Love Apple Cupcake??

Love Apple Cupcake? Not on my Watch!

What could possibly be more appropriate for Valentines Day than something so romantically named as a love apple cupcake. Cupid could trade in his arrows for a batch of these passionate sounding treats. Ah, love, puppy love, true love, love poems, love songs, Love don’t cost a thing! But love apple? In a cupcake, really? Not on my watch, because this tempting fruit of love is not an apple at all, but a tomato!
That’s right, the confused red headed step son of the fruit family is not a crispy sweet apple, but a gnarly sandwich friendly beefsteak. From my kitchen that deceptive chameleon of a fruit/vegetable will not be found in a cupcake. Not on my watch! Now I admit I am not well versed in botanical history but it seems to me that the tomato is somewhat of an outcast. What dastardly evil deed must the tomato have committed against the vegetable brethren to have it excommunicated and forced to live out its existence living within the fruit family. What heinous crime has the ever popular tomato committed to be sentenced to a life of exile from its rightful place in the vegetable kingdom? Could it be the culprit that made mini cabbages sprout in Brussels? Did the tomato cause the beet to see red, or turn the chards so bitter? What could this star of pizza and pasta possibly have done?
Whatever its infraction it does have a lesser known partner in the crime family of fruits, the greenbean. (don’t get your hopes up for a greenbean cupcake either) Also techniquely a fruit the green bean seems to get way less notoriety as a mislabeled food. Perhaps its after being force fed this fruit disguised as a vegetable in its most rudimentary pabulum stage when we were Gerber babies leaves us unenthusiastic to its state of being. Perhaps it just flies under the radar or maybe its skinny self has left us a bad taste in our mouths. No matter, neither fruit will ever be found in its rightful place in supermarket produce sections, they will be left to sit amongst veggies and live out their lives ostracized by their fellow fruits who, rightly so, feel betrayed.
But back to the popular hamburger and sandwich accompaniment, our tomato. Let face it, we all treat it as if it is a vegetable. Yet despite being used exclusively in vegetable preparations by culinaryians the scientific community refuses to acknowledge its status as anything other than a savory fruit. Try as it may our androgynous treat looks, tastes, even feels like a vegetable. But alas poor beefsteak, though Horatio knew you well you remain a fruit. Never part of any ensemble cast of fruit flavored candy treats of chewing gums. Never a mention in the jelly bean world. No tomato flavored cough syrup. But that’s like comparing apples to green beans, and that information ain’t worth a hill of oranges.
While I am not usually one to jump on any kind of bandwagons I am ashamed to admit that I too have disregarded its natural born status and used the tomato as nothing other than a lost soul of a vegetable trapped in a fruits body and it will never appear in a cupcake. Did I say never? Here at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes we never say never!
All things considered the tomato has risen above the pomp and circumstance and taken its place as an edible chameleon and keeps its true identity discrete. Besides, there is one thing the misunderstood vegetablesque fruit can boast amongst those who are aware of its authentic beginnings. It is the center piece of a very wise proverb. Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is actually a fruit and not a vegetable, but wisdom is knowing that the tomato does not belong in your fruit salad.
Enjoy Valentines and every other day, and share the love… PEACE

Baked With Love

I don’t use recipes because I am an existential cook. For me recipes are merely suggestions, a list of potential ingredients with chronological preparation instructions most commonly used for a successful reproduction of a culinary creation. I didn’t stay in the lines when I colored (or color with conventional pigments for that matter) and I have problems following directions. Not jut the “guys never ask for directions”, or throw out the directions and put furniture together incorrectly type of following. Although I will confess to harboring both of those qualities I mean recipe directions. As an existentialist I cannot in good conscience merely make a replica of a dish, I have a burning desire bordering on an intense need to recreate said taste temptations on my own terms. In addition recipes invariably ignore the intangible ingredients and techniques. That’s not meant as a put down, I would be hard pressed on how to integrate ingredients that are metaphoric or theoretic in nature in my lists. I am speaking of the intangibles of human emotion. That and my belief that the universe has the power to effect balance on levels we will never understand. So how many teaspoons of humor should one add to insert a touch of whimsy to the dish. One cup of what exactly will cause the one enjoying the creation to smile involuntarily. The use of emotional ingredients is out there in the universe waiting for the enlightened cook to grab its gusto and impart it into the organic creations of our trade. Of course the one emotional ingredient many of us are already familiar with (maybe even on a sub-conscious level) has been implemented by our own mothers for as long as we can remember. Love.
