Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cupcake Lawyer Makes a Mobile

I thought about changing the name of this blog, which sadly, only I read, to "Cupcake Lawyer Plans a Wedding", kinda a take on the Amelia Bedelia book titles, but then I remembered that I have so many fantastic hobbies that the world (ha!) would be missing out on if I only wrote about wedding crafting (DIY save-the-date photos coming soon)...

For example, I love knitting! What began as a way to bring down my stress level and stop my boss from calling me "the potential office shooter" has become a passion of miniature proportions. Yes, miniature. Mini knitted creatures. They are super creepy and I love them.

My fish, Grover T. Fish, also loves them. His bowl is like a knitted creature backdrop just waiting to be photographed!

Since I seriously can't get enough of making these little creepers, and baby blankets are so boring to make, in a moment of drunken inspiration I decided that what I really wanted to make for my co-worker's new addition was a knitted mobile! Now, the soon-to-be proud papa, YR, is from South Africa and took his wife on an amazing safari there, so I knew that the mobile had to be safari themed. I took the patterns for the monkey, lion and elephant from Anna Hrachovec's Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi, and made up the patterns for the giraffe and hippo myself. Luckily, I have a creative and handy fiancee with access to a laser cutter who created the plastic heart base. Chris brought it home last night and eight buttons and an episode of the "Bachelor" later, the mobile was complete:

(excuse the blur...)

I wrapped it in the perfect animal print paper and brought it to YR this morning. It turns out that I was just in time - he received a call an hour later from his wife telling him to meet her at the hospital! Welcome to the world, Chloe Maya!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a treat.

Oh, despite a minor bathroom flood and a visit from the super of my building in the middle of the baking/creating extravaganza, they worked! How exciting.

Tune in later today for a wonderful creation that a certain fellow came up with to use the leftover chocolate cupcakes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


To honor the summer that is no more, I will be attending a NYC rooftop BBQ this weekend. In addition to my beverage of choice (which I have yet to choose), I will be contributing some homemade goodness to the festivities.

I thought I would give you all a heads up on the cupcake du jour in case (a) I get stuck at work and can't make them or (b) they fail, in which case my super neat-o diagram will have already brought a smile to the face of anyone faithful enough to keep checking for blog posts even though I haven't written since July. This of course assumes that your inability to stay away means that you appreciate how much of a "kook" I am (a direct quote from a partner at my law firm...and yes, it was the highlight of my week - what a fun word!)

So here it is...my hand drawn Superdog Burgertop Cupcake assembly instruction sheet:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Birthday Bouchon

Thomas Keller is the man. So are my two fabulous colleagues (and friends) who surprised me with not one, but TWO boxes of assorted Bouchon Bakery treats when I arrived at work on my special day. And no, contrary to what a partner asked me, this is not the big 3-0.

The tasting party took place in my office at 2:15 pm (between my 1-2 pm video conference with London...how awkward to have to attempt to adjust your very short skirt when you realize it is showing a bit much to the wider audience...and a 2:45 meeting where I was told that I should time my (very far in the future) pregnancies so that I give birth in June and am back at work by the start of the 4th financial quarter). The attendance was only the three of us because the rest of the office is a bunch of vultures. The items sampled were as follows:

* A "forget about it" (to be pronounced as if you are a cast member on The Sopranos) - it looks like a chocolate coated Oreo cookie but wait, inside is crispy puffed rice covered in a layer of caramel!

* A "TKO" - the Bouchon Bakery standout (besides the Bouchon, of course) - this really is an Oreo reinvented (word on the street is that Keller loves the old school Nabisco variety)...chocolate sable dough with a white chocolate ganache cream.

* A "Nutter Butter" - Are you sensing a theme here? Two soft, yummy peanut butter cookies with light peanut butter filling. It tasted like the real thing, but better.

* A "Bouchon Ho Ho" - No, that is not what the boys at work call me. This looks exactly like its name, but has a lovely foil wrapper and ingredients a step above the boxed variety.

* A "the best thing they serve" - Apparently the salesperson did not know the name. This slightly disturbing log looks kinda like a napoleon covered in chocolate, but when you cut in, it is thin pastry layers surrounding a liquor flavored chocolate mousse!

Now, I can't even attempt to pick a clear winner, but my vote is leaning toward the Nutter Butter. The other members of the tasting committee felt that the chocolate that shall not be named took the literal cake though. Fortunately for me, that is not the end of my birthday baked good extravaganza. In addition to the taste test candidates, the Mary Poppins bag of bakery boxes also includes a fruit tart (I can vouch for the perfection of a runaway raspberry and blackberry), a red velvet cupcake, another TKO, a double chocolate cookie, a chocolate walnut cookie and a chocolate tart!

While this does sound like enough to last me about 12 hours, I might be forced to freeze one or two...I may be 28, but I think I'm a little young to have to wear a mu-mu.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Del Posto Delicious

Yeah, it has been awhile, and this post has nothing about cupcakes!

So anyway, "she of many hats" Gael Greene (you may have watched her on a show I despise called Top Chef Masters...so much for anonymous restaurant critics), recently analyzed her experience with the super secret $35 four course menu at Del Posto's Enoteca. And people think I am harsh! Never one to be outdone, I put on my high heels and a lovely black dress and hoofed it through a humid NYC night to experience the Del Posto magic on the cheap.

