In my pre-paleo life I was always a fan of Secret Menu Items. Probably because I’m nosy and I love gossip. So if a fast food chain has secrets, I need to know them. Like In-N-Out has a full on secret menu with crazy stuff on it like 4×4’s, a Neapolitan shake, and Animal Style everything, also Starbucks has some secret menu items, but I’m on a caffeine cleanse right now so I don’t want to to talk about it. Even Jamba Juice has secret smoothies like a White Gummy Bear. I’ve had it, its pretty legit. Remember when Jamba Juice was called Juice Club and Costco was called Price Club. Throwback. Anyway, I got to thinking and I was like how awesome would it be if Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind had a secret menu? I’m not gonna lie, it would be pretty freakin’ awesome. So I sat down and looked through my book and decided to make these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes! I totally want to do more of this because there are endless combinations of what secret menu items you can make in my cookbook. I’m sharing my Lemon Curd recipe with everyone though because I’m nice, and so they don’t throw a fit if they don’t have my book. Which is dumb, just get it, you won’t regret it. Totally not tooting my own horn. Okay, maybe a little bit. Anyway my Lemon Curd smells just like lemon flavored yogurt. Is it weird that I miss lemon flavored yogurt? Everytime I make my Lemon Curd I start craving Yoplait lemon yogurt like a mofo. What the heck? I know, it’s the weirdest thing.
So I think I was supposed to be telling you all about book tour when we last left off but now I feel like that was so 2015 and we’ve moved on. Yeah? I thought so, I know it wasn’t like riveting Anderson Cooper style news, but I thought it was fun. So we are officially into the 3rd week of January. Is your tree down yet? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions. I always want to be that person that’s like, “I’m way too good for New Year’s Resolutions, so I’m not going to make any.” but then I realized I hate those people. Quit being too good for everything and offended by everything. New Year’s Resolutions are fun. I look at it like a chance to grow in the New Year. I usually always have, “Look good in a bikini by July” in spot number 1 on my list, but I usually never end up going to the beach anyway and gluten-free beer with french fries usually ends up sounding way better, so yeah there’s that. My other more realistic resolution was simply to drink more water. I NEVER drink water. Ever. I don’t know why. I have nothing against it, but I wanted to be all Jennifer Anistony and start drinking a ton. So ever since January 2nd (please, on January 1st I was drinking my weight in vodka) I’ve been drinking 64oz-92oz of H2O a day. Man do I have to pee. All the time. I have to pee every second of the day. I have to pee when I’m peeing. I think my skin looks a little better and that’s about all I’ve noticed over the last three weeks. I still don’t look like Jennifer Aniston.
My last and final New Years Resolution that I made (Three’s Company am I right?) was to try and walk more than 10,000 steps a day. My parents got me a Fitbit and I freaking love it. I say freaking on this blog a lot, but I really mean the F word. I don’t type the F word because everyone is so offended by everything and I don’t want you to miss out on my recipes because I curse. Anyway I LOVE my Fitbit. Like love love my Fitbit. I love it so much that I’ve been thinking about naming it. We hang out all day, everyday and are pretty much inseparable. I get pissed when I have to charge her. I’m like no, we can’t be away from each other for that long. I don’t know what to name her though. Any ideas? Maybe it’s not even a her and it’s a him?
So that’s how my New Year is shaping up so far. Everyone keeps asking if I’m going to write another book. I still don’t have an answer for that. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. f;girghllleffggggg…see that was me just falling asleep on my keyboard. I just can’t even right now. I started reading that book Wild, I know, I’m so late to that party, but now I just want to hike the PCT. Not like actually hike it, but in my imagination fantasy hike it. I want to go to REI this weekend and get some hiking boots and hike around my town. Then go home and sleep in my own bed. And shower. I’d miss hot showers so much. And non-packaged food. When Juli and I were on book tour I got so sick of Epic and Rx Bars and almond butter packs. It was all we had to eat at times and that was for like 2 weeks, not 3 months. I’m such a baby! Plus I’d really miss my cats. Maybe if I could bring my Fitbit and my iPhone just so I could listen to music while I hiked and a Kindle to read at night. How would I charge them though without adding too much weight to my pack? And isn’t that the whole point of hiking the damn thing anyway, to get away from the modern world? Obviously I have no idea what I’m doing in my imaginary fantasy hike of the PCT.
