Strawberry Cupcakes

About a month before I turned 29 I created a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. I was ambitious.  I wrote it all up on a piece of poster board and it hangs next to my kitchen. Close enough that I can check things off as I complete them and ever present to remind me to work on it. I am slowly checking things off. Some are easier than others. Perfecting 10 french macaroon recipes was a stupid one to put on there. Macaroons and I are not friends of late.

Easier ones included cleaning out my closet and giving away 27 things and giving away 15 cupcakes to 15 different people. I decided to tackle both of these last month and I hosted a clothing exchange party. Several sweet girlfriends brought the extra clothes from their closets and we all pawed through each others things looking for treasures. I came away with several skirts, sweaters, and tops. Oh and we drank champagne and ate these stellar cupcakes. What else says fancy party like a fancy cupcake?

Strawberry cupcakes and champagne

So I got rid of so many things out of my closet, added a few things that I will wear and got to sit around chatting with my girlfriends. I think everyone had a blast. I truly enjoyed it. It was wonderful to host a party in my new home and to stuff my face with these delicious treats.

I would also like to mention that my sweet brother-in-law whom I left Little with for less than 20 minutes FED him some of these cupcakes. Little enjoyed them thoroughly, mom missing out on his first bites of cake not so much.

Strawberry cupcake

These cupcakes are dense. And when I say dense I mean dense. They aren’t too sweet and are just perfect with the plain cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy. Throw a party and make these for your friends.

(Also writing this has made me miss all my girlfriends. If I made cupcakes, popped a bottle of champagne, and invited you over would you come sit on my porch and chat with me?)

Strawberry cupcakes

Strawberry Cake

1 cup butter
2 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups pureed strawberries (I just used my immersion blender. About 1 lb of strawberries)
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops of red food coloring
4 cups +/- Powdered Sugar

2-4 Tbs milk

Strawberry Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat butter with sugar for 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, then the vanilla,  and strawberries, beat for another 3 minutes. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter/egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just till combined. In another bowl and clean beaters, beat egg whites till stiff and add in an increment of 3 to cake batter, being sure to fold in thoroughly but gently. Pour in to cupcake pan or greased and floured cake pan. If making cupcakes fill to 3/4 full as these do not rise much. Bake for 18 or so minutes for cupcakes and 20-25 minutes for 9 inch round cake pans.

Frosting Directions

In a medium bowl, add cream cheese and butter, whip till light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing. Add food coloring. If too thick add milk one tablespoon at a time.  You are trying to achieve a medium stiff consistency. Whip for several minutes.

 

Sweet potato, zucchini, and sausage dinner- yumminess

I love my husband (pardon the sappiness). He decided some time last year to buy a juicer and, based on the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, to go on a juice fast. Several of said fasts ensued of varying success levels and length. However this year he buckled down and fasted for 60 days. S.I.X.T.Y. days. It was maddening.

As someone who loves to cook I couldn’t cook for him. Every morning involved an elaborate 20 minute juicing spree as he made his juice for the day and cleaned up. Little and I looked on, often hanging out in the kitchen keeping him company.

Dinner time was hard on me. I wanted to sit at the table and eat but Nathan would suck down his juice and I would scrounge for dinner. My sister and brother-in-law came over for dinner often, mostly so I could have someone to cook for and eat with.

But is over. As of last Thursday he is more than 40 lbs lighter (HOT!) and way in to eating veggies. But the best part of that last sentence is he is EATING. And I got to make him dinner.

Nathan with juice - day 60That is him. Isn’t he handsome? That was his last juice breakfast. He had juice for lunch but I wasn’t there to photograph the very end. And that night I made him this for dinner. It was oh so good. Filling. Full of veggies. Full of love and care and affection that I hadn’t been able to give in the form of food for 60 days.

So proud of him. So glad this is over.

