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31.5.17

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


  
We have some special visitors coming to our house this weekend - Samantha and Baby Kate are going to be spending the night with us!  I'm planning a fun Cinderella movie night - the girls will be making their own pizzas and rice krispies with sprinkles. 

I wanted them to have another treat, too, for when they arrived so she knows how excited we are to have her.  Sam's a girly girl and loves anything with icing, so I thought these strawberry cupcakes would completely delight her.  And, after our trip to the Strawberry Patch we had to find a way to use all of our strawberries...



Here are some of our fresh from the field strawberries.  Many of the other pickers were picking 2 and 3 flats of berries, but as I said in our post, our trip to the berry patch was more about Emma having fun, so when she was done, we were done... which resulted in about 3 pounds.  Just enough to eat all we wanted and enough for this batch of strawberries.


I'm usually a white paper cupcake liner type of girl, but I just love these and thought they would make them a little more fun for the girls.  Here is a link to all of my favorite baking supplies and cupcake liners in my store.
 

The icing is a cream cheese icing with diced fresh strawberries mixed in - the pale pink color is completely from the strawberries mixed in the icing!


Fresh Strawberry  
Cupcakes
with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


New! Printable Recipes, here.

1 white cake (mix or homemade)
1 cup of strawberries, diced
1 drop of red food coloring
....
1 stick of butter, softened
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of strawberries, diced  
whole strawberries, garnish

Prepare cake as directed then mix in diced strawberries.  Pour batter into paper-lined cupcake tins.   Bake as directed.  Let cool.

For frosting, mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar and strawberries.  Mix on medium for 3-4 minutes.  When cupcakes are cool, frost generously and top with a strawberry.  Refrigerate.
 


I added just a drop of red food coloring to the batter because otherwise the baked strawberries make a brown colored cupcake.



The fresh strawberries makes the frosting just to the perfect color of pale pink... no food coloring needed!





Emma woke up from her nap just in time to sample... approved!

30.5.17

Secret Baking Essentials | Disposable, Individual Baking Pans



One of my favorite things to stock in my store are items that professionals use that aren't typically available to consumers. It is usually these simple, classic products that create the most beautiful, bakery worthy treats - like these Petite Tart Pans. They are made of a thick brown kraft non-stick coated paper, but are safe to bake in and disposable. Everything easily slips right out of them after baking. I use them so often and for so many different things. That is another one of my secrets to having a super efficient kitchen is to only have things that I can use in a variety of ways. I use the larger ones (Petite) for individual Egg Quiche and Warm Chocolate Chip "Skillet" Cookie from the oven. They are great for desserts to share. I use the Small for individual desserts like Brownies with Ice Cream on top or Mini Pies.
Available in two sizes :
Petite = 5.5" x 1"
Small = 4" x 1"
Favorite Recipes :







23.5.17

Blueberry & Orange Muffins




I'm re-sharing this recipe, as Emma and I plan to go blueberry picking soon... yay summer!

.......

Not only do we have a lot of blackberries around here, but we also have (had) a lot of blueberries.  We've made gobs of blueberry muffins this summer and I needed a twist of something new.


I added some orange juice and zest to our most recent batch and love how it turned out.  It was just the right amount of something different.  I was considering even doing an orange glaze on the top - I love anything with a glaze, but opted for a crunchy sugar sprinkling instead.

I also baked these a little longer than I normally do because I had a craving for a browned sugar top.  Don't ever underestimate the power of texture when it comes to food.  Yum!

A morning baking at the baking counter - I really do love having a big separate area to spread out on. 


Here's one of my favorite tips : I put extra batter in a Large Disposable Pastry Bag.  I can keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days or in the Freezer for months.  When we want muffins, I just get it out and squeeze it individually into the muffin papers.  If it is in the freezer, I get it out the night before and put it in the fridge to thaw.


I love the Jumbo Brown Cupcake Papers for muffins - just like a bakery.


This is the morning we went blue berry picking with our friends.  Sweet Emma. 


I think she tried a green one ; )




Blueberry Orange Muffins

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 orange, zested and juiced
6 oz. fresh blueberries
....
coarse sanding sugar*


For the muffin batter, stir together flour sugar baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.  Add melted butter, eggs, orange juice, zest and milk and stir just until combined.   Fold in blueberries.  With an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with papers.

Top generously with coarse sanding sugar.

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.


I sprinkled generously with sanding sugar before baking.





Love that crunchy sugar top!


22.5.17

Bacon & Potato Frittata | Easy Summer Brunch



This was a recipe that I posted 2-3 years ago when we lived in Concord.  I haven't made it since, but remembered it being delicious - and easy.   And it was.  They guys loved it because it was full of potatoes and bacon! 


Bacon & Potato Frittata 
with White Cheddar & Chives

 

serves 4-5

6 strips of bacon, diced
2 yukon gold or red potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
10 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
sea salt & cracked pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, cook diced bacon, butter & potatoes for 4-5 minutes until bacon renders the fat and the potatoes begin to soften.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, chives, salt and pepper.  Add eggs to the skillet and put in oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through.  Top with cheddar cheese and chives.  Serve in wedges. 




Bagel & Lox Platter | Simple Summer Brunch


Bagel & Lox Platter
for 4

When we go out to brunch, this is always my go to - especially in the summer.  It was the perfect option for this party because all I had to do was assemble it.



2 Sesame or Plain Bagels, sliced
6 oz. Cream Cheese, room temp
6 oz. Smoked Salmon or Lox*
Capers
Cherry Tomatoes
Chives

*I know that smoked salmon and lox aren't exactly the same thing, but they are similar enough for this - just use what you can find.  Make sure it is sliced very thin.

If you are organized, you can assemble this the night before... or right before, like I did.  You can also toast the bagel slices... which I also did.





This was a big hit - something most of us just order in restaurants, but is so easy to serve/assemble at home.





20.5.17

Simple Summer Menu : Lemon Basil Shrimp Skewers, Pesto Pasta, Tomato & Prosciutto Salad, Glazed Lemon Cake


When you think of backyard entertaining, burgers or steaks are usually on the menu.  If the crowd is right I like to take a fresher approach and serve pasta with Homemade Pesto Sauce
and Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp.

You can use any pesto for the pasta that you like - it is so much easier to make than you'd think.  The basil in my garden is not quite ready to harvest, so I bought a huge bunch to use at Trader Joes for just a couple of dollars.  I like the put the hot pasta in a big bowl straight from the pasta water and toss it with the pesto - the heat takes a little bit of the edge off of the fresh basil and raw garlic.

Recipes :

Homemade Pesto Sauce

Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp




For a simple, but elegant summer party you can't go wrong with hydrangea.  Here, I put them in a rustic pot to make them feel a bit more casual.  How-to, here >




Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp


This Tomato, Goat Cheese & Prosciutto Salad would be the perfect thing for a seated starter.


If it is more of a gather around sort of party, the Tomato Mozzarella Platter is always my go-to in the summer.  


This Glazed Lemon Cake is perfect ending for a summer party.  No one will say no to lemon - it always sounds so light and refreshing.


Shop the Summer Entertaining Collection for more entertaining ideas >
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