.No doubt Moms add lots of love to whatever they make. Damn Mom, how come everything tastes so much better when you make it? What cosmically balanced secret ingredient do you add? My Mom always told me she “added TLC”. Much more effective and safe than MSG, she imparted TLC, Tender Loving Care. Moms instinctively know how to add love to everything they make and you won’t find it in on any shelf in the supermarket, or on any recipe page. Not even her “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook“, or “The Joy of Cooking” list TLC in the recipes . When I graduated from CIA I fancied myself a superb chef already. Damn I thought, I learned so much and now I am a helluva cook. I couldn’t wait to show off, especially to my Mom, who was so profoundly proud that her number 5 son was a chef. I dazzled the family with chateaubriand and béarnaise sauce, pommes Anna, and a gratin of roasted veggies. Not to toot my own cornucopia but that dinner was the shit (that’s a good thing). Something however seemed missing. Something always present in Moms dinners was void in mine. I was humbled and to this day I make it a point to NEVER compete with a mother in cooking. My dinner, while tasty as all hell (again, good), had a distinctive aftertaste of cockiness and arrogance (not good). It didn’t ruin the dish but it did make me aware that whatever Zen I put into came my food will come out of it. That’s when I began my quest to use my existential philosophies as an ingredient and apply them whenever possible to my techniques and recipes, or “Lists of Ingredients“. That’s how I use existentialism and positive emotions in my kitchen and when sharing lists or suggestions of preparations.
In my professional kitchen that’s a more difficult task than it would seem. As chef I am not only in charge of my own Karma, but the Karma of my staff as well. For starter I never allow them to call me boss, because that would suggest that I am in some way superior. On a person to person level we are equal, I am merely the guide an the one who will take responsibility for the good, the bad, and the ugly. I would estimate that 95% of kitchens I worked in over the years, while sharing many a laugh was a personal hell to work in. I have been called names that could make a beet blush and in at least four different languages. I was a ’Grand Pederast”, a “Puttana Basterdo”, a “Pendejo”, and a “Gamozo (still not sure what that means). After years of humiliation and dehumanization I made a conscience choice to run my kitchen empathetically and effectively. I have empowered my staff, taught them all to be pro-active, and they follow my lea of being result oriented as opposed to the blame and discipline oriented philosophy I grew up in. As a result my kitchen and my staff remain as positively focused as possible. Mistakes are still made, but instead of trying to hide them they ask what they can do to fix it. That small piece of good feeling and positive vibration are a key ingredient in our cupcakes. When we say they are baked with love, its not just a tagline. Our goal is to make good feelings come out of every bite. It’s about Love!
Love is by far the most mysterious and powerful of our emotions. Love can be mis-used, abused, refused, and bemused. Love can enhance you chance, put you in a trance, make you dance, and take a stance. When you are in it about nothing else matters, and if it lasts you are as lucky as one can get. On Thursday we all have the opportunity to express this mysterious emotion collectively. Like noetic science which studies the power of collective conscience we all share the power of love on the same day. Valentines day is the one day of the year we can all align our Jupiter’s with Mars and allow love to steer the stars. Power in numbers. That’s why it’s important to get it right. So starting Wednesday, Mistress day…(I don’t make this crap up don’t shoot the messenger) we will have an array of treats with an extra concentration of love from the kitchen, prepared with passion and caring. We throw in a little whimsy as well.
Now comes the shameless plug, the moment of truth for Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes. Of course I use only the freshest and most aphrodisiac enhanced ingredients, and I always bake with love and passion and what one puts into cooking come out ion the eating. So just bringing home some of our delicious stuffed cupcakes will open some doors, but here at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes we are true romantics at heart (get it??) Therefore we are offering some extra special valentine choices. If you don’t celebrate, of if you find yourself alone on valentines day we have you covered as well. So here they are.
