Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in Butter Lane (4)

Thursday
Dec082011

Things I'm Loving

So remember that recipe that I was going to share with you on Friday? But my computer wasn't playing nice? I think the photos of said recipe actually corrupted my computer so I had to go ahead a delete them altogether. So no recipe today. I guess I'll just have to make it again soon ;)

Instead, I'm doing a Things I Love post! These are more fun anyway, right? I love taking a moment to recognize the things in life that are awesome and which are making me giddily happy on this Thursday morning. So let's get down to it, shall we?

Butter Lane Cupcakes. Kimberly and I took a cupcake making class there a few weeks ago, and this morning I woke up to an incredibly sweet honor - they have named me their blogger of the week! This means that TAA will be featured in their shop and that I will definitely be back their buying cupcakes this weekend :) If you haven't been there yet, I highly HIGHLY recommend it! I really love their cupcakes and the bakery is just adorable. Thanks Butter Lane!!

Lower temperatures. Call me crazy, but I'm ready for today's burst of cool air! I want it to feel like Christmas! Plus, I love wearing my winter hat. It's not quite snowy weather, but I am looking forward to the first one!

The smell of my Christmas tree. Ahhhhhh. It smells glorious. I love waking up the last few days, walking into the living room and getting a nice nostril full of fresh Frasier Fur fragrance. There is nothing better.

Homemade marshmallows. It happened. And they are spectacular. I cannot wait to share the recipe with you next week! They are so light, fluffy and absolutely delicious. You are definitely going to want to make these!

Late night Indian food. We live very close to Little India in Jersey City, which means top notch Indian food. It is one of my favorite cuisines and the perfect order-in dinner on a rainy, chilly evening. Goes perfectly with curling up on the couch and watching holiday movies ;)

 

Baking day! I will be doing this with my mom on Saturday and I cannot wait! Last year we made a big ol' mess of her beautiful kitchen, sampled lots of cookies and just had a really fun time :) Today I'll be putting a list of goodies together and seeing which ones from the Virtual Swap I'll be adding to the mix!

 

Speaking of the Virtual Cookie Swap Party, I'm still reeling from all the fun, all the eye candy and all of the A-mazing bloggers who participated! I love you all!

Up All Night. This is really one of my favorite new shows. I absolutely adore Will Arnett (though he'll always be Gob to me) and the whole show is just so cute and funny. Oh and that baby just makes my heart melt because of the cuteness!

So there you have it. All of my loves this week :)

Questions of the Day:

What are you loving this week?

What have you been cooking or baking lately?

Friday
Nov112011

Butter Lane Cupcake Class

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I know...usually I do Five Things Friday, but I'm skipping it this week because a) I have had a week that has been B-A-N-A-N-A-S and thus haven't been doing much Internet window shopping and b) I just need to tell you about the sweet class asap. I hope you're down with hearing about cupcakes on this Friday...you don't mind, do you? ;)

As I mentioned, Kimberly had gotten a cupcake class at NYC's Butter Lane for me as a gift for Christmas last year. Due to scheduling, and Butter Lane's extreme busyness (they are always booked up! now I know why...), we only just got around to it this week.

First of all...Butter Lane is one of my favorite bakeries in New York City. It's so cute and charming, and the cupcakes are buttery, fluffy and heavenly to boot. They use high quality ingredients in all of their cupcakes, and it shows! In fact, I did a whole write up about these last year when we got them for my mom's birthday.

The class started in a little bakery studio next to the bakery itself and kicked off with...what else...a platter of cupcakes for the group!

this is after we all got at 'em!

The class was set up with stations featuring KitchenAid mixers, {lots of} butter, sugar, tasting sticks, and recipes.

Kim and I joined 3 other sweet women at the chocolate station, where we were in charge of the chocolate on chocolate cupcakes!

