Last weekend, we headed to Allenhurst, NJ to celebrate my friend Brooke’s 30th birthday. The celebration was SUPPOSED to be a surprise and I THOUGHT I had tricked her into believing that we were coming to visit in September but she confessed that wasn’t actually the case. In any event, we had a great time. Brooke had made me these super cupcakes for my birthday a few weeks back, so I had to return the favor. I’ve been loving the New Jersey peaches I’ve gotten this year and as soon as I clicked through to Smitten Kitchen last week, it was pretty obvious that I needed to make these cupcakes. I didn’t end up taking any pictures but I was really pleased with how they came out. The cake was light and just sweet enough. The cream cheese-based, brown sugar frosting called for a 1/4 cup of cornstarch, which to me, was pretty tasty but left a bit of a grainy mouth feel. If I made the icing again, I would definitely decrease the cornstarch. The purpose of the cornstarch was to create a less runny icing but I don’t think that taking the cornstarch down a little bit would affect the consistency, especially after it’s been refrigerated.
Some other highlights from the past couple of weeks:
I looked up several panzanella recipes, including Brooke’s which turned out to be the one I used subbing in what I had for veg. Super tasty! Little yellow tomatoes were courtesy of my friend Emily’s CSA. Red tomatoes came from our neighbor up the street. Local cuke and basil from Wegman’s, they always have a great selection of local produce.
Emily also gave me a huge bunch of chives before she left to go to the Food Sourcing Conference in Chicago. Whenever I get my hands on chives, I always make Ina Garten’s chive biscuits. Quick, easy, yummy.
Pickled green tomatoes. I used Marisa McClellan’s asparagus pickle recipe as a guide. Marisa is Philadelphia’s resident expert canner and always has great advice for putting stuff in jars. I’ve pickled a lot of stuff this summer: kirbies, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos. I didn’t process anything but by doing small batches, we manage to eat everything in time.
The most beautiful, perfect little apricots from headhouse a couple weeks ago.