Vanilla Lemon Cupcakes

Mmm, I love cupcakes, especially dense/wedding-eque ones. But I don’t like them to feel too heavy in my stomach. So I like to lighten them up with a not-so-intense frosting. Well, technically lightened up isn’t the best term, as when is frosting ever really light?

When deciding on the perfect cupcake for our gender reveal party, I sifted through my recipe file and decided to tweek a previously pinned recipe.

Clearly, I couldn’t have the raspberry frosting, as that would be a dead giveaway. But the cupcake itself was fair game.

Vanilla Lemon Cupcakes

I am not an adept froster.

adapted from  this recipe

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 TBS lemon juice
1 cup 2% milk

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 and line 24 muffin tins with liners/cooking spray, or set up your silicone liners.

In a large bowl, beat butter for 1 minute and add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. This process should take about 5 minutes. Yes it is tedious, but it is worth it.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Blend until smooth before adding the next. Beat in vanilla.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to large bowl, alternating with 1/2 the milk and 1/2 the lemon juice. Beat until fully combined.

Pour 1/4 cup at a time into lined muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature

4 TBS unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 TBS lemon juice

Directions

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pipe onto cupcakes with decorating bag, or pour frosting into a large ziplock and cut the tip off to pipe onto cupcakes.

What is your favorite cupcake recipe?

WIAW travel edition: Oregon

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, which means most of my pictures never make it to the desktop. This isn’t the end of the world, but it does mean I’ve had a lot of fun eating experiences that are sitting on my camera waiting to be unleashed. Until then, I have another traveling eats edition of WIAW for y’all. Get excited

Friday morning I hit the road with my friend, and co-worker, Rhonda. Our destination is one of my all time favorite towns: Hood River, Oregon.
(source)

Hood River, the windsurfing capitol of the world, is about an hour east of Portland, OR and is full of cute shops, eateries, wineries and breweries. We started the weekend off right at Full Sail Brewing Company.

We decided to split the artichoke dip app (with delicious whole wheat pita bread) and a sampler.


After enjoying all but the hoppy brews, Rhonda and I found a table at a Cancer fundraising event that happened to be going on up the street.

A hoola hooping contest started shortly after our arrival…
I didn’t enter, but I did enjoy a little hoola hoop action.
Impressive, no?

The next morning we found Doppio, a cute little coffee shop on the main downtown road. The line was very long, but it was worth it for a table in the sunshine and local organic ingredients.


After a little shopping, we headed to our next destination: Newberg, Oregon. The half-marathon was located in Dundee, Oregon, six miles down the road. Our dinner Saturday evening wasn’t the best, but we made up for it with a stop to Sweetest Thing, an adorable cupcake shop near our hotel.

I couldn’t decide on one flavor, so I wound up getting two! On the left is the s’mores, a chocolate cake with a ganach center and marshmellow buttercream frosting (omg, yum!) and on the right is the raspberry lemon drop.

They were heavenly, and helped us avoid our SMOKING room. Sigh. I waited too long to book a hotel room, and thought I was booking a non-smoking one, but after clicking back and forth between websites too many times, the non-smoking rooms had been booked and somehow I didn’t notice. We opened the window, put both fans on high blast and used half a bottle of fabreeze. The room smelt like clean smoke for about twenty minutes. It was a miserable experience (I’m allergic to smoke), and my run may or may not have been affected by the third-hand smoke conditions. But, luckily, we were able to check into a non-smoking room the next day.

After racing and showering, we ventured into Dundee, Oregon, a small winery driven town with one stoplight, and opted to have lunch at Dundee Bistro.

I ordered a side of truffle oil fries for the table,

and the fungi pizza for myself.spinach, oyster mushrooms, sweet onions & chevre

After lunch we decided to use some of our free tasting coupons from our race swag bag. First stop was Winter’s Hill. I wound up purchasing a case of their 2007 Pinot Blanc. Reese and Rhonda were slightly more economical and split a case. But it was a rockin’ deal at $99, and Oregon doesn’t have sales tax. Win, win!

Only after we had driven there did we notice you can go on a horseback wine tour!

The second stop was De Ponte.

We actually ran through the vinyards of Winter’s Hill and De Ponte had one of the water stations on their property. It was much more enjoyable to visit them AFTER the run then when we were actually on the course 😉

After wine tasting we decided to go to Panaderia y Taqueria, a cheap, hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, and it was a very good choice. The homemade chips and salsa excited our taste buds as we waited for our meals to arrive.

I also entertained the ladies with the contents of my purse while we waited.
What, you don’t need 8 lip gloss/stick/chapstick options? Two bottles of lotion aren’t in your bag? You don’t need a supply of bandaids, pepto bismol, advil, beano, pamprin, lactaid or other random pain relievers? Psh, you’re the weird one.

After lots of laughter, our meals arrived. I could barely eat half of my super burrito, but it was very delicious!

Rhonda left Oregon vowing to start a blog about me blogging, and I left Oregon with my camera full, my body sore and my belly stuffed 🙂

Have you been to Hood River or Dundee, Oregon?

Weekend update

How is it already 6:39 p.m. on Sunday?

I totally skipped out on posting yesterday, and I can’t make any guarantees for how many posts I’ll be able to publish this week. I’m in the midst of writing my first-ever grant, and it is quite the arduous process. Between that and this being conference week I can make no promises in the blog department.

So I’ll leave you with a little weekend update, mostly via pictures.

Friday night I attended the 4th annual Gift of Golf fundraiser.

And although my friend Jenny told me the dress code was jeans and a cute top, I decided a wine tasting was the perfect excuse to wear this little dress I’ve been waiting to debut.

With my favorite, too tall to teach comfortably in, Cole Haan boots.

Upon arriving we purchased some raffle tickets.

And I won! Not the grand prize of 2 rounds of golf + overnight accommodations at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, but I did win See’s chocolate. My friend Karen won a $25 gift card to O’Dohrety’s Irish Grille and Marla won a hat 😉

I must have been starving, because after I finished eating I noticed I completely neglected to take a photo of the spread. Tons of local restaurants donated food, and Celebrations donated cupcakes! I did not neglect a cupcake photo-op!

No, I did not devour two cupcakes, although I totally could have. The hubs enjoyed the chocolate peanut butter one, and I nibbled away at the cherry.

Saturday involved a lot of errands and cleaning for me, and raised garden bed making for the hubs.

One errand was a trip to Celebrations to pick up happy hour cupcakes, when all cupcakes are $1. Unfortunately, I got the date wrong for happy hour cupcakes, but it didn’t stop me from walking out with a few!

The champagne cupcake has edible sparkles on it!

Sparkles!!

I decided appetizers for dinner would be the perfect complement to the Lady Zags game that evening. Who, by the way, are the first 11 seed team to make it to the Elite Eight – Go Zags!

To complete my appetizer menu I hit up my local fromage shop, Saunders.

I walked away with 4 tasty selections, courtesy of our friend Kate, and assembled quite the vegetarian friendly spread.

Cheese board

Vegetarian meatballs + homemade marinara

These tasted nothing like meatballs. They actually tasted like a Morningstar Farms veggie burger. Not exactly what I thought I would be biting into.

Artichoke + jalapeño dip

Bruchetta

And LaBrea bread

Today I added leftover bruchetta and truffle cheese to my scrambled eggs. It was a brilliant idea. I gobbled them right up.

I’d tell you more, but wordpress is being a pita. It took me over an hour to write this much. Arrgh!

What is your favorite appetizer?