Sunday, July 26, 2009

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yum. I don't know why so many people dislike carrot cake (I am unconvinced that they have even tried it), but it's one of my favorite desserts. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when the next cupcake recipe was carrot.

My tricks for this recipe were 1) using baby carrots and putting them in a food processor for a quick second instead of peeling and stuff, and 2) cutting the cream cheese frosting recipe in half (half is really enough to cover all the cupcakes, I think).

Martha gets an A for this one. These are very yummy and the cream cheese frosting is perfect. Really - perfect. I think the only thing that might make an interesting addition to the cupcake itself is a type of nut. I like a bit of crunch in my carrot cake.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cupcake Challenge

The Book: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat
The Mission: Bake every single cupcake recipe in this cookbook, in order, within a year's time
The Goal: To verify that Martha Stewart can do no wrong.

First up! Martha Stewart's chocolate chip cupcakes. How mine came out:

Deeeelicious. Simple, sweet, cupcake-like. I think an unfrosted version could easily become a breakfast item. The icing was incredibly light (which is a surprising result after you add the 4 1/2 sticks of butter). The frosting is also good on strawberries, which you should have on hand anyway for leftover melted semi sweet chocolate.

I'm not going to post Martha's recipes on AA, for fear that she may start ugly rumors about me via Twitter, but each cupcake will be fairly scrutinized and/or praised. Check back at least once a week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

West-Park Presbyterian Church Being Prepared For Demolition?

Workers have been removing pieces of this beautiful church's interior for the past couple of weeks, and at least one person at the site has confirmed that the building is being prepared for demolition. There are also rumors going around on conservator blogs that tons of red sandstone (see above picture!) are going to be up for grabs soon. This is bad.

West-Park Presbyterian Church is one of the most beautiful religious structures on the Upper West Side, and one of the only Richardsonian Revival-style churches left in Manhattan. It's been on the corner of 86th and Amsterdam Avenue for almost 120 years and it would be a tragedy to see this torn down (and most likely replaced with something horrible).

Please contact the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Gale Brewer, the council member for the area, and urge them to calendar West-Park Presbyterian for a public hearing. This structure hasn't even been given a chance to be landmarked, despite immense support for its designation from the community.

Hon. Robert B. Tierney, Chair
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10007
Phone: 212-669-7888
Fax: 212-669-7955

Hon. Gale A. Brewer
NYC Council Member
563 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
Phone: 212-873-0282
Fax: 212-873-0279

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Landmarked Art Deco Theater Finally Sold

The Metro Theater, originally named Midtown Theater, is a lovely little Art Deco landmark located on Broadway between 99th and 100th Streets. Back in the day (umm...three years ago?), this was the only independent movie theater in the Upper Upper West Side neighborhood and it was cheap (comparatively) and cute (in a somewhat rundown kind of way). Unfortunately, even movie goers took this place for granted, no one ever went to see films there, and it was closed. Cue crying on the inside.

With its air rights now in ownership of the super-tall monstrosity known as the Ariel East to its left and its NYC landmark status guaranteeing a tough road to make any major changes to the exterior, it has been quite difficult for the owners to sell this piece of property. After a few months of lingering on the market, the theater was gutted. And after a few more months, absurd pictures of what kind retail designs stores could put up on the facade (designs that most likely would not actually be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission - I hope) were plastered to the theater's glass doors and somehow ended up scattered around the Internet.

Well, the theater finally sold. And guess what it's going to be? A 15,000 square foot Urban Outfitters. Yeah, just let that one sink in for a while.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Recipe: Mama Wolf's Latkes

Happy Chanukah! A few months ago, one of my friends was generous to provide me with the perfect latke recipe (which I used for a German potluck), and so I will pass on the deliciousness as my Chanukah present to you all.

MAMA WOLF'S LATKES [slightly adapted by Sarah] (c) Architectural Appetite 2008
3 cups grated baking potatoes, peeled (about 3 medium-small potatoes)
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
1 small onion
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Grate potatoes and onions together. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Heat up the oil, and make sure it's hot but not so hot that it flies around all over the place. Spoon some latke batter into the oil and then wait until the center is stiff before flipping. Fry until brown and then drain on a paper towel.

These are delicious. Serve with apple sauce or sour cream or whatever weird condiment you were brought up with.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Recipe: Gingerbread Cakelettes

OK, so going through with this recipe may require you to go out to Williams Sonoma and buy a $20 cakelette pan, but hey! Maybe you can adapt this one to a cupcake recipe or something and then find your own way of making adorable treats.

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4th stick of butta
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten (I may have not actually bothered to beat the egg before putting it in)
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the cakelette pan (but don't OVERflour - I learned this the hard way [first batch went to the trash - that almost rhymed]).

Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. If you are feeling too lazy to sift (this may have happened to me - I may be confessing too much as I explain this recipe), just put them together and stir a little. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and continue mixing until it becomes something like light brown butter, as opposed to butter with sugar on top of it. Add the egg, mix it in, add the molasses, mix it in.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and then add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the milk (i.e., flour --> milk --> flour --> milk --> flour). Continue beating until it's all combined.

Spoon the batter into each cakelette pan, spreading it into the arms and legs. Make sure it's about half full (if it's more than that, they will have deformed backs and become the hunchbacks of Notre Gingerbread - I am so clever). Bake until baked - about 12-15 minutes.

When they're done/pass the toothpick test, take them out and let the pan cool for five minutes. After the five minutes is up, turn the pan upside down and let the little guys fall out (preferably on the counter and not on the floor). Wait for them to cool completely before personalizing them with your choice of icing (I used cream cheese frosting). The batter will make about twenty-one cakes, so make sure to rinse and repeat after the first batch is done.

Sarah's creations:

So maybe I am not an artist. Or a baker.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Astroland is Being DISMANTLED!

photo from Curbed

So I guess this part of Coney Island isn't being saved? Curbed reports that the rides are being packed into shipping containers, and there are rumors that the rides are going to some amusement park in Australia. It's a sad day for Coney Island.