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Posts tagged ‘cupcakes’

Pumpkin Bread in Disguise

I know that the more appropriate time to post a recipe for pumpkin bread would be in the fall, but the last time I mentioned pumpkin bread on this blog it was April, so I’m getting closer to the mark! You might also be thinking that what you see in the photo doesn’t look like “bread” but it is! It’s the wonderful kind of bread that allows you to live in denial about actually eating cake. I decided to embrace the “cake-ness” though and turn the recipe into cupcakes. With generous dollops of cream cheese frosting they were delicious!

I got this recipe from my dear friend Kelly the last time we lived at West Point. I love having a box full of recipe cards hand-written by old friends. I remember everyone I get a recipe from but it’s even better when they write it out themselves.

Start with the water, eggs, oil and pumpkin.

Add the sugar….

…and mix again.

Assemble the spices.

Dump in the dry ingredients and mix again.

Fill the cupcake papers half-way. (This batter tastes wonderful by the way.)

Bake the cupcakes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 19 minutes.

I had some scrumptious left-over cream cheese frosting from a recipe that my new friend Lisa C. gave me this fall. She makes delicious cupcakes, so you can expect to hear her credited again on this blog! I doubled the frosting recipe the first time I made it and I obviously shouldn’t have. However, that tub of excess frosting generated the bolt of inspiration to turn pumpkin bread into cupcakes, so it was a fortuitous mistake!

Lisa C.’s Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup butter
16 oz cream cheese
3 1/2 cup of powder sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon of vanilla (I left this out because I’m just not a fan of vanilla in most recipes.)
1/2 tsp of salt

The recipe makes a lot. I usually get three loaves of bread. This time, I got 24 cupcakes and….

…had enough batter left over to make one loaf. The bread needs to bake for 50 minutes to an hour at 350, until a toothpick comes out clean.

My new position on baking with pumpkin is that the season should be extended until at least May, so go raise the eyebrows of the grocery clerk with a can of pumpkin next time you check out!

Wanna-Be Food Blogger Nabbed by the CIA

Molly and I visited the Apple Pie Café at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY yesterday. I guess I missed the signs that said I wasn’t supposed to take pictures. When I snapped one right under the nose of the man standing behind a case full of treats I was informed of the policy. I apologized and put my camera/phone away. (Maybe next time I’ll print up a Kitchen Catwalk press pass and wow them with that…if I can keep a straight face.) Fortunately, I had already stored a few shots and the kind gentleman didn’t seem troubled by that, so here are the ignorance-is-bliss images.

Do you see any signs that say no cameras?

Toasted Meringues. These got the camera binge started – like photographing clouds indoors.

I was mainly focused on the cookies in the bottom row. They looked pretty good. I’m going to work on a brownie-like cookie next winter and the Ranger Cookies beside them caused Molly to recall a recipe that she has in a box at home that needs to be tried again. See…this was official blog work.

The baguettes looked delicious but they were not actually twinkling. That was a special and totally intentional camera effect I was after.

This was the shot that got me nailed. I can’t even identify most of the items in this picture. You could water board me and I wouldn’t be able to give up the culinary secrets contained here. I will however tell you to go and try some of these. The students and staff are lovely and charming and the food was wonderful.

No more photos.

Visualize with me: for lunch, I ordered a Portobello sandwich with soft goat cheese, red onions, and baby spinach tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and Molly got oven-roasted turkey with gruyere cheese, cucumbers and chipotle mayonnaise. We traded halves so we each got both. (Kids, these were no PBJ’s!)

We were full and happy after the scrumptious sandwiches, but we are Americans. We push through the satiation point and move on to dessert!

Okay, two more photos.

It started innocently. I had a legitimate reason to pull my phone out of my purse. I was nearly 3000 miles away from my family. Then I reasoned that these were my cupcakes. I bought and paid for them (well, actually Molly did, but my point remains). I could take their sweet little pictures if I wanted to. So, I bravely pretended to be texting in order for you to see the Brownie Cupcake with fudge frosting and the Pink Lemonade cupcakes that we shared.

The frosting was so light and fluffy on these little dabs of decadence. Molly says she’s going to learn how to make this sort of frosting and she bought a camera today. Maybe she’ll share her wisdom one day.

I am going to find sugar crystals like this before molasses sugar cookie season starts.

Here we are in front of the Culinary Institute Restaurant building’s front entrance. How many homeschooling moms does it take to take a self-portrait with an i-phone?

Here’s the view we were facing. The CIA campus is beautiful. If you ever have a chance to visit, it’s worth the trip.

While we were in the neighborhood it seemed rude not to stop and visit the Roosevelt’s.

What do you think of this recipe for fruitcake, Mr. President? (Fruitcake was one of his favorites.)