Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

In England, strawberries and cream are a summer staple. Whether sitting in the stands at Wimbledon or making the most of the small amount of British summer sunshine, strawberries & cream will probably be there.

I put my own little spin on traditional strawberries & cream and turned it into a fluffy cupcake.

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These are so, so super easy to make and the taste pretty darn great too.

A few chopped strawberries and a little cream in a vanilla cupcake batter, topped with homemade whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

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YUM.

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Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes:
Makes 18 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Topping: 

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Strawberries, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, to butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in flour mixture, then gently add chopped strawberries and cream.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For topping, whip cream until soft peaks form. Scoop onto cupcakes and top with strawberry slices.

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

Last night was pizza night at my house.

Of course, we had my asparagus, mushrooms & red onion pizza, but my brother requested that we also have a BBQ chicken pizza, so I came up with this little guy.

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Green onions, red onion, barbecue chicken, and two kinds of cheese. Yum.

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You can make your own pizza dough or buy it (I recommend Trader Joe’s). I would just make sure you go for a basic, plain pizza dough so the barbecue flavours can shine through.

Speaking of barbecue, I think Stubb’s BBQ sauce works perfectly with this pizza — it’s got a little kick to it, but isn’t overwhelming and is the perfect complement to the other pizza toppings. {Just be careful when you’re shaking it to make sure the lid is on tightly. Otherwise it’ll end up all over your kitchen :)}

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This pizza is really fast and easy to make. I like to stir-fry the chicken before I throw it on the pizza, but other than that all it takes is rolling out the dough, adding the toppings and throwing it in the oven. Piece of cake (pizza)!

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BBQ Chicken Pizza: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade pizza dough (or 1 bag prepared dough)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. Stubb’s BBQ sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Stir fry chicken until browned. Toss with the 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce.
  3. Roll out pizza dough to desired size and shape. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spread 1/3 cup BBQ sauce over dough, sprinkle over some of the cheddar cheese. Combine remaining cheddar & mozzarella and set aside.
  4. Top pizza with green onions, red onion and BBQ chicken. Sprinkle cheddar & mozzarella over the pizza.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and edges are lightly browned.

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Wedding Rehearsal Catering

To say the last week was busy would be quite the understatement.

I had class Monday & Tuesday, spent Wednesday and Thursday cooking/catering a wedding rehearsal and had class Friday morning. I was exhausted when I got home on Friday, but the whole week went so well I wouldn’t change it for anything.

If you remember back in June I had my very first catering job – a retirement party for one of my high school teachers. At the same time I was approached about catering that, they asked if I would also be interested in catering a wedding rehearsal for their son and his fiancee.

Of course I said yes.

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With the proud parents!

The theme for the evening was Greek food. Other than the food I did for the retirement party and my new obsession with chicken souvlaki, I’d never really made Greek food before. Fortunately, I was armed with plenty of recipes from little old Greek ladies and with a whole lot of help from my friend, Taylor, and a practice run, I got to work.

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Tall twins do catering!

We prepared all of the food at Taylor’s apartment, and it was basically non-stop cooking for two days.

I got to Taylor’s at 11:45 on Wednesday, we started cooking at noon, took a 30 minute break for some tea (honey tulsi chai — yum!) & about an hour for dinner, and finally called it quits for the day at 1:30am after making 160 melomakarona (honey cookies), two pans of baklava, two batches or tiropita (cheese triangles), two lots of karidopita (walnut cake) and marinating the chicken for the souvlaki (we did 12x the original recipe!!).

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We set our alarms for 7am and started cooking as soon as they went off. I got to work on the two batches of spanakopita, while Taylor diligently chopped all of the vegetables and prepared the dressing for the village salad. We stopped for a few minutes to pick up some much needed coffee, then headed back to finish with the Greek spaghetti and chicken souvlaki.

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By the time all of the food was done and we had loaded my car up with all of the food – about 1:30, it was off to set up for the rehearsal dinner.

Once we were there, it was mostly a matter of plating everything, finishing off the Greek spaghetti to warm it up for serving, and making sure everything was ready for when people were expected to arrive around 5:00.

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

Tiropita

Tiropita

Village Salad

Village Salad

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Karidopita

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Melomakarona

Baklava

Baklava

Fortunately, the whole event went really smoothly. Taylor and I got lots of compliments on the food and we quite literally couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces.

Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. There was lots of laughter, conversation, and celebrating. Taylor and I both feel truly blessed to have been able to be part of this special day for such a wonderful family. We now feel like honorary Greeks and couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.

Thanks to Michael and Mary for allowing us to be part of this special moment and congratulations to Justin and Amy!