Archive for ‘I Bake.’

June 3, 2012

HMT: Day 53

This weekend has been all about recharging my batteries and it feels great!

Saturday after work I hit up City Market in Burlington and got some grocery shopping in, Vermont doesn’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (though they are always talking about them) so City Market is the closest version that I’ve really fallen in love with.

Came in $6 under my budget too, Woot! Woot!

After I got home I immediately got on the treadmill, I am one of those people who has to keep myself busy or else I will sit on the couch and NEVER move again. ¬†So I set up a goal to run for 25 minutes, no matter the distance, thanks to a certain show I like to call Gossip Girl and a complete season I have yet to watch (guilty pleasure) 25 minutes became 45 and I honestly couldn’t even tell you the distance I ran but it felt awesome. ¬†Then I did a 10 minute ab workout and felt pretty much exhausted.

Thank you Tone It Up Girls!

Next up, a lovely dinner made with the produce I just got at the market… I had my heart set on the mexi-potato skins¬†and had convinced myself I had an extra can of black beans until I removed every can from the pantry and realized I was mistaken. ¬†Holy terrible feeling. ¬†I got out a pot to boil some water and try a new spaghetti recipe but my heart was set on something Mexican so I bailed on that mission for another day.

Instead I diced up a red and yellow bell pepper, threw it in a pan with some olive oil and roasted them up with some chili powder. ¬†I heated up some refried beans and spread it over 3 small whole grain tortillas, once the peppers were roasted I put them on the top of the beans and sprinkled some mexi-blend cheese over the tops. ¬†In to the oven they went to broil up for about 5 minutes (on low) and boom… dinner was served.

Not bad on the fly but I should have crisped up the tortillas first because they got a little soggy. 

I then let myself relax with the first 125 pages of Fifty Shades of Grey. ¬†I don’t mean to offend anyone and I am totally interested if you have any thoughts on the book but as of right now… not a fan. ¬†I¬†can’t stand either of ¬†the characters, not even a little bit.

Final thought for this morning’s post. ¬†I will be honest and say I don’t know much about¬†pageants but I have definitely watched a few and I think it is a cool way to represent your state. ¬†I don’t think there is a year that goes by that I don’t check out who is that year’s Miss. Vermont (small state guys, I usually know them in some capacity).

In 2010 Miss. Vermont for the Miss. America pageant is¬†Caroline Bright. ¬†A very intelligent, spunky, and personable girl that I had the pleasure to briefly meet while she was the reigning “Governor” at the 2007 Green Mountain Girl’s State. ¬†I was always amazed with how she carried herself and managed to be so witty yet serious and engaging in every speech. ¬†At 22 (I believe) she is currently running for the Vermont State Senate and I wish her all the best.

¬†Next up, tonight is the Miss. USA pageant and this year’s Miss. Vermont is a girl named Jamie Dragon. ¬†Jamie happens to be from my small town of Milton, VT… small meaning one stop light and 10,000 people… practically family haha;) ¬†Though I do not know her personally I do know from everyone who went to school with her and from her family in the town she is a great candidate for the state. ¬†Genuine, kind, passionate and down to earth, basically everything a¬†good rep should be!¬†I hope for the best as she competes tonight!

Thanks for listening guys! Bring on Sunday Fun-day:)

‚̧ Kari

June 2, 2012

Vegetarian Friendly Hamburger Cupcakes;)

Happy weekend friends!

I hope the beginning of your June (okay, two days of it) have been as productive as mine, let us start with a BBQ that my friends and I put together so we could see each other now that we have all moved home for the summer.  This being the last summer the majority of us will be here we fully intend to make it count, starting with this BBQ.

I made a whopping FOUR pinterest worthy (and stolen from) dishes… be proud, I know you are.

1. Taco Salad inspired by (thus tweaked) Noel’s Kitchen Tips

2. Buffalo Chicken Dip from Frank’s Red Hot

3. Sarasota Lemonade inspired by The Pampered Jes

AND my favorite/the only one I took pictures of…

4. Hamburger Cupcakes inspired by Rock Ur Party by Tablespoon

I’m super excited about these… basically I bought almost all ¬†of the ingredients to do it the way that they have laid out THEN I got called in to work for 8 hours that morning which meant I had to make them on the fly with less supplies.

