Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011

Wow...middle of August already. Where has the summer gone? For us, we traveled a lot, and didn't get much cooking in the last few weeks! But, now we are back home, and I can't wait to get cooking again!

To make cooking in my kitchen even more enjoyable, I've been painting my kitchen cabinets. Slowly but surely we've been redecorating our kitchen. I took down some ugly wallpaper and painted, we installed a new tile back splash, got a new fridge and oven, and once the cabinets are painted, the space will be complete! A work in progress, but I am nearing the finish line on this project. Once it is complete I will post some before and after pictures. To me, the change is amazing, and my kitchen has moved out of the late 1970's and joined us in the current year. :)

As for recipes, this week I only have 2, and both are desserts. One is actually more of an idea than a recipe, hamburger cupcakes, and the other is pumpkin snack cake. I still have fresh pumpkin in my deep freezer from last fall, so before a new crop comes in, I wanted to use up what I have. This snack cake is great with cream cheese frosting, but we also love it plain, so no need for the extra calories if the kids like it just as it is!

New Recipes
Pumpkin Snack Cake
Hamburger Cupcakes

Pumpkin Snack Cake

* 4 eggs
* 1 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 cup oil
* 2 cups pureed pumpkin
* 2 cups flour
* 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice *your choice)
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin together until light and fluffy.
3. Add the flour and remaining ingredients to the wet ingredients. Combine well; batter should be smooth and without lumps.
4. Pour batter into 2 greased 8 x 8 pans, bake for about  25-28 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean. If you want to make these as cupcakes, grease the cupcake pan and bake them for 22 or so minutes.


This is such an easy recipe!!! No sifting of flour, just keep adding ingredients to the batter. This snack cake also freezes wonderfully well. Enjoy one of the cakes with your family, and freeze the other for the future. If you do want to kick this up a bit, add some cream cheese frosting. It is absolutely delicious with cream cheese frosting! While I use pumpkin that I've processed myself, I am sure you could use canned pumpkin for this recipe. Just make sure you buy pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

Hamburger Cupcakes


* Chocolate cake mix
* Yellow cake mix
* vanilla frosting
* shredded coconut
* food coloring - yellow, red, green
* sesame seeds


1. Make the yellow and chocolate cake mixes as directed on the box. Each box should yield 24 cupcakes.
2. When making the yellow cupcakes, don't use a cupcake liner - this will ensure your yellow cupcakes brown a little more, which is more realistic looking for "hamburger buns".
3. After cupcakes have fully cooled, slice the yellow cupcakes in half, and the chocolate cupcakes right under the top. (Reserve the chocolate tops for future snacking...we froze ours!)
4. Place the bottom yellow cupcake on a plate or platter, then top with chocolate cupcake bottom.
5. Coloring some frosting with yellow (for mustard) and some with red (for ketchup). Tint the shredded coconut with green coloring for lettuce.
6. Using a piping bag, ring the top outside of the chocolate cupcake with "mustard" and "ketchup", then add the "lettuce"
7. Place the yellow cupcake on the condiments and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds!

Use whatever box cake mixes you like. You can add other "toppings" - perhaps candy apple rings chopped for relish, or some rolled and cut fondant for cheese or tomatoes. You could even add a frilly toothpick to keep your burger together when serving! My kids were a little skeptical about the sesame seeds, but you add just a few, and they said they couldn't even taste them! The sesame seeds really do add a lot to the realism of the hamburger! If you want to make a giant hamburger, just use 8 or 9 inch cake pans and use the same ideas for decorating!