7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SANDWICHES

I originally found a recipe, 7-UP CHILIBURGERS, in a loose bound cookbook from 1977.  It was one of those compilation style books written for fundraisers for schools or churches.  I’ve modified it over time, but we love it.

7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SAMMIES
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped small
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
7.5 ounce can 7UP or Sprite
3/4 cup Jalapeno ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Franks, original hot sauce
Havarti slices

  • Melt butter in cast iron large skillet.
  • Add beef and chopped onion, browning until crumbly.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Return meat to pan and sprinkle with flour, stirring to absorb.
  • Whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, 7UP, hot sauce, chili powder and garlic powder.
  • Add to meat mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook 10 minutes.
  • Split ciabatta buns in half.
  • Lay a slice of cheese on top of bread.
  • Spoon loose meat over cheese and enjoy!  They are also GREAT, but MESSY as whole sandwiches.

NOTE:  This is a good recipe to make double of and freeze half for a quick weeknight meal.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 4 OF 2020

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

GOOD MORNING!  I hope everyone had a great week and an even better weekend.  I got a lot done on Saturday cleaning out the freezer and baking a pie for the new neighbor.  We then watched the playoffs on Sunday while I worked on some garland for next Christmas.  Yep, you read that right – next Christmas (2020).  I wanted to get it done while it was still fresh in my mind what I wanted to do and that way I can also get it packed into the boxes in a timely fashion!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING Today is supposed to be pleasant and then we go back to non-stop gray and rainy for the next 10 days.  Days will hover around mid 40’s and lows will be in the 30’s at night. 

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, a banana and mixed berry yogurt

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… laundry is up to date except for the bed sheets and towels, vacuum, bathrooms…
  • YARD… 🙂 nothing to do
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… deep clean the laundry room where we have been having ants again coming from under the baseboards.  In the winter they are trying to get out of the cold and in the summer they seem to be looking for water.  I have an essential oil spray I’m going to try on the baseboards to prevent them from even wanting in. 😀 Yesterday they were in the utensil drawer so that got emptied and everything washed.  I hate this kind of ants!  They’re not looking for food and always appear in the weirdest places.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… hubby has a dental appointment…, Taco Tuesday with friends, a long overdue pedicure on Wendesday
  • BLOG… a couple recipe updates
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… I’m hoping to get a coat of stain on the table I’ve been refinishing if the weather gets warm enough one day and I’m still hoping to get the mixed media and alcohol ink projects started.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED The winter return of many series is backed up on the DVR as well as the January Hallmark movies. We binge watched the latest season on Lost in Space on Saturday and started the “new” version of Anne of Green Gales, Anne with an E.  I am enjoying the new Anne of Green Gables, but so far the 1985 version with Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst is still my favorite!

I’M READING Jana DeLeon’s The Lost Girls of Johnson’s Bayou

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I only took food and craft pictures this week!  Unfortunately, I tend to use my phone more and more for pictures 🙁 But, I did get a quick shot of the new garland I’m making for next Christmas.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
QUICHE
PANCAKES
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
CHICKEN SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
C.O.R.N.
SALAD & FRUIT
PIZZA
SOUP
DINNER
4 INGREDIENT CHICKEN with CRISPY POTATO LATKES
CONVEYOR BELT CHICKEN and MELTING POTATOES
HOT WILTED GREENS with BACON DRESSING
C.O.R.N.
S.O.S.
MEATLOAF & MASHED POTATOES with SALAD
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT
PEACH BLUEBERRY PIE
??

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless chicken things
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic powder. onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add chicken pieces to skillet, turning to coat.
  • Sear one side, 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn to other side, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Skim off fat and return chicken to skillet.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and honey.
  • Drizzle over chicken and cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice.

CHICKEN & CORN STEW 2 ways – WEEKNIGHT & SLOW COOKER

This recipe is SOOOOOO versatile!  It was originally written as a slow cooker recipe that I adapted to NOT ONLY our likes and tastes, but also to a quick week night meal. 

WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds rotisserie chicken pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced small
1 large shallot, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.
  • Add carrots and shallots, stirring to saute until softened.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth.
  • Add broth to skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add corn, thyme, potatoes pieces, chicken pieces, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and croutons are toasted.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced large
1 large shallot, large chop
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • LIGHTLY spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth and pour into slow cooker.
  • Add chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, shallots, corn, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Cook another 10-15 minutes until heated through and thickened.

NOTES: Crushed potato chips works to replace the croutons in a pinch!

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS
3-4 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • Toss flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bag, tossing to coat.
  • Shake off excess and place on baking pan in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Dip each wing in the sauce and return to pan on its opposite side.
  • Bake another 25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Dip in sauce a second time as you plate them.

GLAZE
2/3 cup PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced (optional) for garnish

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over a medium heat,
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Garnish if desired and serve.

TEX MEX MEXICAN BREAKFAST BOMBS

TEX MEX BREAKFAST BOMBS adapted from SLOW ROASTED ITALIAN
I think I found the original recipe on facebook. It was great, but I HAD to adapt it to my family and now we think it’s even better! These are cheesy, meat filled egg bombs that are a HUGE hit with EVERYONE young and old alike.

