Archive for November, 2013

Welcome to the November edition of the Lady Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge where we are using pears and maple as our spotlight ingredients.  Since I made muffins last month, I decided to stay on the handheld dessert theme and make cupcakes this time.  These are so moist and flavorful!  The texture is more like a muffin than a cupcake, but the maple buttercream just puts it over the edge from snack/breakfast food to a true dessert!  I started with this cupcake recipe from Sugar Hero and this frosting recipe from Chow and tweaked it as you see below.  This is definitely a keeper!

Five Spice Pear Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

For the cupcakes:

1 1/8 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Chinese five spice

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups finely diced pears

1/2 cup chopped & toasted pecans

For the frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  This is a perfect time to toast the pecan pieces.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.   Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & Chinese 5 spice. 

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Then add the egg and vanilla.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in the pears and pecans gently by hand.

Fill the cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full because the cupcake will spread instead of rise and you don’t want ugly cupcakes. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few or no crumbs.  Cool completely and frost with the maple buttercream.

For the frosting, beat the butter, salt, and maple syrup together with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Don’t worry if it still looks separated because the sugar will make it come together.  Add the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time and mix thoroughly.  You may need to adjust the sugar amount to make it the consistency that you want.

I decided to use a 2D piping tip to frost the cupcakes.  It almost looks like a rose when you are done.  This recipe makes 12- 14 cupcakes.


Five Spice Pear Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream


Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

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More Olloclip macro fall fun:




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Happy Veterans Day, everyone!  Take a few minutes out of your busy day to say a prayer for all of the brave men and women defending our freedom here and abroad.  I am so thankful for their desire and diligence because I know I sure could not do what they do. 

Have you been enjoying some beautiful fall weather where you live?  We sure have but I am afraid it may be coming to an end.  There is even a chance of snow flurries in the next day or two.  Say it ain’t so!!!!  Hopefully that won’t last too long because C & I have some big Christmas decorating plans to put into effect.  I am not going to go into detail yet, but there will definitely be photos coming later.  I can’t wait!!!!

I have three, count ‘em, three new recipes this week and they are definitely comfort food.  The rest are old favorites or maybe even a little take-out one night.  Have a great and blessed week, everyone!

Chunky beef chili with maple cornbread muffins (both new)

Tacos with salad

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries and salad (2 nights)

Pizza night

Pioneer Woman’s drip beef sandwiches (new) with curly fries

Please join me for Menu Plan Monday at I’m An Organizing Junkie.

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Salsa Burgers

Salsa Burgers are another quick and easy meal idea from the folks at Plain Chicken.  I love their recipes so please go check them out when you have time.  Every recipe of theirs that I have tried has been delicious and I use them over and over which I can’t say about a lot of others.

These burgers turned out so tender and juicy that they just fell apart when I tried to get them on the buns.  I had a couple left over so C & I had them for lunch the next day.  The crumbled one made a great salad topping.


1 lb. ground beef

1 egg

3 tbsp. salsa of your choice (I used medium.)

1 tbsp. taco seasoning

Sliced cheese of your choice (I used provolone.)



In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, salsa and seasoning.  Combine thoroughly and form into 4 patties.  Grill or broil to desired doneness then top with cheese.  Let the cheese melt then serve on buns with the toppings of your choosing.


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Sorry I missed out on last week’s challenge, but I just didn’t get it done.  This week’s prompts are brown/tabletop so I went out searching for some natural brown.  It is easy to find right now!





Nurture Photography Challenge - Fall 2013 Edition

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Book Beginnings

Today I am bringing you a very special edition of Book Beginnings.  Hop on over to Rose City Reader when you are done here and check out other bloggers’ current reads.

Today’s book is called “Once Again” and it was written by Amy Durham, a lady from my hometown that I have known since high school which is more years that I really want to think about.

Okay, I had to admit that Maine in July was spectacular. 

Spotless white clouds dotted a sky of perfect aqua blue.  Bright green leaves hung heavy in the trees.  Together with the rich landscaping of the town, nature had created a lovely and charming little place.

This is a young adult novel and I am not usually a huge fan of YA fiction, but I really enjoyed Amy’s story and characters.  She has a follow up called “Once and For All” that continues the series.  I hope you check out her work!

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Our leaves are finally starting to turn…





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