Keana’s Vanilla Cupcakes

Hey guys!!! Yesterday I came up with my own recipe for vanilla cupcakes, and honestly, this one turned out better than the last one I put on here. These were full-size cupcakes… not mini, and tasted SOOOOO much better. I apologize for not posting anything last week, but things were crazy at my grandparents house, and I didn’t have time to write anything throughout the week. I am going to see if I can get my grandma’s recipe for Rice Krispy Treats, because she made those while we were there, and they taste amazing!!! So that might be the next recipe that I post on here. So without further ado, lets get to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup+2 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients, give this a small mix
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients until lots of bubbles form on top
  4. add your wet ingredients to your dry and mix together, being sure not to overmix
  5. Add into greased cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  6. Allow to cool completely, then frost and enjoy!

Here is a picture of the finished product…

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 3.59.48 PM.png

 

I hope that you guys enjoyed, and if you have any questions for me, then let me know in the comments!!!

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Kitchen Life Hacks

Hey guys! Today I thought that I would do something different, and that is going to be, dun dun dun! Kitchen Life Hacks! I am going to do a total of 4 kitchen hacks today, and if you like these kinds of posts, and want to see more, then let me know in the comments below. So without further ado, let’s get to the hacks!

NO SIFTER, NO PROBLEM

So, if you are like me, and don’t have an actual sifter, then don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives. The one that I use is a strainer. An actual sifter is easier, and probably not as messy, but a thin mesh strainer works just as well. I have been using this since I first started baking from scratch, and my strainer is a life saver.

You may think that when a recipe calls for sifted ingredients, it isn’t a big deal, and you can just skip that step. That’s how I used to be, but I don’t think I could go back to being that way, EVER. Especially when it comes to sugar, a sifter is your best friend. You get so many big and hard chunks of sugar, and it makes whatever you are making have a much better texture. With flour, there are lots of hard chunks that don’t come undone when you whisk the flour, and a sifter gets all of those out. So take my word for it, DO NOT SKIP SIFTING YOUR INGREDIENTS!!!

All that you have to do when using a strainer is place your strainer over the bowl. Make sure that your strainer is not bigger than your bowl, otherwise, your ingredients will go everywhere but the bowl. Your strainer should fit comfortably inside of the bowl, with at least an inch on all sides separating the two. More space between them is fine, but no less than one inch. Once you have your strainer positioned, add in your ingredients. Make sure that your strainer is not overly full. Your ingredients should not tower over the top of the strainer, so if you need to add them in segments, that’s ok. Once your ingredients are inside of the strainer, start either banging it against the sides of the bowl, or tapping it with your hand while holding it a little bit above the bowl.

NOTE: when you are hitting the side of the strainer, the ingredients will travel towards your hand, so make sure that you are tilting the strainer like this,Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.35.41 PM

I hope that this diagram helped. Gravity works weird when it comes to sifting with a strainer haha. Anyway, when you have all of the parts that don’t fit through the strainer, just throw those away, because they won’t be good for anything. There is a certain type of strainer that you should and shouldn’t use. This is the type that you shouldn’t use…

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.39.27 PM

and this is the type that you should use…

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.39.43 PM

the first kind I don’t think is very common, but you want to make sure that you are using a strainer that has thin holes, and mesh, otherwise it won’t work nearly as well. The ones that I have came in a pack of three, and I have a large on, a medium-sized one, and a very small one. I tend to use the largest one the most, but sometimes I will use the medium-sized one if I am using a small bowl. I haven’t used the smallest one any, because it is probably about this size in real life,

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 4.07.33 PM.png

and let’s be honest… what am I going to sift in something that small?

Now to the next baking hack!

NEED MORE COUNTER SPACE, BUT DON’T HAVE ANY?

If you need more counter space because you don’t have enough, (or your counters are too messy and you don’t feel like cleaning them, but you need to make dinner), then this hack is for you. The only thing that you will need is a sturdy cutting board, and a pull out drawer. This hack is pretty self-explanatory, but I am going to explain it anyway. All that you have to do is pull out your drawer. This works best with a drawer that is about the height of your counter. Once your drawer is pulled out, you just have to put the cutting board on top of the drawer, and poof! you have an extra (small) counter, that doubles as a cutting board. I am currently at my grandparents house finishing writing this, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of this hack, but you should be able to figure out when you have it positioned right.

I don’t personally use this hack, because I usually clear off my counters when I need the extra space, but this would be very useful if you don’t have a place to put things that stay on your counter, and need to make dinner but don’t have the room.

Now to the next hack!

