Animals quote

"Animals give their lives to feed us, so it's on us to eat every part of them. It's a form of respect, and it's a better way to live than just treating meat as a disposable commodity." —Seamus Mullen, Chef


Baking Cupcakes for Amanda Hesser

Any time I have an excuse to bake cupcakes, I take it and run like the wind. You should know that by now.

Wednesday night, Ray and I attended The Essential New York Times Cookbook Philly Food Blogger Potluck and Book Signing, hosted by NYT food columnist and food52 founder Amanda Hesser, Audra Wolfe of Doris and Jilly Cook, Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and Victory Brewing. Attendees were encouraged to bring their favorite dish from the NYT, whether it be the paper, a cookbook, or even the newest cookbook. 

I'll admit, I'm not much of a Times girl, or really any newspaper for that matter. I knew roughly what I wanted to bring (cupcakes!), so I scoured the online NYT in search for a wild and crazy cupcake recipe.

Unfortunately, my search only brought up approximately three recipes. One contained peanut butter, which I skipped because of Ray's allergy, another was a "Hostess" style cupcake (ew), and the final and acceptable recipe was for Devil's Food Cake cupcakes with chocolate ganache. Classic, yet a little boring for the likes of me.

My first thought was to take some of the lovely raspberry jam my friend Jen gave me this summer and fill the chocolatey delights with it. But being that it was 8:00 when the cupcakes came out of the oven AND the cake seemed very light, I nixed this idea. No need to massacre 30 cupcakes in an effort to fill them with jam and stay up until midnight. Not on a week night.

Instead I let them cool in my office, with the window thrown open. I took that time to shower and make the ganache, which was suspiciously simple. Then after an hour or so of cooling, I dipped each cupcake in the thick chocolate, gave it a twirl and voila! Cupcakes.

Ray and I had a great time at the potluck. There was a great variety of finger food-style dishes, including three pimento cheese dips (oh so good). I thoroughly enjoyed Marisa's broiled lemon and spinach salad, and my friend Derek's peanut-topped sesame noodles.

I enjoyed chatting with Amanda in between bites of the aforementioned noodles, discussing peanut allergies and the joys of homebrewing. She seemed intrigued by Ray and my beer-making hobby, and we were more than happy to talk about recipes, mishaps and the benefits of a good homebrew. The cupcakes were a hit, and I encouraged people to pair them with Victory's Storm King Imperial Stout, a beer that I spent a lot of time with that night.

Ray and I also chummed up with Dave from Victory Brewing, sharing some of our homebrews with him and some fellow potluckers. Definitely a fantastic night.

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