Whimsical Wednesday

The other day we decided to head up north about 45 minutes and find the sun.  When you live on the coast, some days you get fogged in.  But if you go a little higher than sea level you can get above it.  And BOOM we found the sun, at 80 degrees.  We ventured up the 154 and made a bunch of stops along the way.  One of the most peaceful and serene places was Lake Cachuma. Lake Cachuma is surrounded by the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains.  You can rent cabins or yurts, right on the lake.  AH-MAZING!

Our next step was Trattoria Grappolo.  Great Italian place, recommended by a friend and well worth the stop. Last place I expected to find a true Italian restaurant, but it was good and one the owners is actually from Italy.

Last stop was Los Olivos, to finally get my hands on one of Enjoy Cupcakes famous cupcakes.  Well….it was a no-go.  Finally reaching our destination and seeing her super sweet trailer (which you can see below), we found out they are only there Thursdays-Sundays. Boo.

What A great day, all with my best friend.

Happy Friday!

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Berrylicious

 Living in Santa barbara you can get berries year round.  Whether they are cranberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries you can always count on the farmers market for having berries.  My husband and I began to buy so many, because they always looked so good, that I had to put them to use other than just eating them plain.  We came up with a rather tasty and healthy cupcake/muffin recipe.

Enjoy!

Berry Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups mixed fresh berries

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (Trader Joes organic)

1 tbsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 lightly beaten eggs

For the topping (optional): mixed berry jam (Farmers Market)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place 12 baking cups in muffin pan.  In a food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups of the berries until smooth.  In a small bowl, lightly crush the reserved berries with a fork.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder.  In a large bowl, beat oil and eggs.  Add the pureed berries and mix well.  Stir in the flour mixture until combined.  Fold in crushed berries.

Spoon batter into the baking cups.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.  Add topping if desired.

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes

  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder

 Pinch of salt

 2 cups superfine sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

 2 cups cold water

2 tsp. white vinegar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips

 Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place 12 paper cups in a muffin pan.  Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and sugar into a large bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the applesauce, water, vinegar and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture and stir well to combine.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Spoon the mixture into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove cupcakes and cool. Serve dusted with cocoa.

Enjoy!