Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yes I made cupcakes.....AGAIN!!! I am trying to eliminate sugar out of my diet but it's not working :( I'm an addict I tell ya!! Plus I made this cute little stand and had to show it off can find directions on how you could make your own HERE!!!We had a house guest who did not care for these cupcakes but my husband and I thought they were pretty good. If you decide to try them be ready for an intense lemony flavor it's like a party in your mouth!!! It was funny to watch this house guest (no I will not give away any names but you know who you are) eat this cupcake.....he can't hide it when he does not like something and it's rather amusing really!!!
Don't you just love this little stand. SO cute and  it only cost me a whole $1.25 to make!!!

Triple Lemon Cupcakes
Cake and Icing Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Tartlette
Lemon Curd Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 T lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin tin with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Add sugar and lemon zest to mixing bowl or stand mixer and rub zest into sugar with your fingertips until well distributed and fragrant. Add the butter and cream cheese to the sugar and beat until light and creamy, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, once incorporated, add the next 1/3 of the flour mix, followed by remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour, beating each addition until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, beating until just incorporated on low speed.

Transfer batter to muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. I use a cookie scoop to evenly fill the muffin tins. (It also makes it easier to get the batter into the muffin tins without spills and drips all over the pan.) Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Curd:
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 1 T lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
5 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Combine everything but the butter in a sauce pan and whisk together. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the sides of the pan often until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the lemon curd and cover with a lid. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
red food coloring, optional
yellow sprinkles, optional

Beat together butter, cream cheese and lemon juice on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add lemon zest and increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth. I divided the batter in half and left one half as is and the other half I colored with the red food coloring.

To assemble:
Use a paring knife to cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with lemon curd and pipe into the center of each cupcake. Fill 2 piping bags with the frosting and decorate as desired then add the sprinkles.

Something for the kidos......

This week the kids and I had a fun play date at a friends house and we had a few things there that I just a have to share! She is so creative but I guess if you have raised 4 kids you get the necessary experience:) I'm still in training!!!!
These were so adorable and my kids thought they were pretty special getting a pretty treat like this!

 2 liter of Sprite or a Lemon Lime soda
1 jar of Maraschino cherries, juice and cherries
2 limes, sliced then cut to the center for garnishing

Mix the pop and cherries and enjoy!!!
The other thing my kids really enjoyed were these celery cars!!! Out of 20 kids I think my kids ate the most of them....what can I say I've taught them well they love their veggies!
Cut the celery into 1 1/2 inch long pieces poke a toothpick through each end and use carrots for the wheels. Fill them with peanut butter and garnish with raisins. ADORABLE!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roasting Garlic!!!

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

Allow the garlic to cool. Press the bottom of the garlic head and gently push out the yummy centerof each clove, they should pop out easily.
There are so many uses for roasted garlic. It has a totally different taste roasted and it's actually how I learned to like garlic. Try using it to make garlic toast with cheese on top or use it in pasta dishes or to flavor a chicken dish. Really good in dips too!! French onion with roasted garlic.....ohhh goodie now I have to make it!!!


One of the things that I have also gotten from  my mom and dad are tomatoes. Is there anything better than a sun warmed tomato straight off the bush??? I don't believe so!!! Well what do you make with tomatoes???Salsa of course....I've posted the recipe for this salsa on here before!! I did do a few things different again see my notes below!


8 cups tomatoes, chopped
5 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
12 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 1/2 Tbs cilantro
12 oz tomato paste
4 t salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup sugar

NOTES: I can't ever follow a recipe I always have to change something.
I also used:
I head of roasted garlic
I only used 3 Jalapeno peppers ( my hubby does not like it spicy)
I also used black beans and corn in half the batch
I used half lemon half lime
Also added about a Tbsp of fresh parsley


Get all the ingredients out and ready and also get the jars all washed and opened so that they are ready to be filled up!
If you decide to use roasted garlic like I did and I recommend you do cuz well come on look at that delicious goodness. Preheat oven to 400 degrees cut the very tops off the garlic head, place in a little baking dish ( I used a bread pan but a muffin pan works GREAT) drizzle with some olive oil so that it's well coated and cover with aluminum foil ( I also added some water to the bottom of the pan like 1/4 inch to keep it moist). Bake for 30-35 min or until it feels soft when you press. Another good sign that they it's done is if the garlic begins to kinda pop out of the shell a little. Let it cool the press the bottom of the shell to pop the yummy garlic out!! Mash it up well with a knife.
I just had to sneak a yellow tomato in too. I love these so much more than the red tomatoes they are not as that even a word?!?!!?
Chop up all the veggies and place in a large pan.
Combine the last 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well then pour into all the veggies. Bring to a boil and pour into the jars then close the lids when the salsa is still hot!!! That easy!!!
As you can see here I used corn and black beans in half the recipe. If you choose to do this just can half the batch and place the other half back on the stove add about a cup of canned black beans(washed and drained) and a cup of frozen or fresh corn. Bring to a boil again and place in the jars while still hot and close the lids.

