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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring is in the air!! We've unseasonably warm weather here in Indiana the past few weeks.
With Spring on the way, it's time to think of the next upcoming holiday, Easter is in April this year. Have you seen all the bunnies, carrots, and egg decor out in stores?! One of my favorite dessert recipes that pairs great with Easter and spring is carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist, delicious, and have an Easter spirit about them that make them perfect for the holiday, but anytime of the year as well. 

We have enjoy having meals with family for Easter and what perfect way to have carrot cake for everyone with Carrot Cake Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting ...decorated cute for Easter.
Now I am pretty crafty but I am no artist when it comes to cake decorating, but these are simple to do and look cute!


I will share with you some simple decorating tips for simple Easter themed cupcakes below. Anyone can do!!

Not making them for Easter? That's ok! A little bit of chopped pecans around the edges of the frosting is perfect!



Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Clabber Girl baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

For the frosting
8 oz  cream cheese - at room temperature
1 stick butter - at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, and eggs and whisk together. Add the applesauce, carrots, and vanilla and stir together. Then add the dry ingredients from the previous bowl and mix all together until well combined. Add the chopped nuts and stir in.

Prepare a standard sized muffin tin with paper liners of your choosing for the cupcakes. Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test batter with a knife to make sure it comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Once cupcakes are cooled is time to add the cream cheese frosting. In a medium mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Using a hand held mixer, mix together the ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until it is all mixed in.

Top the cupcakes off with the frosting by piping it on or with a knife. Decorate your cupcakes.
Simply roll the edges in the frosting in chopped nuts or decorate with some Easter themes like shown below.

Recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Serve or store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.


PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

For Easter Decorating tips:


Bunny ears:
Regular size marshmallows
Pink sprinkles
Using a pair of kitchen shears, simply cut a marshmallow in half at an angle. The part that was cut open will be slightly sticky, dip that part in the sprinkles for the center pink part of bunny's ears. Arrange them beside each other on top of the cupcake.
I added shredded coconut on top of the frosting to give a "furry"look.


Carrots:
Shredded coconut
Orange Candy Melts
Put a small amount of shredded coconut in a small bowl and add a few drops of green food coloring and stir around. 
Melt the candy melts and put in a plastic ziplock bag. At one corner of the bottom of the bag, cut a slit and use it as a piping bag. 
Line a pan with parchment paper. 
Place a little dab of coconut on the paper and using the plastic bag as a piping bag, squeeze out the melted chocolate into a carrot form. be sure to go over the coconut slightly with it so that the chocolate sets up and the coconut will stick to it. 
After you have made several that you need, place in the freezer for final set up. 
When you are ready to add to your cupcakes, simply remove from paper and place at the top of the cupcake. 


Nest of Eggs: 
Green Icing Pouch with Tip
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Simply Pipe the green icing onto the cream cheese frosting using the flower tip. Add the Cadbury mini eggs on top.


These carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are packed full of so much flavor you will love them from the first bite!





This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own




Monday, February 27, 2017

Bananas Foster Crepes

Bananas Foster Crepes are perfect for a decadent breakfast or a fancy dessert! I love banana anything and these are so good.


The batter creates a light, buttery, crisp crepe.
 Filled with a syrupy banana flavored goodness.
Topped off with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream.

It is delightful!!
So tasty.


Bananas Foster Crepes
Ingredients:

For the crepes:
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp melted butter
Cooking spray, for coating the pan

For the bananas foster:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 bananas, sliced
1/4 cup dark rum
1/3 cup chopped pecans

*Non- alcoholic version: Add 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of the dark rum

Topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream and dust with powdered sugar if desired.


Directions:
For the crepes, add all the ingredients in a blender and blend together until well mixed. Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes. Using a small non-stick pan spray the pan with cooking spray. Add 1/3 cup of batter and swirl it around to spread the batter for a thin layer on the bottom of the small pan. Cook for a minute or so and flip. Cook for another 30 seconds or so. The edges will curl up some and the crepe will get a golden brown color to it. Continue until batter is gone, spraying the pan before each crepe.

For the bananas foster, in a pan add the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana slices and chopped pecans and cook until the bananas soften. Then add the rum and cook the sauce until the rum has been heated. Use a lighter and carefully light the rum. Remove from heat and shake the pan a bit until flame goes out. Let the sauce cool some.

*Non-alcoholic version:  For the bananas foster, in a pan add the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the maple syrup, pecans, and banana slices and cook until the bananas soften. Let the sauce cool some.

Spoon the bananas foster sauce into the crepes for a filling and fold them up. Add some scoops of vanilla ice cream and top off with some more bananas foster sauce.
Enjoy!!

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

This apple fritter breakfast casserole combines all your favorite flavors of apple fritter donuts into a breakfast casserole. Simple to prepare, place in the oven, and enjoy apple fritter breakfast casserole for everyone to enjoy.

On our farmers market Saturdays. its a weekly tradition to head across the street and grab donuts from our local bakery. Sometimes our kiddos will join us at the market also, and they really enjoy the morning donuts and look forward to getting them.  My favorite is the apple fritter!

The sweet cinnamon breading with bits of juicy apples topped off with a creamy icing!

Delicious....



So simple! Prepare the ingredients and layer in the 9x13 and bake. Let cool then add the icing.


Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:
Apple Mixture
5 apples - peeled and chopped ( I like more tart apples, so I used Granny Smith)
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp Clabber Girl corn starch
2 Tbsp warm water

Casserole Base: 
4 large Croissants (12 oz)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup apple butter
3 eggs - beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions: 
For the apple mixture
In a medium size pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until both are completely blended. Add the chopped apples pieces to the pan and stir until they are coated well with the sugar mixture. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer while continuing to stir. During that 5 to 10 minutes, in a small bow stir together the corn starch and warm water and add to the apple mixture and cook/stir for the remainder of the 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while preparing the rest of the casserole. 

