Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Here in California we are under a statewide Shelter in Place directive. There’s only so much house cleaning I can do to pass the time. So now it’s on to baking. I decided to bake some treats for my elderly mother and her neighbors and make little treat boxes for them. These carrot  cake cupcakes were one of the items I made for them.

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots, or more to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can finely crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners. Set aside.
  3. Place flour in a bowl. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sprinkle in ground ginger and cinnamon. Whisk thoroughly until combined. Set aside.
  4. Add sugar to a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs until mixture is smooth and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Heat butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until just melted but not too hot. Whisk into the bowl with the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, and raisins. Stir well.
  6. Stir flour mixture into the carrot mixture until no dry spots remain.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared cupcake pan. Carrot Cake Cupcakes 1
  8. Tap the pan against your counter to let any big air bubbles rise to the surface.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting, at least 40 minutes.

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar to form a smooth frosting. Spread evenly over the cooled cupcakes.Carrot Cake Cupcakes 3
  2. Garnish with grated carrots. (optional) Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Pineapple Pulled Pork

Pineapple Pulled Pork

It’s officially summer over here. When it gets over 100 degrees I don’t want to do anything but lay under the ceiling fan and melt until the air conditioner gets going. Needless to say, I sure don’t want to be cooking in a hot kitchen. That’s where my crock pot comes in handy. Let it do all the work and I get all the credit. I’d say that’s a big win.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce (found in your grocery store international aisle)
  • 1 cup fresh or canned pineapple, mashed
  • 2 cups chicken stock

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place pork roast in crock pot. Cover roast in the Hoisin sauce  and 1/2 of the mashed pineapple. Save the other half of mashed pineapple to serve on shredded pork.
  2. Pour in chicken stock.
  3. Set crock pot to High and set timer for 5 hours.
  4. Once pork is done, shred pork with two forks. Pineapple Pulled Pork 2
  5. Serve on Hawaiian bread rolls, or regular dinner rolls or tortillas.
  6. Enjoy!

Pineapple Pulled Pork 1

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

I came across my bundt cake pan the other day. I thought to myself,  I really need to use it more often. So I went through my cupboard and found all the ingredients for a semi homemade pineapple upside down cake.  Then I found out my brother and his family were coming to town. I now had willing taste testers to help eat up the cake. My son and I would never have finished it by ourselves. It was fate.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounces)  pineapple slices, reserve the juice
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries (you will need about 15-20 depending on your bundt pan size)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (thus the semi homemade description)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a bundt pan generously with nonstick spray.
  2. Evenly pour the melted butter into the bottom of the bundt pan and top with the brown sugar. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 2
  3. Cut the pineapple rings in half and, alternating with the cherries, place into the butter-brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 3
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes together. Add the reserved pineapple juice and milk. Add the eggs and vegetable oil, and mix until fully blended. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 5
  5. Pour the batter evenly over the pineapple and cherries. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 6
  6. Follow the cake mix instructions for how long to bake in a bundt pan. Approximately 35-40 minutes. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 7
  7. Cool the cake for about 30 minutes before running a knife around the edges and inner ring of the pan. Invert onto a serving plate and slice between pineapple rings to serve. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 8

Pulled Pork Tacos with Pineapple Pico De Gallo

pulled-pork-taco-2Everyday is taco day in my house. But how about a little sweet and spicy kick?  Tex Mex meets Hawaiian and this is the end result. The slow cooker does most of the work, you get all the credit. Can’t beat that!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (3 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks or fresh if available
  • 1 small white or red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 20  small corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 6 quart slow cooker add pork shoulder.
  2. In a large bowl, add barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lime juice (reserve 1 tablespoon for the pineapple pico de gallo), cayenne pepper, chili powder and garlic powder. Mix together to form a paste and spread evenly over pork shoulder.
  3. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours; or you can cook on high for 5 to 6 hours. Shred when done cooking. pulled-pork-in-crockpot
  4. When your pork is ready, assemble the pineapple pico de gallo.
  5. Slice the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces and place in large bowl. Add the diced onions, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, cilantro and reserved 1 tablespoon of lime juice. If you can handle the extra heat, add the crushed red peppers to the bowl. pineapple-salsa
  6. Top your tortillas with pulled pork, pineapple pico de gallo and shredded cabbage.
  7. Garnish with lime wedges. pulled-pork-taco-1

You can also change this recipe into pulled pork sliders by substituting Hawaiian bread rolls for the corn tortillas. pulled-pork-slider

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps 1Sometimes I just want something quick and easy to make. This recipe is exactly that. I spent more time prepping and cutting than anything. And I was still done in less than 30 minutes.  Can’t beat that. Technically, I think the only thing Hawaiian about this recipe is the pineapple.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2/3 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 romaine heart, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 4 large tortillas, or 6-8 fajita size tortillas

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken pieces to pan and season with pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Continue to cook chicken pieces until cooked through and golden brown. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
  3. When chicken is done cooking, turn off heat. Add barbecue sauce to the pan and toss chicken to coat.
  4. Place a warmed tortilla on a plate. Layer with chopped romaine, a spoonful of barbecue chicken, pineapple, onion, tomatoes and cilantro.
  5. Roll up burrito style and if needed, secure with a toothpick.
  6. Serve immediately.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps 2