Jalapeño Strawberry Cornmeal Cupcakes with Avocado Icing

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My oldest sister graduated from nursing school this past weekend (wahoo!) and the friends and family had a party for her. I made these cupcakes for the party.But really, I made them just for her.

See, she is not a lady big on sweets. When I asked her what kind of dessert she wanted me to make her, she said if I could make a cake out of french fries, well that would be great. (I was close to making a french fry cake) But instead, I went a slightly different route and made cakes out of thing that I know she loves and can eat. Jalapeños because she is obsessed. Strawberries cause she likes her some fruit and are in season and I think, go with everything. Avocado frosting because she loves avocado and cornmeal because it makes the cakes a tad less sweet and a little more hearty. I also used GF flour cause she is GF. 

 Wow, I am the best sister. And here are a few more reasons why..

  • I went to the party (I am not a big party person.. But I did have fun and her friends were cool)
  • I changed into a clean outfit for her party (I really didn't want to)
  • I stayed out past my 6 (I made it until 7.. what!!!)
  • I make her food
  • I am awesome (I think so anyway)

So yeah. The cupcakes. The Nurse lady totally got down with these. I am pretty sure that I heard the words, amazing and oh my good,  while they were being noshed on. The day after,  the nurse lady told me that they were the talk of the party (bullshit, but thanks)

Whatever, I was just glad she liked them.

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The stuff. For the cupcakes; cornmeal and some pre blended gluten free flour. Sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Soy milk (use whatever milk you want) oil, apple cider vinegar, strawberries and a couple jalapeños . For the icing; an avocado, a lemon, and some powdered sugar.

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This is not a hard batter to work, no need for a mixer or to cream anything, it can all be done with a wooden spoon.

 First, preheat the oven.

Then trim and tiny dice the strawberries, remove seeds and tiny dice the jalapeños and toss it all into a bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

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In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar. Then add in the rest of the stuff. Stir together until combined.Now fold in the chopped berries and jalapeños and scoop batter into a well greased (or lined) cupcake tin.

Stick into oven to bake…

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Check cakes after 20 minutes and remove from oven when they are golden brown and a tester comes out clean when poked.

Remove from pan and place on a wire rake to cool. 

While the cakes are a coolin, add avocado to a blender with the zest of half a lemon and the juice of that half of lemon and blend smooth.  Add in the sugar and blend.  

The icing should be thick, but spreadable. Using your judgement and you taste buds, add more sugar  if the icing seems to thin or lemon juice if it seems to dry.

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And once the cakes are cooled, spread with icing and top with sliced strawberries.

Your welcome Nurse Shannon!

Happy Friday!!!

-C

Jalapeño Strawberry Cornmeal Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (if you don't need or want it gluten-free, just use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups nut or plant milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 2 jalapeños

For the frosting

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Pre heat oven to 350

Wash, trim and dice strawberries into little pieces and toss into a bowl. Remove stem and seeds from jalepenos and dice into small pieces.. add to bowl. Sprinkle with a little sugar.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, powder, salt, and sugar and whisk together. Now add in the oil, milk, and vinegar and mix together with a wood spoon until combined. Lastly, fold in the strawberries and jalapeños.

Scoop mixture into well greased (or lined) cupcake tin and stick into oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until cakes are gold brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, remove form tin, and sick on a wire rack to cool. 

While the cakes are cooling, take the avocado, sugar, and the zest and juice of half a lemon and blend with your choice of blending drive until smooth.  The icing should be thick enough to If the icing is to runny, add more sugar, or to thick, a little more lemon juice.

Now Ice cupcakes and top with sliced strawberries.

Eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

No utensils required, just some teeth. 

Whole Grain Mustard

IMG_2795    IMG_2818 I love mustard, and when I say love, I mean LOVE. I eat it on anything and everything. And not just small quaintites, I buy jumbo sized containers of the stuff because I go through it so fast.  Over the past few years I even  started taking down others with my mustard eating obsession. Sisters, brothers, even some of the littles are now mustard eating feens.  One of my little nieces is now just as bad as me. I don't think I have seen her eat a single meal without a side of mustard. Her favorite snack, clementines and mustard,  although sometimes she skips the clementines and just goes in with her fingers. Oh so good. I think that child could possible be mine.  And yes, it's mostly the yellow grocery store variety of mustard being consumed, but yellow mustard is just the tip of the ice berg. There is a whole world of flavors, textures and colors when it comes to the humble mustard seed. Whole grain mustard, to me, is one of the best and easiest to adapt to any persons specific taste. You can make it plan or add in just about any spice, vinegar, even a little sweetness that you might like. One of my favorite variations of this mustard is to skip the vinegar and use picked jalapeño juice. Aah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So if you are anything of a mustard connoisseur, you really must, at least once, make your own batch.(It's so easy!) And you will love it and share it with all your friends and they will think you are a bad ass for making your own mustard and your life will just be so great. All because you are now a mustard maker.  Yes. 

