Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes

My dear friend Amy of Cupcakes & Couture lives just a few blocks away – sounds awesome to have a  friend so close by, right? Well, it is unless said friend is an avid baker…then things can get out of hand. This summer we’ve had many late weekday nights spent chatting, sipping wine, eating her homemade sweeties and of course, playing Jonathan Adler Tic Tac Toe because why not? haha

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I won but wait…I don’t have proof. Oops

Last night, Amy dropped off her homemade Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes. She was worried they wouldn’t taste very good because they were a few days old but she was wrong, oh was she wrong.

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I’d eat these babies any day

The maple cream cheese frosting was sweet but not overpowering and the cupcake, sans frosting, tasted just like a real blueberry pancake! I kid you not.

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Below you’ll find the recipe for these heavenly cupcakes but make sure to check out Amy’s original post here.

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Your Cup of Cake
made about 18 cupcakes
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For the cupcakes…

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in your standing mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add eggs and egg whites one at a time until each in fully incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. This is your “dry bowl.”
  5. In another smaller bowl, whisk milk, vanilla extract and sour cream together until smooth. This is your “wet bowl.”
  6. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the wet. Let each ingredient fully mix in before adding another, still be careful not to over mix.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to “stir” and mix in the blueberries.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cucpcake comes out clean.
For the frosting…
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (her recipe calls for Mapeline flavoring, but I couldn’t find it anywhere nearby so I had to use maple syrup instead.)
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • cinnamon sugar and fresh blueberries to decorate
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese in your standing mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add maple syrup and continue to mix until it’s combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until the frosting reaches a nice thick consistency. You may not need all 5 cups.
  4. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes (I used a large star tip), sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar and top with 3 blueberries!

Independence Day Protein Cheesecake

Healthy food comes with a stigma – people automatically think it tastes like dirt but that is so not that case with this cheesecake. Whenever I’m asked to bring a dessert for a fun gathering amongst friends & family, I make sure to disguise how healthy it is until AFTER everyone has had a bite, or two for this exact reason.

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Summoning the God of Sun, Ra

This cheesecake recipe is satisfying and perfect if you’re on a high protein, low fat diet or if you want to maintain a healthy diet regardless of it being a holiday weekend.

Bring it to your friends and families 4th of July celebration this weekend – you should probably make two…I guarantee people will want seconds!

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 2 containers of fat free strawberry greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar free jelly with fiber
  • 250g strawberry
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sweetener

Directions

Mix everything in a food processor or a Vitamix

  • bake at 325 for 30 min
  • drop to 200 for an hour
  • refrigerate for 4+ hours

What’s your favorite 4th of July dessert? Tell me below in the comments :) Have a safe and fun Independence Day!

4thofjuly

 

Red Velvet Protein Cupcake

 

Hello, my name is Vanessa and I am a recovering sugar addict.

Sugar makes me do crazy things. I once begged a stranger at a concession stand for the last box of  Starburst Reds. Don’t judge me, you would have done the same! The man called me a joke and walked away but guess who had a box of Starburst Reds in her hands? ME!

Red Velvet Protein Cupcake

Once okay maybe twice, I’ve woken up with empty candy wrappers beside my pillow. Oh and then there was this one time in college when I fell asleep sitting up on a couch with a bowl of ice cream nestled on my lap. I protect the things I love.

Red Velvet Protein Cupcake

Sugar, it’s a hell of a drug! Studies have proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine, so if you’re reading this and judging…ask yourself, what would YOU do for a Klondike Bar? Or a cup of coffee on a Monday morning after a 2.5 hours commute!?

Red Velvet Protein Cupcake

Though I have lowered my daily sugar intake over the last year, the cravings have not subsided. Solution? Make a 90 Second Red Velvet Protein Cupcake. MTS Red Velvet Protein Powder is responsible for the cupcakes delicious bakery taste and vibrant red color. Enjoy it as a meal replacement, a snack, breakfast, or dessert!

