Lemon Curd Cupcakes

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I’m a sucker for lemon anything so when I tried my hand making this cupcake I had my fingers crossed that it would be a success and HOLY COW was it ever! This amazing cupcake is a lemon lovers dream but could easily be adapted to any favorite flavor! The cupcake is vanilla so you can change the filling and frosting to get your chocolate, berry or any other craving fix!

The recipe is easy peasy: Follow the cooking instructions on the back of a Vanilla Cake mix but do the following to make the cupcakes taste even better!!!

  • Add 1 more additional egg then required
  • Substitute Milk for the water, same amount
  • Use melted butter instead of the needed oil, same amount

Bake as instructed.

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When your cupcakes are about half cooled you’ll want to make a well in them for the filling. I used a tiny round cookie cutter.

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This is when the fun starts! I put my store bought lemon pie filling/curd into a giant plastic bread bag with the corner cut off. The bag makes it easy to squeeze in about a tablespoon of lemon filling.

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And lastly it’s time for the super light frosting! To create a whipped frosting I mixed together 1 can of lemon frosting and one tub of thawed whipped cream. 3 minutes in my mixer later and I had this billowy dream cream that was so pretty when squeezed onto my fully cooled cup cakes. I used the plastic bread bag trick again. No need for fancy pastry tips.

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These are AMAZING!!! So pretty and taste as good as they look! I love the lighter tasting frosting paired with the tart lemon curd! It’s a fresh combination that works perfectly with the vanilla cupcake. I think I’ll make a strawberry filled and chocolate mousse one next!

Happy Baking!

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Lemon Chicken Soup: Food Network Magazine

Every time I pick up a Food Network Magazine I thanks my lucky stars for a magazine that ALWAYS supplies me with endless menu ideas! This last months issues was by far a home run and we’ve already fallen in love with a handful of recipes!

Do yourself a favor and subscribe or pick up a copy today! When I buy it at Sam’s Club it’s just over $2 an issue. I really need to get a subscription!

Lemon Chicken Soup was my latest success story! This soup is so perfect for Spring! The hint of lemon keeps it fresh and light and it’s also a great recipe if you like to buy rotisserie chicken and use it for multiple recipes! My kids loved this meal! It’s a huge hit and perfect if you plan on having roasted Chicken this Easter! Save your leftovers and make this soup!

For full recipe click HERE!

Where do you get your best food inspiration? Magazines, shows? Spill it!

p.s… just subscribed for 3 years! Yep! It’s that great of a magazine!

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Chocolate Mousse cups by “Grateful Prayer, Thankful Heart”

I picked up chocolate molds on after-Christmas clearance (75%-off) and knew they would make perfect serving cups for a special dessert.  They were a little tricky un-molding but nothing that the filling didn’t hide.
Following the directions on the package, I made 10 dessert shells with about half a bag of Candy Melts.
When the dessert shells were completed, it was on to the mousse.
Alton Brown rates his recipe as easy but I thought it was a bit involved.
Not difficult but with several steps.
Heating the cream over a candle is so Alton.
Kind of  feels like you’re in science lab   :)
After the mousse was made and chilled a bit in the refrigerator, I piped it into the chocolate molds for a pretty presentation.
Chocolate Mousse
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

PRINT RECIPE
Serves: 6 to 8 servings (I filled 10 chocolate cups plus two additional glasses)
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin

Directions
Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.

In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to “bloom” for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.

Spoon into bowls or martini glasses and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fruit and serve.

(If mousse is to be refrigerated overnight, chill for one hour and then cover each with plastic wrap)

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Pillsbury Apple Turnovers

Brunch: The perfect meal! You get to sleep in AND you get to eat yummy warm food! Sounds like a winner to me!

When I was given the chance to create a new recipe using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls I knew exactly what I wanted to create! Warm, yummy, sweet Apple Turnovers! Why haven’t I done this sooner! Pillsbury Crescent rolls are such a family favorite over here and they were the perfect starting point for this easy recipe!

Tart green apples, cinnamon, sugar and butter come together to create a morning treat that the whole family will love!

I added red food coloring to my Cream Cheese Frosting to make it pop off the golden crescent! This makes them so so pretty and perfect for a special Valentines meal! Consider creating this yummy treat for your special Valentine this year! But let’s be honest…they are perfect for any time of year!

Ingredients

  • 1 Pkg. Pillsbury Large Crescent Rolls
  • 2 Green Apples
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1Teaspoon Sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 Tablespoon Cream Cheese softened
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter Softened
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

** Combined together till smooth. Add a few drops of food coloring to tint your frosting to compliment any Holiday.

Directions

Thinly Slice your apples and saute them in butter and cinnamon sugar for about 5 minutes until they have softened. Add a spoonful of cooked apples onto your unrolled crescent dough and carefully roll up. Place on slightly greased cookie sheet and back at 350 for 12-15 min. or until golden brown. Drizzle with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Vote for my Creative Crescent Recipe and you’ll be entered to win a $1,000 grocery gift card!

