The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cupcakes don't grown on trees...

But you can buy a really cute tree/stand to diplay your cupcakes. I've wanted one for the longest, and with my book club friends coming to my house July 29 (I'm planning to make a Southern spread with red velvet cupcakes for dessert), I knew there was no better time to get it.

I saw them online, but I really wanted to get the best deal and to see it in person to make sure it was right. Well, I found the best deal on it at Sur La Table. (Don't you just want to live in that store?) And it was on clearance, to boot! (I saw lots of other good stuff in the clearance section, so you might want to stop in to check it out.) Regularly anywhere from $25.99 to $29.99, I got the cupcake stand for $19.99. And it's not like I should ever have to buy another one. I expect to use it for years to come at showers for friends, more book club meetings, general girlfriend gatherings, kids birthday parties, etc... It's so adorable. It holds 23 cupcakes. I'm pretty sure that's because you're supposed to make two dozen cupcakes and then scarf one down before your guests arrive... Just be sure to wipe the frosting off the corner of your mouth! I'm putting one of the red velvet recipes I'm considering in the comment section. Only thing is it seems like a ton of oil for a cake recipe. But I'm not really into baking, so what do I know?


at 3:41 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

From Paula Deen via www.foodnetwork.com:

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

at 9:38 AM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

I have to ask this question....Are homemade cupcakes really better than the ones you "semi-homemake" from the box? I don't measure well since I lack patience but might give it another shot if you can convince me!

at 9:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cake mix doctor cookbooks are the best for this. You add a few simple add-ins to a box mix and get a spectacular cake/cupcake. Actually way better tasting than from scratch recipes.

at 10:21 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

Hey, CinTwin1,

You know, I'm not big on baking. So I probably will go the boxed way. I'm more of an impromtu, eclectic kind of cook, and that style does not lend itself to baking! Everything is way too precise for me...

Anon: How the heck did I forget about the Cake Mix Doctor?! Lookie: http://www.cakemixdoctor.com/recipes/what_kind/cupcakes/red_velvet_cupcakes_as_seen_on.php

I'm saved! Thanks!

at 10:33 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

But I think I'll stick with the cream cheese frosting, and save the peppermint-y version of the recipe for December...

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