Breakfast Muffin

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So I have taken a break from this for a while in order to master some of my Photoshop skills. I got it for Christmas and wasn’t prepared to post something until I was proud of the photos! I also had my wedding, which was truly the most amazing day of my life. My wonderful husband, both our families, and all of our friends made it a perfect day to remember. After that we had two perfect weeks in Kauai, Hawaii. I’ll be sure to talk about it for weeks to come because the food we had there was so inspired that I’ve start making so much more food with pan-Asian and Hawaiian influences. The biggest problem I’ve been having since my return is that I seem to wake up late and go to Dunkin’ for breakfast every morning. Definitely not healthy, especially after I spent the past 3 months working hard to lose weight. So I decided to make a breakfast I can heat in the microwave in the time it takes me to get dressed. I found these breakfast muffins and it was the solution to all my breakfast woes. Unlike a traditional muffin this is carb free! It has eggs, veggies, and sausage for a nice fast breakfast that’s pretty healthy. I got the recipe from kalyn’s kitchen. One of the most fun parts of this is you can replace things to make it a favorite for you and your family.

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For the Breakfast Muffins you need:
12 eggs

1/2 red bell pepper

1 package pre-cooked sausage

2 tablespoons chives

salt and pepper to taste

(optional: cheese, and other spices, I added cayenne)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin tin with pam, heavily or use silicone muffin tins.

To start with chop the sausage (you can also use pre-cooked bacon or ham), the 1/2 bell pepper (or other vegetable you like), and 2 tablespoons of chives. You would put in your other vegetables or cheese here.

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Next layer the muffin tins starting with the meat, then vegetable, and finally with the chives.

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Next crack 12 eggs into a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and your other spices and whisk together.

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Then ladle the egg mixture into the tins until they are filled almost to the top. Put them in the oven for 17 minutes.

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Once they are done they may be all puffed up from the egg and deflate, that’s normal. You can store these in your fridge for a week and you can heat them up in 45 seconds in the microwave. There’s nothing faster for breakfast in the morning that lets you get some veggies and protein in your system.

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Enjoy this quick and healthy start to your day and remember to always live and let’s create!

Hot Chocolate Truffle Sticks

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Every year for Christmas at my husband’s house everyone contributes to stockings, since we’re all a little old for Santa to come and visit anymore. The first year we joined was last year when my husband proposed to me. It was perfect and everyone enjoyed hearing the story of how he drove to my sister’s at 5 in the morning to surprise me. It worked; I was very surprised. This year I decided to make some hot chocolate sticks. I just started celebrating with Brian’s family so I don’t have a great feel for what they all like, but doesn’t everyone like chocolate? These are truffles put on candy cane spoons (you can use regular or plastic spoons if you want) to make hot chocolate even chocolatier! The truffle melts and is a delicious addition to such a wonderful wintery treat. I saw this recipe on the view from great island.

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For the hot chocolate truffle sticks you need (12 spoons worth):

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

 8 oz dark chocolate chips

sprinkles

12 spoons

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To start with put the 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 6 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.

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Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until it is smooth and all the chocolate is melted.

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Then put the ganache in the fridge for an hour to an hour and a half. Then scoop out the ganache with the spoons and shape them to form a heaping spoonful. Be careful scooping with the candy cane spoons, you don’t want them to break!

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Put the spoons in the fridge as you do this next part. Take the 8 oz of chocolate and put it in a tall glass that is narrow. Melt the chocolate in the 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval.

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Take the spoons out of the fridge and dip them into the chocolate one at a time, if you need more chocolate to cover the truffles do it and use the same method to melt the chocolate. Once the spoons are dipped in the chocolate sprinkle them with sprinkles or decorations and place them on a piece of parchment paper.

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Put them in the fridge until the chocolate it set. Then wrap up the spoons so they are ready to gift!

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These are perfect as a gift or to keep for yourself. I found these candy cane spoons on amazon, but any spoons work. Just have a cup of hot cocoa and let the truffle melt in it, or have it warm up and eat it off the spoon! Remember to live and let’s create!

Vanilla Cupcake Wreath

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My new tradition with our friends is to make the person with the closest birthday whatever cupcakes they want when we see them. They can pick any type of cupcake and I’ll attempt to make it as best as I can. My friend asked for a vanilla butter cupcake with buttercream frosting. She wanted it to taste just like butter and it definitely did. This cupcake actually got someone to say it was the best cupcake they had ever had, which is pretty amazing for a vanilla cupcake. I can’t claim these as my own. I got the recipe from kiwisoutback, but I hope you enjoy it. I decorated the cupcakes to look like a wreath, which added to the Christmas feel. Directions for making the wreath are at the bottom. You can make this wreath using a cake mix and pre-made frosting. The presentation will certainly wow your guests!

