Sunday, February 3, 2013

Carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting

These cupcakes taste delicious and last longer than making an entire cake. This recipe serves 12 but can easily be doubled. 

Ingredients for cupcakes 

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice- about one orange 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots- I used a peeler and then chopped into tiny pieces. 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Ingredients for frosting

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, and eggs.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour to the mixture and mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. This takes around 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting. While cupcakes are baking, combine all icing ingredients. Mix ingredients together using a mixer. I used my kitchen aid but a hand held mixer would do the trick as well. Frost cupcakes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spicy Lamb Chili

  • If you are like me, nothing says fall like a nice warm bowl of chili. This spicy lamb chili serves 6-8. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a dollop of sour cream and you are sure to please the crowd. 

  • Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground lamb meat (can substitute lamb with ground turkey, bison, venison, or beef)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Poblano pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed with garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1, 14.5 ounce can, zesty jalapeño petite cut diced tomatoes
  • 2, 8 ounce cans, zesty tomato and green chili sauce
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground lamb, season with salt and pepper,  and cook until golden brown. Transfer lamb to a large bowl when cooked. Discard excess fat leaving only about 1 tablespoon. 

Add the tablespoon fat to a large stock pot and heat on medium. Add green and red bell peppers, Poblano pepper, and onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add jalapeños and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute more, then add chile powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper. Let spices cook together, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Return lamb to pot. Stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, tomatoes, chipotle sauce, and bay leaf and raise heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Derived in part from Whole Foods recipe. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

I recently made these cupcakes for my book club meeting and they turned out superb. These cupcakes are super easy to make and stay fresh and moist for many days. The best part about making these cupcakes is that you will have left over Champagne to drink while baking! Makes 24.

Ingredients for the champagne cupcakes
1 box betty crocker super moist vanilla cake mix
1 1/4 cup champagne
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
5 drops red food coloring

Ingredients for the champagne frosting
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup champagne
1 tsp vanilla
5 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Combine cake mix and champagne in a large bowl. Mix in the oil, egg whites and food coloring. With an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter evenly into cupcake pans. Bake cupcakes for 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes clean. Place baked cupcakes on cooling rack to cool completely. While cupcakes are cooling beat all frosting ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed. Mix until well combined and smooth. Frost the cupcakes and add sprinkles if desired.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kale & Pomegranate Salad

Kale is one of the healthiest of all vegetables and is full of nutrients. This salad serves 2. The recipe can be easily doubled for additional servings.

1/2  bunch kale
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 
1/4 cup pecans
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans on baking sheet for 5-8 minutes. Peel and grate ginger. Chop the kale and place in a large salad bowl. Mix together olive oil, lime juice and ginger.  With your hands rub the kale into the dressing mixture. Then add the pomegranate and cooled toasted pecans to the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Carrot, Mango, Orange and Mint Smoothie

2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup fresh carrot juice (about 6 carrots)
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/4 cup mint

Chop carrots and place into juicer until 1 cup of juice is present. Slice oranges and place into juicer until 1 cup of juice is present. Pour both juices, mango chunks, and mint into a blender and blend until desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mini Lime Shortbread Tarts

On New Year's Eve I made these mini lime shortbread tarts and they were delicious. As you can see from the picture above, I served them along side the Lemon- lime mini berry tarts. These berry tarts were mentioned in my blog previously and the recipe can be found here. This recipe makes 48 mini tarts. 


1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (from 2 large limes)
2 tablespoons lime-flavored gelatin (jello mixture)
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
3 packages of 4.2 ounce shortbread tartlet shells (16 per package)
Additional heavy whipping cream and lime zest for garnish

Combine lime zest, juice, gelatin and 1/4 cup cold water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until gelatin is dissolved, stirring, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes. Pour heavy cream into a second large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks are formed. Add sweetened condensed milk to gelatin mixture; beat until well combined. Fold in whipped cream and then divide evenly among tartlet shells. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until firm. Garnish with additional whipped cream (to make whipped cream see below) and sprinkle with lime zest. Enjoy!

Making whipped cream is simple and tastes much better than the store bought version. Simply pour one cup of whipping cream into a large bowl. Mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Then pipe  a small amount of cream, using a piping bag, on each individual tart.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lemon Lime Mini Berry Tarts

These mini desserts are the perfect addition for your next dinner party. The below recipe makes 45 mini berry tarts and only takes 20 minutes in total to make. You can make the custard the day before so that they are all ready to go the day of the party. This year I am making these tarts for New Year's Eve.

  • eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • teaspoon rum flavoring- can be found in baking aisle 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • packages prepared phyllo cups (45 cups total)- Can be found either frozen or not. If frozen, defrost before filling.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries and or blueberries (45 total)
  • Coconut flakes

In a small saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, rum flavoring and both juices. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, just until boiling and mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes (mixture should register 160 F on instant-read thermometer). Strain lemon-lime curd into bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled. Can be made a day ahead.
To serve, spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons curd into each phyllo cup; top with a raspberry or blueberry and a pinch of coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours.

The picture & recipe was derived in part from Family Circle.