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