Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Opinion on Things You Don't Want My Opinion On

1.  I just finished the book The Night Circus, which you can and should buy here.

I loved this book.  Its the story of a mysterious circus that shows up at various locations around the world and is only open from dusk until dawn.  More than that, it is the story of the performers within the circus (as well as the people who created the circus and the patrons of the circus).  Within the circus, there is also magic, an intense competition, and a love story.  It's a story you can get completely lost in.  I was especially impressed that this was the author's first novel!  LOVE!  So...if you enjoy a good love story wrapped in a little bit of magic and mystery, you should definitely read this book! 

2.  Last night, most of the female attorneys in my law firm went out for drinks and then went to a late showing of the latest installment of the Twilight series:  Breaking Dawn Part I.  We sat in the balcony of the theater where we could order food and drinks (and our seats had seat warmers...seriously!).  It was a really fun time...and the movie was...fine...I guess. 

There were A LOT of awkward expected. 

There were some hilarious moments that I'm not entirely sure were meant to be hilarious (like the talking werewolves...WTF?).

There were not nearly enough shirtless running men.  Just saying.  Very disappointed in the lack of shirtless running men. 

Maybe they're saving the shirtlessness for Part II?  One can only hope...

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Brought a Torch to Work!

A few weeks back, I got an email from a local restaurant advertising a wine and tapas pairing dinner.  I get about two or three of these emails a week and I'm always tempted to go...but I never really want to spend $75 for dinner.  This one, however, sounded really good and I thought it might be fun if I could convince a couple of my friends to go with me.  I sent out an email gauging interest, and got a response back from a friend almost immediately suggesting that instead of going to a pairing, she host one at her house! 

So, we decided to have a big girls' night where everyone was responsible for bringing one dish paired with one alcoholic beverage.  I obviously offered to be in charge of the dessert.  I decided to make crème brûlée cupcakes (found at the Cupcake Project, obviously!).  These cupcakes are vanilla cupcakes with a pumpkin crème brûlée.  I've never made crème brûlée before, so that was challenge number 1.'s what you need to know about this crème brûlée recipe - you need 6 ramikins, or you need to plan on baking your crème brûlée for much, much longer than 40 minutes! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Love My Job!

As with most jobs, there are days when I love mine and days when I don't.  I feel very lucky that most days are days that I love it.  This week, I am happy to report that I love it times a million.  Because this week, my job allowed me to be publicly snarky to someone who totally deserved it.

Currently, I am working with a partner on a case we are appealing to the Kansas Court of Appeals.  A few months ago, the partner and I wrote a brief in support of our case, and last month the opposing party wrote a response.  In their response, the opposing party, talking about one of the cases we cited in support of one of our arguments, wrote something along the lines of that they had scoured the page that we cited, and the quotation that we cited does not exist on the page.

We had pin-cited the wrong page.  Sometimes that happens.  Our bad.

The opposing party had obviously read the entire case as it was the case they cited throughout their entire brief.  Their little comment re: our missed pin-cite really bothered me...

It obviously bothered the partner I was working with as well because in our reply to their response, the partner asked me to correct the pin-cite and draft a footnote responding to snark in their is my reply:

"In the opening [brief], [we] inadvertently included the wrong pinpoint citation to the [] decision, which was cited as authority for the proposition [supporting our argument].  In its brief, [opposing counsel] brought this mistake to [our] attention, arguing that it had been unable to find the quoted language on the cited page.  [We] hope that by correcting the pinpoint citation in this Reply, [opposing counsel] will be able to locate the [] quotation in [our] opening brief."

Ok, so it isn't all that snarky, but it is enough to be like a little slap in the face at their childishness...which I love.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes and a Bachelorette Party

Ok, first things first - if you are 1 of the 5 people who looks at this blog occasionally, you will notice that I have changed the name and the URL.  I'm sorry if this caused any confusion/if you attempted to find my blog and were prevented due to the change.  However, it was a necessary evil.  Some of you may be aware that there is a cookbook entitled The Boozy Baker, which is all over the place right now.  Considering the book was published long before I started my blog (and the fact that it is now a well recognized cookbook), I assume that someday in the near future, the author (or her attorneys) is going to being the process of doing random Internet searches for people who are infringing on her intellectual which time she would find me and I would receive a cease and desist letter.  So, to avoid that, I changed the blog name (and have already had one complaint...)


