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No house has truly been moved into until it has been cooked in and baked in.  At least, that’s how I feel.  Most of my stuff has found its little nooks and crannies and shelves and boxes.  There are the projects that need to be done, but mostly, everything is settling down.  So, it was time for some food to happen.

I am not much for cooking.  Baking is my thing.  Sugar, chocolate, frosting… but I also have developed a strange adoration for garlic.  This means that I have to actually cook sometimes.  So for dinner the other night, Erik and I combined our skills (he is much more the cook) and came up with a creamy garlic shrimp over fettucine with my favorite roasted broccoli.

I love shrimp (though I hate taking their nasty little shells and legs off).  Back in Spain, Rachel and I got their famous paella in Valencia.  It came with a couple of the little critters, claws, antennae, eyeballs and all.

The shrimp I bought at the seafood counter at Kroger was not nearly so… intact… but they had little prickly legs still intact. I bravely took them off and the meal was definitely worth it.  This is the recipe I followed for the Crispy Shrimp Pasta.  It turned out, I must say, absolutely fabulously.

But, the star of many a meal for me, starting in Scotland, has been the roast broccoli.  It is called the “Best Broccoli of Your Life” and I think that’s a fair definition.  You toss it with olive oil, sliced garlic, and salt and pepper; you roast it until it’s crispy and delicious; and then you zest lemon over it and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

I know.  Ridiculous.  And you can use the same method with carrots and potatoes!  (Those have to be cooked about ten minutes longer though, so I often toss them in earlier and add the broccoli later)

I exalted in the success of our dinner.  But like I said, it’s the desserts that I love to make.  I’m particularly fixated on cupcakes.  The problem is, I have trouble finding new cupcakes that I really like.  I always go back to those same old chocolate or vanilla or carrot or whatever.

But I happened upon a salted caramel frosting and thought, hey, that might be kind of fun.

The best part was making the actual caramel.  I’ve never done that before!  It was delicious and I just wanted to put it in a bowl and dip apples in it.  Alas, it was sacrificed to cupcake frosting.  I know, a huge sacrifice, indeed.

The frosting recipe is here.  I actually used a different chocolate cake recipe that I am particularly fond of, though the one linked with the caramel frosting could be perfectly delicious as well.   But Erik and I have recently been watching a lot of Cupcake Wars and they always put fillings in their cupcakes.

So I put a chocolate mousse filling in mine (this Hershey’s recipe had a whole cake/frosting/mousse recipe, but I just wanted the mousse!).  I think that kicked them up a notch.  The chocolate mousse made far too much for cupcake filling, so I just had to eat small dishes of it plain to get rid of it.  I suffered so… 

So, our house has truly been inaugurated (at least for me) into a home.  Dinner has been cooked and, more importantly still, cupcakes have been baked.

These cupcakes were being taken off to a writer’s group get together when the entire cupcake carrier was upset (by Erik, I’d like to point out, not me) in the car.  So, the perfectly perfect little dollops of frosting became smushy, mushy glops.  Luckily, taste is not so easily upset, so they were still gobbled up at our writer’s group.  Lesson learned: carry cupcakes in lap instead of back of car.

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