Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Celebrating with cupcakes and ice cream!

We're celebrating our second birthday here at Elizabeth & Co.!

Two years, is that really possible? Watching your blog grow is a little like watching your children grow up - it all seems to happen in the blink of an eye! You start out having no idea what you are getting yourself into, but you pretty much just figure it out as you go and enjoy the ride. ..... And as always, the very best moments come from the connections you make along the way! ..... So a huge thank you to all the talented and generous people I have encountered along this journey. I am constantly motivated and inspired by you. I appreciate each and every visit, comment and all your words of encouagement. You have touched my heart in more ways than you can imagine!

The blog actually started with me in the kitchen cooking and Megan at the kitchen table on the computer. Documenting our journey here at Elizabeth & Co. sounded like a good idea, but I had no idea what that really meant. Next thing I knew, Megan had it all set up and was nudging me along. She's still nudging. Thank you to my very sweet girl!

I don't write about it often, but I really love to cook. And believe me, my cooking skills are way better than my computer skills. I wish I could invite you all over for a party! Of course there would be cupcakes and ice cream. Since that's not possible, I am sharing two of my favorite recipes with you today!

Lemon-Cream Cheese Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) lemon instant pudding
1 cup water
4 egg whites
2 Tbsp oil

1 box (16oz) powdered sugar
1 pkg (8oz) softened cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest is optional, but highly recommended!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat first fve ingredients together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat 2 minutes on medium. Spoon into 18 paper lined cupcake tins. Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Beat the remaining ingredients on low until well blended to make a delicious (and not too sweet) cream cheese icing. Frost and enjoy!

And if you love lemon as much as I do, you can add 1 tsp grated lemon zest into the frosting and garnish with additional zest. If you don't have a microplane zester, you don't know what you are missing!

I first made these cupcakes for Megan's bridal shower a few year's ago. They are now a family favorite, especially in the summer!

Now of course you're going to need some ice cream to go along with those cupcakes right? You will need a gallon size ice cream machine for this recipe. We received one as a wedding present and we have been making homemade ice cream ever since. We have tinkered with a whole lot of recipes, but I promise you that once you try this one, you will never be able to go back to grocery store ice cream again!

Homemade Country Style Ice Cream

4 eggs (but use the equivalent amount of egg substitute since no cooking is involved here)
5 cups of milk (approximately)
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until disolved. Add whipping cream, vanilla and salt, mix thoroughly. Pour into can and add milk to fill line. Freeze according to the directions on your machine. Makes 1 gallon of the best vanilla ice cream ever! ..... But now that you have the basic recipe, you can have some fun and add your favorite flavors. Our Christmas Eve tradition is vanilla ice cream served with an assortment of hot syrups. But in the summer, add four cups of your favorite fresh fruit (very finely chopped) into the can with the ice cream mixture just before filling the remainder of the can with milk. ..... This is what it looks like when it is finished and you remove the lid!

Yum, this batch is strawberry!

When you hear the mixer stop running, you'll want to be there with a spoon ready to help clean the beater!

Believe me, it's worth every single calorie!

So there you have it, our virtual birthday party.
Can't wait to see what the coming year has in store.
Thanks so much for being here!

I'm linking to...

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


Gwen @ The Bold Abode said...

Congratulations, Sharon! Two years! That's wonderful... and your cupcakes look dEEEE-Vine!!!

NanaDiana said...

Congrats on 2 year, Sharon. I copied both your recipes over to try. I just had my ice cream maker croak last weekend so I have to find a new one now. Any suggestions? xo Diana

Cassie Bustamante said...

those cupcakes look MOST delicious! i remember seeing you two years ago at lucketts and then you went home and started! :) YAY!!! so glad you did. :)
and homemade ice cream is on our to do list this summer..... if i don't get to "kill the kids" on my to do first. argh! one of those days.

Twice Nice said...

Congratulations! Thanks for the great looking recipes too! Inspirational furniture and business tips and now food, you are AWESOME!

Kara at Petals to Picots said...

Happy 2nd birthday!

Danielle said...

Happy Birthday! I'm always inspired by your blog. Will have to try these incredible looking cupcakes - we love lemon here!

Ali Richardson said...

Happy Blogiversary!!! Yummy cupcakes :)

Unknown said...

congratulations! I've loved reading your blog, and have appreciated all of your encouragement on mine. Enjoy!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Happy birthday, Sharon! And many happy returns of the day!

Hetty said...

Congrats Sharon! yes, I am going to make those delicious looking cupcakes! Thanks so much for sharing Sharon, your personality shines through!

SheilaG @ Plum Doodles said...

Congratulations on your 2 year birthday! Your cupcakes and ice cream look yummy!

Erin said...

Congratulations, Sharon! Love how you're celebrating with recipes for cake and ice cream! :)

Take care,
Carolina Country Living

Anonymous said...

Well hi Sharon, Didn't you love the show at Lucketts this year? Hopefully we'll be back in the Fall and can meet up. And your tag sales sound fabulous. Sherry and I talk and dream all the time about having a "field" sale at my home but with her house up for sale, it's hard to make plans. But I will keep dreaming. Love your blog and following now. xo

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Congrats on hitting the 2-year mark. The cupcakes are pretty and I love your cupcake holder!

Laurel Stephens said...

Happy Anniversary!! I can't wait to try your recipes!

Jenn Erickson said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday! Thank you for the party treats and for all the inspiration you share! Looking forward to many, many more creative years!

Jenn/Rook No. 17

Meaningful Mama said...

Congratulations on your second year. I hope you're still loving it. I love lemon. Great looking cupcakes.

pam {simple details} said...

Congrats on two years, Sharon! I can relate, my cooking skills are much better than my technical ability! Your cupcakes look delish! Glad to have found your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sharon!! Your cupcakes and ice cream sound heavenly. I'm book marking both recipes and can't wait to try them! Wishing you another great year. :-)

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

Congratulations! And I'll be trying out that cupcake recipe for sure :)


Shannah @ Just Us Four said...

Happy 2nd Bloggy birthday! Love that you "celebrated" with such delicious looking cupcakes. So fun.