Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting Ready for Fall

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


I recently posted some ideas I had for cupcakes that would be ideal for the Fall season.  The pumpkin cupcake was the unanimous decision.  So let the baking begin!

After the cupcakes cooled, and before I frosted them, I thought these look delicious with out the frosting.  So, for those who don't like cream cheese frosting (like my son), they can be eaten like a muffin.


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese
(makes 30 cupcakes)
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In large bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add dry ingredients and milk, alternating until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  6. Mix in pumpkin puree.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese icing.
For the icing:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined.
  2. Gradually add in confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  3. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix until combined.
  4. Place icing in piping bag fitted with a large round tip and frost cupcakes.

Adding cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting just gives it that extra tasty goodness.



Tomorrow my co-workers get to taste test, however I know they will be a hit since they have already been sampled by my family!

Enjoy!

From Me, To You!



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Antipasto Skewers

So what do you do when you are asked to make an appetizer that doesn't require eating utensils?  Hmmm....crackers and cheese?  Probably not since at least 3 others will probably bring the same thing. Tea sandwiches?  Nope.  Someone is bringing those already.  Inspiration!  Something on a skewer.  It's summer and it's warm out, so I thought Antipasto.


This doesn't even require a recipe.  Just add on whatever you like.  This is what I used for mine:

1 pkg cooked tortellini, cooled and marinated in italian dressing at least 4 hours

Grape or cherry tomatoes, marinated in italian dressing at least 4 hours

Sliced salami or pepperoni folded into a triangle (I used salami)

Sliced cheddar cheese cut into squares

4" or 6" skewers



How simple is that?  Just assemble onto a tray or decorative plate and there you go.  This type of appetizer is always a hit and is appropriate for any time of year.  Enjoy!

From Me, To You!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Ideas

Now that Fall is approaching here are some thoughts for cupcakes:
Pumpkin Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Maple Bacon Cupcake
Apple Cupcake with Caramel Buttercream

And for Football Season:
Blue Moon Cupcake with Orange Zest Cream Cheese Frosting
Corona Cupcake with Lime Zest Cream Cheese Frosting

Tell me what you like and you can be my taste tester!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chopped Chicken Salad With a Southwestern Flair


I am always looking for simple, healthy, easy to make recipes...especially if the recipe has a southwestern taste.  Lots of chopping in this recipe, but it is truly worth it.  I made this for my family one night recently, and they loved it.  As we were eating,  I said, "So what do you think?"  Neither my husband nor my son said anything.  Maybe they didn't hear me, so I asked again.  My husband gave me the stink eye and said, "I'm too busy eating!"  I took that as "winner, winner"!

Here is how you assemble:


Salad Ingredients:
2 cups shredded chicken ( I used a lot more....3 large boneless breasts)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet corn OR 1 cup frozen corn, thawed ( I used frozen)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, diced
Iceberg lettuce
Mexican shredded cheese
Tortilla chips (optional)

Dressing:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2/3 cup Fage Greek 0% Yogurt (fat free)
1 Tablespoon ranch seasoning
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning

Before you start chopping your ingredients.  Mix together the ingredients for the dressing.  This allows the flavors to marry creating an even richer southwestern taste.



After you have chopped and/or diced the veggies, put into a large bowl.  Do not add the lettuce or tortilla chips.




Add the shredded chicken and mix in the dressing.  Serve over iceberg lettuce, with Mexican cheese and tortilla chips.


Mas Fina!
Enjoy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Think Beach

With this hot weather upon us, what better way to embrace it than with Beach Theme Cupcakes!  I actually came up with these sweet treats as a request for a fundraiser.  I thought something simple and fun would be perfect.  I had to think beach...what words come to mind?  Fun, warm, peaceful, sand, blue ocean, seagulls, tropical, drinks, suntan lotion etc.  Now to visualize:


Perfect!!

Vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream tinted both yellow, for sand, and blue, for the ocean.



Ok that is the simple part, but what about fun?  I came across beach stickers at a craft store. Hmmm...perfect!  Attach the stickers to a toothpick and insert into the frosting.



Success!

From me to you!






Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Crusted Coffee Cake Muffins

The weather here in the East Bay has been very hot..98 to 99 degrees.  Being the heat wimp that I am, (I like it between 80-85 degrees) I have been focusing on indoor activities.  I've been cleaning, purging closets, reading, facebooking, pinning on pinterest... it's time for a new activity.  What should I do on this 100 degree day?  Why bake of course!

I wish I could take credit for what I am about to share with you, but I cannot.  I found this recipe while looking at pinterest.....and what a find it was!

WARNING: Prepare to be amazed.  These muffins actually taste like old-fashioned doughnuts!  A definite taste sensation


Here is what you need to make these amazing muffins.

Coffee Cake Muffins Crusted with Cinnamon and Sugar (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Makes approximately 9 good sized muffins
  • 1-¾ cup flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon


First I combined all wet ingredients and then I incorporated all the dry ingredients.  I used a whisk to mix everything together.




After you are finished mixing the ingredients, spray a muffin pan well with non-stick cooking spray.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.



While these delicious muffins are baking, prepare your melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Use separate bowls.



When your muffins are finished baking, let them cool about 5 minutes and take them out of the tins while still hot, but able to handle.




Take each muffin and dip into the butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar.  





Let the muffins cool and then "have at it"!!!!




From me to you!  Enjoy!










Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes

As a kid, I loved to eat Neapolitan ice cream bars...you know the ones that are chocolate covered?  One day as I was trying to get some inspiration for new cupcakes, I came across a "pin" on pinterest for Neapolitan Cupcakes.  WOW!  Inspiration successful.  I have to give credit to sweetapolita for this idea.  I posted this idea on my Facebook page and the next day I received an order for them.  It was only an idea at the time.  Obviously I had to do a trial run.

I baked my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and whipped up three different buttercream frostings...vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.  Yes I used real strawberries in the frosting.  I cut each cupcake in half.  I piped a layer of chocolate buttercream and then the vanilla on the bottom half.  Next I put the top on and swirled on the strawberry butter cream and sprinkled them with some chocolate sprinkles.

These cupcakes are like little mini cakes that scream deliciousness!  I let my son and husband sample some leftovers and I had to watch them very carefully or they would have eaten the order I just finished.  My son says this is the best cupcake I've made so far!  Yippie  Now just to get feedback from my customer so I can either add it permanently to the list or discard.  I have a feeling it will be a new addition.