Confession: I am not much of a cook. Although I do eat at home for most my meals (not a fan of dining out frequently - besides who could afford it?), I typically do something quick and easy and marginally nutritious. The hubs and I are vegetarians, so I think we can get away with quick meals. For instance, while some people have to prepare meat entrees, I just heat up some black beans! haha!! :)
Okay, so what's my point in saying all that? Well, my point is that, although I don't like to cook meals, I do sort of enjoy baking desserts. And here is why:
Reason #1: I have a sweet tooth (that may in fact be reasons #2 and #3 also).
Reason #2: Homecooked desserts are almost always better than store-bought ones.
Reason #3: You can snack on your delicious treat for possibly weeks (or less, see #1). Compared to cooking meals, you get more bang for your buck, time-wise.
Reason #4: You get to decorate it! Holla! You can only do so much decorating with mashed potatos and peas. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are like a canvas for your creative juices.
Speaking of cupcakes, I think this post was originally supposed to be about a cupcake recipe.
Here's the breakdown:
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(yields 26 cupcakes; 183 calories/cupcake)
Ingredients for cupcakes (adapted from the version found here; mine has fewer calories: 108 cal/cupcake):
-white cake mix
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-3 cage-free egg whites
-1 cup low fat buttermilk
-3 oz. strawberry jello
-2 cups fresh strawberries (optional: extra for garnishment)
Measure out 2 cups of strawberries (cut up, not whole). Use a mashing utensil (not sure that's the correct name?) to mash the strawberries until you have a juicy mixture. In a large bowl, add cake mix and dry jello mix and stir until blended. Then add strawberries, oil, buttermilk, and egg whites. Beat for 2 minutes, and then pour batter into lined cupcake pans. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 350 degrees.
Ingredients for cream cheese frosting (75 cal/cupcake):
-7 1/4 oz cream cheese (1/3 less fat kind)
-1 1/3 sticks of unsalted butter
-1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Let the butter thaw before you begin, but keep the cream cheese cold. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until blended.
Tip: Put the cupcakes in the refrigerator while you make the frosting. That way they will be cool and ready for frosting.
Do you have a favorite strawberry cupcake recipe? I'm open to trying different ones if you'd like to leave a link in the comments. :) Thanks!