I have to say, I have made and written about many a cupcake here on TAA, so to be honest, I had a good idea of the ingredients that would go into the cupcakes. However, what I really learned was how long and at what speed to mix specific parts of the process (like letting the butter get uber duber fluffy for many minutes on high speed when making frosting). I thought this was so helpful, and I can't wait to try out my new found skills! I also came to the realization that I'm never making cupcakes again without an ice cream scooper (for quick and clean batter transfer) or a cake frosting spatula (for a perfect frost).

sistaaas

After our cupcakes were in the oven (and a lot of batter tasting had commenced), we made a variety of frostings, including vanilla bean, pumpkin (swoon), chocolate peanut butter, basic cream cheese and more. Once the cupcakes were done, we learned the proper way to frost a Butter Lane cupcake...

...and a certain someone won for best frosting job!

How cute is that little tote bag? I'm jeals. But at least I got my own frost on...

After frosting time, we loaded up our bakery boxes and headed back to Kimberly's place...

...where I got my cupcake eat on like it was my job.

chocolate cupcake with pb frosting...heaven!The only thing missing from our girls night? Our sister Christine! Christine Bean is at school at Penn State (and dealing with all the scrutiny going on there right now) and we cannot wait until she comes home for Thanksgiving so we can finally celebrate her 21st birthday in style!

So there you have it. Our fun girls night out, making cupcakes, and eating lots of frosting. I think this was such a great gift and would be perfect for any girls night or even a group of people or a party! Thanks to Butter Lane!

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever taken a cooking or baking class? This was my first one and I loved it!

What are your weekend plans? I'm hosting a Thanksgiving pot luck tomorrow...yay! Hope you all have a great one!

 

psst...it's The Peach & The Pit Friday! We're rounding up our highs and lows of the week!

Sunday
May022010

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Somehow April has passed us right on by and May is already in full effect. Budding blooms, green markets and sunny days abound - except for this morning since it's pouring and humid on the east coast. Anyhow, as May gets moving, we approach the mother of all holidays, Mother's Day. TAA is cooking up a gift guide for all of the mom's on your list, especially those who love food! Let's get down to the goods.

Anthropologie 3-D Toile apron There's no reason why spending an afternoon in the kitchen means dressing down in sweats and an old shirt. Instead, mom will feel sophisticated and super chic in a fun, bright colored apron. Scrumptious meals never looked so good. I personally wear my Anthropologie Dotty Match apron all the time to catch spills, and let's face it...I wear it just to look cute too. Mine, in fact, was inspiration for The Avid Appetite's color palette. If Mom spends a lot of time in the kitch, a truly adorb apron is a must.

A Treat from Butter Lane I regaled you all with tales of grown up cupcakes from Butter Lane when my fam feasted on them during my mom's spring dinner party. They really are cupcakes for the sophisticated palette while still offering playful flavors like salted caramel with popcorn topping. And as my mom would say, "These are my favorite!"

Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers' Market Cookbook Since greenmarkets are all the rage (rightfully so), why not learn how to cook with your newly purchased ultra fresh ingredients? Recipes include pork medallions with roasted figs and strawberry rhubarb pie. I'm heading over to my local farmers' market as we speak...

Azure Dishtowels Aren't these truly adorb? I mean, I would actually put aside my hatred for drying dishes if I got to use these pretty lil' things. And it's a fun way to brighten up your kitchen to boot.


Flora Pouch Envirosax It's the chic way to do your food shopping, or any shopping for that matter. Plastic bags are so passe as the bring-your-own-tote movement is sweeping the nation. Why not do it in style? These pretty, eco-friendly bags wrap up into a small pouch, perfect to keep in your car or purse.

A Cup of Earl Grey Creme I grew up in a house where partially drank cups of tea were everywhere. My mom would (and still does) drink tea all day long, each time in a fresh tea cup, and sometimes not finishing the entire cup before moving on to the next, leaving tea cups in her office, on kitchen counters, on the coffee table or on her night stand...all at the same time (this could also explain why I have, at any given time, approximately 4 glasses of water, soda or coffee on my night stand or coffee table...I know. It drives Shaun crazy). Not only was the quality of the tea essential, but only the right kind of tea cup would suffice. When I came across Teavana's Earl Grey Creme and the Anthropologie Missus tea cup, which just so happens to be monogrammed, I knew it would be the perfect gift for any tea-drinking mom.

So there you have it. A round up of some fun foodie gifts for your special mom, grandmother, mother-in-law or any other special lady in your life. How will you be spending this Mother's Day?