The Cupcake Experience

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Hey ya’ll! I’m in such a fantastic mood right now, so I thought I would post about one of my favorite things in the world: Cupcakes. Why am I in such a good mood? Well I got an A on my first midterm in graduate school. For me, it is just reinforcing that I am in the best field for me. I’m so excited. So cupcakes. My favorite thing in the world. Well I have many favorite things, but this is just one of the top 3. I obviously had to go to the iconic cupcake shop in the city: Magnolia Bakery. Funny thing is my dad and I tried to go here many years ago, but it was so hard to find that we just gave up and ate Crumbs (not that I’m complaining). When Carrianne and I were over in West Village over by Bleecker street, I was like we HAVE to go to Magnolia just for the experience because it is on one of my favorite shows, Sex and the City.

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This place is so cute. The location on Bleecker is a very tiny shop, so the line wraps around in the inside and it can get really crowded. However we went at a pretty good time, so the line wasn’t bad at all. Plus there were tons of beautiful cakes to look at while we waited to place our order. A woman came around in the line to ask if we wanted any cakes or other things besides cupcakes, so she would get them packaged. It was a really good method to make things more efficient. We were in and out of the shop in 10 minutes, so that was really nice because this is such a classic place for tourists to go.

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The cupcakes are so cute. It is super simple, but I think that is what makes them so classic and wanted by everyone. Not to mention the association with Sex and the City. People that come to NYC to visit have some weird love with doing things that are related to their favorite tv shows. Anyways the cupcakes come in a few flavors. There was just the simple ones such as the vanilla vanilla or chocolate, but then they had options like red velvet, coconut, and s’mores. I think the special cupcakes change every day or week, but I’m not completely sure.

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I wanted to have the classic Magnolia Bakery experience, so I went with the vanilla with vanilla buttercream. The buttercream came in different colors, so you got whatever one they gave you. I thought this one was really cute. I like that they put sprinkles on top of it too. Sprinkles makes everything better. I was a little worried before I ate this because the reviews on yelp were iffy, but they were wrong. This was a good cupcake for what it was. Do I prefer Crumbs? Well yes, but this wasn’t bad. The cake was moist and the icing was sweet, but not overly sweet.

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What I enjoyed most about this place was probably the experience. It was a pleasant time with some sweet treats. The icing was the best part of the cupcake. I have weird cupcake eating habits, like sometimes I lick all the icing off the top before I even eat the cake. Or I will rip the cake in half and make a cupcake sandwich. However I prefer to just eat all the icing. I have a passion for icing. It is my favorite part, so I love when cupcake places stuff the inside of the cake with icing too (hello Crumbs, I see you got me there).

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The main reason to go to Magnolia is for the cake! Yes, you heard me right. Go for the cake and skip the cupcakes unless you want the experience of the whole Sex and the City thing. This cake is mind blowing. I got the hummingbird cake. It was incredibly moist and packed with a ton of flavors from all the spices and pineapple. The icing was so delicious. It was a sweet cream cheese. Cream cheese isn’t my favorite icing, but this one was pretty great. I was so happy that I had gotten this slice of cake to go. It took me a few days to eat it all because they give you massive slices. It is definitely worth the money.

Have you ever been to Magnolia bakery?
What places on TV shows have you wanted to go to?

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A Sweet Treat – Petit Fours

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone is having a fantastic day. Today is a very special day. Two of my best friends, since high school, have the same birthday, which is today. I’m very sad because this is the first time in 9 years that I haven’t spent with them. So I thought I would give them a very special shout out on the blog and share a recipe that can be used for birthdays and birthday parties – petit four cakes.
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This is us watching Harry Potter at the alamo drafthouse. They had butter beer, which was really delicious.  We always have the best time. Happy birthday Isa and Shayna! I love you guys so much. So now time for the more delicious part of the post. A petit four recipe. I love to bake. It is such a stress relief for me, so anytime I can bake I am a happy person. These petit fours are not your traditional ones that are extremely tedious, but instead they are pretty simple to make. If you want to do a meticulous version, you can bake them on a jelly roll sheet and cut them into little square, but who wants to do that. No one.

