Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

I've been so busy lately, and it's just normal stuff.  Cooking, laundry, children, etc.  I stare longingly at my blog, but I just haven't had time to finish anything for it.

But, I have been creating new cupcake recipes this week.  My husband and his colleagues at work have been in love with my cupcakes for years.  In fact, he usually comes home with many people telling him I should sell my cupcakes because they are so good.  Well....I'm gonna do it this weekend.

We live in a tiny town - as in so tiny, we have no traffic lights.  The main road has one 4-way stop and that's pretty much it.  The city is trying to raise money to build a park right by our neighborhood.  They've instituted "fourth trade days" where the park is actually going to be built.  It's a flea market, farmer's market, craft fair, etc. kinda thing.  In fact, they even convo'd me on Etsy awhile ago to have a booth.  Since, it's only $10 to have a booth, we are going to try an experiment and sell my cupcakes - this weekend!

I'm not gonna lie.  I'm terrified, but I have my trusty husband to  be my wonderful salesman.  He is the one person who can talk me into believing I can do anything.

My plan of action is to make a few dozen cupcakes of 2-3 different flavors.  My first choice is my world famous pumpkin cream cheese cupcake.  I wasn't sure what other flavors.  I recently tried a Cherry Limeade -- not my fave, but my husband LOVED it.  I think that will be #2.  I'll share that one in a day or so on the blog.  But, #3 came out so wonderful, I had to share it asap.

(Here on out, I'm tired of writing "my husband," and he will now forever be known as Nate.)

It's a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter cream cheese baked in the middle of it, then it's topped off with a Salted Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.  Nate really liked it -- and he REALLY REALLY REALLY liked the frosting.  I haven't figured out a short name for this one quite yet.  I wavered with adding a bit of coffee to make it more of a mocha flavor, but in the end, I didn't.  However, when you bite into this cupcake and get the frosting/cupcake taste explosion in your mouth -- I swear it takes like mocha.  I felt like I was eating a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with a little bit of peanut butter thrown in.  So so good!

Now I love to make everything from scratch, but I was not in the mood to make caramel from scratch.  I made my frosting using Hershey's caramel syrup.  Maybe someday if I become a cupcake truck lady, I'll definitely be making it from scratch, but for now....meh.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz room temperature cream cheese
3 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs milk

Add all ingredients to bowl. Then, heat for 10-15 seconds in microwave. Mix until well blended and set aside.

**I found the PB mixture was just dry and sticky enough that I could roll it into semi formed balls and put in the center.  This might be easier than spooning it because it's sticky.

Chocolate Cupcakes
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 6 ingredients. Combine last 5 ingredients, then slowly add while mixing to wet ingredients. (Be prepared for it to seem to runny, it's fine and will come out deliciously moist.)

1. Full cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate batter.
2. Add a small spoonful of peanut butter filling to center of each.
3. Add more chocolate batter until liners are 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Then frost.

Easy Salted Caramel Frosting
2 sticks room temperature butter
8 oz room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1 tsp sea salt
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese. Add caramel sauce and sea salt. Mix well. Then add sugar a cup at a time until it makes peaks. Then whip the frosting until its light an airy (about 2-3 minutes).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Homemade Pizza & Key Lime Tartlets

It has not been my intention to turn this into a food blog.  However, there are two things I do every day -- cook/bake and read books.  I don't want to ignore my blog until I have a moment between 3 kids and a husband, all of who require my constant attention for some reason, for only when I sew and/or craft.  So, I hope it's not too annoying that I write a lot of posts about food and book reviews.  And now....onto another post about food and sort of a book review :D  

I've been on a mission to make pizza better than any of the pizza places around here.  We have two mom and pop places that make delicious NY style pizza, but I'm cheap.  When I make dough for 4 pizzas for pennies versus $25 for two pizzas, I would prefer to do it myself.  So, when I found this book, I was super excited.  It's called My Pizza and it's buy Jim Lahey. I found it in the new section at the library a couple days ago.  I sat down to check it out while my youngest was playing in the awesome playroom in the kid area.  They have a giant wooden playhouse complete with puppet theater at the back of it and a wooden grocery checkout FULL of food -- in the library!  Did your library ever have that when you were a kid?  Mine certainly didn't.  A playhouse!!  We love to go play there, especially on rainy and cold days.  One of the nice things is that it's not a "quiet" library.  It is so much better than any fast food restaurant play places.  

