27 September 2012

Strawberry and Lemon Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting


My friends have caught onto the fact that I love to make cupcakes and have begun to request cupcakes for their birthdays. Usually they come to me with a recipe, a specific flavour combination or send me a cupcake that they have pinned. My one friend however decided to give me a long list of about 10 different items that she liked and asked me to pick a few and make her a cupcake. 


Lemon, strawberries, honey and cheese cake were all on her list and stuck out at me. So I decided to make her a Strawberry Lemon cupcake with Honey Cream Cheese icing.  I had made the cake part of the cupcake before and used an Annie's Eats recipe (surprise, surprise).  It was my first time making the honey icing and it turned out great. It is one of my new favourites for sure. Now I just need to think of something else that will go well with honey! 


Ingredients:
For the cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon zest
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

Lemon Syrup 
1/2 cup water 
1/2 sugar 
2tsp lemon zest 
juice from 1/2 a lemon 

Icing: 
1 (8oz) package cream cheese 
1/4 butter 
1/4-1/2 honey 
1-2 cups icing sugar 



To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.  Stir together with a fork and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Add in the milk and mix until smooth.  Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.  Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full.  Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


To make the syrup bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add sugar, lemon zest and juice to the water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let simmer for a couple of minutes or until syrup has thickened slightly. 

To make the icing beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Add in 1 cup icing sugar, beat until combined. Add 1/4 cup honey.  Keep adding honey and sugar until desired taste/sweetness is reached.  ( I think I used just over a cup of icing sugar to add sweetness and volume to the icing and around 1/2 a cup of honey. I stopped adding the honey once I could clearly taste honey flavour in the icing). 





Enjoy!
Jaclyn

Ps. Did you notice I ran out of cupcake liners and had to use both Disney Princess and Black and White Flower ones.

24 September 2012

Penguin Nails

My Nail Inspiration: 
The cutest penguins ever! From the biodome in Montreal. The Puffins were equally as cute.
The photo does not do them justice. They were so active, running all around their habitat. I wanted to take one home with me. 

Anyways... here are my nails. I did them free hand. 









Have a great monday! 
Jaclyn

22 September 2012

What I Wore: To Class

Shirt: Aritzia. Jeans: Mavi. Scarf: Target. Shoes: TOMS.
 The last couple of days have been gorgeous! The weather has been not too hot that I am drowning in sweat on the way to class, but just warm enough that I can get away with not wearing a jacket.
 I got this scarf on a trip to the States last year from Target. I love how it is reversible and that the pink in the flowers just happened to perfectly match my top


What is your go to outfit for class?
Jaclyn

20 September 2012

Fried Rice

I saw this Edamame Fried Rice recipe on pintrest. I knew I had to try it. I used the recipe more as a guide and made a HUGE batch of this stuff. Let me tell you it was worth it. Being in university I often don't have a ton of time to prep dishes and love having easy left overs for lunch. This won in both categories.  


I didn't have a wok, so I just used a frying pan. I used red onions rather than scallions and used a mixed bag of frozen peas and carrots. 
This is one of those recipes that was easy to customize. It would be fairly easy to add or subtract a certain vegetable. 


This dish is great on its own, but it would also make a great size dish or it would be an easy thing to add some chicken to. 

What are you having for dinner tonight? 
Jaclyn

17 September 2012

CHRISTOPHE POLY


 I love finding different and unique pieces of jewelry. When I went to Montreal a few weeks ago before school started and I was on a hunt for a unique cocktail ring. This may seem like a fairly easy task, but I have tiny fingers. I can still wear rings I wore when I was 12 and need like a size 5 ring, which is often hard to find. There were so many cool and unique jewellery stands in Old Montreal but one caught my eye. 
 Christophe Poly's designs were very geometric in nature. I loved the two tone colour of his work and the way the shapes came together to form unique pieces. I purchased one of his rings and it actually fit! I am super happy with it and love the way it looks. 

I hope you enjoyed this spotlight, 
Jaclyn


NOTE: I love to help promote Canadian Designers. I am trying to showcase different designers who are Canadian and whose work I admire. I purchased the ring myself and have in no way been paid/compensated for this post. 

12 September 2012

Peach Crisp




Lately it seems like there are peaches EVERY where! Is it just me or have peaches been extra delicious this year? I walked past a display of them at the grocery store and couldn't help myself from buying a basket. They were extremely fragrant and my mouth immediately began to water. I just had to have some. 

Turns out a basket of peaches is a lot for one person to eat alone. Who knew? So I decided to make one of my favourite fruit desserts (and by dessert I mean breakfast, because I have been totally eating for breakfast all week with Greek Yogurt).    

Peach Crisp Recipe 

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients: 

3  peaches, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
crumble
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature




Directions: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay peaches in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar and salt. Toss to coat, then set aside.



In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, stirring to mix. Mash in softened butter using a fork or your hands, until coarse crumbles remain. Sprinkle topping all over peaches. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until crumble is golden on top. Serve immediately with ice cream or yogurt.



It smelt sooooo good coming out of the oven. It was the perfect amount of crumble to peaches (because the crumble is really the best part). 


What is your favourite peach recipe?
Jaclyn

10 September 2012

Pastal Pink

Sweet Heart by OPI

Sometimes simple nails are best. My original plan was to make these a "french manicure" with a bright pink tip. Once I started painting them though and they dried, I liked how they looked and how simple they were, and decided just to leave them.  I love this pink colour by OPI. It is one of the few that I found that aren't transparent. It is a great colour that goes with everything. 


What is your go to nail polish colour? 
Jaclyn

6 September 2012

Carrot Muffins


I love making cupcakes or muffins. Basically if you bake it in a muffin tin I'm all in. So when we had a basket full of carrots that had to be used up I jumped on the chance to make some carrot muffins.  These made quite a few muffins and since I wasn't frosting them I decided to freeze some which will be great to quickly grab for snacks. 

Recipe:
Adapted from Annie's Eats 

The muffins are quick and easy to make. The worse part was shredding all of the carrots. Once that was done the rest of the process was fairly simple. If you have a food processor it would probably make this step a lot easier.  

Carrot Muffins

Yield: about 20-22 muffins

Ingredients:

2½ cups  all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
3-3.5 cups (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled and shredded 
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil



Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside. Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.  


With a mixer beat  the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined. 

Continue beating and  add the oil to the mixture at a steady rate. Continue to beat until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified. 

Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.  




Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  



What are your favourite type of muffins? 
Jaclyn

3 September 2012

A little bit of sparkle

Jeans: 7 for All Man Kind. Top: Jacob. Sweater: The Bay. Shoes: TOMS. Hat: Forever 21  
I've had these jeans forever and they are super comfortable but I never know how to wear them.  I always feel like it just doesn't look right. I am so used to my skinny jeans. However I loved them paired with this top, it added that touch of sparkle that was needed. The sweater is a recent purchase and I absolutely love it. I know I will be wearing it well into winter it is the perfect amount of cozy for studying. 



I got this hat a few weeks ago and have been wearing it ever since. 




How do you style your boyfriend jeans?
Jaclyn