Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
Hello:)! So this is just a quick post today but wanted to share this classic, go to recipe with you. I had some extra time this morning, mainly because I showed up to work WAY to early.
Yup nothing like showing up at 7:30 and you aren't supposed to be in until 12. Oh well it gave me time to take the pup for a super long walk AND make some cookies.
This recipe is actually off the back of a chocolate chip bag. No special tricks or secrets here. Just good ol' classic goodness.
I have made some many chocolate chip cookies using numerous recipe each slightly different. I was a huge fan of Alton Browns recipe from his Good Eats book. But all in all when you just want an easy go to recipe I still go to the chocolate chip bag, and I'm never let down.
So Thanks Nestle Toll House, for having such a great recipe. And thank you Pheobe Buffet for giving us a good chuckle :) Love this episode.
 
 
You can find the lovely recipe here.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to smell the roses, and eat the cookies :)
 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Time Flies.....

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Lets Catch Up
Making Sugar*Punch Napkins at the bar :) lol
 
Hello friends! Or should I say strangers?! I will say it again....I have to be the worst blogger ever. I have so much to put up on here but have yet to get a new computer and find time to put things up. So much has been going on with Sugar*Punch and have defiantly picked up a lot of business lately and it makes me so incredibly happy! I know this is my passion and plan on Cupcake World Domination, muhahahaha!

Hahaha not quite but I wouldn't mind tackling South Jersey for the time being :).
I have had quite a few baby showers lately so I will show you how they came out.


Little Man Cupcakes Boy Baby Shower
Vanilla with Chocolate Mousse Filling and Vanilla Buttercream
 
Mango Coconut Cupcakes for Baby Boy Elephant Shower


Baby Reveal Cupcakes

It's a boy!

Another Baby Boy Shower with AMAZING
Banana Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
YUM!

 I also made cupcakes for a co-workers birthday. 
I am in love with these beauties:) Triple Chocolate; a dark chocolate cupcake dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with a whipped chocolate frosting. And Funfetti cupcakes; a light and airy vanilla cupcake with sprinkles folded into the batter, topped with a whipped vanilla buttercream and garnished with rainbow sprinkles.
  Last week was also a very tragic week for my family. We had to say goodbye to my wonderful grandmother, my Nanny. She was such an amazing woman and we are still in shock that she is no longer with us. Through her I learned to love animals and will always have a special place for elephants. Life will not be the same with out her and we will forever miss her!

Angel wings <3

This was a typical day with her<3 So funny to see her and her great
granddaughter going to get the mail.

Well thats just a few things to catch you up on. Check back for some awesome dinner recipes and to hear about my trip Santa Fe, NM.
Thanks so much for still following me and supporting my blog and Sugar*Punch Cupcakes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An apple a day....

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Apple Turnover

Hello hello! It's apple picking time! Just like all the pumpkin recipes I get super stoked about
 (cookies, cake, pie, coffee) I am just as excited for apples!

As the old saying goes, " An apple a day keeps the doctor away", I literally eat an apple almost everyday. They are just something I never get tired of and really enjoy. And apple desserts, well that's just on a different level. Apple pie, apple cake, apple muffins, apple cider donuts. mmmmm!

Well my roommate made homemade apple strudels. Last spring her and I traveled to Europe with our first stop in Switzerland. All I  talked about was wanting to get an apple strudel while there. Apparently Switzerland is known for their strudels, after their fondue of course. That being said you would assume they would have endless amounts and places to eat and purchase their famous apple strudels. WRONG.

We searched high and low and even sat down at this fancy outdoor restaurant when we saw it on the menu yet walked out because we found out it was a "deconstructed" apple strudel. Yup we were those obnoxious tourist. Oh well, we were on a mission.

Anyways we never found our strudel but we found a great way to make them at home!
These are light and flaky and super warm with all that cinnamon and nutmeg. Perfect little treat for fall.