ICED COFFEE THAT ISN’T WATERED DOWN

I don’t drink coffee that much, but this is a hack for those of you that like to have iced coffee at home. When you drink iced coffee, the ice cubes melt, and the coffee gets watered down. This hack will prevent your coffee from getting watered down. Here are the materials that you will need…

  • ice cube tray
  • coffee creamer (or coffee)

First, you want to fill your ice cube tray with either coffee creamer or coffee. Now put that into the freezer and freeze completely. Once that is fully frozen, make yourself a cup of coffee, and put in your ice cubes, and as they melt, depending on what you froze, your coffee will either get flavored and not watered down, or just not watered down. I hope that you enjoyed this hack, and here is what it looks like…

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 8.56.23 PM.png

The one on the left is milk ice cubes, the middle is coffee creamer ice cube, and the one of the right is coffee ice cubes. All that you have to do is put some into your hot coffee, and they will melt, cool off your coffee, and flavor it at the same time. I hope that you enjoyed this hack! Now on to the next!

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

I LOVE chocolate covered strawberries, but they are such a pain to make. Well, something that you can use to help with these is an ice cube tray! All that you need to do is melt some of your favorite chocolate. Mine would probably be milk chocolate, and then let that cool for a little bit. This is important because you don’t want to take a chance of melting your ice cube tray. Once it has cooled a little bit, pour your mixture in, filling each cube mold 1/4 way full. place in a strawberry, and fill it 3/4 way full with chocolate, making sure that most of the strawberry is covered. Once that is finished, leave out to harden, or stick in the freezer/fridge. Allow to completely harden, pop out of the mold, and enjoy!

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 9.08.20 PM.pngthis is what they should look like when finished.

 

I hope that you guys enjoyed these hacks, and if you did, then comment down below which one was your favorite, and if you want me to do more posts like this in the future! Bye!!! 🙂

 

 

 

Kale Soup

Hey guys!!! I haven’t done hardly anything cooking in what seems like forever, so I figured that I would do something that wasn’t baking for a change. I completely forgot about taking pictures, because I was sick and didn’t feel very good, so it didn’t even pass through my mind that I should have taken pictures until after the soup was same as gone. So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

This recipe is from the cookbook Trisha’s Table by the way. You can also find the recipe online at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/kale-soup, but the recipe is not the exact same, so I would recommend just using the recipe I put on here, rather than using the recipe from the website.

Anyway… NOW let’s get to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. pork chorizo, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. kale, de-stemmed and chosen into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here I am going to share with you a couple of little tips, this recipe calls for a stock pot, but you don’t need to use a huge one! I made that mistake, and the soup only filled up about half of the pot, but at least I didn’t have a chance of it boiling over! Also, use your hands to tear the kale instead of a knife, it works a lot better!

Directions:

  1. in a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering, about 2 minutes.     (Here is another little tip, open a window before the next step, otherwise your smoke alarm might go off. Don’t worry, nothing is going to catch on fire, but your smoke alarm will think differently :))
  2. Add the chorizo and heat through, 5 to 7 minutes
  3. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, onion, and garlic, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, add the kale, and cover. Cook until the kale wilts, 7 to 10 minutes
  5. uncover, add the parmesan cheese, and heat through for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Chorizo is spicy as it is, so if you are sensitive to spicy foods, I would not recommend adding pepper to your soup

So there you go! An amazing kale soup recipe, that is very simple, and delicious to make! I hope that you guys enjoyed, and comment down below what you thought of this recipe if you tried it!

Keana’s Cookies

Hey guys!!! Earlier today I tried out my own recipe and made some cookies. These turned out amazing, so I thought that I would share the recipe with you. So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!!!

Ingredients:

Dry-

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Wet-

  • 1 egg (cold)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Sift together your all of your dry ingredients except for the cinnamon in a large bowl, then add in your cinnamon without sifting it, and mix all together
  2. whisk together your wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl
  3. add wet ingredients to dry and combine well
  4. coat hands with flour and roll the dough into 1 inch balls, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, you can top with powdered sugar for a prettier cookie, or you can coat them with frosting. Both of these are optional. I chose to use powdered sugar, and just sprinkle it on top after transferring the cookies to a plate.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this recipe, and if you try it out, then let me know in the comments how it turned out! Bye!!!!!

Vanilla Buttercream

Hey guys! So yesterday I showed you a really good vanilla cupcake recipe, and today I am going to be showing you the buttercream that used to frost them. I just got some new piping tips at the store, and wanted to try them out, so I made the buttercream thick so that I could use it with my number 104 rose tip. I also have a leaf tip, and one other that I got in a pack of 3. I have a picture that I am going to put at the end of this post to show how they turned out 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter- This is about 2 sticks, it needs to be softened- I used salted butter, I just didn’t include the salt at the end
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tbsp. milk or heavy cream- I only used 1, and that made the perfect consistency

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter for a few minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed so that the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere, until the sugar is mixed in with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream, again, I only used one, and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a stiffer consistency, add remaining sugar, I added in 4 cups total. If your frosting is too thick, then add in more milk.

