Cupcakes and Pickles

I honestly never meant for this to be a food blog.  But I seemed to have (re)discovered the fun of cooking and baking over the summer, in part because of the One Local Summer challenge.  I was the microwave queen – I regularly told people that I didn’t cook, I microwaved, and I got married so that I would have someone to cook for me (the husband, he really likes our kitchen).  Well I guess I can’t say that anymore, now can I?  There are two food related things I’d like to share with you today.  Maybe a knitting post later this week   🙂

DSC_3975_edit This is a sweet little creation, the Double Vanilla Cupcake.  Delightful!  There’s something so fresh and sweet about a good vanilla bean ice cream that I really enjoy and that translated 100% into this recipe.  I whipped these up last night for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit.  We stuck them in the fridge to firm up the icing (it was REALLY hot today) and they came out just perfect, so much so that a chocoholic even rated them a 99 out of 100 (with chocolate being the unbeatable 100).  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  The real vanilla beans are what make these so delicious and I can’t imagine making them without the beans.  Oh and we had a little extra icing, so I need to find some graham crackers to make some icing sandwiches since that’s what mom did when we were kids and had some leftover icing from a birthday cake.  OM NOM NOM.

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Lemon Cucumber Pickles!  That is, Lemon Cucumber, not lemon flavored cucumbers.  I promised a post about these, and here it is. I decided to go all out and got myself a pressure canner and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, commonly referred to as the ‘bible’ of canning and preserving. These pickles are the basic dill pickle recipe with the added garlic and were rather simple to make. Slice home-grown cucumbers, let soak overnight with salt and ice, boil pickling spice and vinegar, process filled jars in boiling water! It’s really that easy. The hardest part is waiting about four weeks for them to mature and marinate in the jars. They’re sitting on my kitchen counter, taunting me with their cheerful yellow rinds and mustard seeds, telling me how delicious they will be if I could just wait another two or three weeks. I’m not sure I have that much will power.