Recipe: Tart Cherry Cupcakes

Tart Cherry Cupcakes | this heart of mine

This final creation with Montmorency tart cherries is happily and satisfyingly my favorite. You see, I consider MJ and myself novice cupcake experts. MJ is not the crazy food person I am but I can get him talking about texture and taste when it comes to these little bits of cake. We’ve enjoyed our fair share from a number of places and we are very sure of what we like. Forget light and airy, we like to sink our teeth into (and successfully hold) a dense, spongy cupcake. Flavors must be right on the money and as for frosting, we aren’t as young as we once were and while mile-high frosting looks delicious, it’s just too much. It took three batches of cupcakes to get this recipe right and when I tasted the third and final trial, a huge smile spread across my face because I nailed it. The tart cherry taste is bright and cheery, the cupcake is dense and spongy and topped with frosting, the whole thing sidles up to perfection.

Tart Cherry Cupcakes | this heart of mine

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When Life Goes Perfectly

Like the new look? Yeah, it isn’t on purpose. I mean, it is on purpose by way of updating WordPress, finding a whole bunch of errors, trying to fix them myself and then having to reset my whole sight. When life hands you a box of doo-doo, light it on fire, right?

So, while I spend the day not doing what I planned, excuse the mess. I am working on it.

Have a wonderful Monday!

P.S. Picked a winner for the giveaway last week!

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Halloween Paper Lanterns with Cricut

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

With last month’s theme and project in the books, I am back for a new Cricut Design Space Star challenge. My design team chose a Halloween theme this time around and my creation is Halloween paper lanterns.  While All Hallow’s Eve isn’t my favorite of holidays, I can appreciate the style elements. :) Black is sharp and classy and, paired with white, quite striking. I love love love intricate designs (which is why I bought my first Cricut so long ago) and I took full advantage of the Cricut Explore’s improved cutting power. Seriously, it’s fantastic.

My overall design morphed as I experimented and fiddled around to get something to work. The longer I messed around, the more complicated and detailed it got. I can’t help it. It’s just me. Thankfully, the Cricut does the lion’s share of the hard work and I was left with putting the parts together. *Special note: the bat design was inspired by Love Bug. After watching the other two designs come together, she thought bats made the perfect Halloween triad.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

Because I created my appliques designs last month without really delving into the options and possibilities of the online Cricut design space, I made it a point to take time to play around in it this time through. And wow. It’s very intuitive and easy to work in and I cannot tell you how happy I felt when I pushed the cut button after creating something from scratch and, gasp, the machine cut it out!! I told MJ I wanted to marry the machine. He seemed surprisingly okay with it. I could not contain my gleeful smile as the machine easily cut out the many notches of the spider web. Made.My.Day. Intricate, complicated me has found the perfect paper cutting partner.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

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Tart Cherry Bread Pudding Recipe | this heart of mine

This first image of the tart cherry bread pudding was in my head long before I’d even settled on what recipe to make. I pictured the individual ramekins filled to the brim with pudding goodness, all grouped together, and topped with whipping cream. Sometimes, the pictures in my head are the directors of my projects, inspiring me to make, bake and cook. In this blogging business, styling and photography top of my favorite list. Laying out the shot, adding in props – which dish to use? which linens? what angle will best show the focal point? I like the puzzle. My desire is to create a scene my better self could pull off in real life.

The storyline here is getting these tart cherry bread puddings ready to serve to a dinner party as the sweet finish to their meal; the comfort food is hot and ready for eating. It’s lightly sweet, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and the warm-from-the-oven custard of bread, eggs and milk is delicious. The tart cherry bits add a hint of tarty goodness and everything is better with whipping cream.

Tart Cherry Bread Pudding Recipe | this heart of mine

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Recipe: Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar - a fresh mix of veggies! | this heart of mine

This recipe for Texas Caviar came to me at the right time. As fresh, homegrown veggies are popping up everywhere, this fresh veggie mix calls for all that homegrown goodness. A friend shared this at a BBQ last weekend and I know I ate more than my share. I couldn’t stop. Cilantro is one of my favorite flavors and that evening I couldn’t get enough. It reminded me of a fresh salsa recipe we make at this time of year. Very similar ingredients with the same hand chopping but with an Italian flavoring twist. I begged my friend for the recipe and now I’m hoping to eat most of it myself!

Texas Caviar - a fresh mix of veggies! | this heart of mine

I paired my Texas Caviar with the Multigrain chips by Food Should Taste Good, which I reviewed last month. By the comments I received, it appears many people are aware of the brand and their reputation of living up to their name. Since being aware of their brand, I noticed a large selection of Food Should Taste Good products in my store. It made me smile. A few comments mentioned how Food Should Taste Good chips were the choice of individuals with food allergies and sensitivities. It’s not something our household deals with but it affects people in my extended family and I’m glad to know of this delicious option. We tried the Sweet Potato kind after some commentors praised the flavor (they are good!) however, there wasn’t the Guacamole version MJ and I liked so much. They would have been perfect with our caviar. Don’t worry. We will find it. :) With Food Should Taste Good products in our store, it will be easy to pick up a bag or two when we need it. If they aren’t in your store yet, you can find whatever you need (and more) on their site and order online. Like the name says, Food Should Taste Good and it does just that.

Texas Caviar - a fresh mix of veggies! | this heart of mine

Texas Caviar

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Toss together everything except the cilantro and chill 2 hours before serving.
  2. Add the cilantro right before serving.
http://www.thisheArtofmineblog.com/2014/09/14/recipe-texas-caviar/

This post is brought to you in partnership with Food Should Taste Good. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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