NOTE: I USED A HAND MIXER FOR THIS… SO YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A STAND MIXER 🙂

I hope you enjoyed! This recipe is from http://savorysweetlife.com by the way.

This is what my cupcakes looked like after I frosted them. I know that some of them are really bad, but this was MY FIRST TIME EVER using any of those tips. I hope that you enjoyed… BYE!!!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Hey guys!!! Today I am going to be telling you how to make vanilla cupcakes. These turned out sooooo good, and I finally got powdered sugar so I was able to frost them! Woohoo! I will be doing a separate post on the buttercream that I used. I don’t have any pictures of the process on making these, but I do have some pictures of the final product that I will be putting on my post for the buttercream that I used to decorate them tomorrow. So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of cake flour… that is what the recipe calls for, but I used all-purpose flour, and it still worked great!
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup oil… vegetable, canola, and extra light olive oil are recommended in this recipe. I used vegetable.
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk

I know what you are thinking, aww man, I don’t have buttermilk, time to look for a new recipe. There is a way to make buttermilk. I would not recommend using this for recipes that call for super large amounts or need to have exact measurements because this is not the exact same as real buttermilk, but it worked fine for me.

So what you can do to make buttermilk is combine 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice. I did the lemon juice method because I forgot where we kept the white vinegar. You just need to set this aside for 5 minutes before you use it.

Now to the directions!

Directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. If you are making your buttermilk from scratch, then now is when you want to start doing it 🙂
  3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together with a whisk, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the eggs and beat for about 20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add your vanilla and oil and beat until combined.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and then the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined… the recipe says to only scrape down the sides of the bowl here, but I like to do that in between each addition of milk and flour, just to make sure that it is getting evenly mixed.
  6. The batter will be thin… and I mean REALLY thin. I thought that I had ruined my batter at first, but it is supposed to be that thin. DON’T THROW OUT YOUR BATTER!!! I promise, if you follow the directions, it will turn out good!… Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill the liners about 2/3 of the way full
  7. Bake cupcakes in the oven for 12-14 minutes. I think that I ended up baking mine for about 16 or 17 though.
  8. Cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan carefully and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  9. Frost as desired when fully cooled, and dig in!!!!

You can use this recipe for a cake as well. The recipe above will work for a 6″ cake, but you can double the recipe for an 8″ or 9″ inch cake. This recipe is from http://www.glorioustreats.com/2011/07/perfect-vanilla-cupcakes-recipe.html. You should check out her blog… it’s really good! I hope that you enjoyed!!!

Vanilla Cake

Hey guys!!! Earlier this week, I made a vanilla cake, that turned out super good. It was super moist, and super easy to make. So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick/8 tbsp. unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs- at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. line the bottoms of your two 9″ cake pans with parchment paper, and then spray them with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside
  4. Beat the butter, sugar, and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed for around 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined.
  6. Alternate the flour mixture and the milk. Starting with 1/3 of your flour, then 1/2 of your milk, then another 1/3 of your flour, then the rest of your milk, then the rest of your flour
  7. divide the batter evenly between your two cake pans
  8. bake in the oven on the same rack for 35-40 minutes
  9. allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving, but if you choose to frost the cake, then allow it to cool completely before frosting, so that the frosting won’t melt off.

Well, I hope that you guys like this recipe, I know I did. And just so you know, if a recipe calls for you to sift something, but you don’t have a sifter, then don’t worry. I just use a thin mesh strainer, that has SMALL holes in it, and this works perfectly. I don’t have a sifter, so I just tried this and it worked. If you try this recipe, comment down below how it turned out for you, and whether you like it or not. This recipe is from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/classic-vanilla-cake by the way. I didn’t include the frosting on this cake, because I am all out of powdered sugar at the moment, and my mom is in California for the week and couldn’t go to the store to get more, but it still turned out SUPER good. Hope you enjoyed!

Cinnamon Rolls

Hey guys!!! Today I made cinnamon rolls. My mom sometimes makes these, and they are SOOOOOOOO good. And just so you know, DO NOT FREEZE THEM! It will kill the yeast and they turn out pretty bad. Trust me, my mom made a batch and froze them because she doesn’t like going through the work of making them from scratch, and my brother was the only person that would eat them. That says something :). Anyway… this recipe is from https://www.hotcouponworld.com/community/threads/cinnabon-style-cinnamon-rolls.65/. So let’s get to the recipe. I did tweak this a little bit, so I’ll mention the parts that I changed when I put the recipe. So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:

2 pkg yeast (very fresh) or slightly less than 2 TB bulk yeast

For those of you that don’t know how yeast works, it is a living thing. It feeds off of the sugar that you put into the water. You know that it is working inside of the water if after around 5 or 10 minutes you see a lot of foam/bubbles on the top.

