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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

September 19, 2013 12:48 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Fall is my favorite season, and I can't wait for October. Mostly because my birthday is October 1, but also because I love pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, maybe some of these pumpkin cupcakes! They had just the right amount of pumpkin with a hint of maple. The original recipe was for maple cream cheese frosting, but I didn't have any cream cheese on hand and didn't feel like going to the store. Yes, I did have pumpkin puree on hand. Anyway, the buttercream is still delicious!

Pumpkin Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


Maple Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups powdered sugar



For the pumpkin cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting .

For the buttercream frosting:

  1. Add the butter, maple syrup, and salt to a large bowl and beat until creamy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

(Inspired by Food Network)

Filed under: Yum, dessert, recipe Tagged with: maple, buttercream, pumpkin, cupcake, fall
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Kale Chips

September 12, 2013 12:51 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I currently have an obsession with kale. I know it's been all the rage for a while, but I just recently started eating it when I discovered that Ralph's sells organic kale for only $0.99 per bunch! That's the same price as romaine lettuce, and I know I'm getting a lot more nutrients from kale. I've been pretty boring and either making salads or eating it sauteed, but why not try kale chips? They're actually one of the easiest things I've ever made, and so delicious.

  • 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt.
  4. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

(Inspired by Food Network)

Filed under: Health Food, Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: Snacks, kale
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Chocolate Chip Scones

August 20, 2013 12:54 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I don't know why I always thought scones would be so hard to make! I don't have a food processor or a pastry blender, so I had to cut the butter in by hand, but it wasn't too bad. Plus, I got to get my hands dirty which is always kind of fun. If you find yourself in my situation, the video shows you exactly what I did.

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk (can be substituted with skim milk, or if richer scones are preferred, use cream)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a pastry blender or food processor, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl. If using a pastry blender, cut the butter to evenly distribute throughout the flour mixture. If using a food processor, pulse the ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add chocolate chips. If mixing by hand, mix the chocolate chips with a spatula. If using a food processor, use one or two very quick pulses just to get the chocolate chips mixed. Avoid over mixing with the food processor so as to not to break all the chocolate chips into tiny pieces.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, vanilla and milk until well combined. Pour egg mixture over the flour mixture. If mixing by hand, use a spatula to stir the egg mixture with the flour mixture until dough binds together. If using a food processor, pulse just until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and lightly knead on a floured countertop to form a ball. If dough tends to stick, sprinkle flour over the dough and on the countertop. Knead lightly to incorporate the sprinkled flour.
  6. Flatten the dough into a disc about 8” in diameter and 1” in thickness, or divide the dough into two balls to make mini scones.. With a sharp knife, slice the dough into 8 equal triangles. Another option is to slice the dough in half to make two dough balls, flatten each ball into a disc about 6” in diameter and 1” in thickness, and slice each disc into 8 equal triangles to get a total of 16 scones. Flour the knife to prevent the dough from sticking to the knife.
  7. Transfer the dough slices onto the prepared cookie sheet. Lightly beat one egg and one tablespoon milk. Brush egg wash over each slice and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Inspired by SugarWinzy)

Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: chocolate chip, scone, breakfast
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Hot Fudge Pie

August 13, 2013 12:00 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I had a few friends coming over and one of them was bringing homemade ice cream. Well, what comes to mind when you think ice cream? Hot fudge sundaes! So, this isn't exactly a pie, or a cake, or brownies. It's more like chocolate molten lava cake. Top with ice cream and it's kind of like an upside-down hot fudge sundae. It's just chocolate-y enough and not too sweet. Yum yum yum!

Filed under: Yum, dessert, recipe Tagged with: hot fudge, fudge, pie, chocolate, ice cream
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Broccoli Chips

August 8, 2013 12:45 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Broccoli is pretty great. I guess I'm kind of a weirdo that actually likes vegetables, but it's so tasty and healthy too! The only problem is that half of the broccoli that you buy from the grocery store is stalks! I don't want to waste it, and it's perfectly edible. I'm so happy I found this recipe. It was easy-peasy and really tasty. I didn't even measure anything!

