Sunday, November 28, 2010

Peach cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting

So tasty!!

Yep, so for Thanksgiving I was in charge of a dessert and corn. :) Pretty nice huh? So I have these peaches that I canned this year that are amazing and I though Mmmm peach cupcakes. So I found a recipe on another blog, Smitten Kitchen which is a really great blog so you should check it out. Her photos are pretty awesome too.  The cupcakes came out delicious, very moist, and a nice change from the usual cupcake.

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting

Makes 24 to 28 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour(bought mine at local grocery store and yes it does make a difference)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped smallish or about 2 1/2 C peaches
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 28 muffin cups with paper liners. Pull out 3 cubes of butter and 2 packages of cream cheese to come to room temperature.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy (if your butter isn't room temperature I like to unwrap mine and put it by the oven to warm up or put it in the microwave on defrost for 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla. Gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt (I used the buttermilk, I think Vanilla yogurt would be amazing). Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks.
Divide the batter evenly (added extra to a couple and they came out squishy) among the prepared cupcake liners. I use a 1/4 measuring cup and that works out prefect. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. After they cool a bit I like to cover them with a dishcloth so they don't dry out while I am making my frosting.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
The cornstarch acts as a thickener for the frosting. Powdered sugar already has some cornstarch in it but since we are using brown sugar you have to add extra. When the frosting is really cold it will be very thick and hard to squeeze out so you might need to let it sit out for a couple minutes.
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator until it thickens back up a bit, about 30 minutes, then spread or dollop on cooled cupcakes.

Frosting Tip* 
To get those hershey kiss looking frosting you use a round wilton # 10 tip. I don't have a big pastry bag so I snip the end off a gallon ziploc bag and stick my tip in so it pokes out through that hole. Then I put a little tape on it to hold it in place. Now I load up my bag with frosting and I'm ready to go. The great thing is that if I don't use up the frosting I can just store it in the fridge for a bit because it is already in a ziploc bag.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brussel sprouts?

Yeeeah those look appetizing, don't they? I received brussel sprouts in my bountiful basket so I thought I would try the roasting technique since I didn't think steamed sprouts sounded that yummy. Well, guess what? They still weren't that tasty. I tossed them with olive oil and salt and pepper then roasted them in the oven for about 35 minutes at 400 degrees. They taste like cabbage, I don't know about you but cabbage isn't my favorite flavor. So I tried it and kudos to people who do like the sprouts, I salute you. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shepherds pie!

Mmmm, had a craving for shepherds  pie the other day so here we go!

1 lb ground beef
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 chopped onion
7 potatoes
1/2 C sour cream
garlic powder
worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock or couple teaspoons beef bouillon and water.
1/2 cup ketchup
Shredded cheese, I like a cheddar and monterey mix.

Peel and dice your potatoes. I use a pressure cooker but you can just put it in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, turn it down a little and simmer for 20 minutes. Cook you ground beef then add the chopped onion, I didn't have any fresh onion so I used some dried onion from my food storage. Drain the meat if you have too much fat. Add the vegetables and stir letting those cook for about 8 minutes. I had some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used up so I sliced those in half and added them with the vegetables.  Add a couple sprinkles of garlic powder. Add the beef stock, W sauce, and ketchup, stir this around. Turn on your oven to 350. Potatoes should be done so you can drain them, add the sour cream and a handful of shredded cheese and mash up. I like to add a little garlic powder, onion powder, and some parsley to my potatoes. I used a deep casserole dish. Fill with your meat mixture and then spoon your mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with some cheese and pop in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Pull it out when your meat mixture is bubbling along the edges. 
So delicious and it makes excellent leftovers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sooooo unmotivated.

You ever feel unmotivated? I know I should be doing stuff. You've got christmas in like 6 weeks, Thanksgiving in 2, and a little flower business and really I don't feel like doing any of it. I want to do something, but nothing is appealing to me. I crocheted a roll up bag for my crochet hooks and a cell phone case for myself. I wanted to try felting, and it is very cool and I like how they came out but I didn't think other people would be very interested in them.

I guess I just don't feel excited about anything at the moment. The cold weather has finally gotten here but now I miss my fall weather. I have to bundle up because I chill so easily. I want to take a family photo of us for christmas, but that is incredibly daunting. That's the problem with being a photographer, I can photograph anything and anyone except myself. I look good in maybe 1 out of 50 shots, something to do with the angles of my face, it isn't very encouraging. I think I feel blah because of my hair. You ever have have like consecutive bad hair days? I feel like chopping it off, but then I worry because sometimes that isn't a good thing. I've started to gain the holiday weight already. The cold is keeping us from going out walking as much. Sorry, I didn't mean this to be a pity party or anything, I just figure there are other people who feel the same way and they might feel better knowing that they aren't alone in their unmotivated, fattening state. :) I love all you people. Sometimes just talking about it gets you going again so it is out there instead of in my brain. :) Alright, I'll work on something and watch some meerkat manor. Have a good evening.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Check out my online store!

Well I figured it out and I am super excited. If you will look towards the top of my blog there are a couple tabs which are links to different sites, one is my new online store!! I was going to go through Etsy but it was just too much work so I figured out how to add a paypal shopping cart to a page on my blog and Voila! My online store is born. So if you wouldn't mind checking it out and giving me some feedback on what you think, what you like, don't like, and what I need to change...I would really appreciate it. Thanks!!!