I’ve uncovered a flaw in my Thursday Thoughts. … They have to be posted on Thursday! So typically I’ll write my post ahead of time, and just have to wait for the next open Thursday on the blog schedule. Therefore, this post, once scheduled, could be so out of date it’s ridiculous! (but I do re-read them for updates and edits the night before they go live) I expect the Thursday Thoughts posts to become more regular once I’m in full swing mom mode. 🙂
I’ve been back at work now that I’m in the “safe zone” of pregnancy. This is the tough stretch. I am thankful that I’m not overly uncomfortable and that I’m not huge all over. Although, my ankles and feet swell pretty badly by the time my eight hours of work are up. I know I should be patient, my due date isn’t until the 28th. (Keep in mind I started writing this post on the 17th.) But after being on bed rest for 6-7 weeks and having 4 scares of pre-term labor in all, now that baby is full term and it would be acceptable for him/her to arrive each day is torturous. Really, is it too much to ask for my little one to send me a meeting invite so i can put it on my calendar? 😉 It seems I had 8 1/2 months of contractions and now nothing.
For my first week back at work I decided to make these muffins. One of my #bundtbaker blogger pals (Stacy) starts every week with #MuffinMonday. When this post arrived in my inbox I knew I had to make them. I even had buttermilk in the fridge just begging to be used. I’m not going to lie, I made these the same day I made cupcakes and had some leftover cream cheese icing. I definitely ate one with icing… which negates the muffin-ness. But oh so good. They’re good without the icing too and were perfect to get me through my daily 9am snack time.
Have you been watching the World Cup? Stuart is a big soccer fan (weekend mornings are always a battle between Food Network and Soccer) and had us play along with ESPN’s World Cup Pick Em and World Cup Bracket. I’m not gonna lie – I’m kicking his butt! As of Wednesday night, I am currently ranked 14,557 with an 87.7% while he is laying “low” at 62,864 with a 46.9%. We should’ve bet on it! It makes watching the matches more enjoyable having a team to root for. Unfortunately Spain’s poor performance is really going to mess with my bracket when that portion of the tournament starts. I have them in the final match! But, I’m sure my bracket won’t be the only one that’s SOL. I wish I were clever and creative enough to make these World Cupcakes. There’s nothing saying I can’t make them… but I just won’t feel as awesome as if I’d thought of them myself. Maybe my creative juices will flow better when I’m finally a mom?… probably not… unless sleep deprivation sparks genius.
Stuart’s siblings got us the super awesome Ninja Blender system for Christmas. And we’ve gone through phases with smoothie making. Stuart will always try to make a smoothie with protein powder in it when he comes home from the gym. So we try to keep a stocked freezer full of fruits. After a few days in a row of unhealthy eating I really wanted something light and refreshing for dinner. Stuart brought up the idea of smoothies and it was perfect! My new favorite is Raspberry Lemonade (frozen raspberries, lemonade, yogurt)! It’s actually been a nice addition to my breakfast too. Also delicious is Blueberry Pineapple (frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, yogurt, milk). We like to take them with us on our evening walks.
The Opening Ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympics is tonight at 7:30/6:30C. If you are having a watching party I have the perfect display for your dessert table. I know there are many wonderful Olympics-related food ideas on Pinterest – hopefully this post will add me to the party!
I used two different boxes of cake mix for this project – one chocolate and one white. I really did this because that’s what I happened to have in my cupboard, but I firmly recommend following suit. Not only does it offer your guests options, but it makes it much easier to place the cupcakes prior to frosting.
Make a double batch of butter cream (single recipe listed below) and divide evenly into four bowls. Color the frosting in red, blue, yellow, and green. Frost the respective rings appropriately. YOU WILL HAVE LEFT OVER FROSTING! Combine the left over red, blue, and green along with 3/8 C of cocoa powder. Now you have chocolate butter cream frosting for the black ring. I opted to not create black frosting because I find it to be unappetizing, additionally black frosting tends to stain mouths, hands, etc.
If you want to avoid dying frosting, you can easily use plain frosting and then use respective sprinkles – in which case I approve of using black! 😉
Butter Cream Frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 C powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat butter. Add in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat until combined. (If frosting doesn’t come together, add just a little bit of milk at a time until a smooth texture is reached.)
*This recipe comes from my friend Kate*
Today is my husband’s birthday! Some of his coworker’s know I’m a food (mostly) blogger and are always complaining that Stuart doesn’t bring in enough leftovers at lunch for everyone. So today I’m sending him to work with cupcakes!
I wanted to make them from scratch instead of using a box. I was trying to decide what flavor profile to do and decided to go with a play on his favorite candy bar: the Almond Joy. The frosting recipe called for coconut extract, but because I have a coconut allergy I didn’t want to buy a bottle to use 1/4 tsp. I looked up how to make my own, but doing so requires a fresh coconut. I decided to substitute vanilla extract, and trust that the coconut milk used to make the frosting will keep the coconut flavor alive. They’re additionally topped with shredded coconut (and an almond).
If you notice, the title of this blog post is Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, not Coconut. That’s because I typed up the post before I made the frosting. The frosting did not turn out well. The texture was all off – it wasn’t smooth and almost looked like glitter.
So I switched it up and decided to go with peanut butter frosting. (It’s a good thing I got the new glass KitchenAid bowl for Christmas so I didn’t have to do dishes in between frostings, thanks parents!) I asked, “Can I just pretend Reese’s are your favorite candy?” “Yes, I like Reese’s!” Also, instead of pretending to be perfect, you get to know my Plan B secret! I followed the frosting recipe I used on my Caramel Filled Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Caramel Frosting, omitting the caramel.
Chocolate Cupcakes with
Coconut Peanut Butter Frosting
Ingredients for cupcake:
- 2/3 C cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 C butter, melted
- 1/3 C vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 C sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 3/4 C flour
Ingredients for frosting:
1 C salted butter, at room temperature
1/4 C canned coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 C powdered sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1/8 C + 1 tsp milk
- 1/4 C peanut butter
- Boil 1 C of water in the microwave. Mix together cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk in the boiling water and whisk until the mixture no longer bubbles and is smooth. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat melted butter, oil, vanilla, sugar, and salt with a hand mixer. Add in the two eggs and beat until combined. Repeat with the egg yolks. Add the cocoa mixture and heavy cream. Once combined add in the flour in batches, mixing after each addition.
- Pour cupcake batter into 2 dozen cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted. Let cool.
- Make the frosting:
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and coconut milk until fluffy. Mix in the extract. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until a frosting is made! In a stand mixer beat together sugar, butter, and milk. When combined fully add in the peanut butter.
- Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.
Top with shredded coconut and an almond, if desired.
*The cupcake recipe is adapted from Jaclyn at http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/02/chocolate-cupcakes-with-coconut-frosting-almonds-almond-joy-cupcakes/*