Find more quick and easy Pillsbury recipes at www.CreativeCrescents.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pillsbury. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules.

Twas the night before Christmas…Cookie Edition

Time to bake some cookies for Santa! If you are still looking for a last minute recipe why not try one of these….

I have a hard time resisting Nutella so when I saw these cookies over on Tasty Kitchen I thought Santa might not be able to resist as well!

Bakers Royal will make you drool till New Years with these chewy Chocolate Chip Snickers cookies! Lucky Santa!

Funfettie Sandwich Cookies from Baked Perfection are calling my name, I mean Santa’s name! Who can resist Funfettie and I bet you have  a box of Funfetti in your cabinet right now!

and speaking of cookies….

My sweet friend, Jen of Tatertots and Jello hosted the best Cookie Exchange! Such a fun event! Tons of amazing cookies and great friends!

The hot chocolate station was adorable! Chuck was especially fond of the Dipped Marshmallows on a stick!

The cookies were to die for! Endless variety and not a single duplicate recipe! It was amazing! So for even MORE amazing recipes check out Jens fun post with all the recipes!

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Cheater Cinnamon Pull Aparts

I don’t know about you but this time of year always makes me crave the sweets!  That can back fire at times becasue also at this time of year I find it so much harder to find the time to bake and cook! Seems like we’re busy getting ready for Christmas so the last thing I want to do is take the hours ir might take to back yummy cinnamon rolls. This her little treat gives me that warm cinnamon fix I’m looking for in a fraction of the time…

Instead of using homemade dough these Pilsbury Grands are all you need! All you do is take each premade biscuit and divide it into two or three sections. Roll each section into a ball and roll the ball into cinnamon sugar. Place each ball into a greases pan and bake according to the  directions on the tube.

This is what it looks like just out of the oven! Fluffy balls of yumminess begging for icing!

Lastly you drizzle home made icing. I make my icing by sight ( I know!) but it’s basically 3 tbsp milk , 1 table spoon melted butter, 1 table spoon soft cream cheese and 5 heaping table spoons of powdered sugar.

Instead of hours you’ll be able to enjoy these bad boys in less then 25 min! The perfect treat for your family that tastes like you spent way more time on them then you really did!

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Pinterest Love: Thanksgiving Dinner

Have you started making your Thanksgiving menu yet? Pinterest is a must use resource for just such a task! Everything from how to set your table to what to serve! It’s overwhelming really! I was inspired by Pinterest and a handful of the amazing pins shared. I had to let you see what grabbed my eye…

Shall we start with a little appetizer!!! Hello Turkey Veggie tray! I love you! Pinned via Eating with Food Allergies! So stinkin cute right! I think the kids would eat this up…yes, pun intended!

Everything about this recipe for Sweet Potato Rolls sounds divine! This pin comes via “How Sweet it Is!” I love sweet potatoes and rolls so it sounds like  a winner to me!

This delish pin comes via “Prevention RD” and I am so in love with how pretty it is I must try it! Crispy Potato Roast! I think I’ll have seconds!

I think I need a bigger Mason Jar ’cause lets be honest, I’d eat like 4 of these Pecan Pie Mason Jar desserts! Pinned via Glorious Treats and yes honey…these are glorious!

This pin made my mouth water! Can you just picture finishing off the night with one of these babies! Pinned via “Not without Salt!” Come to mama!

I wait all year for Thanksgiving dinner! It’s my favorite time of year food wise! Nothing beats cranberry and turkey and rolls and pie! I hope you guys are gearing up too and getting that menu ready!

* If you’d like to Pin any of these recipes please follow the provided link to the original site and pin from that post!

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Healthy, affordable and organized snacking!

Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website http://www.tervis.com to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

Ok! I bet I can guess 3 things we are always trying to improve in our lives!

1. Eat better!

2. Save money!

3. Get more organized!!!!!

Am I right or am I right! Well if those are things that ever make an appearance on your “To Do” list I have a great lifestyle tip for you! How would you like to roll all three of those wants into one great change? I knew I had your attention!

A few months ago my family and I were tackling those three very wants! It started with a real desire to eat better and have more snacks on hand! Because we don’t typically buy cookies, chips or other junk food we often find ourselves hungry for a snack! Apples and bananas don’t cut it every day so we set out to find some healthy snacks that we all would love!

