Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love of Hogwarts

I had to show everyone my new bag <3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September's Cupcakes

I think I may have mentioned this before.  I make a LOT of cupcakes, at least 50 a month for work.  I have even had a couple of people ask me to make them for other occasions :)

I forgot to post about August's cupcakes, but I promise I will soon.  I feel bad, it's been over a month since I've posted!  Please, forgive me...

I made peanut butter and jelly cupcakes a long time ago and this month there was a request for them.  It's a basic peanut butter cake with a PB frosting beautifully piped on top.  The jelly came in the form of my homemade blueberry/cherry/peach jam that I tucked inside of the crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside cupcakes.

Taking it a tiny bit farther I added a mini nutter butter on top.  Seriously, they are adorable!

The second cupcake I made this month was inspired by some blackberries I got in my CSA box this week.  I ended up making a delicious lemon cupcake with the blackberries in the frosting.  I made these cute by putting a blackberry on top.  Again, adorable.

I am really enjoying making cupcakes.  In my opinion they are much better than cake.  They are individual sweet treats.

Try one of these and comment with what you think.  

Until next time.


Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes found here.
Lemon blackberry cupcakes found here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Red Velvet cupcakes with a flower twist!

The second of my 2 cupcake recipes this month lead me to red velvet.  Why not?  It's only one of the most delicious cakes ever!

I wanted to do something different for summer, so I looked online for ideas.

My favorite flower is a daisy, and I came across a site that mentioned using marshmallows for petals.
I used skittles for the center :)

I tried it out, and it took a little getting used to.  Flatten a large marshmallow and cut into 3 strips.  In the end I found out that cleaning the scissors often helped (duh!)

I think they turned out cute, and I hope you do too.

Red Velvet Cupcakes and cream cheese frosting found here.

Side note, I've been taking the Wilton cake decorating classes at Michael's and I'm having so much fun.

Here is one of my pink lemonade cupcakes that I decorated into a rose and then ate half of ;)


Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

It's that time again.  The time when I scour my brain for cupcake recipes and look online for a recipe to fit my idea.

I make at least 50 cupcakes a month, always 2 different kinds for the folks I work with (not sure if I've mentioned that before.)

Being summer, I wanted to make something fun and fresh.  The first thing that came to mind was pink lemonade.

When I was on the hunt for what I thought looked like a good recipe, I was sad to find out that a lot of them started the ingredient list with "1 box of white cake mix."  It took me a while to find one that didn't.  One of these days I'm going to alter my own recipes and try them out.

Anyway, I found one that I thought was going to work, and did it!

Just a heads up, these cupcakes do have a tang to them, so if you are not a fan of lemon, these are not for you.

If you are... well... enjoy :D

Seriously, these cupcakes are the cutest things I have seen all year.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (from here)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 egg whites
1/2 cup buttermilk
Red food coloring, as needed

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 T. frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 T. lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
Red food coloring, as needed

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, pink lemonade concentrate, oil, and egg whites until well blended. Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Then add the buttermilk and mix again, followed finally by the remaining dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Add red food coloring one drop at a time to achieve desired pink color. The color will fade slightly when baked.

Fill each liner 3/4 full with batter. Bake the cupcakes for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter until nice and fluffy. Pause the mixer occasionally to add the confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat until combined and fluffy. Add the pink lemonade concentrate, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add red food coloring one drop at a time to achieve desired pink color.

Top with whatever you like.  I wanted them to have an ice cream look so I added sprinkles and a gum drop on top.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

Since becoming a vegetarian again there is one vegetable that I have been obsessed with.  This would be zucchini.

I was craving stuffed zucchini, so yesterday when at Bristol Farms I picked up a few.  Little did I know that I would get a pound in my CSA box today.  I won't complain, more zucchini for me :D

I wanted to use what veggies I had on hand, so I made my own recipe.  The result was delicious.
I won't lie, it was inspired by a dish I had at a wedding rehearsal.

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini

3 medium zucchini
8 ounces finely chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 ounces of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons pesto
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Saute mushrooms and onion in a skillet with preferred oil (I use coconut)
Use a melon baller to create "boats" in halved zucchini
Place zucchini on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 20 minutes
Chop the reserved zucchini and add to mushroom/onion mixture.  Season with salt and pepper
When zucchini is done cooking, mix the mushroom/onion mixture with pesto and parmesean cheese
Stuff zucchini with mixture, top with more cheese and bake for 5 more minutes



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Let's make jam!!!!

I love jam.  It's good on toast, with ice cream and on crackers with peanut butter (maybe even some cookie butter.)

I had a ton of blueberries and blackberries and I needed to use them up before I could no longer.

I decided to make jam, because, why not??

Jam is pretty simple to make.  You have fruit, pectin, sugar and possibly some lemon juice.

For this recipe I had 5 cups of the blueberry/blackberry (with 5 TB of fresh lemon juice) mixture.

Here it is cooking for a couple of minutes.

It already looks good.  After it cooks and gets to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down it's time to add the sugar.  I think I added about 5 cups of sugar (and this is the low sugar recipe.)

It's starting to look like jam.  Bring it back to a rolling boil and cook for one minute more. You need to stir this whole time!

During this time I like to heat the water in my water bath (for canning the jam.)  I also sterilize the jars in that water. At the same time, I put the lids and rings in some very hot water to sterilize and get the glue on the lids soft.

Once the jam is done, I used a "canning kit" to funnel the jam into the jars.

After the jam was canned, I cleaned the rims, added the lids and rims and into the bath they went.

Let the water get to a simmering boil, put the lid on the canner and process for 10 minutes.  Once the 10 minutes is up, turn off the stove and let the jars sit for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes take the jars out with a jar lifter and place them on a towel, not touching, for 24 hours.  The lids will "pop" down sealing the jars.  After this is done, they can be put in the cubbard for a year I believe until opened.  I don't think they will last that long though. ;)

This batch made 6 half pint jars.

Try it someday, and thank me later.  Keep some, give some as gifts, save some!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blueberry Waffles

I went to Costco the other day and stocked up on a lot of fruit.  I love this time of year!

I came home with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple and bananas.  

This morning I woke up and wanted waffles (again) and the first thing I thought of were the blueberries.

I searched online for a recipe in which I had all the ingredients for.  I also wanted to make my own syrup.

The whole process took less than an hour, and they were delicious!

Blueberry Waffles (recipe adapted from here)

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk (I use almond)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 cups blueberries

Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Mix in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon just until smooth. Let sit 10 minutes then fold in blueberries.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. You may need to spray the iron in between waffles as the blueberries tend to stick.

Homemade Syrup (recipe from here)
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (I got the Archer Farms brand at Target)

Bring water to a boil.  Add sugars and mix until they dissolve.  Let cool and enjoy.

Have a great Sunday!