Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Busy with Farm Life!

It's been 10 days since I've posted a single thing!!!!  Shame, shame, shame!  Well what is my problem anyhow?     :)   How much time does it take to put up a simple blog post?!  :)
This time of year is usually crazy busy for us farmers.  We've got seed that's got to go into the ground, and that involves a lot of field work.....tilling, fertilizing, tilling.   Occasionally we'll have to clean up a few fence lines, because of trees that took a fall during the winter months.  I'm pleased to say we're finishing up putting our corn in the ground today!  That will leave soybeans to be put in.  Hopefully we'll be making hay soon as well!  It's that time of year again! 

The weather has been so lovely...I adore summer!!!!!!!  I have been trying to get the last of my garden planted too.  I'm sure I'll be posting about that a little later on.  Speaking of posting, I wanted to put this up, so you'd know I was still around, and haven't slipped into oblivion or something like that.  I'm hoping to get the last post in my cupcake series up within the next few days.
Last week, in between doing chores and regular around the farm work, I was scrambling to finish a rag quilt for my best friend's graduation.  I'll be doing a post about that too.  But that will have to wait for about a week yet.
So, what've you all got goin on keepin you busy?  Tell me about it!  :)  In the mean time, you have a fabulous day!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cupcake Series (mini), Part 3: Chocolate Oreo

These cupcakes are Chocolate Oreo cupcakes.....another words my version of a chocolate cupcake that I thought I could improve on!  :)

Recipe for Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped oreos

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin cups with liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and eggs until light and fluffy--about 3 minutes.
3.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in the melted chocolates. Reduce speed to low.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Stir in Oreos with a wooden spoon, until well incorporated.
4. Spoon batter into a Ziploc bag, and seal tightly.  Snip off a corner, and pipe into prepared liners.  Fill about two-thirds full.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  Bake until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the baking pan, place on wire rack to cool completely.
Frost as you desire!!!!
For mine, I used a cream cheese frosting which can be found in this post near the bottom of the page.
Hope you enjoy!
I have but one recipe left in this series...in my opinion, I'm saving the best for last...don't forget to check out the previous cupcakes in this series.  Lemon-poppy seed and Snickerdoodle!
After that I have planned a few refashions, which I'm super excited about, and who knows what other good stuff may be thrown in along the way! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cupcake Series (mini), Part 2: Lemon Poppy-seed

Recipe for Lemon Poppy-seed Cupcakes

1. Preheat your lovely little oven to 350 degrees F.  Line about 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Whisk together in a medium bowl:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon salt
3.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
Beat until fluffy. About 3 minutes or so.
4.  Add:
3 large eggs
One at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Combine: 
1/2 cup, minus 1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
6. With mixer on low, add flour and milk mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until blended. Stir in:
The zest of one lemon.
7. Spoon the batter into a Ziploc bag, and seal tightly.  Snip off about a fourth inch or so from one corner of the bag. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nice and clean.  Remove the cupcakes form the pan, and place on a wire rack.  Allow them too cool completely before frosting!

***This recipe is my variation of the lemon poppy-seed cupcake recipe found in the  "Hello, Cupcake!" book by: Karen Tack & Alan Richardson.

These cupcakes are heavenly when topped with a cream cheese frosting!  :)

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Mix together:
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Beat until smooth.
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix till combined.
Frost your lovely cupcakes. 
***This frosting is not the thickest stuff in the world, so you may find you'll need to add some more powdered sugar. 

Aren't these lovable!
I wouldn't recommend using the cream cheese frosting for the petals though. You'll need a frosting with a thicker consistency so you don't end up with a droopy sunflower!!
Enjoy all!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cupcake Series (mini), Part 1: Snickerdoodle

I warned you last week that I'd be cupcaking my poor little kitchen to death for the mother daughter luncheon at my church this past Saturday....well, all went well, and I now want to share my ideas and recipes with all y'all!  I've been trying to figure out the best way to do this, and throughout my thinking process and what not, I kinda like the idea of doing a mini series on cupcakes.  Each post from now,  until I get through my little cupcake obsession will be of a different kind of cupcake.   Let me forewarn you, you may want to read these little episodes after a good meal....I don't want to be responsible for anyone getting uncontrollably hungry, or drooling over their computer screen, or anything like that!  (you know I'm just kidding....maybe  :)   

Part 1:   Snickerdoodle cupcake

This particular cupcake does sound a bit iffy at first glance, but it has it's own lovable personality....very similar to a snickerdoodle cookie.  If you like one, you very well may like the other!

The frosting used here is a Seven Minute Frosting.  For those of you who haven't tried it, it's a very light, fluffy, non-filling frosting.  The combination of this frosting with the snickerdoodle cupcake is pretty darn good!  Both the recipe for the frosting and the cupcake itself are from Martha Stewart. This is about the only recipe I used that I didn't alter, or spice up at all.  It was great just as it was!  Would you like the recipes? Why of course you would!  :)    The cupcake recipe can be found here, and the frosting recipe can be found here.

My tips and Hints:
My first attempt at these cupcakes turned out just as good as the second, so it shouldn't be something that should scare you as far as the making of it goes.  The frosting does take some time to complete....more than simply seven minutes!  It is best the day it's made.  I strongly recommend you make it and serve it relatively soon....another words, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to make frost them at 6 AM and serve them at 6 PM. if you get my drift.  The recipe suggests dusting the finished cupcakes with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  I tried just a dusting of cinnamon.  It was good, but just a bit too cinammony for my family's taste.
Last thing I want to mention....when you frost the cupcakes with this particular frosting, you may want to put it in a gallon size Ziploc bag, and snip off a corner.  It saves time, making clean-up so much easier!  :)  When I scoop the frosting into the bag, I have an empty  juice or water pitcher on the table and put my bag in there, and fold the edges over the side of the container, so I don't have to try to hold the bag and the frosting bowl, and scoop all at the same time. 

The pink flowers in this picture were made out of homemade royal icing.  If I do that again, I'm buying meringue powder.  From scratch is just too hard to deal with.  Once you get it the right consistence for the flowers, it's so stiff you practically have to strangle the bag to get the icing to come out....not a enjoyable relaxing thing to be doing!
Well, there's Part 1 for you!  Enjoy!!!!!!