everyday food made simple

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It’s been about a week since the new iPhone 6 launch – did you upgrade to the new phone? Did you decide on a 6 or 6 Plus? Or are you one of those silly Android lovers that are super anti-Apple?

I myself, being a huge Apple fanatic, just had to get the new iPhone. And of course I had to have it on launch day. I just couldn’t bear the idea of seeing everyone else posting pictures of their new phone and reading all about how awesome the new phone is without having one in my hand.

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So first thing in the morning on September 12th, we waited for almost an hour and pre-ordered our iPhone 6s at the AT&T store. Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic when I heard the FedEx truck pull up to our door last Friday, delivering a little brown box with our brand new phones carefully tucked in it. Other than the fact that my phone now doesn’t fit in my scrub pants pocket or my wallet, I’m in love with everything else about it – the screen is larger, but not too large to where it doesn’t fit in my hand. It’s slim, sleek, and lightweight all at the same time. The camera is amazing and the retina display is incredible.

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Don’t worry, even if you are an Android user, we can still be friends… I promise.

However, if you’re not into snickerdoodles, I’m not sure if we can be friends anymore.

Okay, I’m totally kidding. We can still be friends, and I will totally force these snickerdoodle cupcakes on you, which I’m sure you’ll totally change your mind about snickerdoodles in general.

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These cupcakes are a cinnamon lover’s dream – there’s so much cinnamon put into it! There’s cinnamon added into the batter, then a generous layer of cinnamon sugar sprinkled in between the batter, and two whole tablespoons of it in the frosting! Yep, you read that right: two tablespoons of cinnamon. Or if you’re like me, my two tablespoons sort of turned into two heaping tablespoons of it…

Because: “it’s too cinnamon-y”, said no one ever.

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And to make these cupcakes even more adorable, I made them into “minis” – because everything is cuter when they’re minis, right?

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Disclaimer: this food blog will not be responsible for how many cupcakes you end up eating in one sitting.

And because the batter yielded 40+ mini cupcakes, I brought some to work to share, and EVERYONE loooooooved it. Loved it, as in “these may be the best cupcakes you’ve brought so far”.

Must be rough being a food blogger’s coworker..

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mini snickerdoodle cupcakes with cinnamon frosting
Print
For the cupcakes
  1. 1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  6. 1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
  7. 1 large egg, at room temperature
  8. 1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  9. 3/4 cup skim milk
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  11. 2 rounded teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the frosting
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 3 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. A pinch of salt
  6. 1.5-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk in 1 cup of granulated sugar into the melted butter, then stir in the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until there are no more lumps in the batter.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the ground cinnamon and the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Set aside.
  5. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the batter into the bottom of each of the cupcake liner, just enough to cover the bottom. Top with about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Top with more batter, filling each well about 3/4 full, then top each mini cupcake with a generous sprinkle of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for about 13 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes onto a wired cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting: using an electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the speed to "high" and beat for 3-4 minutes. Add more powdered sugar/cream until you reach the desired consistency. Add in the ground cinnamon and beat until combined. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with your favorite piping tip. Dust the tops with the the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture if desired. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  8. Makes 40-42 mini cupcakes
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
SIMPLE EVERYDAY FOOD http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Lets be real here: no one is sadder about summer ending than I am. But as we welcome the cooler weather, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes, apple season, delicious-smelling candles and soaps from Bath and Body Works, I feel like I should give summer the proper send-off by reflecting all the fun we had the past few months..

There was a lot of iced coffee involved…

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When I wasn’t working or baking/cooking and overdosing myself on caffeine, I was inseparable with my Kindle. I felt like was a nerd, and I was okay with it. I don’t think I’ve read so many books in so little time in my life. Here’s a glimpse of what I read this summer – out of all the ones I read, I think Dark Places and Labor Day were my favorite.

I read The Fault In Our Stars just to see what the fuss was about, and I thought it was just okay. I didn’t cry like a lot of people did… does that make me insensitive? I thought it was sad, but not sad enough to cry (books don’t make me cry much in general).

I’m currently reading The Book Thief and I’m liking it so far. I have Brain On Fire and Abducted next on my list, along with 43 other books on my Amazon wish list…

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I feel like there’s always a “theme” to my summers. Last year was the Summer of Homemade Drinks. This year was the Summer of Homemade Frozen Treats. Ice cream, custard, popsicles were my summer anthems.