1 t sugar
1 c warm water

1 c warm milk
2 tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c butter (about 1 stick + 2 T)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 c flour

FILLING:

1 c melted butter, divided into 2 1/2 c portions
1 3/4 c sugar
3 T cinnamon

GLAZE:

2/3 c melted butter
2 t vanilla
4 c powdered sugar
4-6 T hot water

DIRECTIONS:

In a cup, combine yeast, 1 t sugar, and warm water, stir and set aside. In a large bowl (it fits in the KitchenAid, BTW) mix milk, remaining sugar, melted butter, salt & eggs. Stir well & add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough slightly stiff– it will be sticky!

Turn out onto a well-floured board. Knead 5-10 min. (I actually use the dough hook and knead in the mixer for 5 min.) Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl. Cover, let rise in a warm place until doubled: 45 min to 1 hour 15 min. When doubled, punch down and let rest 5 min. Roll out into 15 x 20-inch rectangle.

To prepare the filling: Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Prepare a 1/4 sheet restaurant pan OR a 9×13 AND an 8″ square by spreading 1/2 c melted butter on the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/2 c of the cinnamon-sugar mix. Spread dough with 1/2 c melted butter. Add walnuts & raisins if you want to! Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the surface. Roll up jelly-roll style and pinch edges to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. (If using the commercial pan, all 15 will fit in 3 rows of 5.) Let rise in warm place until double– about 45 min.

Preheat over to 350, bake 25-30 min until nicely browned. Cool for 5 min.

To prepare glaze: Mix melted butter, vanilla, powdered sugar; add hot water 1 T at a time until glaze is spreading consistency. (Usually 4-5 T) Spread over rolls.

Now for the things that I changed. I did not use real butter, I find that they turn out better this way, because they won’t be as dry. I don’t have any pictures of these, sorry about that. I made these on a school night and forgot to take pictures because it was late and I wanted to get to bed. And, like pretty much any food, they don’t look as good the day after they are complete.

Well, I hope that you like this recipe and try it some time. If you do try this let me know in the comments how it turned out!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Hey guys!!! For today’s recipe, I am going to be sharing with you a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Sliders. I haven’t had a chance to try making these yet, but I probably will make them soon. This recipe is from http://www.aflavorjournal.com/buffalo-chicken-sliders/.

So… without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite ranch dressing
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 4 slider buns
  • chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the shredded rotisserie chicken, and toss the chicken in the butter to coat.
    Add buffalo sauce, and toss the chicken to coat again. Add garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, combine shredded cheddar and ranch dressing. I used a fork, that way I could easily transfer the ranch-coated cheese to the sliders.
    Place 1/4 cup of the buffalo chicken onto the bottom half of a slider. Repeat on each slider bun.
  3.  Top buffalo chicken with at least 1-2 Tbsp. of the cheese/ranch mix. Top with chopped green onion (optional!), and then cap the sliders with the top bun.
    Brush melted butter to each of the top buns before baking.
  4. Bake at 375 for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot!DOUBLE, TRIPLE, OR QUADRUPLE THIS RECIPE TO FIT YOUR NEEDS!!!!!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Hey guys!!! As I said in my last post, I have been experimenting with my own recipes, and trying to find some that taste good, and these turned out AMAZING! I was going to try and turn them into “cheeseburger” cupcakes, but then since that didn’t work out, I decided to just leave them as they were. I will be putting some pictures of them on here later, I still need to take them ;). Anyway, let’s get to the recipe

Ingredients:

wet-

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

dry-

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp iodized salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients
  2. whisk together all of your wet ingredients in a small bowl
  3. combine wet and dry ingredients- if you want to add food coloring, this is when to do it
  4. bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-20 minutes

make sure that you allow if to cool before frosting or decorating it

 

For this recipe, since I was just trying it out to see if it would taste good or not, I didn’t make a big batch. You can probably double, or even triple/quadruple this recipe if you want to. I used a mini muffin tin for this recipe, but you can use a large one if you want, you just might have to leave it in the oven for a little bit longer. Like I said before, I will be posting pictures of them on here later. I used my own buttercream recipe for frosting these, but I don’t have a recipe for that. I just kind of eyeballed it and tasted it until I thought that it tasted good :p.     I hope that you try this recipe, and like it!!!