinner. We found something right up our alley and went a little out of our way to get there for it (didn't we Lauren?), a vegan diner! We had both snacked on apple chips and Pirate Booty for breakfast and lunch so by the time we arrived my blood sugar was so low I could barely push open the door. My wobbly legs made their way to the restaurant bathroom and my reflection had me questioning whether I had accidentally taken a dose of acid or not. Luckily Lauren felt the same way so when our food got there we ate, both only taking pauses to breathe. I've never felt that ravenous before... but the food was excellent.

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From there we drove 12 hours to my aunt Dahl's gorgeous house in Ft. Walton Beach, FL where we were welcomed with wine, weed, and food. The wackadoo drove us through her neighborhood and to the bountiful fig tree down the street. Aunt Dahl slammed on her breaks and her phone flew straight into her red solo cup. Total bummer. She pulled up to the tree and I stood on the car eagerly picking as many figs as possible. For dinner we were treated like absolute royalty at her favorite oceanfront sushi spot, fed what I can honestly say was the best Japanese food I've ever had. Chef Yoshi was a riot too. After checking out the beachy bars, I laid on the hammock by the pool back at her house and listened to the waves crashing against the seawall, home. We drunkenly dehydrated a bunch of food and slept like babies.
The town of Seaside (40 min away) was straight out of a movie; healthy beach town with fresh seafood, a boastfully rustic bookstore, patio dining, an outrageous Farmer's Market and bikes everywhere.
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I took advantage of the three day drive and stayed in Miami for a week. I spent a lot of time with family, and just as much time with friends. I later discovered I wasted a little bit of my time too. Live and learn. In so many ways, I dig all that Miami has to offer nowadays. Home never fails to be a good time, this trip being no exception! I hosted a dinner party with Sari at her house where we wined and dined 7 girls that I hadn't seen in years. I made a Mediterranean chickpea salad, lamb meatballs, tabbouleh, hummus, and a mixed berry bunt cake with vanilla ice-cream for dessert ;)
family, friends, food, fun... fucking fabulous.
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So now it's back to reality: my other half has popped the "Boulder bubble" and I've signed a new lease with an AMAZING girl by the name of Devon! I'm very, very excited. Best of all, she's a total foodie. I have a feeling we'll be getting creative in our 200sq ft kitchen.


cupcake2I made these cupcakes for Lauren's going-away BBQ because at the time strawberries were at the peak of their season. I aimed to please with these puppies and the look on everyone's face after their first bite, made it worth every second. One of the best sweet treats I've ever made. 
Vanilla Cupcakes w. Strawberry filling & Butter cream frosting
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Basic Vanilla Buttercream
Strawberry jam

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Drop 1 tsp of strawberry jam in the center of each cupcake. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate. Serve at room temperature.

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