Lemon raspberry cupcakes 

Some days I just really want to make something, just anything and yesterday I decided I wanted to make some cupcakes. Let me start by saying I am NOT a baker. If anything I’m a non-baker, really because I suck at it. It’s kind of embarrassing but I don’t know the difference between baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch. (I’m still working on learning!) But I do know how to read and just follow instructions. So I made these cute little cupcakes. They’re lemon cupcakes with raspberry jam filling and lemon “meringue” frosting.

First let me tell you what you’ll need.

Ingredients for the cupcake: MAKES 24 CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of room temp. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, I didn’t measure this, just eye-balled it.
  • Raspberry jam

I KNOW IT’S A LOT BUT THEYRE WORTH IT.

Ingredients for the lemon “meringue frosting”

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt

Like with most recipes I mixed the dry ingredients for the cupcakes together, flour, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch, salt. Then all the wet ingredients. EXCEPT FOR THE RASPBERRY JAM, THAT’S AFTER THE CUPCAKES ARE COOKED!! The butter is supposed to be room temperature but I did put it into the microwave for just a little to get it softened. Then fold all the ingredients together.

You have to be careful of over mixing. You don’t need to get all of the bumps out of the mixture, just make sure you can’t obviously see chunks of butter or anything like that.

That’s the easy part.

I had these cute little left over pink ramekins so I just put about a spoonful of the mixture into each.

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I had my oven at 350 degrees and the cupcakes were in there for about 20 minutes or so, until they are lightly brown.

While the cupcakes were baking we started the frosting.

I have never made anything meringue, I don’t think I even ate a lemon meringue pie before. But I wanted to try something new.

For this part get a medium saucepan filled with water onto your stove top on medium-high heat. Get all your frosting ingredients into a bowl. Make sure you have an electric hand mixer ready, if not get a whisk and make sure your arm is ready for some intense whipping.

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This part takes a while and is tiring.

So while your beating the ingredients (on high)  your bowl should definitely be over the simmering water to help cook the egg whites and make your frosting fluff up. You’ll know when its done when it is able to peak just like your traditional lemon meringue pie does. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the peaks!) Probably about 5-10 minutes for this to happen.

When the cupcakes were done, I let them cool off before I decided to fill them with the raspberry jam.

I used just your ordinary apple corer (apple core remover) to take out some of the cupcake, then just put some jam into the hole and with the same cupcake that we took out place it on top so  the frosting and the jam doesn’t mix together.

This is very easy to do. You can do it with any cupcake and use any kind of filling you like.

Once the whole raspberry filling was done, just top it off with some frosting.

I did decided to top the cupcakes with just another thing.

In a bowl I took some more lemon zest, just about a couple drops of lemon juice and some sugar to make sugared lemon zest. It tastes just like a lemon head but a lot better.

After I frosted the cupcakes I just put a little bit of the sugared lemon zest on top. You don’t have to do this, I just did it to give the cupcakes a little bit more lemon flavor.

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They were really good and I was proud of myself. I was quite surprised that I didn’t burn them, didn’t mix them right and EXTREMELY surprised that the lemon meringue frosting came out edible.

I hope you guys try this, cupcakes are great for every occasion and every day.

Let me know what you guys think! I’d love to hear some feedback.

Have a great Monday and a beautiful week,

Love,

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Blueberry Crumble

So one of my good friends (Kat) A Sample of Alex texted yesterday asking if I’ve ever made a blueberry crumble and I haven’t (Or at least I can’t remember ever making one). She told me I should make one or some blueberry pancakes. I was confused, it was out of the blue (haha) that she’s telling me to make some blueberry thing and she told me I needed to update my blog, and well she was right. So thank you Kat!

Anyway, I made this pretty cool crumble that I actually really like.

Just so you guys know, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, rarely do I crave sweets. I’m more of a savory girl. So this dish is not super sweet, of course you guys can fix the recipe to your liking but I’ll tell you guys how my crumble went.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
    • You can use any kind of nuts, I only had walnuts. But almonds would probably be incredible in this.
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  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 of maple syrup + honey
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 pint of blueberries
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  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
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This is probably is one of the easiest, if not the easiest dish I’ve ever made.

Step 1: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Coat your pan with coconut oil.

Step 3: Put your blueberries and lemon juice into pan.

Step 4: Mix all your other ingredients in a bowl and place on top of the blueberries.

