Family · New Favorite

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

Two of my favorite flavors…raspberry and lemon…together they are heaven. When we were planning older daughter Megan’s baby shower we made these cupcakes.  The cupcakes (which you cannot see) were divine and the icing tasted wonderful, although it didn’t look as wonderful as I would have liked. The icing had a lumpy look to it but not in taste or texture.

The theme of the shower surrounded children’s books so we purchased edible children’s book toppers on Etsy. Adorable!

I’ll make the cupcakes again but I’ll play with the icing to get it just right!

IMG_7154 IMG_7186

RASPBERRY LEMON CUPCAKES

Yield: 24 regular cupcakes

For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two large lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

For the Frosting:
1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed) (use 2 cups for 1.5x recipe of frosting)
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons milk, if needed

To Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Position the rack to the center of the oven.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites until well blended.
  • Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large mixer bowl and rub together with your fingers until the zest has moistened all the sugar.  Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter in at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very light.
  • Add in the extracts and then one third of the flour mixture, while continuing to beat on medium speed.
  • Mix in half of the milk-egg mixture, then half of the remaining dry ingredients.  Beat in the rest of the milk and eggs until fully incorporated, then mix in the remaining of the dry ingredients.  Beat at medium speed for a full 2 minutes to aerate.  Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake pans.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes (for regular cupcakes) or 10-12 minutes (for miniature cupcakes).  The cupcakes are done when they pass the toothpick test and are springy to the touch.   Cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make the frosting:

  • Puree the raspberries in a blender and then push through a fine mesh strainer to discard the seeds; set aside. Cream together the butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment.
  • Beat in the vanilla and most of the raspberry puree, until fully combined.
  • Stir in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, until reaching desired consistency.  Use more or less sugar as needed, and add more raspberry puree to taste.  If the frosting is too thick, beat in milk one tablespoon at a time.

Source:  My Baking Addiction, originally from Dorie Greenspan and Seeded at the Table 

Family · Family Favorites · Home · My Roots

Halloween Memories

Halloween on the farm was a far different experience than my current city experience. Childhood costumes were simple, always with a hot plastic or rubber mask. Note our fancy trick or treat bags! We couldn’t run from house to house but instead our parents drove us to our neighbors farms.  We collected wonderful home-made goodies while our parents visited for a while.  At the end of the night, we visited 6 to 8 houses but came home with luscious home-made popcorn balls, cookies, caramel apples, and full size candy bars.

Halloween on the Farm about 1959

My children never experienced the wonders of home-made goodies, ruined by the scare of Halloween candy tampering.  None-the-less, they had a wonderful time running from house to house in our suburban neighborhood yelling ‘trick or treat’ and collecting their Halloween bounty. Masks were not a favorite (thank goodness) but costumes were pretty traditional and fun. Our AT&T office hosted a family Halloween party letting the kids gather treats at each office and cubicle. Good times!

Sarah Mom Megan Halloween 1990

Fast forward to 2015 and grandson, Evan’s, Halloween experience.  His favorite character today is from the movie FROZEN and we were fortunate enough to find the darling OLAF costume on Amazon.com.

Evan as Olaf

Evan has been to his first corn maze and is in awe of the amazing (and sometimes scary) Halloween decorations. He’ll be out gathering treats in the neighborhood and celebrating with his little friends.  As his little 3 year old girlfriend says, they’ll be out ‘Candy Tricking’.  Love this age!

Next Halloween we’ll have a baby girl in our family joining the Halloween fun. We’ll anxiously await the arrival of ‘lil pumpkin in November.

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful Halloween!

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Hot Wing Dip…anytime

Hot Wing Dip came into my life thanks to oldest daughter Megan’s friend, Jacqui.  It was instant love for both of us, although Megan prefers Ranch dressing vs. Blue Cheese dressing.  Either way, it’s a hearty appetizer that is great to share at a potluck, tailgate, Olympics gathering, or just because! This time I split the recipe into two 8×8″ or 9×9″ casseroles to share at different events.

