Google+  with milk and sugar blog: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PB Toast and Nectarine

hi friends. A few things to share with you today.

one. I made this delightful breakfast the other week before a long beach day. I needed some protein (go peanut butter!) to keep me energized. Combined with some fresh fruit and yerba mate tea - it hit the spot. 

two. You should all go visit the lovely Chelsea of Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence, in hopes of winning an adorable apron from Pink Butterfly Aprons. The giveaway closes Thursday at midnight, at which point one lucky lady (or gent) will win the apron of their choosing. Even if you don't want/need a new apron, you should still stop by and browse her amazing recipes, including creations like Maple Bacon Donut Bites and Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites. {who doesn't love bite sized goodies?}

three. I have been cooking and baking quite a bit lately, even if I haven't been blogging much. But not to worry, all kitchen successes (and flops) have been well documented and will be shared soon.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bears at the Beach {w/ cupcakes}

Well, summer is in full swing at the w/ household.
Next week I will be enjoying the sun, swimming, and wakeboarding while on a houseboat trip in Northern California.

I made these fun cupcakes a few weeks ago for a barbeque I hosted. There were some little ones running around and I wanted something festive, but not too time consuming to make. I found this idea in 101 Cupcake, Cookie, and Brownie Recipes, a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This book has tons of fun recipes and decorating ideas. They are all pretty simple but the taste is anything but.

I decided to make chocolate cupcakes because
a) its always a crowd pleaser and b) I had a box of mix on hand.

I made a simple buttercream (2 sticks softened butter, about 4 cups powdered sugar, and 1 t vanilla) and separated it into two bowls. Using Wilton icing colors, I created an ocean blue and yellow (sand). If you have yellow sanding sugar you could sprinkle it on top to get a true sand effect.

I used a ruffle decorating tip (#406 from Wilton) to create the wave effect with the blue frosting. I tried a couple different techniques. On some of them I rotated the cupcake so the frosting went around in a circle, like standard frosting but with the ruffle tip. On others I started at one end (the front) and layered the frosting in a back and forth technique until it reached the back. The latter seemed to work best.

I added peach ring candies to serve as water floaties and cut strips of sour belt candies as beach towels.

I saw the same idea on a few other websites, such as Bakerella, where the bears were dressed with icing bikinis and board shorts. I guess my bears were at a swimsuit optional beach.

Overall, a simple way to dress up cupcakes for any summer event.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Little Cakes {w/ San Diego}

Anyone else out there addicted to Food Network's Cupcake Wars? I'm slightly obsessed. I love seeing what unusual ingredients are thrown their way in the taste challenge and how the theme of each show comes to life in fondant decorations and massive cupcake displays.

It was especially fun to see a local (very local) cupcakery take the cake on an episode that aired a few months ago.
Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen is a boutique bakery in sunny Vista, CA. I remember visiting them a few years ago when they first opened and being wowed by the home-y feel of the kitchen style atmosphere. I've been back a few times since, not too often though since I prefer to make my own cupcakes (see here and here).

Once I saw my hometown cupcakery take the prize on Cupcake Wars I knew I needed to stop by again.

Steven and I had a coffee and cupcake date a few weeks ago.
On Mondays Little Cakes has a "happy hour" with buy one get one free.

 I selected a blueberry lemon cake and Steven had chocolate with chocolate ganache.
They were delicious!

It was a perfect way to end a Monday and start the week.
What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fun in the Sun - Mountain Dew Cupcakes {w/ recipes}

Happy Independence Day my friends. Hope you have amazing plans for a day of sun, swim, and of course great food. In case you are looking for a last minute sweet treat, here is something that is sure to please kids and adults alike, so long as everyone likes Mountain Dew. That's right, Mountain Dew Cupcakes.

I made them a few weeks ago and they were a hit. I'm not much of a soda (or as so many of you call it, "pop") fan, but I LOVE lemon and the combination with lime in this recipe works really well.

I found the recipe from All Things Cupcake and followed it almost exactly, except for the frosting.

When browsing for recipes I came across a blog post from Nothing But Country that had a very cool frosting technique in which you paint the inside of the piping bag with food coloring so that the frosting picks up the color when it is being piped. I decided to try it, but unfortunately didn't have much luck. Still, I really like the style so will have to try again. I think my troubles may have come because of the type of food coloring I use. I'll have to investigate.

Since my original idea didn't pan out, I decided to use green coloring but not mix it all the way. It's a subtle marbling effect that doesn't show up in the photos, but looks nice in person. It's simple, when mixing the frosting don't combine it all the way. I use Wilton Icing Colors. They are very concentrated so a little goes a long way. Plus, they are in gel form, so it does not affect the consistency of your frosting.

Mountain Dew Cupcakes {makes 24 cupcakes}
from All Things Cupcake

1 c butter (2 sticks)
2 c sugar
4 eggs
3/4 c Mountain Dew
1/4 c of lemon and lime juice (about 1 lemon and 1 lime)
zest from 1 lemon and 2 limes (divided)
1 1/2 t lemon extract
2-3/4 c flour
1-1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 350

1. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat butter at medium speed for 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar and half of lemon/lime zest, until light and fluffy.
3. Continue mixing and add eggs.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture.
5. Add the Mountain Dew, lemon/lime juice, and lemon extract, continue mixing on low speed until combined.
5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake 18-20 minutes or until done.

1 c butter (2 sticks)
4 c powdered sugar
2 T Mountain Dew
lemon and lime zest (remaining from cupcake recipe, or zest from half of 1 lemon and 1 whole lime)
1 t lemon extract

1.Beat butter until creamy, slowly adding powdered sugar. 
2. Add the Mountain Dew, zest, and lemon extract .
4. Beat until combined, adding powdered sugar until desired consistency.

Add food coloring, but do not combine evenly. Using a spatula, add the frosting to a piping bag or parchment paper with a large star piping tip. Frost cupcakes as you see fit. I prefer less frosting, but by all means frost as much as your heart desires.


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