In addition to our crowd pleasing Red Velvet and our assortment of delectable chocolate and vanilla cupcakes we are offering some lovers specials. The “C’mon Baby Do the Casanova” is a vanilla cupcake stuffed with banana’s foster (banana’ cooked in spice rum) and vanilla cinnamon icing which has been falsely reported as the treat Casanova used to seduce Brazilian Bossa Nova dancers. Brining cupcake love to a new level is our “Just Like Romeo And Juliet“, an Amaretto cupcake stuffed with a raspberry champagne custard and covered with a sensuous dark chocolate icing. And speaking of Elvis we will have the “All Shook Up“, a banana chocolate chip cupcake stuffed with peanut butter mouse an topped off with vanilla icing. The perfect compliment for your little “Teddy Bear”. In addition to just cupcakes we will have some other creative and seductive treats including our annual tradition of fresh strawberries dipped in Belgian Chocolate or White Chocolate.
Like I said, if you don’t like Valentines Day and don’t celebrate it or are in between relationships we have you covered as well with two special Anti-Valentine Day cupcakes. Buck the tradition with the all new “Love Stinks” the cupcake inspired from the classic cliché of sitting on the couch dipping a cookie into an ice cream sundae to peel away the guilt laden layers of being a solo artist, it’s a half chocolate half vanilla cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie baked into the center, covered in chocolate whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It’s a cupcake that simply drips of self indulgent bliss! Even if your not alone this is a crazy good treat because even if love does stink, the cupcake does not! The other Anti-Valentine Day cupcake is the “Emotional Rescue” a cupcake originally designed to offer a bit of emotional rescue to some special friends who needed it. The Emotional Rescue is a red velvet cupcake filled with Heath bar custard an finished off with a cherry brandy whipped cream. I have no doubt The Rolling Stones would be proud to sing a song about it.
Have a fantastic Valentines day and fill all your days with lots and lots of love……PEACE

Cupcakes and Valentines

The Passions of the Cupcake

Brrr. As the cold settles in and forces us into hot chocolate mode I am reminded we have a special day coming soon that will warm us up. Warm our hearts up anyway. I speak of course of that special one day in February celebrating a romantic festival of love. Valentines day! St.Valentines Day to be auto correct, which as I hope you know is quite different from autoeroticism which of course is the act of having sex with a car. But I digress, back to the big day. Historic reports of this particular globally celebrated love fest stretch way back, as do many of our traditions, to a celebration of pre AD Pagans. The celebration was said to have started in ancient Rome and was a five day festival from Feb 13th to Feb 18th. It’s unclear if it was wolves or humans but that was believed to be the ultimate annual epoch of fertility opportunity back then. It’s obvious they relied on the rhythm method. But like most other celebrations of that time it didn’t involve the exchange of cards and gifts or flowers, candy, and dinner. It centered around sacrificial slaughtering. Fortunately around AD 269 (you can’t make these dates up!) a more modern version of the celebration of love took flight. Updated by St Valentine of Rome (not Rudolf Valentino like my idiot brother convinced me of many years ago) the expression of love week was forged into a civilized celebration. It was inverted into a single day celebration in part to discredit Paganism, and in part to immortalize the execution of St Valentine who was persecuted for being Christian. Rumor has it he sent a letter to the daughter of his jailer and signed it “Your Valentine” Apparently that is the reason for exchanging cards, and calling the one you love your “valentine”. So romantic!!
Brrrr. It’s still cold. So that’s the condensed version of the history of Valentines Day. I’m not totally convinced about the card exchange thing cuz it sounds more like Hallmark Hall of Fames historic account. But since it’s cold and I need to keep typing to stay warm I think I will look into some of the other symbols and traditions of the day of love. Cupid, Roses, hearts, doves, note exchanging, Flowers, candy, and of course food (yes, including cupcakes). Why do these things seem synonymous with February 14th?
