Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Food: Raspberry Cupcakes

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I’ve been mildly obsessed with making cupcakes lately. I got the right size icing tips* that I’ve been searching high and low for. Getting the right icing consistency and cake density has now been my master goal.


I won a cupcake cook book at a blogging event nearly a year ago. I’ve been working my way through the cookbook with fabulous success for each recipe I’ve tried. Chris went wild for the frosting on these cupcakes. He’s been a pretty disciplined eater since January (losing 30 pounds in the process), so I get great satisfaction when I make desserts that are too tempting for him to pass up. I’m such a devil.



Since moving to the mountains two years ago (we’re at 6300 ft elevation), I haven’t been able to make a decent cookie, but cupcakes I can do! At some point I will figure out how to make all my mom’s cookie recipes altitude friendly, but for now I’ll just stick to cupcakes. Playing with frosting is too much fun, too.


Raspberry Cupcakes

Adapted from Lizzy Early‘s Strawberry Vanilla Cupcake recipe (Your Cup of Cake)
Makes 24 cupcakes
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Gently whisk egg whites, oil, milk, mayo and vanilla in a large bowl, until smooth. Add sifted cake mix and stir until combined. Fill cupcake liners, I used just shy of 1/4 cup batter in each cupcake liner. Bake at 350 for 17-22 minutes – I pulled mine out at 15 minutes and they were perfect. Cool.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons raspberry jam**, or raspberry puree

Beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine lemon juice. Slowly add powdered sugar until it reaches a thick consistency. Add raspberry jam (**I used Bonne Maman jam. That or a freezer jam would be ideal – don’t use the cheap super sugar stuff or you won’t get much raspberry flavor) slowly until it’s the right consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve.



* Icing kit and adorable milk jars courtesy of Bake It Pretty.

Recipe: Raspberry Lemon Mint Granita

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With the rising temperatures, I’ve been craving icy cold drinks like crazy. I love making a citrus granita, but this is by far my favorite combination at the moment. Raspberry, lemon and mint! So good and refreshing. Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream for a contrast of tart and creamy.



Raspberry Lemon Mint Granita

serves 4
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (or more to taste)
  • 6 or so mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup*
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2-4 cups ice
  • whipped cream

Juice the lemons. Add juice, raspberries, mint, simple syrup and ice to a blender (in that order). Blend. Add ice and juice as needed for flavor and consistency. Garnish with whipped cream and raspberries. Serve.

*For simple syrup, put 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Because you’re blending the granita with ice, no need to allow the syrup to cool before putting it in the blender.


Ever since I found Smitten Kitchen’s Granita recipe, I’ve been completely obsessed with these little frozen lemonades. They’re so refreshing and easy to make. Add any kind of fruit to mix up the flavor, too! I hope you enjoy this summer treat as much as I have!


Food: Strawberry Stuffed French Toast


It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe here! Gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve had the energy to really cook. Or do much of anything. Turns out the prenatal vitamin I have been taking for the last 4 months contained absolutely zero iron. After switching to a different brand last week, I’ve actually had a lot more energy to do things! It’s amazing how great I feel now that my body isn’t starving for iron. A little PSA: If you’re preggers, don’t use chewable prenatal vitamins, none of them have iron. 


For the last 4 months, we’ve made a little family tradition of going out for breakfast/brunch. We have a couple of favorite spots we like, both offering stuffed French Toast on the menu. Our favorite is Eva’s (it’s served with the most delicious blueberry compote) with Lazy Day Cafe at a close second.

Saturday we didn’t feel much like going out, so I searched for a recipe and found something that comes close to Eva’s, but with strawberries and raspberries.


This is based off of Kneaders’ stuffed French Toast, but with a couple adjustments.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Serves 6, Prep Time 15 minutes, Cook time 15-20 minutes

  • 1 loaf cinnamon bread*
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon zest (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • butter
  • heavy cream
  • raspberries and strawberries
  • your favorite syrup

Using a mixer (hand or regular) whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold strawberries and lemon juice until incorporated. Set aside.

Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a dish. Set aside.

Whip the heavy cream. Set aside.

Heat your frying pan to medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter.

