Sunday, November 6, 2011

Constant Craving.

I wanted to write a post about something important, but I'm too mad at Greece right now (even though they have given us Homer and spanakopita and Athena and lots of cool stuff in the sciences and philosophy.) I guess those who decided a European Union was a good idea never had the experience of doing a group project at school. Anyone who has embarked upon such lunacy knows it never works. Someone always pulls most of the weight, and there is some loafer who never shows up to any of the meetings, because they know someone else will pick up the slack, lest the grade of the entire group plummet into oblivion. Now, I am not calling the Greeks slackers! My Mediterranean cousins are a group of smart, swarthy intellects! However, I think living on the Med makes you a bit nuts in some way. Maybe it's the clear blue skies and the glassy, warm water, I don't know. Anyhow, I am not here to talk about global finance! This week I'm going to write about something else the Mediterranean folk share a passion for (besides loud fights that go nowhere and everyone wanting to be the boss): food.

I have been cooking a lot the last few weeks, and here I will show a few of the fruits of my labors. Just to show off, if I am honest. Also, because it's kind of an easy out, isn't it?

The above: red velvet cupcakes I made for a birthday. 

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Spiced Chipotle Cream and Pepitas (Pumpkin Seed)

Polpette for Meatball Subs 

S'Mores Cupcakes (chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes with graham cracker crust and homemade roasted marshmallow topping)

Pina Colada Cupcakes (coconut cake filled with homemade pineapple curd and topped with a coconut buttercream frosting)

S'Mores Cupcakes (again! different party....) and Cherry Limeade Cupcakes (Hello, Girl Wizard!)

Spiced Quince Compote (I bought too many quinces and had to do SOMETHING with them.) The flecks aren't dirt, I swear. They are vanilla bean, cardamom, and clove, along with cinnamon and ginger.

Spicy Red Pepper Jelly

Caramel Apple Cupcakes (with homemade caramel and apple chips)

Almond Joy Cupcakes (coconut almond cake with chocolate ganache and coconut almond buttercream, toasted coconut and almonds)

And, because Suze so kindly dedicated a blog post partially to me, and begged me to post these, here you go. Don't laugh! The above is the outfit I gave out candy in on Halloween. (The package said "Gretchen" on it...)

And here is one I wore to a costume party. And, James Littlejohn, I know you may mock me for it (I think there may have been an Open Letter to Girls Who Take Pictures in Mirrors With Cellphones) but I am taking a chance.


  1. Hello Maggie:
    Such wonderful looking cakes, and in such quantity. Do you, we wonder, make them professionally for they look rather like the kinds of things one might expect to find in a very expensive and exclusive patisserie?

    The costumes are great fun. How brave of you!

  2. Hello, Jane and Lance!

    Thank you! I joke that I have a speakeasy pastry business (you have to know the special knock!)...I would love to have a "real" shop but it really is a horrendous amount of work - so I do it by special order, when asked, mostly for friends and friends-of-friends. It's funny - I can make some pretty complicated things, but don't ask me to make rice. It is my undoing.

    And yes, I am brave - don't know how many more years that will last! :)

  3. Hi

    What a lovely post, Maggie! It makes me feel very hungry! You must be an excellent cook! Your red velvet cupcakes and other cakes as well are incredibly beautiful. I wish I could have a bite. And you look really GREAT! I so enjoyed reading this post. Thank you!


    I almost fell out of my chair when I saw my cherry-limeade cupcakes!

    Mags, I want to try the spiced quince compote.

    You should post more often, seriously, I so loved this!

    And I'm with sapphire, this makes me feel very hungry (and you do look absolutely stunning, my dear friend. :) :) :))

  5. I had to enlarge every cupcake. I wish you lived close enough to make a BIG batch for me! The world might be in better shape if everyone had to have a cupcake and a cup of tea together before debating heavy financial issues.

  6. I was already hungry and now I am starving. Cupcakes are my weakness. I love to make them but mine look pretty amateur next to yours.

  7. You can't be real!! And I mean that in a good way. What movie did I just see about a chick who had a pastry shop....??? It was pretty good/funny, but with you in it, I'm convinced it would have been way more memorable.

    Wonderful cupcakes. I'm extremely impressed and frankly glad that I don't live anywhere near you.

    Oh and your song lists? What's more eclectic than 'eclectic'?

  8. Those caramel apple cupcakes look amazing!! (And this coming from an indifferent-to-cupcakes-type.) I think the reason why they look so tempting is because they remind me of MUFFINS, which I do love.

