Burgers and surprises

©mylunchanddinner

It was a cool Saturday morning in Portland. My English roomie asked if I had plans for the day. I didn’t, so she invited to what she called an eating adventure. I was totally in, given that she is an absolute foodie just like me. You must be thinking now that all my friends are foodies… I think you are probably right.

We hoped on a bus and started our way downtown. It took us about 30 minutes to get there. Once off the bus, we started walking around. Turns out my friend didn’t have the exact address of the place. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before we got to the Little Big Burger, located at the Pearl District.  The place was packed. So, I thought the food was going to be delicious. I was not wrong.

The menu is not extensive at all… it includes three different types of burgers and fries. I think that is partly why they are so good, they are completely specialized. Now, the restaurant’s name is Little Big Burger… but that doesn’t mean the food is a little to big. In fact, I found the size of the burger a bit disappointing. As most of you may now by now, I like to eat. The taste however made me think not of the size but the flavor.  I think there is some kind of secret ingredient on the meat, because it was really good. Plus, the way in which they are cooked left a tasty char flavor on parts of the meat… yum yum!

© mylunchanddinner

The fries were the best I’ve ever tried. They were crunchy, tasty, salty… just a dream come true! I was even giving it a thought of buying an extra order.  However, my friend said that she had a surprise for me. I was kind of excited about the surprise. After finishing our food, we started walking and walking and walking. I was so tired I was ready to quit on the surprise when we had to cross the highway. My friend laughed at me… it’s just across the street she said.

We kept walking… Look, she said, as she pointed to beautiful and colorful houses. That is the surprise! I was shocked! I had seen them since about a month ago… I think she saw my annoyed faced, so she rapidly stated we were just around the corner.  We got to a little place near 23rd street where you can get the best cupcakes in town!

Saint cupcake bakery is really what a saint’s place ought to be. It was full of sugary treats that were just so nice that made you confused as to what to order.  This place was, of course, packed too. We waited for a few minutes and ordered our cupcakes. I asked for the carrot cupcake while my friend had a chocolate one. They were both so pretty it was almost sad to bite them. The butter cream frosting was high enough to make a mess, so we were careful.

©mylunchanddinner

My cupcake was fluffy, soft, sweet and very carroty. It tasted like heaven. The creamcheese-butter cream topping was also delicious, although I felt like it was too much.  I ate it any way.  My friends was also really good. I couldn’t help but steal a bit of it. The chocolate was sweet, but it still had something that made it different.

All in all, I think it was good we walked so much… I at least burned some of the thousands of calories…

©mylunchanddinner 2012

Red Valentine’s cupcakes for any time!

© mylunchanddinner

Last month I was thinking, what to make as a gift for Valentine’s Day for my husband?  I figured I needed to bake something red.  I started looking all around the internet and found multiple recipes: red velvet cupcake, red velvet multilayer cake, red velvet cookies, red whoopie pies, strawberry stuff, and a big list of etc! I read and read, until finally I got to a recipe that caught my attention at allrecipes.com.  I always read the comments though, just to make sure what I’m about to bake is good.

Turns out there was a huge, and I mean super long, posting of a woman who claimed she had made the red velvet cupcakes a couple of times and had managed to make them even better.  Of course I wanted to try something good that was turned out better, so I read here ingredient list.  I had most of them in my kitchen, but there were a few things I needed to buy.  Among them butter milk.  Buttermilk? What the hell is that? I thought… perhaps I just have to melt butter and pour it inside the milk. No, that didn’t sound right, so I immediately googled…oh my good friend google! He is always there to help, or is it she?

So, I found that buttermilk is not actually milk with butter but sour milk! Disgusting! I remember once in Amsterdam I decided to eat some cereal that I had been traveling with, so I went to a corner store and bought what I thought was cold milk… needless to say I almost got sick. Anyway… I didn’t want to buy a whole carton of sour milk, so I googled again. Turns out you can make your own butter milk by adding two teaspoons of lemon juice (fresh) on a measuring cup and then filling it (the cup) with milk till you reach 1/2. Then, you let it stand for about half an hour and voilà!

Ok, so… the missing ingredients. I put on my tennis shoes and went to the grocery store. I bought everything, and came back home.  I followed the “Carrot top mom” recipe.  I tasted the batter and it was yummy! I had decided to make mini-muffins, but by looking at the mix I realized it would take me forever to bake everything, so instead I made a bunch of mini-muffins (48) and a four layered heart-shaped cake. For the cake, I baked two hearts, cut them in half and put a bit of the creamy frosting the recipe calls for in between, then finished all with more frosting. On the top I added semi-sweet Hershey’s chocolate chips for decoration. This turned out really good because it balanced the sweet taste of the cake and frosting.

I must confess that I didn’t follow the recipe to the dot. Originally I thought I had enough sugar, so I didn’t buy a new pack.  Unfortunately that was not the case, specially since I never buy confectioners sugar (needed for the frosting) but instead make it myself in the blender.  But it was nothing to worry about… I used 2 cups of sugar for the cake (instead of 2 1/14) and 14 oz of confectioners sugar for the frosting (recipe called for 16).

Now, about the important part…It all came out to be delicious! My husband was really happy with his gift. It lasted for about a week, since it was too much cake for just the two of us.  I continuously ate cupcakes and pieces of the cake. This was one of those times something was so good, it is actually bad, for my belly anyway! Bake this super yummy cupcakes for any special time!

For the complete recipe go to: http://www.carrottopmom.com/?p=290

© mylunchanddinner 2012