I’ve been told that I give off a first impression of being sweet and innocent (..that’s me! I promise!)  But others who know me well say I have a side of spice to me; I take that as a compliment.  Growing up with two older brothers very close in age, I’ve learned a few survival tips here and there.  I can throw a spiral football.  Drink a glass if whiskey.  And I have the BEST comebacks.  As an adult, I like to say that I’m a tomboy at heart with a polished exterior (queue boyfriend’s laughing now…!)
Anyways, this recipe slightly reminds me of myself (too cheesy?)  Seriously, though.  It’s the perfect combinations of sweet with mangos and agave nectar with just a touch of red-hot spice.
Just in time for summer.  We eat this stuff all. summer. long.  A little chips.  Some mango salsa.  A warm summer night.  Maybe, a glass of whiskey.  Kidding.
2 mangos, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped
1 red, green and yellow pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of agave nectar
Chop mangos, tomatos, cilantro and peppers and combine in a bowl.  Add lime juice and agave nectar. Serve chilled.


I have a love-hate relationship with baking.  I love sweets.  And on any given Sunday, you can find me at the local bakery with a cup of coffee and a chocolate criossant or blueberry muffin.  (Embarassing, I know.) But I’m also a creative-type so it’s sometimes (…quite often) difficult for me to follow directions for a recipe –  a red flag for any baker.  I’m usually a “let’s try a little of this, and maybe a smidge of that…” type of baker which has caused me endless batches of watery cupcakes, burnt cookies and flat cakes.  Over time, I’ve learned to cross my t’s and dot my i’s when I’m baking, however, occasionally, I do like to test some new flavors.
Recently, I’ve been obsessed with this lemon cookie ice cream flavor at my local ice cream store.  It’s so perfect and refreshing for a warm summer day.  I thought this flavor might be perfect for cupcakes, too!
So I tried a traditional vanilla cupcake recipe and added a bit of lemon to the buttercream frosting.  Fun fact:  This was my first time ever using a pipping bag for cupcakes, how do you think the turned out?  I’m not going to lie, it was harder than I thought.  Scrumptious, though!


1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon rind
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line standard cupcake/muffin tin with foil or paper.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add butter, sour cream, egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
Divide batter evenly among cups in prepared tin.  Bake until cupcake tops are golden around the edges; 20-40 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the tin and transfer to the wire wrack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.
(Cupcake recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)