Apple Strudel
Makes 6 individual strudels

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper to ensure pastries will not stick.
  2. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
  3. Stir the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add the apples and toss thoroughly to coat.
  4. Heat a medium pan with the 2 tablespoons of butter and add the apple mixture. Saute on high until mixture begins to bubble then reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, until apples have softened, but are not mushy.
  5. Sprinkle flour on the work surface and unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.
  6. Cut Pastry into 6 rectangles ( 1 large cut down the middle and 2 cuts going across). Then Place each piece onto the baking dish with at least 1inch to separate.
  7. Divide the apple mixture amongst the pastries, placing in the center of each and leaving room to seal the top pastry.
  8. Repeat the cutting of 6 rectangles with another piece of the puff pastry dough.
  9. Place each piece on top of the pieces already filled with the apple mixture and gently press the the pastry around the apple mixture.
  10. Press the edges of the bottom pastry into the top pastry and ensure they are sealed.
  11. *You can use a fork to seal the edges or cut larger rectangles and roll your strudel.*
  12. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry.
  13. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  14. Or serve warm with vanilla ice cream!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Football Food

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Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pizza
 

I'm sorry for this horrid picture but it was dark and all I had was my phone.
It tasted phenomenal regardless of how it looks in the picture.
 
Hello Hello! We all know its football season and that means bbq's and parties all with food and beer. So I have for you a perfect pizza for game day!
 
 A buffalo chicken pizza on a whole wheat crust with homemade blue cheese sauce.
 
Who doesn't love buffalo chicken anything?! I love making buffalo chicken dip yet I rarely do because its just too dangerous to have in my house. I WILL eat the whole thing. I have yet to learn self control so its been a while since I have made that delicious dip, but I still wanted something buffalo. Something nice and spicy. I thought about buffalo chicken chili but I really love making pizza so I decided to create my own version of buffalo chicken pizza.
 
I used a blue cheese sauce for the base then layered it with ground chicken tossed in buffalo sauce, thin slices of red onion, mozzarella, and lots of crumbled blue cheese. MMM MMM MMM!
 
It is way better than any take out pizza and just goes great with a beer!
 
Don't be lame and order out, be cool and make your own! :)


 
 
 
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
 
Blue Cheese Sauce (optional, store bought works great too)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
Directions
  1. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and milk in small bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Stir in vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended.
  3. Fold in cheese.
  4. Transfer to container with tight-fitting lid. Chill until serving time.
  5. Stir well before serving.
For the Pizza

Homemade or store bought whole wheat pizza dough.
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground chicken
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce
1/2 cup Blue Cheese dressing
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 a medium red onion, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat grill with medium high heat. You want the grill pretty hot so the oiled dough wont stick.  (IF COOKING IN OVEN: Preheat to 425 degrees)
  2. In a medium or large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat for just a minute before adding ground chicken.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Pour hot sauce over chicken and stir to coat evenly. Remove from heat. **Steps 2-5 can be done ahead of time**
  6. On a flour surface knead the pizza dough for a minute and then flatten with hands.
  7. Roll or toss (if you are that skilled) dough out to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness. Oil the face up side of the dough and transfer to the preheated grill with the oiled side down. (IF COOKING IN OVEN: lightly oil a cookie sheet, or use a preheated pizza stone, and press dough into the pan following with the toppings and cook 18-20 minutes)
  8. Close the grill lid and let dough cook for 3-5 minutes, then oil the top of the dough again and carefully flip the dough.
  9. Spread a thin layer of the blue cheese dressing over the crust and top with chicken and red onion.Sprinkle mozzarella to top the pizza. Finish with as much crumbled blue cheese you as you prefer.
  10. Close the lid and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes until dough is cooked and slightly crisp and cheese is melted..
  11. Serve with extra blue cheese dressing and dig in!






Friday, September 21, 2012

"Pumped" for Fall

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Iced Pumpkin Cookies
 
 
Hello hello! This weekend marks the official start of fall. Where the heck did summer go?! I know it's so cliche to say feel like it just flew by this year, even though we say that every year. BUT I really feel like this summer literally flew by! Regardless I am ready and excited for all things falls. Starting with PUMPKINS!
 
I got a few little pumpkins as soon as they were ready at the farm. They are on my steps and with this beautiful fall weather we have been having the past few weeks, they fit right in. So I thought I would make something with pumpkin. I have a few recipes I still have to post but wanted to kick start autumn with this fabulous cookie recipe.
 