Ok, I got off topic.  I've been looking for a good pizza crust recipe, but it seems the ones I've tried just weren't very tasty, or I just didn't know how to cook them.  The basic dough recipe in this book came out wonderful.  I made it tonight.  Well, it actually takes 18 hours to make the dough as you are supposed to make it the night before.  I settled for early this morning after I dropped off the kids at school.  I made mine in about 12 hours.  Next time I will try the 18 hour version just to see if I'm missing something.  

I love this book!  It gives all kinds of wonderful tips for how to get the pizza stone super hot in an electric oven, how to get the oven super hot so it cooks pizza super fast, and how to squish canned tomatoes to make tomato sauce for the pizza.  I used the tomato squish method tonight and everyone loved it.  I even went the fancy route and bought some really nice mozzarella cheese that was still wet and squishy for our pizzas. My husband actually said it was better than takeout!  Woohoo!!

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I made four pizzas out of the dough recipe in the book.  Two were plain squished tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and minced garlic.  I also brushed the crust with a garlic and olive oil combo.  The other two I had a mixture of my tomato sauce along with a spicy spaghetti sauce (hubby doesn't like plain tomato sauce), onion, fresh mushroom, mozzarella, and minced garlic along with the olive oil/garlic on the crust. (We are garlic-o-holics in this family. The more, the better.) I would have taken more pics of my pizzas, but unfortunately, they were inhaled before I remembered.  (Thankfully, I got smart with the tartlets and tooks pictures BEFORE I served them.)

This book is chock full of different pizza recipes much like gourmet or artisan style pizzas.  It does have basics like a marguerite style pizza, but it also goes into pizzas with bechamel sauce (white sauce) as well as other things, too.  And, I loved the pictures in this book. They are gorgeous and make you very very hungry.

From Yahoo Shine article about this very book and it's recipes: 

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Margherita

Makes four 12-inch pizzas
Making the Dough:

500 grams (17 1/2 ounces or about 3 3/4 unsifted cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
16 grams (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
350 grams (11/2 cups) water

1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and, with a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix thoroughly. We find it easiest to start with the spoon, then switch to your hands.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature (about 72°) for 18 hours or until it has more than doubled. It will take longer in a chilly room and less time in a very warm one.
3. Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide it into 4 equal parts and shape them. For each portion, start with the right side of the dough and pull it toward the center, then do the same with the left, then the top, then the bottom. (The order doesn't actually matter; what you want is four folds.) Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. Mold the dough into a neat circular mound. The mounds should not be sticky; if they are, dust with more flour.
4. If you don't intend to use the dough right away, wrap the balls individually in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature by leaving them out on the counter, covered in a damp cloth, for 2 to 3 hours before needed.

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Then, I got a craving for key lime pie last night, so I decided to whip up one today for dinner.  Yesterday was Mr. E's birthday.  While I brought him lunch and had cupcakes at school, it was a swim team night, so we did not have time for a big thing at dinner.  I tried to make up for it today with delicious homemade pizza, a stop with hubby at GameStop, and key lime tartlets.  

I also got the stupid idea that instead of just buying Key lime juice already squeezed, I'd just buy 50 million key limes and squeeze them myself.  Um...not one of my brightest moments, nor was it very fun pulling out about 100 million tiny seeds before juicing them.  I think I squeezed about 25 key limes to get my 1/2 cup of lime juice.  Next time, I'm probably going to buy the juice in the bottle.  

Instead of one big pie I wanted to make mini pies, so I bought these Keebler little tart shells.  They were at Walmart and very inexpensive.  It came with six tart shells, which was perfect for my recipe.  