Brrr. It’s still cold. While the Superbo, oops I mean the Big Game (no lawsuits please) may pump up even the most scrawny fan into a ball of fiery hot fury and anger that is merely a temporary feeling of warmth. There is however coming however a heartbeat of hope and a body warming celebration. That’s right Valentines day is jogging around the corner getting ready to break into a sprint. What is it about this day anyway? And cupid, how on earth did a diaper clad child sporting a bow and arrow become such an influential icon of love? Cupid it turns out is the son of Venus, which in and of itself is pretty impressive. In Roman mythology Cupid is the God of erotic love and the name Cupid translated from Latin means desire. Carpe Cupid! Cupid represents to us the ultimate love inducer. Personally I believe the whole diaper thing was more a warning of what may occur if the passions are left unchecked completely. Legend is that Cupid did in fact allow passion to get the better of himself by pricking (no snickering please!) himself with an arrow an falling in love with Psyche. They had a female child they named Voluptas. Go figure! The image of Cupid has wings apparently so love can take flight once the arrows have hit their mark. Oh yes, the arrows! I’ll leave it up to you as to the exact significance of the arrows but suffice to say whether the arrows are one in a million of swimming omelet searching fertilzers or the more obvious looking phallic aperture ever, it’s believed that whatever one of those arrows hits its mark all control is lost. In short, once the pointed figure is shot an penetrates a female she will fall helplessly in love. Damn that’s one big, um…. ego!!
Enough on Cupid though, there’s more to Valentines Day then a half naked brat shooting arrows around. Why is everything associated with love heart shaped? Hot tubs, beds, pillows, all kinds of kinky heart shaped love paraphernalia. Hundreds of heart shaped boxes of candy will be bought and many a name in heart tattoo will be etched into the skin to profess eternal love. Why the heart? It seems the symbol goes back to Aristotle who determined the beating thing in one chest must be the center of emotion, thought and reason. But since surgeons hadn’t been invented yet there is no way they could have determined the shape of the blood pumping muscle that pulses life through our bodies. Popular belief is it resembles a flower or plant which was used as an herbal contraceptive. No matter, today the heart stands strong as a symbol of romance and love.
Not surprising it may have been designed after the shape of a flower. Flowers have always represented passion for humans. The beautiful aromas can sneak their way up into the olfactory glands and put us in the mood. Well it works for bees anyway, who are attracted sexually to the scents given off by flowers, and then one look at the unabashed beauty hanging out on a plant sends the bee into a visual frenzy of apiary sexual desire. And why not, flowers proudly display their genitalia out in the open for all to see and appreciate. That’s right, flowers let it all proudly and even salaciously hang out for any an all viewers pleasure. Easy to figure out now why we give our loves bouquets of beautiful flowers, but this added bit of information also makes us aware of the importance of choosing the right flowers to put in bouquet for the desired effect. Roses are the most often chosen flower because it was believed to have been the favorite of the Goddess Venus, who reportedly gave many to her son, our old pal Cupid!
Back to the day itself. I have watched Valentines Day evolve since I could walk. Back in Elementary school I went out and got a package of tiny valentine cards and was instructed by Mom to give one to each girl in my class, and my teacher if it were a woman. (Mr. Thompson and Mr. Williams didn’t want them from me anyway) If there was one special girl in class, I would buy a box of heart candies and blush as I read the inscription before offering her one. If she batted her eyelashes my vocal chords and my dignity would go away on vacation until I could get hold on my out of control beating heart. Back to the heart again? Those days of innocent Valentine celebrations are long gone. Over the years it became essential to up my valentine game. I have employed all the basic techniques that have been suggested over the years which we have all used. The number one hope of ecstasy practice used as an adult has always been food, which is where my specialty really lies. So before I tell you what treats We will be offering up, a little bit about food an how it figures into romance. One word in particular comes to mind. Aphrodisiacs.
