August 25, 2013

joyous cupcakes (banana chocolate cupcakes)

photos courtesy of my friend

This weekend, two of my oldest friends in the world and I got together and made cupcakes.  They're twins and we grew up together, and I'm so incredibly lucky that we're still great friends after all these years.  Playing inside a refrigerator box bonds you together that way.

We decided to make banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and boy did they turn out tasty.  I like to think it was all the love we poured into them as we baked.

Here's the recipe!

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
adapted from Baked by Rachel
makes 24 cupcakes


3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 sticks + 2 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Mix in eggs and vanilla until just dispersed.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then add to the butter mixture.  Mix until just combined, then add the banana and mix until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly among the liners in the muffin tin (fill about 2/3 of the way full).  Bake for about 20-25 mins or until a knife instead into the muffins comes out clean.  Cool in the tins for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the icing.  Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.  Mix in the cocoa powder, followed by the icing sugar and vanilla.  Add the cream 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desire consistency.   Frost your cupcakes once they have reached room temperature.

Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk. :)

August 17, 2013

really good homemade salsa recipe

Hi friends!
Today I'd like to share my secret homemade salsa recipe which is awesome.  To be perfectly honest, I don't really follow a recipe for this, I just kind of eye-ball it.  But it still always works out; you just have to taste it and adjust as necessary.

I love to have it with guacamole and cold root beer (pictured above).  You can check out my recipe for guacamole here too. ;)

Here's the recipe!

Homemade Tomato Salsa

6 tomatoes, washed and chopped up into small cubes
4 green onions, washed and chopped up small
2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, washed and finely chopped
1 big handful of fresh cilantro, washed and finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
salt for seasoning

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix.  Enjoy with a bowl of corn tortillas and a cold summer drink.


August 05, 2013

a really easy way to peel and cut avocados

I recently stumbled on a super easy way of cutting and peeling an avocado, so I thought I'd share it with you in the hopes that it was make your life a little easier too. :)  (Especially now that's avocado season and you can get them at a great price and make lots of yummy guacamole with them).

Ok, here are the steps:

1) Cut the avocado horizontally, all the way around the pit.

2) Open it up using a twisting motion, and it should look like this:

3) Leaving the avocado on the board, score it like so, with you knife:

4) Using a spoon, scoop out the avocodo, staying as close to the peel as possible.

5) When you're done with that, your peel should look like this, and the avocado pieces should be in your bowl or plate:

6) To get the pit out of the other half, put your knife into the pit, like so. Hold the avocado in one hand and the knife in the other and twist.

7) The pit will stay attached to the knife and pop out easily.

8) Follow steps 3-5 on this half and you're done!

You're now ready to make some really tasty guacamole!  :)

Happy Summer.