Summer Citrus Cupcakes

Nothing says summer like the fresh flavors of citrus. Tart lemons and oranges bursting with flavor are delicious and refreshing. We capture the essence of summer in these summer citrus cupcakes. Lemon would be an obvious choice for these, but we like the understated and delicious flavor of orange in this recipe. Incorporating both orange juice and orange zest keeps the star ingredient front and center with delicious results. You can interchange lemons, grapefruits, limes or oranges here with a variety of flavorful results.

Begin by zesting and juicing two large oranges. Set aside, and then follow this recipe.

citrus cupcake

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, separated

Zest grated from 2 oranges

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar, adding egg yolks one at a time. Add orange zest. Sift dry ingredients together, and then add them to the butter mixture, alternating adding orange juice as well. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the batter. Pour batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners (or well greased), and bake 18-22 minute until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before icing.

Orange Buttercream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Combine butter and orange zest in a mixer then add the powdered sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add the orange juice until frosting is the desired consistency. For stronger flavor, use orange extract instead of juice. You’ll only need about 1/8 of a teaspoon, so thin the frosting with a little milk as needed.

Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with candied orange peel, a curl of fresh peel, or a mint leaf.

Capture the taste of summer in this delicious treat. It’s perfect for summer birthdays, office parties, barbecues, potlucks and more. The orange flavor is sweet and just a little tart and the buttercream intensifies the flavor in every bite. Try this recipe for summer citrus cupcakes today!

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Simple Fava Bean Recipe

Fava beans have a rich, buttery taste, and chefs love to incorporate them into their first spring dishes. Fava beans are a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. Young favas can be cooked and used unpeeled, but as they mature, their tough outer skins need to be removed.  But it’s well worth the effort because their rich flavor is delicious in everything from salads to stews. They might take some time to shell and peel, but putting the tender green beans into any dish makes it sodelicious! Since they are so fresh, and have a naturally good taste, it is best to create dishes with them that use simple ingredients and highlight the taste of the beans themselves. Here is a simple recipe that does just that and also comes together in under half an hour.

Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Lemon

Ingredients

4 lb. fresh fava beans

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

3/4 cup shaved aged hard cheese, such as Pecorino

 

Method

  • First, shell the fava beans from the fava pods. If you're new to fava beans, an easy method is to open the pods as you run the edge of a knife along the seam, cutting away the tough edge so that the pod halves come apart. Discard the pods.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes (the amount of time required will depend on the freshness of the beans).
  • Using a slotted spoon, drain the beans and then immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This “shocks” the beans and stops the cooking process. This step ensures that the beans do not get overcooked and mushy.
  • When cool enough to handle, slip off the outer skins of the beans and discard. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • In another small bowl, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. Whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture on top of the beans and toss. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and toss gently again. Serve right away.

This is an easy recipe that takes hardly any time to put together. Not only is it packed with nutrients, it looks very appetizing with a bright green color. It can be served as an appetizer, a healthy snack, or as a side dish with a main entrée. The initial prep time aside, these make for a quick dish anytime. The light vinaigrette and a bit of shaved cheese is all it takes to create this tasty dish. You can eat these on their own, or you can even add pasta to turn it into a nice pasta salad. Add a protein like grilled chicken or pork, and you have a complete meal.

Try this simple fava bean recipe and let the buttery taste of these beans shine through. Just dress these beans with a light vinaigrette and shaved cheese to create a simple yet delicious dish.

 

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Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto Recipe

Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto Recipe

Artichokes have a nutty flavor. These nutritious thistles are often steamed and eaten with melted butter, mayonnaise, or a dip. Boiling fresh artichokes is one of the classic ways to cook this vegetable. For those encountering artichokes for the first time, they might seem intimidating. They have lots of leaves, and may also have thorns on the ends of these leaves.  But once you learn the proper steps to cook this veggie, you will see that it is not that difficult to make them. Besides, they are delicious! Even though steaming is the original way to cook them, roasting accentuates their rich, nutty flavor. Below is a recipe for a tasty slow-roasted artichoke and prosciutto dish that is sure to make you want to eat it over and over again.

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, halved, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Crusty bread or bread sticks, for serving

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Take some water in a large bowl and squeeze some of the juice from the lemon halves into it.

2. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the tough, dark green outer leaves. Slice off all but 1 inch of the remaining leaves. Peel and trim the bottom and stem of the artichoke. Halve the artichoke and use a spoon to scoop out the furry choke. Cut the artichoke halves in half again, rub with lemon, and add both the lemon and the artichoke into the lemon water. Repeat the same process with the remaining artichokes. We drop the artichokes in the lemon water to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown.

3. In a large, ovenproof skillet, combine the olive oil, the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Keep stirring the artichokes occasionally.

4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the artichokes for about 40 minutes. Stir them a few times, until they are tender and nicely browned. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and season the artichokes with salt and black pepper. Let them cool.

5. Now arrange the prosciutto slices on a serving platter. Also slice a crusty bread or put some bread sticks on the platter. Spoon the artichokes and their cooking liquid into a bowl. Your delicious roasted artichokes are ready to be served with the bread and prosciutto. Enjoy!

Artichokes are delicious and nutritious and you do not need to cook them with complicated flavors to make them taste good. Simply roasting artichokes concentrates their flavor and brings out their sweetness. Working with artichokes might seem tedious, but once you know the right steps, you can work quickly with them. And the results are so worth it!

This roasted artichokes and prosciutto recipe brings out the sweetness of the artichokes by slow-roasting. The prosciutto pairs well with wine. These tasty artichokes are more flavorful than boiled or steamed ones.

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