1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk or cream, if needed
1 drop purple food coloring (I used the Violet gel color from Hobby Lobby)
Fresh lavender, sugared lemon slices and edible pearls for garnish, optional
In a saucepan, cook and stir the sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the lightly beaten egg. Stir well and return all to the pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Stir in lemon zest. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and completely chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cupcake baking tin.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add ricotta, milk and lemon juice and mix until combined.
Spoon the batter into cupcake tins, filling each one about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Rotate the cupcake tin half-way through baking if necessary. Cool completely.
Using a cupcake corer remove the middle of the cupcake. Using a small spoon, fill the holes in each cupcake with a generous amount of lemon curd.
For the frosting you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add butter to a large bowl and beat until creamy. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and lavender to the bowl. Increase the speed and beat until fluffy and combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thick, add the cream or milk. If it is too runny add more powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Use one drop of purple food coloring. The Violet color was a little lighter so I used two drops.
Put desired frosting tip into a piping bag. Add frosting to the bag and frost the cupcakes. Top with edible pearls and small lavender sprigs. Thinly slice lemons into halves and coat both sides with sugar. Place lemons on top of frosted cupcakes.
These were a lot of fun to make and they tasted great! The flavor combination was delightful! I took them to work and they were gone in an instant. I knew the Butterbeer cupcakes were going to go fast because they had been asking me to make them again, but I wasn’t sure how they would respond to the lemon ricotta and lavender. I was pleasantly surprised when those disappeared, too. 🙂
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove outer leaves from the cauliflower and trim stem, leave the core. Turn cauliflower heads core side down. Cut cauliflower vertically into 1-inch thick steaks.
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower steaks and cook 4-6 minutes until brown, turning once. Sprinkle with salt, cumin and pepper. Put the pan into the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove cauliflower from Dutch oven and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out Dutch oven.
In the Dutch oven cook the spinach in two batches until wilted. (I add a little butter). Put into a colander and squeeze out the access liquid. Add the oil to the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Stir in heavy cream and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until cream starts to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. (If you want it thicker add a little of the cream into a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch, mix until dissolved and then add to the Dutch oven, add more if needed). Stir in spinach and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
Spoon the creamed spinach onto a plate and place the cauliflower steak on top. Sprinkle with pepitas if desired.
If you want a little more flavor I would go heavier on the seasoning. Some parmesan cheese might be good on top, too. Also, this jalapeno creamed spinach was not very spicy at all. So if you like spicy I would add another pepper.
1 package frozen mini pork or chicken wontons (I used pork and vegetable)
1 cup kimchi, chopped (This is usually in the produce section)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven heat oil over medium high heat. Add bok choy and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, stir occasionally. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in wontons, cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in kimchi and soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is nice because it is quick and easy and has minimal ingredients (great for a weeknight), but still has a lot of flavor. I never eat just a cup of soup. I have a heaping bowl! If that is you as well, I would double the recipe if you want to have it throughout the week or for lunches. As is, my husband and I each had a bowl for dinner and then I had a bowl for lunch.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, onions and parsnips. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
Add broth, tomatoes and cabbage. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chard and chickpeas, stirring occasionally, until chard is bright green, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
1 1/4 pounds venison meat – comparable to a beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper
10 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 lb. package egg noodles
chopped parsley for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Season the venison with salt and pepper to taste. (You can also season with a little creole seasoning)
Place the meat in the Dutch oven in a single layer. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned. Remove from pan, cover to keep warm.
Melt butter in the Dutch oven. Add mushrooms and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5-6 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add beef broth. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook 2-3 minutes until thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. (for thicker sauce, add a little more flour)
Add the venison back into the Dutch oven. Toss to coat and cook another minute or two, or until venison is heated through.
Serve over egg noodles (cook according to package directions) and sprinkle with parsley.
Venison has such a pungent flavor! When looking for a wine, I needed something that could stand up to it. I went with a Pinot Noir – Robert Mondavi Private Selection. Yum.
2/3 cup ricotta cheese (homemade ricotta cheese recipe coming soon!)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour (I’ve been using Pillsbury)
1 teaspoon instant yeast/bread machine yeast
Make sure the milk is not too, hot – around 100 degrees is good. Add the ingredients into the bread machine in the order recommended in the instruction manual. Generally, this is wet ingredients first, then dry ingredients – flour is second to last. Make a little dent in the flour and pour the yeast in the hole. (Pictured)
Select 1.5 lb loaf and desired crust color – I go for light crust. Press start.
When finished remove the bread pan with oven mitts and let cool. Use a spatula to loosen the bread from the pan. Tip the pan upside down and shake the bread out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
This bread is so fluffy and delicious. I like to dip it in oil and Italian seasonings. I eat it with soup. I also love putting goat butter on it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners. (Makes 18) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy (this can be done with a handheld mixer or a stand mixer – if using a stand mixer make sure you are regularly scraping the bottom of the bowl). Add sugars and beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and butter extract.
Alternate adding buttermilk, cream soda and dry ingredients. Beat until combined – this is where the stand mixer comes in handy. (I’ve heard you are supposed to start and end with the dry ingredients, but not sure that actually matters)
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full. Bake 15-17 minutes, rotating the baking pans half-way through so that the cupcakes in the back are then in the front. (This needs to be done in my oven anyway). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.
In a double boiler (I just use a sauce pan and a large metal mixing bowl), combine butterscotch chips and cream. Stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into center and squeeze until filling begins to overflow. (This method only really works if the ganache is still a little warm and runny. It seeps into the cake. When it is completely cooled, not nearly enough ganache gets into the cupcake. If you are going to cool the ganache to room temperature you will need to core out the center of the cupcake and then squeeze in the ganache with the bottle)
For the frosting, cream butter until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter extract and salt. Mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add cream by the tablespoon if needed. (Honestly, without specific instructions I wasn’t sure what to do here. I ended up using 1 tablespoon of cream and 2 cups of powdered sugar. It tasted ok to me, and then I had several people tell me they don’t normally like frosting, but they liked it this way. And my husband liked it and that’s a miracle!)
Frost cupcakes and drizzle with butterscotch ganache. I also sprinkled them with edible gold stars (Hobby Lobby)
These cupcakes are amazing!!!!!!! I have had this recipe for 10 years and never made it until now, but I am glad I finally did. You can’t eat just one – they are that good. I am about to make my third batch next week because people keep asking for them! So good!