YUMMMMM..................tasty......what I love even more about this recipe is that it's so versatile. I may be making another batch and I would love to add roasted red and yellow peppers. That would really give it a sweet yummy flavor!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Magic Beans....

These beans are so cool. They grow like any other kids of bean I guess. This is my Mum and my Oldest lil' man picking beans :) He loves to go and pick yummy veggies from their garden.

They are a beautiful hue of purple when freshly picked and raw but once cooked they turn a regular green. I'm not sure why this is so strange to me. Many things change color when heated meat being a perfect example. They taste is really fantastic well if you like green beans that is.

They are also green on the inside.

See...completely green!!! I like my green beans with bread crumbs. My husband up until this year (it has taken 8 years to convert him) has hated the bread crumb crunch. I just melt a Tbsp or two of butter then add a couple Tbsp of breadcrumbs and let them brown up then toss them with the beans. 

This is so strange to me...purple beans turn green!!! It's like magic in a pot and so fun to watch em change color when they are boiling!!!

Did ya miss me?!?!?!

I know I know it's been toooooo long!!! My kids are keeping me busy going to parks, riding bikes, going to the beach, feeding ducks, jumping in puddles, and well you get the idea. We have been eating a lot of hot dogs and a lot of PB&J's which we love anyway so that's ok. WE have certainly been enjoying the summer to the fullest! I did make a few things here and there but have lacked the time to post any of the recipes or taken the time to take the pictures!
A little while back I took the kids to see their Babcia (G'ma) and Dziadzia (G'pa). We came home with oooooodles of yummy fresh produce. I hope to post more on the things we brought back soon. One of the things we did get was beets....aren't they puuuurty!!! I personally am not a huge fan of them but growing up they often visited our dinner table. They are a hearty vegetable and pretty easy to grow and very in-expensive. Since I had them I just had to use them. My mom made 3 things with them that I can remember a beet apple salad, a spicy pickled clear broth soup (ohhh this is really yummy and usually eaten with a thing called uszka) Ohhh wait.....I'm not sure if I ever mentioned on here that I am Polish?!?!?! Well Uszka is a little tiny ravioli stuffed with either mushrooms or meat. The 3rd thing that she made often was a creamy beet soup usually served with potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Well since the 2nd option was well simply too much work and with the 1st I was worried that no one else in my family would eat it I chose to make the creamy beet soup. My husband was a bit hesitant but really enjoyed it one he tasted it. My older son loves anything in a soup form and thought that it was pretty cool to have a pink soup and my youngest lil' man well did not eat a single bite....hehe!!! I on the other hand thought it was absolutely delicious, creamy, full or flavor and richness.
These beautifully rich in color rough looking roots are so rich in vitamins and necessary nutrients.
Beets are an excellent source of the B vitamin, folate, and a very good source of manganese and potassium. Beets are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Some more fun facts about beets:
Beets' Betaine Helps Lessen Inflammation
Protection Against Heart Disease
The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color-betacyanin-is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
Did you know that BEETS are also particularly rich in the B vitamin folate, which is essential for normal tissue growth. Eating folate-rich foods is especially important during pregnancy since without adequate folate, the infant's spinal column does not develop properly, a condition called neural tube defect. The daily requirement for folate is 400 micrograms. Just one cup of boiled, sliced beets contains 136 micrograms of folate.

So why not make something delicious with these pretty looking things....they are so good for you!
I hope I remember the recipe as I did not write it down when I made it

Beet Soup

4 large beets washed peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt (I may have used more you may just have to taste it and see if it needs more)
1 tsp pepper ( I may have used more I like it spicy)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup either half and half or heavy whipping cream (I used 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream it depends on ho creamy you want ti to be, if I was making it for me it was full of flavor and delicious without the cream too)
4 hard boiled eggs (optional)
6 potatoes peeled cooked and chopped

Prepare the potatoes and eggs and set aside till ready to serve.
I also had new potatoes from the local farmers market.....yummmmm....made this soup even better.
All chopped and ready for the soup.

In a large pot melt the butter then add the onions and garlic. Saute until soft and start to turn golden. Add the beets and toss and let cook for 2-3 min longer then add the flour mixing well. Slowly add in the chicken broth mixing well so all the flour dissolves. The flour helps to thicken the soup. Season with salt pepper and the soy sauce. Cover and let it simmer for 20- 30 min or until the beets are nice and soft. When the beets are nice and soft fish them out and place them in a blender or food processor along with a little of the liquid to help it along.
 Look at that amazing color....puuurrty.
When liquefied add back to the pot of leftover broth and add the cram and dill. Pour into a bowl and add the desired amount of potatoes and eggs and enjoy!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quick NO RISE pizza dough...