These are easy peasy and taste just a sweet little ball of fall. The cinnamon and nutmeg add such warmth and the sweetness of the pumpkin and vanilla icing make the perfect cookie for this time of year.
 
They couldn't be simpler and with just a few ingredients you get this light airy but slightly sweet cookie that is hard to eat just one. So go grab your pumpkin spice latte and get back and make these pumpkin cookies :)
 
 
 
Iced Pumpkin Cookies
makes 24-26 cookies
 
Ingredients
 
Cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar- I only used 1 cup and they came out perfect
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. To the butter mixture add the pumpkin, followed by the egg and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add the flour to the mixture, and beat until just combined.
  6. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and press down to flatten slightly
  7. Bake 15-20 (usually about 15) and remove to chill on a wire wrack.
  8. While cookies cool combine glaze ingredients, adding more milk to achieve desired consistency. It should be smooth and thin enough to drizzle over cooled cookies.
 
ENJOY <3
 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Year Older.....

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White Chocolate Cheesecake
with Salted Caramel Sauce


Well I have to say I must be the worst blogger around! I have been barely posting for months now,
 :(. I really don't blame myself though. I blame technology and the death of my lap top. I have been busy yes, but not too busy to blog. It is just hard to get to a computer all the time.
I have also been super busy trying to get my cupcake business more known in the area. It seems babies are all around me so I have been doing a few baby showers and I have a few festivals coming up since we are approaching the fall season. Festivals are such a great way to get my name out there. Everyone loves having a treat walking around the festival and even if they don't its a great place to hand out LOTS of business cards. So wish me luck this season, I am super determined to expand Sugar*Punch Cupcakes and I am dead set on one day having a Cupcake Truck. Dreams do come true and I believe mine will :)!

Anyways I have LOTS of recipes to catch you up on.

 I recently celebrated another birthday which was just wonderful. Nice and simple filled with family, friends, drinks, music, and WONDERFUL food!

Of course I could not resist making my own birthday cake. However, I wanted  to get crazy and make something really decadent. Whats more decadent then a smooth and creamy cheesecake?! Um a white chocolate cheesecake with a homemade salted caramel sauce on top that's what!

This cheese cake is pretty amazing on its own however this sauce is literally to die for! And you only need a little bit on top of the cheesecake so you will have a ton left over to put on top of ice cream, pie, pretzels, apples, or to just eat with a spoon.

So if you have a few hours to spare I recommend spending them making this amazing concoction!
Keep checking back for all the recipes I need to get up here! :)

sorry for the lousy picture from my phone, but hey look there's Alton Brown! Haha LOVE his Good Eats Books
White Chocolate Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 10 inch cake
Serves 8-16
*This works best with a 10in spring form pan and a stand mixer.

Caramel Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons coarse sea salt
Directions
*note* This can burn easy so be careful and keep an eye on the sugar. It may be tricky but SO worth it.
  1. In a medium non stick sauce pan over medium high heat, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly melted then set aside the spoon and swirl the pan over the heat to keep the color even throughout.
  2. Continue to cook and swirl until it sugar turns a medium amber color. Be cautious because the sugar can darken quickly and you do not want that. It will taste burnt.
  3. When the sauce is at the dark amber color  slowly whisk in the cream. If the caramel hardens with the addition of the cream, just continue to add the cream and bring the mixture back to a a boil over medium heat.
  4. Continue to stir until the sugar has remelted.
  5. Allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  6. Stir in sea salt and pour into a heat safe container and chill until ready to use.
Ingredients
Crust
  • 10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cheesecake Filling
  • 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • boiling water
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a 10 inch spring form pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Reduce the heat to 325°F and prepare the cheesecake batter.
  5. Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Then bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan.
  6. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Stir the chocolate gently until melted completely.
  7. Place the cream cheese in your mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free.
  8. Add the sugar and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.
  9. On medium speed, slowly add the melted white chocolate and mix until just combined
  10. Follow with the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Then the mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared pan.
  11. Place the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof.
  12. Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil).
  13. Bake at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an additional 60-90 minutes until the center is just set. (Mine took just over 60 minutes)
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  15. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  16. Before serving pour a small amount of the caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake until the top is covered with a thin layer. If needed reheat the sauce slightly in the microwave for a few seconds to allow easy pouring and spreading.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Violet, you're turning violet!

