Saturday, November 23, 2013

Alana's Coconut Cupcakes

My friend Alana recently got married and asked me to make cupcakes for her wedding. When I asked her what flavours she wanted her response was coconut!

So I scoured the internet for the perfect coconut cupcake recipe only to realize I already had the perfect recipe. With some slight modification my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake became the ultimate coconut cupcake.

These cupcakes are definetly coconutty. 

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes


1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup coconut Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coconut extract
2/3 cup coconut milk, thick layer from the top of the can

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk, thick layer from the top of the can
2 teaspoons coconut extract

Coconut flakes, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the vanilla sugar mixture and mix until well combined. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until the very fine crumb texture, about three minutes. Add the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until just combined. Slowly add the milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  

Fill prepared cupcake liners just over half full. Bake for 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the cupcake pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Thai Pumpkin Curry

I have begun to try to stock our freezer with healthy meals for after the baby arrives. My first round of meals made use of the nearly perfect pumpkin I bought for Halloween.

This curry is fantastic. A hearty, flavourful curry packed with vegetables. I made three batches of the recipe and ended up with seven meals. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of my own version before it got packaged up for the freezer.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum, serves 6


3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilies
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups pumpkin or squash, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 796 mL can diced tomatoes
1 400 mL can coconut milk
2 or 3 tablespoons red curry paste, adjust to taste
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional


In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and fragrant.

Add the curry powder, chili powder, turmeric and crushed chilis. Saute for another minute.

Add the onion, pumpkin, carrot and celery. Toss in the spices. Saute for an additional couple minutes.

Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or basil is desired.

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