Scrumptious Gluten Free Coconut-Vanilla Cupcakes

vancupI had a hankering for something sweet, but not chocolate.  I know, right?  I must have lost my mind…no chocolate?!  Banish the thought!  But there I was, in the middle of my kitchen, my tastebuds fully in control of my brain – desiring something a bit sweet, definitely fluffy (which ruled out cookies or brownies), and it had to be light (not dark, gooey, and decadent as per usual).

Cupcakes…Vanilla Cupcakes…fluffy little sweet pillows from heaven.  Then I was looking through my recipes (yes, I still keep recipes from days long gone – just in case.  In case of what I don’t know.  The internet blows up?  Who knows.)

I stumbled upon an old recipe my sweet grandma used to use when I was a wee widdle one.  Of course it called for regular flour and cows milk – both easily “fixable”.  And lots of sugar – another pretty easy fix (reduce, reduce, reduce).

Voila! My tastebuds were dancing with anticipation as if the lottery numbers were being read, and each was a match to the ticket I held in my hand.

Continue reading

These are delicious, moist, well-crumbed cupcakes, that fluff up like magic for any type of frosting delicacy that you’d like.  (I didn’t frost mine tonight – I know, right?  Shame on me!)  But they’re so delicious, that if you want something sweet, but not cra-cra over the top sweet, they’ll fit the bill perfectly.  If you want them really sweet, add more sugar to the batter, or frost them to your heart’s delight (and you can even fill them!)

Makes 10-12, depending on how much batter you pour into each cupcake liner.

 

Prep:

  • Melt the butter and let it come back to room  temperature.
  • Get eggs out to come to room temperature.
  • Measure Coconut Milk and let come to room temperature.
  • Line cupcake pan with liners.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or if you prefer, preheat oven to 325 and cook the cupcakes a bit longer than called for here)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour (I recommend using a mix that already has the Xanthum Gum added to it)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (reduce this if you’re using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), preferably unsalted, melted and at room temp
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar instead, or you can use more sugar if you’d like the cupcakes to be sweeter.  You can use alternative sweeteners, if you prefer – though check conversion  measurements)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure Vanilla Extract (use gf if you have gluten sensitivities)
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Milk at room temperature

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together gf flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter with sugar until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. With the mixer running, add the beaten eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, mixing 30 seconds after each addition.
  4. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Then add half the milk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Mix until just combined and smooth (don’t overmix), scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. The batter should be thin.
  5. Pour batter into the lined cupcake pan. Fill each to about ½ full.
  6. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took just under 14 minutes)
  7. Remove from oven, let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.
  8. They’re done and ready to dive into unless you want to frost them.  Let them cool to room temp before frosting so your frosting doesn’t run down the sides.

 

What frosting would you choose for these?  Leave your comments below, and thanks for reading!

 

 

My Sweet Friend

SukiMy Sweet Friend

Although what we’ve shared, and from where we’ve come, only you and I know.

You’ve touched so many, with your warm, smiling, and ever-glowing Soul.

Your sweet, playful Being you shared so deeply with me,

Your hopes, your joys, your love unconditionally.

When I was away, you would sit and patiently wait,

For me to return, so we could once again play.

Throughout our travels and adventures together,

You bounced and bounded along, light as a feather.

Your entrance to this life was by no means easy,

Though I’ll always smile

Watching you become trusting and carefree.

A wag of your tail, your chir of contentment,

Surely this is what is meant by everlasting Heaven.

My Companion, my Healer, and Beloved Meeter-Greeter,

Our caring and love for one another couldn’t be deeper.

You were such a big and wonderfully happy part of my life.

Though it took me a long time to realize

That for you, I was your entire life.

The oceans, the breezes, us floating on the waters

It seemed always and forever, that you and I’d be together,

Now you’re on to your next adventure.

May you be eternally Joyful.

And may we Be together again,

My Sweet Friend

(Suki:  June 02, 1999 – November 26, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Pie Spice Mix Recipe

Make This Yourself

Easy to make and you can use this in coffee, on coffee cakes, add to your basic muffin mix…oh, and let’s not forget, Apple Pie!

 

 

Apple Pie Spice Mix

  • 1/2 c. ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbps. ground Allspice
  • 4 tsp. ground Nutmeg (if using fresh, cut this down a bit, so it doesn’t overpower the other spices)
  • 4 tsp. ground dried Ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground Cardamom (optional, though I like the extra depth of flavor it gives)

 

Mix all the above together well, and store in an airtight container.

Do you use this mix for something special?  Leave and comment, and thanks for reading!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Make This Yourself

Make This Yourself

This is so easy to make, and is very versatile to use as well.  Besides using in making pumpkin pies (yum), you can use this recipe for scrumptious pumpkin latte’s, great tasting pumpkin bread, luscious pumpkin ice cream…you name it!

Do you have a special way of using this spice mix?  Leave a comment and thanks for reading!

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 2 Tbps. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground dried Ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground Nutmeg

 

Mix all the above together, and store in an airtight container.

The recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

Summer PicnicIt’s coming up summer all over the place! The kids are out of school and it’s time for some fun and R&R. While many will be traveling to far-off parts, there are also a wide variety of inexpensive activities to get involved in and place to visit this summer.

From family picnics at a local park to a romantic weekend get-away to Siesta Key in Sarasota, everyone can find something to soothe and nurture your harried soul.

Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

Pack a picnic, a blanket, a kite or frisbee, and go to an area park for the day. Just the 2 of you? Enjoy a nap or read a good book. Bringing the kids? Pack a soccer ball and a kite. Bring simple foods and lots of water too.
Take a drive to somewhere new. Bring some water and healthy snacks. Pile in the car and head off with only a general direction in mind. Go somewhere you’ve not been and when you get there, go exploring. Drive around. Browse the shops. Visit something unusual.
Enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch at your favorite bistro, followed by music in the park. Bring some comfy chairs or a blanket, and let the day gently take you with it. (This is a great way to bond with your special someone after a hectic week.)

Up for something different? Go to an Arts & Crafts Show. Or go kayaking and pack a nice lunch to enjoy afterwards. Maybe bring a fishing pole and cast a line in the water.

I hope this is helpful, and would enjoy your feedback.

In Joy,

Sandy

3 Happy and Easy New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's1> Laugh more to raise your spirits, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels.

2> Socialize with good friends more to build strong, supportive relationships.

3> Give and get Hugs every day for lower blood pressure and a better mood.

Just doing more of these 3 simple things is a great way to start your New Year off on the right foot!

Live Life Fully,

Sandy