Archive | February 2012

Used Google street view

I will be relocating to Long beach California this summer and am currently searching for an apartment.

The problem is I have never been to long beach and have no idea what part of town would be best.

Thankfully we have google. I can find apartment complexes then cross reference their addresses on google maps and street view. I can see which neighborhoods have chain link around their yards and which have expansive lawns… always an indicator of the neighborhood’s priorities 🙂

 

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The Maple-Bacon Cupcake

Photo: Molly Rundberg

 

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For cupcakes:

1/2 pound thick cut bacon (about 8 to 10 strips)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. maple extract (found in the spice aisle)
Maple syrup, to garnish

For cinnamon buttercream:

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar (a little less than 1 pound)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
1 to 2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Directions
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Preheat oven to 375°. Lay bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside 2 pieces of the bacon for topping, and dice the rest.

Lower heat to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to butter mixture 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in 2 alternating batches, mixing well between additions. Then add vanilla and maple extracts and reserved diced bacon, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make cinnamon buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the cinnamon, adding more to taste.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the buttercream. Chop the reserved slices of bacon into 24 pieces and garnish each cupcake with a piece. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and serve. If not eating immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Recipe is from Oprah- find it here

Weird things to find on a dive

Took some fresh Open water students on a tour of Whytecliff Marine Park today when I noticed a peculiar piece of debris on the sandy bottom it looked like this:

What is it?

This object fits in the palm of my hand and is quite durable, as it doesn’t fall apart when handled.

I just learned what it was a week ago so I was pretty excited to show it to the new divers.

This strange spiral is a Moon snail egg cluster, like nudibranch they lay eggs in a ribbon but this ribbon contains sand and is not to a rock but left loose on the sandy bottom. Watch for them on your next dive!

I am wondering if they are seasonal since it is only recently that I have started noticing them.

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