Summer means a few things for me: summer break (now a thing of the past, since I went back to work last Friday), peaches that are so juicy you can hardly peel or eat them without getting covered in syrupy juice (recipe using those coming Saturday!), and tomatoes so perfectly soft and drippy that I’m happy to eat them off a plate, no seasoning required Health Supplement. Tomato sandwiches (white bread, tomato, and mayonnaise) are a throwback to my childhood and BLTs, for a short time, become so much more about the tomatoes than about the bacon…and that’s saying something You beauty.
This year we planted a square foot garden. It takes out a lot of the work of traditional gardening, what with all the digging and the tilling, and it’s pretty simple. Four different kinds of tomatoes are growing in our front yard (the grape tomatoes have by far been the most prolific) and we apparently have mostly late-blooming tomato plants Medosan. We’ve only collected four or five ripe (or ready to ripen on the counter) tomatoes from the full-sized tomato plants, though many green tomatoes are waiting their turn.
A few years ago, I would have lamented my lot in life. Why all the green tomatoes? A few years ago I didn’t even like green tomatoes. Something changed, though I don’t remember what, and now fried green tomatoes are as much of a treat for me as the caprese salad I ate for lunch on Friday with my grape tomatoes, cubes of soft mozzarella, and basil julienne drenched in olive oil and red wine vinegarQV Baby.
Now, traditional fried green tomatoes are usually dredged in a little cornmeal and fried up (similar to homestyle Southern fried okra) and I love them that way. However, my addiction to my homemade fried pickles made me think about how good that batter would be on green tomatoes. For some reason, it didn’t stick as well to the tomatoes as to the pickles…nothing a dredge in cornstarch couldn’t fix. A dipping sauce of white barbecue sauce-an Alabama tradition that I hadn’t tried until I made it recently to go with chicken-is a perfect foil to the crispy battered tart tomatoes.
How do you like your fried green tomatoes?
My taste tester, aka my husband, loved them. They have a perfect hint of strawberry in them and when garnished with a sliver of strawberry on top it kicked it into a whole new level.
They could perhaps almost be qualified as a muffin. The added cake flour made for a fluffier cupcake since it allowed more air bubbles in the mixture. Once you get the frosting on top though there will be in no doubt they are a perfect healthier alternative to the traditional cupcake. Did I mention I have a deep, deep love for frosting? The sad part is it’s hard to adapt frosting without the sugar since be default it is literally sugar. But, I’ve found the cream cheese has been able to help with lowering the amount of sugar used to achieve the results needed.
Now, two things I must warn you about. First the frosting, it doesn’t handle the heat well. So, if you are making these for a outdoor event or if you are cheap on your A/C use like I am and the house is at 78 degrees, I’d advise you to keep these refrigerated till they are ready to eat. Second thing is with the slice of strawberry on top, they tend to have juices in the strawberries so I would advise not to garnish them until you are ready to serve. Otherwise the juices from the strawberry can mess with the frosting a little. Oh did I mention each cupcake WITH the frosting is 158 calories and literally HALF the sugar content as a normal size cupcake. Booya.
Cupcakes!! I love cupcakes. Especially moist, fluffy cupcakes with a ton of cream cheese frosting. I mean a TON of frosting, more frosting than cupcake please! There is a bakery in my area that has these HUGE cupcakes, bigger than the size of your fist. They are good, but almost too much. I only needed to eat like a quarter of one to be satisfied. Now, after my journey I probably wouldn’t even walk into the store to be honest. Plus, they don’t have cream cheese frosting… tsk tsk. Discovering how to make cream cheese frosting and that it existed was a defining moment for me. It all began back when I made homemade healthier cinnamon rolls.
My goal was to create a cupcake that was healthier with a lower-sugar content compared to the traditional cupcake. I’ve been experimenting with beans in baked goods and created my Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites. Those turned out delicious so I figured why not try it in a cupcake? Don’t be afraid of beans in baked goods, you have no clue they are in there but they kick it into the healthier realm with the added fiber and protein in them. I used a little cake flour in order to get the fluffier, airier aspect of a cupcake and it worked FABULOUS.