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Blueberry Crumb Pie




Yes another blueberry recipe. I told ya I had more :)
Well this one is another delicious way to use up these summer berries. This recipe is a Food Network Magazine find. My roommate and I actually both bought the magazine and both saved this recipe so we knew we had to make it.
This is the perfect summer pie and will be great at any bbq or gathering. Not only is this a impressive  pie to look at but it is made from scratch (even the crust!), which makes it all the more impressive. Being that it is made from scratch, it is a little bit time consuming but well worth it!
It is a whole wheat crust which is dense and buttery, much better than a store bought pastry or pie crust. It also has an amazing brown sugar and walnut crumble topping, mmm mmm mmm!

Well it's a beautiful beach day and that ocean is calling my name so I will just leave you with the recipe and hope you try this :).

Oh btw, this pie is best eaten with in a few days (like 2) or freeze it to keep it from becoming runny and soggy.

You can find the recipe over at Food Network, which has detailed directions.

I recommend adding some cinnamon to the crust and crumble, and maybe trying honey instead of sugar in the blueberry filling. Just think it will spice things up a little :)

 Enjoy <3

In case you didn't see the link above, here is the link; Blueberry Crumb Pie

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweet as Honey

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....Or what I like to call CRAZY AMAZING SUPER DELICIOUS ice cream. MMM if only there was an even better name to call this. This ice cream has got to be the best homemade, no best ice cream period, I have had in quite some time.

It has very few ingredients but is so flavorful! The blend of milk and honey are perfectly sweet. It has a silky smooth texture from being churned in the ice cream make. MMM MMM MMM. Seriously I cannot get enough. I am very impressed.

I found the recipe over at The Hungry Mouse, a new blog I found (with step by step instructions on literally everything she makes), and wanted to try it right away. I was intrigued by the use of honey instead of sugar because honey has a much deeper flavor and less intense sweetness than pure sugar. I did change a few things though.

To lighten it up, just a tad, I used half and half instead of heavy cream, and 1% milk instead of whole milk. Even with the changes it came out incredibly smooth and still creamy so I can't imagine how heavenly it must be with the full fat milk and cream.

There really isn't much else to say about this except how ridiculously great it is. So if you have an ice cream maker I HIGHLY  recommend trying this. If not, its worth buying one for lol :).

Well I have to go eat more ice cream, it's calling my name.


Enjoy!

Milk and Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from The Hungry Mouse
Makes about 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup 1%  milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

*Ice cream maker
*Candy thermometer
*Mesh strainer

Directions
  1. Separate the eggs. Placing the yolks into a large bowl. Save the whites for up to 1 day, make an omelet for breakfast with them :).
  2. Beat egg yolks well and set aside.
  3. Put the heavy cream and milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot.
  4. Set the pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to steam and bubble at the edges. Don’t let it boil.
  5. While waiting for the milk to heat up, pour the honey into a large bowl and set aside.
  6. Fill a bigger bowl with ice and set aside. This is going to be your ice bath to cool the heated mixture so you want the smaller bowl to fit inside the bowl with the ice.
  7. Place your strainer on top the bowl with the honey.
  8. Once milk mixture is heated remove from heat. Using a ladle, SLOWLY drizzle the milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks, while whisking continuously. You want to temper the eggs, bring the temperature up with out cooking them and getting scrambled eggs. So doing this slowly and whisking at the same time is important.
  9. Continue to do this until the majority of the milk mixture is whisked into the yolks. The pour yolk and milk mixture back into the pot and place back on the stove.
  10. Attach your candy thermometer to the pot but do not let it touch the bottom or you will not get an accurate reading.
  11. Heat over medium heat until mixture reaches 170, stirring occasionally.
  12. Once it reaches 170, instantly remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the bowl with honey. This will catch any cooked pieces of egg.
  13. Whisk to incorporate honey and follow with the vanilla.
  14. Pour into a container, press plastic wrap onto the top of the mixture, and let chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours, yes you need some patience.
  15. Once fully chilled and thickened, churn in ice cream machine according to that machines directions.
  16. Enjoy right away for a soft serve texture, then place in a freezer safe container and let set over night.
  17. Invite people over because you will want to eat he whole thing! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Crazy Simple yet Crazy Delicious Cocoa Brownies



Hello hello! I was thinking of throwing another blueberry recipe at you but how does chocolate sound instead?