    As I scratch my head I wonder what Greece has to do with your frustration? Did they happen to come up with the idea of the European Union? Just hearing the word "Greece" makes me think of those wonderful "gyros." I know, I know, you don't care for lamb. :p

  9. After looking at those pictures again, I came to the conclusion that I would like to try the Almond Joy cupcakes, too. (It doesn't get any better than coconut and chocolate!)

    Love your sailor picture. I think my Open Letter would be to Girls Who Tempt Their Friends With Food Delicacies They Can't Try!

  10. Sapphire: Oh, thank you so much!

    Suze: I'll save you some compote. :) And if that is stunning, then I guess I'll just wear the sailor suit out and about, for no reason...

    Pondside. AGREED. I think there is hardly a chance you could truly be uncivil to someone after having shared a meal with them. Cupcakes for all!!

    Loree: I doubt it. Just use a piping bag. That's really the secret!

    Deborah: I am real! Yes! And always hungry...and "eclectic" is one of the best compliments ever!

    Lore: I just was at a birthday luncheon at a Greek restaurant today! (No gyros for me! you are right!)I guess I am just frustrated at how the world seems to be falling apart in general, and I am worried that the Greek debt crisis is just going to cause a domino effect where Italy and Spain will default next...currencies becoming devalued, a run on banks..the whole thing is frightening. But if anyone can stop it, Angela Merkel can! (Right??)

    As for cupcakes - believe it or not, I am not the biggest fan, either. I prefer something like a danish pastry, preferably filled with almond or apricot. Or both. I generally scrape off the frosting. I like fruit pies as well.

  11. Lore: I will have to figure out a way to get you some - maybe I will send some back with our friend next time she comes home for a visit! And as for "tempting friends with things they can't try" you meant food, right? Not sure after the compliment on my costume! ;-) Oh wait, you did say FOOD. Sorry!

  12. Dear Maggie,
    when I saw all those PERFECT cupcakes - and the amount of them - I scrolled back to your profile, thinking: what is her profession? Now I know it: "writer - baker - mieschief maker". Haha - the last you may have evoked with your comments on Greece (I don't read follower-comments before writing mine). In my profession (career-guidance) I had to write and teach colleagues from all over Germany in group-councelling - normally we have an hour for an individual, who can come again and again - and though I see some good points in groups, I would always prefer to get my work done by myself and individually (delegation is another theme - sounds so convincing, but, as I found out, often - not always - you need a lot of time for controlling the results then. Depends, as I think, on the people my federal office choose for a team. When I can choose the people I work with results are astonishing and it is a joy to work with them - otherwise the slackers you mentioned are in every group).
    You make our mouth water, dear Maggie - will you just post one of the cupcake receipes?

  13. Hi Maggie! Thanks a lot for visiting my blog, and don't worry because your Spanish is perfectly understandable. Hope you keep visiting ;)

  14. Caramel Apple cupcakes, I'm drooling. You are a prolific cake maker indeed. Love it :-)

  15. What an awesome and sweet post...yummmmmy. BTW, my mother is mad at Greece right now as well, so you are not alone.


  16. We have another match: k.d. lang, constant craving, and oh, boy, does it ever match the topic of this post! Every single thing you show here looks just delicious. That quince compote, ambrosial!

  17. Hello, Maggie Asfahani Hajj.

    Awe inspiring your works...

    Thank you for your love and sincerity.
    Have a good day.

    The traditional celebration, with kimono infants.

    Japanese colored leaves, in heartwarming space.

    The prayer for all peace.

    From Japan, ruma ❀

  18. Ok, the pictures are worth a thousand words alone on this post.
    And now I am mad at Greece...& hungry.
    Thanks. ~Mary

  19. that picture's fine. won't be made fun of because you kept the appropriate angles haha

  20. Sorry for the delay, folks...I was out of town!

    Britta: I will lead you to whatever recipe you like! To tell you the truth, most are online in some form or another. Or I take different ones and kind of combine them. I agree: when you can choose your own group, things tend to go more smoothly.

    Miriam: Well, you are welcome. And maybe I will just comment in English! My spoken Spanish is fine, but writing it is another story. Everything is in the present tense! :)

    Di: Wish I could send you one!

    Paula: Thanks for visiting! And can we be mad at Italy now, too? :)

    Susan: Thank you! And another match! I will work on getting more!

    Ruma, thank you for visiting. And thank you for prayers of peace, for all of us.

    FrankandMary: I read it as "mad at Greece and Hungary". Ha ha. I thought, "What did they do NOW?" :)

    James: Thank you! I am so glad you approve! :)