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Step 5: Place in oven.

And after about 25-30 minutes it’ll be done!

I scooped myself a spoonful and drizzled some extra maple syrup over it.

It was nice, light and refreshing.

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If you guys try this out let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear all about it!

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

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Healthy Lemon Bars

When my grandmother would come visit when I was younger she would bring tons of cookies from her little Italian cookies to fudges to lemon bars. They were absolutely heaven. Sometimes during the holidays she would mail us tons of cookies and let me tell you, they did not last. For most of us, grandmothers cooking is always the best and nothing could compare. (I hope one day my grandchild feel the same about my cooking)

I decided to give lemon bars a try. I googled and looked over tons of recipes for lemon bars and it’s really simple but honestly it’s sugar on sugar on sugar. It’s like I couldn’t escape it. The closest thing to a non super sugary recipe I found was this “paleo” lemon bar thing and it just wasn’t what I wanted. Finally I decided to pick and choose ingredients that I wanted to use. Disclaimer: Unfortunately these are not your grandmothers lemon bars.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 2 cups of ground oats (I used my nutri-bullet to ground them)
  • 1/2 the amount of zest from those same lemons
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • The rest of your lemon zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of ground oats
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice (About 3-4 lemons)

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-Preheat oven to 350 degrees-

To start I grounded my oats in the nutri-bullet, it look only about 5 seconds. In my blender I added all my crust ingredients and blended it on low. Then I placed it on my pan, padded it down and placed it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool it down.

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While the crust was cooling I decided to make my filling. Literally it’s just placing all the ingredients in the blender and mixing it. But I always have a problem with over mixing so I put the blender on low and slowly add in the eggs.

Once the 10 minutes of cooling down is over for the crust, I placed the crust in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is lightly brown.

After the crust was done, I placed it back into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool down before I placed the filling on it. The filling has eggs in it and I did not want to risk possibly cooking the filling by putting it on the crust as soon as it came out of the oven.

Once it was cooled down I placed the filling on it and popped it into the oven. It took probably only 15 minutes, at most, to be ready. After it was done, I took it out to cool. The last step is to powder confectioners sugar over it and it needs to be cool or else the sugar would melt.

All you need is patience.

Once it was finally cooled down I powdered the sugar over it and I swear using this sugar on anything seriously transforms it.

Despite them not being the traditional lemon bar, they were good and I am actually very proud of them.

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I hope you guys can try these out and if you guys have any comments or questions let me know!

Hope you guys have a great Friday afternoon,

-Love Nicole ❤

DIY Easy Facial Scrub

Keeping your face fresh and clean shouldn’t have to be a hassle nor should it be expensive. Buying these expensive facial products are honestly just a waste of money. All you need is a little patience and some creativity. When you find out what the problem is with your face (oily, dry, too much acne, etc) then you can find out what is needed for your face. My face can get dry every so often so I moisturize with coconut oil. I have mentioned in my previous post that I do a weekly face mask with the Indian Healing Clay that is made of Bentonite clay and it is seriously perfect. But I do some other things as well. This post is going to be dedicated to a simple facial scrub.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of Honey
  • 1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • Juice of 1/4 Lemon

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It’s really simple, you just mix them in a bowl and scrub it on your face for about 5 minutes. You’ll feel the honey moisturize your face and the brown sugar scrub the dirt and oil away. It honestly feels better than the facial products you buy in the store (at least for me). After this I rinse with cold water and I pat my face dry then after a couple of minutes I moisturize with coconut oil.

It’s so simple and takes just a couple minutes of your time. I hope you guys like this and if you do anything else I’d love to hear about it, so share!

Have a great Friday

Must have items!

Over the past several weeks, I have fell in love with a few products:

  •  Coconut Oil
  •  Lemon
  •  Apple Cider Vinegar
  •  Baking Soda
  •  Indian Healing Clay
  •  Ezekiel Bread

Coconut Oil:

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Coconut oil is literally like manna from heaven. This product is probably my absolute favorite. I use it to:

  •  Moisturize my hair and my dogs fur
  •  Oil pulling
  •  Cook with
  •  Moisturize my skin

I haven’t been oil pulling for very long but despite the weird feeling it gives me I have been trying to stick it out and continue. I take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around my mouth for about 20 minutes and then spit it out into the garbage. After I brush my teeth like normal. I have been doing this morning and night for about a week and it feels great. My teeth and mouth feel a lot cleaner. I’m going to continue doing this so I’ll let you guys know what happens.

