Happy 2015 all!
Hope you had wonderful holidays. I was lucky enough to take a couple of weeks off from work and had many adventures with friends and family. Unfortunately for my wallet, four of my best friends have birthday’s back-to-back-to-back the last week of the year, and no energy was spared ensuring that we all had a blast. Rain does not stop wine tasting Oregonians, and these nine had the time of our lives at Stoller Winery and Domaine Serene. Posts of favorites to follow.
We also explored new restaurants and bars and just really appreciated the ups-and-downs, giggles and tears from the year. Here are candid (I swear), giggles from Kieran’s birthday downtown.
I even won a pair of these awesome skis from my favorite bar, River Pig Saloon and Montucky Cold Snacks, one of my favorite beer companies, dedicated to giving back. My beloved ski’s were the single thing to go missing during my move this summer so I’m even more thrilled to have won these.
I could go on and on about how much I loved and appreciated 2014, but the time has come to face forward and embrace the new year ahead! I made lots of resolutions but the top three are- 1) Never become complacent, 2) Appreciate my friends and family and celebrate them as much as possible, and 3) Remember to be proud of myself. Wish me luck!
So I decided to kick off the year with a fruity fave and mix it up a little bit. Blueberry doesn’t strike me as a cupcake flavor, although I have used it as inspiration in the past. Blueberry to me is a muffin flavor. SO. This week I decided to cook down blueberries, vinegar, rosemary and sugar so that they turned into a thick, gelatinous paste. I layered vanilla cupcake batter, blueberry “cordial” let’s say, and brown sugar. Here are before and after shots-
Love these. They’re perfect for cold, bleh days. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper give them a little bit of a kick to balance out the sweetness and the rosemary complements the sweetness of the blueberry paste well. I’ll probably add a little bit more rosemary next time so that that flavor pops a little bit more. I topped the cupcakes with buttercream frosting and intend to deposit at the office tomorrow. This girl has had beyond her quota of holiday treats 🙂
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tsp greek yogurt
Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients (do not mix in brown sugar) and beat until smooth. Boil cordial ingredients and stir frequently (about 10 minutes on high). In the cupcake liners layer cupcake, cordial and brown sugar. Cook 35 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost as you please and enjoy!
I thought that the end of 2014 deserved a Champagne to send it out with a bang. Like a real Champagne. Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee hails from Champagne, France. It’s very full-bodied and extremely fruity. It’s made up of several Pinot Noirs. More than several, it integrates 100 crus from the Champagne region. There are tones of pear and light grapes. I tasted a little bit of grapefruit on the finish. As you’ve read, if it truly is a Champagne, it must be made by a strictly controlled process called “Méthode Champenoise.” The grapes are pressed and then fermented for the first time. Then follows the blending phase and the wine is temporarily capped. In the second fermentation a blend of sugar and yeast is added and the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Although some wines are cellared for months or even years, this is one that you should enjoy right away to celebrate good times!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!