key lime pie

the polar vortex is real.  it has been colder in dc the past few weeks than it’s ever been.  i like the cold but man this is too cold for anyone’s good.  fortunately, it got a little warmer last week.  it’s sad when you get excited for 30 degrees.

chris requested that i make a key lime pie which was perfect to combat some of the winter blues.  i make key lime pie cupcakes often, but i’ve only made key lime pie once before.  i used the recipe my coworker gave me – she made it a while back for the office.  it was divine.  so i used the same recipe this time.

this pie is super easy and only has few ingredients.  wonderful.  i also like that it’s not too tart.  it has the perfect amount of lime flavor while still being nice and creamy.  plus i love graham cracker crust so that is definitely one of my favorite parts of this pie.

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lime and coconut ice cream

after making margarita cupcakes not too long ago, i had a few limes left over.  i wasn’t quite sure what to use them for until i remember that i had pinned a recipe from an absolutely amazing blog, two peas and their pod.  lime and coconut flavors go together wonderfully so i knew they would make the perfect combination in ice cream.

i made a few changes to the recipe though.  first i added the shredded coconut back to the ice cream base for some nice texture in the ice cream.  though chris said he would have preferred a nice and smooth ice cream.  so i guess just go with what you would like best.  also the original recipe called for coconut extract which i don’t love – it just doesn’t really taste like real coconut.  instead i used some coconut milk and that worked great.  oh and with the original recipe you actually make your own “coconut milk” by steeping some shredded coconut in milk.  instead, you could probably just use coconut milk from the can.  i think that’s what i’ll do next time i make a batch of this ice cream.

with these changes, this ice cream was super refreshing.  the lime flavor was definitely at the forefront but don’t worry you could still taste the coconut.  i think this would be a great treat for the summer and the lime and coconut combo has given me some ideas for a cupcake or even cookie flavor.  yum!

the lime and coconut ice cream starts with some coconut milk.  you can make your own coconut flavored milk by steeping some sweetened shredded coconut milk in some whole milk mixed with sugar and just a pinch of salt.  but i would suggest just using some coconut milk from the can (you can usually find this in the asian foods section of your local grocery store) to save yourself some time.

  

if you make your own coconut flavored milk, drain the milk into a measuring cup and return it to the saucepan.  if you want to include the shredded coconut in your ice cream, reserve it otherwise you can just throw it away.

warm the milk back up and then slowly whisk the milk into the egg yolks.  this allows the egg yolks to temper rather than scramble.  return the mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thickened.

meanwhile mix the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest together in a large bowl.

  

once the custard is nice and thick, strain the custard into the lime and milk mixture.

then add the coconut milk (or extract) and reserved shredded coconut.  mix and it’s ready to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  

finally, it’s time to churn the ice cream!  just follow your ice cream maker instructions and freeze until it’s solid.

yay lime and coconut ice cream!

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margarita cupcakes

margaritas are one of my favorite drinks.  it’s super refreshing and i love the citrus-y and fruity flavors of margaritas.  i mean come on the perfect weekend activity is totally getting some swirl margaritas from lauriol plaza (dc folks you know what i’m talking about ;-)).

anyway so what does all this talk about margaritas have to do with cupcakes?  well the minute i found a recipe for cupcakes inspired by margaritas i knew i had to make them.  the only problem is they aren’t super work appropriate and i usually only make cupcakes for work.  but last week we had an after work  potluck and it was the perfect opportunity to make these liquored up cupcakes since we didn’t have to worry about meeting with students after having a bite of this tequila and lime goodness.  haha.

these margarita cupcakes are composed of a lime zest cupcake, brushed with tequila, frosted with a lime and tequila swiss meringue buttercream and decorated with a lime wedge.  the big thing here is to make sure that you use good tequila – since you’re not going to be cooking it off, you can really taste the tequila and you certainly don’t want to ruin your cupcakes with bad tequila.

let’s get started… first bake up the lime zest cupcakes.  i just used a box of white cake mix but also included about 2 tablespoons of lime zest in the batter.

let the cupcakes cool a little.  then pour about 2 tablespoons of tequila into a small bowl.  brush the cupcakes with the tequila – i brushed the cupcakes a few times over until all the tequila was used up.

then make your lime and tequila swiss meringue buttercream.  i used the base of the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream recipe but substituted a bit of lime juice and tequila for the strawberries.  frost the cupcakes as desired.  i used a closed star (2D) tip to frost my cupcakes.

finally decorate each cupcake with a small lime wedge.  all pau!

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strawberry limeade

when life gives you lemons… make lemonade.  similarly when life (or costco) gives you a monstrous bag of limes, make limeade.  🙂  a few weeks ago i made this strawberry limeade because i had a ton of limes left over from making the lime cheesecake cupcakes.  can i tell you, this is the perfect way to use up some extra limes you have… or possibly even good enough to go out and buy some limes just so you can make this strawberry limeade.

it has the perfect balance of tartness from the limes and sweetness from the strawberries.  the only thing that i didn’t love about the limeade, was the bits of strawberry throughout the drink so i think next time i made this, i’m going to strain it.  still it was super refreshing and would be amazing on a nice sunny day.  oh and you know what would make it even better?  maybe adding some tequila?  strawberry + lime + tequila = summer deliciousness!  yum!

to start, cut up some strawberries and puree them.

  

then squeeze lots and lots of limes until you get about 1 cup of lime juice.

  

pour the strawberry puree and lime juice in a pitcher.  add the sugar and mix.  (oh and i actually used some splenda instead.  it worked wonderfully!)  finally, add the water and mix.

now it’s time to enjoy your awesome homemade strawberry limeade!

for this wonderful recipe, please visit two peas and their pod.

lime cheesecake cupcakes

chris’ coworkers requested these lime cheesecake cupcakes – well actually they asked for the key lime pie cupcakes i made a while ago but with cream cheese frosting instead of the lime buttercream.  i love how they mixed and matched recipes to make up a brand new cupcake recipe!

this is actually the logic behind a new page i created called cupcake breakdown.  it’s an index of different cake, frosting, filling, and topping recipes that i’ve used before.  it makes it easier to find recipes (for example, if you’re just looking for a good chocolate cupcake recipe rather than a recipe for s’mores cupcakes) and it allows you to come up with all kinds of different combinations to develop new super fun recipes.  check it out!

these lime cheesecake cupcakes are very similar to other cheesecake cupcakes i’ve made before – strawberry and caramel apple.  it is a white cupcake with a coconut graham crust, filled with lime curd and topped with cream cheese frosting and a slice of lime.

these cupcakes turned out really yummy!  they have a lovely lime flavor that combines perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.  super nice and refreshing – a great spring time treat!

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