Strawberry-Poppyseed Cupcakes

I’m generally a terrible baker of sweets. The truth is, I’m one of those people who cook by throwing “some of this” and “a little of that” in, which doesn’t really translate to baking. I’ve honestly been trying but I always get caught up in a “oh but this would be good with (enter ingredients not called for)”.

For whatever reason I can bake bread, and anything else savory that needs to be baked – but when it comes to cakes, cookies, pastries you might as well just forget it typically.

Despite my complete and total unnatural non-talent for baking, I love it. Yep, you heard me – I love it. In the spirit of bettering my baking skills I decided today to try and make some Strawberry Cupcakes. In all honesty – I *did* do my typical “oh but this would be good with…..” thing. This time, it was poppyseeds. I was looking for baking powder when I pulled them out. I figured they couldn’t screw things up too bad.

The results: DELICIOUS! I actually made something that not only tastes great and has a nice texture but they also look good too! No half caved in, burnt on the outside and raw on the inside cake. I am completely thrilled with myself. So, here you go!

(By the way – thank you Martha Stewart for this recipe, sorry for the poppy-seeds but you could try it, it’s delicious)

Recipe & Directions from Martha Stewart (.com, not herself)

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries, plus small strawberries for garnish
  • (tablespoon or two of poppy-seeds – my addition)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  2. Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.

Bringing Down The Barn

This weekend we hit near perfect inexplicable weather to welcome spring to the countryside of Maine. The air brought birds, the occasional early mosquito – and the drive to get renovations started. The blue barn on our property used to serve as housing for pigs and chickens, but when we moved in it had long been vacant of any farm life, with the foundation in rough shape. We did find some cool things in the barn however, like old pipe which we saved, as well as some old rusted toys.

We nursed some storage use out of it for a few years but, in the end, with some of the outer wood rotting, it was time to come down. Though we’re building a new barn for our equipment on another part of the property, there will *something* odd about not seeing that old piece on our property.

Mr. A was able to salvage almost all of the wood from this barn for our future equipment shed we’ll be building on a different part of our property. It will be great to keep a little of the “old barn” in with the new one. My favorite part to salvage was the old rooster topped weather-vane. Though it’s long past it’s prime, I look forward to putting it my home as a display piece when we finish the house.

If there’s one thing I can say, now that the barn is officially down and the site is cleared, the view is absolutely stunning!

Mr. A gives two thumbs up for a completed demolition and reclaiming of materials


Happy Homesteading,