If your loaf of bread is not sliced, cut thick slices (about 1 1/2 times a normal slice), then cut a pocket into the middle of the bread and fill with strawberry cream cheese. If your bread is pre-sliced, make little sandwiches with a generous amount of strawberry filling inside.

Dip the whole “sandwich into the egg mixture, coating it evenly. Then place in the frying pan with the melted butter. Fry both sides until egg is completely cooked and browned(I like the toast a dark brown on the edges). Serve with whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries and syrup.

*If you don’t have cinnamon bread on-hand, don’t fret! Make a little cinnamon mixture with the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon flour. Spread a thin mixture on the inside of the bread, then prep as directed above. 

Recipe: Toasted Marshmallow Rice Pudding


Saturdays are our food crawl days. They’ve been for the last three weeks, at least. We spend the whole day either eating out or eating the most delicious, tasty treats we can possibly come up with.

After a short conversation with Chris about his mom’s love for chicken and rice, he said, “Now you’re making me crave rice pudding!” You know the beauty of rice pudding? You can make it just about any time, since it’s likely you’ll have all the ingredients on hand. We had all of them, plus a few extras that made our Saturday foodie experience phenomenal. Toasted marshmallow Torani syrup. Mmm! Mmm! So delicious!


I used a recipe from, but made a few exceptions. Since I was using a sugary flavored syrup instead of an extract, I used less sugar. I also opted for a 1/2 cup of cream instead of milk in the last step. It’s the perfect amount of creamy and sweet, in my opinion.


 Toasted Marshmallow Rice Pudding

Serves about 4 | Adapted from All Recipes

  • 3/4 cup white uncooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Torani Toasted Marshmallow Flavoring (or any flavoring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cream

Boil 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, reduce to medium and cover for 20 minutes.

In a clean medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice with the milk, sugar and salt. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes (it was 20 minutes at our house). Stir in egg, butter, flavoring and cream and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Scoop pudding into an airtight container and cool in the refrigerator (if you like your pudding cold like I do). Allow 1 hour to set up.

Serve with sliced strawberries.



I hope you enjoy this twist on a classic comfort food recipe as much as I do! Mmm!

Food: Best Orange Cake on the Planet


Thursday’s glorious fog and cold rain made me do it.

It was my “day off” (aka no computer screen time, but I admit there was more than enough phone and TV screen time). Penelope was on Fall break and we needed something to do.

So we made a cake. Correction. I made a cake while I ordered Penelope to watch.


I guess my desire for making a pretty cake overcame the desire to make it fun for Penelope. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I do that all the time. I crowd her out so she ends up watching or getting bored and going to her studio to craft.

Hanging out with the kids Thursday opened my eyes to two (okay more than that, but I’ll only mention two here) shortcomings of mine as a mom. I take over our creative projects and I rarely get the kids out of the house. My mom took us to galleries, museums, symphonies at least once a week growing up.

Time for some resolutions.


Back to the cake. I used what I had on hand, which worked perfectly for Lizzie’s Orange White Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

I have no idea what happened to my regular cupcake tins so a tiered cake was in order.

I also didn’t have a white box cake, oranges or white chocolate. I substituted butter pecan box cake, clementines and dark chocolate for the missing ingredients. And it was a major win.


I also filled the middle tier of the cake with blackberry preserves. I could’ve done the ganache in the middle, but I love how the dark chocolate lattice work could be mistaken for a spider’s web.


This quite possibly beats out the delicious cake served at our wedding. And that was an amazing cake.

Chris and his brother kept sneaking bites throughout the evening and next morning. Between the 5 of us, we devoured the cake in a matter of hours.  I felt triumphant.


Orange Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Your Cup of Cake (the book) by Lizzie Early


  • 1 box butter pecan cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • zest of 3 oranges


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Orange Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Line two 8″ cake pans with butter and cut out and place discs of parchment on the inside of each pan for easy cake removal. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Mix egg whites, oil, orange juice buttermilk and orange zests in a large bowl. Add sifted cake mix and stir until smooth.

Bake cake pans for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (it was 15 minutes for mine). Remove cake from pans onto a cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely.

For Buttercream: beat butter until smooth. Add zest and juice. Add powdered sugar a little at a time while beating until you get to the right thickness. I used 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 3 cups of powdered sugar.

For Ganache: mix chocolate and cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on medium/low. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely melted.

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