This past week has been a whirlwind. We're still unpacking from our move, and since the storage space in the kitchen is lacking we're building our own little kitchen hutch from scratch, which means I've spent the majority of my weekend in and out of home depot and wiping down and staining boards of wood. It is a LOT of work, but it should look really nice in the end so hopefully it will all be worth it. There has also been a lot of rain lately, especially for Los Angeles, so I decided to make some spring-y cupcakes with poppy seed lemon cake, filled with lemon curd, and a bright blueberry frosting inspired by Week of Menu's Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting. I'm hoping that these April showers really will bring May flowers, as most of the seeds I ordered came in the mail these past couple weeks and I've been gardening a lot as a result. I do my seed starting the way my Dad taught me: seeds folded into moist paper towels placed in a plastic sandwich bag in the sun for a few days, then transplanted into starter pots with potting soil. So far, so good, but I realized after my orders came that seed packets always seem to be meant for people with enormous backyards, not the small urban patch of grass at my new place. So, I've decided to share my surplus of seed in a springtime giveaway!
I'm giving away a fun "grow-your-own" postcard set from The Victory Garden of Tomorrow, complete with the postcards you see below, plus three stickers and two temporary tattoos, and 4-5 seeds of each of the following:
- Low-Growing Green Beans
- Green Grape Tomato
- Heartland Hybrid Tomato
- Cherokee Purple Tomato
- Livingston's Golden Queen Tomato
- Purple Cabash Tomato
- Schiavone Italian Paste Tomato
- Climbing Tomato
- Moon and Stars Watermelon
- Yellow Bush Scallop Summer Squash
- French Breakfast Radish
- Burpless Cucumber
- Cape Gooseberry
- Prickly-Seeded Spinach
- Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale
- Buttercrunch Lettuce
- Atomic Red Carrot
- Royal Family Mix Sweet Pea Flower
- Native Columbine Flower
- Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment on this post saying you did.
- Like Adventures in Cooking on Facebook and leave a separate comment on this post saying
- Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment on this post saying you did.
If you already do any of those things, just leave a comment on this post saying you do. The deadline for entries is 11:59 pm PST April 21st, the winner will be announced April 22nd. Only open to residents of the United States. Best of luck, and enjoy the spring!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes
1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 and 1/4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice, plus 1 Tablespoon
3 Tablespoons Grated Lemon Zest
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
12 Cupcake Liners
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Zest
Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(1) 1.2 Ounces Package Freeze-Dried Blueberries (I got mine at Whole Foods, also, it's 1.2 ounces in weight, not in volume)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds (for decoration)
Begin by making the cupcakes. Place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and mix together all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl, except the poppy seeds and sugar. Set it aside. In another small bowl, mix together the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, and set that bowl aside as well. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the grated lemon zest and then alternate between adding the flour mixture and the lemon juice mixture until they're all completely combined. Stir in the poppy seeds. Evenly distribute the batter between the cupcake liners. Place the cupcake pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are baking, you can prepare the lemon curd. Whisk together the sugar, egg, egg yolk, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest in the top of a double boiler until combined, (make sure the top of the double boiler isn't actually touching the boiling water, it should hover just above it). Allow the lemon curd to cook for fifteen minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so, until it thickens. Then remove it from the heat, scoop the lemon curd into a separate bowl, and set it aside to cool.
Once the cupcakes are finished, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. While they're cooling, you can prepare the frosting. Empty the freeze-dried blueberries into a blender or some kind of bladed mixing device (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend until a fine powder forms. Set them aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and the powdered blueberries and mix until a frosting forms.
Once the cupcakes and lemon curd have cooled, scoop 1 teaspoon out of the tops of each of the cupcakes and fill the holes with 1 teaspoon of the lemon curd.
Then, fit a frosting bag with a 9 mm star tip and fill the bag with the frosting. Starting about 1 cm away from the edge of the cupcake, pump out the frosting and continue in a spiral until you reach the center, where you should stop pumping the frosting and pull up and away. Repeat until you have frosted all of the cupcakes. Sprinkle a pinch of poppy seeds over each cupcake, and serve.