‘C’ is for cupcake?

I had seen these cute little cookie monster cupcakes around on the internet, done in various shades of blue with different techniques for the eyes and fur. I knew I had to take a shot at them after stumbling upon what I can only describe as a stroke of maddness genius–a cupcake with a cookie dough center. Yes, it’s true. These are simple and can be made even simpler if you choose to use store bought cookie dough and box cake mix (and I assure you that there is no shame in that). The cupcakes actually cook with the dough inside, and the key is to follow the instructions down to the commas because if you under freeze the dough, the result will be a dry or possibly cooked cookie center. Great for kids, a coworker told me how excited his son was when he bit in to the cupcake to find that the cookie monster had eaten a cookie– it was in his belly!

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all between the buns

This is the burger you probably made in your teenage years (or yesterday…)  but all dressed up. I know I always liked to throw some Doritos on top of my sandwich when mom wasn’t looking. With chips on top of the burger there’s no need for a side because all you need is between the buns–get it? This is the simplest burger and quick to make with just 5 main ingredients. I won’t lie to you, its a messy beast to eat but I’m not too proud to get my hands dirty for a great tasting burger like this one. Just make sure to bring the napkins. And maybe some watermelon.

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holy cow!

It’s Cinco de Mayo! My husband and I went out yesterday to our favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoyed some delicious food and live Mariachi band in honor of the holiday. That left me in the mood to celebrate further–and what better way to celebrate than with a decadent dessert in cupcake form? Tres Leches cake is popular for its dense, milk soaked cake and light, whipped icing. The recipes vary far and wide, some including alcohol, some with variations on the type of milk used. I liked this one because it kicked it up with a kick of coconut and pecans. They might just leave you wishing to celebrate seis-siete-and-ocho de Mayo!

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an elephant never forgets

My husband and I spent a month in Mozambique, Africa on a mission trip. We visited the poorest of villages as well as more “Americanized” cities. In the more developed areas, the big thing was internet cafes. And if you were up for a snack, these beautiful little treats were everywhere–elephant ears. They are delicious, flaky pastry cookies (also known as French palmiers) that in my opinion, are best served a la Africa—with a cold bottle of ‘Fanta Ananas’ (Pineapple Fanta).  But feel free to enjoy them however you please. And you surely won’t forget these cookies, both for their perfectly sweet flavor and the incredibly basic 2 ingredient recipe.

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Here, honey!

This isn’t the kind of sandwich your mom sent with you in a brown bag for lunch time. This is a crisp, sweet, creamy, sticky masterpiece; our rendition of a sandwich we first tasted at one of our favorite restaurants, the Gelato Company. It’s low budget, high flavor and is everything you could ask for on a spring or summer day. You might even whip out the old picnic basket.

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a heart for tart

So I am now the proud new owner of a tart pan. This of course means that there will be a large number of tart posts in the near future as it’s something new and unexplored. I’ve only really been exploring baking for the past 6 months or so, and as I’m sure you’ve experienced, there is a pan for everything. Meaning there is always a pan you want need. Luckily my very kind husband is understanding and very encouraging, and I know all the right places to look to find a decent deal. And all of this led to my new pan, and a whole list of must-make-soon tarts. This one in particular was a hit—especially a la mode. It’s perfect for those with a sweet tooth, and the blackberries and pistachios lure in the rest (those people who ordinarily would “no thanks, I’m on a diet” me when I offer them a slice). And this recipe is from scratch–the most simple homemade recipe I have ever made. Really.

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something fishy

This meal was especially chosen so that I could try an ingredient I had been meaning to get around to–bulgur. I read about it in Real Simple’s list of the 30 healthiest foods along with quinoa, and once I had made the latter I was hooked and couldn’t think to deviate from this new wonder food. Bulgur boasts a long list of good-for-you  qualities, including more fiber than brown rice, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. I thought, why not give it a try? And this recipe is an all in one, pile it all together and bake it kind of recipe, which makes me love it even more. Its simplicity and healthfulness make it a great, light dinner for the start of summer.

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an apple a day

 

One look at this tart and I’m betting that you are thinking the same thing I did—I must make that. In this recipe’s case, a picture does say a thousand words. Apples, butter, and sugar. It’s beautiful and simple, a no frills kind of dessert. Though I wouldn’t turn away a healthy sized scoop of vanilla ice cream if it came your way.

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i tip my hat


Hi-hats. They are a cupcake that I think most with an affinity for sweets lay their eyes upon with both awe and fear. When I decided to make these for a family Easter gathering, I mentally prepared for a night of melting down (pardon the pun) and do-overs as many delicacies involving chocolate have seemed to lead me to. But fear not! They were surprisingly simple, as long as you have gotten past the stage of burning through 2 bags of chocolate for every one well melted batch. They are far worth the effort, and though these tall towers make it hard to decide where to take the first bite, trust me when I say that people will figure it out.

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a sweet cup of joe

My husband works with a group of men who have graciously taken on the part time job of taste-testers and sweet-eaters. They also love their coffee, so when I got a request for a chocolate coffee cupcake combo via a cut out magazine picture of one that got passed from hand to hand until it reached me, I wanted to do it right. I had Starbucks Via Italian roast (a bold flavor) I had been keeping around for such an occasion as I always see reviews for coffee cupcakes followed by comments about how the coffee taste could have been stronger. This recipe has coffee in both the cupcake and the icing, and I opted for dark chocolate covered espresso beans to top them off which we found if you ate first–which almost everyone does because how can you not–left a lingering coffee taste that adds to the overall flavor of the cupcake.

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