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For the vanilla cupcakes you need (24):

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

For the frosting you need:

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or as much until you like it)

1 teaspoon salt

green food coloring (until it’s a color you like)

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Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 cupcake tins with liners or grease them.

Next take the 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter and cream them with the 1 3/4 cups sugar until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Add the 3 eggs, one at a time. Then add the 3 teaspoons vanilla extract.

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Add 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and mix on low until just combined. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix on low until just combined. Add 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 3/4 cup milk and mix on low until just combined.

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Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the cupcakes into the liners.

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Bake for 18 minutes, more or less depending on your oven.

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While they are cooling make the icing.

Beat the 2 sticks of unsalted butter using a stand mixer for 1 minute. Then add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and mix on low. Then add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more if you want it sweeter) and the 1 teaspoon of salt and mix on low until well combined. Now mix in green food coloring until you like the color, mix on low to medium. I use food dye that I get at craft stores because it has a stronger color. It’s Wilton’s gel. You can get any color under the sun.

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Put the frosting into a disposable pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the tip clipped off.

Now arrange the cupcakes in the shape of a wreath. 3 cupcakes on the bottom then 4, then 5 but take the center one out (so there are only 4), then 4 all lined up, then 3. This should give you a wreath shape. Then frost each cupcake so it looks like the cupcakes are connected. Decorate as you choose! You can add the candy cane cookies like I did, or use real candy canes.

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Serve them and have all of yours guests wow-ed by your amazing skillz. You could also do this with boxed cake mix and pre-made frosting. Don’t feel like because you don’t make them at from scratch the cupcakes can’t be beautiful! Remember to always live and let’s create!

Vanilla Candy Cane Cookies

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As peppermint is one of the flavors of the season, and pairs perfectly with chocolate (which is my favorite), I’ve been using it a lot. I didn’t quite realize how much until my husband asked me to stop making peppermint stuff because he wanted to be able to eat something I baked! So I decided to make something that looks like a candy cane but would be vanilla, my husband’s favorite flavor, to make up for all the peppermint I’ve been baking. The fun part about these cookies is that they look candy canes! It’s pretty easy to make them and I hope you enjoy. I was inspired by tablespoon‘s recipe. (Cupcake recipe to follow)

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For the vanilla candy cane cookies (about 16) you need:

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 egg

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

red food coloring

1/4 cup sugar

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Add the 2 sticks of unsalted butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix, starting low and getting to high, until light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.

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Add 1 egg, 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix on low until combined. Add in the all purpose flour, 1 cup, 1 cup, and then 1/2 cup mixing on low in between each addition until just combined.

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Then take out half and mix on low adding red food die until you like the color.

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Put each half of the dough covered in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and take the dough out of the fridge. Take a small amount from white dough and roll it into a log about 2.5″ long and then do the same thing with the red dough.

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Then put the two pieces together.

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Twist the piece of dough and then hook it so it looks like a candy cane. Do this with all of the dough and put it in the oven for 10 minutes, more or less depending on your oven.

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Once the cookies are done sprinkle sugar over the top.

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These are now ready to eat and make everyone happy! These cookies got rave reviews, they are super buttery and crisp. A perfect vanilla cookie if I do say so myself. Remember to always live and let’s create!

Cranberry Brie Bites

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I always love hosting people and appetizers are something that I tend to not put a lot of effort into, but I want them to be delicious. Isn’t that what everyone wants? This is something I tried for the first time, but something I’m definitely making again. It was a huge hit and so simple to make! It also includes some of my favorite ingredients, cranberry sauce and brie! It’s all in individual puff pastries and so delicious. Everyone at the party loved them; they were the first thing to go. The brie makes them very cheese and gooey, with the puff pastry adding a buttery crunch to the outside and the tartness of the cranberry sauce is a perfect counter note. Your friends and family will think you’re a culinary wiz. I took my inspiration from tablespoon.

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For the cranberry brie bites you need (18 bites):

1 wedge of brie

1 can of cranberry sauce

1 package of puff pastry (be sure to let it thaw in the fridge or on the counter)

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To start with preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then butter (or use pam) 18 tins between two muffin tins. Be sure to fill the empty tins with water before you put them in the oven!

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Next cut the puff pastry in 18 pieces, 9 pieces per puff pastry sheet.

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Put a square over each greased muffin tin.

