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Well worth the allergies…

April 7, 2009

After a long hiatus, due to too much fun and not enough rest-time, A Cupcake in Paris now brings you…Cherry blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms!

And in case you missed it…CHERRY BLOSSOMS!!!!

The Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial

This weekend we went out to the DC Cherry Blossom Festival and had a BLAST! In case you are unaware, the whole cherry blossom thing has a very interesting history. A gift of friendship from the Japanese, there are literally thousands of these ornamental trees lining the edges of the Tidal Basin, lifting their tiny, pink-cheeked blooms to the sun.

Flowers

Flowers

We had a fantastic group of friends – Emily, Jessica, Sarah and Victoria – and we spent the whole day in awe at the beautiful scenery among the iconic monuments.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

A tip for future Cherry Blossomers – WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. We must have walked 5 miles that day and my legs were aching like crazy by the end of the very satisfying day. But that’s not all…the girls and I, having just finished a delicious lunch (albeit not delicious service) at Cafe Luna, moved along to Dupont Circle to catch the Metro home. Standing around the fountain in the center of the square was a large group of people wielding pillows, standing around, and taking pictures of themselves. Evidently April 4th was also World Pillow Fight Day! I found some good shots of the fight here. The girls and I were even interviewed by a participant in the Pillow Fight! When asked “So what did you think of the DC Pillow Fight?” Victoria and I paused, collected our thoughts, and responded with a witty “We’re confused.” Evidently it’s just some random thing that people do – you can check out the website here.

Needless to say…next year…we WILL participate!

In other news, the Randolph Mansion (the pet name for the big house my roommates and I rent and live in) is turning 100 years old, and to commemorate this event, we are hosting a Centennial Gala on Saturday night (point of clarification: this is just a really big, fancy party that my roommates and I are throwing for us and our friends, to celebrate the antiquity of the house itself, it’s not affiliated with the owner of the house in any way). The menu currently features a selection of fine cheese from my favorite cheese boutique, pre-made puff pastries filled with spinach and cheese, buffalo chicken, and mozzarella and pepperoni, and made-from-scratch (yes, that’s right, I said it) miniature cupcakes in two flavors: vanilla bean with vanilla cream cheese frosting, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache icing. The recipes for the vanilla cream cheese frosting and the chocolate cupcakes with ganache icing are both from Georgetown Cupcakes, my absolute favorite cupcake establishment. The vanilla bean cupcake is a twist on the Magnolia Bakery recipe, but only because Georgetown Cupcakes keeps their recipe well hidden.

Things are in full-swing for planning for the party (I’ve already spent a go-zillion dollars buying decorations for the cupcakes – mini-cupcake foils, fondant shape-cutters, and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, all purchased from my new favorite store, Sur La Table) so stay tuned for more pictures as the minicupcakes develop.

In the meantime, to tide over those of you (JENNY) who are constantly looking for food pictures, here’s a picture of my new favorite baby carrots with the stems still on:

Carrot, with tiny hair.

Carrot, with tiny hair.

And my new imported (via my suitcase) Whittard Assam tea, a handheld tea strainer, and  my new Brighton Rock mug:

Tea strainer, in the Brighton mug

Tea strainer, in the Brighton mug

Tea, with milk, and the original packaging.

Tea, with milk, and the original packaging.

I got the mug in Brighton and the tea and strainer in Oxford, so whenever I make tea at work, I am reminded of my trip over the pond! Handy tip: if you’re using a handheld tea strainer, be sure to remove it as soon as the tea gets to the right strength (2 minutes for me) – leave it longer and the tea will run bitter. Also wait to put the cream in until you remove the strainer, as this keeps the strainer cleaner.

Well, that pretty much catches us up – see below for the Tip of the Day. Enjoy!

Tip of the Day: Eggs!

I am not an “egg” person. I mean, sure, if they’re on the plate, I won’t just literally throw them away. But honestly – when I jump out of bed in the morning, the one thing I don’t think is “Hey! Why don’t I make myself a plate of hot steaming gooey yellow eggs!”

However, with this week’s diet revamp, starting up at the gym again, and going back to work at the ER, let’s face it: I need the protein. So when I was shopping at Harris Teeter on Sunday, I had the bright idea of making hard-boiled eggs. Through my incessant reading of food blogs I had heard of several different ways of hardcooking eggs (the constant boil, the vinegar-and-water, the stand-on-your-head-and-hop) so where did I go for the “real” answer? I opened our kitchen’s copy of “Cooking for Dummies” and turned to the chapter entitled “The Amazing Egg.”

I followed the instructions listed in the book and found to my great surprise and delight that upon cracking open the shell and taking the first bite, the  yolk actually turned out to be quite creamy! Seriously – I didn’t know it was possible, but the yolk was literally soft and not crumbly. Combined with my spicy cabbage leftovers (courtesy of chocolateandzucchini.com) and a small dish of kosher salt and pepper, I ate two of these babies in rapid succession.

The Cooking for Dummies book had very easy instructions, so in the spirit of non-plagiarism, I highly recommend you go out and buy yourself a copy. Absenting that, here’s what I did on Sunday to set myself up for an eggtastic week.

Recipe:

6 eggs, into a pot (gently – don’t crack the shells at all)

Fill pot with cold water, to an inch above the eggs themselves.

Cover the pot.

Place the covered pot with water and eggs in it on the burner, then bring the water to a boil.

As soon as the water is boiling, kill the fire (if it’s a gas stove – if you’re on electric, move the pot off the burner) and let them sit. I used large size eggs for 15 minutes exactly.

While these are sitting, get you a bowl of ice water ready to hold all the eggs.

When the timer goes off, take your eggs out of the hot water, place them in the ice bath, and LEAVE THEM THERE until they’re no longer warm. (The recipe book said to run cold water over them, but I feel like that wastes a whole lot of water, and an ice bath would be better)

Then, once they’re done, you can pop them back in their container, taking care to store them in a different part of the fridge so your roommates don’t try to use them to make french toast. (I wrote in big letters “NOT RAW” as you can see at the top of the posting…)

Voila! Delicious, tasty eggs with soft centers – perfect addition to a meal when you just need a little bit more protein. Served pictured here with a little kosher salt and pepper – delicious!

Ze Egg.

Ze Egg.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert permalink
    April 8, 2009 10:38 am

    My daughter, the next Martha!

  2. Adam permalink
    April 10, 2009 11:32 pm

    Eggs are great – eat them, lady!

  3. April 15, 2009 4:52 pm

    Just do not put your eggs in the work fridge.

    • lisam permalink
      April 15, 2009 4:54 pm

      Eggsellent point, Melissa. (Pardon the pun)

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