Thursday, March 28, 2013

30-Day Paleo Challenge: Day 5

I'll start this post by saying that yes, I did stick to my Paleo challenge today, but once again I'm going to post something that is not a part of the diet. 

Exactly one year ago today, I lost a very dear friend, almost like a sister, to lung cancer.  Erinn was only 35 years old when she passed away and never smoked a single cigarette in her whole life.  She ended up fighting a long and difficult battle, and was the type of person that remained strong and positive until the very end.  I miss her tons!

Our friendship started to blossom when we moved in next door to Erinn and her family.  Even though she was not very much older than my two sisters and I, she eventually started to babysit us almost every weekend.  Erinn also started taking family trips with us to Cedar Point, would go to movies with us, take us to political events (I met president Bush because of her), go out to eat with us, etc.  Over time, Erinn really became more than just a friend, she became more like a member of the family and someone I always made sure to visit whenever I traveled back to Michigan.  She even came down to visit me, and had another trip planned but unfortunately that was the beginning of her sickness and she was never able to make it. 

One thing that I loved most is that Erinn, other than her comic and caring personality, was her passion for baking.  It's something we had in common.  Unfortunately with her living in Michigan though, whenever I went back to visit, we always just talked about one day baking together; but sadly never got around to it. 

Therefore, today's cupcake recipe is in memory of my friend Erinn, mostly because I know it's something she would have enjoyed!

Menu for Day 5:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 egg whites (scrambled), and 4 slices Canadian bacon
Lunch: Turkey Burger Salad - 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups spinach, 1 turkey burger patty cut in pieces, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup green pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar
Snack: 7 slices, deli ham (Oscar Meyer), 6 macademia nuts
Dinner: 4 oz. chicken pieces, 2 eggs, 2 egg whites (scrambled), a handful of spinach (I mixed everything together)

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes with a Strawberry Butter Cream Frosting
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Cupcakes: (makes around 24)
2 sticks butter, softened
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 TBSP. baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
¼ cup strawberry margarita mix

Frosting: (I needed a double batch, so just double the ingredients.  We like frosting)
1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 TBSP. strawberry margarita mix


For the cupcakes:
Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, on a medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar, until light in color and fluffy.  Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  Slowly blend in the vanilla and the tequila.  Set the mixer to a low speed, and slowly add in the flour mixture, in 3 separate increments, alternating with the milk and margarita mix.  Beat each addition, until just blended.  Do not over mix.  (It may appear thick in texture)

Scoop the cupcake mixture into the prepared pan, filling about ¾ the way full.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until you are able to insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan, and allow to cool completely.  Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

For the Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium-high speed, until light and creamy.  Add in the vanilla and combine with the butter.  Slowly beat in the confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time, until well combined with the butter and scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed.  Once the confectioner’s is blended together, add in the 2-3 TBSP. of margarita mix and beat on medium-high, until light and fluffy.

Frost the cupcakes as desired!
Source: Bowl of Creativity Original


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