Summer In a Bowl!

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This salad is super simple but it tastes like summer. Avocado, corn, cherry tomatoes and red onion come together to make this delicious crowd favorite. (if they don’t like it they are tapped!)

Summertime Salad

4 ripe avocados, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
4 ears of corn, cut off cob
2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil
1 tablespoon chiffonade fresh mint
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

It is THAT easy. The trick here is letting the salad sit for one hour. This will allow the ingredients to essentially marinate in the oil and vinegar. But this needs to be eaten and served the same day or else the avocado will turn brown. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Did I mention it’s really pretty?!

Crab Cake Compliments!

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You all will receive compliments on these crab cakes! I promise!
They are simple, delicious and full of flavor. Combine all ingredients for each recipe together. Mix until combined. You can either bake or pan fry these. I suggest a light pan fry and finishing them in the oven. They turn out crispy yet soft and creamy inside.

Crab Cakes

2 tablespoons minced chives
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dill, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
8 ounces lump crab meat

Caper-Dill Mayo

1 tablespoon dill, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
Juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons relish

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Obsession

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I have NEVER been so invested in creating different desserts that are convenient and easy as I have lately! I am obsessed!

The clients at my current job are in love with desserts and always appreciate when I create desserts or breakfast sweets they can eat on the go. This next recipe is for a lemon poppy seed cupcake that I filled with lemon curd. The curd really takes these muffins over the top! Yum! I may be partial to my own cooking (aren’t we all?! haha) but these are damn good.

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, melted (I REALLY enjoy baking with salted butter)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (try with sesame seeds for a unique twist!)
Zest of two lemons

This batter comes out thick, not to fear the result is delicious regardless :-)
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together  butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, lemon zest, poppy seeds and butter milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix till JUST combined.

You can make muffins out of these or make a loaf!
Fill with curd in a piping bag and glaze generously by dipping muffin upsidedown and turning over to drip off any extra glaze.

Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Whisk the two together until smooth. Add more or less of each ingredient until you have a desired consistency. (I say more or less because some people like a real pungent lemon flavor)

Curd (always sounds daunting but its painless I promise!)

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 stick butter
pinch of salt

Whisk yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Pour into a pot and cook on low-medium heat constantly stirring until mixture thickens. This could take up to 10 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat, add butter a pat at a time until  it is all incorporated. Finish by adding a pinch of salt. Place on a sheet tray (allows to cool faster with more surface area) and let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 

Cupcake Wars

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Someone’s birthday is coming up and you really want to make something special. Cakes can be a pain in the butt, lets be honest. I love cake don’t get me wrong, but cupcakes are a more personal individual way downsize a bulky cake.

The two types of cupcakes I decided to make were red velvet and spice. These two can be simple and I really wanted to put my own twist on them and make them extraordinary.

I came up with a Red Velvet Cupcake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, and a Spiced Cake with Currants and a Toasted Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

The results were a hit! It was hard to decided which cupcake prevailed. So I ask you to try these and let me know…Which cupcake won the war?

 

 

Red Velvet Cupcake 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder (this may seem like a lot compared to most recipes but I love how the cocoa comes through. NOTHING worse than red velvet cake that tastes like a red vanilla cake….ugh.)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of prepared strong hot coffee  (I used a Starbucks Dark Roast)

Here’s how to start!

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until combined. Fold your dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Slowly, whisk in the hot coffee.

Pour the cupcake batter into a greased and lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream cheese, softened (to lighten it up use Greek Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/8 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean scraped (tip: use the back of your knife to avoid ripping the pod)
1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted

 

This is easy…

Whip together cream cheese and butter till smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla and vanilla bean until combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle generously with toasted coconut.

 

Spiced Cupcakes with Currants

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup currants (feel free to substitute raisins)
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

 

This recipe method varies slightly from the red velvet….

In a large bowl sift together your dry ingredients (first eight.) In a separate bowl whip your softened butter with your sugars. Beat these until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time until incorporated.

Add your dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Pour this batter into greased and lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. The cream cheese frosting for the spice cake is the same as the red velvet except the garnishes are different. Top the spice cake with toasted crushed almonds.

ENJOY!

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