So here is my super simple Hamburger Cupcake photo tutorial, enjoy:)

Step One: Bake vanilla cupcakes, let them cool completely and then slice them in half.

Step Two: Pipe on chocolate frosting with a thick tip so that it really stands out, then take a blurry iPhone photo;)

Step Three: With a medium tip pipe on green frosting for the lettuce, the most important part is the outside for show so I did a squiggly circle around the edges and filled in with the leftover frosting, didn’t want any to go to waste! Note: You could do coconut in green food ¬†coloring ¬†I just really don’t like coconut so I opted out. Then with a fine tip add the ketchup and mustard colored frosting.


Step Four: Put the “buns” together with a fun toothpick, I thought this made them look like little burger sliders, how fun!

Step Five-Seven: Take lots of adorable pictures of your masterpieces because you are a rock star and everyone on Facebook should know it;)

And there you have it, a quick fix to getting called in to work but still being more creative (thanks to the blogs I mentioned before and Duncan Hines) than most of your friends… no joke they will be super impressed!

I just love June.

‚̧ Kari

May 25, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Today is the kick off to Memorial Day weekend and it should be a great one!  In celebrating we are having some friends over to have a little BBQ and obviously cupcakes were requested.

I wanted to do something pretty light and summery so I went with a vanilla strawberry cupcake with my favorite white chocolate buttercream frosting, normally I would have busted out my actual vanilla cake recipe but I was insanely strapped for time so Duncan Hines had to do the trick for the base (judge me as necessary haha)

Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 box vanilla cake (and the necessary fixings, water, vegetable oil and eggs)

1.5 C. diced strawberries

3 C. powdered sugar, sifted

1 C. unsalted butter, softened

6 oz white chocolate (not melts or chips-the frosting doesn’t really take to those in my experience)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 C. heavy whipping cream

12 strawberries halved for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, make the cake mix as directed on the box.  When the mix is smooth add the diced strawberries and mix well but be careful to keep the strawberries intact.  Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine needed about 17 minutes).  When finished remove the cupcakes and let stand for about 15 minutes before removing from the pans.

2.  To make the frosting, first place the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until you can stir it without lumps.  You could use the double boiler method if you want to, totally up to you.  Set the white chocolate aside to cool.

3.  Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Soften the butter (again I used the microwave) and add to the powdered sugar.  Once combined, mix with your electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Fold the whipping cream and vanilla into the mixture then add the white chocolate to the frosting.

4. ¬†Mix the frosting until it looks like frosting… haha I don’t know how else to say that. ¬†Thicker is better so add powdered sugar about a half a cup at at a time as you need to. ¬†Make sure you let it cool before adding to the cupcakes. Add half a strawberry on top and place in the fridge, how long you keep them in the fridge is really just dependent on the weather and where you may be transporting them.

WARNING: I did not let the frosting cool enough and in this humid Vermont weather it melted when I put it on the cupcakes more than I would have liked it to.

Don’t get me wrong, they still tasted delicious and as it was a family BBQ nobody is really gonna care that some of the frosting was lost on the sides;)

So the frosting didn’t completely fall off obviously but had to let you know it was not the consistency I was hoping for!

Bring on the BBQs!

‚̧ Kari

May 16, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Mexi-Filled Sweet Potato Skins

So my recipe today as stolen from pinterest, came from the blog pinch of yum and let me tell you, I was stoked to try it!

The way she did while I’m sure was delicious had to be adapted as my electric mixer is broken and I had to just skip it.

Mexi-Filled Sweet Potato Skins

2 Sweet Potatoes

1 can Black Beans, rinsed, and drained

1 can corn, drained and patted dry

1 tablespoon butter

1 pepper (I used yellow) diced

Salt and Chili Powder to taste

Mexi-Blend Cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350 and bake the potatoes for an hour or until fork tender.

2) Add corn to a large skillet seasoning with salt and chili powder, let roast only stirring every couple minutes, for about ten minutes (until the corn is browned up). Set aside in a bowl with the black beans.

3) Saute the yellow pepper in the butter until soft, add to the black bean and corn mix.

4) When the potatoes are done take them out and let cool for 5-10 minutes.  Cut in half and scoop out inside, leaving a little bit of potato for structure.  This is where the original directions mashed up the inside of the potato with sour cream and cream cheese to add back to the skins BUT is quite difficult sans mixer so I skipped it completely and will happily eat the insides at another time.