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Cut the brie into 18 pieces and put 1 piece on each square.

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Put about 1/2 tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top of each square of brie.

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Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

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Let them cool for 10 minutes and then put them on a tray to serve.

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These have quickly become one of my favorite recipes, I may even be making it again this weekend! I hope you enjoy it. Remember to always live and let’s create!

Maple Bacon Snowman Cupcakes

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So one of my oddest tastes is that I hate bacon. It is one of my least favorite things. It’s just too strong for me. One of my friends always calls me un-American because of my dislike of bacon, others just call me weird. We have a party once a year for our friends where I make all the food and it’s the one time a year that I make bacon for my friends and husband. This year I decided to make maple bacon cupcakes for everyone. Just for fun, I decided to have them look like snowmen. You have to really like sprinkles for this to work so you may not want to put it on all of them. You can use the decoration on any cupcake as long as it has white frosting. Hope you enjoy these as much as they did (I got one person saying these were the best cupcakes they ever had). I was inspired by Sally’s Baking Addictions, tablespoon, and cupcakes take the cake for various parts of this cupcake. If you don’t have time to make the cupcakes you can feel free to do the decorations on store bought cupcakes, no one has to know they weren’t homemade!

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For the maple bacon cupcakes you need (12 cupcakes):

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 egg whites

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (1/2 container)

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8 strips cooked bacon chopped up

2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the maple frosting you need:

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (you can add/subtract sugar to your liking)

For the decorations you need:

Reese’s pieces

white/crystal sprinkles

mini chocolate chips

regular sized chocolate chips

To start with preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin.

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Melt the 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. Then mix in the 1 cup of sugar.

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Add 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 3/4 cup milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and whisk vigorously until well combined and a consistent texture. Then add 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined. Then add the 2 tablespoons maple syrup and the 8 pieces of bacon all cut up. Mix together and scoop into the cupcake liner and put in the oven.

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Bake for 20 minutes.

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Next make the frosting. Put the 3 ounces of cream cheese and 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a stand mixer and cream for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or enough until you like the frosting) and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Put on the cupcakes using a disposable pastry bag or ziploc bag with a bit cut off.

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To make them look like snowmen spread the frosting to the edge of the cupcake.

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Fill a plate or shallow bowl with the white or crystal sprinkles.

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Put the cupcake in the sprinkles.

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Then put an orange Reese’s pieces in the center of the cupcake.

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Put two upside down chocolate chips where the eyes should go.

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Use miniature upside down mini chocolate chips to make a mouth.

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Now you have a cute and happy snowman. I hope you enjoy this and use it to spice up your holiday cupcakes to make them extra festive. Enjoy the holidays! Only 8 more day! Remember to live and let’s create!

Homemade (Spiked) Eggnog

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I love hosting holiday parties. This past weekend I hosted two and I have another coming up this Sunday. With my penchant for crafting and baking, hosting naturally follows. I always try to have something interesting and different at my parties and this year it was a fun twist on a white elephant gift exchange. Everyone brings a gift, grabs a gift they didn’t bring, and then one at a time pull a piece of paper that tells you who to swap gifts with (such as, the tallest person in the room, someone with blue eyes, or anyone!). It was loads of fun and made it extra entertaining. The gift my husband gave, made by me, was some homemade spiked eggnog. It could easily be made without alcohol. It will seem like a small amount of alcohol but the eggnog gets overwhelmed quickly. I was inspired by complete recipe‘s eggnog recipe. It is not cooked but the alcohol gets rid of the bacteria, if you wish you can warm the milk on the stove and then slowly add the milk in to heat up the eggs so they get cooked. If you wish to be exact the eggs need to reach 144 degrees. I hope you enjoy it as much as our friends did!

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For the spiked eggnog recipe you need:

5 egg yolks

3/4 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup light brown rum

salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of ground clove

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To start with put the 5 yolks in a blender with 3/4 cup sugar.

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Blend until a paler yellow and the sugar starts to dissolve a little bit.

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Next add 1 cup heavy cream, 2 cups milk (warmed if needed), 1/2 cup rum (or not), and a pinch of salt. Blend for a minute. Then add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and pinch of clove. Mix for a second. You can use any mix of spices this is just what I liked and thought both smelled and tasted good. How you like your eggnog is pretty personal so feel free to improvise with the spices and the amount.

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Put your eggnog in a bottle and let it cool in the fridge.

