Friday, June 29, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini season is just about here, and I know I need all the zucchini recipes that I can get my hands on! I know this isn't the best picture, but these were really tasty!

Stuffed Zucchini 
(Original recipe on The recipe can be found here)

1 Tbsp sour cream
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
Mesquite seasoning
1/2 tomato
1 tsp thyme
2 zucchini's
1 onion

Optional: Bacon


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Give the zucchini a good scrub and then slice them in half lengthwise. You can trim the ends if you like. I didn't, I like them to stay whole. They hold together better.

Scoop out the zucchini guts and set aside. Leave about 1/2" of the flesh inside, or they will get pretty flimsy. 
Chop up the zucchini pulp, onion and half a tomato. The recipe uses the tomato more for the color than the flavor. If you use too much of the tomato, it might get a little too runny.

Saute the onions in about a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. When the onions are nearly finished, add the mesquite seasoning and cook everything for an additional 30 seconds. I would go easy on the seasoning, a little goes a long way. You can always add more! When they are done, transfer them to a big bowl. 

If you wanted to add bacon, cook that now in the pan you just used for the onions. If you would rather not, then just skip this step. The original blogger said she liked the crunch and saltiness that the bacon added.

Now add the remaining ingredients (minus the cheese) to the onions. 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream, a good pinch of pepper, the zucchini pulp, the tomato and crumble the bacon in if you cooked some.

Lightly butter or spray a baking dish and put the zucchini boats in the dish. Grab a spoon and fill the shells with the mixture. Sprinkle some cheese on top.

Put them in the preheated oven and give them about 20 minutes and then turn on the broiler until the cheese is golden brown. Sprinkle some parsley on top and you are done!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Sadly, a couple of weeks ago my hard drive crashed taking with it all of my email (which had a folder full of recipes!) and everything else I needed to work. Luckily, all of my photos were saved on my external hard drive! I just got it back up and running again, it needed a new hard drive, and it is much happier now! To celebrate, I thought I'd post a recipe for some DELICIOUS cupcakes! Seriously, if you like caramel, you will love these. They are amazing. They are a little time consuming, but well worth the effort!

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes
(original recipe can be found at

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer pans to wire racks and cool 10 minutes. Turn cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium high heat in large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps, but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside. 

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 

Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting. 

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