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The Uncommon Life

Sweet Treats Week: Recipe #4

July 23, 2010

I love buying my groceries from the farmers who actually grew it.

Strawberry image by Bahadorjn, posted under a Creative Commons License

I just started going to the farmers market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. In the past I’ve frequented markets in Carrboro, NC, DC and Vermont.  It can be hard to get up on a Saturday morning, but it’s worth it. Just check out this video of the farmers market in Burlington, VT!

But once I get home, I’m stumped. I just bought 3 lbs of strawberries! What do I do?

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Recipe: Fried Pickles

July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone!

Don’t you just love going to county fairs and seeing the frying cart where they fry everything from candy bars to pickles to Oreos to Twinkies…it’s gross, delicious and fascinating all at once! In honor of the wonderful American tradition of frying, my boyfriend Chris and I decided to fry a jar of the People’s Pickles (an extremely appropriate democratic name) and chow down on this all-American delicacy.

Let’s get started!

Fried Pickles


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The Uncommon Life

Gift Lab #5: Kira’s cupcake craziness

June 9, 2010

1) Product Name: Cupcake Corer and Decorating Set

Cucake corer and decorating kit

2) Background Research: I made Irish Carbomb Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day, and while they tasted great, they looked really sad — frosting in clumps or sliding off the cupcakes entirely! I like making cupcakes, but I shouldn’t have to convince everyone that they are, in fact, edible.

3) Hypothesis: If I use the cupcake corer and decorating set, my cupcakes will look just as delicious as they taste.

4) Experiment: Make the chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with caramel filling and chocolate frosting from the recipe booklet included with corer and decorating set.

5) Results: I couldn’t help but tweak the recipe, so I used 2/3 cup spelt flour and 1 cup all purpose flour, instead of just APF. Who says that cupcakes can’t be good for you? Also, the recipe mentions 2 tsp of vanilla extract, but the instructions don’t mention when to add it to the batter, so I included it after I added the eggs.

Cupcake Corer Decorating Set

It’s entirely possible that I have a freakishly small cupcake pan, but I ended up with a surplus of batter for the 12 cups.

Cupcake Corer Decorating Set

The instructions say to divide the batter equally between the 12 cups, and so I did, knowing in my heart that they were much too full. I couldn’t just let that delicious batter go down the drain; no, I had to make MONSTER cupcakes. Do not do what I did. This makes the cupcake cores really difficult to extract, since you can’t push the corer down far enough before the base of the corer hits the top of the cupcake. I ended up pushing down too hard on the cupcakes, which leaves a flower imprint on the top. Luckily, the icing could cover that up, leaving none the wiser.

Cupcake Corer Decorating Set

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The Uncommon Life

Easy As (Caramel) Pie

May 21, 2010


Last summer we sent an email about kitchen tools and, as a side note, included some incredibly tasty pie recipes from UG team members. After reading the email, I shared my “hillbilly caramel pie” process (it just doesn’t deserve to be called a recipe) with the creative team. It’s safe to say they were baffled, slightly disgusted and very intrigued.

In the past year, the legend of the “pie” was mentioned now and again, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that I decided to blow some minds by purchasing some cans of condensed milk – the key (and almost the only) ingredient in this delicious dessert. World — it’s time to share my culinary secret with you. And I beg of you, do not look up the calorie count.

Click here to get the delicious process

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