One of the things I love about being an Aries is how much we enjoy being around other Aries. I used to think I was the luckiest girl in the world; my birthday was one day before my maternal Grandmother's birthday- Antoinette. She was an idol to me in so many ways. She had a […]

One of the things I love about being an Aries is how much we enjoy being around other Aries. I used to think I was the luckiest girl in the world; my birthday was one day before my maternal Grandmother's birthday- Antoinette. She was an idol to me in so many ways. She had a passion for life that seemed unquenchable, a wickedly fun sense of humor and while she seemed like she was emotionally tough beyond belief, she was deeply sensitive.

Immediately following my graduation from college I was fortunate enough to live in the apartment downstairs from the flats they owned in the Marina District of San Francisco. The second floor flat was rented out and Antoinette lived with my Grandfather, Nunzio and my Aunt Michelle on the upper most flat. Their place was beautiful, almost museum-esque, with heavy regal silk draperies, wall to wall Persian rugs, collections of Capo d'Monte, Murano glass and statues adorning every vantage point. She loved beautiful things, she loved to cook, she loved entertaining people and she fiercely adored her family. She was the kind of person that would find out your heart's desire and then somehow find a way to help make it happen for you.

She was not a soft-spoken person; she could often be heard talking in her very loud inside voice (which means, not inside voice at all) as she orchestrated the latest charity event, an intimate dinner for 20 or her upcoming travels. She was generous to a fault and her larger than life persona had us lulled into a false sense of – she'll always be here for us. When she left us, there was an indescribable void. A void that was just too large to fill for many years to come. I knew I was lucky to have had that time with her as a young adult; as she tried to figure out how to instill her traditional 'Sicilian' values on a young progressive 23 year old, or to teach me her recipes which contained no actual measurements beyond a few handfuls of x,y,and z.

My maternal Grandmother Antoinette (red hair) and my paternal Grandmother Virginia (black hair).

Around her, I always felt special. And the funny thing about that is that I know all of my cousins could claim to feel exactly the same. She just had that way about her. It was part of her just being who she was. Of course, in my heart of hearts I assumed this incredible power she possessed was due to her being an Aries!

Fast forward to today, and I can tell you that aside for my deep love for my Grandmother Antionette, I still share an affinity for my other Aries-kin. Earlier this year I learned that a young man, who happens to be my birthday twin, has been secretly reading my blog while in his high school theology class. Of course, the adult in me should take the stance that my blog is NOT as important as school and he should probably focus on his studies, but instead, I am going to take this chance to tell him that knowing he comes here to check-in and read about my stories is truly and an amazing gift. Thank you Cole! Thank you for your thoughts, interest and for taking the time to want to know more. I've waited a long time to post this recipe for you. Today is your day to be the KING of your world so it only makes sense that you enjoy: The Memphis King's Cupcakes (named in honor of Elvis, an avid banana and peanut butter fan!).

The dense banana cupcake texture contrasts with the delicate creamy peanut butter frosting for a mouthwatering experience. It's a taste pairing that leaves the corners of your mouth in an upward smile, as you secretly crave to devour three more. One could make the argument that this cupcake could double as a dessert-ish breakfast treat, but then who even needs an excuse to go sweet early in the day? That's not even a question- it is expected.

The Memphis King's Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

cup ripe banana, mashed (approximately 1 banana)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

tsp salt

cup low fat buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients

3 TBS butter, softened

cup low fat cream cheeses, softened (approximately 2 oz)

cup peanut butter

1 cups powdered sugar

tsp vanilla extract

dash of salt

3 TBS unsalted dry roasted peanuts, chopped

12 cupcake liners

Directions

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

To prepare cupcakes, place butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Add eggs and beat well. Add banana and vanilla and beat 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk into sugar mixture; begin and end with flour mixture.

Line cupcake pan with paper liners and fill cups to the rim with batter.

Place cupcakes in center rack of oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for approximately 5 minutes on wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine butter, cream cheese and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread frosting over cupcakes and garnish with peanuts.