Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

In honor of Thanksgiving fastly approaching, why not make a delicious pumpkin pie cupcake for all your holiday parties. This recipe comes from Une-Deux Senses. Head on over to her site and check out the recipe or you can see the recipe below:

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Yields: 15 cupcakes
Inspired by this; adapted from here and here.
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tbsn. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
For the graham cracker crust:
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsn. light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsn. unsalted butter, melted
For the pumpkin pie frosting:
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tbsn. molasses
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsn. flour
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
Directions:
  • The “frosting” should be made first as it takes the longest to bake and needs to cool before using. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients until well combined. Pour the filling into a 9-inch round pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 F and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean. Let cool completely before using.
  • To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the butter and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. In another bowl, blend the eggs, egg white, remaining 1/4 cup milk and vanilla. Add to the batter in 3 additions, mixing for 2 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions. Set aside.
  • To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Add 1 tbsn. of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and bake for 5 minutes until the graham crackers are golden. Remove from the oven then fill about 1/2 full with the cake batter. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. To frost, scoop the pumpkin pie “frosting” into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.
Enjoy! xo

Cake Finds via Pinterest

Here are some of my favorite cake finds from pinterest:

Wedding cake with the poem, I Carry Your Heart, by EE Cummings.

Wedding cake with the poem, I Carry Your Heart, by EE Cummings.

Sea shells

Beach themed

pizza cake!

French fries cake

French fry cake!

Breakfast Cake

Breakfast cake: waffles, scrambled eggs, and bacon!

Nautical cake

Nautical themed cake

Minion Cake...I want this for my birthday!

Despicable Me cake! Minions, so super cute!!

Kitchen Aid cake!

Grandma Betty’s Meatballs

Pasta. Sauce. Meatballs. It’s essential. Here is a recipe I came across on The Parsley Thief‘s blog. Not only do they give you their grandma’s recipe, but a homemade sauce recipe as well. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

Makes 16 – 2″ meatballs, and enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 3/4 cups fresh bread crumbs (3 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (about 10 grinds)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes (I like to use San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 large clove garlicsmashed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea saltor to taste

Directions:

  • Begin a double, modified batch of Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter {or your favorite Marinara Sauce recipe} by adding all of the ‘Sauce‘ ingredients listed above to a large, heavy saucepan, and bringing the mixture to a boil, over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Begin the meatballs by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Add the bread crumbs to a large mixing bowl, and pour in the milk. Toss to coat the bread crumbs, and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Add all of the remaining ‘Meatball‘ ingredients to the bread crumb mixture, and mix gently, using your hands. You want to mix just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, but try to avoid over-mixing.
  • Using your hands, shape the mixture into 2″ balls, and lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then use tongs to transfer the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with your choice of pasta, topped with an extra sprinkle of grated Parmesan.


Some Notes/Options [Straight from The Parsley Thief]

  • Store-bought, dry bread crumbs can be used in a pinch, but making your own is worth the effort, whenever possible.To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, process sliced bread in a food processor until evenly ground. Or, you can cube fresh, or day-old bread {crusts removed} by hand. Any type of sandwich bread will do – you can even use whole wheat, if that’s your preference. I have given the proportion of bread crumbs by dry measure, and by weight, to make this easier.
  •  For the sauce, I like to use a modified version of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter because it’s the best tomato sauce I’ve ever tasted! I’ve modified it,  because as written I find it to be too rich for serving with meatballs {but fantastic alone with pasta}. You can also substitute your favorite Marinara Sauce recipe, or even use your favorite jarred sauce – I won’t judge, and have been known to do so myself on many a pressed-for-time, weeknight dinner occasion! My most favorite jarred sauce is ‘Michael’s of Brooklyn’ Marinara – which is expensive, but worth every penny!
  • If you use extra-lean ground beef {i.e. ground sirloin, or 90% lean} you’ll need to line your baking sheet with parchment, or give it a quick coating of non-stick cooking spray, to prevent the meatballs from sticking. 
  • Over the years, I’ve made many a ‘fried’ meatball. Your Italian grandmother may tell you this is the only way to go, and there’s no question it’s delicious! But it also creates a big mess, and requires much more time standing over a hot stove. Not to mention, baking them is healthier. However, if you’d prefer the frying method, simply follow the instructions as is, but to cook the meatballs – Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Add some flour to a shallow plate, or bowl, and roll each formed meatball in the flour, tapping off any excess. Fry the meatballs in batches, until evenly browned on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel lined plate when done. Add the browned meatballs all at once to the sauce, and let them simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes for 2″ meatballs.
Enjoy! xo

Happy Belated National Devil’s Food Cake Day!

(Okay, for those who actually care yesterday, the 19th, was actually National Devil’s Food Cake Day. But I love cake, so I don’t care!)

Devil's Food Cake

In lieu of  Devil’s Food Cake day, here’s a recipe from The Skinny Chef. Make sure you check out their site as well as the recipe below:

Serves 10

Ingredients

1 cups “white” whole wheat flour, plus flour for dusting pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup low-fat 1% buttermilk
1 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
non-fat cooking spray

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a 9-inch cake or spring-form pan with non-stick spray. Dust with flour; shake off excess. Over a large mixing bowl, sift both types of flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk the brown sugar, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cool completely before icing with chocolate sour cream icing

Enjoy! xo

Buffalo Chicken Strips With Blue Cheese Salad

Courtesy of Martha Stewart, delish Buffalo Chicken Strips with a Blue Cheese Salad. Check out the recipe below:
  • 45 minutes
  • Total Time45 minutes
  • YieldServes 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 16 equal-size strips
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Blue Cheese Salad

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in ketchup and hot sauce. Remove from heat; cover and reserve sauce.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 teaspoons water.
  3. In small batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat, shaking off excess. Dredge chicken in flour again. Place on floured sheet.
  4. In a large (5-quart) saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer (a pinch of flour should sizzle when dropped in the oil).
  5. Add half the chicken; cook until golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Return oil to 350 degrees. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Toss chicken strips with reserved sauce (reheated if necessary) to coat. Serve with Blue Cheese Salad.