The BEST part is that they can be prepared in advance and then popped into the oven when you need them.

16 frozen RHODES dinner yeast rolls
flour, for dusting
SALSA, for finishing

FILLING
1/2 pound diced bacon pieces, prepared to desired crispness (we like them JUST crisp and still a little chewy)
1/2 pound diced country ham pieces
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 ounces shredded Taco blend cheese
1 can green chiles, drained WELL
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced

EGGS

  • In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, whisking until completely combined.
  • Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the egg mixture and stir occasionally until the eggs are scrambled, and no liquid is left in the pan, about 3-4 minutes. DO NOT cook until they are completely dry, or they will be very dry in the breakfast bomb.
  • Set aside to cool.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place dinner rolls on a microwave safe plate and microwave on defrost for about 3-4 minutes (or until dough is no longer frozen, but NOT cooked).
  • Butter a 9″x9″ baking pan and set aside.
  • Lightly flour your counter top.
  • Toss 1 piece of dough in flour and flatten into disc stretching dough into a 3-4 inch circle.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the dough and press into the dough with the palm of your hand.
  • Top with 1 tablespoon eggs, 1 tablespoon bacon, 1/2 teaspoon green chiles and 1/2 teaspoon red peppers onto the center of the dough round. Pull the top and bottom edges of the dough together and then add the left and right edges. Pinch the dough together to create a ball. If the ball won’t seal, tap your finger tips into the flour and then crimp the seal together. Place dough ball in prepared dish. Repeat until all breakfast bombs are in the dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes. OR  Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, place the wrap sprayed side down on the breakfast bombs.refrigerate until the next day.

MAKE AHEAD COOKING

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove baking dish from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap.
  • Bake for 40-45  minutes until the tops are golden brown and the breakfast bombs are no longer doughy. You can pull one of the edge pieces out and if it is still doughy cook it for another 5 minutes.

NOTE: Cover with foil at 25-30 minutes to prevent tops from getting TOO brown.

HERB BUTTER
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave, about 30 seconds or until butter is melted.
  • Whisk in garlic powder, parsley and salt.
  • Remove breakfast bombs from the oven.
  • Brush them with melted butter mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy!

HERBED RED WINE VINAIGRETTE

I make this is small batches – just enough for that night’s meals because we prefer the fresh aspect.

HERBED RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In the base of your cruet add the shallot pieces.
  • Sprinkle with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Top with avocado oil. Let sit 15 minutes to macerate the shallots.
  • After 15 minutes add the minced garlic, Italian herbs, lemon juice, sugar and red wine vinegar.
  • Shake to combine.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour before dressing salad and serving.

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL CHICKEN

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL CHICKEN

CHICKEN
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar

  • In a large bowl dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts of cold water.
  • Submerge chicken in brine, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

1/2 cup cornstarch

BATTER
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

PREPARATION

1 cup coconut oil

  • Remove chicken from brine and dry thoroughly.
  • Dredge one piece of chicken at a time in the cornstarch, shaking to remove excess and place on a plate.
  • Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Dip chicken in batter one piece at a time, allowing excess to drip off, and add to hot oil, frying 5-7 minutes per side until crispy and cooked through.
  • Drain on paper toweling.
  • Dip chicken pieces one at time in the caramel glaze and place on rack to drain.
  • Serve immediately.

GOCHUJANG CARAMEL
1 large green onion, minced (whites only – save greens for garnish)
2 tablespoon Coarsely chopped ginger*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Gochujang
1/2 cup Sugar
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons Sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 1/2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • Whisk the sugars with the orange juice in a medium sauce pan.
  • Bring to a simmer and reduce for 3-5 min or until large bubbles form and the caramel has some
  • color
  • Add the scallions, garlic and ginger to the pot and stir constantly to slow down the cooking of the
  • caramel. This will be very fragrant.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame seeds. Keep the sauce warm until ready to use or store in airtight container in refrigerator for
  • up to 2 weeks.

NOTES:

  • Gourmet Garden Squeeze herbs are a great substitution to fresh if you don’t have it on hand.
  • You can use bone in chicken, but you need to adjust the cooking time!  We prefer the boneless because the glaze is so sticky that using a knife and fork is preferable to us!

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 3 of 2020

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday

GOOD MORNING everyone.  I hope you had a wonderful week.  Mine was busy, productive and informative though I had a bunch of downtime with my knee injury while we awaited the MRI results.  Unfortunately, I did tear my meniscus, but fortunately I have a WONDERFUL primary care doctor!  We discussed it and agreed to start with cortisone shots and reevaluate where I am in 3 months before just heading to the surgeon to be cut open AGAIN.  I have had my fill of surgeries during the past decade so if I can avoid another one I will!  That said, I still have to be careful and won’t be running any marathons, but I am walking better and able to not spend all my time with ice on the knee.  By the end of the day I do crave the ice, but at least it’s not morning, noon and night now!

LOL 😀 She did tell me I have to come up with a better story for how I did it!  She suggested something like saving a puppy from getting hurt in traffic instead of  I tore it crushing a box for recycling! 

