Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Lovin' in the Oven


My poor oven kicked the bucket two weeks ago. The stove stop is still ticking, and the broiler is also still in the game. Its just the baking element that just wont work. (even after I climbed in and tinkered with it- it still wont breathe sweet life into any raw cookie dough I put in there)

While I was feeling quite blue and wallowing in my baking sorrows, down
trodden as I would not be able to compete in this months IRON CUPCAKE CHALLENGE, it was my mom that gave me new hope. Mom called and said "microwave". Really? The microwave for delicate sweet little cuppie cakes? Why not!

This recipe was one my mom used in the early 80's when we lived in the keys and no one ever wanted to turn on their oven. I made a few tweaks and additions and I think it turned out quite well. I made them in cupcake form and in cake cup form. Yes cake cup!

Cranberry Cupcake Surprises

1 3 oz package of cream cheese
2 Tbsp of sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 tsp of salt
1 1/4 Tsp of orange zest
1/3 cup Craisins
1 Tbsp of flour
3 oz of semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 package of Duncan Hines Double Dark Chocolate Cake AND the ingredients called for on package

In small microwave safe mixing bowl- heat uncovered on low for 1 minute the cream cheese. Stir in sugar, then the egg yolk and the salt, Mix in chocolate chips and 1/4 tsp orange zest. set aside.

Prepare chocolate cake mix using package directions. Mix craisins with the flour and then fold into the cake mixture. Finally add the 1 Tsp of orange zest. Fill cupcake cups with about 1 & 1/2 tbs of cake mixture. To steady the papers I put them in the heavy duty plastic wilton baking cups.

Add 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture to the top of each cup.



(if you make these in a coffee cup, I put in about 3 Tbsp of cake mixture and 2 tsp of the cream cheese mixture)



Cook uncovered in the microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes, if needed microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Cupcake top will not be look moist on the surface when it is done.

Let cool and top with fresh whipped cream and a couple of craisins. And Voila! No bake Cupcake! (or cake cup!!)



Voting for Iron Cupcake Earth; Cranberry opens up on 11/30 at mkecupcakequeen.blogspot.com

The winner of this months challenge will win goodies from ;

ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
LOLLIPOP WORKSHOP - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5174676
COOKIE SUNSHINE - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5474239;
as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6057281.
PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth is excited to welco243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!
As an added bonus for November only SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY, http://www.acupcakery.com/cupcake-pocket-birthday-apron.html.

HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; the CUPCAKE COURIER http://www.cupcakecourier.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com.
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com .
CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bridget's Baby Shower Bonanza

photo taken by fred

This past weekend I scooted up to cheery Clearwater beach to celebrate my gal pal Bridget and help throw her a baby shower.  The food was delish, the games were just silly enough to be fun- but not corny, and the location was spectacular.  Good times were had by all.  And we can't wait to meet the little red headed bundle of joy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Iron Cupcake Earth : Cheese



Here's my 1st entry to Iron Cupcake Earth. The challenge this month is CHEESE.
cream cheese would have been so wonderful and easy and delicious, but I wanted to step it up for my first challenge. It is really fun to be part of such an eclectic and lively bunch of bloggers, and I had a good time researching all the different pairings I considered. I'm super happy with this cupcake- so happy that I ate 8 of them in roughly a 24 hour period.....(i have no will power)
The prizes are posted below! (lots of etsy good things included in the prizes)
Voting does not open until the end of the month.

Honey, Lavender and Roasted Fig Cupcakes adapted from Amy Sedaris Vanilla cupcakes and how to eat a cupcake's measurements for just 12 cupcakes.

3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Lavender Sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon wildflower honey
roasted figs cut into sections- see recipe below


1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.
3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
4. Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk.
5. Mix in the Honey
6. Mix until batter is smooth with no lumps. Try not to eat the batter directly from bowl...i know its hard not to.
7. Divide batter evenly. Insert a section of the roasted fig into middle of each cup and smooth batter over the top.
8. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.


Roasted Figs
Preheat oven to 425
Select plump juicy figs- I like the Brown Turkey figs
Slice the stem off and then cut into quarters.
Lay them in a baking dish and sprinkle with lavender sugar* (the quantity of sugar depends on the sweetness of your figs)
and drizzle generously with honey
Roast for 15 minutes
they should come out looking slightly caramelized with a pinkish thick syrup (so good)

* some specialty spice stores carry lavender sugar or you can make it yourself with fresh food grade lavender buds and scooping a handfull into a 2 cups of sugar. cover with lid and just let it hang out for a few weeks. And you can keep it going by just topping it off every now and then. I baked these cupcakes with the sugar unstrained, so there were some speckles of lavender buds in there. But if you'd like you can run the sugar mixture through a seive to strain out the buds- but put the buds back in your sugar container.

Honey and Fig Goat Cheese Frosting
makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes + extra to dip your left over fresh figs in- so delish!

4 oz mild creamy goat cheese
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of roasted figs pureed

bring cream cheese and goat cheese to room temperature and whip it up.
Add honey and then mix in powdered sugar
Finally add the fig puree- if you would like your frosting thicker, decrease the amount of fig puree, as the puree does make for more of an oh so delicious glaze than a thick piping frosting.


Iron Cupcake Earth: Cheese Prizes!
ETSY artist ART ON THE MENU with her awesome little cardboard cupcake, her link is: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5738002 and a pair of cupcake earrings from Lots of Sprinkles at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6057281.
As an added bonus for October only we have a sassy and sweet T from Bakelove Bakewear, http://www.bakelove.com/cupcake_t-shirt.html. Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; the CUPCAKE COURIER http://www.cupcakecourier.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com .

