Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My July IronCupcake:Earth Entry!

Okay, this month when I saw that the IronCupcake:Earth challenge for July was herb, I just had to enter.  I've had this idea for curry cupcakes on the brain for a while now, and I was excited to have an excuse to make them.  I also had basil on the brain, so I decided to make basil cornbread cupcakes since my sister had made some cornbread that I couldn't get out of my head.  And so, my cupcakes were born!  Voila!

Here are the first ones that I thought of: coconut curry cupcakes with lemongrass paste, topped with a curry cream cheese frosting.  Since I love curry, I wanted to try making it in cupcake form.  This is a much, much milder version of curry, and my mom(someone who hates curry) actually liked them!  Here's the recipes:
1 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 TBS lemongrass paste
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12 cup muffin
 pan with liners.
2) Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer.
3) Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl; add slowly in batches to the dry mixture.  Mix until the batter is a soft brownish-orange color and sticks to itself.
4) Add the lemongrass paste and mix thoroughly. 
5) Using a regular cookie scoop, put two scoops in each liner.
6) Bake cupcakes for 18 minutes; cupcakes should be the color of cinnamon.  Remove pan from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
7) Remove cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.  Once the cupcakes are cool to the touch, make the frosting.

1 8 oz. block of full-fat cream cheese
2 TBS tomato paste
4 tsp. curry powder
1 TBS coconut milk
1 TBS lemongrass paste
1 tsp. salt
1) Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat in the tomato paste.
2) Add the curry powder, coconut milk, lemongrass paste, and salt.  Mix very well.
3) Frost your cupcakes!
These cupcakes are good, even without frosting, and they go well with salad.

Next, I made my basil cornbread cupcakes, and those were my favorite.  I filled them with sauteed mushrooms, and then frosted them with a cream cheese frosting that had pizza-reminiscent spices added to it.  Man, they were good!  All right, here are the recipes:
8 large white button mushrooms, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 TBS salted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chopped basil
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until the butter is bubbling and the garlic is sizzling.   Add the mushrooms and spices, and stir to distribute them evenly.  Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low.  Cook until the mushrooms are nice and dark.  You will have a lot less than you started with!  Stir, cover, and turn off heat.  Set the pan aide while you make your cupcake batter.

1-1/4 cups buttermilk(or regular milk with 1 TBS vinegar or lemon juice added)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
dash lemon juice
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS finely chopped basil
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners.  You will have enough batter to make 14 cupcakes, so put the pan on a cookie sheet and put two foil liners on there as well.
2) Mix wet ingredients in a bowl.
3) Mix dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer; add the wet ingredients and mix well.
4) Add the basil, and mix completely, scraping down the sides and making sure that the batter is thoroughly mixed.
5) Using a regular cookie scoop, put one scoop in the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Put 1 TBS of the sauteed mushrooms in each liner, and then put one more scoop of cupcake batter on the top of each.
6) Transfer the pan to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.
7) Remove all of the cupcakes to a cooling rack, and once they are cool to the touch, make the frosting.

1 8 oz block full-fat cream cheese
2 TBS tomato paste
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1) Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer; beat in the tomato paste.
2) Add all of the spices, and mix thoroughly.
3) Frost the cupcakes and top with a basil leaf, if desired.  Enjoy!
These are a very good flavor combo, and I really enjoyed them.  Thanks for reading this post, and you can vote for me on the IronCupcake:Earth blog if you like my cupcakes that much.
I am competing to win the following fabulous prizes:
A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH,
A delicious treat from CIRCLEMONKEY
A sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,
PLUS, a piece of artwork form the lovely CakeSpy
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, . 
Also, if I won, my recipe could be featured in one of their future cookbooks!  How incredibly awesome would that be? Well, I'm off to the good old bed, so have fun and be happy in the meantime!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Okay everyone, this is short notice, but I was a little(okay, a lot) late to get on the bandwagon for this.  Today, as I was reading the lovely Miss Twinkie-chan's blargh, I happened across a post talking about a craft fair that she was doing.  I looked for an older post that had more info, and I found this one: .  She will be manning a booth at the Renegade Craft Fair, which is this weekend, the 18-19, in San Fransisco, that is being held at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavillion.  


This craft fair look so darn cool!  Maybe someday I'll enter as a cupcake booth..haha! Twinkie-chan and her friend Manda-chan will be perating booth 92, which she say's is "nearish to the frontish", so I hope that you can find her.  She also says to bring lots of cash, because when she went last year, she ran out.  Will someone please go and bring me back one of her super kawaii cupcake pins and/or scarves?  Pretty please?!  

And if Miss Twinkie-chan looks familiar to you, you may have seen her on the internet in an ad for, or you may be super cool and have found her in the Shojo Beat magazine.  Yay manga!

This is one big fan!

Okay.  I love Ellen.  I love cupcakes.  Miss Lyndsey from Kitchen Dough Dough likes them even more!  She made this amazing Ellen logo out of mini cupcakes, and she said it took about 250 of them!  WOW!  In her quest to get on Ellen's show, she is now doing this huge giveaway with all kinds of amazing cute cupcake stuff.  
 She is giving away the following adorable items:  A super cute picture from CakeSpy,  a copy of the wonderful Hello, Cupcake! book, some super cute things made by her mom, the owner of Pots and Pins(that include an apron, a bag, a cupcake doily, a cupcake stand, and a tablecloth), a colorful tray with some placemats and napkins from Modern Materials, a circus party pack from Kara's Party Ideas, a cupcake onesie from Kara's Cupcakes that just makes you wanna go "Awww!", a cute handmade journal from Deanworks, and a handmade frame made by her husband Sam.
 Holy moly that's a lot of stuff isn't it?  Jeez, my eyes are spinning just imagining the possibility of winning.....Anyways, if you want all of the information on her giveaway and her Ellen love, click on this link:

  She has also entered in the IronCupcake:Earth challenge this month(curses!), so look at her post for those.  Everyone watch out!  I'll post soon about my entry for this month's IronCupcake:Earth challenge!  