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Petit Four Cake

8 oz unsalted butter (make sure it is at room temperature)
8 oz of sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
8 oz of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Get a silicon baking pan that are in small squares such as one for brownies or fudge. Then grease or spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Then place that mixture aside.

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4. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter. Then add in the sugar and vanilla. Add the 4 eggs into the mixture one at a time until thoroughly blended.

5. Slowly add the sifted flour mixture until mixed well.

6. Spread into the silicon pan up to 3/4 of the square.

7. Bake for 15-18 minutes until you can touch the top of the cake and it bounces back.

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This is just a plain vanilla cake for the base. However you can make a ton of variations of cake to make as petit fours. To make a lemon cake, you can add 2 tbsp of lemon zest and 2 or more tsp of fresh lemon juice. I’ve made them and they are quite delicious. I think if you want a stronger lemon flavor, I would add more lemon juice. You can also make an orange cake using the same ingredients, but oranges. So orange zest and orange juice. Also chocolate would be a delicious cake to make. Just add 2 oz or more of unsweetened cocoa powder. A raspberry cake would be good too. I have all kinds of delicious flavor combinations in my head. Yum. Next comes the hard part of all of this.

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For the filling part, which comes after the cakes cool off, you will need pastry bags, tips, and filling. For the first time we made these, we ended up buying round tips, which was such a bad idea. You need a sharper tip to stab into the cake. For the filling, you can either make your own or buy pre-made filling. We ended up buying pre-made filling from this super cute bake shop in Austin, Make it Sweet, where we bought all of the baking tools at. This store is fantastic. They offer tons of classes and have all kinds of baking supplies. It is awesome. So for this part, you take each cake one at a time, poke in the tip, and squeeze your pastry bag to insert the filling into the cake. Sometimes it is hard to tell, so I would practice on one cake and then cut it in half to see if you got enough in there. We ended up filling our cakes with lemon and Bavarian cream. Delicious.  Now it is time for the icing.

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Petit Four Icing
2 lbs of confectioners’ sugar
2 oz of butter, melted
8 oz of heavy cream
1 tsp of almond or vanilla flavoring
food color if you would like to color your icing

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1. Place all of the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over hot water. You can just use two pots in this method. Place water in the bottom pot and then place another one on top of this. Although if you have a double boiler, props to you for having awesome cookware.

2. Stir the mixture until it is smooth.

3. Divide the icing into smaller groups and color each if you want to.

We ended up making our petit fours hot pink and aqua. These were for our volleyball players, so that is why we choose those super girly colors. These were okay for our first attempt at them. We are going to perfect them now today for my mom’s friends engagement party for her son and his fiance. We made notes as we baked them about all the things that we needed to edit, so now we can make perfect petit fours. Although they were not the prettiest of cakes for our first time, they were still extremely delicious.

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Be careful if you dye them a darker color like the aqua. It can stain your mouth for a little while like eating a blue piece of candy. You will certainly enjoy these treats though. They are cute little cakes to have at parties or at tea time. While they aren’t very healthy for you, they are nice to have as a sweet treat every once in a while. A smart thing to do is bake them and then place them in the freezer. You can take one out at a time to enjoy when you are craving that sweet treat. One batch made about 40 cakes.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day, especially my two best friends!

Have you ever had a petit four?
What is your favorite thing to bake?

Chobani Blueberry Panackes

Hey ya’ll! It’s Sunday, so you know what that means. Not only do I have volleyball practice, but it is also my day of the week where I treat myself. I decided that I should treat myself with something healthy and delicious this morning. That is why I came up with the idea of pancakes using Chobani greek yogurt. What a good idea! This way I get protein, grains, fruit, and a dairy in my breakfast. Being a nutrition major, sometimes it is really hard to come up with a well balanced meal with all the necessities in it, but this time I definitely managed to do it (minus the veggies of course)!

photo(4)Chobani Blueberry Pancakes
1 package of Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. of Whole Wheat Flour
3 tbsp of egg whites
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fat free milk

photo(6)1. First you take all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) and mix well in a bowl.

2. You then pour your liquid egg whites into the yogurt container and stir well.

photo(7)3. Once it is mixed, add the yogurt and egg white mixture into the bowl with the flour.