Hot Wing Dip has the same impact as hot wings but 1) not as messy and 2) easier to prepare. What’s not to love?

HOT WING DIP

2 bricks cream cheese, softened
16 oz. bottle Franks red-hot BUFFALO sauce
16 oz. bottle Blue Cheese dressing (or Ranch dressing)
6-8 cooked chicken breasts (depending on if you like it creamier or a bit drier)
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Bake or steam the chicken, cool. Cut into smaller pieces. At this point you can either shred the chicken or place in a food processor to chop.

  • Combine chicken with cream cheese, sauce, dressing and 1/2 of chopped green onions (white portion). Sprinkle top of dip with chopped green portion of onions. Place in greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

Serve hot with corn or tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, and celery.

Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip for your Football Championship Party!

This Friday I’m feeling under the weather so am reposting my Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip as an idea for the coming AFC and NFC championship games.  So good and would also be great baked on potato skins.

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

As I retreat for another nap, let me just say,  GO Denver Broncos!

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a holiday/party regular.  This is an easy, tasty appetizer to serve for a holiday party or family gathering.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP (BAKED) WITH PITA CHIPS

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze to drain
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Toasted baguette slices, assorted crackers or Pita Chips (recipe below)

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and bell pepper.
Spinach Artichoke Dip ready for cheese topping and baking
Spinach Artichoke Dip ready for cheese topping and baking
  • Spoon mixture into greased 1-quart casserole.
  • Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Cover and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with pita chips, crackers or baguette slices.
Pita Chip and Dip
Pita Chip and Dip

PITA CHIPS:

Package pita bread
olive oil
garlic salt
Fresh shredded parmesan cheese

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  • Brush pita bread with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake pita in oven until cheese melts and bread is toasted. Remove from oven and cut into 6 or 8 wedges per pita bread.
Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a holiday/party regular.  This is an easy, tasty appetizer to serve for a holiday party or family gathering.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP (BAKED) WITH PITA CHIPS

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze to drain
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Toasted baguette slices, assorted crackers or Pita Chips (recipe below)

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and bell pepper.
  • Spoon mixture into greased 1-quart casserole.
  • Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

  • Cover and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with pita chips, crackers or baguette slices.

PITA CHIPS:

Package pita bread
olive oil
garlic salt
Fresh shredded parmesan cheese

  • Brush pita bread with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake pita in oven until cheese melts and bread is toasted.
  • Remove from oven and cut into 6 or 8 wedges per pita bread.
Family Favorites · New Traditions

Turkey ala Mumba … just in time for Super Bowl parties

Similar to a enchilada casserole
Baked Turkey ala Mumba

My dear sweet friend and neighbor, Maribeth, made this dish for our family the summer of 1997.  We had several family members in town and they were crazy for this dish.  My step-daughter Karen, even had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

It has since become a family favorite, any time of year.  After Thanksgiving, I freeze any leftover turkey to use specifically for this casserole.  Leftover chicken would work equally as well.   I often make the casserole the day before and let the dish rest and enhance the flavors.

This would be a great dish for Super Bowl parties!

TURKEY ALA MUMBA

1 pound cooked turkey or chicken (3 cups)
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
2 medium onions, chopped
7 ounce can diced mild green chiles
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped or 1 T. dried
1 pound low fat Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese, grated
12 6″ corn tortillas, cut in half
Sour Cream
Salsa

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside 1/2 cup black beans. Combine turkey, remainder of black beans, onions, chiles, soup, stock, garlic and spices.
  • Layer 12 tortilla halves in 9×13″ pan. Cover with half of mixture, sprinkle on half of cheese. Repeat layers of tortillas, mixture and cheese. Sprinkle reserved black beans across top.

  • Bake 45 minutes until cheese is brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Freezes well if you are lucky enough to have leftovers!
Voila! Turkey ala Mumba