June 27, 2011

Stuffed Strawberries

DSC_0001Fresh berries are so fun!! 


I love these because berries are the main attraction, not just a garnish.  It’s basically glorified strawberries and whipped cream, so delicious.



How about with a blueberry on top?  Wouldn’t you like to take these to your 4th of July BBQ??



Stuffed Strawberries

Strawberries: How many exactly depends on how big the strawberries are, and also how much you fill them.  I used about 40 average size strawberries

Blueberries, if you want them!

1 small package (4 servings) Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 Cup Whipping Cream

1 Cup Milk

1/2-1 tsp (to taste) almond extract

  • Start by hulling the strawberries DSC_0003
  • Then starting at the small end of the strawberry, make a slice most of the way down DSC_0007 DSC_0005
  • Now make a perpendicular slice.  You don’t want to do down too far, because then the strawberry might break, but far enough to make room for the filling.
  • I set them on a plate, and pull the strawberries open a little bit
  • DSC_0011
  • Now the filling: whip the 1 C cream until stiff (but not dry) peaks form
  • While whipping, in another bowl, whisk the pudding into the 1 C milk
  • Add the 1/2 tsp+ almond extract into the pudding, then fold in the whipped cream until it is completely combined
  • Pipe the filling into the strawberries
  • Go ahead and laugh! One day I’ll learn how to pipe with my left hand
  • I used a 1M star tip, but you totally don’t have to. and in the video, it doesn’t open the strawberry evenly, so, with your other hand, try to hold the 4 points of the strawberry open so that it fills evenly.
  • Arrange on a plate/tray and top with blueberriesDSC_0020

June 26, 2011

My Favorite Buttercream

I have always enjoyed frosting.  Especially buttercream.  I remember if there was ever left over frosting from something my mom made, I would sneak it later and eat as much as I dared with the hope that my mom wouldn’t notice. Pretty sure she always did.

When I started making my own, I would just get a little butter, dump a bunch of powdered sugar in, then add milk and mix until it was a good consistency.  Never the same, but decent enough.  I thought.  Then I came across this buttercream recipe in one of Martha’s Everyday Food magazines. and I haven’t looked back since.  This buttercream is delicious, I make it all the time.  Not only does it taste good, it is so versatile and the best part: easy to make!!

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 C (1 cube) butter room temp

1 1/2 C powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 tblsp cream or milk (opt.)

  • cream the butter


  • add the powdered sugar, 1/2 C at a time, mixing until it’s fully incorporated before adding more.buttercream

it doesn’t look like it will mix in right away, but just keep mixing and scraping the sides as needed, it will come together

  • once all the sugar is added, add the 1 tsp vanilla, then mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes


This frosting is pretty thick as is, I like to use it like this for piping cupcakes.  But, if I’m going to frost a cake, I will add some cream (or milk) to get to a better spreading consistency. I also use this for frosting sugar cookies.  I’m telling you, this frosting is pretty much awesome.

This recipe doesn’t make a whole lot, but it’s so easy to double or even triple if you need a lot. 

June 13, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

I love lemon treats.  Lemon cakes, lemon bars, that kind of thing.  I’ve actually never been a huge fan of lemon candies, like starbursts and such, but lemon cake?? Oh yeah. 

So, I made some lemon cupcakes for a bake sale this past weekend!  I wanted something good, so people didn’t feel cheated on their purchase, but also easy.  Easy, because when you bake in big batches, or 3 separate things in one night, that just makes things, well, easier….  They turned out really yummy, so I thought I would pass along the recipe. 

bakesaleLemon Cupcakes w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box of Lemon cake mix -I told you it was easy!  Bake as directed on box to make cupcakes. (I usually use Betty Crocker, but I used Duncan Hines this time, and they were good)

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (totally an experiment that I thought turned out nicely!)

1/2 C (1 cube) Butter room temp

8 oz Cream Cheese softened

3 C Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp Lemon Extract

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese together
  • add the powdered sugar ~ 1 C at a time, mixing between each addition
  • add the lemon extract and mix to combine
  • if you need to add a bit of milk to make it perfect piping consistency, go for it!

I frosted mine with the Wilton star tip 1M, then sprinkled some yellow sugar on top, to make them look more yellow lemony, and because sometimes I like the added crunch sugar brings.

I am sorry about the lack of pictures.  I’m sad that I was so excited about selling my cupcakes that I completely forgot to take some legit pictures of them.  But, I will make them again, and when I do, I’ll update this post.  If you make some, post your picture on my Facebook page, I’d love to see them!!

How to: Soften Butter

I know that sounds SO silly, but it’s a great trick that I’ve learned! Almost all baking recipes call for butter to be room temp, right? But honestly who actually remembers to pull out their butter at least 1/2 hour before using it?  And who else besides me has nuked their butter into a melty mess? Welp, here’s trick for for perfect softened butter: (I learned this from my mom!)