4. Then add in the rest of your liquid products, such as the vanilla and milk. Stir well.

photo(5)5. You will then have a light purple mixture. Heat a pan on medium-high heat and spray it with nonstick spray.

6. Use a 1/3 measuring cup (or 1/4 or an icecream scoop) and scoop out some mixture to place on the pan (should make 4-5 large pancakes).

7. Cook until bubbles appear on the top of the wet side and flip over.

8. Cook until lightly browned on both sides.

photo(2)Ta da! Now you have a delicious batch of pancakes. You really can’t even tell that these pancakes have Greek yogurt in them. The only way I know is because of the blue color and the blueberry flavor that they have. If you wanted to make them extra-blueberrylicious you could have added fresh blueberries into the mixture. I unfortunately was using all my blueberries for another recipe (will share later on), so I had to go without them. Sad, I know.

photoSomehow my finger got in this picture. Oh well, it still looks scrumptious. I can’t go without having any fruit in my breakfast, so I decided to slice up a banana to go along with the pancakes. It also provides for a nice, pretty plate to look at. I did destroy it when I ate it though and nothing was left but a a few little crumbs.

photo(1)A plate of perfection! Well I hope everyone is having a good Sunday. The best way to start your day off is always with a good breakfast. It helps your metabolism and it keeps you from being grumpy later (the second part is just from personal experience). Now I get to go plan volleyball practice, work on my research paper, and study for an exam in Nutrition Education and Counseling!

Celebrating with the Fried

Hey ya’ll! Today I’m providing you with a review for a local food truck in San Marcos, Tx. I actually ate this meal a while ago, but I forgot to give my review on it because I’ve been crazy busy. This was my celebration to the end of Passover. It was a rainy day, probably because my stomach was crying from consuming way too much matzah and it was begging for something delicious to eat. I decided to go the food truck route because I wanted something quick, but with tons of flavor. I went to one of the food truck parks and looked at my options. Hmm..which one should I choose?

photo(7)I was looking for one requirement that day. No wait, two. One: it had to involve some type of bread (in the form of batter, actual bread, or utilization of flour in a product). Second: it had to be delicious and fattening. Fried seafood? Sounds like a plan. I chose to go to the Caboose food trailer to end my Passover starvation. There was so many things on the menu that I had no idea what to order. After talking with the staff, I decided to get the fried oysters for my meal and have dessert for later, which was funnel cake fries (oh yes, I went there).

photo(6)The oyster meal came with fried oysters, french fries, and three hush puppies. It was so much food that I was regretting getting the funnel cake sticks. Then I remembered, oh wait I have a refrigerator, so I can just save this stuff for later if I get full. I definitely got full quick because my stomach wasn’t used to eating so much food and eating flour. The meal came with some special sauce that was really delicious with cajun spice flavors.

photo(4)I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the oysters. They were too salty for my taste. The owner was nice though and gave me extra because he thought the sizes weren’t decent enough. I think next time I’m going to go for a po’boy. The french fries were amazing though. They were rolled in a variety of spices and were fried to perfection. I love a good french fry.

photoThe hush puppies were like none that I have ever had before. They were spicier and were a different consistency than the ones I’ve had. This was definitely a good thing. Take one of these suckers and dip it into the Caboose’s special sauce, and you have yourself a winning combination. I couldn’t eat all of the meal, so I put in the refrigerator to eat for lunch the next day.

photo(1)This may have been the most glorious thing that has ever been created in the world. Funnel cake fries. They are fried sticks of funnel cake that you can have topped with whatever syrup you want and powdered sugar. I would seriously go to this trailer just for these delicious bites of goodness.

photo(2)I had raspberry and vanilla on top of mine. The owner said that was the most popular combination, so I said why not. They also had caramel, chocolate, strawberry, and one other flavor that I can’t remember. Luckily that night I was going to the movies with some friends, so I decided to sneak these bad boys in my giant purse for us all to enjoy.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my fried adventure. Ya’ll probably are like how does this girl not gain a ton of weight from all the crud that she eats? Well it is eating healthy and treating yourself every once and a while. My treat day is usually Sunday and I pick something delicious that I want to have. It doesn’t hurt that I also have volleyball practice on Sundays, so I get an good workout in too! I changed the blog’s name to Functional Foodie because I am more of a foodie blogger than a healthy living blogger.

