13 March 2013

baking in baltimore

Hello? Is anyone out there? Is anyone still listening to me? Hello...

I'm sorry for the sudden disappearing act, folks. Things got pretty nutty towards the end of the year - I was working a whole heck of a lot, trying to make ends meet, interviewing for something I could call a career, spending a lot of time enjoying Brooklyn with my honey, and playing in the lukewarm winter with my pals. To be honest, I wasn't in the kitchen all that often and when I was, it was out of necessity and I wasn't really inspired to blog; a touch of writers block I suppose. Slowly but surely, however, the urge to blab to my darling readers has come over me once again and boy oh boy do I have a lot to catch y'all up on! For starters, I no longer live in Brooklyn.

I know what you're thinking - 'Wait, what?! No more Brooklyn? That makes no sense!' It's true though. You know how I mentioned my seemingly neverending search for a full-time career that put my multiple degrees to good use? Something that had pretty regular hours to replace the motley mix of jobs that I was working to pay the rent? Well, the New York rat race was bringing me down and I just couldn't stand being the runner-up for a big girl job anymore. So, I expanded my horizons and began looking outside of New York - California, Colorado, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Philly, any city that sounded remotely interesting and had a decent cultural scene really. And what do you know? I heard back from a job that sounded pretty cool. And after my first video chat interview (super awkward by the bye - I felt like the great and powerful Oz on a giant screen in front of my interviewers,) I was invited down for a second interview. My dad and I drove to it in the middle of the only crazy snowstorm I saw all winter and I had a full day interview with about a billion people. Then, a week later, I got a call as I was sending my honey off to work and sitting down to a breakfast of cookies and hot chocolate. They offered me the position! What's so great about it is that, with each stage of the interview process, the position sounded better and better and better. Now that I've started, I feel like I kind of landed my dream job! I'm now a School Archivist... in Baltimore.

It's been an interesting transition, Brooklyn to Baltimore. But it's been pretty nice, too. I loved this little city when I came down here for college as a wide-eyed eighteen year-old. It prepared me well for a life in the city that never sleeps. Now that I'm returning as a nearly thirty year-old lady, I welcome the slower, sort of Southern pace and the fewer partyparty distractions. I've already been down for a couple of months but I'm just now starting to get super settled. Honey and I found a perfect little house in a super cute neighborhood that we absolutely love. We moved in a couple of weeks ago and I've been spending a lot of my time getting it all set up to feel like a home for us to share. He's still up in Brooklyn, tying up all our loose ends and I relish the weekends when he takes the bus down and I get to show him all the neat little things I've done or the cute new shops and restaurants and bars I've found! It's also been super nice catching up with old friends who I haven't seen in years. Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder and I lovelovelove how we can get together after not seeing each other for so long and just pick up exactly where we left off!

One of my favorite things about my new life in Baltimore - my fresh start. The plan that I've been brushing under the bed for so long is starting to work itself out in ways that I didn't expect, but completely welcome. I'm going to be 30 this year... finally! It's also the year of the snake so I'm shedding my old skin and starting anew, but still remembering everything I've learned. I'm reuniting with old friends, making new friends, and discovering new aspects about so many existing friendships that are now long distance. And how appropriate that all of this exciting change and growth and my return to the delirious kitchen is happening just as spring starts poking up through the frozen ground. So to honor so many new beginnings (and to feed the little cuties I got to hang out with the other day - my friends have the cutest kids!,) I made yummy springtime cupcakes! Nothing special, just a little whole wheat vanilla cake with bright yellow buttercream frosting and cutesy, colorful daisy sprinkles. Perfect to brighten up a dreary day and excite you for the warmer weather! Enjoy the tasty treat and stay tuned for more delirious stories from Charm City!

Welcome back, darlings!

springtime treat cupcakes
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c nonfat milk, chilled
1. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
2. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer.
3. Stir in the milk and mix until all ingredients are totally mixed.
4. Bake in a cupcake tin at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and ice with a simple buttercream icing (unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract blended and colored to taste and consistency.)

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