Okay, first off, I'd like to thank Firefly's husband, Ben, for deciding to sell his computer for parts money for a new computer. Secondly, I'd like to thank him for listing it on craigslist while I was visiting Firefly. And finally, I'd like to thank him for removing it from craigslist and selling it to me.
So now, my friends, I have a laptop computer complete with hard drive space, wireless capability, functioning battery, functioning keyboard/touchpad interface, and the ability to print! Thank you, Ben, thank you! I'm hoping to never repeat the New Year's Resolution post experience again.
My most recent issue of Martha Stewart Magazine featured cupcakes on the front and a bunch of delicious sounding recipes in the inside, so I decided to try my hand at the best sounding of all - Orange-Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. Here are the results:
You may notice that only one is frosted. Well, the recipe called for a swiss meringue frosting, but I wasn't sure that I wanted meringue, so I decided to try an orange vanilla version of cream cheese frosting. But, when I tasted the combination of frosting and cupcake, I realized that the cream cheese frosting was much too sweet and over powered the delicate flavor of the cupcake - so after a little experimenting I served the cupcakes warm with unsweetened whipped cream that was whipped with some vanilla and orange zest. So delicious!
Do you know how little vanilla beans are? Very tiny. Like bits of dirt. Smaller than sand. I know because I got them all over myself after scraping the pods. In this picture you can see how tiny they are.
Another thing of note about vanilla bean pods - they are expensive. I looked for them at a local grocery store and found them for $17.50 for two, or $10.50 for one, or $7.99 for two and figured "well, Martha can afford to write these recipes, but everday people must just drool over them" when I decided to check the bulk section. 99 cents a piece, folks. I did the touchdown arm gesture before remembering I was in a store. What have we learned from this? Always check bulk spices. It's really the way to go because you can buy only what you need and have fresh so your cooking is at it's tastiest. (Also, don't let merryheathre get too involved in a quest for spices. She talks to herself and does weird little dances of joy when she finds what she was looking for.)
Here's a cute little dog curled up on my couch! I think I'll keep her.