Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

i found the most beautiful raspberry's at the grocery last night, and picked up a lemon, and figured i'm game for anything with this combo! after some research of what i could make that i actually had ingredients for, i came up with these little babies! i had to improvise a few things.

This is what they looked like before i frosted with lemony frosting. i pureed 1/3 of my raspberries and added a bit of sugar to the mix, and spooned a teaspoon of it into the middle each cupcake.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half (or you can use milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine milk and extracts; add to creamed mixture alternately with dry ingredients. pour into cupcake papers. (my batch made 32)
- puree some raspberries with a little sugar or you can always use raspberry jam. spoon in 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of raspberry puree into middle of cupcake.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

lemon frosting:
6-8 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

- In a mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and peel.

Spinach Smoothies

My friend Kristin in my Huntington Beach ward taught us how to make spinach smoothies for our relief society activity last week. please don't be scared of the name or the color. because i definitely was and was skeptical to even taste it (come on! i grew up in the south where it's not uncommon to have an entire stick of butter in 1 dish/1 plate)--but i promise you will like it, and the taste of spinach is totally disguised!! it reminds me of my favorite smoothie at Smoothie King growing up called the "Light and fluffy"- taste like orange, banana and strawberry. yum!!

the best part about it is... you get your veggies for the day! i'm not the greatest when it comes to eating greens, so this is a great way to get your greens for the day (along with fruits for the day)

Most of the ingredients I got from Costco--which is great to have in bulk, since I try to have this {almost} once a day {for breakfast or even sometimes dinner}.

* large bag of frozen strawberries
* large jug of OJ
* large container of fresh baby spinach
* large bunch of ripe bananas- that i peel and put in a large freezer bag, and take one out at a time for smoothie
* large container of vanilla yogurt

Step 1: fill blender to 1 cup line with Orange Juice and add 2 handfuls of {baby} spinach. blend/grind/etc until spinach is completing blended into OJ.

Step 2: Add 1 frozen ripe banana (frozen because its more frothy than a regular ripe banana). blend until mixed well.

Step 3: Add the yummy stuff!!! 5 frozen strawberries, and 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt. And blend until smooth.

Side note: when you mix RED (strawberries) PLUS GREEN (spinach smoothie) the resulting color is not so appetizing...SOOOOO...Jeremy's wonderful Christmas present to me this year really came in handy.

Jeremy knows I love drinking from Styrofoam cups with lids and straws, and usually save these cups from different places we go and re-use at home. He calls them my "sippy cups".
So thus he thought it would be a good idea to get me my own personal stash of Styrofoam cups, lids and straws. We have a huge stack of these cups now standing as tall as me in our kitchen. Really truly, one of the best presents I've ever received.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stuffing Chicken

This is Jeremy's most favorite meal that his mom made growing up, and it has also become one of my faves too! And it's a great meal for when you have company over or need to bring a meal to someone. We usually serve it with Cashew-Rice Pilaf, which I've already posted the recipe to here.

4 boneless chicken breasts halves
4-6 slices of swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken-mushroom soup
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup (or more!) of Stove Top stuffing mix
3-4 Tablespoons melted butter

1) Place chicken in 13x9" pan.
2) Top each breast with a slice of Swiss cheese.
3) Mix together the soup and chicken stock. Pour over chicken.
4) Then Sprinkle Stove Top stuffing Mix and drizzle with melted butter.
5) Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes in a 350 degrees oven.

Served with Cashew-Rice Pilaf. And in a perfect world, I would have served with a veggie like grilled or steamed asparagus or something like that.

I'm guessing the reason I haven't posted this recipe yet, is because it's hard to get a pretty picture, because its very monochromatic. I debated whether to put up a picture, because it's not the best, but i hate recipes without pictures. so i'm putting it up anyways. :)