Tag Archives: lemon

Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

4 Jun

Adorable, easy, delicious…

Background: Whenever I’m sitting at the intern desk where I work, there is some sort of dessert or food item waiting there for me to munch on. After telling some of my co-interns about my baking blog, I naturally felt inclined to bake something for them. I needed something small. Something munchable. Something cute. What instantly came to mind were these mini cupcakes that my mom bakes. Just about anything mini tends to be cuter than the normal size (mini puppies, mini cliff bars, mini coopers). And when dealing with food, mini always makes for the perfect finger food. So, mini lemon poppyseed cupcakes it was.

Baking Disasters: I have two “disasters” for you today. One involves a nasty encounter between my finger and a zester (apparently human skin can be zested as easily as lemon “skin” can) and the other involves me completely forgetting to take my prized mini cupcakes to work. Yes, after all that work, I neglected to bring the perfect little buggers to their intended consumers. This left me with the terrible fate of having to dispose of most of them myself. Mmmmm.

Ingredients:

1 package of lemon cake mix

1 package of vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp orange zest

1 tsp lemon zest

Glaze:

4 cups powdered sugar (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thin)

1/3 cup of lemon juice (you may need a bit more if the glaze is too thick)

1 lemon, zested

1 tbsp orange zest

3 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp water

Directions:

Turn on the oven to 350.

Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease with butter (I suggest the spray…this takes forever). Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil and ginger with a blender for about two minutes (it should be smooth–not bubbly). Mix in the poppy seeds and lemon and orange zests. Fill each mini muffin tin about 2/3 full and bake for 8-12 minutes.

For the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix until smooth. You can make it thicker by adding more powdered sugar or thinner by adding more lemon juice.

While the cupcakes are still hot, drench them with the glaze and place on wax paper to cool. Top with extra zest if you feel the urge to make them look pretty.

Note: I’m normally against using boxed mixes, but my mom makes this recipe–originally a Paula Deen–and it’s damned good!

Sesame Peanut Chicken Kabobs

16 May

Background: This blog was supposed to be about my many baking endeavors, but Publix quickly changed that. Publix, one of the many things I missed about Florida, is simply the best grocery store known to mankind (and some animal species). As I walked amongst the aisles, I found myself dreaming about peanut chicken, which I had seen somewhere on the Food channel the previous night. I hadn’t a recipe or anything to guide me, but I bought a can of tahini, a can of coconut milk, a jar of dijon mustard and a package of organic chicken breasts. I had no idea where I was headed with this, but I decided that tonight, chicken was on the menu.

Baking Disasters: I don’t know about you guys, but I have never made a kabob in my life. I tend to do things on impulse, and this was certainly one of them. As I was just finishing kabobing my chicken and vegetables, I was fortunate enough to get a call from my mother, who informed me that the best way to cook these kabobs was to broil them. I’ve never broiled anything in my life, but I have to say, this turned out pretty amazing.

The ingredients: DISCLAIMER: For this recipe, I measured absolutely nothing, so you’re really going to have to do this by taste.

4 oz. Sesame tahini

2 T. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup plus 3 T. Unsalted peanuts, chopped finely

3 T Flour

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Coconut milk (canned)

2 tsp Garlic

2 Boneless chicken breasts

Sea salt

Whole pepper kernels

Cayenne Pepper

Cinnamon

Cumin

Curry powder

Vegetable Ingredients: 

1/2 Sweet onion

2 Sweet Peppers (different colors preferable)

1 Lemon

1/4 cup of coconut milk

Sea salt

Pepper

2 tsp. Garlic powder

The Method: 

Chop 1/2 cup of peanuts with whole pepper kernels. Season with sea salt (not too much–it’s more potent than regular salt) and mix in the flour. Set aside.

Mix together the tahini, mustard, worcestershire sauce, garlic and coconut milk. The mixture should be pretty thick, but creamy. Grind the remaining 3 T of peanuts and mix in. Season the mixture with sea salt,  a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper, a couple of dashes of cinnamo, about two teaspoons of cumin (more if you desire) and a tablespoon of curry powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Chop the chicken breasts into pieces about a half inch thick and one inch long and wide. Coat them entirely with the tahini mixture, then coat entirely with the peanut-flour mixture. Set in refrigerator while you prepare the vegetables.

Cut the onion, 1/2 lemon and peppers into large wedges (about one and a half inches long). Place in a bowl. Squirt the remaining 1/2 lemon over the vegetables. Pour the coconut milk over them. Add the garlic powder, and then season the vegetables to taste with sea salt and pepper. Let marinate for however long you’re able to wait.

Turn the oven on to broil. Coat a pan in olive oil (don’t drown it, mind you). Place the chicken and vegetables alternately on kabobs and lay in pan. Place pan on a rack on the bottom third of the oven and let the kabobs broil for two minutes on one side. Flip the kabobs around. Let broil for two minutes on the opposite side. They needed an extra two minutes in my oven after this, but yours may differ. Just make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly. If the peanut crust starts to blacken a bit, don’t worry–it tastes really good.

Serving tip: I have never used canned coconut milk before, but I found a strange, delicious coconut paste on the bottom of the coconut milk can. Spoon this on the plate and use it as a dipping sauce for your chicken. It is absolutely delicious.