blackberry lemon cupcakes

this is going to be a quick short post because unfortunately i didn’t get a chance to take step by step pictures while i made these blackberry lemon cupcakes.  fortunately, they are incredibly similar to the raspberry lemon cupcakes i made before so you could follow those pictures instead and just picture blackberries instead of raspberries.  it’s a white cupcake filled with lemon curd, topped with blackberry swiss meringue buttercream.

i made these cupcakes for grad student appreciation day.  i was actually planning on making the raspberry lemon cupcakes but when i went to costco, the blackberries were quite a bit cheaper than the raspberries.  so i figured why not give blackberries a try.

i’m glad i did because the blackberry version was quite delicious.  i mean you really can’t go wrong with berries and lemon – they are the perfect combination.  however, i do prefer the raspberry version.

** i recently made a batch of the raspberry lemon cupcakes **

give both a try and let me know what you think!

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blueberry crumb bars

this past week, chris, pua, and i went up to maine for the fourth of july week.  i just love going to maine to visit chris’ family – especially our nieces and nephew.  they are just the cutest.  as usual, i made some treats to bring up: peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread cookies, lilikoi (passion fruit) bars, and these blueberry crumb bars.

the recipe is actually very similar to the peach crumb bars i made a couple years ago.  those peach bars were amazing so i knew that these blueberry bars were going to be good.  boy did they live up to my expectations.  they were blueberry-y and lemon-y, which is perfect for the summer time.

since the base recipe for these bars work so well for both peaches and blueberries, i think i’m going to try them with some other berries, maybe strawberries or raspberries.  yum.

these blueberry crumb bars come together quickly since the crust and the topping are the same.  awesome!  oh and one last note, i accidentally forgot to put the egg in the crust/crumb mixture.  oops!  still it turned out fine and you couldn’t tell that i messed up the recipe.  i love forgiving recipes like this.

the crust/crumb mixture is easiest to make in a food processor (but don’t worry if you don’t have one, just use a large bowl and pastry cutter and spoon and it’ll be all good).  add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of your food processor.  pulse a couple times to mix it all together.

then add the lemon zest and salt.  again pulse to combine.

next add the butter – make sure it’s cold and cubed, along with the egg (as you can see i forgot the egg.  uh oh!)

pulse until the butter and egg gets incoporated into the flour/sugar mixture and it looks crumby.

pour half the crust/crumb mixture into a parchment paper lined 9×13 baking pan.

using your fingers/hands, press down the mixture so that it forms an even crust.

now on to the blueberry part.

mix the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.

then add the blueberries…

and mix until all the blueberries are covered with the lemon/sugar/cornstarch mixture.  pour the blueberries evenly over the crust.

sprinkle the remaining crust/crumb mixture evenly over the blueberries.

bake the blueberry crumb bars at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.

once the bars are done baking allow them to cool completely.  i let them sit out at room temperature until they were cool to touch and then put them in the fridge overnight.  it makes it much easier to cut if the bars are nice and cold.

enjoy!

after i cut up the blueberry crumb bars, i put them in cupcake liners to make them easier to pack.  it also made it a ton easier to serve when we were in maine and ready to gobble them up.

other than accidentally leaving out the egg, i didn’t make any changes to the original recipe so i’m sending you over to smitten kitchen for the recipe.

 

raspberry lemon cupcakes

i am so happy that it is finally starting to warm up in the dc area.  for a while it a really really cold for spring time.   but this past weekend was actually nice and (relatively) sunny.  yippee!!!  so when trying to figure out what kind of cupcake to make for april birthdays, i wanted to make something with bright, spring time flavors.

i decided on raspberry and lemon because citrus and berries just scream spring or summer time.  but i already made a lemon raspberry cupcake before.  remember that one?  it was lemon cupcake with raspberry filling topped with lemon buttercream.  i didn’t want to make the same one as before because that’s, well, boring.

after much thought, you know because this is a serious situation, i came up with this raspberry lemon cupcake.  it’s a simple white cupcake (from a good ol’ box of cake mix), filled with lemon curd, and topped with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.  oh and i garnished it with a lovely little slice of lemon.