Oil pulling is said to whiten your teeth, eliminate bad breath and prevent diseases in your gums. It is also said to benefits things other than your mouth such as, reduce congestion, relieve headaches, reduce redness in joints and helps to promote better sleep patterns.

I do not know how true all this information is but it’s kind of interesting.

Everything coconut is pretty much good for you, such as coconut sugar. It’s a lot healthier than regular sugar and can be used just the same!

Lemon:

lemon

Second to coconut oil, lemon is like manna from heavens cousin. I use lemon for various things. I drink warm water throughout the day and I put a little lemon juice in the water. (Also warm water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper) I clean my face probably around 3 days a week with lemon and honey. I have been eating watermelon a lot lately and I put lemon juice on the watermelon chunks and let me tell you! It is amazing, I would have never guessed. You must try it.

Benefits:

Lemon with warm water helps to detox the body

Helps in digestion

Prevents acne and wrinkles

Maintains body pH levels

Apple cider vinegar:

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This vinegar is a little sweeter than your average white vinegar. I use this vinegar to clean my face as well. I have heard that it is good to drink a teaspoon of this vinegar once a day. I have not tried doing this but I think it would be beneficial. I use this vinegar for salad dressing as well. I have completely stopped using salad dressings such as Italian, and Ranch. And I use apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Seriously it is so much better than those dressings that completely mask the flavors of the vegetables.

I also use this vinegar with two other items on my list!

Benefits:

Lowers blood sugar levels

Help with weight loss

Help with sore throats (Gargle the vinegar with warm water)

And gives you an energy boost!

Baking Soda:

Baking soda doesn’t just have to be for baking. I use this item with my apple cider vinegar and use it for shampoo and conditioner. I know that might sound a little weird but it is actually refreshing. (I got this from a coworker, thanks Jason <3)

So I get two cups and I just put a little bit of vinegar in one and a little bit of the baking soda in another and take it with me to the shower. When I’m ready to wash my hair I take the baking soda cup and fill it half way with water. and then I pour it all over my hair focusing primarily on my scalp. Then I massage my scalp. After a little while I rise that out of my hair with cold water. Then I do the same with the vinegar. You have to make sure you rinse your hair out good though so you don’t end up smelling like vinegar the whole day. But it makes my hair feel smoother and cleaner since it doesn’t have all the chemicals that regular shampoo and conditioner has.

Keep in mind this is not supposed to be used everyday. Since overusing this might strip your hair of its natural oils. I only use it when my hair needs some revitalization and a break from all kinds of products. And with certain hair types it might leave your hair dry. That’s why I focus on my scalp when I’m washing with these items. After I clean my hair with this I moisturize with coconut oil so my hair isn’t so dry.

Baking soda is also great for brushing your teeth. A while ago I tried making my own toothpaste, I kind of failed but I still use it because its so simple to make.

It is just coconut oil, mint essential oil and baking soda.

You can use baking soda for insect bites as well and as a natural deodorant ( my next project).

Indian Healing clay:

clay

This God-given product that you can get from whole foods has done wonders for my face.

I try to use it once a week or just whenever my face needs it.

I take about a tablespoon of the product and add it with apple cider vinegar. Then I spread it all over my face and wait about 20 minutes for it to dry. You can feel your skin pulsate and tighten. I rinse it off with cold water and it leaves my face red (which lasts for about 15 minutes) but it is like a new face, so fresh and clean.

This product is made of bentonite clay which is referred to as Aztec magic.

This clay helps to get your cells more oxygen and be able to breathe.

It relieves digestion problems.

Improves the health of teeth and mouth

It can also be used as an alternative to baby powder!

Ezekiel bread:

Aka the Bible bread. I love bread, I will eat bread all day and night and that’s kind of a problem for me. Because of my love for bread I have been trying alternatives, such as wraps made from rice and things of that nature but this Ezekiel bread is perfect. To be honest it took me a little to get used to this bread. It is not like other bread. They do not have flour, it is organic, it is made out of 6 different grains and legumes and it tastes great. I’ll typically eat the bread like toast with coconut oil on it. It’s amazing. They have different flavors but my favorite is the sprouted grain. Give this bread a chance and you’ll love it too.

These items are not that hard to get and have multiple uses so it saves money and time!

Happy Saturday ❤