Blueberry Donuts (Healthy/Low Cal Recipe)

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Monday. I have been pretty busy today. So far I have run some errands with my mom, got a travel guide for my trip to Spain, did some computer stuff, and now I’m posting on the blog. Later I get to start studying for my biochemical nutrition exam (fun, but not really). I have an awesome recipe for you. I sort of based this off a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but I did some epic Lindsay changes to it.

DSCN0189Whole Wheat Blueberry Donuts

Ingredients:
1 c of Whole Wheat Flour
6 tbsp Splenda (I may have added an extra two or three to this)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c + 2 tbsp of Chobani 0% Blueberry Greek Yogurt
2-3 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp margarine (melted in microwave)
DSCN01941. Preheat the oven to around 315-330 degrees and spray your donut pan with non-stick spray.
2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and sugar).
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (yogurt, milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter).
4. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry bowl and mix until fully combined. Make sure that you do not stir the mix too much.
5. Pour mixture into donut pan (if too thick, you can add some more milk or yogurt in order to make it more “pastry” like).
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven.
7. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
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For the topping:
1/2 c of fresh blueberries
1 tbsp blueberry jam
1 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1-2 tbsp of confectioners sugar (if you want it to be an icing use 1-2 cups)

1. Mash the blueberries with jam until mainly juice and crushed skin (or use food processor to puree).
2. Add in milk.
3. Slowly add in the sugar until you reach a blue color and the right thickness for your icing (I used little to none because I wanted more of a syrup).

DSCN0188In my opinion, these were more like snack donuts. To make them more breakfast like, I would probably switch to all purpose flour. That doesn’t mean that these aren’t good because I actually thought they were quite delicious. They weren’t overwhelming in the way that donuts normally are. No sick or full stomachs. They weren’t oversweet either. It was a more natural version of a donut in my opinion. I’m definitely going to be messing with this recipe to make some crazy donut concoctions because I am a big fan of breakfast foods (in case you couldn’t tell from my many pancake posts).

Have a good rest of the day! I’ll be studying and finishing up some graduate application stuff. During my breaks I’ll probably be looking up things about Spain (yes, you can all be jealous).

A Jumbled Seattle

Hey ya’ll! I’m currently dying actual death. You think I’m kidding, but no I’m definitely not. I went out with my roommate last night and it was pretty much the most ridiculous night of my life. Not in a good way. Why not bring some cheer back in my life with a great post about random things in Seattle to close up the posts about my trip? Okay, sounds like a plan.

DSCN0048Typical Lindsay Move. Cupcakes are pretty much my thing in life, so I’m always on the hunt for a good one. When we were walking around one morning, I spotted this cute sign when I looked up from under my umbrella. Adorable. I had to acquire more information about this mystery cupcake place. Out pops the iPhone.

DSCN0047After some much needed yelping, I saw that Cupcake Royale only got about 3 1/2 stars. That can sort of be disappointing because Yelp is like my bible. I follow it religiously and search for places to eat all the time on it. It has never let me down, but I decided why not try the cupcakes anyways. You can never lose with a cupcake unless they are just the most god awful things ever. The store was really cute though and packed, so obviously something good had to be going on inside.

DSCN0101Mini cupcakes for the win. You can get a sweet treat, but without feeling super guilty. We got just a plain vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing and the velvet elvis. The velvet elvis was a brown sugar banana cupcake with peanut butter chocolate frosting and topped with bacon. It was delicious. The other one was good, but it was just a regular cupcake. I wish we would have gotten a different flavor.

DSCN0103The other cupcake we got was a normal size one. It was the Meyer Lemon Drop cupcake. My brother and I love fruit flavors, so that is why we decided to get this one too. It was a vanilla bean buttercake with zesty meyer lemon frosting and topped with a lemon drop. The description definitely did not lie. That icing was super zesty and delicious. I wish the actual cake would have been lemon too. I thought 3 and a half stars appropriately fit Cupcake Royale. While it was good, it was still lacking the richness of flavor that better cupcakeries have in their product. Also was sad about the dismal amount of frosting on top. I’m a frosting girl, so I need it packed on.