Guys, run to your kitchen, make this cupcake, comment and share your opinion below, then repeat tomorrow…this cupcake is heavenly and look below at how healthy it is!

Ingredients

  • MTS Red Velvet Protein Powder, 1 scoop
  • Buckwheat Pancake Mix, 1 serving
  • Water, 5 tablespoons (add more water if batter is too thick)

Topping

  • Fage Fat Free Yogurt, 1 tablespoon
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 1 teaspoon

Directions

  1. Spray a microwave safe mug or ramekin with fat free, non-stick cooking spray
  2. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
  3. Pour batter into a mug or ramekin and microwave for 90 seconds (monitor your cupcake to avoid batter overflow)
  4. Allow it to cool down for 5 minutes then, using a butter knife, carefully remove cupcake then plate
  5. Eat it as is or get crazy and top it with yogurt!

Nutritional Facts (w/o Greek yogurt and unsweetened cocoa)

  • 303 calories
  • 31g protein
  • 5g fat
  • 6g fiber
  • 3g sugar
  • 36g carbs

Red Velvet Protein Cupcake

 

Makeup and More

In late 2014, I started contributing to an amazing lifestyle blog, PippaLoves. Below you’ll find my posts. Check them out and let me know what you think!

The Girls Guide To Dressing For Success While Staying Fabulous

During the week you can find me in black yoga pants or leggings, a sporty black tank-top, and a comfortable hoodie or sweater…both black, of course. Click here to read more

pippalovesdress

 

Got 10 Minutes? That’s All You Need To Look Fabulous All Day, Every Day

I start with Glam Glow’s YouthMud It exfoliates the skin and leaves it smooth and bright in only 10 minutes. Enjoy the tingle! Click here to read more

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6 Face Masks That Will Rescue Your Skin From Winter

Face masks are a huge part of my beauty routine. I use a variety of different masks throughout the week and like Martha Stewart, I never use the same mask two days in a row! Click here for more

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Prosciutto Pizza, Three Months Later

Now with the holidays behind us, things are settling down in the WAMC kitchen which means I have more time to experiment and share new recipes with you all! But first let me bring you up to date with my life.

In January, I welcomed 30 with open arms, friends, family and plenty of Crème brûlée

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Earlier this month I had my 4th hand surgery which means…

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Giant q-tip hand

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Surgery…but first let me take a selfie!

I only have one more surgery and I AM DONE! Can I get an AMEN?

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I’ve spent a lot time hiding my face from the frigid temperatures here in New England

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Oh and I changed my hair color for the 100th time haha Do you like the new color?

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 Now, let’s talk about this pizza. It has three of my favorite ingredients – Parma prosciutto, micro-greens, and cheese. You may have seen a sneak peak of this beauty on my new Instagram account.

This pizza is healthy because I added vitamin rich broccoli micro-greens. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)Micro-greens have a sweet peppery, earthy taste.  I’ve read that an ounce of micro-greens has more nutritional value than a pound of broccoli. Make it rain micro-greens all over your pizza.microgreens

This is a simple recipe that requires little effort but it packs a big punch of taste that will leave you wanting more! Let me know what your favorite pizza toppings are down below in the comments section!

Ingredients

  • Mini naan flat-bread
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parma prosciutto
  • Broccoli micro-greens (You can find them in the produce aisle next to the herbs)

prosciutto pizza

prosciutto pizza

Assemble your pizza as follows

Sauce, salt, pepper, mozzarella cheese, and a few slices of prosciutto

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes

Sprinkle micro-greens on your pizza and enjoy!

prosciutto pizza

Enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

 

Quinoa has been trending for awhile but like with most things, I am late to the party. Last month I made quinoa for the first time and blah! it had no taste.  So I decided to change that. I cooked the quinoa according to the directions on the package and added Herbs de Provence, pepper, and kosher salt. A few spices kicked my quinoa up a notch.

To make a complete meal, I stuffed quinoa in a mushroom cap, topped them with Gruyere cheese and baked the mushroom caps in the oven for 20 minutes. Ah-mazing.