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We also made s’mores. Lots and lots of s’mores. Especially peanut butter s’mores. Amazeballs, I tell ya (I’m a little ashamed I just actually typed that word).

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And grilled. A lot. Brian also bought a smoker, which he loved using.. and I loved eating everything that came off of it.

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We took a little road trip up to Brainerd one weekend for a biking trip (the Paul Bunyan Trail it totally worth checking out). It was a pretty successful trip, if you don’t count the fact that I ended up wrecking my bike by falling on it. I didn’t fall while riding on my bike… I literally fell onto my bike while walking it back to the hotel. My knees were cut up and bruised in the shape of the spokes and my wheel was totally bent from my entire body landing on top of it. It was quite embarrassing, but I was more sad about breaking my bike and having to spend money to fix it.

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Nothing a little bit of good food, chocolate, and ice cream can’t fix though.

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And of course, you can’t forget the Minnesota State Fair that officially marks the end of summer.

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As much as I love digging out those fall boots and hoodies from the closet, a little piece of me cried inside when I had to wear a long sleeve shirt underneath my scrubs the other day.. and I already caved and bought my first pumpkin drink of the season (I suck at resisting peer pressure).

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© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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Ever since I was little, I hated sharing food. This doesn’t mean I don’t like sharing food that I make (it’s quite the opposite, actually); I just simply hated sharing whatever food I had on my plate. If it’s on my plate, more often than not I would really prefer not to share it.

Let me give you an example: Back in elementary school, whenever my dad would take us to McDonald’s as a rare treat, he would always finish his meal first and patient watch us eat. Occasionally he would reach across the table and steal a few fries off my tray. Me being the selfish potato-loving child as I was, would always whine and tell him that it was mine and he wasn’t allowed to eat my fries. My poor father, who is always so accommodating and patient with us, would always just laugh and apologize, despite the fact he just spent his hard-earned money to take us out for a treat.

I can always laugh about it and refer back to a particular FRIENDS episode, which coincidentally also involved french fries.

I knew Joey had always been my favorite for a reason……

One good thing about these meringue cookies is that it makes so many that you won’t feel bad about sharing them!

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After failing three miserable times trying to make meringue cookies in the past, I have finally picked up a few tips and tricks:

  1. Don’t cut corners. You may think using just egg whites is a waste of egg yolks, and decide to buy some “egg whites in a carton” at the store – DON’T. This may or may not have happened during one of my failed attempts…
  2. Be patient. Let the egg whites thoroughly come to room temperature. Find something to distract yourself, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, cleaning, running errands, or enjoying the nice weather outside.
  3. Warm your mixing bowl and whisk right before you start beating the egg whites. I actually turned on our fireplace and stuck the mixing bowl right in front of it until it was warm to the touch – it worked really well!
  4. If you’re adding things to your meringue batter (in this case, mini chocolate chips), make sure the mix-ins are small enough to go through your decorative piping tips. I initially had the perfect idea of using the star tip for these to make them into cute little pretty shapes, but realized that the chocolate chips were clogging the tips and had to dump all my batter out, switch tips on my piping bag, and then start all over..

Bake these babies low and slow in the oven. Once the cooking time is up, turn the oven off and let the meringue cookies sit in the oven to cool overnight. They’ll turn nice and melt-in-your-mouth-crispy the next morning. Another thing I learned was to store these in a cool, dry place – if the temperature is too warm, they actually start to get a little sticky.

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So go make a batch of these! They’re simple to make, but they look (and sound) fancy, and your friends will think you’re amazing for making these yummy delicate treats. And there will be more than plenty to go around for everyone :)

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mint chocolate chip meringue cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
  6. ~7 drops of green food coloring (more or less depending on how green you want your meringues to be)
  7. 1/3 cups mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Let egg whites come to room temperature and make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are just slightly warmer than room temperature (I placed mine in front of the fireplace for a few minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed until soft peaks form*.
  4. Add in the sugar, about one tablespoon at a time, beating continuously until stiff peaks form**.
  5. Beat in the mint extract and green food coloring. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a large round open tip. Pipe meringues about 1" apart and bake for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the closed oven overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Notes
  1. *Soft peaks = tips curl when you lift the whisk straight up
  2. **Stiff peaks = tips stand straight up when you lift the whisk straight up
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
SIMPLE EVERYDAY FOOD http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

I am determined to make as many lemon-flavored recipes as I can before the summer ends. In case you missed it, here are some of the “summery” recipes I have made within the past 3 months:

overnight blueberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze

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lemon poppy seed loaf cake

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lemon gooey bars

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And now I present to you: lemon poppy seed muffins!

