If at first you don’t succeed…

eat a bar of chocolate and try, try again.

I’ve never been much of a “cook.” I like stability in my life. I like that when I bake I know it’s very important to be pretty precise. You have to measure things like baking soda and salt and flour. I was always a “follow the rules” kind of gal. I follow recipes really well. Change scares me. The unknown scares me.

Me: “How much salt/pepper/rosemary/basil/garlic/awkward-spice-that-no-one-has-ever-heard-of did you throw in there?”

Shaun: “Oh, I don’t know.”

*insert me freaking out/throwing a tantrum/telling him next time he better write it down*

And then I got over it. I’d like to blame this photoboy who managed to convince me to put cilantro inside a cupcake. It tasted like a margarita. Try it sometime; I’ll even bake it for you.

And now, I’m obsessed with the unknown. Hibiscus? What would that taste like in a cookie? What if I add something sweet like raspberries or chocolate and throw it in a cupcake? How do I feel about lavender? Can I put it in a butter cream? What about bacon and chocolate and caramel in a cake?

All of this daydreaming and then I remember that I still have to teach Spanish in the morning. What if I just bribe them with cupcakes and they can teach themselves? No? Fine… I’ll teach Spanish and daydream about bacon and chocolate while I walk from one building to the next.

Speaking of flavors and spices, did you know there are so many kinds of peppercorns? Green ones and black ones and white ones and even pink ones. I mean, seriously, I’m a girl. Love me some pretty, bright pink. But in a peppercorn? Who invented that? Probably a girl who happens to be a culinary genius.

I’ve had this bag of pink peppercorns sitting on my counter for about a week. I’m told they taste excellent in brownies, but let’s face it, I’m on that cupcake bandwagon. They’re just so cute and little and perfectly fit in my mouth in about 3 bites. Sometimes 1 bite. Believe it. So I’ve embarked on an adventure this evening while the snow falls to the ground. Plus, I can do my snow-day-song-and-dance while the cupcakes are in the oven. Genius. If I have a snow day anytime this quarter, I’ll bake until my kitchen explodes and then try the bribing my students to teach themselves.

I used my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe, threw in a few crushed pink peppercorns and whipped up some ganache for good measure. Really I was just looking for an excuse to lick melted chocolate and whipping cream off a spoon. I’d probably have made a butter cream too except that my Kitchen Aid mixer is at Shaun’s house. I’m in serious love with my Kitchen Aid. I may have to brave the snow to go rescue it. It’s probably lonely and sad and thinks I’ve neglected it since I last used it on Sunday. It’s going to think I don’t love it. I guess we did give it plenty of lovin’ the other day.

Then it got bad. While 24 exams left to grade stared me in the face and Bobby Flay got his butt kicked on Iron Chef Challenge, I read a recipe that called for candied pink peppercorns. I licked washed the chocolate ganache off my fingers and jumped up to find sugar, water and another hearty helping of peppercorns.

Some of them may have fallen into the abyss. I certainly didn’t eat them.


Are you ready?

I have to wait until that silly boy with his fancy camera comes to take pictures of them because I am inept even with my dinky little teal blue camera. But get excited. They’re pretty sweet and spicy. Too bad they can’t grade my students’ exams. Why can’t I bake a cupcake that can do that?


Sweet AND Spicy

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One Response to If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. benawalters says:

    When I tried the sample you dropped off at the store it was like a revelation. These were amazing and truly original. Keep up the good work and as always thanks for using our spices.

    North Market Spices, Ltd.

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