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This was a gift that was well received and many people liked it. If you don’t like the eggnog at the store, you may like this. It tastes quite a bit different. I hope you enjoy it! Remember to live and let’s create!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

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One of my favorite things about winter is hot cocoa. I don’t have it very often, but when I do I want it to taste just like a melted chocolate bar. I always love having whipped cream on top and marshmallows. As you all know, I’m obsessed with cupcakes. So I decided to turn my favorite drink into a cupcake. I was inspired by cherished bliss. I brought these cupcakes to a potluck at work today. It was a lot of fun, I was called up to be asked a question. I ended up being wrong, but I got someone’s name right (it was on the picture, but I knew it anyway). I won a gun that makes helicopters spin in the air. I’m donating it to toys for tots but it was a lot of fun to talk to people. Hopefully, you like it as much as the people at work.

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For hot cocoa cupcakes you need (48 mini cupcakes or 24 large cupcakes):

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup hot/boiling water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (this is 1 small container)

For the marshmallow frosting you need (enough frosting for the cupcakes):

1 egg white

1/2 cup white sugar

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

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To start with preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the 1/2 cup of butter (cut into pieces) and 1 cup of white sugar. To do this put the two ingredients in the bowl and slowly turn the mixer on high until the butter looks light and fluffy.

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Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup hot/boiling water, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and mix on low until incorporated.

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Then add the 2 eggs, one at a time until well combined.

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Then add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix on low. Then add 1/4 cup of the plain greek yogurt and mix on low until just combined. Then put in the other 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low until just combined. Finally, add the other 1/4 cup of the plain greek yogurt mixed on low until just combined.

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Line the cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

Put the batter in the liners using a cookie or ice cream scoop.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes if they are mini cupcakes, 25-30 minutes if they are full sized cupcakes.

While the cupcakes are in the oven start making the marshmallow frosting.

Put the 1 egg white, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons of butter in the top of a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a boiling pot of water.

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Whisk the mixture every once in a while until the mixture reaches 135 degrees on a candy thermometer. Then put it in the mixer with 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows and slowly bring the mixture to high until the mixture gets thick and will hold soft peaks. Right before you take it out put in 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract if you want to.

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Then take the cupcake out of the oven.

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Take the frosting and put it in a disposable pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the tip taken off and frost the cupcakes.

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Now you have perfect little bite sized cupcakes that taste like a delicious cup of hot cocoa. Remember to always live and let’s create!

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats

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Today we decorated our Christmas tree and it’s perfect. We are really lucky that my mom gave me a lot of ornaments. It makes it so that our tree has no ornament more than once and they all have a special meaning to us. This year we got a beautiful ornament of a man and woman getting married. It was given to us by my aunt and uncle to signify our marriage this past year. We gave it a primo spot on our tree. Our Christmas shopping is almost done and I’m diy-ing a bunch of stuff that you’ll be able to see in February! So stay tuned for some great things to make for people that may be difficult to shop for. I made these rice krispie treats for my husband’s work. I like making thins he can take in so his boss likes him. This is a really simple recipe where all you need is a microwave! I made it on the stovetop but I give the directions to make this both ways. I was inspired by Inspired Dreamer‘s recipe. I hope you enjoy this holiday twist on an old favorite!

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To make peppermint bark rice krispie treats you need:

3 1/2 cups rice krispies

1 package of mini marshmallows

red food coloring

4 tablespoons salted butter, additional for the pan

1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1/4 cup white chocolate

1/4 cup dark chocolate

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To start with cover a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil.

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Grease the pan with butter, the entire bottom and about 1 1/2 -2″ up the side.

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Next melt the 4 tablespoons salted butter on the stovetop over medium heat. Then put the whole bag of mini marshmallows in the pot.

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Melt them. For the microwave: melt the butter in 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds. Add the marshmallows and do the same melting technique with 30 second intervals and stirring until the marshmallows are all melted. For both the microwave and regular version add 1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract at this point.

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Optional: take half of the marshmallow mixture and put in red food dye, add food coloring until you get desired color.

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Add 1 1/2 cups rice krispies to the red mixture and 2 cups to the white, or 3 1/2 in the white if you didn’t separate.

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Mix until all the cereal is covered.

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Mix the red and white together and put in the greased pan.

Next put  the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.

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Melt in the microwave using 30 second intervals and stirring after each time in the microwave until melted. Then drizzle on top of the rice krispie treats. Repeat with the white chocolate.

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Let set on the counter or in the fridge. Butter a knife to cut into pieces.

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Enjoy these holiday treats that are a twist on a favorite. I hope you enjoy these peppermint bark rice krispie treats. Remember to always live and let’s create!