Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

The urge. Sometimes it hits me, and I have to get in the kitchen. The baking fix must be quelled. Like a zombie needing brains, I instinctively grab my apron and become fixated on my next experiment. I can turn a bit mad scientist when I get in the kitchen. Ideas run through my head, and I check my "to do" list of recipes looking for something to start. Since summer is fading into fall, the warm days of popsicles by the pool will soon become a thing of the past. And what better popsicle exists but the creamsicle? It's got that fruit flavor mixed with the creamy taste of vanilla cream, combining forces to make this little bit of frozen greatness. Why not capture that flavor in a cupcake?

Portobello Pasta

Mushrooms. Pasta. Marinara Sauce. Already sounding good? The "Portobello Pasta" name here is ever so slightly misleading because this is not just a plate of portobello mushrooms and noodles. Nor is it a pile of mushroom flavored spaghetti (I'll stick to spinach for that). Not even close. But as I didn't want to name this, "Ground Beef, Portobello Mushrooms, and Spinach Lasagna Type Dish," I came up with something a tad shorter. We can work with it.

My goal was to make a dish that had loads of vegetables and a good amount of protein. Portobello mushrooms are a really great meat alternative, or in this case, a protein bonus. The first time I tried them was on a pizza (there's this amazing pizza place around here that knocks it out of the park every time). Besides the fact I love mushrooms in general, portobellos are larger and have a meatier taste. Fun fact: I learned a few months ago that white, cremini, and portobellos are all of the same mushroom species. They're just at different stages in the life cycle. Here's an article with more on that.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Just recently, I bought my first house. It took tons of work to get the place move-in ready. From tile to paint to the biggest cleaning job I've ever completed, this house was a big job. Even upon bringing all my belongings over, I've still been working on it, slowly but surely.

Because I was so busy getting the inside ready, I didn't have much time to get to know my neighbors. They were friendly, but I am of the old school mentality that you give greetings with baked goods. Well, maybe that is more because I am obsessed with my kitchen. Either way, I finally set aside some time to make some fresh cookies to give a nice, warm, "Hello!"

Cauliflower Pot Pie

What's more comforting than a southern style pot pie? A flaky pie crust filled with vegetables and a creamy beshchamel sauce is a great dinner year round.  But make it with a cauliflower pie crust and add carrots, leeks, celery, and cremini mushrooms, and cheddar cheese, and suddenly, things get extra special.

Homemade pie crust does, by nature of the word homemade, require more effort than pre-brought varieties. But homemade goods bring advantages, from controlling what ingredients are used to ensuring the proper freshness. Think about it: you buy a pie crust that is good for a month past the date you purchased it. How fresh is it really? If you want your baked goods to taste as good as they possibly can, you need the right supplies.

Green Tea Cupcakes

I love to explore local small markets. There's an Indian store by my job, and in Orlando we have a little collection of Asian markets and restaurants called Little Vietnam. I was in need of some sweet potato noodles, so I made a stop by one of the Asian markets. I can't even describe the variety of food items you can find - spices, fresh meat, sauces, and most vital to this post: unique candies. GREEN. TEA. KIT KATS. Yes, they are real. And yes, they are glorious.

I'd heard of them before, but was never fortunate enough to find them in stock. That day was a lucky one, as the treats from Japan were aplenty.

Chicken Quesa-pizzas


This started out as a recipe contest entry--I will ocassionally check active contests to see if anything sparks my interest, and this one my mother had informed me about. I was all excited to try it, as it was intended to be similar to the show Chopped, where you have a list of ingredients that all must be incorporated into your dish.

I had never cooked with a poblano pepper before, obviously bringing some excitement my way. I LOVE new experiences in the kitchen! The thing is, there are so many cultures and cuisines that I'll never be able to say I've done it all. Cooking is art.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes


I have raved and raved about my cupcake recipe. Just recently, I used it for several different cupcakes, adding flavors in as needed. It works smashingly, but I decided to spice things up. A colleague,  knowing my love of kitchen time, often shares lemon cake recipes. Lemon, in light use, is a refreshing, slightly tart flavor in desserts (see Lemon Bars). When mixed with sugar, it makes a really great cookie or cake.

The mildly subtle recipe hints added up, so when it came time for her birthday, Lemon cake was #1 on the list. And here's where I made a change - I used a new cake recipe. And it is the simplest yet most awesome recipe ever.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

Sweet, sugary cereal. Kids cereals are still my go to. Well, I'm not a big cereal fan for the most part; it's not that it isn't delightful, I'm just always hungry again 30 minutes later. Even with all the high fiber adult stuff. Cereal is not a meal! It's a side dish. I figure I'll keep it real at breakfast and eat eggs as the main course. Come to think of it, I don't have enough breakfast recipes shared on here...

Back to the main story of the night. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of the most famous and best kids cereals in existence. If I am going to have cereal, I will go for a bowl of milk with these tiny cinnamon cookies in it. Sure, Lucky Charms are good. Everyone loves marshmallows. Golden Grahams aren't bad, either. But something about cinnamon and sugar together go well in the mornings. Cinnamon buns are a great example. Do you know anyone that hates cinnamon buns?
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