I think I found our new favorite pizza dough.....

1 pkg. Quick Rise dry yeast (Red Star)
1 c. lukewarm water
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. honey
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (no salt)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (no salt)

Mix yeast in water in glass bowl. Add other ingredients. Mix well by hand. Let sit in bowl 5-10 minutes, covered by towel. Flatten on greased pan. Add your own topping.
Bake at 450°F. for about 12 minutes.
Grease hands for nonstick mixing.

Something for the kiddies....

Pizza bites:

1 ready to bake pie crust
spaghetti sauce

On a lightly flouerd surface roll out the pie crust and cut out the desired shape....I used an octagon but you can use a glass or any shape you want. Spread a little sauce on half of your shapes then place a little cheese on top followed by the pepperoni. Place another peace of dough on top and press the sides togather with the fork making sure they are glued together well.
Poke holes on top with a fork to let out steam then place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 min or until golden brown.
Kids LOVE can use any kind of filling....ham, bbq with chicken would be good too or veggies if you would prefer.

Blueberry breakfast rolls....

I love summertime and all the fresh fruit available.  They had blueberries at our supermarket on special and of course I had to buy a bunch of the sweet berries. Once again, we love to eat them fresh, but I always like to bake something using fresh fruit so I found a recipe for these HERE. I was a little dissappointed with them though, although I do not think it was the recipes fault. I made the dough late at night and I may have done something wrong, like loose count of flour cups!!!! I think I used way more flour than necessary but they were still good. I love the idea of using blueberries instead of the usual cinnamon roll filling but I do think that next time I will just use my favorite roll recipe that my sister in law shared with me a while back. I will post that whole recipe below. It's a bread machine recipe but I always just make the dough by hand the night before. The recipe below has both the Cinnamon and Blueberry fillings just use one or the other. I also prefer the cream cheese frosting over the vanilla one in the recipe I found.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (Bread Machine) Recipe

1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. water
1/2 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (1/2 of a 3.4 oz. box)
1 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. bread flour (I used regular)
2 1/2 tsp. yeast

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. milk

Rolls: Place ingredients in machine following the specifications of that particular machine. Set for dough cycle. After complete on dough cycle, remove from machine and roll out to 17x10" (approx.) rectangle.

Filling: Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread softened butter over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over top. Roll tightly from long end, pinching edges closed when completely rolled. Slice rolled dough into 1/2" slices (or larger if a larger bun is preferred). Place into greased cake pans or a cookie sheet. If using cake pans, use 3 9" pans. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Do not overbake.

Frosting: Spread on very warm rolls. They are best when eaten fresh, but we have found that 10-15 seconds in the microwave rejuvenates them.

Note: You may add chopped nuts with the filling, and use twice the amount of cinnamon.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fruit salsa and cinnamon chips....

This is such a delicious snack (not the healthiest tho) but so yummy!!! Neal and I gobbled up the entire bowl of fruit and ALL the chips in no time at all !!!

So simple to make....for the salsa just use ANY variety of fruit you like. I used mango, peach and blueberries!!! A teaspoon of brown sugar (or more if you like) a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a couple Tbsp of preserves of your choice....I used raspberry preserves and just sifted them to remove any seeds. I also used about 4-6 leaves of fresh mint chopped. Mix it all together and enjoy!!!

For the chips just cut some tortilla shells into triangles and brush them with some melted butter. Mix a few Tbsp of brown sugar with a Tbsp of cinnamon and sprinkle the butter brushed shells with the sugar mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A little help from the store.....

I used a boxed cake mix for this; bake according to the box directions
fruit for decoration I used blueberry's and strawberry's

raspberry lime curd
1 cup frozen raspberries, defrosted
zest of 4 limes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup lime juice
pinch of salt

1. Press raspberries through a fine sieve to extract all the pulp. Set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together zest, butter, and sugar. Incorporate eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Add in raspberry pulp, lime juice and salt. Mixture will be curdled. Don’t freak out!
2. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Raspberry lime curd will come together and thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat. Strain through a fine sieve into a glass bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate or freeze until you need it.

raspberry lime cloud frosting
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup cold raspberry lime curd
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon lime zest

1. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and raspberry lime curd.
2. In another bowl, beat the cream on high until stiff peaks form.
3. Fold the two mixtures together until smooth, being careful not to deflate the whipped cream. If mixture becomes too smooth, you can whir it around with the mixer to fluff it up.

Putting it all together:
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled cut little holes in the center of each cupcake then filled with the raspberry curd and top with the raspberry lime cloud frosting then decorate with the fruit.....enjoy!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...