Okay, maybe that whole MAPS project, or Core to Shore deserves a little more immediate attention, but I'm willing to pay money to get rid of 98.9 and 102.7 altogether. Which is why I refuse them the pleasure of annoying my ear drums on a regular basis. So, I've turned to NPR.
Anyway, yesterday I was listening to the "All Things Considered" program on NPR, and Lynn Neary (the host) was talking with Phil Vettel (restaurant critic from the Chicago Tribune) about the most annoying cliches used on restaurant menus. You know, things like "grilled to perfection," and "world famous." I would hope that they strive to make every item "to perfection" without having to tell me that it's going to be perfect. And how do they know their food is "world famous?" Did they travel across the globe spreading the word of their "mouthwatering, fall off the bone, BBQ ribs?" Probably not. Anyway, the whole thing was pretty entertaining, although they never got around to actually telling us the nine phrases they'd like banned from menus, which was the whole point of the story. But, maybe there's a book I'm supposed to buy for those answers, and I'm really not that interested.
But it did get me thinking about the phrases that I find most annoying on menus. For me, it's the "Gobble Gobble" at Louie's. It's a turkey sandwich, plain and simple. And it's probably my favorite item on the menu, but I rarely order it because I feel like such an idiot saying "I'll have the Gobble Gobble, please." Another bad one is the "Cluck n' Oink" from Red Rock. Why can't it just say something simple, like "chicken and pork chops?" That is what it is, after all, and their food is so good, it really doesn't require any extra fluff with stupid names.
So what does any of this have to do with these beautiful cupcakes? Nothing. Except that I will promise to never use some ridiculous name for anything I make, unless it really is "the most amazing, insanely delicious, death-by-chocolate piece of cake in all the Universe." Then it might be acceptable.
The Best Vanilla Frosting in the World: (not really, but it is The Best Vanilla Frosting I've Made Yet)
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp. (But not mushy, you want it just at room temperature.)
1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted. (Take the time to sift it, it really makes a difference)
1/2 tsp (+ a little tiny splash) pure vanilla extract
Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium and add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. After every two additions, turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for about 10 seconds. This helps make the frosting really fluffy. The whole process of adding the sugar should take about 5 minutes. Unless you're in a hurry, like I usually am.
After all the sugar is added, add the vanilla and beat until incorporated and frosting is smooth. Use immediately or store in fridge for up to 10 days.
Happy Engagement, Michelle and Briggs! I loved getting to be a part of your kick-off party and can't wait for all the celebrations to continue! I love you both!
1. Hazelnut coffee
2. The 3/50 Project. Check it out, and support your local businesses.
3. New stationary.
4. Finding hidden love notes that my dada wrote my grandmother.