My husband and I travelled to Washington D.C. last weekend for the first time.  I have always known about how much there is to do in D.C. and heard that it is one of the top restaurant cities in the country, and the city did not disappoint me on those fronts.  While I did not spot Olivia Pope (boo), I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  We went to multiple museums (I still can’t believe the they are free!), walked and biked around the mall to see each of the monuments, and dined at incredibly delicious restaurants and bakeries.

DC

Neither my husband nor I could believe how CLEAN Washington D.C. is!  Even their metro was pretty spotless, and for such a bustling city, we were impressed!

One of my favorite restaurants we ate at was Graffiato by Mike Isabella. The restaurant served small Italian plates and each dish was more surprisingly delicious than the last.  One of my favorite dishes we had there that I must try to recreate at home is the broccolini with red pepper relish, walnut and feta.  Words cannot describe how perfect the combination of flavors in this dish were.

I also found a cocktail that I will be pining for all summer.  The Mexican Mule at MXDC Cocina Mexicana by Todd English was dangerously refreshing.  Something tells me my sister and I will spend many summer nights trying to recreate this little devil.

Mule

I had to visit my absolute favorite cupcake shop, Crumbs Bakeshop while I was in the big city.  The Samoas Girl Scout Cookie Cupcake was literally the lightest cupcake I have ever tasted.  The cake seemed to just dissolve in my mouth.  The caramel filling, chocolate cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut didn’t hurt either.

Crumbs Bakeshop

Finally, we stayed at the Hotel George, a Kimpton Hotel located just a few short blocks from the capitol building and it was such a nice stay.  The front desk staff were endlessly helpful and accommodating.  I love when front desk staff seem to really understand what you’re looking for and give you great personalized recommendations which was exactly what I got when I was looking for a good lunch/shopping area.

Hotel George

I love to stay at Kimpton Hotels when I can because they have so many nice features.  Not only are the hotels usually quaint boutique hotels, but they have a complimentarily nightly happy for guests every night.  Who wouldn’t love a glass of wine on the house while you get ready for your evening?  The Hotel George also had complimentary bike rentals so on our last day, my husband and I were able to cruise around D.C. and see the final sights that were on our list.

As cheesy as it sounds, my visit to our great nations capital, made me truly proud to be an American.  It was so humbling to see and learn more about how much has been sacrificed by others so that we can know freedom.  I can’t wait to return someday.

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I promised you a review for the fun and festive book that was the recipe inspiration for The Best Strawberry Cupcakes that I shared with you earlier this week.

The Best Strawberry Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties is literally a party in a book.  Jennifer Shea is the mastermind behind Trophy Cupcakes & Parties which began as a cupcake and party shop that she and her husband opened in Seattle in 2007.  By 2008, Jennifer and her cupcakes and hit it big by landing on Martha Stewart who sang her praises.  Success has continued to come her way and Jennifer lives to “make every day a party”.

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties Book Review

Jennifer’s baking basics are using wholesome, high quality ingredients such as local hormone-free dairy products, French chocolate and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla.  She knows that the best ingredients result in the best, most delicious products.  Not only does Trophy Cupcakes & Parties offer cupcake recipes and decorating ideas, but it provides numerous ideas and inspiration for parties to celebrate many occasions.

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties

The book is broken up into chapters with different party theme ideas and then followed by recipes for each of the cupcake and frosting flavors.

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties

Just like the 1st birthday party that I shared with you last week, I love when parties have a theme that carries through from invitation to food and decorations to guest parting gifts.  And this book will have you set with ideas and recipes for any soiree you are planning to throw.  Don’t worry, for those of you who feel overwhelmed by the very idea of beginning to organize all of the festivities that go into hosting a memorable event, Jennifer’s book even gives you a worksheet to help brainstorm all of your wonderful ideas.

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties

So whether it’s a baby shower or engagement party you are looking for inspiration for, having Trophy Cupcakes & Parties as part of your book collection will give you the head start that you need to make your party dreams a reality.

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties

*Sasquatch Books provided me with a review copy of Trophy Cupcakes & Parties but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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I took the week off last week to celebrate my birthday with friends and family.  My mom was here for a week which was so nice.  Also, I got to share my birthday week with my favorite baby friend.

Lydia’s mom and I have become good friends and it has been so much fun to watch Lydia grow over this past year.  I volunteered to make her birthday cake, cupcakes and pink ombre pancakes for her first birthday party and I love the way everything turned out.

cak

 

The party was gorgeous and baby Lydia was adorable in her party dress.

IMG_2784

The party was the second time I had made these cupcakes and let me tell you, they are the best Strawberry Cupcakes I have ever tasted!

The Best Strawberry Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The cupcakes are loaded with strawberry goodness.  The cakes themselves have strawberry jam and chopped real strawberries and the buttercream frosting is also infused with strawberry jam.  Often strawberry cakes are made by using strawberry Jello mix or some other fake form of strawberry flavor, but the Best Strawberry Cupcakes get their fresh, sweet berry flavor from the real deal.  The jam I used was all natural and you could either use fresh or thawed frozen strawberries for the chopped berries that are mixed into the batter.