It has been a while since my last post, and for that I apologize!  I've been spending a lot of quality time in my office lately and haven't been baking as much as I would like to.  However, I did break away from the office a couple of weeks ago to attend an awesome bachelorette party of my hair stylist turned workout buddy and all around friend, Evy.  She and her beau eloped in Vegas...but before that, we had a crazy night filled with mullets, alcohol, dancing, and a party bus! 

I offered to bake Evy cupcakes for the party, and asked her what kind sounded good to her.  She, like most people when asked that question, said she didn't really care...but then she mentioned strawberry margarita cupcakes about 10 times in the course of a week.  So, it was decided.

I've already made margarita cupcakes and decided to just use that same recipe, but find a way to make it much more alcoholic and strawberry flavored.  I also fell in love with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I decided to find a way to make that alcoholic.

Both of these changes were really simple...or would have been for someone who wasn't me. 

To make the cupcakes strawberry margarita flavored, I decided to try this filling I found at The Baker Chick.  The Baker Chick's blog post on strawberry margarita cupcakes is great, and she even tells you how to get the filling into the cupcakes.  I thought I knew better.  I was wrong.

So...I recently found this while shopping:

This is supposed to help you remove the center of your cupcake to add filling...for me, all it did was mash the center of my cupcake, making it ugly and malformed.  I only used this "handy" tool on one cupcake, and then I gave up.  I'm sure that it is very useful...and someday I may even find a way to use it...but I assumed I had a better idea.


Remember my Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling?  For those, I just put the filling in a pastry bag, put the tip of the pastry bag into the cupcake, and squeezed gently.  It was super I figured I would try that again here.

The filling in this cupcake is essentially tequila and strawberry puree.  Mistake number 1 was thinking that I could keep LIQUID in my pastry bag without spilling it everywhere.  I could not.  I ended up with puddles of strawberry tequila all over my kitchen floor.  Mistake number 2 was thinking that strawberry puree would come easily out of the did not.  The seeds got stuck in the tip...I ended up squeezing the bag a little too hard...when the LIQUID finally came out of the bag, it didn't come out nicely.  It squirted.  Everywhere. 

I did finally get my cupcakes following the directions provided by The Baker Chick.  So...take a small paring knife and cut out the center of your cupcake:

Using a spoon, fill the hole with your filling (no judging my messy baking skills):

Then replace the centerpiece.  Some people say you should cut off the tip so it fits more easily back on the cupcake after you have added filling.  My take on these cupcakes was that I was going to be frosting them with the cupcake swirl, so a little extra volume in the middle of the cupcake wouldn't hurt anyone!

For the frosting, I remade the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting...but this time, instead of adding strawberry puree to flavor it, I made a strawberry margarita and dumped it in.  I thought it worked well! 

These cupcakes were AMAZING...and they were definitely the most alcoholic cupcakes I've made to date.  Seriously, when I opened up the box at the dinner, you could smell the tequila!  It. Was. Fantastic!

Obviously, these cupcakes being for a bachelorette party means there had to be a penis straw for the bride:

In case you were wondering, the bachelorette party was an AMAZING time...and I was NOT KIDDING ABOUT THE MULLETS! 

(Ok, the second one was a wig...but the first guy...hardcore mullet).

I'm not re-writing the recipe for you...just follow the link! 

Strawberry Margarita Filling -
1 8oz container of strawberries
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup tequila
2 tablespoons sugar

In a bowl of a food processor (I used a magic bullet), add the strawberries, lime juice, lime zest, tequila, and sugar.  Puree until there are no chunks of strawberry.

Strawberry Margarita Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting -

Follow the frosting recipe until the point where you add the strawberries.

Make a strawberry margarita (I mixed 6 ounce of tequila, 4-6 ounces of tripple sec, 4 ounces of strawberry puree, and 2 ounces of fresh squeezed lime juice).  Dump the strawberry margarita into the frosting and mix until combined!

Fill your cooled cupcakes with the filling (using the method above, trust me), then frost...I like the cupcake swirl for these ones (mostly because I now know how to do the cupcake swirl).