5) Add the mixture from above to the potato skins and add cheese to the tops… I heaped because I love cheese… broil for up to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.


Blurry but delicious.

Ready to go in to the oven.

I left them in for a little too long but still good!

I have to say this is my favorite dish I’ve made yet.

‚̧ Kari

May 10, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

I basically am doing a WIAW post because all I did today was eat… and watch movies… it was my day off and I enjoyed the heck out of it! ¬†I found this recipe from my¬†pinterest via the blog ournote2self and immediately had to try it! I have to say I was very excited about the result and it only took about 20 minutes to pull together.

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

2 Mushroom Caps

1/2 c Diced Onion

1 c Diced Tomatoes (I love tomatoes so I used more than most people may want)

1 tbsp Minced Garlic

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

Pinch of Salt

4-5 Chopped Basil Leaves

Handful of Parmesan Cheese

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and dice the veggies.  Add the olive oil to a pan and saute the onion until golden brown.  Add tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and salt then saute.  Add basil and stir until everything is combined well.

2) Spray a baking sheet, place the mushroom caps and add the filling.  Sprinkle (or in my case heap) the cheese on and bake for 10-12 minutes.


(I really like tomatoes so I added some cherry tomatoes to the top)


Keep it real folks:)

‚̧ Kari

May 8, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Cupcakes!

Hola Friends! I’m sure you all know it was Cinco De Mayo this weekend and I couldn’t think of a better reason to bust out my dusty, haven’t been used since I moved, cupcake supplies!

I looked online (pinterest, lets be real) and found this recipe from recipe girl and then adapted it (by adding more booze, lets be real again) and boom here we have some semi-potent and wickedly delicious cupcakes that were a very fun treat to celebrate with!

A few notes: The alcohol had kinda baked out and I was going for flavor so I added a shot of tequila to the frosting, which made it only the slightest bit noticeable.  The lime flavor and margarita mix were what really shined! Also, the frosting was so hard to work with, I am assuming it was something I missed but thought I would point it out. I ended up adding more butter because I could not for the life of me get it to spread.  I think I will add heavy cream next time to make it more of a traditional buttercream.


I was pretty happy with how they turned out and even the skeptic friends enjoyed them!

That is all for now, hopefully these cupcake posts become a little more frequent;)

‚̧ Kari

April 20, 2012

My First Cooking Experiment.

I love eating. ¬†I’ll try almost anything (as long as there are no olives… I judge those who like olives… no offense) but I do not cook. ¬†Not even a little bit. ¬†Until today making grilled cheese was tops for me. ¬†You see I come from a long line of fabulous women who CAN cook but HATE it. ¬†I survive off of bagels, cereal and sandwiches… however ¬†my lovely mother went out of town and asked me to cook for my dad… say what?

So I did it. I looked on Pinterest, played my Mumford & Sons pandora station,and I cooked a meal from scratch(ish) by myself.

I adapted it from this meal:

Basically I just added peppers, switched to brown rice and heaped on the cheese cause lets be serious, it is the best part!

I meant to take more photos like the finished product but I am new at this so once the plates hit the table they were gone… oh well I’ll try again next time!

There were no leftovers so I would say it was a successful first dish ūüėČ


‚̧ Kari

February 1, 2012

Nimbus 2000 Cupcakes.

The rule for birthdays at work are very simple…

1. You get to pick any kind of cupcake flavor(s) and I will do my best to come up with something.

2. You must give me a fair warning and I will deliver within the week of your birthday… it may be after… I am human.

3. You must appreciate them and say you love them even if you don’t… I take criticism well but not when it comes to baking.

So now that you understand the rules I will tell you about my latest cupcake and first baking post on here. ¬†My boss’s birthday was Monday and she requested to have peanut butter and chocolate, a cupcake I have not had to do since last year on her birthday so I was excited! ¬†She happens to be obsessed with Harry Potter, an obsession I not only condone but 100% share.

So here is what I came up with… chocolate cupcakes with a mini peanut butter cup baked in the middle, topped with peanut butter frosting AND a handmade pretzel “Nimbus 2000” broom. They were a lot of fun to make and she completely loved them which is my favorite part of baking!

They are a little messy, the chocolate just would not set to look more like a broom but they taste delicious and isn’t that the point of cupcakes anyway?

Happy February!

‚̧ Kari