Thursday, December 11, 2008

another library list

on tuesday night, i went to my local city library branch and had one of those awesome moments when every book i came across seemed just right. the library (any library) has been a favorite location of mine for as far back as i can remember. wandering the shelves, amassing a pile, and checking out a stack of new-to-me books gives me a strange but special thrill.

often the subjects are totally unrelated, many of the books i never read from cover to cover, but always i am delighted by all the text and images and ideas and inspirations that a pile of books can offer.

here is my library list from tuesday:

+ alone in the kitchen with an eggplant (hilarious essays on cooking solo.)
+ the girl with the gallery (the title caught me, and the topic's held me.)
+ what i talk about when i talk about running (haruki murakami is fantastic.)
+ paris cafe: the select crowd (illustrated thoughts on the paris cafe scene.)
+ superman: the complete history (for an upcoming exhibition at work.)
+ armageddon in retrospect (kurt vonnegut is genius.)

what books are piled up on your nightstand at the moment?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

clementine cupcakes

life has felt especially busy lately. but still good. last night, i made a batch of clementine cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting to bring into work today. perfect for a december birthday!

this recipes uses the whole clementine--skin and all. it makes a dense, moist cake with little flecks of orange and a tangy sweet taste. i think the rich chocolate frosting (my addition) turned out to be a perfect topping.

i started using nigella lawson's clementine cake recipe, but revised it with some suggestions from her web reviews.

except for the whole cupcakes-sticking-to-their-liners issues (how does one avoid that??), these turned out great.

clementine cupcakes
+ 5 clementines (about 1 pound)
+ 6 eggs
+ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
+ 2 1/3 cups ground almonds (or flour equivalent)
+ 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
+ 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

place clementines in a pot of cold water. bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours. drain the fruit. once it's cool, cut in half, remove any seeds, and then pulverize the fruit/skins/pith. you can use a food processor for this--or a good knife.

preheat the oven to 375F. butter your pan of choice and line with parchment.

put the fruit pulp in a big bowl, and mix in the sugar and vanilla. add one egg at a time, mixing well. in a small bowl, combine the almond/flour and baking powder. then, fold the dry ingredients into the wet. mix completely, but don't overstir.

pour the cake mixture in your pan, and pop it in the oven. bake for 40-60 minutes until golden brown. enjoy!

:: photo from lillieinthecity / flickr