Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What are you?

So, over the weekend, I had the chance to make Apple Bread for a friend of mine out in Idaho. She will receive the deliciousness this week and I hope she likes it.

Since then, I've heard from another friend - the ever amazingly awesome DJ Caps and plan on making her something scrumdiddliupmtious soon! I say soon, and not immediately for a couple reasons:
1. I'm at work, and am not a total social worker slacker. For this reason, as much as I'd like to spend my days watching Glee on hulu.com (flippin' LOVE this show), eating kiwis (ALWAYS the right choice), and exploring my cook books for desserty superbness - I actually have other things I need to do with my time.
2. I don't know what the PERFECT dessert for DJ Caps would be. I find myself listing bits of her personality and things that she likes/dislikes in order to unlock her secret-super-awesome-inner-baked goodness.

I'm trying to answer the question... "If DJ Caps were a dessert, what would she be?" For those who read The Golden Compass, I'm trying to match DJ Caps up with her daemon... only instead of some fuzzy animal, I'd like to use flour and chocolate. Maybe some peanut butter, cause she's saucy.
Seriously, DJ Caps is an aspiring screen writer, PHENOMENAL musician, and one of the greatest creators of mix CDs I've ever met - so this dessert has to be special. She also protected me during my first drive-by... anyone know of any bullet proof edition chocolate chip cookies?

And so, dear Blogosphere Folks.... think of someone you know... or think of someone you DON'T know, but would like to! What is that person's perfect dessert? For example, Hulk Hogan is CLEARLY a fan of brownies with extra melted chocolate and crushed walnuts.... and I don't mean cake-style brownies... I mean gooey-warm, practially chocolate soup brownies. Cause he's mother f*ckin' Hulk Hogan and he just man handles whatever messy dessert put in front of him!

Okay, now your turn! Again, my favorite response will have some home baked goodness delivered post haste!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rules for Employment

As I am both bleeding to death and irate, I will make this BLOGTASTIC PROCLAMATION quick:


Now, I know what you're thinking... "Karli, you're a do-gooder social working PHENOM! How could you not share the love with the hippie population?" Well allow me to explain why I am currently in need of a blood transfusion:

It's a lovely and brisk fall morning. And it's Saturday! A chance to head on down to the Portland Farmer's Market to purchase some local, fresh produce for extremely reasonable prices. While the weather forecasts wind, temps in the 40s, and an all around feeling of itsalmostwinterhopeyourereadyhahahahahahaha, I refuse to give in. So, I put on my lovely sweatpants, fuzzy sweater, and flip-flops - because I'm a rebel like that.
As I saunter through the market, I misjudge a curb and am suddenly HURLING THROUGH THE SKY, ass over elbows, may have found an alternative universe, life flashing before my eyes, I really hope I don't land in dog crap.... and land on all fours. For those who know me - I'm not a quiet woman. I can guarantee a loud animal-like yelp came from my lungs as I launched through the air.
Wouldn't you know it - not a single flippin' farmer hippie took notice of the adorable girl in the Down Dog position, bleeding from the toes, and attempting to maintain some level of self dignity. When I finally stood up, after ascertaining I was not dead, I noticed at least ONE DOZEN DIRTY HIPPIES staring at me... AND NOT ONE ASKED IF I WAS OKAY! I think one might have even been chewing on her dreadlock!

And for this, they must be punished.

So, here are the rules for employment at Strong Cupcake:

1. I don't care what your views are on legalizing marijuana - no stoners allowed.
2. I don't care what your thoughts are on "No Shave November" or whether or not you believe a woman shaving her legs is only a symptom of an oppressive patriarchal society. There will be no icky, hairy armpits floating around in the shop. And if I'm concerned your meals for the last 3 days may be showing from your beard - I will CUT THAT F*CKER OFF!
3. If you in any way, shape, or form smell of patchouli - don't even bother coming in.
4. Dread locks are all fine and dandy - but if I suspect either a bird family or some rodent herd is roaming around in the tangle; I will vomit and make you mop it up with your "I'm just living outside what society wants me to conform to" hair.
5. If you walk too slow because you are trying to truly "experience the moment", I will run you over in my mini and you still won't be hired.
6. If you ever use the phrase UTOPIAN SOCIETY to explain your hopes for the future... I will cut you.

Okay - did I make that clear?
Now, off to bandage my big toe, which appears to have deflated from the massive blood loss.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kosher Kupcake?

Despite what the rumors say, the state of Maine isn't exactly The American Jewish Homeland. Shops don't close early on Shabbat, mothers whose soul point of existence includes smothering their child in guilt are far and few between, and we don't all head to Tampa once we reach 67 years old. (I know, it's a shunda!)