This recipe is entirely out of my own little brain. It is so easy. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand.

sweet potatoes and zucchini (just added to the pot)

Sweet potato, zucchini, and sausage dinner (serves 2 and a Little)
Mine

2 small or 1 large sweet potato
2 small or 1 large zucchini
1/2 onion
2 chicken sausages
olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Peel and chop sweet potato in to bite sized pieces. Place in a pot of water over medium high heat and boil till fork tender. Drain. Chop zucchini, onion, and sausage into bite sized pieces. Saute zucchini, onion, sausage, and garlic powder in olive oil over medium high heat. When onions start to get soft add drained sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy. Makes spectacular left overs.

sweet potatoes and zucchini (cooked)

(We are feeding Little whatever we are eating as long as it is soft enough for him to gum. This is also known as baby led weaning or baby led solids. This meal is perfect for the family and for your Little as they can eat most of the dish! My Little gobbled it down.)

 

Tough Day Buttermilk Rosemary Pound Cake

Little is 8 months old. He has slept through the night three times. In February. Most nights I get an ok amount of sleep. Last night was not one of them.

Little with pan and a wooden spoon

He has been teething for a year. Never mind he isn’t a year old. He has been teething for a year. I promise.

So, I’m tired. Out of patience. And outside it looks like this.

Kitchen window to garden

Yes, I live in Oregon and I KNOW it rains a lot here but it is May (almost June!) and we had a week of 75+ degree weather at the beginning of the month. I was happy about the rain at first. As you can see through the window that is my garden. My garden is loving the rain. I loved the rain. Now I want my sunshine back.

Tired and cranky and so over the weather. Also I think I should have indulged in a second latte instead of tea.

Bah humbug.

While counting down the minutes to nap time today I gave up. I let Little crawl all over the dining room and kitchen keeping an eye on him while I threw this together. The fact that I only had 1/2 cup of buttermilk didn’t deter me. I simply added a 1/2 cup of regular milk and a teaspoon and a half of lemon juice. Eh. That will do, I figured.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake (batter)

So now I have cake. And it is delicious. A far cry from yesterday’s whole wheat vegan yumminess, this is packed with all the things you shouldn’t eat but certainly make up for teething babies, lack of sleep, and not enough coffee.

Go make this. It comes together in a flash, requires no thinking whatsoever, and is guaranteed to improve your day.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake

Rosemary Buttermilk Pound Cake

3 Cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1 Cup of butter
3 Cups of white sugar
6 Eggs
3 Teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Cup of buttermilk (1 cup milk minus 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice can substitute here).

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter a 9-inch or 10-inch loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar till light and fluffy (2 minutes). Mix in the eggs, one at time, mixing well and scraping bowl well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla extract and chopped rosemary. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Begin and end with wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan, it is done. You can test with a toothpick to make sure it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake

Real Food Banana Muffins (vegan)

There will be lots of butter on this blog. I guarantee it. You will get your fill of sugar- white, brown, unprocessed or otherwise. Bacon will no doubt make an appearance.

But today, for our first day, I want to offer you the first recipe I have ever written. Vegan, real food, whole wheat and amazing.

Sure I have thrown things together in a pot and called it dinner (and boy does that normally end in delicious!) but this is my first honest to God wrote it down recipe. And it is baking. Booyah.

I am ridiculously proud.

First a bit of backstory. We are trying to transition to eating “real” food. This means eliminating white sugars and flours and processed foods. I have loved it. We eat lots of veggies, whole grains, and happy meat as we call it (humanely and locally raised). I have found an incredible local whole wheat flour I put in everything.

I had purchased two bananas for Little, my 8 month old son, and never got around to feeding them to him. They were screaming to be made into banana muffins! My favorite recipe seemed easy enough to adapt to real food I decided to challenge myself and -gasp!- make it vegan too! What ensued was some googling egg replacements then deciding who needs eggs anyways! I scribbled it all down on a piece of scrap paper, put Little down for a nap, then off to the kitchen I went.

This recipe makes 6 muffins. Feel free to double it. They are moist, delish, and you can’t even tell they are vegan.

Real Food Banana Muffins (vegan)

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Real food banana muffins that happen to be vegan. This recipe makes 6 muffins.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin pans with nonstick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.Combine bananas, honey, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.Bake in preheated oven. Bake muffins for 19 to 22 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.
  2. Options: You can replace the coconut oil with melted butter if you prefer or if you don’t have it on hand. Also you can add nuts- 1/3 cup of walnuts should do.