Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bit of Spring!

Not only do I have one office mate that doesn't like chocolate but I have two! Seriously, people what is going on! I wanted find something that was delicious and outside of the norm (aka not vanilla cupcake with white frosting), also a great spring cupcake would also be perfect since the weather has definitely not been springy in DC! Well this is the perfect cupcake! People thought that these were professionally made, huge compliment in a city that has cupcake shops everywhere and even on wheels! People are also easily impressed with the fact that these are made with real strawberries (the recipe calls to strain them my strainer didn't work the greatest so the second time I didn't strain.) I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, this cupcake recipe only makes 15 cupcakes so you only need half the frosting recipe(the halved recipes is in parenthesis.)

Real Strawberry Cupcakes(Source: All Recipes)


8 large fresh strawberries, or as needed
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix (optional)(I use this)
1 drop red food coloring, or as needed (optional)(they come out light pink without it)


- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray cupcake cups with cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners.

- Place 8 strawberries into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the puree through a strainer to remove seeds (I strained the first time not the second). Puree should equal about 3/4 cup. Set the puree aside.

- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar, vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, lemon zest, and strawberry puree until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding mix (for a moister cupcake), and red food coloring to reach a desired shade of pink. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

- Bake in the preheated oven until the cupcakes have risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before frosting.


1/2c. of unsalted butter (softened) (1/4 c)
2- 8oz. packs of cream cheese (softened) (1 - 8oz)
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (1 3/4 C)
1 tbsp of vanilla extract (1/2 Tbsp)


- Cream the butter and cream cheese together and then add the powedered sugar and vanilla.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolatey Caramel Love!

I do not know how I never blogged about these brownies, they are amazing! They are delicious and one of the biggest crowd pleasers o and easy (easy is the key for me!!). I know they take a lot of steps but so worth it. Love these so much. I unwrap the caramels when they are in the oven for the first time. Enjoy these!



1 pkg (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts (I've never included the's your preference)
1 cup Carnation evaporated milk, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or magarine, melted
35 (10-oz pkg) caramels, unwrapped (I would recommend 40-50 (around 12oz)
2 cups (12-oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate morsels


Preheat: oven to 350° F.
Combine: cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Bake: 15 minutes. ( I normally do for 13-14 minutes)
Heat : caramels and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.
Drop: remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture.
Bake: 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


WOW!!! It has been forever since I have blogged and instead of throwing my hands up and saying I am done I have decided to come back to blogging. Since I have been back from Japan I have moved and redone my kitchen, I love all my new space and it is such a huge difference from my little galley kitchen!

So here it is what I have been doing:


Old Kitchen

New Kitchen

She didn't know what she was having so I made her favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes and made the frosting both pink and blue. I also made regular size and mini cupcakes. They were a big hit! I had sugar booties, duckies, and flowers to put on each one.

We did candy jars as favors:


My officemate is not a chocolate fan so I made my lemon cupcakes and lemon frosting for his birthday. This time I let them cook longer and they came out delicious. In the earlier recipe I said to halve the cream cheese frosting so below is the halved recipe (enough for one batch of cupcakes). Sorry for the bad picture, they were the last cupcakes left!




- 1/2 of an 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.