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.