not to toot my own horn, but i loved this cupcake.  i do tend to like fruity cupcakes, over chocolate ones (crazy, i know), so it wasn’t really a surprise that i like it but it was bright and fruity and perfect for spring time and our april birthdays celebration.

happy birthday to our april birthdays!!!

start by making the lemon curd.  i actually used my lime curd recipe just with lemons instead and it ended up working out great and was the perfect amount to fill 24 cupcakes.  store the lemon curd in the refrigerator while you work on the rest of the cupcake components.  then i moved on to the raspberry puree for the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.  start off with some frozen (or fresh) raspberries and a bit of water in a small saucepan.

cook over medium heat – the raspberries will start to break down.

then allow the raspberries to cook for about 15 more minutes to start reducing the puree/juice.

strain the raspberries with a fine mesh strainer to take out all of the seeds.  this is what you’re left with – about 1/2 cup of raspberry puree.  allow the puree to cool completely (i just put mine in the fridge).

it’s cupcake time.  bake up a batch of white or vanilla cupcakes.  you could make some homemade ones or be lazy like me and use a box cake mix.  don’t hate.

then fill each cupcake with a bit of lemon curd.

ready to frost…

to make the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream, start with the same base as any other swiss meringue buttercream.  for step by step instructions and pictures please visit this post.

then add the raspberry puree that you made earlier.

mix and mix until all of the puree is incorporated – be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  the result is this beautiful pink buttercream.

now that the raspberry buttercream is done, you can frost your cupcakes.  i used a large closed star tip to frost my cupcakes.

then decorate each cupcake with a slice of lemon and they are ready to serve!

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grilled lemon chicken

can you believe this is the third time i’m posting this week – three days in a row!  since work has been pretty busy, there are days when i come home from work and just don’t feel like looking at a computer anymore, which keeps me from posting here and also reading other people’s amazing blogs.  that makes me sad.  so i’m going to try to push through and post more often and get back into reading my favorite blogs on a more regular basis.  fingers crossed i can keep this momentum going…

so about this grilled lemon chicken – it’s actually supposed to be grilled lemon chicken kabobs but i forgot to bring the skewers to tammy’s condo on monday.  oops!  it’s okay though because we grilled them on her grill pan and they turned out wonderfully.

tammy actually marinated the chicken the night before and she said it was super easy.  awesome!  the lemon flavor was awesome, making it feel light and fresh.  we enjoyed the lemon chicken with our homemade pita bread and garlic sauce (i’m going to make some of this myself and post the recipe soon!).

i will definitely be making this grilled lemon chicken again – hopefully kabobs next time on the grill.  even though i just had some this weekend, i can’t wait to have it again!!!  a good sign that this recipe is a keeper!

the chicken needs to marinate for at least 8 hours, we marinated it overnight.  it’s just lemon juice and zest, chilantro, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  easy peasy.

we then grilled the chicken on a cast iron grill pan, which was delicious.  but i think the extra smoky flavor from the grill will make it even more awesome, so if you have a grill i would definitely suggest grilling it instead.

grill the chicken until it’s fully cooked.  look at all of those beautiful grill marks!

enjoy!!!

please visit baltic maid for the recipe!

blueberry lemon muffins

it’s summer time!!!

if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that my favorite time of the year is spring and summer time because i absolutely love berries.  all kinds of berries from strawberries to blueberries to raspberries.   so during the summer when they are in season i do everything i can to use as many berries i can in different kinds of recipes.

so i made these blueberry lemon muffins!  i’ve made blueberry muffins before and they were absolutely delicious, but i really like the freshness the lemons add to these muffins.  they are full of juicy blueberries and lots of lemon zest and then my favorite part is the crunchy sugary topping.  amazing!

to make these muffins, start by baking up the muffins.  it’s a very simple, easy recipe.

then you’re going to dunk the top of each muffin, first in a mixture of lemon juice and melted butter…

and then into some sugar which creates a lovely crunchy crust on top of the muffin.

repeat with the rest of the muffins and then you’re all done!

i didn’t really change anything from the original recipe so check out the girl who ate everything for the recipe