Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Finding out someone’s favorite color doesn’t do much for me. “Oh teal? How interesting,” I say as I fall asleep standing up, collapsing into a heap and waiting for someone to kick me awake. But finding out someone’s favorite flavors is a different story. For my friend Michael’s birthday dinner, this past weekend, I texted his husband John to find out what kind of desserts he likes and John texted back: “He loves banana cream pie and pretty much anything peanut butter.” Banana and peanut butter: what a fascinating window into Michael’s soul! As I contemplated my own favorite dessert flavors (definitely anything almond; mostly because I grew up eating rainbow cookies which are made with almond paste), I started flipping through Karen DeMasco’s Craft of Baking–which was partially responsible for the crisp I just posted–and I stumbled upon the perfect Michael dessert recipe: Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream.

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CafĂ© Sabarsky, Company (Pizza) & Billy’s Bakery

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I don’t have a fast answer to the question “what’s your favorite restaurant?” (it’s a tie, at this point, between Blue Hill Stone Barns & Prune) but I do have an immediate suggestion when someone is coming to New York for the first time and wants to know where to go: “Cafe Sabarasky,” I almost always say. “It’s one of my favorite places in the city.”

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Elvie’s Turo-Turo & Butter Lane

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I’m getting a little rusty in my old age. In the early days of the blog, I was the one dragging my friends to obscure hole-in-the-wall joints in the East Village–now I’m perfectly happy to go to Grand Sichuan over and over again.

But Mark and Diana have my number, both literally and figuratively. We had plans for a double date on Saturday night and as I texted with Diana about what we would do, she ignored my suggestion to return to the home of Gui Zhou Chicken and Dry Sauteed String Beans and, instead, told us to meet her and Mark at Elvie’s Turo-Turo on 1st Ave. and 12th Street. “It’s a Filipino place,” wrote Diana. The old adventurer in me perked up: “See you there,” I wrote back as I grabbed my camera (or Craig’s camera, rather: mine’s been in repair for eternity), excited, once again, to try something new.

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Katy’s Reindeer Cupcakes

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My friend Katy is this blog’s godmother: she and her husband Josh were the ones who inspired me to start it five years ago. Just today, I noticed something awesome: Katy made reindeer cupcakes and posted them on her Facebook profile. Ironically, Katy–the food blog inspirer–does not have a food blog of her own so I insisted that she do a guest post that would explain to you, my beloved readers, how to make reindeer cupcakes of your own. Katy outright refused. Ok, she didn’t outright refuse but she wasn’t rushing to get it done. So I suggested we do an IM interview in which I ask her over IM chat how she made her reindeer cupcakes. What follows is what transpired.

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