Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

I absolutely love pancakes unfortunately they are traditionally not very healthy. Especially when they are smothered with butter and syrup. So when I saw these healthy pancakes on Cara's Cravings I was very excited. Not only are they good for you but they taste great and are filling too. A win, win in my book. I made these on a Sunday night for the coming week's breakfast, and they tasted just as fresh on Friday as they did when I made them.

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes:

1 cup quick cook oats
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c non fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 c skim milk
1 egg + 1 egg white (I substituted 1/4 c egg beater for the whole egg)
2 T apple sauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients is a microwavable mixing bowl and mix together, then stir in the milk and yogurt.
2. Microwave for 90 seconds.
3. Beat egg and egg white until light colored and frothy. (a few minutes)
4. Fold the egg into the oatmeal mixture along with the applesauce, cinnamon and the blueberries.
5. Drip by 1/4 cup fulls onto a non stick griddle and cook over medium low heat, flipping when tops are bubbly.
Makes 10 pancakes

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 2 pancakes
163 calories
2g fat
30.5 carbs
2.6g fiber
8g protein

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Raspberry Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

I think these just might be the prettiest cupcakes that I've ever made. Back in the fall, while hanging out with my good friend Tammy we were talking about desserts and she commented that she loves the lemon and raspberry combination. I made a mental note that I should make these for her upcoming birthday and I knew just the recipe that I've been wanting to try for years. Tammy and I had a few class together so I brought these in to share with one of our classes the day before her birthday. I'm pretty sure that she loved them because over the weekend she ate 3 (she took the leftovers home to her adorable sons) which says a lot because I'm pretty sure she has an aversion to butter (haha).

Lemon Cupcakes:

Source: Good Things Catered

Cake -
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp meringue powder
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 lemons, zested and juiced separately
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two cupcake pans.
-In bowl of electric mixer sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, meringue powder, salt, add in the zest of one lemon.
-Stir with mixer to combine, about 30 seconds.
-Add milk, oil, juice from two lemons, beaten egg whites and extract.
-Mix on medium low to combine thoroughly, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
-Remove from mixer and stir with silicone spatula to thoroughly combine (making sure there is no flour mixture left unincorporated at the bottom of the bowl.)
-Fill prepared cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (about 15-20 minutes)
-Remove from oven, let cool 15 minutes in pan and then turn onto wire racks to cool completely.
- When cooled completely fill cupcakes with raspberry filling using the cone method. (I take a knife a cut a small circular hole in the center of the cupcake and fill using a piping bag. Top the cupcake with the cut out and frost as desired.
-I frosted these with Raspberry Vanilla Swiss Buttercream using
Wilton's 1M star tip.

Raspberry Filling:
Source: A Kim's Kitchen Original
12 oz frozen raspberries, thawed and drained (reserve 1 T of the juice)
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

1. Place all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium low heat, stir frequently.
2. Once the sauce comes to a boil remove from heat and puree in a food processor.
3. Next press through a fine mesh sieve to remove as many of the seeds as possible.
4. Allow to cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
* I had leftover filling, refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. Use leftovers on toast, waffles or pancakes.

Raspberry Vanilla Swiss Buttercream:
adapted from:


5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T raspberry juice
1/2 tsp raspberry extract
1 drop pink icing color (optional)


To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix just until incorporated. Tint with gel icing color as desired.

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Yield: 5 cups

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meal Plan

Here's my meal plan for the next 2 weeks in no particular order:
1. chicken Parmesan, salad and red roasted potatoes with fruit pizza for dessert
2. either chili hot dogs or pretzel hot dogs with mashed rutabaga and either broccoli or asparagus
3. Winter vegetable cobbler with cheddar biscuits
4. Specialty salad with grilled chicken for Dan
5. Tacos
6. pasta primavera
7. black bean and vegetable quesadillas
8. chickpea & eggplant stew over rice
9. leftovers as needed

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meyer Lemon Tart with Lemon Creme

Last week we went to our favorite whole foods (also known as Harry's, and the same whole foods that Alton Brown films Good Eats) and I saw some meyer lemons, and since I have not yet made anything with them before I picked up a few. As we were checking out Dan saw the lemon tart on the front cover of a magazine and told me that I should make one some time. Since I had not yet picked a dessert for Easter, I decided that this tart would be perfect. This is my first time making a tart as well as the first recipe from David Lebovitz, I will doing both again soon. The tart has a strong lemon flavor and is a bit tart if you only use 3/4 c of sugar. I noted to increase the sugar or you could use all Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are less tart than traditional lemons. Top the tart with lemon creme, it provides a nice balance and reduces some of the tartness.

