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. 

Spicy Crispy Baked Cauliflower

IMG_0093     IMG_0066Spicy, crispy cauliflower… um yes please.  I really like cauliflower. The mister loves it, or at least likes it better than any other vegetable. So when he asked for spicy cauliflower, well yea I am going to make it because I am so nice and really, could I say no to a veggie request? (I might have said no if it involved deep frying) Also, I found fresh cauliflower on sale! ($2.25) I don't usually cook fresh cauliflower, but  I figured at that price, it wouldn't be bad to cook a head. (If I am cooking cauliflower, which I do a lot, I just use frozen….casue it be waaaay cheaper) 

Fresh, cheap and requested veggies….those are must makes. And the mister was happy with I handed him the plate of oh so lovely looking crispy crunchy loveliness. (I kind of like to make him happy…sometimes)

IMG_0075The stuff. Cauliflower, chopped and broken into pieces. Corn meal mixed with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, and because I made this for the mister, parmesan cheese. And in the green bowl, srirsachi and a little oil. IMG_0076The cauliflower gets a coat of the hot sauce and then tossed around in the corn meal mixture. Handling as little as possible, place coated pieces on a lightly oiled baking sheet and stick those suckers in the oven for about a half hour, taking them out and flipping half way.IMG_0086And take them out of the oven when pieces tuned golden brown, stik them on a plate, and serve immediately.

A bit of spice, a bit of crispy , a lot a yum.  Serve with some crunchy veggies, maybe a squeeze of lemon and definitely some type of avocado situation.

A beer would be lovely too!

Have a fantastic weekend! 

-C


Spicy Crispy baked Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped or broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 3-4 tablespoon sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Any seasonings you might like (garlic or onion powder, parmesan cheese, national yeast…. whatever floats your boat)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

In a bowl, mix together sriracha and oil. In a separate  bowl, mix salt, pepper, any seasonings you might like, and corn meal.  Take cauliflower and toss in sauce to coat. Remove from sauce and toss around in cornmeal mixture till fully coated, but try not to hand too much so the coating doesn't come off. Place pieces on a lightly oiled baking sheet and stick into oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove and flip pieces. Back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes (depending on you crispy preference) Remove when golden brown (or darker if you like) and serve immediately.

Cucumber, celery, and carrots are great accompaniments.. also a little mashed avocado or guacamole is much appreciated.

Pickled Jalapeño's

IMG_1202I am kind of obsessed with  pickled jalapeños… like I want to eat a whole jar with a fork and then drink the juice. So much hot and spicy love.  One of my sisters is the same way, pickled  hot pepper obsessed. We used to buy the humongo gallon sized jars of jalapeños at Costco and go through them in like a month. But sadly, Costco stopped selling those humongous jars and we have been left buying the itty bitty jars that actually fit in a normal fridge. (I know, so sad).  And maybe because the jars were normal sized and I was more aware that I shouldn't eat a of cup of jalapeños at one sitting, or just the mire fact that a tiny jar cost the same as a gallon, but the store bought little jars weren't doing it for me anymore.  And then fate happened. The grocery store was having a super sale on fresh jalapeños and  I figured it was time to make make my own. Now I don't think I can ever go back to those store bought jars of blah  because the ones I made are the best freaking pickled jalapeños this girl has ever eaten.  I might even start making my own gallon sized jars!!!!

Note….Don't toss the pickled juice! It is a super yummy, full of flavor, liquid gold. You can use it as a straight up salad dressing or add to a homemade dressing. Add juice to soups, casseroles, marinades. Replace some of the liquid in a bread recipe and use the pickled juice. Use it in your favorite cocktail drinks. There is no end to what you can use the juice for. 

-C


Pickled Jalapeños

for a half pint jar

  • 8-10 Jalapeños 
  • Apple cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Remove stem and seeds*of  jalapeños and thinly slice. (I used a mandolin which works really well, but a sharp knife does the trick) Pack Jalapeños into a clean glass half pint jar and fill with half water/half apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Dump  into a pot  with a lid, and bring to a boil. Take of heat and let cool for a few minutes. Stick back into jar (leave an inch of head room) Stick in fridge for at least a day. Eat your heart out.

*I like to keep some of the seeds. It adds heat.

Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles

IMG_0744Because it is cold outside. Because I had an hour to kill before I needed to leave the house and because I wanted to make a sweet treat for the mister (who had been dealing with frozen pipes all day) and for the little littles that I was going to hang out with.  My original idea was to just make regular old snickerdoodles, but as  I was riffling around my tea drawer for a mid day tea (it's usually coffee, but I am trying to cut back on drinking one thousand cups a day) I got hit with a little inspiration. Chai tea spiced snickerdoodles. Yes! a nice black chai, full of flavors or cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, allspice, and pepper. So many good time tastes.  And while I am at it, why not add some chocolate to that mix, because, well just because.

Chai, chocolate, and sugar equals….Bada da da….. awesome Cookies! And who doesn't want awesome cookies?

IMG_0679The stuff…Flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Cocoa powder, brown and white sugar. Veggie Oil  (you can use butter, or vegan butter instead for a chewier cookie) vanilla, a little vinegar and a nice cup of  chai tea...  Also a little bowl of cinnamon and sugar to doodle the cookies.

IMG_0707    IMG_0716The sugars, oil, tea, vinegar, and vanilla go into a big bowl. Beat for a minute on medium, then add the rest of the stuff and beat some more until fully incorporated…. Simple simple. 

Preheat the oven to 375 and get the cookies all dressed up in a cinnamon sugar suit by taking globs of dough and kind of rolling it into ball (perfection is not necessary) Drop dough balls into the cinnamon sugar and toss around to fully coat. Place on cookie sheet and give a good smoosh to flatten the cookie balls out to about 1/2 inch thick. Now into the oven for about 9-11 minutes to bake. 

IMG_0747Aahhhh…….pulled from the oven and placed on a rack to cool. Fluffy, chewy, pillowy soft and spicy cookies. Oh the smell of so good!IMG_0732Made extra large to make extra little littles happy. The best part? I made each little sing me a song for a second cookie… I am the greatest!

Heres to a Happy Hump Day!

-C


Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles 

The stuff-
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Chai teabag steeped in 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil (can substitute butter or vegan butter for a more chewy cookie)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons each of cinnamon and white sugar to coat cookie balls in

Preheat oven to 375

In a cup, steep tea bag in 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Let tea steep for 10 minutes.

In  Large bowl, add sugars, oil, vanilla, vinegar and steeped tea and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (besides cinnamon and sugar for coating) and beat on low until everything is fully incorporated. 

 Add the cinnamon and sugar to a small bowl and mix together. Take globs of dough and roughly formed  ball then drop into cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Place coated balls on cooke sheet and smoosh down so cookies are about 1/2 inch thick. Place in oven for about 9-11 minutes or until cookies are just barely cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

My suggestion for sharing….If they want one, make them sing and dance for it!