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & HOW I’M FEELING THIS MORNING It’s been super wet here!  It’s cold too and we’re on winter weather watch. It’s the bone chilling kind of cold.  It’s supposed to be rainy and snowy here this week with lows in the low 30’s and highs in the low 40’s.  I actually hope to see some snow, just not the kind like last year that left us in the cold and dark for 4 days.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Mixed Berry Yogurt & Hot Water

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN…Did a deep clean last week after putting away the Christmas decorations as well as ALL the bedding and laundry so I’m really caught up.
  • YARD…It rained all last week and is supposed to rain and snow all this week, so nope, nothing I’m going to worry about 😀
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… Cleaning the silt from the gutter in the street.  We’re in a cul-de-sac with poor drainage and everything ends up in front of the driveway when it rains due to poor drain placement when the tract was originally built.  The normal pain in the butt issue was made worse this past Tuesday by a water main break in front of a neighbor’s house up the street.  It’s obvious the city isn’t going to clean it up, so we will have to.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… hubby has a doctor appointment, Taco Tuesday with Janie, refinishing drop leaf table, still going through VA paperwork…
  • BLOG… I’m hoping to get caught up on some trip posts from 2019.
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… still hoping to get the mixed median and alcohol ink projects started.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED The winter return of many series is backed up on the DVR as well as the January Hallmark movies and there were a couple new Netflix series we want to try, but nothing definitive yet.

I’M READING Jana DeLeon’s The Lost Girls of Johnson’s Bayou

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Hubby got the table completely disassembled and all sanded down.  Now it’s time to start the refinishing.  The bottom picture is the sanded color and the first coat of the new English Chestnut stain.  I’ll get it steel wooled this week and get the 2nd coat of stain on if the weather cooperates.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
EGGS IN HASH BROWN NESTS with small HAM STEAKS
LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKES & BACON
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
TUNA SALAD
SALAD & FRUIT
??
??
DINNER
BEEF STROGANOFF & SALAD
CHICKEN & CORN STEW with MILK COFFEE BUNS
BURGERS, FRIES & BRIGHT CABBAGE SLAW
C.O.R.N.
CONVEYOR BELT CHICKEN & SALAD
4 INGREDIENT CHICKEN & SALAD
SNAPPER WRAPPER CASSEROLE
DESSERT
CINNAMON CRUMB APPLE OATMEAL MUFFINS
CHOCOLATE ANGEL FOOD CANDY

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • GOCHUJANG CARAMEL CHICKEN
  • CHICKEN /PORK POSITANO
  • RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
  • CHICKEN & CORN STEW

INSPIRATIONAL & A FUNNY

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING TIP

I tend to clean my shower while I’m in it.  I figure I’m already getting all wet so I can do a better job from top to bottom by doing it from the inside!  That said I absolutely hate trying to clean the sliding glass door tract!  Seems like it’s impossible to get completely clean.  A number of years ago I started using a baby bottle brush to get under the doors along the caulking and rubber strip.  The first time I did it I was AMAZED by what I was able to clean out of what looked like a relatively clean area! 

I was in need of a new brush so went to Wally World to get a new set.  There was a young mother with 2 VERY young children, maybe 6 months and 2 years old shopping on the same aisle.  She looked quite tired.  She asked me if the set I was buying was a good set and I kind of laughed and said absolutely, but let me tell you what I really use it for.  She almost started crying!  She told me how she was just trying to figure out the same problem and was beside herself trying to keep up with the cleaning and 2 young children.  She thanked me for making her day a bit easier.  Even if I did nothing more than give her an outlet to vent, I’m happy to have helped. 😀

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
2 cups buttermilk
3 pounds chicken wings
3/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1/3 cup QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon celery flakes
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Place chicken wings in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour buttermilk over chicken pieces, turning to coat. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Drain chicken and discard buttermilk.
  • Place chicken pieces back in the bag.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter, tomato paste, garlic powder, celery flakes and sea salt.
  • Add 1/3 of sauce to the bag, tossing to coat chicken.
  • Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking tray.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, basting with remaining sauce and turning every 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through .
  • Serve with Bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Home made “BLEU” CHEESE DRESSING
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup large curd cottage cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces Bleu cheese crumbles (sometimes I use Gorgonzola for a bit of change or when I accidentally pick up the wrong container at the grocery store and we like it just as well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until it’s well mixed.
  • Chill for 24-48 hours before serving.

RED VELVET ALMOND CAKE

RED VELVET CAKE/CUPCAKES with ALMOND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
CAKES
2 cups cake flour
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons almond flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup avocado oil
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
scant 2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Line 2-9 inch rounds with parchment paper or 2 muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  • Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
  • In the bowl of a mixer blend the avocado oil, buttermilk, sugar, eggs, food coloring, applesauce, vinegar, and vanilla on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix until JUST combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes.
  • Cool the cupcakes completely.
  • Generously frost the top of each cupcake with the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.

ALMOND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 – 8  ounce cream cheese packages, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer on medium-low, and slowly add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Once the ingredients are all incorporated, turn the mixer to high, and beat for 1 additional minute.