Lemon Tart:
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I used 4 Meyer lemons and 3 regular lemons)
grated zest of two lemon (one Meyer the other regular)
3/4c to 1 cup sugar (use more if you want it to be less tart)
12 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, cut into bits
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 baked French Tart crust (11")

Top with Lemon Creme:
1 c heavy cream
1/3 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
a pinch of lemon zest

Directions: 1. Whip all of the ingredients together until stiff peaks form.

Preheat the oven to 350F

1. In a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and butter. Have a mesh strainer nearby.
2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the yolks.
3. When the butter is melted, whisk some of the warm lemon mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly, to warm them. Scrape the warmed eggs back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost begins to bubble around the edges.
4. Pour the lemon curd though a strainer directly into the pre-baked tart shell, scraping with a rubber spatula to press it through.
5. Smooth the top of the tart and pop it in the oven for eight minutes, just to set the curd.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving.

French Tart Dough

The brown butter mixture, directly from the oven.

After the flower has been stirred in, do not mix by hand.

Prick the dough several times with a fork, and bring the dough further up the pan than I did.

Notice the small hole in the baked crust in the upper left hand corner,
this is why you reserve a small piece of raw dough.

Personally I think this is the easiest crust I've ever made. Just be careful because the butter mixture will be very hot, so be sure to have a potholder nearby, and use caution when handling the dough.

French Tart Dough:

8 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 ¼ tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 T + 2 ¼ tsp water
1 + ¾ tsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
187.5 g all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).

1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.
3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Lightly butter the tart pan (bottom and sides)
5. Transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.
6. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.
7. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.
9. Let the shell cool before filling.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Sugar Cookies

This is the same recipe that I use for the cookies titled the best sugar cookies ever. The directions are just different because these are to be rolled. I have also included a link to a royal icing tutorial that has a ton of pictures. Yesterday I made two batches of these cookies, one for my class (I tutor a first grade student for one of my ECE classes) and the second for my family for this weekend. Be prepared to spend a few hours on these because you need to wait for the outline to dry before flooding them. And wait again before adding any details. Between the two batches yesterday I spent about 5 hours decorating. If you need to take a break from decorating cover the royal icing with a wet towel (squeeze out excess water) so that it doesn't dry out. And place the decorating bags in a glass with a small amount of water at the bottom.

Ella’s White Sugar Cookies:


1 c butter, softened

1 c powdered sugar, sifted

1 egg, beaten

1 T vanilla

2 tsp lemon extract

2 tsp + lemon zest (I use the zest of an entire lemon)

1 tsp salt

2 ½ c flour, sifted


1. Cream butter.

2. Add powdered sugar.

3. Blend in egg, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, salt and flour.

4. Chill dough until firm, about an hour. (I normally make the dough the night before I need it)

5. Pre heat oven to 325degrees

6. Prepare workspace with sifted powdered sugar

7. Prepare cookie sheet, I use foil sprayed with Pam for easy clean up.

8. Roll dough to desired thickness, 1/8” to ¼”

9. Cut out desired shapes, and carefully transfer to prepared cookie sheet.

10. Bake for 10-12 minutes be careful not to brown the cookies.

11. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.

12. Check out this great step by step royal icing tutorial:

Royal Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.) Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.

Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.
(Also from

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

I should have a lot more post by the two year mark, oh well. Better luck with the coming year. Anyways to celebrate I am hosting my very first giveaway, and depending on how this one goes there could be more to come in the future. I've been thinking for the past few weeks on what I should use for my first giveaway and finally decided upon the Wilton Ultimate Cupcake Carrier. I feel it is best to give away an item that I personally own and can vouch for the quality. It's very sturdy and is easy to clean. I had a cheap carrier in the past and was always worried about it falling apart and me dropping my cake. The Wilton caddy has a locking closure so I never have to worry about it opening while I'm carrying it. To enter into the drawing (where there will only be one winner) all you need to do is post a comment with a link to your favorite cupcake recipe. Then on Friday April 2nd a winner will be drawn and announced.

Photo from