This recipe would be perfect as a Thanksgiving side. (How the h-e- double hockey sticks is it almost Thanksgiving!?) This recipe is vegetarian which will please Cousin Shirley. It requires very little hands-on work which is great because it’s Thanksgiving and you have plenty to do. You need to set the table, perhaps wrangle children, and most importantly you have a bottle of wine to drink before crazy Aunt Gertrude arrives. You know she’s going to call you by your sister’s name…just keep drinking…and eating!

Bottoms up!

Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 cup pearl quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
  • Gruyère cheese (you decide the amount)
  • a dash of kosher salt
  • a dash of black pepper
  • olive oil

 

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to the directions on the box. Add the herbs, salt and pepper to the water
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel and place them on a greased baking sheet
  4. Stuff mushrooms with cooked quinoa and top with cheese
  5. Cook for 20 minutes

Enjoywamc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Banana Chia Ice Cream

I came across this recipe on a lovely vegan blog I just discovered- Naturally Meghan. My jaw dropped when I read that I could eat dessert for breakfast. DESSERT FOR BREAKFAST? Thank you, Meghan!

Many people go without breakfast because they don’t have time to cook in the morning. Well, problem solved. Coconut Banana Chia Ice Cream is quick to make and it’s packed with fiber and healthy fats.

You don’t have to follow my exact recipe but it’s a great starting point. I can see a chocolate coconut banana ice cream in my near future! Mmmm chocolate for breakfast (Homer voice.)

Coconut Banana Chia Ice Cream

Coconut chia banana ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (I use the 365 Whole Foods brand)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I use So Delicious)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon for garnish
  • fruit for garnish (I used pomegranate)

Instructions

  1. Mix bananas and coconut milk in a food processor or a powerful blender for 40 seconds
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until everything is incorporated and you have a soft serve ice cream consistency
  3. Garnish with fruit and a dash of cinnamon

 

It’s that easy. If you have a high-quality food processor, you don’t need anything more than the bananas to make a bowl of ice cream. But it’s so much fun to experiment. Give it a go!

Enjoywamc

 

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

A few weeks ago  my lovely friends at So Delicious sent me boxes full of their new holiday line! I noticed a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pancakes on the back side of the Pumpkin Spice flavored Coconut Milk container.

O M G! Pancakes + Pumpkin Spice? HEAVEN! 

I immediately dusted off my KitchenAid Mixer and began recreating this amazing, seasonal recipe. You guys know I hate following recipes but this one is worth following. The pancakes came out fluffy, with crispy edges and they had the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor without being overbearing.

So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

The recipe doesn’t require too much.

So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Use fresh butter and pure maple syrup to enhance the pumpkin flavors. Seriously guys, this pancake is HEAVENLY! Enjoy this recipe for breakfast or do as the Spaniards and enjoy your pancakes for dessert!

For fluffy pumpkin spice pancakes, click here for the full recipe. The recipe is on pg 23.

Que rico!! (How sweet!)

 What’s your favorite Fall recipe?

Labor Day Weekend, 10 Things To Do In Miami

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La Vie En Rose

This year has been full of highs and lows and just as things were starting to look up, life happened. Minor setbacks are frustrating but I refuse to allow them to cripple me. Uh huh, honey!  I am moving forward with my life and doing so with a positive outlook. I do have my moments, but that’s what yoga and kickboxing are for, right? 😉

Some people ask me how I maintain such a positive energy despite everything I’ve been through. It’s simple. I did my time- I spent several months self-reflecting, trying to make sense of my life. My fight is won-if I can survive last summer, I can get through anything. So pardon me while I live my life through rose colored glasses  (hence the post title, La Vie En Rose) because from where I’m standing, things are looking good and they can only improve.

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La Vie En Rose, Summer Edition

Two days after attending The Good One’s Chef Battle ,I had the 1st of 5 reconstructive hand surgeries. I usually shed a few tears as the nurses wheel me away from my family to the operating room but not this time, guys!  I was all, “yah, I’ve got this! Oh! Look at that room. I had surgery in OR 315 last year!” The nurses smiled and waved as I went by- they remembered me from last summer…I guess I made quite the impression when I asked if I could have prosciutto as my post-op meal. What else would I want after 12 hours of fasting?!

