Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Live Below the Line

$1.25 a day. Could you live off of $1.25 a day?  4 million Americans are living in extreme poverty, and that is what they are living off of. In a country full of american dreams millions of people are still struggling to have a place to live and food to eat.  The number of americans living in extreme poverty situations has doubled in the last 15 years, and 50% of americans are currently low income or are living in poverty.

Looking at extreme poverty on a global level, 1.4 billion people are living in it.

Live Below the Line is helping to raise awareness for those are living in extreme poverty situations. They have issued a global challenge to everyone to Live Below the Line for 5 days.

So how can you help? Pledge to live below the line from May 7th-11th. Living Below the Line means spending only $1.50 a day for food and drink. Luke and I have taken the pledge, and yes, as excited as we are to support Live Below the Line and CARE, we are little scared that we will not be able to eat for $1.50 a day.

In addition to raising awareness, I am also supporting CARE,  CARE is a humanitarian organization that is fighting global poverty. CARE puts their focus on educating and helping women. They believe once women are equipped with resources, they can change their family and their community.

If you aren't up to taking the challenge with Luke and I, please donate and help me reach my goal of raising $250 for CARE.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Cupcake

Luke has drill this weekend, and there is no way I am waking up before 4 to make my sweet husband breakfast. So normally I'll pick up some pop tarts or some store bought muffins for him to take with him. But after seeing this recipe I decided to spruce it up a little and combine two of Luke's favorite things...cupcakes and cinnamon rolls.

Here is what you need...
1 -stick of butter
1- cup of brown sugar
1-box yellow cake mix (We used Betty Crocker Gluten Free)
2-TSP Almond Extract
1/2-TSP Vanilla Extract (you may want to use a little more, I cut the amount down because I used vanilla flavored milk)
4 TBS- Ground Cinnamon
3 Eggs
1/8 cup -vegetable oil
1/8 cup- milk
1/4 cup of chopped pecans

* If making this a GF recipe make sure to double check all your ingredients- I knew that everything I had on hand was GF.

Preheat your oven to 350 and get the pan ready- Seriously I can not sing enough praises for the silicon cupcake liners... They are AMAZING!!!

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl - I would add the nuts last, once you have the batter smooth, because it would be a little difficult to tell the difference in this batter between lumps and pecans.

Pour your mix into your liners- I filled mine almost all the way up

Bake for the amount of time on your box of cake. Mine was for 25. It ended up being more like 30 minutes to achieve the crunchy outer texture I wanted for this cake. This cake was super yummy. Crunchy on the outside and ooey gooey in the middle. Just like a good cinnamon roll.

I was pleasantly surprised with the gluten free cake mix. I have read mixed reviews on it, but it did work really well in this cake.

Now for the fun part, the icing... I was lazy, I'll admit it. I used good old store bought cream cheese icing in a tub. I also told myself that I needed to use everything in my pantry before the big move, and this tub has been travelling around with me for a little while. I was also able to use some of my new cupcake goodies when icing these babies. I finally broke down and bought icing tips and a featherweight bag. This is all after a trip to Williams Sonoma Friday (I will post on that later today).
 Luke loved them, I loved them, I loved icing them (I will be buying larger tips today because I could only do one before my hand and wrist started cramping up.


 But here is my cupcake, all iced and decorated and ready to be eaten!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vegan and Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes!

While sitting in work passing out the pupcakes from two days ago, I had a request for Red Velvet Cupcakes. Coincidentally I had just found this yummy recipe on pinterest, Red velvet is a favorite of many, so i decided to give it a try.

For the past few months I have been developing food allergies and issues to so many different things, that until I can get a grip on what exactly is causing the problem, certain known allergens are being removed from my diet. Craving a cupcake, I decided to make sure this one was adapted from the above recipe to make it gluten free as well.

Preheat your oven to 350 and get all your ingredients together
For the Cake:
  • 1 cup vegan milk ( I used Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( I used less than the original recipe called for because of the vanilla in the milk)
  •  1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

First you need to mix the milk and the vinegar into a separate bowl and the let the milk curdle with the vinegar. Set the bowl aside.

Then, sift all dry ingredients together into a big bowl.

Next add in the wet ingredients including the milk mixture.

Whisk everything together. Be careful not to over mix, some lumps in the batter are fine.
Pour into your lined cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Take your yummy yummy cakes out of the oven and let cool. Remember to let your cakes cool completely before icing... I have to keep reminding myself this =/

Now for my favorite part, the frosting....
  • 1/4 cup of softened vegan butter (earth balance in my brand of choice)
  • 1/4 cup of softened vegan cream cheese
  • 2 cups of vegan powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix everything together and enjoy!

So as far as the taste... My super picky husband LOVED them. He seemed a little upset that the entire dozen wasn't for him. But cupcakes are meant for sharing. =)

What is your favorite type of cupcake?