DSCN0133We ended up going to the flight museum. It was probably the most boring museum I have ever been to. I tried to enjoy it, but it was just awful. The place was dead too besides a few children and random old people. My brother and I made the most of it. We played around in air planes like this one above. My brother will probably kill me again for posting this, but oh well. It is already on facebook, so who cares.

DSCN0136Oh Archie McPhees. One of the weirdest shops I’ve ever been in to. They had toys, gadgets, and masks galore. It was like a 5 year olds heaven, so obviously my dad and brother enjoyed it.

DSCN0134I seriously love my brother. He is one of the funniest people I know. The good old cooked chicken mask. He really wanted this, so he could wear it to parties randomly. Yes, that is how interesting my brother is. It was 35$, so I couldn’t justify spending that.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures in Vancouver because it was pouring down rain when we were there. I just had gotten a nice new camera, so I didn’t want to get it wet. I would have stolen my brothers pictures, but the ones of the food came out super blurry. All in all, I hope you enjoyed my recap about my awesome trip to Seattle. I definitely want to go back there and spend more time in Vancouver because it was so beautiful. Have a good MLK day!

 

WIAW (I’m Back)

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blogging world. Lets just say I have a knack of misplacing things in my room and stuff. For the past week and a half, I haven’t been able to find my camera charger. Uh oh. That means no new photos for the blog since they have all been hanging out on my camera. Thankfully when I was home this past weekend, I found my charger in my backpack that I took to Boston. My bad. So now I’m back and just in time for my favorite day of the week: What I Ate Wednesday. Thanks to Jenn for hosting my favorite day of the week!

Hello to a breakfast of champions. Sometimes when I go grocery shopping I eyeball certain things, like these Vans lite waffles, and debate if I really need them. I then come up with amazing breakfasts like this one to justify why I really need to buy these. Heck plus they were on sale, so it was calling to my Jewish nature.

This lovely creation was two Vans lite waffles, a sliced banana, strawberry slices, fat free vanilla yogurt, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.The only thing I thought was missing was some dark chocolate sauce. Oh well, I definitely will be putting that on top next time. This was the perfect breakfast and it held me over through the morning until I ate my lunch after back to back classes.

Smoothies are one of the best snacks out there. You can totally customize them to your preferences and they are very filling if you put lots of fiber, like I do, in them. Mine was a chocolate pineapple smoothie topped with some fat free whip cream and dark chocolate sauce (I love my dark chocolate – who doesn’t).

My mom and I went on a little shopping spree the other weekend, and ended up at godiva because a couple of new flavors were out. We ended up getting an 8 piece box of chocolates – total score in my mind. The flavors are birthday cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice, walnut brownie, and pineapple hummingbird. So far the birthday cake is my favorite. I pretty much love anything birthday cake flavored, so throw it in a chocolate and I’m yours.

Since I have class literally all day pretty much, I have been needing to pack lunches that fit into my backpack and are easy to eat throughout the day. This means tons of salads. For this day in particular, I had a hamburger salad. I did meatless crumbles, shredded lettuce, sliced red onion, sliced pickles, mushrooms, and it was topped with mustard. Oh man. This was actually really good. I was impressed. Especially because I threw this right together before I had to go to class. Skills.

My mom and I are obsessed with Halibut. When we were at Central Market we saw some fresh fillets of halibut that were really thick, so we decided to get it and make fish tacos with. We were originally going to marinate it in some hatch chile soy sauce, but my mom realized that she had thrown it away. We ended up just tossing some olive oil, salt, and pepper on them.

The fish turned out amazing. It was flaky to perfection. We just ended up throwing them on some corn tortillas that we also got at Central Market, and topped them with diced onions and tomatoes. This was the perfect dinner.

Froyo is always the best night cap in my mind. You can’t get anything better than some low calorie frozen yogurt with amazing toppings. Definitely will have to do a review of the local froyo places in San Marcos sometime soon – I won’t complain about that!

Hope everyone has an amazing Wednesday! I’m dying because I just had my intermediate volleyball class, and I swear all we do is run instead of actually play volleyball. I’m ready to play!