My date kept me waiting, which gave me a chance to chat with my charming and incredibly knowledgeable server, Daniel. What a treat. I also got checked out by the toolish finance types at the next table. Score one for the self esteem! Daniel asked me what kind of wine I usually enjoy and brought me a perfect glass of white that had me tipsy before the (very substantial and yummy...and served with a side of whipped lard) bread basket arrived.

Course #1.
My companion enjoyed the OUT OF THIS WORLD Calamari. Wow. It melted in my mouth and was the best item of the night. My appetizer, the broccoli rabe and mozzarella was also outstanding...not too much garlic, which had been my fear. I would have liked to take it home and try it heated up just to mix things up, but I finished it instead.

Course #2.
Now, when you get the $35 prix fixe (instead of the $52) the table chooses one type of pasta course instead of each person requesting the item of their choice. We had the Oreccheiette with Lamb Neck Sausage. I thought I was in the mood for more of a tomato sauce based course, but let me tell you, those little buttons of pasta were amazing.

Course #3.
Ok, apparently the secret is out about the halibut...the prix fixe people don't receive fillets of fish but receive a plate beautifully dressed and covered with pieces of fish about the size of a saltine cracker. The reason (in case you were wondering) is that the head and tail are used to make up the entree course for the proletariat. Being that I embrace my public school roots, and I am also cheap, I have no problem with a little fish head fillet, which was nicely complimented by a light mustard sauce and greens. The duck was also enjoyed at my table, and could not have been more perfect. The red wine that Daniel suggested topped it all off.

Course #4.
I am a girl that loves sweets, so it is always hard for me to narrow down the choices on a dessert menu, especially when they are all as impressive as Del Posto's. I went with a ricotta cheesecake with toasted pine nuts baked in the top and a macerated strawberry topping. It was an amazing cross between cheesecake and pound cake that would make any Italian grandmother's heart skip a beat. When we couldn't decide between the olive oil roasted dates and the chocolate wonderfulness (that they top with liquor), Daniel brought us a little of both! While my date might have wondered if I would leave him for Daniel, he certainly didn't mind the dessert buffet that arrived at our table.

In closing, this is a prix fixe that puts restaurant week to shame 365 days of the year...And upon departure, truffles in a little Del Posto box!
Just what I needed to get me through a long afternoon of loving the law.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free Cupcake Day

Today is free cupcake day at the Crumbs located on Broadway between 52nd and 53rd!

I suggest the following flavors:
- Cupcake of the Week - Almond Marzipan - chocolate cupcake flavored with almond and topped with an almond-vanilla buttercream and a rainbow cookie. Roy G. Biv, eat your heart out.
- Funfetti - Vanilla funfetti cake topped with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles.
- Elvis - Vanilla cake with banana frosting and peanut butter on top. Where is the bacon? I wondered as well.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Lazy Girl's Cupcakes

Oh Bethany...how I mill miss you over the next 9 months. I will miss your inability to corral your facial expressions, the fun of watching you talk about EVERYONE behind their back (while remaining the favorite) and your status as a housewife even though you are (a) not a wife (or even in a relationship...ARod doesn't count) and (b) employed. Luckily, I have no doubt that you will be in the spotlight in the upcoming months with your book, Naturally Thin, your PETA campaign and your Skinny Girl Cupcakes (even if while hawking them you were ignored by all of the REAL Housewives of Greenwich for 2 hours at an A&P). Yes, Bethany, I will miss you. But I still won't buy your book because (a) I hate the title and (b) the few simple changes you suggest to "let you natural thinness emerge" include ordering what you want at a restaurant and eating only 3 bites of it. Um, I just ate my entire egg and cheese on an english muffin in 3 bites but somehow I don't think that is what you are getting at...

As a fitting send off after the amazing NYC Housewives Reunion show that took place last night and to celebrate Bethany and her book and her Skinny Girl Cupcakes, I present the Lazy Girl's Cupcakes aka breakfast for dessert aka the idea I totally stole from a tv show (and my cousin), but the recipe is all mine.

French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) (softened)
3 eggs
1/2 cup (plus 1 tbs) skim milk

6-8 strips of bacon, cooked until crispy and minced.

Put cake mix in a bowl and thoroughly mix in (with a fork) the nutmeg and cinnamon.
Cream together 1/3 of the dry mix with softened butter.
Add another 1/3 of the dry mix and beat with eggs and vanilla
Add and beat together the remaining dry mix and the milk.
Feel free to mix using a hand mixer (remember it is harder to get lumps out of cake mix) or a wooden spoon.

Add the bacon - you can mix the bacon into the batter before filling the cupcake papers or sprinkle it on top. If you prefer, the french toast cupcakes taste delicious without the bacon as well.

Cook at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes removing when slightly brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

You can take the true lazy girl way out and not frost these (they don't need it) or use store bought buttercream with a tablespoon of maple syrup mixed in. I warn you, this frosting will be sweet! I recommend putting a tiny sprinkle of sea salt or kosher salt on top to cut the sugar.

If you prefer to make frosting just take a cup of confectioner's sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and beat them together on high until light and fluffy.

And no, I did not frost mine nor did I take a picture. Lazy, remember?