Friday, July 26, 2013

Lisa Reviews Bumbleberries Cupcakes


So trying to bake everyday is hard.  I had to give it a rest mid week.  So instead my friend Heather and I had a cupcake roadtrip during lunch.  There's a local bakery shop called Bumbleberries at the Springfield Farmers Market.  The proprietor Stacy Lint makes excellent cakes both in flavor and design. The cupcakes are both aesthetically and palate pleasing!

Today she had quite an impressive menu of cupcakes and I took it upon myself to sample and review several of these cupcakes.  These cupcakes are addictive and wonderful and are everything a cupcake should be.

I tried the Banana Cherry cupcake first.  I have some bananas sitting on the counter that need to be used up and I wanted some inspiration.  This cupcake was delicious!  It is banana flavored cake with cherry pie filling baked right in....heavenly.  Its frosted with vanilla frosting and topped off with a maraschino cherry and a banana chip!  My new favorite!

Next, I tried the salted caramel.  My friend is a salted caramel fanatic and really, its not hard to see why, this cupcake just melts in your mouth with a little throat punch of salt at the end of the bite. This is soooo good.  I'm thinking this is some sort of caramel or tres leches cake, with a salted caramel filling, caramel butter cream, drizzled with caramel....Absolute heaven! So good.....SO GOOD! A definite favorite of the day!
Next was Chocolate with Oreo Buttercream....chocolate cupcake piled high with oreo cookie butter cream and crushed cookies on top! Delish!
And then the key lime.......I am all about some key lime pie! Love it. But this cucpcake was so yummy!

Key Lime cake, with key lime filling. I love the fact that she rolled the frosting in the graham cracker crumbs to capture the true key lime spirit.
Last was the orange creamsicle. This was orange cake with creamy vanilla frosting and a candy orange slice on top.  It really tasted exactly like a push up pop we used to eat as a kid.
To Bumbleberries, I say hat's off to you, your cake is amazing, your frosting is so light,
 airy and dreamy, I wish I could make mine this way.
You satisfied my cupcake craving and are clearly the best cupcake maker in Battle Creek.  And I know, because I eat a lot of cupcakes.
My only problem was that I could not sample every kind she had today!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Orange Blossom Cupcakes

Today I am taking a break from actually baking. Its been a long week and I have been baking every night since Sunday and this girl needs a rest.  But, I still wanted to share some cupcakes with you since I decided this was cupcake week. 

I recently gained a very special sister in law when I got married last month.  She is a beautiful person inside and out and she got married to my husband's brother last October.  Our mother in law is the sweetest nicest lady you will ever meet, she is most definitely an angel here among us, so you can only fathom how happy she is to finally have some daughters around after being outnumbered by men in her household for so many years. Now that there are 2 daughter's we are creating a new status quo!  We've had a nail day, we've scrapbooked, we shop.....sure beats watching the game while the debate goes on......

When my sister in law got married, my mother in law and I had such a fun time planning her bridal shower.  She loves cupcakes and her very favorite cupcakes are the Orange Blossom cupcakes from DC Cupcakes in Washington DC.  Her hubby loves her so much that he's had them shipped to Michigan for her not once, but twice......nothing says lovin like a cupcake! Don't you agree?

Well, my pockets aren't deep enough to have cupcakes shipped, so instead I tried to replicate her favorite cupcake to try to make her shower as special as she is.  My boss at the time had the book, The Cupcake Diaries, written by the DC cupcake ladies,
which is where we got the recipe for lemon cupcakes. I just exchanged oranges for the lemons that the recipe called for.  You know a cupcake is going to be good when the batter tastes oh so yummy.....these cupcakes were so fresh and light, they were like bites of sunshine.  We displayed the cupcakes on a cupcake tree and I made the little picks with their names on them with the help of my friend Lacy and her cricket machine. Everyone enjoyed these cupcakes and I hope you do too if you ever make them!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Zucchini Cupcakes

This is my third installment this week in the series I am doing for my self-proclaimed cupcake week.  It's summer time and the living is easy.  So I was looking around the kitchen for some inspiration when my eyes narrowed and zoned in on some zucchini that was left on my porch by the zucchini fairy about 4 days ago.  Have you ever been visited by the zucchini fairy?  It just shows up by the plastic grocery bag full every so often in the summer.  I gave 2 of them away already this week and I fried up one so that leaves 2 I have to get rid of.  And I wanted something relatively easy because making cupcakes night after night is proving to be a very daunting challenge.

I love summer, it is my favorite season.  Every year I do pretty much the same things.  I go to the beach, I go Up North, (that's what we Michiganders do, or Michigoons if you know my friends), I eat a crap load of ice cream, and I go to outdoor concerts....Have I ever mentioned I am a huge Dave Matthews fan?  I've gone to an outdoor show almost every summer since I turned 18.  Even though I've seen Dave a ton of times, I always wanted to go see Jimmy Buffett and several years ago I did.  Super fun time!  My friend and her mom and sister went last weekend  to the concert in Comerica Park and their pictures reminded me of the concert which is exactly the memory that lead me to making these cupcakes. 

There is a company here that charters buses and I took a bus trip to the Jimmy Buffett concert and one of the passengers on the bus made this awesome zucchini cake and even though I was probably three sheets to the wind, I remembered how tasty this cake was.  Its kind of like carrot cake, only zucchinier.

The aroma coming from the oven was positively scrumptious!  I made use of my leftover lemon cream cheese frosting I made earlier in the week and topped it with some zucchini shreds for decoration. The recipe says to bake these for 40-45 minutes,  I baked them just over 30 minutes.  I definitely should have taken these out a little sooner.  Other than that the tops are a little crispier than I would have liked, these taste delicious, warm and comforting, like a trip to grandmas.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, this frosting was a little runny so again, I would definitely use the Better Homes and Gardens cook book recipe, but I will say the lemon and lemon zest in this frosting perfectly complimented this cake. I also liked the simplicity of the recipe.  There are only a few ingredients and you don't need to haul out the kitchen aid mixer for this one. Its exactly like the first cake I ever made, carrot cake only this has zucchini and nuts.  I chose pecans because I just love pecans.  Here is the recipe from Martha Stewart!  Love that lady!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cupcake Double Feature

You're in luck, today I am writing about something I totally adore! CUPCAKES! And today I am featuring 2 cupcakes that I love.  A cupcake shop opened around the corner from my office and I visited them twice last week, but these cupcakes just left me devoid of emotion. I have a deep yearning in my soul to bake and eat great cupcakes.  When we go on vacation, I make it my personal mission to find the cupcake shop!  My cousin bakes the absolute best cupcakes, and I can never quite get to her level, but the level I am at suits me just fine.

Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

This pin had been haunting me all week. I kept going back to Pinterest to gaze longingly at these cupcakes, the cream cheese frosting begged me, make me.....make me....then I was on my facebook and saw that my coworker was having a birthday.  She told me a while back she wanted lemon cupcakes for her I thought, well this should work.  I had most everything already in my fridge so I set out making them. Michigan summers can be quite hot and humid and I've always read that the humidity can affect your baking.  This was proven to me last night.  The cakes turned out a nice golden brown and when I bit into them, they were light and fluffy and flavorful, just as a cupcake should be.  The frosting on the other hand, was quite a different story. For years I've relied on Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for my cream cheese frosting but I just wanted my cupcakes to look like the picture and follow the recipe to the letter.  I think I went wrong with the lemon juice.  I recently got married and we received the oxo citrus squeezer as a wedding gift and let me tell you that thing really juices!  So I think I may have just used too much lemon juice, but the flavor was vibrant and light and the frosting wasn't too heavy like cream cheese frosting often can be.

I got a lot of compliments on these cupcakes today, and I loved them too, so this recipe is definitely a keeper. 

Here's the pinterest post.... What do you think?  NAILED IT!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcake Recipe  |
And now for Cupcakes Part Deux

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate frosting

After I instant messaged my co worker that she was missing cupcake day today, she was not happy about it. She said what about me and the other co worker who's birthday it was?  Then I felt bad and decided to dub this week cupcake week and see how many cupcakes I could make this week.

These two co workers love chocolate.  I hate chocolate cake.  (Yes I said it)  I hate it. I love white cake with white frosting.  To me, chocolate cake always seems dry and its just a mess because you have to get out the cocoa and I just don't like the taste of it. I loathe it.  Again, bringing up my cousin, she makes fab chocolate cakes.  You should just see some of them. Her cake is never dry. So, I went to her to find out the secret.  She's like I already gave you that recipe before!  Um, ok. I never made it. 

