Sunday, March 27, 2011

Old Ruby Saves the Day - Old Ruby Chocolate Cupcakes with Carolan's Irish Butter Cream Frosting

Booze, it makes you smile a little longer, dance a little closer, and it helps your food taste quite a bit better, unless of course you do it wrong, which in that case is your fault.
Please fix that.

I was craving something sweet the other week before St.Patty`s day and when I saw the following bottle in the liquor store I knew what had to be done …

Old Ruby Chocolate Cupcakes with Carolan's Irish Butter Cream Frosting
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 cup stout (I went with Ale. Old Ruby came through)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
 Preheat your oven to 350°F. The Smitten recipe says to line 24 “cupcake cups” with liners, but in my case my pan only made about a dozen.

Bring the booze and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk the eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes.

 Carolans Irish Butter Cream Frosting
  • 3 to 4 cups confections sugar
  • 1/2 cup or unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Carolans Irish Cream
Start with the butter at room temperature. Use a fork, or whatever you like, to mix the butter around until it is smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  When the icing starts to get a little thick start slowing adding the Irish cream to loosen it up. Don’t worry if you end up adding more than the recipe calls for. Booze is good. Mix until you are happy with the results.

Then bring a few over to your friends' house for dinner ....

.... and hope for a few extra vowels next time around.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

round and round and round we spin

Hey Guy,
I’m guessing that the world looked a little something like this to you the other night when you saw a few of the boys from the Constantines get together and sing some Neil Young covers.

Which is all great and wonderful because your thrashing about was pretty entertaining for a while.

And I didn’t really mind when you spilled some beer in my hair, in fact it was kind of great because it made my curls curlier.

But you should know that it’s just bad manners to puke on the band.

You should probably not do that next time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slaughterhouse Thighs

If I was more into trends I probably would have bought the interesting black and gray dress with the racer back that drapes in all the right places, but instead my style instincts, which generally mirror those of a 5 year old, along with a good friend helped me make the obvious decision.

A few of us made the trek out to somewhere on the edge of the city to watch some badass ladies smash into each other all in the name of roller derby. Some of us were braver than others and opted for the suicide seats.

10 points if you can find us in the video ....

A friend of mine is “fresh meat”. She is a new derby girl who is paying her dues and collecting bruises on her way up the ranks. She’s in a little need of help picking a derby name, and we all did our best to pitch in. My favourite - Slaughterhouse Thighs, too bad it’s already taken. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


There is something new in my life.
I spent a long time looking for it. I looked here and there, I asked friends too, but it was much better at hiding than I was seeking. But eventually I caught up.

Yes, I found a job.

At first the new trainees and I had to wake up very, very early every morning, the earliest I’d ever woken up in my life. Just in case you were curious, Parkdale looks like this at 5am on a Friday morning.

After many days in a chilly classroom time they gave us a little sample of the goods.

While we waited someone became an Aunt.

Up, Up Up...

Oh Ottawa, you frigid girl.

No worries about that cold, we only stayed about an hour or so.
Which was long enough for me to yawn....

... and make sure the world was ok.

All that and we made it home on time for lunch.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A little bit of rice for me and you

Sol learned this recipe from his 할머니. In Korean the word for grandmother sounds a bit like "harmony". I love that. I also love this recipe because it is so simple. As long as you have a bit of  rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil you are set. Feel free to play with it. Once I added bacon. That was a good day.

I know that what I am about to suggest may sound a little strange, but don’t worry, you can trust me. One of the first times I went grocery shopping with Sol he didn’t look at the labels on the bags, just the rice. After a few minutes of poking around he went to grab the arborio. “No! No! No!” I thought. Arborio holds a special superstar Italian status, I couldn’t imagine it within an Asian context. Oh what a silly girl I was.

Harmony Rice for 2

  • 1 cup of short grain rice (Arborio or the Japanese sushi kind. Something with a whole lot of starch please)
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 handfuls of roughly chopped rocket/arugula
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
 1.  Wash your rice. This may seem a little tedious, and for this I am sorry but it must be     done. You don’t need anything fancy though, just the pot and your hands. Put your rice in the pot and cover with water. Swish it around a few times and then drain the murky water. Don’t worry if you don’t drain every last drop, just do your best. Do this about 3 - 4 times.         

2. Cook your rice. I don’t really bother with measurements when it comes to rice anymore. A good rule of thumb is to remember you’ll need double the amount of water to your rice. I usually judge this by sticking my finger in the pot, the rice should come up about half way, the other half should be water. The rice will be finished in about 20-30 minutes or so. You shouldn't see anymore water and there will be little holes where the steam is trying to escape.

3. While the rice is cooking fry the mushrooms in a little sesame oil, then put them aside. Next fry the eggs sunny side up , then put them aside. 

4. When the rice is cooked spoon as much as you can eat into your bowl. Sol likes his rice bowl best with 3 big spoons of both sesame oil and soy sauce, I prefer only 2 of each. Mix it around. Divide the mushrooms and rocket between your two hungry bowls. Mix it around. Top with the egg. Hand the bowl to hungry person, and have them mix theirs around.

One last suggestion, after you finish the rice call for reinforcements.

Wear something sparkly ...

... and have a little fun.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Someone recently came for a visit.

He came bearing little blue gifts...

... and he didn't come alone ...

...which was actually pretty nice because he brought along some friendly sidekicks who made delicious things in my tiny, tiny kitchen …

And then even more visitors dropped by.

A certain lady came bearing delicious and colourful gifts ...

... and my brother brought the handsome.  He always does.

And then everyone left .... and I started something new.
But I'll tell you more about that a little later.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle

I'm not quite sure where he lives, but I see this man riding around on his backwards bicycle all the time. Parkdale, it's a fun place to visit.