Quickie: Everything Bagel w/ Homemade Veggie Cream Cheese

I’m alive, I promise! I’ve had to take a temporary hiatus from blogging between computer issues & a much needed vacay. Thought I’d share some quick food love with you this great Friday in Spring. I fell in love with my chef’s veggie cream cheese at the Philly Mag Martini Madness event this past week at work. Man, I was thrilled there was some leftover to schmear on my toasted everything bagel this morn. I loved the ample cucumber & peppers (a few years ago you’d never hear that out of my mouth, or in my mouth for that matter) and it’s fresh veggie taste has me excited to start my garden this weekend.

Everything Bagel w/ Homemade Veggie Cream Cheese

Happy Spring, readers! I promise to be back in the swing soon with lots of amazing food love to share!

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VDay Sweet: Lemon Buttermilk Cake – Cream Cheese Icing & Lemon Curd Filling

I ❤ U Lemon Buttermilk Cake

I have a hard time following recipes. I prefer to peruse a few different versions and just go for it. That, obviously, is why I rarely bake. Since Dre made me a delicious breakfast in bed & an impressive dinner, I decided I’d whip up whatever flavor of cake the he wanted. I looked up a recipe for Lemon Cake & came across Martha Stewart’s Fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Cake. I carefully measured each ingredient & set up a mise en place to take a pic of them all…

Lemon Cake Ingredients

… and then I realized I had already ignored the first two instructions. I had mixed ALL the dry ingredient together, including the sugar. Thus, there would be no creaming of the butter & sugar and then no folding in the flour, baking powder, & salt. I couldn’t give up so I figured I’d see how things would turn out if I just went for it. I creamed just the butter in my stand mixer and added in the eggs, vanilla, & lemon zest.  I then folded in the dry mix & buttermilk for a smooth, lemony batter. After about 25 min in the oven, I had successfully baked one 9″ layer of my lemon cake (recipe or not!).

Lemon Cake Layer

While the second layer was baking, I made my first attempt at lemon curd from the Joy of Baking’s recipe. It was really easy and the perfect filling for my cake!

Lemon Curd Filling

While the lemon curd set in the fridge, I worked on a simple Cream Cheese Frosting. I whipped together (1) pkg of cream cheese & (1) stick of butter, both room temp. Once smooth, I added in powdered sugar, scraping the bowl & whipping to a smooth finish in my Cuisinart stand mixer.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

So in the end, persevering after a little mistake turned into a delicious lemon cake. It was moist with a dense crumb cake consistency. The tart lemon curd filling & sweet & creamy frosting blended for a perfect end to our Valentine’s Day!

I ❤ U

Vday Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Saturdays w/ Sarah: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes w/ Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope to make a habit of spending more time in the kitchen with my friend, Sarah. For our first session, we decided to bake something to start getting in the holiday spirit. We poured some vodka cocktails, played some Rummikub, and cracked open a Guinness for a batch of Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. We followed a simple Dave Lieberman recipe on my FrankenBerry.

The Ingredients + The Frankenberry

I measured out each ingredient as Sarah combined them. Nothing better than a batter from scratch!

Mixing Bowl

I like extra large muffin tops on my cupcakes so we filled the cups to the top. None of that 2/3 full business.

Batter cups

Cream Cheese Frosting seemed like a perfect topper to these cupcakes but I knew adding Brown Butter would make them even better. After a few samples, I packed up a plate of the oozy, sweet Chocolate Stout Cupcakes for Sarah to enjoy at home. Til the next Saturday…

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes To-Go