IMG_2644Yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar and salt. The most basic ingredients.

Note- If you want, add in a pinch of any spice that you want.. Chili flakes, granulated garlic, turmeric.... And you can use the vinegar of your choice. I like apple cider because its mellow with a slight sweetness but white or sherry or any vinegar would be great. Even left over picked juice is fantastic too.

IMG_2678   IMG_2791 In a large jar, combine the mustard seed , twice as much vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover and let sit for on the counter overnight until the seeds have soften and look almost like caviar. 

IMG_2800Now blend those seeds. You might want to add another splash or two of vinegar to help  blend and to thin out a bit. Chose how creamy or seeded you like you mustard. I like to make it creamy but seedy so I blend it half way to creamy.

Taste and add another pinch of salt if its needed and……..

IMG_2812You have got mustard! Make sure you have a good snack ready to eat with it.. My go to is carrots. I could eat this all day long.  

Enjoy and have a great Tuesday full of mustard and stuff!

-C


Whole Grain Mustard

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Optional..A pinch of  Garlic Graduals, Red Pepper Flakes, Curry Powder (Anything you want) 

Combine all ingredients into a large jar that has at least a few extras inches for the seed to expand.  Leave on counter for 8-12 hours.

Once seeds are nice and soft and have expanded, either eat as is (Mustard seed caviar) or blend the seeds to desired consistency (I like it half smooth, half seedy) Add a pinch more or salt and another splash or two of vinegar to help blend.

Refrigerate and use on anything and everytihng.

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It hasn't stopped snowing, the temperature is dropping fast (it's getting to the point the dog doesn't even want to be outside) and the mister is busy hand shoveling three long driveways. So I figured that in between all the laundry folding, plant watering , and all around sitting on my butt  that I am doing  INSIDE, that  I would be so super nice and crank the stove up and make my love some cookies.I love making cookies, especially when I have chores to do. I think part of it is that cookies are baked in batches which breaks up the chores and gives a sort of rhythm to things. Plus everything is nice when the house smells like cookies.  I was going to make chocolate chocolate chocolate cookies, but realized that I didn't have cocoa powder, so I went with fresh cranberries (I just scored a pound of organic cranberries for 89 cents!) coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Plus I wanted to make them oatmeal because the mister likes oatmeal and oatmeal makes the cookies a little more hardy. (We need hardy when the temperature dips below zero)The verdict….. chewy, soft, slightly sweet oatmeal, bittersweet chocolate, nutty floral coconut, and the zing and pop of the fresh cranberries. He told me to hide them… hide so he will stop eating them….. because they be amazing!

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The base of this cookie….We are using regular old fashion oats and flour.  Salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Vanilla, chia seeds in hot water, coconut oil  white and brown sugar…. You know, all the cookie stuff.  Then all the goodness.. Chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and fresh cranberries. Goodness.Oh yeah, and they are vegan…if that matters to you.Warm the coconut oil and mix with the white and brown sugars. Then add the chia seeds soaked in hot water.  Stir until nice and silky smooth.In goes some more stuff.  I just dumped all the dry right on in that bowl and mixed it up nice and nice.Chopped the fresh cranberries into chunks… One at a time……Just kidding, I actually laid a cutting board on top of the cranberries, applied a little pressure and sliced through the cranberries.. Does that make sense? I hope so, because its is much easier and faster and the cranberries don't all roll away.The chopped cranberries, coconut flakes and the chocolate chips go in to be mix all up. I used my hands to form the balls and gave each mound a little smoosh, but not completely flat.  Then into a preheated 375 degree oven for about 13-15 minutes or until a nice golden brown.A cup of hot coffee and a plate of warm cookies… I am the nicest, right! (After his nice cookie rest I proceeded  to do a little nagging, so the day evened out)So today is probably a great day for everyone to make cookies. It's freezing out,  its saturday and well, just cause. You might even be looking for a great recipe to make for that big party your going to.You should make these cookies. Have a Fantastic Weekend!!!-C

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Coookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon chia
  •  4-6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375To start, take the chia seed and soak them in the 4 tablespoon hot water for a few minutes. Then in a large bowl, mix together the white and brown sugar with warmed coconut oil. Add in the gelled chia seeds and vanilla and stir until silky and combined. (the warm chia seeds will help everything mix together nicely) Now mix in all the dry. I start with the oats, dump on flour, toss in the baking powder and soda and salt. Mix until fully combines. If the dough seems to dry, add in another tablespoon or two of hot water. Chop the fresh cranberries into halves or smaller and dump them, the coconut and chocolate chips into the bowl of dough and mix.Using a scoop, spoons, or your hands, make little balls and place on a cookie sheet, giving each ball a little smoosh. Into the oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.Remove and cool on rack.Eat a few and hide the rest for later.