However, we do have a fun and vibrant little mini-Jew village here in the greater Portland area running about 3,000 strong... not too shabby for a city where many women choose to purchase matzoh as part of a weight loss program. And amongst our army of 3,000, we have a small faction of families who maintain a Kosher lifestyle.

What's kosher? WELL, it's one of the most complicated set of dietary rules you've ever heard of -all dating back to Adam, Eve, and that friggin' apple. (On a side note, Eve was framed... FEMINISTS UNITE!). Kosher laws set forth what foods are consumable by the Chosen Ones (that would be me!) and how to properly prepare them. For an extremely comprehensive list of rules, feel free to take a gander at www.oukosher.org. The Orthodox Union are the Kosher Food Barons of the United States and what they say goes - kind of like the mafia, but instead of putting out hits on our enemies, we revoke their loans.

Here are some kosher basics:
-No mixing meat and dairy... EVER... seriously, you decide to put cheese on that burger and somewhere out there, a fairy dies.
-No pork... EVER... Porky, Wilbur, Babe - all these Hollywood friendly swine are totally safe. To all you anti-semites out there, Jews did not create the Swine Flu, so quit blaming us! Oh, and your shaven head make you look like a penis.
-No shellfish...EVER... this really sucks for those of us in Maine because lobster is one of life's perfect foods. I may or may not have heard a rabbi once say, "G-d had never tried lobster when He made the kosher laws."

If you'd like to know what meats are kosher:
**** What the frick is an Addax or Ibex?? Kosher or not, if I've never heard of the animal, I don't plan on eating it. Oh, and how interesting is it that it's okay to eat a Giraffe? How would one go about preparing such meal? Yeah, you're going to think about that question all day!***

What is all this kosher rambling about? WE-ELL, I have it on good authority that there are no kosher bakers in greater Portland. For a bakery to be kosher, it would require Orthodox supervision, proper cleaning of utensils, and no plopping bacon into the middle of the chocolate chip cookies.
On the downside, going kosher is EXPENSIVE - like, ridiculously expensive... like, I would have to ask myself what's more important - eletricity or a cinnamon bun? But if Strong Cupcake were the only kosher bakery around, there could be a nice market. And I do love me some cinnamon buns.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zombie Muffins & A Challenge!

I love zombies. Not sure why. While the world seems all caught up in vampire madness - I toss those bloodsucking bastards to the side and would rather get me a zombie any day of the week. And with Halloween just around the corner, I've been thinking to myself - if zombie's weren't so into eating human flesh, and all that jazz, what would they eat? What sort of cakes, cookies, muffins would get them more giggly-happy and less cannabilistic brain munchy?

I made some muffins over the weekend - Pumpkin/Apple/Cranberry. Perhaps it's still the ick-factor I feel when dealing with pumpkin-puree, but I suspect zombie's would have been all up in these muffins' business.
Or apple pie filling - the warm cinnamon, butter, apple magic getting all mushy and delicious... that seems PERFECT for zombie consumption! (On a completely separate note - I made an AMAZING apple pie this weekend FROM SCRATCH and I'm all but positive my own father thinks I bought it and tried to pass it off as my own.... I will resume therapy next week.)

What does this have to do with the greatest bakery that has yet to exist? I would love if Strong Cupcake offered some special treats just for the holidays. And I mean ALL HOLIDAYS! There'd be the basic Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving type provisions - but I'd want to provide desserts for the most ridiculous and little-known holidays one can find.

So, your newest challenge... for the many holidays I've got listed below, I want your thoughts as to what the perfect dessert would be to represent this holiday. For the ones I like - I will attempt to make said dessert and send it to you! Sound good?

Here you have it (I'm not making these up!):
National Talk Like a Pirate Day
White Cane Safety Day
For Pete's Sake Day
Lips Appreciation Day
Chuck Norris's Birthday (That would be March 10, and though not an official holiday - I celebrate all the glory that is Chuck Norris!)
National Wheelchair Beautification Day
Volunteer Blood Donor Day
Get Organized Day
Hand Washing Awareness Day
Holy Humor Day
Frog Day

Okay, you've officially been challenged. Don't let me down, people!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crockpot Splendoriffic!

Anyone who has had the opportunity to speak with me or Jay in the last 24 hours may have noticed an odd, muppet-like quality to our voices.
No, we haven't busted into Juliette's catnip or started taking hits off helium balloons. And, despite what you may think, though the hippies who do their laundry in the basement have POTENT patchouli stink detergent - we are not being slowly poisoned (at least I think we're not - if I start to wander the streets of Portland naked, singing Kumbaya, someone better get me to Maine Med... STAT!).

The sad truth is - summer is gone and it's that time of year to get sick. So, my beloved and I have been dragging our butts to bed by 8:30 every night, snoring, snotting, and wheezing our way through Sudafed-induced comas, and throwing mini-tempertantrums every morning when the alarm goes off and it's rainy and gross outside. To top it off, I finished the final book in the Twilight series (a shame that will never leave me)... and the ending SUCKED! HARDCORE! WICKED LETDOWN! I am so filled with anger about this book series, I kept Jay up for an extra hour just to yell about its craptasticness! Seriously, it really, really sucked.