Good? Keep reading. No good? Well then go find something else to do, although I do not recommend that but the choice is yours :).

This recipe is coming to you from my roommate who is not only my partner in crime but my ever ready taste tester. She is always ready to try any and everything I come up with. So it goes with out saying that I taste whatever she makes as well.

Well I came home pretty late from babysitting and saw these brownies sitting on the stove and dove right in. MMM MMM MMM!

I was honestly surprised how great they tasted. Now, that's not because I don't trust her baking and cooking. It was mainly because they were not as dark as your typical brownie. They had a lighter brown color to them, so I was expecting a light chocolate flavor and a cake like texture.

Well don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge a brownie by its color. These were dense and fudge like with out being too heavy. And they chocolate flavor was stronger than it looked which was balanced nice by adding a little extra vanilla. Again MMM MMM MMM!

So the next morning I asked her what recipe she used. She basically looked up brownies online and took the first recipe she thought was easy enough. Literally only needs, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla and flour. You can go ahead and chocolate chips or walnuts or whatever you like in your brownies, but these cannot be easier. No melting chocolate or anything just mixing and baking.

If you are looking for a quick fix, of chocolate, get to baking and enjoy!




  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish.
    2. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow.
    3. Add both sugars.
    4. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
    5. Pour the batter into prepared dish and bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    6. Let cool, or try to, before cutting into squares.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Ice Ice Baby

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    Blueberry and Cream Popsicles


    Hello hello! I don't know how it is for you, but here its HOT HOT HOT! I'm pretty sure this has been the hottest summer here on the  (south) Jersey Shore in quite a long time.

    Thank goodness for the wonderful ocean always calling my name! And thank goodness for ice cream! Now I have never been an ice cream fanatic, regardless of my giant sweet tooth. However, this summer I feel like I have been eating buckets of the stuff. So I thought I need to get back to using that oh so wonderful ice cream maker my lovely friends had bought for me!

    I was going to go all gourmet and make a salted caramel ice cream, but when I opened my refrigerator I changed my mind. I saw my left over blueberry sauce from those amazing blueberry cheesecake cupcakes I made recently. So I thought hmmm I can defiantly make a super simple blueberry ice cream. 

    Then I got to thinking even more. Do I really need to have a gallon of ice cream sitting in my freezer for me to devour?
    Need, no. Want, yes.

    So to save my butt from growing I decided to make Popsicles instead. Such a thinker, aren't I?

    These turned out perfect, and seriously could no be easier. Even if you don't have left over blueberry sauce, that only take minutes to make.

    Once the sauce is made you simple make a separate cream base of heavy whipping cream, half and half, sugar and vanilla. Viola!

    Easy as that! This recipe can make up to 6 pops but feel free to adjust it to make more because you won't want just one :).

    Enjoy & stay cool!

    Blueberry Cream Pop's
    makes 4-6 popsicles

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup blueberry sauce, recipe found here
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup half and half (or more heavy cream)
    • 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar (adjust to your sweetness level)
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    *A popsicle kit is great but you can use small paper cups and popsicle sticks as well*

    Directions
    1. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, half and half, vanilla, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
    2. Spoon some of the cream mixture into each of the popsicle containers, or cups, filling just the bottom.
    3. Spoon some of the blueberry sauce on top of cream mixture.
    4. Continue to do this until popsicle container is filled and top with popsicle top/stick.
    5. If using paper cups let the pop's freeze slightly before inserting popsicle stick.
    6. Let freeze for 6-8 hours before enjoying.
       
       
    
    

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

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    Hello Strangers! Yet again I have let this lovely place lack in new posts. But I am coming back with not just a great recipe but an AMAZING new cupcake!

    These pretty little things are Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. Sounds phenomenal right?