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My breakfast eating habits seem to go in phases. I tend to eat a lot of the similar things for breakfast weeks in a row, then I’ll get sick of it, move on to something else, and eat that for a few weeks until I get sick of that and find something else to obsess over. A few weeks ago, I was eating breakfast burritos every morning like they were going out of style, then it was smoothies.

Lately, it’s been muffins. Specifically, homemade muffins.

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These muffins are not only delicious and require no fancy electric mixer, but they also freeze very well, meaning that you can make them in huge batches, freeze them, and reheat them in the mornings when you’re rushing out the door. What I have been doing is taking a few out to thaw out in the fridge overnight, then heating them up in the microwave the next morning.

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Reheating them doesn’t take away any of the textures of flavors! The insides remain moist while the muffin tops remain crunchy thanks to the sparkling sugar topping (the best part of a muffin!). Every bite is is citrusy and lemony, while the earthy poppy seeds pop in your mouth. The different textures create a delicate balance, like a well-rehearsed dance in your mouth… are you salivating yet?

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One thing to note before making these is to make sure everything is at room temperature. Make sure your melted butter is not scorching hot and has cooled down prior to adding the eggs – unless you’re a fan of scrambled eggs in your lemon poppy seed muffins…. the batter will also be pretty thick, so roll up your sleeve and use those muscles! BUT – do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense and dry and not as tasty.

Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full and generously sprinkle the tops with some sparkling sugar. If you do decide to freeze them, throw them in the microwave and heat until the insides are completely heated through prior to serving.

lemon poppy seed muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  2. Zest and juice of 1 lemon, separated
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  8. 2 eggs, at room temperature
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  11. 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  12. sparkling sugar, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until fragrant (or until the sugar granules are moist). Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk the Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and melted butter together. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX (the batter will be thick). Gently stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with sparkling sugar, if desired.
  4. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops are just starting to brown, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing them onto a wired cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature, or frozen to be eaten at a later date.
  6. Yield ~15 muffins
Notes
  1. If reheating the frozen muffins, each microwave is different so the time it takes to reheat may differ.
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
SIMPLE EVERYDAY FOOD http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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I’m not sure when my addiction to coffee began. Just a few years ago, coffee was a treat to myself every month. Now the smell of coffee invigorates my soul and awakens my foggy brain every morning at 4:30. And somewhere along the way, it became a necessity to start my day.

I became one of those “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” kind of people.

I used to laugh at Brian when he would complain about getting caffeine headaches, but it wasn’t until I got my first caffeine headache did I realize it was “a real thing”, and oh man I will never think of “having a caffeine headache” as a joke anymore. It’s serious business, folks.

Prior to my coffee addiction, chai tea lattes used to be my drink of choice when I would visit coffee shops. The combination of the tea, the spices and the creaminess of it was enough to keep me awake and going for the rest of the day. Now that my caffeine tolerance has gone up significantly ever since I entered the “real world”, a chai tea latte is only enough for an afternoon pick-me-up.

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So today I’ve made you the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for a hot day – chai tea latte popsicles! Only two ingredients needed and there’s really not a whole lot of science involved to make these… and they’re so fun to eat on a hot summer afternoon! I’ve been going to the freezer and having one of these every day after work. Whether or not the small amount of caffeine in it actually does anything to me, I don’t know; but at least my mind thinks I’m feeding it caffeine to last me a few more hours before bedtime.

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chai latte popsicles
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chai tea concentrate (I used the Tazo brand)
  2. 1 cup skim milk
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl (preferably with a pour spout), combine the chai tea concentrate and the milk.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about a 1/4-1/2" space from the top to give the popsicles room to expand when frozen.
  3. Freeze for an hour, then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze until frozen.
  4. Makes 10 popsicles
Notes
  1. To remove the popsicles from the molds, run warm water over the outside of the molds for ~30 seconds. Pull the popsicles straight up out of the molds - don't try to wiggle them out. Store in a separate container in the freezer.
SIMPLE EVERYDAY FOOD http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.