I hope to have more Secret Menu Items for you in the future. Have you made any secret menu items from my book yet? I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with! I need to get together a Super Bowl post for you and a Valentine’s Day post so maybe after that. I don’t even watch the Superbowl. I hate football. But I like food. So I usually just eat and wait for the half-time show. And then eat some more. I decided to give up alcohol for the month of January because I was pretty much drunk the entire month of December. It’s hard being on the wagon. I feel better and I sleep better, and I’m probably just a better personal all around, but man I love booze. I’m trying to go 3 months without drinking, but I didn’t make it an official resolution on purpose, because, let’s face it, February 1st I’ll probably be bathing in Hendricks gin. Life’s too short to not drink or eat dessert. That’s just a fact people. I don’t make the rules. Okay I do, kinda.
- Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind Cookbook page 219
- ½ cup (68 g) maple sugar
- ¼ cup (20 g) grated Meyer lemon zest
- ¾ cup (180 ml) fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 4 large eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 12 tablespoons (6 ounces/170 g) unsalted cold butter, cubed
- Special equipment: Candy thermometer, kitchen torch
- Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind Cookbook page 390
- 12 Lemon slice wedges
- Prepare the cupcakes according to the directions on page 219. While the cupcakes are baking prepare the Lemon Curd.
- To make the Lemon Curd, combine the maple sugar and lemon zest in a medium-sized bowl. Mix together with a spoon until combined; set aside.
- Then in a large heatproof mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, eggs, and the sugar-zest mixture. Place the bowl over a saucepan half filled with water set over medium heat. As the water starts to simmer, stir constantly using a whisk, until the mixture thickens to a pudding texture and reaches 160°F (71°C), about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and press the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a blender pitcher. Add the salt, then blend on low, adding the butter a few cubes at a time. Continue to blend after all the butter has been added; the mixture will become light and creamy. Transfer to a bowl then press plastic wrap over the top and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- When the cupcakes are finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool. While they are cooling prepare the Italian Meringue recipe on page 390 and transfer to a piping bag with desired tip.
- Remove the Lemon Curd from the refrigerator and transfer to a piping bag and set aside.
- Once the cupcakes are cool and ready to assemble, use a large piping tip to core out the center 3/4 of the way through each cupcake. Then cut the tip off of the piping bag filled with the Lemon Curd and fill each center to the top. Next pipe the Italian Meringue as frosting over each cupcake. Use a kitchen torch to toast the sides of the meringue. Garnish each with a quartered lemon slice wedge.
- Make Ahead: Lemon Curd - transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on the surface. The curd will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
- Limoncello Cupcakes - 1 day ahead
JasmineJanuary 18, 2016 at 7:51 am (7 years ago)
First, you’re so way hotter than Jennifer Anniston. Second, we are the water hating crew and I feel you on peeing all the time. Third, I fucking love you. Xoxo!
Vanessa BarajasJanuary 19, 2016 at 10:49 am (7 years ago)
Omg, I love that you read this whole thing! Ha! It’s like my diary, I don’t expect anyone to read it. Miss you! Muah!
ElizabethJanuary 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm (7 years ago)
Have you tried substituting ghee or other non-dairy fat in this recipe? Looks amazing!!! But we can’t tolerate any dairy 🙁
Vanessa BarajasJanuary 19, 2016 at 10:53 am (7 years ago)
Hi! I would definitely try ghee as a sub, my only concern is that it may not make the curd as firm. The butter tends to thicken the curd as it cools in the fridge and I don’t think ghee would do the same thing, BUT it would still taste amazing! I recommend making the lemon curd with ghee and seeing how the consistency comes out. If its not thick enough to use as a custard filling in cupcakes, then use it in another recipe or as a spread. Hint: I’m using in in another recipe that I’ll be posting very soon! It should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. 🙂
Kimbrough L OMarch 20, 2019 at 9:21 pm (4 years ago)
I’m gonna try to make this for Easter! Yummmmm!
And yes- I hope you are still drinking water! Lots of it! Definitely hotter than Jen A. 🙂
Vanessa BarajasMarch 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm (4 years ago)
Haha you are my favorite! Still drinking the water, still not looking like Jen A. Bwahahaha!