Archive for January, 2010

30
Jan
10

Care for some pepper in your tea?

Pie reviewed the desserts at Ping Pong Dim Sum a few weeks ago, but I thought the drinks were good enough to deserve their own post.

Mr. X-sXe got the pear and kumquat tea (pear purée, fresh kumquats and jasmine iced tea). Mine was the raspberry and black pepper bubble tea (raspberry purée, jasmine iced tea and chewy tapioca “pearls”). Of course, you need a ridiculously giant straw so you can suck up the pearls. While both drinks were super light and refreshing, I recommend trying the raspberry one. The black pepper in it actually worked really well. The pepper floats on the top, so you can control how much you want per sip. Sounds like an odd combination, but pepper and tea isn’t unheard of. (Chai from scratch can be brewed with many spices, including black peppercorns.)

Read pie’s review of their desserts here: http://bit.ly/7IYvUB

26
Jan
10

Bacon-chocolate pancakes. A good reason to wake up in your own drool.

Last fall, Vosges turned Mo’s Bacon Bar into a pancake mix: http://bit.ly/d97yLw. As luck would have it, Mr. X-sXe was in O’Hare Airport when he spotted a dedicated Vosges store (something more airports should have). He picked up the mix for $12.

Ever since we made these last weekend, I’ve been thinking about them. Tonight I was tempted to make these instead of dinner. The batter’s super light and fluffy, a nice complement to the richness of the “chocolate chips” (a crumbled  Mo’s Bacon Bar). On its own, the Bacon Bar is just so-so. But it works really well here in its melted state.

$12 is pricey (the mix makes only eight medium-sized pancakes), so you could always buy the Bacon Bar for $7.50 to add to your favorite pancake mix.

Or you could chop up this bacon-chocolate pig to add to your pancakes ($8). But that would be a waste of its cuteness.

24
Jan
10

ideal Saturday morning




ideal Saturday morning

Originally uploaded by ann gav

Saturday morning, I had a panic attack.
Solution? Self-medicating with vegan cupcakes, coffee, and trashy gossip websites.
Please note the way I eat cupcakes – chopping the bottom off first, then saving the icing for last.

22
Jan
10

What this country needs: more cupcake stores

Chalk another one up for cake. Ad writer Melanie Simonich did a little research into the number of cupcake shops per city versus suicide rates. Here’s what she found. As you may have guessed, Melanie is on Team Cake.

22
Jan
10

Delivering treats to your door, Curbside Cupcakes

DC needs more food trucks that sell something other than dirty water dogs, so Curbside Cupcakes is a welcome addition. I must have some innate cake homing device, because I randomly came across their truck on Connecticut Avenue this afternoon. Then again, the bright pink is hard to miss.

They’ll deliver to your door (minimum 2 dozen cupcakes per order). The truck also roams the streets of DC, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, you can get your cupcake fix. Check out their schedule here:  http://www.curbsidecupcakes.com/order.html

I’m guessing the peppermint chocolate cupcake (pictured) is the redheaded stepchild of the menu, because it was the only flavor left. A customer behind me actually walked away empty-handed when she found out they’d run out of everything else. I recommend this cupcake after it’s been refrigerated, which I know is heretical among true bakers. But it gave the subtly minty icing a nice, almost chewy texture akin to the filling of a Peppermint Patty. I’m looking forward to trying their key lime next time. Until we meet again, cupcake truck!

20
Jan
10

Is it Still Tasty? Here’s how to find out.

I’m guilty of storing foods in my fridge and freezer much longer than I should. Not a good thing, especially when you realize the gelato you’re serving guests has a major case of freezer burn.

That’s why Still Tasty is such a great resource. It gives you the shelf  life of a huge range food items. And it’s very specific. When I searched for “cupcakes,” it came back with results for both frosted and unfrosted cupcakes. Did you know that unfrosted ones last two months longer in the freezer? I didn’t, either.

18
Jan
10

pie’s take on the salted caramel cupcake

I like salt with my sweets. I regularly give my chocolate chocolate chip cookies a sprinkle of kosher salt before baking to bring out the flavors and cut down on the richness. And I am one of those disgusting people who thinks that the invention of chocolate covered potato chips is pure brilliances.

So I was mightily disappointed by the salted caramel cupcake. The cake consistency wasn’t bad, especially since it had been in a fridge for a couple of days. But that icing! Ugh. The cupcake flavor is not billed as “salted AND caramel”, but that’s certainly how it tastes. The caramel dripped on top is super sweet, but it can’t balance the flavor of the salty salty buttercream. I am with Mr. x-sXe on this one; it was like eating a stick of butter. And since I only eat my sticks of butter dipped in hollandaise sauce, I’m going to say: DISAPPOINTMENT.