The Best Strawberry Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Later this week, I will be sharing a review of the book that I adapted this fabulous recipe from, you won’t want to miss it!

The Best Strawberry Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 60 miniature cupcakes (24 regular-sized cupcakes)

The Best Strawberry Cupcakes: These cupcakes are bursting with real strawberry goodness

Ingredients

    For the strawberry cupcakes!
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural strawberry jam
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • For the strawberry buttercream!
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

    For the strawberry cupcakes!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line miniature (or regular-sized) cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add eggs and jam and mix well.
  4. Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine milk, half-and-half and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture followed by 1/3 of the liquid mixture and mix. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture followed by half of the remaining liquid mixture and mix. Repeat one more time with remaining flour and liquid mixtures and mix well to combine.
  7. Mix in chopped strawberries.
  8. Fill pans 2/3 full of batter and bake 14-16 minutes for miniature cupcakes (about 20 minutes for regular cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
  10. For the strawberry buttercream!
  11. Combine all ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well-blended.
  12. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.
  13. Recipe adapted from Trophy Cupcakes and Parties

*Rose cake decoration inspired by i am baker

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One of my very good friends got engaged and I co-hosted an engagement party for her last Saturday.  I asked her what type of dessert she would like for the party and she said that she would love mini champagne cupcakes with pink frosting.  Prosecco is my drink of choice so I almost always have a bottle on hand and so I decided to pop open a bottle and pour a little bit into a glass for myself and a little bit into the cupcakes.  I was so happy with how these Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes turned out!

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com} Not only were these Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes gorgeous, girly and festive, but they tasted incredibly delicious too!

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}I think what made the cupcakes so tasty was the combination of the prosecco flavor and that I added both vanilla and almond extracts.  The flavor of the Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes was perfectly sweet without being too strongly flavored by either extract.  The cupcakes were perfectly tender and I topped them with a prosecco-infused buttercream and sprinkled them with Wilton Cake Sparkles for an extra special finishing touch.

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes are the perfect treat to celebrate any special occasion and of course, the frosting could be customized to compliment any theme!

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 84 miniature cupcakes

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes: Perfectly tender white cupcakes topped with gorgeous sparkly pink prosecco-infused buttercream

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups (24 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half (I used fat-free)
  • 2/3 cup prosecco
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • For the frosting
  • 3 cups (48 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp prosecco
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • few drops of pink food coloring (or coloring of your choice)

Instructions

    For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line mini muffin pans with mini paper liners.
  2. Combine half-and-half, prosecco and extracts in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and mix until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture alternating with liquid mixture in two parts starting with dry and ending with wet ingredients.
  7. Fill prepared muffin pan cups 2/3 full of batter.
  8. Bake 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
  10. For the frosting
  11. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add extracts and food coloring and mix until well blended.
  12. Add prosecco 1 Tbsp at a time until frosting is piping or spreading consistency.
  13. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles or sparkles.

Notes

*Note: Prep time will vary depending on how many pans you have. Each pan will need to bake for 12 minutes and cupcakes will need to cool for about 15 minutes before frosting. *To make regular-sized cupcakes: Line regular-sized muffin pan with paper liners. Fill 2/3 full with batter and bake until toothpick inserted comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes.

Sparkly Pink Prosecco Cupcakes {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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With my husband’s new lifestyle change, I wanted to come up with a relatively healthy and low carb treat for Easter weekend.  I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of Splenda, but until I try out some other zero calorie sweeteners, I know that it is a safe choice that I can bake with while keeping the carb count to a minimum.  These Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting taste anything but healthy, but are truly a dessert you can feel good about eating!

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I actually cut the amount of flour down in this recipe and the consistency was quite perfect.  These Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes were so soft and moist which also was a result of the cup of grated carrots that is added into the batter.  Who can complain about getting some additional veggies in your diet while eating a cupcake??

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The cream cheese frosting on top of these cupcakes is just as luscious as any frosting you have ever tasted and it only has 1/4 cup of powdered sugar!  Flavored extracts are so great for adding sweet flavor without adding too much extra sugar.

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

We felt so good about eating these Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes that I called them “muffins” and we ate them for Easter breakfast!

I mentioned that I will be including some nutritional values in my recipes from now on, so please find that information at the bottom of the recipes if you are interested.

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 29 minutes

Yield: 10 cupcakes

1 cupcake

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes are deceivingly healthy and blatantly delicious!

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup Splenda (or sugar)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • For the frosting:
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanillla

Instructions

    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together carrots, eggs, oil, Splenda, yogurt and vanilla.
  3. Add flours, cinnamon and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full of batter.
  5. Bake 14 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting:
  8. Mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  9. Top each cupcake with frosting.

Notes

Per cupcake: Carbs: 15g Calories: 184

Low Carb Carrot Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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