mini ginger cupcakes

My sister and mother gave me a brand new gleaming apple-green stand mixer for Christmas. I LOVE it. Well, I just learned that I love it because until yesterday, I had never used one of these machines. I was inspired by a cupcake recipe I saw in Vegetarian Times and decided it would be the perfect recipe to test my mixer on. These cupcakes are moist, light (for a cupcake), and not too sweet.

Mini Ginger Cupcakes (with a mascarpone/orange/honey frosting)
 makes 24 mini cupcakes

For the Cupcakes
1/4 cup sugar
1.4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup skim buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cococa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting
4 oz low-fat mascarpone cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
chopped crystallized (or candied) ginger for garnish (about 3 tablespoons)

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease (you can use butter, spray, whatever your preference) 24 mini muffin pans.
2. Combine sugar, molasses, and butter in small saucepan over low heat, whisking the whole time until butter is melted and mixture is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
3. Whisk buttermilk and egg together, add and whisk molasses mixture in. 
4. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture. 
5. Fill muffin cups within 1/8 inch of rims. Bake 10-12 mins or until cupcakes are puffed and set. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool.
6. For the frosting, whip the mascarpone cheese, honey, and zest in a bowl with a fork until smooth. Spread a thin layer on each cupcake and sprinkle with ginger if desired. 


creamy broccoli soup without the cream

While at Borders Books I stopped by the magazine section to check out what was new in the food world and I found a magazine called Whole Living. It recommended a detox to "boost" yourself and start the new year off right. Well,I was not about to commit to a detox but the recipes sounded awesome to try. Conveniently, our broccoli plants are growing strong and one of them had a huge head ready to pick. This soup was really easy to make and very tasty. I didn't have pine nuts so I made some croutons (cut bread up, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and put it in the oven on low for about 15 mins) and sprinkled them on top instead. Enjoy!

From wholeliving.com


Serves 4.
  • 1 head broccoli (1 pound), cut into florets, stems thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 ounce shaved Parmesan, for serving


  1. Steam broccoli florets and stems until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup florets for garnish.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add beans and stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Remove from heat and add broccoli; puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each bowl with broccoli florets, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan.