Monday, February 28, 2011

January vs February

Since today is the last day of February, I thought I better check to see if my met my monthly blogging goals. Whew, I did. But I noticed that I blogged 7 times in January and only 3 times in February. Why, you ask?* Well maybe it's because January was jam packed with fun stuff I wanted to blog about (true...but so was February). Or maybe it was because January was super boring and I didn't have anything to do but blog (false). Or maybe it was because I was excited about the new year and wanted to record my excitement (probably true). Or maybe it was because I felt like wasting a lot of time at work (true, but I felt like wasting a lot of time at work in February, too). Or maybe it was a little bit all of these things and a little bit none of these things. Hmmm...

Looks like I better get to trying some new recipes because I've only done 3 out of the 30 I committed to try. And I better get to reading! I am close to being done with a book that I started in January but lost a little steam on it so haven't picked it up much lately. THIS WEEK.

*No one asked. Just me. I was writing to myself. About myself.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

Wendy and I keep doing sugar fasts. And then we get a little crazy and eat as much sugar as we can get our grimy little hands on. Last Saturday was a rainy day. We were going to go running anyway but instead went to get our favorite drink from The Coffee Bean. As we walked in, Wendy said she wanted to make these coconut cupcakes she saw on Melissa's blog. Wendy LOVES coconut. More than anyone I know. And after she saw those cupcakes, that's all she talked about. And what better to do on a rainy day than make cupcakes? We went straight to the grocery store for the ingredients (Wendy already had the recipe in her purse).

I wish I could say that I made these delicious cupcakes but I didn't. I helped frost them but I don't think that counts, which is why this post is titled Coconut Cupcakes instead of 2011 New Recipe #4. But everyone should try these cupcakes so I am featuring Wendy and her new recipe!

Before I post the recipe, I want to give a little shout-out to Melissa and her blog, Designer Bakery. Melissa and I were in the same ward until she got married a few summers ago. Now we just run into each other frequently at Cafe Rio and Yogurtland. :) She is a teacher by day and an extraordinary cook/baker by night/summer. Check out her blog, I love it.

Now for the recipe. Note that instead of buttermilk, we used my mom's cheater buttermilk (put 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup, fill the rest of the cup with milk, let stand for 10 minutes to sour). Also didn't use the extra large eggs (a dozen of large was $.99, a dozen of XL were $3!). I can't imagine these cupcakes tasting any better!

Coconut Cupcakes
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups of sugar
5 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
  • With mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well
  • In separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.
  • Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Fill each cup to the top with batter
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are brown and toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  • Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle (or dip) in remaining coconut.
Cream Cheese Icing
(This is the half recipe, for more just double)
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • In bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth
Source: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 New Recipe #3

Wendy, Naco, and I dropped off sugar cookies and visited the Jarvie's last week. While there, we realized that we didn't do anything for Bishop's birthday. His favorite cookies are chocolate chip so we told him we were going to make some. Chocolate chip cookies are probably my favorite basic cookies and they've been an old standby for as long as I can remember. We always made a double batch in Mom's Kitchenaid mixer. Sometimes bar cookies (if we were lazy), sometimes regular drop cookies, and always a lot of raw cookie dough eaten. But this time, I needed to try a new recipe. I remembered a recipe Aubrey Messick shared on The Mormon Bachelorette so I found that to give it a try. I made them Sunday afternoon in Naco's new mixer with my new Silpat (actually it was Wendy's but they are the same). I made two sizes - one with my small cookie scoop, one with Naco's large scoop. (Btw if you don't use a cookie scoop, you are missing out! Perfect uniform size,!) In our usual fashion, Wendy and I dropped off the cookies with a card, rang the doorbell, and ran as fast as we could in our heels back to the car!

Here's the recipe. Btw I always use real chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 New Recipe #2

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies I


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Brother Owen is one of my favorite people in the ward. We (Wendy, Naco, Karen, and I) sat and visited with him at Mary's wedding reception on Friday night and realized that we recently missed his birthday. Being the oh-so-kind, cookie-making girls that we are, we found out what his favorite cookies were and told him we'd make them for him. I found this recipe on Sunday and made them. Karen, Wendy, & I delivered them with a card and a happy birthday song that evening. We got to visit with Brother & Sister Owen for awhile in their home. Love them.

The recipe was easy, the cookies were great. Soft, yummy. Oatmeal raisin cookies aren't my favorite cookies and I will probably try a different recipe if I make them again but they were good. I used my Silpat for the first time and it was great! I used it with a regular baking sheet because that's all I have but I want to get a perforated baking sheet because it works better. I used to have to put foil on the cookie sheet and that's a pain. The Silpat worked like a breeze! Btw that's not my photo, guess I forgot to take one.

Wow, is this really only the 2nd recipe I've tried this year? Yikes! Good think I set the goal at 30 recipes instead of 52 (that was the original idea). I kind of made a new recipe a few weeks ago for Dip Day at my office but I had helped make it last Easter so I didn't count it. It's really good, though, so I'll include it here. It's a recipe from Wendy and I don't really know what it's called.

Cucumber Dip

cottage cheese
green onions
salt & pepper

I used a large tub of cottage cheese, 4 English cucumbers (they are small), 6 or 7 green onions, a few tablespoons of mayonnaise, and who knows how much salt & pepper. It's a really good, light dip. Serve it with Wavy Lays potato chips (I'm not a greasy potato chip kind of gal but these are definitely the best with the dip).