To assist lovers on this day of burning passions and anticipation of desire fulfillment we in the food industry have scoured the culinary horizons in search of natures most effective consumable aphrodisiac’s. Asparagus, oysters, chocolate, cinnamon, avocados, ginger root, truffle, and pomegranates top the list of mood enhancing foods. Many of these foods reported to increase sexual appetite. The only proven and effective consumable products are chocolate covered Viagra, or Caramel coated Levitra, but lets see what help nature can give us in following natures course. Like the floral sex flaunting bouquets of flowers, food can increase sexual desire due to appearance and smell. Foods also has the extra advantage of taste to make us happy and a sense of comfort and satisfaction. In addition to just plain making us feel good some foods have nutrients or other substances that can have a physiologic effect on the body. Foods that can act as aphrodisiacs get blood flowing, hopefully to the appropriate areas. Others simply release hormones which make us feel……happy. Spicy foods get the blood pumping and activate the sweat glands. Oysters and other seafood are vital to the thyroid gland which is essential for energy, especially sexually charged energy. Chocolate and ginger root provide blood flow and may be what adds spring to ones step. The other usual suspects of sexual awareness are either a phallic visual aid or an aromatic gland enticing culprit, but nothing is proven as a 100% sure thing. That my friends, is where you come in. The correct amount of attention, an exclamation of how deeply you love, holding hands, affectionate kisses, and a few well placed compliments are your best chance of making Valentines day a successful night of love. But get a present as well so as not to seem insensitive.
Now comes the shameless plug, the moment of truth for Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes. Of course I use only the freshest and most aphrodisiac enhanced ingredients, and I always bake with love and passion and what one puts into cooking come out ion the eating. So just bringing home some of our delicious stuffed cupcakes will open some doors, but here at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes we are true romantics at heart (get it??) Therefore we are offering some extra special valentine choices. If you don’t celebrate, of if you find yourself alone on valentines day we have you covered as well. So here they are.
In addition to our crowd pleasing Red Velvet and our assortment of delectable chocolate and vanilla cupcakes we are offering some lovers specials. The “C’mon Baby Do the Casanova” is a vanilla cupcake stuffed with banana’s foster (banana’ cooked in spice rum) and vanilla cinnamon icing which has been falsely reported as the treat Casanova used to seduce Brazilian Bossa Nova dancers. Brining cupcake love to a new level is our “Just Like Romeo And Juliet“, an Amaretto cupcake stuffed with a raspberry champagne custard and covered with a sensuous dark chocolate icing. And speaking of Elvis we will have the “All Shook Up“, a banana chocolate chip cupcake stuffed with peanut butter mouse an topped off with vanilla icing. The perfect compliment for your little “Teddy Bear”. In addition to just cupcakes we will have some other creative and seductive treats including our annual tradition of fresh strawberries dipped in Belgian Chocolate or White Chocolate.
Like I said, if you don’t like Valentines Day and don’t celebrate it or are in between relationships we have you covered as well with two special Anti-Valentine Day cupcakes. Buck the tradition with the all new “Love Stinks” the cupcake inspired from the classic cliché of sitting on the couch dipping a cookie into an ice cream sundae to peel away the guilt laden layers of being a solo artist, it’s a half chocolate half vanilla cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie baked into the center, covered in chocolate whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It’s a cupcake that simply drips of self indulgent bliss! Even if your not alone this is a crazy good treat because even if love does stink, the cupcake does not! The other Anti-Valentine Day cupcake is the “Emotional Rescue” a cupcake originally designed to offer a bit of emotional rescue to some special friends who needed it. The Emotional Rescue is a red velvet cupcake filled with Heath bar custard an finished off with a cherry brandy whipped cream. I have no doubt The Rolling Stones would be proud to sing a song about it.
So there it is, my soliloquy on the annual celebration of love we know as Valentines Day. Take it from me though, limiting your expression of love to a single day is not enough. Like life, love is incredibly precious and fragile and if you are fortunate enough to have it in your life you should nourish it and appreciate it every single day. Don’t merely say the words, follow them up with action. I leave you with a single line from one of my favorite lyrics from a Grateful Dead song professing the importance of love….“Without love day to day insanity’s king.” Stay sane my friends, hold on to love with all your might, but don’t keep it to yourself, share it!………PEACE