Cook’s Note

A deep-fry thermometer is the best way to monitor the temperature of the oil. Adjust burner heat during cooking to maintain a steady temperature.

Enjoy!xo

All-American Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Considering Super Bowl is 2 days away I suppose I should post something that has to do with the big game (even though I care more about eating than the actual game). Courtesy of Martha Stewarts game day recipes, here is her All American Buffalo Chicken Tenders. Check out the recipe below:

  • Prep Time25 minutes
  • Total Time25 minutes
  • YieldServes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and transfer to oven. In a medium bowl, stir together blue cheese and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Season dip with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. Place flour and remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk in separate medium bowls; season with salt and pepper. Set out another rimmed baking sheet alongside. Dip chicken in buttermilk (allowing excess to drip off), then in flour (shaking off excess); place on sheet.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to rack in oven to keep warm.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together hot sauce and melted butter. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Serve tenders with blue-cheese dip.

Cook’s Note

To keep mess to a minimum, use one hand to dip chicken in buttermilk and place in flour; with the other hand, toss, pick up, and place on sheet.

Enjoy! xo

S’mores Cake: Mason Jar Style

OM NOM NOM. Like that right? I can’t help myself when it comes to s’mores. It’s one of those guilty pleasures that you can’t just eat one. Anyways, I’ve mentioned How Sweet Eats before and you guys seriously need to check the site out! Here’s another mason jar recipe. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

makes 4 16-ounce mason jar cakes

For Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt butter and mix in graham crumbs and salt. Mix until moistened. Spray 4 mason jars with non-stick spray and press graham crust into jars. I began by adding a tablespoon to each, and repeating until graham crumbs were gone. They don’t need to look perfect. I pressed the crumbs down firmly with the flat bottom of a clean screwdriver.

For Cake:

  • 1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

For Topping: 

  • 1 bag of large marshmallows
  • In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture. Mix until batter is smooth. Using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to mason jars one scoop at a time. You only want to fill them up about half way, and the batter should work evenly for 4 jars. Again – don’t worry if it is perfect. Place mason jars in a baking dish and add about 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cake is set.
  • Remove cake from the oven and press large marshmallows down on top, being careful not to burn yourself. There is no set number of marshmallows to use, I pressed down as many as I could, about 4-5 each. Heat the broiler on your oven and watching carefully, brown marshmallows for about 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not take your eyes off them! Serve immediately.

*The recipe looks really long, but it is actually really easy! *When you put the marshmallows on top and broil, they may sink down below the edges of the chocolate cake. This is normal. The cake it still more than halfway to the top. *These are pretty rich and sweet, and make a really great dessert for two people to share with two spoons… but can still be eaten by one. *You can use other sizes of jars, just use your eye to decided how much batter to use, never going over half way. If you have too much batter, just make a few cupcakes.

Enjoy!xo

 

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Check out this easy Gluten Free- Dairy Free recipe of flourless chocolate cupcakes. I found this recipe on Emily K Designs. Check out her site as well as the recipe below:

What You’ll Need:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter {substitute vegan butter}
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips)
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Ice cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine, then remove bowl from heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks.
  • With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry (do not overbeat). Whisk one quarter of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten; gently fold mixture into remaining whites.
  • Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are just set in centers, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes (their centers will sink). Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are baked; keep at room temperature until ready to serve, topped with scoops of ice cream, if desired.

Enjoy!xo

Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes

Granted these pancakes sure do have a long name they are actually really good. This recipes comes from How Sweet Treats. They give you step by step directions along with photos. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

makes 12 pancakes

What You’ll Need:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry. Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.
2. Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with butter and syrup, or the vanilla maple glaze.

Note: if you don’t have/can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, use 1 cup of regular whole wheat and 1 cup of all purpose. Or 2 cups of all purpose.

Vanilla Maple Glaze
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over pancakes.

Enjoy!xo

Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Bars

I love Cap’n Crunch. I don’t know about you, but I could sit and eat an entire box (which I guess I shouldn’t say out loud. It makes me sounds like a big pig hahaha). Anyways, on Lick The Bowl Good (LOVE their blog name) they’ve posted an easier recipe on Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Bars. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

What You’ll Need:
3 Tbsp Butter
30 Large Marshmallows
6 Cups Cap’n Crunch Cereal
1 1/2 Cup M&M’s (or any other treat you’d like)

Directions:
1. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. In a large pot on the stove melt butter, peanut butter and marshmallows on medium low heat, stirring occasionally (I did this in the microwave in a glass bowl).
3. Once mixture is melted and all combined, remove from heat. Add cereal and M&M’s quickly and stir quickly to well coat. As the marshmallow mixture cools will become harder to mix.
4. Pour into prepared pan. Coat your hands with a little extra butter and press down the mixture into the pan to get it as even as possible. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.

Makes 24 bars.

Enjoy! xo