Saturday, September 3, 2016

Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

I've made this as a 2 tier cake or cupcakes interchangeably. I take a short cut using a boxed cake mix in this one, you can substitute your favorite yellow or white cake recipe for the box- but make sure you add almond extract and the shredded coconut.

-1 white or yellow boxed cake mix
-ingredients needed according to box- usually some combination of water, oil and eggs
-1 tsp almond extract
-1 cup shredded coconut

For the frosting:
-1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
-2 sticks butter at room temperature
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-1 cup shredded coconut

Mix cake according to package directions, adding the almond extract with the wet ingredients. Stir in shredded coconut. Bake according to package directions.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Snickers Rice Krispie Bars

Snickers Rice Krispie Bars

-1/2 stick butter
-5 cups mini marshmallows
-5½ cups rice krispie cereal
-½ cup peanuts
-11 oz caramels (unwrapped) or caramel bits
-3 TBS heavy cream
-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter over medium low heat in a large sauce pan. Add in marshmallows and stir together untill the marshmallows are completely melted. Pour in rice krispie cereal and stir together untill the cereal is completely coated. Pour cereal mixture into a greased 9x13 in pan and press down evenly.
Sprinkle peanuts evenly over the top of the rice krispie treats.
Combine caramels and heavy cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until caramel is melted and smooth. Pour caramel evenly over the top of rice krispie treats.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments (for about 90 seconds total), stirring after each interval until smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly.Let chocolate set completely, cut and serve.

Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad
For mine, I diced an avocado and stirred it into the salad just before serving, but my hubby doesn't like avocado so the salad isn't pictured with it.

-1/4 cup lime juice
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 Tbsp sugar or honey
-2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
-2 cups mango, diced
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Whisk together lime zest and juice, olive oil, sugar/ honey, cumin, salt and cayenne. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or chill until serving.

Mango Curry Quinoa Salad

Mango Curry Quinoa Salad

-4 Tbsp olive oil
-4 Tbsp lemon juice
-4 Tbsp yogurt
-1 Tbsp sugar or honey
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
-2 cups mango, diced
-1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
-3 scallions, sliced
-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, sugar/ honey, salt, cayenne and garlic. Toss dressing with the remaining ingredients, serve immediately or chill until serving.