Saturday, September 20, 2014

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Although the weather outside is defying Fall, I feel my favorite season on my doorstep... so I decided to bake some cupcakes that evoked a warm feeling and perfumed my house with the cozy scent of Autumn.
The recipe can be found on Martha Stewart's website : Banana Cupcakes.
The only change I made was in regards to the frosting. I didn't have what I needed for the frosting,but I did have a can of vanilla frosting in the baking cabinet (Sorry Miss Martha!) To redeem myself (and negate the cheating lol)I added a generous amount of ground cinnamon to  the frosting and viola-gorgeous cupcakes that taste divine !

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Key Lime Pie

My Key Lime PieI lived in Florida for three years and in some circles a merengue topping is the "way" you make a Key Lime Pie . Over time I adapted two separate recipes into this one and this is the pie I have made ever since.For the crust
For crust1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers, I use cinnamon graham crackers2 tablespoons sugar6 tablespoons butter,melted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.
Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.
For filling1 (14-ounce) can fat free sweetened condensed milk5 egg yolks (save the whites for the merengue topping1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice I use regular lime juice ad add two tbl lime zestFor the topping5 egg whites5 tbl sugar2 tbl cornstarchpinch of saltpinch of cream of tartar

Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).
Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. 
Meanwhile in a large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. I a second bowl combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and cornstarch. Add the sugar mixture a little at a time beating between additions. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of pie and bake an additional 15 minutes until toasty colored.
You can serve your pie warm or let it chill out in the fridge.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Afternoon Garden Delights

A monarch butterfly on one of my liatris flowers.

Kermit Piggy petunia.

The name of this lily escapes me, I refer to it as a Tiger Cub lily as it reminds me of a mini Tigerlily              

Sourdough Cherry Muffins

I combined several recipes to create these muffins. I needed to use a sourdough starter I made last week and this seemed the perfect way to do so!

Sourdough Cherry Muffins

Sourdough Cherry Muffins

Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl combine the following-
2 eggs
1/2 c sunflower oil ( or any veg oil)
3/4c sugar
1 1/2 c sourdough starter

Set aside.

 In another bowl-pick a large bowl, whisk together
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of  kosher salt

Add your bowl of wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl, fold together until well incorporated, then fold in 2 cups fresh pitted cherries.
Here's a tip- I like to freeze my fruit overnight before I add it to muffins. I find it helps the fruit keep it's shape and doesn't get overdone within the muffin, while still contributing juicy goodness to the muffins :)
Fill your muffin cups.If your cherries are huge like mine were, the cups will be full all the way or even past the top. Don't worry about it, mine didn't spill over as they baked (juices leaked out on top my muffin tin of course but it didn't run over lol) If you want extra insurance, just put a cookie sheet underneath on the bottom oven rack to catch any potential batter overflow.
Place in your oven and bake 20 -25 min. Check them after 20 minutes, if a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean, take them out. If not leave them in a little longer until they are done.
Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and viola! Sourdough Cherry Muffins.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple salad

For this easy salad I tossed 3 chopped apples (I used a combination of varieties) in  a bowl with the juice of one lime (this helps deter the apples from browning as well as adding a nice fresh, crisp tone to the salad). In a separate larger bowl I combined  2/3 tub thawed cool whip lite with 1/2 bottle of smuckers caramel sauce. Then I stirred in 1 cup chopped peanuts and 1/2 bag mini marshmallows. Finally I added the chopped apples into this and a generous (I mean generous) pinch of kosher salt-don't skip the salt it  is crucial if you want that good salty sweet flavor in this crunchy gooey salad!
Pour this into a pretty bowl for serving and garnish with additional nuts. Chill well and enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pork Chops with potatoes & onions


    Tonight for dinner I made Laura Calder's recipe for Pork Chops with Potatoes & Onions. The smell of this dish mingling with the lingering scents of the strawberry galette and the green aroma of rain wafting in my smells like an evening walk in Paris. Love it!
   Yes, there are pork chops in there, I promise ..they are hiding under the blanket of potatoes.

The recipe can be found here-Pork chops with Potatoes & onions

Strawberry Galette

    We have an abundance of strawberries in the garden right now so I took the opportunity to craft my version of a french berry galette.

Preheat oven to 400 F
Prepare a box of jiffy pie crust mix according to directions. Pat or roll it out in to a large circle.
Toss about 2 1/2 cups berries in about 1/4 c sugar, mound the berries in the middle of your pie crust circle then fold up the sides. Sprinkle the whole galette with sugar and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 25-30 minutes.

Simple and scrumptious!