Rainbow Confection

This is a cooking blog!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Something about it being springtime made me really want to bake something with strawberries. We had a couple of beautiful days last week, but it was too good to be true, and it has been raining a ton this weekend. As a result, I thought today would be a good day to hole up in the kitchen for a couple of hours to try this recipe out. 

The frosting is AMAZING. I haven’t made a cream cheese frosting before that incorporated heavy cream, but I was intrigued by its promises of being good for piping as the cream cheese frosting recipes I’ve tried in the past don’t hold their shape that well. Not only does this hold its shape for piping, but it is very light and delicious. This recipe is absolutely one to keep. 

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

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My wonderful sister sent me this recipe about 6 months ago, so it has been on my “to-try” list for ages. I already have the perfect snickerdoodle recipe in my repertoire, but that one doesn’t include the cream of tartar that most snickerdoodles use, and obviously it doesn’t have the magical carmel-center surprise that this one sports. Additionally, brown butter kicks almost everything up a notch. 

If I were to do this any differently, I might consider just halving the caramel cubes (instead of quartering) so that there is a bit more of the gooey caramel center. But, as the recipe stands, you still get a nice hunk of caramel in the middle. 

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Dairy-Free Chocolate Milkshake

Unfortunately, I’m a little bit lactose intolerant. It’s not a big deal with small amounts of dairy, but chugging down a delicious milkshake or digging in to a huge bowl of ice cream just aren’t great ideas for me. Because of this, if I have a milkshake craving, my best option is to make one at home!

In the last few years, I discovered the most delicious alternative to dairy ice cream - SO Delicious Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert. My favorite is the chocolate. It is very very similar to regular ice cream. In fact, I think it is even creamier, and there is a very subtle hint of coconut flavor. I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything flavor or texture-wise when I get a pint of this instead of ice cream; the only real negative is the cost. 

I also love these individual serving sized almond milk containers. 95% of the time I drink water with my meals, but every once in a while a cold glass of chocolate milk really hits the spot. If you get the larger containers, they are only supposed to be good for a week after opening, which is why these single serves are much better suited for someone who drinks it infrequently.

I hate to post a recipe with such very specific ingredients, but sometimes you just get into the habit of avoiding things you shouldn’t eat rather than looking for modified recipes (I mean, a milk-free milkshake is a bit counter-intuitive). I hope that I can introduce more people to this dairy-free “ice cream.”

(As a side note, I don’t think the chocolate chips pictures and used in the recipe are actually dairy-free, but my lactose-intolerance is very mild. If you have a severe allergy, I’m sure you know to look at the labeling of everything you eat.)

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Biscuits and Gravy

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The delicious biscuits are making a reprise! Ok, my sister already informed me about how non-appetizing the above picture is, but it’s just really hard to make sausage gravy look not-gross in a picture.

This recipe is great for breakfast. Pair it with this buttermilk biscuit recipe, and you’re golden. 

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Buttermilk Biscuits

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Biscuits are surprisingly easy to make! It’s almost as easy to whip these guys up as it is to pop open one of those Pillsbury pre-made biscuit containers. 

The only thing you might not have on-hand is the buttermilk (which, granted, is pretty important for buttermilk biscuits). Unfortunately, every time I need to buy buttermilk, it is always stuck in the back-section of the top shelf of the refrigerated case. Since I’m so short, I need to spend a couple of minutes hovering near the milk-products until a friendly looking tall person comes by so I can request their assistance. Every time. Anyways, if you’re of average height or taller, just grab your buttermilk and stir up some biscuits!

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Chocolate Popcorn

Since I was thinking about both popcorn and Valentine’s day this week, I was inspired to use up some of my seasonal sprinkles to make a festive snack. 

This is a great snack for any holiday considering the fact that their festive-ness is based on the type of sprinkles you top them with. I bet this would even be extra cute with regular rainbow jimmies. 

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Old Bay Popcorn

What better to do during the Portland “Snowpocalypse” than watch movies inside? Personally, I re-watched the first couple seasons of Game of Thrones. Since I’ve already seen it, I don’t mind wandering around and doing other things while it is on.

I did make the dog go out in the snow much more frequently than me, and I was not sympathetic enough to his plight to join him on a walk. Feeling a tiny bit of his pain, I shared some of this delicious popcorn with him. We like to work on this trick where I throw food at his face, and he doesn’t even try to catch it; it just hits him in the face. Then he searches for it on the floor. (I swear, he’s a smart dog. He just doesn’t have great reflexes.)

Anyways, if you aren’t a Maryland-er, you might not have Old Bay tucked in your pantry already, but I would highly recommend that you pick it up the next time you are in the store. It is delicious on everything (especially crabs), and you can find it everywhere now (I’ve seen it in both OR and CA grocery stores). 

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Tres Leches Rice Pudding

Starting Thursday afternoon it started snowing. It was beyond freezing outside, so it stuck immediately. A couples of hours later, the roads were super snowy, and it took me about 45 minutes to get home from work on a drive that usually takes 15. 

Since then, it has been snowing, and stopping, and snowing, and stopping over and over again, and I think it will still be a day or two until we have seen the last of it. 

As a result - I have plenty of time for kitchen-y things. Bonus: using the stove or oven makes the downstairs even toastier. 

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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes - Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

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I’m back from my hiatus in blogging just in time for the next holiday!

I was inspired by seeing the giant displays of conversation hearts at the grocery store, and I knew that they would make perfect cupcake toppers. 

My coworkers and I discovered that these conversations hearts included the following gem: “1 4 3” (text speak: 1 = I, 4 = love, and 3 = you). I had to actually look it up on Urban Dictionary, and this made me feel super old and out of touch with “kids these days” at the terribly old age of 25.  

These chocolate cupcakes are really moist and delicious - I’m definitely going to use this recipe again. If you’re planning on making some cupcakes for a special someone for Valentine’s day, these would be a hit!

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Buttermilk Waffles

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I love breakfast for dinner! Tonight I just threw these together, sizzled up some sausage, and chowed down on a quick, warm meal.

I’m trying to branch on in my waffle-y pursuits. Yeah, it is really easy to grab the “just add water, oil and eggs!” box from the pantry, but these homemade waffles are just too amazing to go crawling back to easy so soon. You’re going to get a solidly good waffle from the box mix, but homemade just has a certain oomph, and it’s not that much harder to throw the ingredients together (as long as you make sure you have some buttermilk lying around). 

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