    
    They look phenomenal too, don't they?!
    
    They are light and airy vanilla cupcakes filled with a blueberry sauce that is made with honey instead of sugar, and topped with a cream cheese  frosting. A great summer cupcake, especially here in South Jersey where blueberries are as fresh as you can get!

    I also got fancy and used colored icing swirled with white icing. I think this is my new favorite way of frosting cupcakes. I could look at them all day they just look so great!
    To make the swirl is actually very simple. A great tutorial can be found HERE. It is also quite a great blog as well. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should.

    I filled the cupcakes by using a small pairing knife to cut a circle into the top of the cupcake. Then I pulled the piece out and gently pressed down on the hole to make a little but more room for the filling. Next I spooned the cooled blueberry filling into the hole and topped with the piece I removed. Its very simple but if you want more detailed directions at Annie Eats, another blog I love following.



    I wish I had a good picture of the middle of the cupcake but I only have a blurry one taken from my cell but I will show you just to give you an idea of what the blueberry filling looked like. But I will post it at the bottom away from the prettier pictures, lol.

    Anyways, stop reading and go make these delectable cupcakes!

    my niece loves her cupcakes!
    Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
    makes 12 cupcakes

    Vanilla Cupcakes
    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
    • 1 egg
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350 and place 12 cupcake liners in muffin tin.
    • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
    • Beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and beat until combined.
    • Add egg, and egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.
    • Add vanilla.
    • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until  just combined. Follow with half of the whipping cream. Repeat, and end with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
    • Pour evenly (usually about 1/4 cup) into the muffin tin and back 15-18 minutes, until top is slightly golden and toothpick comes out clean.
    • Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
    Blueberry Filling
    I used my go to blueberry sauce recipe used for these oatmeal bars and this frozen yogurt cake, mmm!
    • 1 2/3 cups blueberries
    • 3 tablespoons honey, or sugar but I prefer honey
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • A pinch of nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice 
    Directions
    1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce heat and stir constantly until sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat and set aside.
    *there will be plenty left over; perfect for ice cream or waffles*

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    *this makes quite a lot as well, but it's always great to have extra icing :)
    Ingredients
    1 8 oz package of cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but right out of the fridge is perfect)
    5 tablespoons of room temperature butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups powdered sugar
    *Blue food coloring for half of icing mixture

    Directions
    1. Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
    2. Beat cold cream cheese with butter and vanilla until combined, do not over mix or it will loosen and separate.
    3. Gradually add sifted sugar and beat until just combined. Add more until you reach the consistency and sweetness level you prefer.
    4. Scoop half of the frosting into a separate bowl and add enough blue food coloring until the color you want is achieved.
    5. Spoon the white frosting in a piping bag and the blue into another.
    6. Cut the ends and place into a larger pipping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. Make sure both ends are inserted into the tip or you will only get one color to come out.
    To Assemble Cupcakes
    1. Once cupcakes and filling have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut holes in the top of the cupcake.
    2. Trim the bottom off the piece you just removed from the cupcake, leaving just the flat top
    3. Spoon blueberry filling into the hole and replace the top of the cupcake.
    4. Pipe frosting onto cupcake in a large circular motion.
    *Again refer to these two sites for excellent step by step directions:

    <3ENJOY
     
     P.S. Here's a look at the filling
     
      

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Squash & Fetta Fritters

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    Squash & Feta Fritters

    Hello hello! This post is going to be short and sweet just like this amazing recipe.

    I had some left over yellow squash and could not think of what to do with it. I tend to saute it and add it into pasta, rice, or couscous. But I wanted to think outside the box.

    So I went to straight to the all knowing  and did my research. I googled it. I typed in yellow squash recipes and found a few recipes that used them to make pancakes, latkes, fritters, patties, whatever you want to call them. I think they sound more appetizing when they are called fritters. Wouldn't you be more intrigued by a fritter as opposed to a patty? I think so.


    Well these fritters are light and healthy and go great with a yogurt dipping sauce, over lettuce, or just as they are. I dove right in and ate about 3 just on their own. DELISH!