This morning, however, their was hope in the air! Since the idea of getting up one minute before 7am to make our lunches made me rageful, I had the stroke of sheer brilliance to whip out the good ol' crockpot, toss in broth, chicken, onions, and carrots and call it a night. What did I wake up to this morning?? JOY! Utter, perfect, hot, and delicious JOY! The whole apartment was filled with the fragrance of comfort and warmth! And I could actually smell! Now, it's been 3 hours since this modern day miracle, and my sinuses have decided to stage a coup... but, it's too late! I was filled with crockpot hope that the Swine Flu will pass me by!

I'm not thrilled crockpot season has set in, but I do wish a Nobel Prize could be awarded to whomever invented this technological glory! It's brilliance ranks right up there with the cure for polio and zombie movies.

What is your favorite crockpot recipe? As I continue to create Strong Cupcake fantasyland, would a crockpot option on the menu be something to consider? Does anyone know of a drug more potent than NyQuil that will keep me in a deep enough coma so I won't hear Jay's sasquatch-like snores?
Feel free to answer any and all the above mentioned questions.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Love

Seriously, why hasn't someone written a Dessert Treaty to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The world has a problem with Iran? If President Obama knocked on Iran's front door with some hot cider donuts (of which I ate 6 on Saturday - Paleo Diet can kiss my patootie!), I guarantee any and all nuclear weapons would be handed over without a second thought.
Republicans and Democrats need to learn how to play nice? I assign the Democrats to make all the Republicans a warm batch of Snickerdoodles and the Republicans must make all the Democrats toffee crunch cookies. JUST YOU WATCH how quickly we suddenly have bipartisan cooperation! Health Care Reform would be agreed upon and signed before you could say, "Can I have a cold glass of milk?"

Here's my empirical research supporting my Dessert Solves All Problems hypothesis:

On Saturday, Jay and I had a tiff. I have since discovered, I was the one having the tiff - Jay just thought I was in a mood. In an effort to learn better communications, I will now leave Jay very clearly marked post-it notes by the toilet spelling out:
Why leave the note by the toilet? Because I know he will be visiting the toilet soon, and will have no other options but to take the time to read my passive aggressive declaration. His only other choice is to read old Fox Trot cartoons.

Back to my story - Jay and I had a tiff and after it was clear Jay didn't get my obvious cues that I needed him to get on his knees and tell me what a g-ddess I am, I felt the urge to leave the apartment. So, in the rain, I drove to East Waterboro to Raven Hill Orchard (www.ravenhillorchard.com).
EVERYONE MUST GET THERE SOMEDAY! This place was amazing! An adorable bakery, HUGE orchard, all organic, and heirloom varieties I've never heard of! I took my sweet time picking $35 worth of apples (my counter is now a shrine to all things applelicious), cooled off from my frustrations, and made my way home. Along the way, I recalled Jay mentioning his favorite sort of pie is pumpkin pie.

Let's get one thing straight - pumpkin pie is not a dessert I would go out of my way to eat. I find the texture icky, the gingery-y flavor makes my tongue crinkle, and the idea of making my own crust gives me small tumors along my frontal lobe. BUT, since I'm the BEST FIANCE EVER, I figured I would show Jay how much I forgave him by making pumpkin pie. Please, keep in mind, Jay had no idea what he had done wrong, had no real idea why I was angry, and I'm all but positive, he did not feel any need to apologize for anything. Silly rabbit. Someday he'll learn.

So, I did it. I made pie crust from scratch (it involved shortening... ewwww... better than the suggested 12 tablespoons of LARD, but still.... ewwww), whisked pumpkin puree with lots of whoknowswhats, and baked away until my entire apartment carried the scent of a bad Christmas Craft Fair. (Although, my cat did enjoy eating a couple spoonfuls of pumpkin puree - and I love Juliette more than life, so bringing her joy was a highlight.)
And it worked! Jay returned home from his studies (poor, poor bastard) and took down nearly half the pie in one shot. After said gulping o'pie, we got all snuggly and watched some Friday Night Lights (PS - remind me never to be a Texas highschool football player.). It was as if the morning's conflict had never occured. Well, in his mind, I suppose it actually HAD never occured - but that's neither here nor there.

We are all happy and in love again. All it took was one pie!

There you have it - conclusive evidence that dessert solves any and all problems! Think I could receive a federal science grant to open up Strong Cupcake for further research??? How long before our world leaders realize my sheer brilliance and come knocking on my door for guidance and to bask in the glow of my general awesomeness?

Just sayin'.....