Friday, October 10, 2008

Team Edward

let the countdown to Nov. 21 begin

Monday, October 6, 2008

A place for my pots

I want this kitchen.... for the next dive apartment/house we buy and fix up. This is a great inspiration kitchen to design something along the same lines! (is that ok kev?)
dark wood floors, marble, gas stove, deep drawers , love it all!
This pic came from Domino magazines new book, you can read more about it on design sponge.

No milk, no cream - no problem.

I typically have what I call- "Sweet Tooth Sunday", each Sunday night I make something sweet. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies, or ice cream. Sunday because its usually a lazy day and I bring the left overs to work. Sunday is a "safer day" with minimum time to be left entirely alone with a giant plate of sugar laden goodies and no witnesses.

This Sunday was pretty warm and humid in the house, so I didn't feel like firing up the oven. Ice Cream sounded delish- I could whip up some Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, or Vanilla Bean no problem. Oh No- wait- I didn't buy milk or cream. No dairy in the house due to my sheer laziness at the grocery store (hey milk is heavy to carry home). My brain had already triggered the ice cream craving and there was no denying it- so I had to think outside of the "ice" box and after a little internet digging I settled on Sorbet- (I can't believe I didn't know there was no dairy in sorbet!)

It turned out surprisingly good- not quite as creamy as ice cream- but very rich with great flavor.
I used the Barefoot Contessa recipe and it was a snap to pull together- I highly recommend it! The cinnamon and espresso give it a gourmet twist and the flavor was outta sight, almost like a mexican hot chocolate taste. It took about 3 minutes to make and then 30 minutes in my ice cream machine (yeah for wedding presents!).

The recipe makes enough for 3 people...or enough for one "Sami" sized portion.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup very good cocoa powder (recommended: Pernigotti) - I used good ol' Hershey's
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso (1 shot)
  • 11/2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (recommended: Tia Maria) - I used Kahlua

Directions

In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in 2 cups water and the espresso. Cook over low heat until the ingredients are dissolved. Off the heat, stir in the coffee liqueur. Transfer to plastic containers and refrigerate until very cold.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions. The sorbet will still be soft; place it in a plastic container and freeze for 1 hour or overnight, until firm enough to scoop.

(I ate it straight out of the machine- but you really should let it freeze up a little before enjoying it)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

1,2,3,4

Oh this is so cute! I swear I'm not a total puppet freak, however I do have an incredible soft spot for the muppets. Plus this is really well done, Feist, Muppets, counting- what more could a girl want? Maybe some chickens just back from the shore.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

oh swoon

I so wanted to do this for our "getaway" from the wedding reception. But Kevin voiced a strong concern over having a few glasses of champagne and then having to navigate the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine in the dark. Point taken. Isn't it so super dreamy though?

While I've pretty much gotten most of the wedding bug out of my system I still sneak over to a few blogs to appreciate some unique ideas, beautiful photos and quirky party planning ideas. This charming wedding above can be seen over at Snippet & Ink.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Genius

Above is HEY CUPCAKE from Austin, Tx

Below is one located in Europe.
aren't they both tooth achingly sweet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cruisin'



Look at what Kevin just finished restoring. Pretty sweet ride. I'm trying to convince him to keep it- but I think he's leaning towards selling it. Don't ya think he would look flippin' sweet riding around the neighborhood in it?




Below is *hopefully* his next project. I've staked my claim in this bike. I can imagine it all shiny and sparkly again, in a fresh color with a big sturdy wicker basket attached to the front. New streamers coming out of the handles, and a beautiful new embroidered seat. Notice the skirt guard? How very lady like. While Kevin is tooling around the neighborhood sipping his coffee I can trail behind him on my girlie bike perhaps selling fresh baked goodies from the front basket....and maybe we can fit a basket on the back and I can sell puppies from the back!! Cupcakes and Puppies - its a goldmine idea. We'll be rich in now time, even if its just rich in sugary sweets and puppy kisses.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daydreaming...at work

Today is quiet at work. The calm before the storm, the storm being when all the models start arriving. Miraculously I was able to procure a day off during our upcoming busy time, so I've been very busy today daydreaming about it. It being the Key West motorcycle adventure I get to partake in with Kevin and his best bud Ryan in December. I'm not really a rough and tumble kind of girl- a Harley bad ass I am not. I'm more likely to be seen hovering over a plate of cupcakes then hovering over the clutch of a hog. Is that even proper motorcycle terminology?
This trip will totally make up for being run out of the island a few weeks ago from the hurricane. Now here's the big question - where does your luggage go on the motorcycle? I can't very well attach a little red wagon to the back? Could I possibly have to fit everything I need for 2 days into one itty bitty back pack? Anyone know about how many pairs of shoes you can fit into a jansport? hmmm...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Great Pumpkin


Its that time of year again....at Starbucks!!! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, its my most favorite beverage. As soon as I take my first sip it ushers in fall for me. Sure its 90 degrees outside, and everyone is running around lincoln road in a swimsuit. For me- fall officially begins with my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. While I sip my hot cup of pure joy and gaze out of my office windows at the beach goers, in my mind I'm playing in the fall leaves- dreaming up halloween costumes and thinking about the upcoming holidays.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Funny Stuff

My totally awesome nephew, Jonathan, introduced me to the Potter Puppet Pals on youtube. I love it. There's a bunch more on youtube and here, but here's one of my favorites. Watch til the end for a special surprise guest. You'll find yourself singing their little song all day.
Enjoy!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

i moved.

i abandoned my mac website, i think blogger will be more reader friendly.