April 30, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Tuesday: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I love pumpkin and this past Fall there must have been hundreds if not thousands of pins with pumpkin in them showing up in my daily feed on Pinterest.

I pinned a few and this is the first one that I tried and not only was it easy, it was beyond delicious. In fact between my littles and hubby the first half dozen were gone as fast as I could ice them.

I got the recipe from here.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (if you have one, if not a mixing bowl and a hand mixer will do just fine), combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium until well combined. Slowly start to add the dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

And while she does provide a recipe for homemade caramel I chose to go with the alternative of using a favourite caramel sauce as I already had it on hand. Next time, I will try and make the Caramel Sauce from scratch.

Salted Caramel Buttercream


1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 stick salted butter

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups powdered sugar


In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Needless to say they were a tasty treat and I plan making them again.

April 23, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Tuesday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

While I am sure  most of you have a recipe for a go to Beef Stew (I know I do) I am always on the hunt for something new or just a little different from the tried, tested and true fail safe recipe when I stumbled on to this one. It is similar and just different enough that I thought I would try it out.

The recipe is from Movita Beaucoup. I aspire to be able to take food pictures the way they did one day. For now, I guess I only took one picture!


2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium sized onions, chopped into large pieces

2 ribs celery, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

about 20 mini-potatoes, cut large ones in half, leave smallest ones as is (I like to
use a mix of yellow, red and blue, no need to peel)

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I use plum tomatoes)

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

3 cups sodium-reduced beef broth, divided

2 bay leaves

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the
meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.

Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato
masher or the back of a spoon.

Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings.

Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables.

Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the peas (no need to defrost first), salt and

 In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth,
creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew.

Replace the slow cooker cover and cook until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).

Remove the bay leaves before serving.

April 16, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Tuesday: Honey Beer Bread

Pinterest is a great tool on so many levels. I am able to procrastinate hours and hours away happily while pining away. I am sure you all know exactly what I am talking about!

So in attempt to make those idle hours useful I have started making some of the recipes taunting me from my boards and I plan on sharing those at least once a week...whether they turn out to be a culinary master piece or the scene from Aliens!

First up is this recipe for Honey Beer Bread that I found at luluathome.com (unfortunately the link seems to bring up an error 404 code).


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons honey

1 can beer (I used a bottle)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


Preheat over to 350F. Grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. 
Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed.  (Microwave the honey for 5 to 10 seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in)
Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Use a pastry brush to spread it around.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Everyone loved it! My husband thought it was more of a cake then a bread, I told him it was a heavy bread and not cake...regardless when paired with a thick and hearty stew fresh from the oven with some butter it was great.

Next week, the recipe for the Beef Stew pictured above.

April 9, 2013

Pinterest and Recipes

I am sure everyone can relate to this:

Starting next week, I am putting Pinterest and all those hundreds of recipes that I have pinned to work!

Stay tuned for Pinterest Tuesday Recipes!

April 8, 2013

A little Christmas in April

I have a few posts from December that I need to catch up on. Being sick starting right before Thanksgiving up until the start of the holidays made for a crazy time, on top of a trip back to Canada then back home just in time to start school again left me no time to update the blog.

So without further ado here is the Christmas Tree Cake that I made for Keegan's Grade One Class.

The cake pan that I used is made by Wilton and it is one of many that my Mom gave me when I moved away from home and they are old. In fact they are at least 30 plus years old. My Mom used to not only teach cake decorating classes but she and my Aunt Gail used to have a little cake business. They told me that they used to do Birthdays and Weddings...how cool! Mind you, I do remember having awesome cakes for my birthdays growing up and she gave me my first lesson in piping. Needless to say that one is still a work in progress, but I get by.

So I decided rather then just baking a plain tree cake I was going to add a bit of colour, which my 7 year old thought was the coolest thing. So I mixed up so green and brown and we decorated the cake together. He decided that M&M's were a good idea.

Items used:
Wilton Christmas Tree Cake pan
Wilton Gel Colours
White Cake
Buttercream Icing
Mini M&M's
Tube of Glitter Icing

It was a big hit!


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