While I waited (impatiently) for the doctors to anesthetize me, my girlfriend Karissa walked over from the cardiology department for a quick chat, isn’t that sweet?  Thanks Karissa!

Next, I was taken into the frigid operating room and chatted with the doctors and staff about my summer until I drifted off to sleep. When I woke up in the recovery room I cried and told the staff how much I loved them! haha A BIG thank you to Dr. Goverman, Dr. Fagan and their staff at the MGH Burn Unit for taking such good care of me.

MaVieEnRose

My pre-op happy face…do you see the fear in my eyes?

Last week I went back to MGH for my post-op appointment and my doctors’ were extremely impressed with the results. This news is helping to calm my nerves for my 2nd surgery on September 5th. Despite having gone through 5 surgeries in the last few years, just the thought of anesthesia makes my skin crawl! Here’s to surgery #2 being just as successful as the 1st.

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Oh Hay Tom Brady! Fancy seeing you here

Once my hand healed, I was ready to get off the couch and have some fun. My girlfriend Jenna scored last minute tickets to the New England Patriots Training Camp and lucky for me, she asked me to join her! We sat 5 rows from the field. 5 ROWS! It was icredible. We could see Tom Brady’s pearly whites every time he laughed and joked with his teammates. Tom Brady. He’s just like us! I thought Jenna was going to faint at least 5 times throughout the practice but she held it together haha. We really wanted to get an autograph but no such luck. We must have missed the memo about bringing a cute child to dangle over the field. Next time, it’s game on- we will BOTH bring a child!

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She couldn’t even…

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Patriots Nation!

The following weekend I attended an incredible blogger trip to Saratoga, NY for the horse races. I’ll post details about that another day but here is a sneak peak:

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Spending time with Black Jack

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Bloody Mary Bar at the Boston Blogger Brunch

On Sunday, I spent a relaxing evening in Newburyport with a friend. We started off at Brine for cocktails and oysters then headed to Ceia Kitchen for an incredible dinner. I think we ordered everything off the menu! We had an assortment of cheeses, charcuterie (naturally), and an assortment of their small plates.

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Downtown Newburyport, MA

If you visit Ceia, which I highly recommend, you’ll notice beautiful award plaques hanging on the wall. For three consecutive years, Ceia was honored as Newburyport’s first and only ‘Award of Excellence’ by Wine Spectator. Wine lovers, prepare to be impressed by the extensive wines offered by the glass and bottle.

Ceia Cheese Plate

Ceia Cheese Plate (photo taken from Ceia’s website)

I was thrilled to see they had one of my favorite cheeses on their menu-Leonara. It’s a soft goat cheese with a grassy, mild goat flavor from Leon, Spain. I recommended eating it before your meal and if you’re a cheese lover like myself, have some after dinner drizzled with honey. It makes for a  lovely dessert and it also aids in digestion, how fitting!

Of all the small plates we shared, our favorite was The Egg– a coddled egg served in a mini mason jar with truffle, plump mushrooms and foie sauce. We also loved the stuffed squash blossoms and the gambas (shrimp) with Nora Chiles and garlic. The Nora chile is very mild and it has a nice sweet taste that complimented the gambas perfectly.

I apologize for not taking any photos to share with you. I was really into the experience and my iphone went untouched for a few hours. Shocking, I know!

The Best is Yet To Come

— I received a callback from the audition I had back in May! I  had my second audition last Friday and I think it went really well. Fingers crossed! The production process is a slow one but it’s worth the wait. Eek! I’m so excited!

— It happened again. My incurable wanderlust has resurfaced and soon I’ll be packing my bags and heading overseas. Can you guess where I’m headed? Check out my Instagram to find out!

La vie en rose isn’t so bad, is it?

mavienrose

Advice from a great friend