For the casserole
In a small bowl add the heavy cream, apple butter, eggs, and cinnamon and whisk together. Pull apart the croissants into chunky pieces and place at the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 casserole dish. Pour half of the apple butter/cream mixture over the croissant pieces and then top with half of the apple mixture. Using a spoon, gently stir around the ingredients so apple mixture and the apple butter/cream mixture are somewhat coating the croissant pieces. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool down to warm. Add glaze and serve. 

For the glaze
Combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract together in small bowl and stir together with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over the breakfast casserole. 

Optional: Sometimes when making this casserole I will add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans when cooking the apples. 

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE



All your favorite flavors of an apple fritter together in a breakfast casserole. Bake it up for a weekend breakfast or for a special occasion. It is delicious anytime! 



This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own


Monday, February 20, 2017

Crock Pot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes

All in one crock pot meals are some of my favorites! It's so nice to just gather and prepare all the ingredients and put in the crock pot and cook, then go about your day! This Crock Pot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes meal is definitely a go to meal when you don't have much time to spend in the kitchen, but still provides an all around meal.


Often times our nights are busy with sports activities for the kids, homework, working outside and more, that we just don't want or have the time to spend in the kitchen. This recipe is an easy one to fall back on. With the sausage, green beans, and potatoes you can add something as simple as fresh fruit for dessert and have a complete meal.

Prep time is fast and easy too! 10 minutes in the kitchen chopping up the ingredients and dumping into the crock pot, set the time, and out the door you go. It's so nice to come home from a busy day and dinner is already made and ready to go.


Clean up is super easy too!!



Crock Pot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 Polska Kielbasa sausage (16.8 oz)
4 red potaotes, sliced
2 cans green beans (I used a quart of green beans I canned last summer)
1/4 cup of chopped onion
4 cups water
Pepper to taste

Directions:
Cut sausage into slices and put in crock pot. Wash and slice up potatoes and put in crock pot. We like the skins on, but you can also peel them. Drain green beans and add to the crock pot. Chop onion and add to crock pot. Add pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients around together. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

You can use any type of potato instead of red potatoes.

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE








Added to Whatcha Crockin' Week 30




Saturday, February 11, 2017

Baked Ziti

We are a pasta loving family and usually have some sort of pasta meal once a week. The great thing about pasta meals is that they are pretty inexpensive and easy to prepare. They feeds the whole family and also make great leftovers. You really can't go wrong with a pasta meal. This baked ziti recipe is one that can be made ahead and froze for later or can be made and enjoyed for a meal that day.


I remember growing up, when my dad and grandpa were in the field during planting and harvest, my mom would often times take out a meal to the field. Some of the best memories seriously are just sitting on the tailgate or in the back of the Tahoe enjoying lunch in the field. Pasta meals are some I remember us having!

Paired with a light salad and a bread stick or garlic bread, a complete meal has been made. Of course my mom would always take out cookies or something sweet for after the meal too! :)

As kids, my brother and I would sit around with family and eat our lunch in the field, then we were always sure to grab a tractor or combine ride with my dad or grandpa. So many memories in the field from growing up, that I want my kiddos to have some of the same experiences and I love taking them to the field when I'm helping my dad, for a meal in the field or a tractor/combine ride.


There are so many great meals that work out great for eating in the field, including this baked ziti dish! It can be prepared and cooked that day or prepared and froze to cook at a later time. Freezer meals are a lifesaver sometimes in our family. It's so nice to have them prepared and in the freezer and then if you know its going to be a busy day, just simply setting one out in the morning to thaw and cook when you get home. So easy and definitely takes the occasional stress out of dinner time for the day!

Last week I enjoyed a freezer meal party with my farm blogger friends sponsored by Indiana Family of Farmers. We got together and prepared freezer meals. Each of us prepared our recipe 8 times, for everyone to take one home. In return, we went home with 8 different freezer meals! 64 freezer meals in 2 1/2 hours!! A lot of fun and worth it!

If you are interested in doing your own freezer meal party  check out the great tips Cherie over at The Queen of Free!!


Everyone loves a good pasta dish and baked ziti is tasty and pretty filling meal! Here I actually used penne pasta.


Baked Ziti

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef, browned
1/2 small onion, diced
1 box ziti pasta, or penne
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 24 oz. jar pasta sauce
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Minced garlic
Dried parsley
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Cook the ground beef and diced onion seasoned with minced garlic, pepper, parsley, and oregano until browned. Drain off any grease. Cook pasta noodles until al dente. Drain pasta. In an 9x13 baking dish, add the pasta, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and pepper to taste. Mix all together. In a separate bowl add the browned seasoned ground beef and the jar of pasta sauce and mix together. Then add on top of the pasta/cheese mixture in the baking dish. Mix together the pasta and meat sauce in the dish until the pasta is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve.

Baked Ziti  - Freezer Meal

Adjustments to Directions:
After cooking pasta and draining, rinse pasta to cool it off. Add cold pasta to a 9x13 disposable pan. Continue with the rest of the preparation. Cover the prepared baked ziti with one layer of saran wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. This will help prevent any freezer burn. Good in the freezer for about 2 months. For baking, thaw baked ziti and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.


PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE



So make this dish and enjoy now or later, either way will be a delicious meal, a for sure comfort meal favorite.


Enjoy!

This post was sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers but all 
thoughts and opinions are my own.