Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell 2009; Hello 2010!

Overall, 2009 was a pretty good year - I started my legal career, met someone special, and adjusted to balancing the best of suburbia and city living. I wish my health had been better (I'm staying in for New Years Eve because I caught another cold), but I'm crossing my fingers for next year!

I also started getting into the mentality of simplifying my life, omitting the inconsequential and unnecessary so I get more time with the good stuff. As a student, I had the time, means, and desire to juggle too many things and people at the same time, but perhaps part of "growing up" and being in "the real world" means learning to focus on the important things.

2009 foodie collage [click for larger view]

And one of the important things to me is still FOOD! My top five foodie moments from 2009:
1. Foodbuzz-sponsored food tour in SF
2. Foodbuzz 1st Annual Food Blogger Festival in SF
3. My birthday dinner at Chapeau
4. Foodbuzz Community Table at Bushi-Tei
5. Watching Julie & Julia

My resolutions for 2010 - (1) reduce computer use (beware of carpal tunnel!), and (2) bake more. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and yummy new year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

For the recent holidays, the boyfriend and I tried our hands at making a pumpkin bundt cake, which actually turned out pretty well! Thanks to for the recipe.

Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake

For cake:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-oz can; not pie filling)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For glaze: (or substitute your own glaze recipe!)
2 T butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1-3 T cream or milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour bundt pan. Combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan. Shake a few times to be sure to remove any bumps, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and re-invert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

To make glaze, heat butter until melted. Stir in sifted powdered sugar. Mix in cream or milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Drizzle over cake while it is on a wire rack so excess falls through.

That's it! Happy holidays to all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sam Adams Utopia - America's Strongest Beer

"Dizzyingly high-alcohol beer made headlines last week when Samuel Adams announced the release of its new Utopias. At 27 percent alcohol by volume, it's the strongest beer in America and also one of the most intriguing — the product of 53 different barrels and several unusual ingredients."

Get the full story here:

Sounds like one strong and sweet beer!