Double Baby Crack (Or Books for Beau and Bay!)

If you read my post about my westside weekend, you probably remember that I promised you pics of Tony’s scrumptious twins, Beau and Bay.

They got baptized at All Saints Episcopal in Beverly Hills last weekend, so I finally have pics galore.

This one might be my favorite.

I probably don’t have to tell you why…

This might be my favorite.

It’s two hot guys holding babies.

Duh.

Absolutely everyone had to get in on the baby action because… BABIES ARE CRACK.

Here’s Nicole freebasing on Bay.

Nicole's a natural.

Who could blame her? Bay is amazing.

Do you know what else is amazing?

Nicole and I accidentally almost matched.

See?

Here we are getting photo bombed by the babies' godparents.

Here we are getting photo bombed by the babies’ godparents.

Humor is a prerequisite for shepherding someone’s soul in my book, which is why my friends are fun.

I mean, they are responsible for the kids' souls and stuff.

Here are the godparents looking more serious about their duties for a minute.

After the ceremony, we all went back to Tony’s beach house for fried chicken and red velvet cake because Tony’s from Tennessee, and you can always count on the south to rise again at his place. (I would have taken a photo of my chicken, but I ate it too fast.)

After cleaning Tony out of deep fried food, I stole his baby.

But I wasn't the worst.

I may have mainlined.

But because my mom taught me to share, I let my cousin Maddie get her baby fix too.

Maddie gets babies.

I hope I didn’t get her hooked.

I didn’t think it would be right to eat all of Tony’s fried food AND takes his kids without leaving something behind, so I bought books for the babies that had special meaning for me and my family.

(You can find the posts about the books on my other blog here.)

BookS!

Peter Rabbit + Peter Spier = ❤

And because I LOVE making gifts look fancy-ish, I wrapped them in brown paper, tied them with brightly colored ribbons, and made my own gift tag.

See?

I love brown paper.

I don’t care what anyone says. Appearances matter. That’s why I get so excited about gift wrap.

OK, I’m off to check on my Spicy Calabrian Pork Ribs now.

I’m STARVING!!!

Peter Pan Party Aftermath Post 3 (Or How to Make Strawberry Cupcakes)

You must make these cupcakes. I speak the truth.

There are few things on earth I love more than cilantro and strawberries. Not necessarily together, mind you, though that might be worth trying….

As a kid, I ate strawberries right out of our garden – even when they were slightly green. (I was weird. Still am.) When given a choice of ice cream flavors, I’d pass up chocolate every time and pick strawberry. I still do.

OK, you get it. I dig strawberries. So, for my totally out of control birthday dessert bar (err, round table — there was an incident), obviously I had to make strawberry cupcakes.

I need to get photoshop so I can fix my food photos — Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition style.

To make sure I actually got to eat one at my party, I carried that sweet little confection around for an hour until I was ready to eat it. It went everywhere with me as I table-hopped like that stupid garden gnome in Amelie.

So, here’s how you make these round bits of heaven:

The strawberry cupcake recipe can be found on Martha Stewart’s site here. (I recommend following the instructions precisely — especially when it comes to sifting the flour and using eggs and butter at room temperature. It makes a big difference.)

The recipe is actually from Sprinkles, the famous Beverly Hills bakery that Barbra Streisand frequents. (True story.) Since I don’t necessarily care for the sweet butter cream frostings they often use (or any butter cream for that matter), I invented my own strawberry mascarpone frosting.

The recipe is below.

Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

1/3 C strawberries, finely chopped
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of kosher salt

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz mascarpone

Blend strawberries, 1/3 C powdered sugar, salt, and lemon juice in food processer. Allow the mixture to sit for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the cream cheese and butter with the paddle attachment of your mixer. Add 1 1/4 C of powdered sugar and blend completely. (Sifting the sugar prevents large clumps from forming in your frosting. It’s worth the extra effort.) Add vanilla and the strawberry puree. Mix to blend. Add the mascarpone and blend on low speed. (You have to be careful not to beat the mascarpone too much because it curdles if you do.)

Place the frosting in the refrigerator until it is the proper consistency for spreading. (About 15-20 minutes.)

Note: Because the recipe calls for strawberry puree, the frosting cannot sit out too long or it will lose some of its firmness. It’s best to frost the cupcakes shortly before serving or keep them covered and refrigerated.

Tomorrow I’ll hook you up with the banana cupcake recipe — and my salsa verde recipe — so you can see my love of cilantro in action.

And now back to my thank you notes because this spoiled birthday brat got lots of loot.

Drills, booze, flowers, and aprons. People get me.