Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cuppies


Summer months are always packed with cook outs, barbecues, picnics and plenty of other parties that can be disastrous for those trying to stick to a healthy eating regimen. That being said, my schedule has recently been saturated with events involving plenty of calorie-laden temptations. From beer and baseball games to birthday festivities, girls night out, and concerts, it's been quite the challenge making wise food choices while out and about.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Peach Cupcakes with Prickly Pear Frosting

TGIF!!


It's been an emotionally draining week and I couldn't be happier that it's coming to an end. As a Cancer  sign, I'm prone to being overly sensitive and moody. However, the past few days my emotions seem to have been on overload. Like the straw that broke the camel's back, the most seemingly insignificant occurrences have me breaking down in tears. Is it hormones, anxiety, love, fear? I may never know. But one thing is clear. When you're having a bad day or just going through a hard time, it forces you to do a lot of soul searching. And sometimes the hardest lessons to learn, are the ones that your soul needs the most.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nutter Butter Banana Trifle


This is my first blog post from my new iPad! Last week was a little rough for me; three days after my iPhone started acting up, my five year old MacBook Pro had a logic board crash. Unsalvageable, I was now in the market for a new laptop. Weighing the pros and cons of getting a MacBook Air versus an iPad, I couldn't make up my mind. After talking it through with a helpful Apple Specialist, we decided together than an iPad was all I needed at this point in my life. I could't be happier! I feel like a rockstar carrying around my new sleek device.

This week for my post, I threw together a quick and easy no-bake dessert, perfect for hot summer days. With the temperature approaching the high eighties this past weekend, I didn't want to be stuck in doors slaving away in the kitchen. This recipe literally took me fifteen minutes to put together, and it's so refreshing! Creamy vanilla pudding layered with sliced bananas and crushed nutter butter cookies. Yum! I served this for dessert after making my boyfriend Banana Pepper Chicken & Couscous for dinner! A wonderful way to end a nice weekend. Hope you all enjoy!

Nutter Butter Banana Trifle
Adapted via My Recipes

Ingredients
2 packages Vanilla Instant Pudding
8 0z Sour Cream
3 Cups Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4-5 Medium Ripe Bananas
1 Package Nutter Butter Cookies
1 Container Whipped Topping

Directions
-In a medium bowl, combine milk and vanilla
-Add the 2 packages of vanilla pudding
-Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until thick
-Leave the mixture stand for 5 minutes
-Stir in the sour cream
-Slice bananas and set aside
-Crumble cookies and set aside

To Assemble
-Layer pudding mixture on the bottom of a glass bowl. Add a layer of sliced bananas and cookie crumbs.
-Top with another layer of pudding
-Finish off with remaining banana slice and cookie crumbs.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Strawberry Banana Cupcakes


The arrival of June means strawberry season is in fully swing and I plan on taking full advantage of it. As a child, my mother and grandmother would take us to pick strawberries out in the fields at George Schmidt Berry Farm. Tupperware in hand, we would brave the summer sun and gather over 10 lbs of delicious berries, just in time for my birthday. This year, I vote for re-instating that tradition!

A few months ago, a very special guy brought me a bottle of Bols Strawberry Liqueur from Amsterdam. I've been saving it for the perfect occasion and in the process, dreaming up the right recipe. With fresh berries finally in season, the perfect time has arrived!

A play on traditional strawberry shortcake, I wanted to capture some of the same flavors in a fun and festive cupcake. A sweet strawberry, liqueur infused gelée invades a basic yellow cake base, while hints of banana buttercream frosting burst through each bite. Delicious and refreshing...hope you enjoy them!




Strawberry Gelée Filled Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream Frosting


For the cupcakes:

Adapted via EdibleCommunities

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups self rising flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter softened
3 extra large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp coconut extract

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350* and line cupcake pan with liners (makes about 24)
-Combine the flours in a small bowl and set aside
-Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy
-Slowly add the sugar and beat for 3 mins
-Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
-Add remaining dry ingredients, alternating flour mixture with milk
-Add coconut extract
-Beat until well combined and then divide batter evenly among cupcake liners
-Bake for 13-15 minutes and let cool completely

For the Strawberry Gelée:

Adapted via EdibleCommunities

Ingredients

1 cup Smuckers strawberry preserves, low sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp Bols strawberry liqueur
2 tbsp cold water
1 envelope Knox gelatin, unflavored
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Directions

-Heat preserves and sugar on stove top until it comes to a slight boil
-Stir in lemon juice and liqueur, then remove from heat
-In a small bowl, add the cold water, and sprinkle gelatin on top, leave sit for 5 mins
-Add puree mixture to the bowl with gelatin and stir
-Add fresh strawberries, then place in the fridge until set

For the Banana Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup solid shortening
1 stick butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 mashed banana
2 tbsp milk

Directions

-Cream the shortening and butter together until light and fluffy
-Add vanilla extract
-Add mashed banana
-Slowly add sugar and milk until desired consistency is achieved


To Assemble...

-Core the center of each cupcake and fill with a spoonful of strawberry gelée.
-Using a piping bag, finish each cake with a mound of buttercream frosting
-Decorate with rainbow sprinkles or decorations of your choosing. Be Creative!







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