  • Place your butter in the microwave, and microwave for 5 seconds full power. DSC_0147(I left mine in the wrapper because I was using the whole cube. If you’re using half, you can cut the cube through the wrapper and leave it wrapped, or unwrap and place in a microwavable bowl.)
  • Stop the microwave after the 5 seconds, this is important! and flip it over, so what was on the bottom, is now on topDSC_0148
    • Now microwave again for 5 seconds, then pull it out and see how it’s doing.  You may need to throw it back in for a couple of seconds depending on how soft you want it.DSC_014910 seconds usually does it for me! The trick is stopping it half way through to rotate it.  It makes it so there isn’t a melty spot right in the middle, but more of a perfect soft all the way through! Easy huh?? 

    **You an also do this with frozen butter, I did it in 8 second increments for a total of around 30 seconds**

  • June 7, 2011

    Seedless Raspberry Jam

    First off, I have a new page on Facebook!! search Fredellicious the page and ‘like’ it!DSC_0115As much as I love the flavor of raspberries, I have a hard time getting over the seeds.  There are so many!!  and they always get caught between my teeth.  I very much prefer anything raspberry to be seedless. (have you ever had Red Mango? They make delicious frozen yogurt, and their raspberry is one of my favorites… it’s seedless!!)

    I also love freezer jam.  I remember growing up, one summer my mom made seedless raspberry jam.  and my whole family still has fond memories eating it.  Everyone was sad when the last jar was empty.  So, when I saw that raspberries were on sale at the local store for $.99 I knew I wanted to make some.  and you know what? It’s really easy!! slightly time consuming, but totally worth it!

    Seedless Raspberry Jam (adapted from the Sure-Jell package)

    1 package Sure-Jell Pectinunnamed

    5 pints of fresh and ripe raspberries – to make 3 cups of raspberry sauce

    5 1/4 C sugar

    3/4 C water

    • Wash your raspberries. I did this in batches, 1-2 pints at a time.

    • Put a batch of the raspberries in a sieve or mesh strainer, and place that over a bowl (or pyrex measuring cup)DSC_0129 

    • Get a flexible but firm spatula and start mushing the raspberries through the sieve


    • Keep mushing and mushing, until all the raspberry goodness makes its way through the sieve


    • Repeat these steps until you have 3 cups of the raspberry sauce with no seeds in it.

    • Measure exactly 3 cups of the seedless raspberry sauce, and put in a bowl.

    • Stir in the 5 1/4 C exactly of sugar and let sit 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    • While that is sitting, put 3/4 C water and sure-jell pectin in a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat


    • Stir all together and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute


    • Pour the pectin mixture into your bowl of raspberry/sugar mixture


    • Stir until all the pectin is mixed in.  Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. (to check this, rub a bit between your fingers, it should feel smooth, not grainy)


    • Pour into clean freezer safe containers – leave about 1/2” at top for expansion in the freezer


    • Let sit at room temperature for about 24 hours, until the jam is set.


    • After it’s set, it keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, or up to a year in the freezer. 

    This jam is delicious, bursting with fresh raspberry flavor, and no seeds to get in the way!! I especially love it on whole wheat toast. I hope you like it as much as I do!!

    June 1, 2011

    Banana Bundt Cake

    My son loves bananas. He kind of goes through phases, but sometimes he’ll eat 1 maybe 2 whole bananas in a sitting.  I think he likes bananas more than any person I know. He’ll eat them so green that I can’t even barely peel them, and then my fingers have that nasty bitter taste on them.  So, I very rarely have bananas that get ripe enough to bake with.  But I think he forgot they were on the counter, or I forgot to offer them to him, because I had 3 bananas that were awesome for baking: lots of brown spots and WAY more ripe than I would eat.DSC_0039Good thing their so delicious in baked goods!  This is probably one of my husbands favorite cakes that I make.

    Banana Bundt Cake adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book

    2 eggs room temp

    2 1/4 C all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 C sugar

    1 1/2 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp baking soda

    1 C mashed RIPE bananas (about 3)

    3/4 C buttermilk*

    1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened

    1 tsp vanilla

    *I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so instead, I make ‘sour milk.’ To make it, place 1 Tblsp white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 C measuring cup.  Fill to the top with milk. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes before using.

    • grease/flour a Bundt pan (or just use a spray with flour in it!!)
    • stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda
    • add bananas, buttermilk, butter and vanilla, beat on low to combine
    • add eggs, beat on medium for 2 minutes, then pour into pan
    • bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean
    • let cool in pan on rack for ~10 minutes then flip out to cool

    Cream Cheese Drizzle

    2 oz cream cheese room temp

    1 Tblsp butter room temp

    3/4 C powdered sugar

    ~2 tsp cream

    • cream butter and cream cheese until combined
    • add powdered sugar, 1/4 C at a time, combining before next addition
    • add enough cream to make it a fairly runny consistency, so you can drizzle
    • put it in a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, and drizzle away!DSC_0035I drizzled it lopsided though: for more equal frosting to cake ratio, don’t drizzle it in so far into the middle, and be more generous on the outsideDSC_0042