We found ourselves at our local “WinCo” grocery store in their bulk food section. This section of the grocery store is AMAZING!!! Tons of food all sold loosly and by the pound! We grabbed tons of great new treats and took them home for stage two…

Thanks to IKEA and their amazing storage options we stocked up on these useful containers! Each new snack item or bulk food item is easily seen and makes organizing a breeze! They were affordable and reusable so the value will last a long while!

Now we have an entire shelf dedicated to healthy snacks and bulk foods nicely organized and displayed! Buying from the lose bulk section is a huge savings as well. Nearly all of the items we bought were way cheaper then had we bought them in packaged quantities! And this way we can buy the exact amount we wanted and help avoid buying items that we wouldn’t finish before they went stale and wasted money!

Here’s our list of bulk food items that we now enjoy snacking on…

Raw Almonds,Sun Flower seeds, Popcorn kernels, Dried Apple Chips, Craisins, Granola and, Roasted Pumpkin seeds!

A family favorite combo is a small bowl of Pumpkin seeds, almonds and craisins! The salty and sweet combo is to die for!

We also stocked up on bulk Jasmin rice, Basmati rice, brown rice, taco seasoning, flax seed, steel cut oats, bread crumbs, panko flakes and Italian seasoning for every day use! Bulk food is the way to go!

So we saved money by buying loose food in the quantities we wanted, we organized out pantry and made grabbing a snack easy and lastly we introduced healthy options that we all love!

And for a super easy and healthy snack alternative have you ever popped your own popcorn in the microwave? No, not the overly buttered, grease versions you buy in prepackaged folded bags! Why not try this next time…

1. Grab yourself a brown paper lunch bag and 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels!

2. Throw the kernals into the bag and fold the top over twice.

3. Microwave on your popcorn setting or for about 2 min. Listen closely. When the kernels stop popping it’s done!

4. Serve unflavored or add a very very small amount of melted butter or cinnamon sugar! Even if you flavor your popcorn I grantee it’s a much healthier version then the store bought microwavable popcorn version and this method cost only pennies!

 

We’ve totally been enjoy this new snacking lifestyle! I hope it inspires you to tackle those three wants that always seem to find their way on our wish lists! Happy snacking!

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website http://www.tervis.com.

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Funnel Cakes! Yes Please!

I don’t know what it was about this summer but man did I get the munchies late at night! It would be like 9:18 p.m. and I’d out of no where need a sweet treat like pronto!

One of those nights I had Funnel Cake on the brain and I did what I had to do!

Late Night Funnel Cakes

  • 1 1/2 inches of  vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat your oil in a sauce pan to 375 degrees. While the oil is heating combined Milk and eggs and add it to the flour, baking sods and cinnamon until smooth.

With a ladle drizzle the batter into the heated oil making it all “funnel cake like!”

Fry each side about 2 min until it’s golden brown and you are drooling!

Remove your funnel cake from the oil and drain any excess  oil on napkins.

Dust with Powdered Sugar and pig out!

 

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Coconut Macaroons. Falling in love with food!

 Have you ever tasted something so freakin fantastic that you had to get your hands on more immediately! Well that kind of sorta happened to me when I tasted Raw Melissa’s Coconut Macaroons. I had a sample of two and I was hooked and becasue I knew I need more more more and on more occasions then just once, I knew I need to learn how to make some!

**** HUGE disclaimer!! Theses are in no way as good as Raw Melissa’s nor did I have her recipe to go off of but they do the trick on satisfying my craving. Raw Melissa’s are 100% organic…these…not so much!

 I found a recipe on line from Healthy Green Lifestyle. A few of the items are hard to find in regular grocery stores or pretty pricey! Almond flour is really pricey and so is coconut oil! I also ran my coconut through my food processor to get it a little finer then it was.

Coconut Macaroons
3 cups unsweetened dried coconut flakes
1 1/2 cup coconut flour (or substitute almond flour)
1/2 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup organic coconut oil or coconut butter
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
pinch of Himalayan or sea salt

** I added 1/2 cup sugar to help sweeten

Directions:

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine all ingredients until well mixed. Taste the “batter”. If it is not sweet enough for you, add a little more sweetener until it tastes just right. Place spoonfuls of desired size on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Be careful they don’t burn. Alternatively, you can cook these at a low temperature (like 200 degrees F) for longer (an hour or two), or you can dehydrate these at 115 degrees F for 12-24 hours if you want them to be truly “raw macaroons”. Store in an air-tight container; if they are dehydrated, store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

This is the consistency you are looking for!

 You will want to use your small cupcake tin and scoop even scoops of dough into each well. Press each scoop down with a spoon and now it’s ready to bake!

 Bake until the edges start to get golden.

 And….pig out!

This was all that was left after one day. One batch makes about 40 cookies! Yeah…I enjoy a good treat!

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