I haven't had many excuses.. I mean opportunities to make cupcakes lately. Baking a batch of cupcakes just for my family isn't a good idea, because we definitely don't need to eat a dozen cupcakes. We had my parents and brother over for dinner this past weekend so I had a reason to make dessert, and I decided that an afternoon spent baking in the kitchen sounded both relaxing and fun. I pretended I didn't have housecleaning to do, laundry to fold, or papers to grade, and just enjoyed myself.
These cupcakes have three components- a spiced apple cake, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Have you ever noticed how kids eat cupcakes? They lick off all of the ... [Continue Reading]
What a title! This cake deserves every descriptive word in that title, and it was the perfect cake to celebrate my sweet boy's first birthday.
A few weeks ago William turned one, and we celebrated with a relaxed party at home with family and a few close friends. I thought and thought about a party theme, and nothing seemed quite right, until I settled on a color theme. I kept things simple, with a few colorful decorations and an easy menu of burgers and salads. And of course, cake!
I found this cake recipe just two days before the party, and although it was a new recipe I just knew it would be perfect. The cake was incredibly light and fluffy, and the frosting was sweet and ... [Continue Reading]
We recently celebrated Julia's 4th birthday. I feel like I say this every year, but I can't believe how the time has flown by since she was our tiny baby girl:
Today she is a beautiful, independent four-year-old who loves hugs and kisses, stories and songs at bedtime, doing artwork, pretend play, gardening with Daddy, baking with Mommy, and playing with her baby brother.
When I asked Julia what kind of birthday party she wanted, right away she said a butterfly party. There are so many cute ideas that go along with a butterfly party theme, and it was lots of fun planning and getting ready for the party.
To make the invitations, I bought some pink and purple cardstock at Michael's, ... [Continue Reading]
Are you one to make New Year's resolutions? I like to look at the new year as an opportunity to reflect on goals that I have for myself, rather than making strict resolutions. This year, when I think about what I'd like to accomplish, the theme is consistency. I'd like to consistently exercise at least 3 (well preferably 5 but I'm trying to be realistic :) ) times each week. I'd like to be more consistent with devoting time to this blog and posting regularly. Most importantly, I want to remember to enjoy each day, because although the individual moments of the day have their ups and downs, we need to cherish the time we spend with family and friends.
What do I not plan to do once 2013 is ... [Continue Reading]
I made this lemon pound cake about two months ago, and I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you! After editing the photos just now, I'm really wishing I had a slice to nibble on as I type this. While the time to enjoy summer berries is coming to an end, this pound cake is delicious all on it's own. Drizzled with both a sweet syrup and a glaze, how could it not be?
If you happen to have lemons on hand, you likely have all of the ingredients that you need to make this lemon cake. I always have Greek yogurt in my fridge, so I subbed that for the sour cream called for in the original recipe and it worked wonderfully. Pound cakes like this one are great because you feel like you're ... [Continue Reading]
I've survived the first three weeks of school, and my return to work after my maternity leave. I'm enjoying getting to know my new group of third graders, and there is something to be said for quiet mornings of getting ready while my two kiddos are still sleeping (even though it means the alarm goes off at 4:45a.m. on workdays). The beginning of a new school year is always super busy, so I haven't had much time for baking lately. Plus, those early morning wake-ups (in addition to a middle-of-the-night baby feeding most nights) have left me tired, so I've been using weekends to catch up on sleep, as much as the kids, household tasks, and schoolwork will allow, at least.
This weekend, I ... [Continue Reading]
This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn't able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn't bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I've enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it's actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It's incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I'd recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them ... [Continue Reading]
We recently celebrated Julia's 3rd birthday. I cannot believe my baby is 3, and she's definitely not a baby anymore. She's her own little person, who loves to sing, color and cut, blow bubbles, and help her mommy with "jobs," especially in the kitchen.
Julia's favorite character right now is Curious George so we had a Curious George party to celebrate her birthday. Since I'm seven months pregnant and trying to take it easy, I kept the party simple this year. I incorporated the George theme in the party color scheme, table decorations, cupcake toppers, party hats, and a few other simple goodies for the kids. The menu included veggies, chips, and dip, make-your-own sandwiches, and salads. And ... [Continue Reading]
Coffee lover that I am, I was so excited to try these Vanilla Latte Cupcakes. Coffee-flavored cupcakes are topped with a Vanilla Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yum. I especially loved the flavor of the cupcakes themselves, and would have no problem eating them without frosting. The frosting and coffee bean garnish do make for a really pretty presentation, though, don't they?
This was the first time I've tried making a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and it was a success. I had read about this type of frosting many times, and was interested to see how it differed from a regular buttercream frosting. Swiss Meringue Buttercream does take more time to make, but isn't really all that ... [Continue Reading]
I had a special reason for wanting to bake some blueberry cupcakes, so when Brad came home from the grocery store with fresh blueberries I knew it was meant to be. Although we're in the middle of winter, the blueberries were delicious and just perfect in these cupcakes.
The cupcakes themselves are not overly sweet, and are almost more like a muffin than a cupcake. And the cream cheese frosting (oh how I love cream cheese frosting!) is sweet and tangy, and is just right with the cupcakes.
One year ago: Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
Makes 24 cupcakes (can be halved to yield 12 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose ... [Continue Reading]
If you love Oreo cookies, then these are the cupcakes for you. To start, half of an Oreo is hidden at the bottom of the cupcake. Then, chopped Oreo pieces are mixed into a delicious cupcake base. Finally, the cupcakes are topped with Oreo whipped cream and half of an Oreo cookie. These cupcakes are definitely indulgent, but I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding friends to share them with!
One year ago: Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style
Oreo Cookie Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room ... [Continue Reading]
This is my second month participating in The Secret Recipe Club. Each month, participating bloggers are assigned another blog, and you choose a recipe from that blog to make and blog about. Until the posting day, you keep secret which blog you are assigned. This month I was assigned the blog ButterYum. ButterYum is written by Patricia, a mom of 4, and has many delicious recipes for everything from main dishes to appetizers to baked goods.
After looking through many of Patricia's recipes, I decided on one that had initially caught my eye, a banana cake with vanilla frosting. The original recipe calls for using vanilla bean paste in the frosting so that you have vanilla bean frosting, but I ... [Continue Reading]