How to Make the Ugliest Best Tasting Vanilla Cupcake

I know, I KNOW!!! I’m on a cupcake kick right now!  Just enjoy it, it will pass.  I just had to share one of my all time favorite white cake recipes.  I love the taste of this cake and I triple-dipple love the texture.  I’ve made it maybe a dozen times and every time there is one teensey-weensy little issue.  While it’s baking in the oven the batter always lifts up to the sky, bubbles over the sides and falls leaving a crater in the center.  I’ve tried a few tricks like lightly slamming the batter filled cupcake pan on the counter top several times before placing it in the oven.  This is supposed to get any bubbles out but it doesn’t work. I’ve also messed with the amount of baking powder but to no avail.

Why oh why would I want to share my tragic cupcakes that turn out looking like this with you?

Inside this ugly duckling of a cupcake lays the best tasting vanilla cake

Inside this ugly duckling of a cupcake lies the best tasting vanilla cake eV-er!

Because, my dear readers, it is still a luscious tasting experience.  AND the last time I made them I added something that made them even better!  Remember the chocolate cupcakes that had the rich drop of ganache in the center?  Well now I’m doing something similar with these! » » »

St. Patrick’s Day and Hot Cocoa

Today we have Eileen from The Joy of Caking joining us.  She’s one of our favorite food bloggers and Molly’s been an avid follower of hers for several years.  (Could it be because she hooked Molly up with the genesis of the greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie eVeR recipe?)  After you read this go and check her out.  She does great stand-bys like her white cake recipe.  When she ventures into cooking she  makes yummy things like asparagus soup.

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and I although I’m not sure if I even have an ounce of Irish blood in my body I have always secretly wished I was Irish. » » »

Craisen Love Bars

Molly and I are super busy trying to launch a  new niche site.  As we hustle over the next couple weeks to put it together we’re going to pull out some oldie but goodies and lean on some friends for guest posts to fill in around the edges.   This one is a re-post from my first blog- Stuff I Made This Year.

I like Crasins fine, wouldn’t say I loooove them but we’ll get to that later. I didn’t plan on posting so much about food when I decided to start this blog.  I thought I’d be posting about machines and other constructed stuff.  It turns out that making food is a great way to scratch the project making itch for me. Cooking neatly contains all the components I want in a project:

Inspiration- I used to have an hour and twenty minute commute to work each way.  If I didn’t have podcasts to listen to I would go insane.  Lately,  most of my favorites are food related.  Often when I hear someone describing a recipe or dish that sounds delicious I jot it down to try later. » » »

Lemon Cupcakes

Today’s post is dedicated to Marla.  Marla is Niki’s (from Debt Free by Thirty) new Kitchen Aid mixer.  Here’s to some real good mixin’ girlfriend!!  

Stay tuned to the end of this post to find out who our giveaway winner is from last week!!

A few weeks back it was Pistol’s birthday.  Now we  have two 13 year olds in the home-YIKES!

Mike:  Talking about that one is about six posts worth of content.

She asked for a lemon cake with a whipped cream cheese icing for her birthday cake.

Molly: Yummy!  How did you get her steered onto the lemon flavor?

Mike:  Even though she’s a picky eater sometimes she responds to novelty.  I just took a shot and threw it out there. 

Molly:  Genius sweetie! » » »

How To Make Vanilla Extract

 It’s our first giveaway of the year!  To see how you  can win a bottle of Molly’s homemade vanilla extract see the bottom of the post!

Every year we make our gifts for friends and family.  In theory it’s a fantastic idea.  Come December our brains go on overdrive with what we want to accomplish.  I spent two weeks before the holidays practically chained to my sewing machine only getting up to stir a pot of soup or pull cookies out of the oven.  About half of our ideas make it out as an actual gift but what does make it feels pretty special and an accomplishment.  I know it’s a bit after the fact but I couldn’t post this before Christmas!  All my family would know what they were getting- work with me here!

Last year I really wanted to make vanilla extract for everyone.  I didn’t pull it off  in time so I figured I was way ahead of the game for this year.  This is a great gift for anytime of year.  My favorite part is that you can make a big batch of  vanilla, put it in the closet and pull one out whenever you need that quick gift. » » »

Momocakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies & a GIVEAWAY!

