Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scenes from a Cookie Swap

I attended my first ever cookie swap a few weeks ago. The rosemary butter cookies I made won best rookie cookie! Here's some pictures.

Welcome Sign!

The Entries!

My winning cookies!

Favorite Albums of 2010

It's that time of year again! Time for the favorite albums of 2010. All in no particular order, except for #1.

Black Keys - Brothers

Another solid release from the Black Keys. I keep coming back to this album. It is fun, soulful, and good for beer drinking. People seem to like this band, but I feel like they don't quite get the props they deserve.

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

This isn't the album cover, because I'm afraid it will offend those who read this blog for cupcake pictures. I want to dislike Kanye West. I really do. But, this album is filled with some really brilliant music. So, I gave in and I love it.

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

When we first bought this album, we could not stop listening to it. It's beautiful and dreamy and just plain fabulous.

Grinderman - Grinderman 2

I have a crush on Nick Cave now.

Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM

This was my first favorite album of 2010. I have bought it for numerous friends. She produced it with Beck, and it shows, but it's a lovely way to spend a nice summer afternoon.

Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (and various artists) - Dark Night of the Soul

This collaboration is overlooked on alot of best of lists. I don't know if it's because it technically came out last year, or if people just haven't heard it. The Suzanne Vega and Julian Casablancas songs are especially nice.

Walkmen - Lisbon

Another solid release from Walkmen. I felt their last album was a little lacking, but this one is great the entire way through! Love the spanish influenced horns.

AND NOW.....#1!

LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening

Dance, punk, David Bowie...love it all. I was lucky enough to see them in concert this summer and it made my year.

The Quest for the Perfect Bacon Cupcake

In the fall, a few friends hosted a sausage fest and asked me to bring cupcakes. I thought it would be appropriate to make bacon cupcakes to fit the theme. This proved a little more difficult than I imagined.

I started with a recipe for french toast cupcakes, where you baked the bacon in the batter. This resulted in a very dry, sad, cloying maple cupcake with bacon scattered throughout. I decided then that bacon in the batter is always a bad idea. (My guess is the salt just destroys any moisture in the cake itself).

I decided to abandon maple flavoring for caramel. These turned out wonderfully! They were still sweet, but received rave reviews. Pictures below!