Two Dips of Greatness….. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso and White Bean Guacamole

IMG_8415 I was informed yesterday that if I was going to make tortilla chips, that I better make some sweet ass dips to go with them.  I kind of agree… tortilla chips need dip… or better yet, two dips. Queso and guacamole. It's what needed to be done, and so I did it.

Guacamole is amazing… anything avocado is amazing…this guacamole is amazing. White bean guacamole is amazing. And not that we really care, but this guac is half the fat then straight up guacamole.  Plus it's packed full of protein making it a kind of super duper, must eat all of it, kind of dip.  And sweet potato anything will make me happy.  Making queso dip with sweet potato and cauliflower is probably one of my best food combos so far. (after eating a butt load, I felt like I was a genius and made an amazing discovery) Again, not that we need it to be, but this is also a fat-free, vegan, gluten-free, super healthy, packed full of B12,  fiber and nutrients, dip for all kind of dip.…. just another reason why you cannot feel bad when you finish off half a batch before you get a chance to stick it in a serving bowl. (I might have done that)

 Here is what you need for a good time:

−These tortilla chips ….Check.

−Some  Chopped Veggies (I want the veggies)…..Check

−Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso.…Check.

−White Bean Guacamole…Check. 

You are now ready for it. It being this party, that party, the Super Bowl, or a Wednesday afternoon.  

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To the left we have the makings for the cauliflower sweet potato queso.. Steamed cauliflower, a baked sweet potato, nutritional yeast, garlic, and chopped up red onion, red bell pepper and jalapeño. To make all you need to do it take the chopped peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes just to slightly soften and bring out flavors. While that's going on, take the steamed cauliflower and sweet potato(skin off..but eat it, or save it for soup or feed it to the dog) and puree together with a blender or food processor. Add in nutritional yeast, about a tablespoon or two of hot water and, salt and pepper to taste. Blend for about 5 minutes until super creamy smooth. Add in sautéed stuff and pulse just enough to incorporated the veggies but not complete blend in.  Stick in a bowl.

To the right we have white bean guacamole stuff.  Two cups (or one can) rinsed white beans, one ripe avocado, a lime, a few cloves of garlic,(I also added a bit of garlic powered…I like my garlic) and some chopped up red onion and tomato.  Place beans, garlic, avocado and lime juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste and toss in the chopped tomato and onion. Blend for sec to mix that in…Stick in a bowl 

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IMG_8435To think that both of these dips took about 10 minutes total to make. (I had pre baked the cauliflower and sweet potato)  And for real, I would spend much more time if I had too because both of these dips are so freaking good, I definitely will be making these on the regular.

So there , dips for those sweet ass chips or whatever you want to dip or them spread them on. 

And he guys…It's FRIDAY! Have a fantastic day!

-C

White Bean Guacamole 

  • 2 cups white beans (or 1 can) rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4  small red onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt

Finley chop onion and tomato. Set aside. Place the beans, avocado, garlic, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and the juice from one lime into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add a splash of water if needed to help keep things moving. Taste and add more salt if needed. When smooth, add  the onion and tomato and pulse a few times to mix in. Scoop into a serving dish and finish with a squeeze of lime and a bit of chopped onion and tomato. 

Cauliflower Sweet Potato Queso

  • 1 1/2 cups pre cooked steamed or roasted cauliflower
  • 1 medium pre baked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 a small red pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

Finely dice the red pepper, jalapeño, onion and garlic and sauté in a skillet for a few minutes until slightly soften and fragrant. Take the pre-cooked cauliflower, sweet potato (skin removed), and nutritional yeast and place in a blender or food processor. Blend for about 5 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add in a tablespoon  of water  to keep things moving. When completely smooth, add in sautéed veggies and pulse a few times to combine. Scoop into a serving dish. If your feeling it,  top with scallions and cracked pepper.

Serve dips with chips, veggies or anything you want. Also make great spreads for sandwiches and crackers too!