Real talk: I, Kate, am an obsessive person.
When I find something I like, I let it consume me. Until I find the next thing I can’t live without. I know that moderation is supposed to be the key to happiness or something like that. But I just don’t work that way. At all.
Let’s talk about some things I’m super in love with lately.
1. Baby kale. It’s a thing. I had no idea it was a thing. But I went to grab some baby spinach in the grocery and right next to it was baby kale! It’s tender and awesome and now the only greens I will use to make salads. The Accountant asked me why I was eating weeds one time, but he’s just jealous.
2. Wheatsville Co-op. It’s a community owned grocery store in Austin and it has everything good in the world. I bought large-flake coconut there. And rainbow quinoa. And they have 18 different kinds of milk (coconut, rice, almond, soy, hemp etc etc etc). Every kind of alternative flour ever. Dried mangoes that I’m (obvi) obsessed with. Ugh. Wheatsville is a great example of why I’m in love with Austin.
3. Beyonce. Her music. Her tumblr. Her adorable baby. Her adoring husband. Her face. Her body. Everything. Just everything about Beyonce is amazing.
4. My enormous Tervis tumbler. It holds 24 ounces. It’s obnoxiously pro-Longhorn. It has a lid. It is the best. I don’t know how I survived all these years without it.
5. Leopard print accessories. Real talk: I used to think leopard print was tacky. I don’t know why. And I guess it can be if you abuse it. But oh, my world became more awesome when I started thinking of it as a neutral. My favorite pair of shoes right now is a pair of leopard print loafers. In a close second is my pair of snow leopard TOMS. I want a pair of leopard print flats. And probs pumps too. Just to round out my shoe collection. I feel that I also desperately need a leopard print scarf to wear with everything.
6. My cat, Kirby. This is nothing new. She’s a menace. I love her as only a mother could (at least I imagine that is the case). She redeems herself by crawling under the covers in the middle of the night and making herself comfortable as little spoon, though. It’s kind of the most adorable thing in the world. Totally makes up for her terrible habit of chewing holes in everything expensive I own.
7. Marshmallow creme. The homemade kind. I keep finding myself looking for s’mores-based recipes so that I have an excuse to make it again. It’s just SO GOOD.
8. Listening to my iPod on shuffle. Rediscovering music is such an awesome thing. I have almost 7500 songs in my music library and I’ve been loving letting myself explore all of it. See, I have a terrible habit of becoming obsessive (weird!) over a new album, a new artist, a certain genre to the exclusion of all the other awesome music I own. Maybe this isn’t the way that most people work, but yeah. Not being that way for a little while is such a treat for me.
Here’s another thing I think is awesome: these cupcakes I made. I had this idea originally back in February for Mardi Gras, but The Roommate vetoed them, as she doesn’t totally love bananas baked into things. So I made them for another occasion and they’ve gotten pretty good reviews from my other friends. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t think I totally nailed them as an imitation of Bananas Foster… so think of them as loosely inspired by it.
Bananas Foster Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
Rum Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
Brown Sugar Buttercream (I added a tablespoon or two of dark rum to my frosting to cut the sweetness a little. And because boozy frosting is a good thing).
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- I suggest making the caramel first to give it some time to set up. Put sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Don’t stir the mixture, but swirl occasionally to distribute the heat. Cook until mixture is a deep amber color and a candy thermometer reads 350°, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add the heavy cream, stirring as you pour. Return to burner and reduce heat to medium. Let the sauce cook until it is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and rum. Let cool.
- While that’s cooling, make your cakes. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with liners. Whisk together all of your dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add eggs, butter, bananas, and vanilla. Stir until just incorporated.
- Divide evenly among the muffin cups. They will be more than the traditional 2/3 full. This cake is a bit dense so I promise they won’t be monstrously huge when they bake up. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- All that’s left is the brittle! Line a cookie sheet with foil. Combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then increase to medium-high and let boil until it becomes a deep amber color. Remove from heat and add walnuts immediately, swirling the pan to incorporate the nuts. Then pour out onto the prepared cookie sheet. Let cool completely. Then break into pieces.
- To assemble: Cut out the middles of the cupcakes, fill with rum caramel sauce. Replace cupcake tops. Frost, drizzle with more rum caramel sauce, top with a piece of walnut brittle. Enjoy!
Oh, and one last thing I forgot I’m obsessed with lately: YOU. Y’all are seriously the best!
Bake with love!!