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Saturday, April 11, 2009

That Takes The Cake: Cupcakes in SF

My mother is Catholic, so we have always celebrated Easter. And when it came time for The Easter Basket, she was always a big fan of that colored, shredded cellophane--gool ol' easter grass that you could buy at K-Mart for 99 cents a bag. (Nowadays, its more earth-friendly and green to use shredded recycled paper as easter grass) Besides the purple or blue or green or pink colored grass, the basket was always filled with the usual suspects: marshmallow peeps, M&M's, Whopper Robin Eggs, chocolate-shaped bunnies (I never understood the allure of those), jelly beans and whatever egg-shaped candy had been on clearance sale.

Now, please don't judge me, but I believe I was about eleven or twelve years old when I announced that I no longer wanted a basket full of cheap candy and started asking for pricey fruit baskets from Harry & David. I think I had first come across some fruit shipped from Harry & David from a gift basket one of my parents had received and I remember thinking "this is the best pear I have ever tasted!" In fact, I became so enamoured with these fruit baskets that I promised myself that, when I got married, I would register for or request the Fruit of the Month Club where a box of seasonal fruit would be delivered monthly to my home for an entire year! I still feel starry-eyed about such a thing and I hope I do get it someday, even if it requires ordering it for myself!

My Saturday was filled with errands. Not necessarily in preparation for Easter Brunch, but more because being a working girl doesn't leave much time for anything else so all errands get pushed to the weekend. I purchased some fancy Saucony running shoes from this awesome Noe Valley store called See Jane Run (and one of these nifty gadgets for rolling over tight calf muscles). I was long overdue for proper new shoes. In fact, the girl helping me with my fitting was unmistakably angry at me for even showing her my 6-year-old New Balance shoes. I got a good scolding, nodded my head, swiped my credit card and promised I would never insult her by doing such a horrific thing again. I then went to Trader Joe's to get groceries for the week so I can take yummy lunches with me to 1) motivate me to get through the day and 2) help me avoid eating out for lunch.

And then I treated myself to a red velvet cupcake (aka Gentlemen Prefer Reds) from That Takes The Cake in the Marina.I am a big fan of red velvet cupcakes-and might even go so far as saying I am a red velvet cupcake conoisseur (so far, no cake has outshined the red velvet cake this woman made on special order for my brother's wedding). But, this one, at $2.95 a piece, was absolutely delicious. The cake was incredibly moist (the tricky part with this kind of cake) with a buttery, deep red crumb that sticks to your fingertips. The cream cheese frosting was amazing--not too sweet and very smooth and creamy. They also sold a tiny mini version for $1.50 that constitutes about half of one bite, which, to be honest, would just make me plain mad. I want to savor multiple bites--lots of delicious cupcake bites in rapid succession. Oh, and if you aren't familiar with this cake flavor, the secret is in the cocoa powder...

All in all, it was a lovely Saturday to welcome the arrival of Spring (which, incidentally, is also asparagus and artichoke season!!!).

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

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