    Great for a snack or with a meal and they literally take no time at all. Go ahead and maybe add some zucchini and carrots too if you want some more veggies. You can change up the cheese as well, but I think the feta is perfect. I also thought maybe using panko breadcrumbs might be good too, to make it have a nice crisp texture.

    Anyways, enjoy! :)


    Squash and Feta Fritters
    Makes 6-8 Fritters

    Ingredients
    •  2 small- medium yellow squash (or zucchini)
    • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup feta cheese
    • Zest & Juice of one Lemon
    • 1 egg 
    Directions
    1. Grate zucchini into a bowl and squeeze out  the liquid with a strong paper towel or clean dish towel.
    2. Add bread crumbs, feta and lemon zest and egg and mix well.
    3. Make sure mixture is not too wet. If it is, add more bread crumbs. If it is too dry add another egg. Form patties and pan fry on medium until golden with 1 tbsp of olive oil or cooking spray. 

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Vanilla Walnut Granola

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    Hello hello! Happy June everyone! I hope you are enjoying the weather and this time of year. Getting out and soaking up the sunshine and enjoying being outside!

    Lately it seems every day I am off, the weather has been anything but enjoyable, so I've seen quite a bit of movies and gotten quite a bit of art projects started. However, recently I had off on a Saturday and was determined to enjoy it to the fullest! And that is exactly what I did.

    Living at the shore is great and I could have easily enjoyed a beach day, but I have plenty of time for that. Instead I wanted to get out and enjoy nature and some beautiful scenery. So a hiking I went!

    A few friends and I took a nice day trip to the Pocono's in Pennsylvania. It was an absolutely beautiful park filled with waterfalls and lots and lots of uphill climbing/hiking. It was such a great day!
    My friend Morgan & I at the top!
    Anyways, before we headed out I thought we would need some good grub to keep us energized for the day. What goes great with hiking? Granola does!
    Yes you can go with the typical trail mix but this has way more flavor and is easy to travel with.
    Its nice and sweet but not too sweet and has a deep vanilla flavor which makes it hard to put down.
    Granola is actually extremely simple to make and lasts for a while, so why not go ahead and make your own and leave out all the added preservatives and fake flavorings.

    This recipe is nice and simple and can be adjusted to your liking. Don't like walnuts? Use almonds, cashews, or peanuts. Or don't use any. Its up to you. You can also add anything you normal enjoy in granola.
    This recipe makes quite a bit, so throw it on yogurt, over milk, or just keep snacking on it :)!

    Vanilla Walnut Granola
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups oats
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 c. canola oil
    • 1 c. honey
    • 3 Tbsp. vanilla
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
    2. Combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
    3. In a saucepan combine oil, honey, and vanilla and bring to a boil.
    4. Continue to boil for one minute then pour over oat mixture.
    5. Mix  well, until all ingredients are moistened.
    6. Spread mixture on a large cookie sheet (you may need two sheets). 
    7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring several times, flipping the granola.
    8. Remove from oven and cool for several minutes until the granola hardens slightly.
    9. Break up granola and store in large Ziploc bags or containers.
    10. Serve plain, with yogurt, or with milk.
    11. Enjoy!

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    When Life Gives You Lemons...

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    Honey Lemon Loaf Cake
    with lemon glaze

    Hello hello! How did everyone enjoy their Memorial Day weekend?! Hopefully it was filled with good company, good weather, and of course good food! I made this cake this week and though it was just the perfect summer cake and would have been perfect for a Memorial Day BBQ.

    I  don't know about you but I am a HUGE fan of anything lemon. It surprises me how many people do not like lemon. I could eat gallons of lemon water ice, a ton of lemon bars, lemon cookies, lemon chicken, and slurp glass after glass of lemonade. So for me this cake is absolutely perfect! And for those of you who aren't too thrilled about anything lemon I recommend trying this cake. It's not a super strong lemon flavor. 
    This cake is super light with a sweet yet slightly tart flavor.

      

    Honey Lemon Cake

    Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • Zest of 1 full lemon
    For the Glaze
    • Juice of 1 full lemon
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Spray a 9in loaf pan and line it with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges. This will make it easier to remove from the pan. 
    3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
    4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the honey, sugar, butter and eggs.
    5. Add the milk and lemon zest then mix further.
    6. Add the flour mixture and blend it until it's just combined.
    7. Pour it into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
    8. Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the top is a golden brown. It will bake much quicker on the top and edges and look finished but check the middle with a toothpick to be sure. 

