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Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

For those of you celebrating Easter this weekend, here’s a fun dessert that everyone will love. Funfetti cupcakes were always my go-to dessert of choice (to make) in college. From a box, of course. I have a very specific memory of one of my friends asking me to make a cake for his girlfriend (one of my sorority sisters) and him being really impressed by the funfetti sheet cake I made. Topped with frosting from a tub. I even got one of those frosting tubes to write on the cake. It’s kind of funny to think about now.

Obviously a lot has changed since those days, but I still love funfetti. What’s not to love about a vanilla cake studded with sprinkles? I love a good white cake, and this one is just that. The cupcakes are light, fluffy and moist – everything a good vanilla cupcake should be.

You can use any type of sprinkles you want, but I prefer the round ones (quins, so named because they’re like sequins). I was worried mine were too big, but I couldn’t find the smaller size anywhere. These ended up working just fine, though. No matter which sprinkles you use, you can’t really go wrong when you’re putting sprinkles in a cupcake.

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Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Pasta

I’ve had people tell me before that it “must be nice” to have time to cook complicated meals every night. You know, because I don’t really do much during the day, and I always have my lipstick on and dinner on the table right before Eric walks in the door from work. Obviously. Eric and I enjoy cooking, so yes, there are plenty of times we’ll cook something involved. However, most of our weeknight dinners are more along the lines of this one – simple, delicious, comfortable food that can be made and enjoyed with plenty of time leftover to play with Clara before bed.

Pasta is a food I could never tire of, and it’s always easy for me to whip together pasta and some type of sauce for dinner. This recipe makes things even easier because there’s no sauce, just a garlic infused oil that’s tossed with the pasta before serving. I’d venture to say this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve posted. It’s also amazingly good, proving that quick, weeknight dinners don’t have to be tasteless and boring.

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Pasta

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Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese and Maple Caramel

When I was planning the menu for Clara’s birthday party, there were a couple items that I knew we had to serve. One was the chicken and waffles I posted last week, and the other was these cupcakes. Though I toyed around with the idea of having a pancake bar, I decided on these because a) I knew they’d taste awesome and b) because they’re super fun.

The cupcake shop I worked at before Clara was born had a blueberry pancake cupcake that I loved (but seriously, I loved all the flavors there), and I knew I wanted to recreate it for the party. I mean, what’s brunch without some type of pancakes, right?

The base of these cupcakes is a vanilla cake studded with fresh blueberries. They’re topped with maple cream cheese frosting and then drizzled with maple caramel sauce, which is a nod to the maple syrup we love on pancakes. I’ve seen cupcakes like this frosted a number of different ways, but I chose the maple cream cheese because that’s how we made them at the shop I worked at and because, you know, it’s totally delicious. I had to stop myself from eating one of these for a pre-party breakfast.

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese and Maple Caramel

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Homemade Brioche Loaf Bread

Homemade Brioche Loaf Bread

Homemade bread ranks pretty high on my list of things I’m so glad I can make at home (with ice cream taking the number one spot). It may seem silly to make your own sandwich bread, given that it’s readily available and because homemade bread seems like such a hassle. Let me tell you – it is totally worth the time it takes, and most of that time is spent waiting on the dough to rise anyway.

This bread is a less rich version of brioche. I’ve posted a brioche recipe before, and that one is fantastic as dinner rolls. However, I wanted something with less butter to use as an everyday sandwich bread. Enter this bread, known as “Poor Man’s Brioche” because it uses less eggs and butter than traditional brioche.

I originally made this bread with the intent of using it for sandwiches, but I’ll be honest and tell you that most of it got eaten slice by slice, straight off the loaf. Even though it doesn’t have nearly as much butter as its traditional counterpart, this brioche is still rich and tender, making it basically irresistible. The Cobb salad sandwiches we made with it were some of the best I’ve had, and it also makes killer French toast.

Homemade Brioche Loaf Bread

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Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Butter Syrup

Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Butter Syrup

Chicken + waffles = the best breakfast food ever. Need I say more? Didn’t think so. On to the recipe!

Just kidding. I’m not going to leave you guys with that, but I’m not sure what to say that isn’t something like “OMG, go make these now,” even though that’s pretty much how I feel. I try to reserve my gushing for times when a recipe is truly gush-worthy, and well, this one is.

When we knew for sure Clara’s birthday party would be during brunch, I immediately suggested chicken and waffles. Eric was totally with me, despite the fact that we had no idea how we would fry a bunch of chicken in advance of the party. As usual, America’s Test Kitchen came to our rescue with a recipe for chicken nuggets that could be frozen and reheated. Score!

Let me tell you about these chicken nuggets. They’re double battered, moist and juicy on the inside, and perfectly crunchy on the outside. Yes, they are deep fried and totally worth the work/calories. We combined the fried chicken with our favorite waffle recipe and a syrup recipe from our friend Rebecca to create the ultimate chicken and waffle recipe. It’s fantastic in every way, and I’m still thinking about these tasty little bites more than three weeks after Clara’s party.

Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Butter Syrup

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