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Okay, in our house we have no self control when it comes to tasty baked goodness.  So when we crave something, we have to have it.  This week, my mom was craving cherry pie, but we didn't have everything to make it.  Nor did my dad and I receive her text message telling us to pick some up for her when we were at the store.  So I had to remedy the situation as soon as I found out.  With the encouragement of my mom and her friend, Tori Sunshine, I whipped up a pie out of what we had.  
  I made a pie crust out of nowhere, since we didn't have everything to make my regular recipe.  I used a pinch of salt, 2-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of Earth Balance, and some water, and whirled it up in the food processor.  I couldn't believe it, but it rolled out better than any pie crust I've ever made before(I had an incident with butter-flavored Crisco one time...).  We didn't have any of the Comstock cherry pie filling that my mom loves, with the unnaturally colored gel.  We did have a can of Oregon dark cherries in heavy syrup though, so I drained the cherries into a cup, and made a gel on the stove.  I used the leftover syrup, added about a 1/3 cup of sugar and 2-1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, then cooked it until it thickened.  I folded in the cherries and set the pan aside.  I placed my bottom crust in a 9-inch glass pie plate and then added the cherry filling.  This was were I did something stupid.  There wasn't enough filling, so I added a jar of maraschino cherries that we had in the fridge.  I thought that they would be fine, and be like the cherries in the cherry pie filling. Boy, was I wrong. 

 Anyway, I topped it with the crust, but I ripped it a little bit on one side as I was pulling the parchment paper off.  I added some scraps of pie crust over it in an eight-pointed star shape and some leftover strusel topping that I had in the freezer.  I baked it in a 375 degree oven for twenty minutes with foil covering the edges.  I removed the foil and baked it for another 15 minutes.  I took it out of the oven, and then we descended on it like starving wolves (hehe).  It was pretty good, until my sister ran across a maraschino cherry.  It was kinda hard, and a little discolored...Ew.  But other than that horrible lapse of good judgement, it came out pretty good.  

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yummy Citrusy Goodness!

Today I made some glazed lemon cookies using this amazing recipe from Martha Stewart.  I had made these for my Opa's birthday in May, and they are one of our favorite recipes now.  The glaze on top makes them super soft and moist on the inside, and they have a delicious citrus zing to them.  

I halved the batch, scooped them out with a mini cookie scoop, and then covered them in glaze.  Then, for a fun twist, I made another half batch, but used key lime juice instead, and added green food coloring.  I did the same with the frosting, and they looked like Shrek cookies. :P  They were soooooo good!  They also looked really tasty on the plate with the lemon ones...But jeez, these are just so messy!

Remember everyone: If you don't want as big a mess as I had, you should lay down some foil or parchment paper under your cooling rack before you dip them...And maybe a touch less food coloring.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another late post...

...From way back when, I bring you...Election Day cupcakes!!!

My sister had her friend over, so the two of them made vanilla cupcakes and then frosted them in patriotic patterns.  Here's the two of them decorating...

And here's my mom and sister's Election Night treat(my and my dad were at a Kamelot concert at the Masquerade that I won tickets for) that they had while they were watching the voting coverage.  Aren't they cute?

This is really late...

..But it would be a shame not to post it.  Better late then never, right?  This is my uber-belated Father's Day post, but I hope you enjoy it!  

All right.  For brunch, I made french omelette's and sausage, and my sister made some tasty, delicious home fries.  For my dad, I filled his omelet with mushrooms, bell pepper, and cheddar cheese.  Me and my sister had the same, and my mom had an egg pancake.

For dinner, I made a Japanese feast.  I made white rice, tempura eggplant, mushrooms, bell pepper, and zucchini.  For the rest of the family, I made sweet and sour tempura chicken with carrots, onion, bell pepper, and pineapple. 

For dessert, I made key lime cupcakes using a recipe that I found at Bon Appetit.  The recipe in from the Buttersweet Bakery in Atlanta, and the recipe is really good.  For the frosting, I made a buttercream rather than the cream cheese frosting that they gave.  Oh, in the cupcakes, I added about 4 tablespoons of key lime juice, and they still tasted pretty buttery...So I would add about 1/3 cup of key lime juice next time.  Also, you should reduce the oven heat by about 5 degrees, and cook them for about 15 minutes.  When I piped the frosting on, I added a littlr key lime lice.  Aren't they just the cutest?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ooohhh, Canada!

Land of the maple syrup everything.  I went to Montreal for a day this weekend, and I found a lot of cool bakeries.  There was also a bakery/ice-cream parlor that sweetened everything with maple syrup.  When we were walking around the Quartiere Chinois, we found a super cool Asian bakery that had all kinds of cakes, pastries, and cookies.  The one that looked the tastiest was this one that was a pineapple pastry filled with anko (sweet bean paste).  We went to a cupcake shop/ice-cream parlor and bought a lemon cupcake for my mom, and it was soft and lemony all the way through!  We had quite lot of fun, and the ice-cream was delicious (my sister got maple sugar, and I got lychee)!  

Hope these pictures help show off how awesome Montreal is:

          (Anko pastries)
(Green Tea Odango)
(Green Tea Mousse & Fruit Cake)
(Mini Vanilla Cupcakes)
(Mini Lemon Cupcake, Chocolate Cupcake, 
Pistachio Macaroon, Strawberry Macaroon, and
Maple Cupcake)
(Lychee Ice Cream and Maple Sugar Ice Cream)
(You know we're in Canada.....)