    To Make the Glaze
    1. In a small bowl whisk together the reserved lemon juice, honey and powdered sugar.
    2. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over top of the warm cake and let it soak in for 10 – 15 minutes.

    Using the parchment paper overhang lift the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing it. Enjoy!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

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    Look at me, back in action and keeping up with my blog posting! Well now that I have somewhat of a schedule and a working computer be prepared for some OUT OF THIS WORLD recipes. Haha not really, but still quite tasty and down right Pinterest worthy right?!

    This recipe is one I came up with yesterday morning. I had bought some blueberries and they were extremely plain and almost flavorless. I get it, its a tad too early for blueberries, but I could eat buckets of blueberries so whenever they are sold I can't resist and buy them knowing they are not going to be nearly as delicious and ripe as they should be. If I just wait a few more weeks I can have an endless selection of blueberries at my finger tips, being that I literally live in the blueberry capital of the world.


    However, I bought the pint of blueberries. Since I did not want to eat them plain I figured I'd bake something with them. I decided to go with a good old blueberry bar. Its nice and sweet thanks to making a sauce with the blueberries and honey, but also toasty and crunch because of the oatmeal and walnuts.

    Mmm mmm. I could eat the whole batch, but I won't. At least I hope I won't.

    If you went out and bought blueberries a bit too early don't eat them its not worth it. Make these bars, they are well worth it!

    Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
    Makes 12-16 bars

    Ingredients

    For the bars
    • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, dark or light
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    For the Filling
    • 1 2/3 cups blueberries
    • 3 tablespoons honey, or sugar but I prefer honey
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • A pinch of nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice 
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Line an 8 in square baking dish with parchment paper, or foil with non stick spray.
    3. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
    4. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork until combined and a light crumb forms.
    5. Press half of the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 12 minutes.
    6. While baking the crust; Prepare filling by adding the blueberries, honey, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice to a medium sauce pan.
    7. Stir ingredients and continue to cook over medium heat until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.
    8. Pour over crust and top with remaining mixture.
    9. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of nuts over the top, and bake for about 30 minutes.
    10. Let cook in pan on a wire cooling rack.
    11. Once cool cut into bars and enjoy!

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Here Comes the Sun

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    Summer Time Pasta Salad
    with homemade dressing


      
    Hey hey! We are quickly creeping up on summer and that brings on more bbq's and other outdoor gatherings which usually involve quite a bit of great summer time grub. It's the time of year for burgers and dogs, bbq chicken, and anything else you can throw on the grill.

    Well, to go along with all the delicious bbq food I have an equally delicious pasta salad that is full of fresh veggies and a simple light dressing. I also used whole pasta to make it even healthier, but feel free to use whichever pasta you like best.

    The recipe for this dressing is simply delicious and great for a garden salad as well. It's also great to make your own dressing at home because you control the ingredients and avoid added sugars, salts, and preservatives. This will last you up to 90 days in the refrigerator so make a big batch and enjoy! (This recipe is more than enough for one batch of pasta salad)

    Happy Almost Summer!!

    Summer Time Pasta Salad
    Ingredients
    • 1 box of whole wheat penne
    • 2 bell peppers, which ever colors you prefer
    • 1 medium tomato
    • 1 cucumber
    • 4-5 oz extra sharp white cheddar,
    • 1 batch of homemade Italian dressing, recipe follows

    Italian Dressing
    • 1 cup red wine vinegar (or whichever you prefer)
    • 1 1/3 cup olive or canola oil
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

    To make the dressing

    Place all ingredients in a large bowl and which until fully combined.
    OR
    Pour ingredients into large bottle and shake until combined.

    Directions
    1. Prepare penne as box instructs.
    2. While pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables and cheese into small like size pieces.
    3. Once pasta is cooked, drain and toss with vegetables and cheese, in a large bowl.
    4. Pour about 1/2 of the dressing and stir.
    5. Taste and add enough to your liking.
    6. Enjoy!