She referred me to her blog which she never writes anything on anymore....much to my dismay, because I really miss it.  I can hear her saying every word I read on it and it makes me smile because I can just see her in my head saying these things.  ( I love that girl she is the sister I never had) I had most of the ingredients already in my fridge but my butter supply was down because of aforementioned Blueberry cupcakes.  Then she was telling me about her Swiss frosting and how she can't stand American Buttercream and I was not hearing that. I love American Buttercream!  She told me I had to boil stuff and use a candy thermometer and that was just not on my agenda tonight.  So I researched frostings on Pinterest and came up with the best ever chocolate frosting.  I had reservations that it was truly the best ever frosting because thus far my experience with Pinterest pins claiming they are the best ever have come up lacking. But anyway this one sounded easy so I went with it. 

The cake batter calls for French Roast coffee and it just so happens we got a Keurig from my Aunt and Uncle as a wedding gift and voila, we had a KCup of French Roast!  I brewed it and cooled it and put together the batter.  It tasted very rich and this recipe made 2 dozen cupcakes.  I always use an ice cream scoop to try to keep the cupcakes uniform size.  The first batch I over baked so for the second batch I only baked them for 20 minutes and the tops were just right.  These cakes were moist and rich and quite frankly, the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever eaten. 

The frosting left me wondering if it was going to be any good.  You melted the chocolate chips in the microwave, which I thought you could probably do it in a double boiler but I just went with the flow. Ain't nobody got time for that!  Meanwhile, you make a pudding like mixture on the stove and let it cool, then whip up the butter and combine the pudding mixture (after running it through a sieve)  with the melted chips.  Again, I was wondering if the humidity played a role in this frosting being wet and a little runny, but I am hoping it sets up after being in the fridge overnight. No matter, it tastes good and that's what really matters. 

PS- I had to use my Shamrock cupcake papers because I was out of the plain ones! :(

If you want to try the cake, check out my cousin's blog and leave her a comment saying you wish she would write it again!

Here is the frosting recipe I tried:

Here is my end result.  Looks good if I do say so myself!  Thanks Courtney! Love you much<3 p="">

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ugly Bride Party

So maybe I mentioned in my last blog that I have been busy and that's why I haven't spent much time blogging.  One of the reasons is I recently got married. We got engaged at Thanksgiving last year and its just been a whirlwind ever since.  The parties, the showers, the planning. Everything takes time and it just seems like everything moves so fast!

I didn't want a traditional bachelorette party.  I am over the bar scene and I wanted to do something unique and totally over the top.  That's just how my mom's side of the family rolls. At Christmas, my cousins Kristin, Courtney and I came up with a great idea. The UGLY BRIDE PARTY!  You may ask what pray tell is an Ugly Bride Party?  Well, my dear, thank you for asking. We spent months scouring the internet, consignment shops and salvation armies for the perfect ensembles.  The looks could not be replicated if we tried! We had fringe, pouf sleeves, lace, feathers even a lampshade!
We then headed, dressed to the 9's to where else? The Olive Garden! 

Every spring, my cousins and aunts and I all flock to my Grandma's house outside Detroit for a girl's slumber party. We make snacks and do facials and nails and talk and drink champagne and cackle.  Yes, if you've ever been in a room with us, you would hear our famous cackles!  This was an awesome theme for our slumber party/bachelorette party.  We voted on the best gown and we caused quite a stir at the local Olive Garden in all our finery!

I must say, this was probably one of the best times of my life! I can't wait to see what we come up with next year! I love you girls with all my heart!
 Goin' to the chapel
 Winner of the Trophy of ugliest Bride
Me and my bridesmaids Love you girls!
 Celebrate good times, come on!
Takin' it to the streets!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes

Cupcakes are my life. Literally.  They are my obsession, my addiction and my downfall.  Cupcakes. The stuff dreams are made of.  Life has been a whirlwind for me which is why I have not made a post in about a year.  That and the fact I rarely get time on the computer.  So I have been dealing with some insomnia and decided I should write.  I've made a lot of cupcakes.  Some have been good, some have been ok, but these cupcakes are perfection.  Super sweet and good, if you have the time, bake these little bits of heaven.  I used fresh strawberries and I wouldn't use anything else. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart and it is the recipe for Sprinkles Strawberry cupcakes.

Here is the link!