This post is part of the  Hearth-n-Soul blog hop. Click on the badge to see all the other participants for this week’s blog hop!

Hearth-n-Soul Blog Hop

If you’ve been following us for the past couple months one thing should be clear by now…I like chocolate chip cookies.  Having finally found the perfect chocolate chip cookie, my next quest has been to find a gluten-free option.  I’ve found that when my joint pain gets annoying going gluten-free for 30 days helps reduce it.    We eat very little processed foods in our house so I turned to the recipe world out there. I’ve tried a few but didn’t love for the results.  Well, search and ye shall find.

Momocakes- vegan,gluten free and high altitude bakery

Leslie, the owner/founder of Momocakes is our first sponsor!!  We were talking about where we would place her ad and my idea of  a video with the two of us baking and I went for it:  would she be willing to share her amazing delicatible recipe for her gluten-free chocolate chip cookies?

Yes!  was her response.

Yippee!  was mine! » » »

Why I should be crowned ‘Queen of Baking Soda’

baking soda queen (aka BS Queen)

Dear Arm & Hammer,

You are baking soda.  I know of no other.  A household name and so well respected, your baking soda is a miracle.  No, really, I’m not exaggerating.  You improve my life every day!

How can I count the ways?

toothpaste

shampoo

bathroom scrubber

oven cleaner » » »

A Party of Pies

This post is part of the  Hearth-n-Soul blog hop. Click on the badge to see all the other participants for this week’s blog hop!

Hearth-n-Soul Blog HopWe love our pie!  We told you about the local baking contest last week, the pie trivet making yesterday and now the grande finale:  THE PIE PARTY!

Yep, one more birthday push (the last one, we promise!).  Every year Mike’s Dad (Craig) and Step-mom come to visit for our birthday – you see, it’s Grandpa Craig’s birthday the same week as ours.   This past Saturday we held our annual combined birthday party.   Last year we switched to a new theme for our party- A pie party! » » »

Baking Contest

This post is part of the  Hearth-n-Soul blog hop. Click on the badge to see all the other participants for this week’s blog hop!

Hearth-n-Soul Blog Hop

About a month ago Molly’s girlfriend, Leslie, called to tell us about a baking contest that was going to be held at the farmer’s market.  It was sponsored by the Santa Fe Alliance as a way to promote local food production and the local economy.  A key part of the challenge was to use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.  Since we already shop from our backyard I figured it wouldn’t be too hard.

Eggs?- check
Honey?- check
Fresh fruit?- erm, well, not this year….

Surely we had something that could be teased into a confection?  Beets were floated as an option so was corn.  I had heard that the Crack pie at Momofuko was really good and for some reason Corn and Crack pie came to mind.  I don’t know, it just had a certain ring to it.  I had just harvested the last of our sweet corn.  I imagined little crunchy bits of caramelized corn encased in a sweet almost toffee filling.  I’d never had crack pie before but in my mind it was delicious. The contest was still 3 weeks off but as I rolled the recipe over in my head it just got better and better. » » »

Zucchini Out Our Ears

Zucchini Out Our Ears

There in the front...one plant,...I said it, ONE plant.

This is post is part of the Hearth-n-Soul blog hop.   It’s definitely something Mike and I can get behind!  Don’t forget to check out the other participants!

Hearth-n-Soul Blog Hop

This year we planted one zucchini plant, kept it covered in the hoop house until July and when we opened it up it was the most giantest plant EV-er.  It bullied the broccoli plants out of its way and took over the whole end of the garden.  By mid-July we started plucking 5-8 lb vegetables off the plant every week.  Thus began the season of the zucchini! What to do with all this zucchini?  Roasting them on the grill is the quick and easy route to go but that gets boring quick.  My other stand-by is to grate the zucchini,  put them in ziplock freezer bags and throw them in the freezer.  I can make use for them over the winter for breads and muffins.   After storing 18 lbs of shredded zucchini I needed some new ideas so I started asking around.

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