  • Broccoli stems sliced into thin coins (as many as you like)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • a shallow bowl of egg wash (1 egg plus a splash of milk whisked together)
  • A good dash of salt, onion powder, and parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the broccoli stems into thin coins.
  3. Prep your egg wash and bread crumb mix (crumbs + spices).
  4. Dip the coins into a bath of egg wash and then coat them in the bread crumb mix.
  5. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until coins are tender and fragrant. (I forgot to set a timer, and mine got a little crispy)
  6. Serve hot and with a side of ranch :)

(Inspired by Keep It Simple Foods)

Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: broccoli, healthy, snack
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The Ultimate Guide To Healthier Baking

August 1, 2013 12:14 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Check out this amazing list of ingredient substitutions courtesy of Greatist!


Filed under: Yum, Food Tagged with: Ingredient Substitutions, healthy, baking
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Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

July 30, 2013 12:42 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I've been terrible and completely neglecting the blog! I could blame it on being busy but that would be a lie. I'll blame it on the summer heat for keeping me away from my oven! I did just make some amazing cupcakes last week for a friend's birthday. My mom suggested making Georgetown Cupcake's chocolate ganache cupcakes. She had recently made them but instead of just dipping them in the ganache, she topped them with vanilla cream cheese frosting, which is always a good idea in my opinion. So, here we have chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache filling and vanilla cream cheese frosting! I also used Georgetown Cupcake's recipe for the frosting, and it is by far the best cream cheese frosting recipe I've tried. It seems like a lot of steps, but believe me, these cupcakes were well worth it! A friend came over to help and we were too busy chatting, so I forgot to take pictures of every step, but I did manage to snap a few...

Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups and a second pan with 6 cups.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt on a sheet of wax paper.
  3. Beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  5. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
  6. Reduce the speed to low. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add 1/3 of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the milk mixture. Stop to scraped down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat until just combined.
  7. Add the cocoa powder, beating on low until just incorporated.

Use a standard size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are 2/3's full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. 
Core cupcakes using a cupcake corer, an apple corer or even a knife works too.

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine the heavy cream and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the mixture melt, stirring until it is shiny and smooth.
  2. Remove the bowl of chocolate ganache from the saucepan; let it cool slightly, for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Fill cupcake centers using a spoon or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. It's still pretty runny so try not to make a mess!


Vanilla cream cheese frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese


  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer filled with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed at the very end for at least 2 minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.
  2. Transfer frosting into a plastic piping bag fitted with a round metal tip. Frost each cupcake with a swirl of frosting.

(Inspired by Popsugar Moms)

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To Buy or Not to Buy: Kate Spade Flicker Tenley

July 11, 2013 12:07 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I saw this purse (the orange one) at Nordstrom a few days ago. I didn't buy it, but I've been thinking about it ever since! It's on sale for $119, but thanks to the internet, I found it (and the green one) for only $89 with free shipping on the Kate Spade website. I thought I'd show you the other colors just for fun. The lavender is regular price, but black and navy are available on Amazon for $96.46. It's cute right? What do you think?

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Fourth of July: Nailed It

July 4, 2013 12:53 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I have been terrible about updating the blog lately! I guess it's just too hot to bake anything. I mean, it's Fourth of July! Can you believe it? I don't have any plans, but I did just paint my nails white with blue and red tips. I'd show you a picture, but honestly, they look awful. Instead, check out these much cuter July 4th nails courtesy of Pinterest.

Filed under: nail art, manicure Tagged with: fourth of july, July 4th, nail art, manicure
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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 2

June 25, 2013 12:41 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I just love lemon cupcakes! I even posted a different recipe before. So when my lemon tree started fruiting, I knew what I had to do. Here's another lemon cupcake recipe that I like more than the first. Starting off with meringue makes the cupcakes so light and fluffy.

For cupcakes:

  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

3. In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl (not plastic), clean and dry the mixer bowl and reattach it with the paddle attachment.

4. Add the butter to the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.

5. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.

6. Mix in the lemon zest. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

7. Beat in ¼ cup of the milk until just blended.

8. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour; scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat until just blended.

9. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites (including any liquid that may have accumulated on the bottom of the bowl) and gently fold in until well combined; no white should remain.

10. Using a large cookie/ice cream scoop, divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through the baking time.

11. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For cream cheese frosting: 

  • 1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and butter on high until smooth.

2. Add confectioners' sugar. Continue to beat on high until the lumps have all dissolve.

3. Beat in vanilla extract and lemon juice on low speed until the frosting is completely mixed.

(Inspired by Smells Like Home and Food Network)

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