Live, Work, Create

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Live, Work, Create

When I was 11 I wrote in my journal that I was feeling very confused because I really liked my new boyfriend but I felt like it was overtaking my love for NSYNC. “I have one problem though. And this is VERY hard to say. I still LOVE NSYNC but I don’t know what to say. I just feel like I’m about to grow apart from 5 GREAT GUYS.” I was torn. How could I be obsessed with two things at once? Needless to say, a few days later, I wrote that I got my NSYNC love back and I was feeling great. And clearly I haven’t grown apart from those five guys yet, even with a handful of boyfriends along the way.

So I’ve been through this before. It’s a balancing act. I can spend all day with my job that I love and still make time for my blog (and my friends, and cooking, and yoga, and exploring, and dating) which I love too. I’m going to refocus on this balance this spring. It’s the most special thing to be able to choose to what and to whom you connect with. And to have multiple passions, well, aren’t I just lucky? Those things – spending mornings in the kitchen, long walks with my dad, learning more about photography for Cava projects, knowing the It’s Gonna Be Me dance after 14 years – those are me. Live, Work, Create. Let’s do it all.

Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

This post is for my family. Mostly for my older brother who loves every banana. And is graciously letting me film My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone at his apartment.

It’s a week away and I’m a bit stressed out about it, honestly. Forget the whole spending a day with Joey thing (just trying not to think about that.) But I have a cook some complicated recipes on camera, which is new to me.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

So I’m practicing a lot beforehand. Testing out the recipes, talking to my mom and aunts and uncles about how they make them. While I have so many nerves, I’m feeling more and more connected to the food I’m cooking. They’re recipes that mean something to me and my family. They so many memories attached to them. This is another reason this show means so much to me. It’s not just about Joey or making my tween dreams come true. This show is about everything that means something to me. Food and family and passions.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

This banana cupcake recipe is like everything else I’m preparing for the show. Simple, sweet, and full of flavor memories. These might just be the cupcakes I bake for Joey next week!

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

One-Bowl Banana Cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with 24 paper cups.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs, oil, bananas, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Pour evenly into cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans half-way through, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on to a wire rack completely before frosting.

Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add in dulce de leche and vanilla.
  2. Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy (Birthday) Weekend

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It’s been fun being back on the blog this week…thanks for all of your support and sweet comments! There’s no sweeter to end a long week than with birthday celebrations. Good friends, heaps of pasta, hot pink nails, blow outs, bubbly. I feel so lucky to have such amazing people around me + such awesome internet pals who have stuck with me for five years. I’ve grown up so much on here since I was 22. And can’t imagine life differently. Merci beaucoup!

Have a great weekend, friends! Cheers! xo

{sparkle + champagne}

Spring Brunching

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Spring brunching

Still have breakfast on the mind. With the warm weather creeping in, I’m ready to load up on spring produce and bright flavors, especially in the morning. I can’t wait for my farmer’s market to be bustling again or start getting a weekly CSA. I really want to celebrate with brunch parties on a patio I don’t have, but I think rooftops and park picnics will have to suffice. I’ll bring the food if you bring the iced coffee.

baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes | beet and turnip gratin | blueberry pull-apart bread | lemon, feta, asparagus pasta, cold-brewed iced coffee

April Rules: Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios

April 1st is probably my least favorite day on the internet. Why did anyone ever think pranks were fun? Like running marathons and tequila shots. Just don’t get it. But April 1st is also the beginning of my birthday week and the start of my favorite month. Things happen in April. Trees bloom and ramps grow and people get happier because they’re walking around drinking lemonade and eating fro-yo in the sunshine and how could that not make you happy?

On the note of happiness and birthdays, it’s not surprising I want celebrate with something chocolate and fudgy. While I prefer cake, these Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios would absolutely do the trick. Use whatever is your favorite brownie recipe, then add this salted fudge frosting – kicks them up a notch to be birthday-worthy. Chopped pistachios bring in one of my favorite spring flavors (and colors).

Don’t be gullible…April rules. Just add chocolate.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios

Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios

  • 6 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips divided in half
  • 8 oz butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt dark chocolate, half of the semi-sweet chocolate, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs. Mix in cooled chocolate. Slowly incorporate the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.

Salted Fudge Frosting

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg with 1 1/2 cups sugar on low speed, add the cocoa into egg mixture. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, vanilla, butter and sea salt and beat to combine. Spread onto cooled brownies. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios