Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

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I'm all about trying new recipes and baking from scratch when I have the time, but in my book there's nothing wrong with doctoring up a box mix from time to time.  I'd say Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and the Pillsbury dough boy are pretty successful at what they do, so who am I to judge?!

These cupcakes are one of my favorites to make. 
I think the fresh berries on top make them look so pretty.
Hope you like them too :)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

1 box Devil's Food chocolate cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 C canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pan with cupcake liners.
Sift cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Mix with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.
Cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

 1 cup (2 sticks)  unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup raspberry preserves

Beat butter with an electric mixer for 3 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
Add raspberry preserves and beat for 2 minutes.  Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and then beat for another 2-3 minutes.  Frost cooled cake or cupcakes.
Top with fresh raspberries.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

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My one and only baby went to college last week. 
I think I may have mentioned it a time or two :)

I almost always make her pancakes on Saturday mornings.
Well this past Saturday she wasn't here.
It was weird.
And sad.

I felt the need to make pancakes.
So I did.
I topped them with almond butter, bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup.
The end.

P.S.  Do you like my retro 80's Corelle plate?
Feel free to send me some new dishes if you like :)
Blue Fiesta Ware preferably - ha!

Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 T honey
1 T baking powder
1 T coconut oil
2 egg whites
1 cup almond milk
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Laddle pancakes onto a hot griddle and cook until done.
Add your favorite toppings.
Mine are almond butter and bananas with a drizzle of pure maple syrup - yum!
Makes 6 large pancakes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello car all packed up for college move in day.

Hello college girl in her dorm room. 
How did you grow up so fast??????

Hello room mate. 
I think you two are going to have a lot of fun together.

Hello cupcake delivery for a special friend. 
You have been the best nurse ever and we love you!

Hello yummy Chipotle dinner. 
You are my fave!

Hello and Happy Monday Friends!
Make it a great week!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Strawberry Jell-O Pie

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When we were kids my parents would take us on vacation to Virginia Beach.  We would go with my aunts, uncles and cousins and it was a blast.  Eight kids and 6 adults in two stationwagons. 
That was back in the day when we didn't wear seatbelts or have carseats, so us kids were stashed everywhere. 
It's a wonder we survived! 

Anyway, every year we always ate at Shoney's.  Always.
Do you remember Shoney's when they had the Big Boy statue out front? 
We would hang all over him and take our picture. 
We were from the country, so we didn't get out much :)

Well Shoney's was famous for their strawberry pie.  Maybe they still are, but I haven't eaten there in at least 15 years, so I wouldn't know. 

My Dad would always order the strawberry pie and if we were really good, we could order a slice too. 

This pie isn't exactly like Shoney's, but it's kind of close, so when I started making this pie all of those Virginia Beach trip memories started coming back to me and that's why you're reading them now.

I'm going to go dig through my old photo albums and see if I can find any of us with the Shoney's Big Boy.
You should go make this pie.
You'll be happy you did.

Strawberry Jell-O Pie

1 baked 9-inch deep dish pie shell
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup water
2 T cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 small box strawberry jell-o (3 oz.)

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 T confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bake your pie shell.  Set aside to cool.
Wash and hull strawberries.  Place berries cut side down in a baked pie shell and set aside.

In a small bowl , pour in water, cornstarch and sugar.  Stir until mostly dissolved.
Microwave about 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles up and thickens.
Stir in strawberry jell-o powder and pour mixture all over the strawberries. 
Refrigerate until set, at least 2-3 hours.
For whipped cream - whip cream, sugar and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.

Top with whipped cream and more fresh berries.
Serve cold.
Recipe from Lauren's Latest

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting all packed up and ready for pick up.

Hello best friends enjoying their last few days together before leaving for different colleges.
More on how I am handling that later.

Hello to a coupon for a free McDonald's oatmeal.  Yum!

Hello Luke Bryan concert at the county fair.

Hello Luke Bryan.  It was nice of you to wear the JMU hat someone threw to you :)
Loved your show too!

Hello to my nephew's dog Dixie.  You are quite the doggie model.

Hello morning addiction.  I know you are bad for me, but I love you so.

Hello friends.
I hope you have a fabulous week.
We will be moving our daughter into her college dorm on Wednesday.
My husband and I will be empty nesters.
Not sure how I am going to handle that.
I'm sure it will involve lots of Diet Coke and probably some wine too :)

Linking up to Hello Monday with the lovely Lisa Leonard.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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My sister-in-law and I love zucchini so much that my parents make sure they have a zucchini plant for each of us in their garden.  Now thats love :)

Most of the time I use it to make my Summer Garden Pasta for dinner or I'll make zucchini blueberry bread, but this week I decided to make something a little sweeter...cupcakes!

I cut off the ends and toss the zucchini in my food processor to grate it - no need to peel it.  You can also use a box grater, but I like to let my food processor do the work for me cause I'm lazy like that :)

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting is sooooooo good!  This is the same frosting I use on my pumpkin cupcakes in the fall.  You must try it.  Seriously make some now!

My beloved zucchini plant :)

Zucchini never tasted so good!

Zucchini Cupcakes with
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

3 eggs
1/2 C canola oil
1 1/3 C sugar
1/2 C orange juice
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 C shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with paper liners. 
Combine eggs, sugar, oil and orange juice in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the zucchini and mix well. Now fold in the shredded zucchini. Fill paper liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until done.  Cool on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter together in a stand mixer.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. 
Frost cooled cupcakes.

I use a Wilton 1M tip to frost my cupcakes.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cilantro Corn Salad

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Whenever I visit my parents during the summer it's like winning the farmers market jackpot.
I go home with bags of fresh corn on the cob, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.
Oh and a mason jar full of beautiful zinnias.
My parents have the best garden and they love to share :)

Summer is the perfect time for cold salads and this corn salad is delish.
Use corn cut off the cob if you have it, but it's almost just as good with frozen corn.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

You may also want to try some of my other favorite summer faves - Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad and Honey Lemon Pasta Salad.

Gotta love summer!!

Cilantro Corn Salad

8 ears fresh sweet corn or 4 cups frozen corn
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the fresh corn off the cobb or add the frozen corn to a pot and steam for 3 to 5 minutes in 1/4 cup water.
Remove the lid and cook, stirring, 2minutes more or until water evaporates.
Toss the corn with all other ingredients and chill.

recipe from The Driveway of Life

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