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I just randomly found this video and this version is amazing! Thumbs up to Thirty Seconds To Mars. =)

Happy Sunday!

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Baking Corner: Raspberry

raspberrycupcakesblog

 

It’s time to do a recipe with one of my favorite fruits! I’m going to plant raspberry and blackberry bushes (whenever I get the backyard figured out) and see how they do. It would be great to just have to walk out my door and pick fresh berries but until that project becomes reality I will just have to stick with Joe’s Produce..

..::side note:: If you live in southeast Michigan then you should definitely check out Joe’s in Livonia. It’s my go to place for fresh strawberries, raspberries, and every other kind of produce when I’m being picky about it. They also have wonderful sushi come to think of it. ::end side note::

I have tried out a few different ways to put raspberry into a cake and my preference is a combination of fresh berry puree and seedless raspberry jam. If you need a very strong flavor then you can use extract but I don’t use it on a regular basis. This recipe uses my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe from The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook with my own berry twist so I must give credit where credit is do because the recipe is AMAZING and I hope to visit the actual bakery one day.

Raspberry Cupcakes (Makes about 24 regular cupcakes)

* 1 3/4 cups plain cake flour
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (pleeeeease don’t use imitation….it is not the same……..at all…..thanks)  =)
*1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temp
* 4 large eggs
* 3 tablespoons raspberry jam (seedless)
* 3 tablespoons fresh raspberry puree

Oven: Preheat to 350 degrees

First off, you can mix the vanilla extract right into the milk….you will be adding them to the dry ingredients at the same time.

In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix it on low for about 3 minutes….all of the ingredients should be completely mixed together. With your mixer (stand or hand) on low, add your room temp butter a tablespoon at a time and mix until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Turn the mixer up to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time….mix well after each egg is added.

Go back to a low speed, slowly pour in the milk & vanilla mixture and mix for a couple more minutes until it’s all mixed up and smooth. This is where you can add both raspberry ingredients and I tend to mix it by hand for this step…add the puree first and mix well but when you add the jam make sure not to mix it too much.

Fill each baking cup 2/3 full and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

rasperryblog

 

For this round of baking, I used classic vanilla buttercream (I’ll be posting about buttercream in the future) but you can use whatever frosting you find goes well with the raspberry. This is a very light, fluffy, and yummy cake and just remember that when you bake cupcakes they will continue to cook in the pan after you take them out of the oven so don’t over do it with the time.

rasperryblog2

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The Black Keys

My song for the weekend.

Happy Sunday!

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Garden Corner: Mint

ImageNow that we are into the middle of February; I can finally start to think about garden plans and what I want to grow this coming season. I’ve discovered my love of gardening as I’ve gotten older and I definitely get it from the many generations of women on my Moms side. I still consider myself a novice seeing that I’ve only been gardening for a couple of years but I love learning new things and I hope I can share what I learn along the way with you!

I figured I would start with a plant (or herb) that I grow indoors and have a bit more experience in taking care of: Mint.

Growing 

*First and foremost….Mint is a very invasive plant. If you don’t want it all over your garden bed then you should plant it in a container. If you absolutely want it in your garden bed than be prepared to have to pull it up frequently to prevent it from crowding other plants.

*Mint likes moist, well-drained soil and sun (it should be placed in a south-facing window or a sunny garden spot). I’ve found that my indoor Spearmint plant will withstand a little drought if you forget to water it but the leaves will start to brown quickly if deprived for too long. Always remember to press a finger into the soil and don’t go by how it feels right on top…this should be a rule of thumb for most (if not all) of your plants.

*To encourage your plant to be more full; I would suggest harvesting the plant often. As you can see in my pics above, my plant is in need of this….my plant was an outdoor plant this past season and I brought it inside so I’ve been working on getting it back to its full potential.

Uses

*There are so many uses for Mint: culinary, aromatherapy, apothecary, and homemade beauty products. You can just pick a leaf…chew it up…and you have a quick breath freshener.

*There is an easy, homemade mask that you can make with fresh mint that I will be doing a post on in the near future. It’s good for people with sensitive, dry skin (like me) that needs calming and a splash of moisture.

*Peppermint tea has been known to help with digestion and an upset stomach.

*Mint can be easily dried and used in cooking or potpourri. To save mint in its “fresh” state…put leaves in a freezer bag and store in the freezer (always use brightly colored leaves with no hint of brown on them).

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I’ve just started the process of drying out my leaves so I’ll have to do a quick post about my experience when I get a little more into it. I will get more into my seed starting process and how it can save you sooooooo much money by starting your plants from seed as the weeks go on towards Spring!

Until next time……

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Categories: Gardening, Nature | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Follow Your Arrow

This is my song for the day. It’s such a sweet song with such a strong message!

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