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Key Lime Tartlets
Yields: 6 tartlets

3 egg yolks
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup of key lime juice

Whip Cream Topping
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1-2 tbs powdered sugar (though regular sugar will work in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all 4 ingredients until smooth and well mixed.  Pour into tart shells. (I filled mine to just a tad above the shell.)  Bake at 12-13 minutes until set.  Then, chill in the fridge for 1 hour. 

When ready to serve, whip the whipping cream and sugar until peaks are formed.  Dollop a couple spoonfuls onto the tarts and serve.  

I was kind of nervous when I was investigating various recipes on how to make key lime pie.  It's very straightforward and not nearly as daunting as you might think.  I was pleasantly surprised mine came out perfectly delicious!  

My  key lime tartlets were featured over at Ladybird Ln!! How exciting!!
Ladybird Ln

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dutch Oven Bread

I found this recipe awhile back from another blog called The Taylor House and pinned it.  Check out her blog, she has some lovely recipes. I'm going to try the slow cooker potato soup very very soon.  Apparently, this recipe goes back even further to The Merlin Menu -- which gives great pictures and steep by step instructions. 

I've made this bread once before and it came out lovely.  It has this amazing hard crust.  I've found I prefer the extra effort of putting it together the night before over the peasant bread I whip up in a couple of hours. I am just so thrilled, it looks like a loaf I'd pick up at the fancy bakery.  And, it tastes heavenly.  Apparently, keeping the lid on the pan allows the steam to create that outer crust that is just wonderful. 

Tonight I made it to go along with beef stew for dinner and cut it in big chunks.  Then I used the new Land o'Lakes olive oil and sea salt butter.  Lordy, that stuff is so good, I could have probably eaten the whole loaf myself slathered in just that butter.  Yum!

I will tell you, I don't have a dutch oven or even parchment paper.  So, for me this is Roasting Pan Bread, lol.  I used my small roasting pan and just used cooking spray so it wouldn't stick. While I would love a dutch oven, I can't afford a nice one just yet -- nor I have seen one at a thrift store.  My roasting pan worked fine, so if you don't have a dutch oven, try it anyway. 

Dutch Oven Bread

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour and a bit more for dusting the bread after rising.

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a bowl or mixer.
  2. Add the flour and salt (in that order) and mix thoroughly.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest on a counter at room temperature at least six hours and preferably, overnight.
  4. Dust a cutting board with some flour and scrape the dough onto it.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the top as it will be very sticky.
  6. Just fold the dough over onto itself a couple of times, and shape into a ball.
  7. If the dough is too loose, just knead in ¼ cup of flour.
  8. Shape into a ball by pulling around the dough edges and folding underneath. Place on the counter on a piece of parchment paper and cover with a towel and let rise for another 1 to 1½ hours.
  9. When you are ready to bake the bread, preheat the dutch oven in the oven at 450 degrees.
  10. Carefully remove the dutch oven, take off the top, and using the parchment paper, lift up the dough ball and gently drop it into the dutch oven.
  11. Use a knife to slash 3 slits in the dough, diagonally.
  12. Cover and place back in oven.
  13. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue baking for 15 minutes until dough is browned.
  14. Remove from oven and cool for one hour before cutting.
I'll try to get my beef stew recipe up here soon.  It's super easy and quick, perfect for a slow cooker too.  

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Cream Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Dear god my mother made these for our "After Christmas" Christmas dinner, and I literally died and went to heaven.  I have never tasted mashed potatoes so good in my life.  Even my 2 year old, who has hated any mashed potatoes I've ever made (and I make good mashed potatoes), ate and ate and ate these potatoes.

They have two secret ingredients - lots and lots of butter and cream cheese! My mother requested they be named for her, so henceforth, these amazing mashed potatoes (which can be made a day ahead of time) will be named Mary's Cream Cheesy Mashed Potatoes.

Also, I usually whip my potatoes, but we used a masher with these and there were NO lumps.  Just make sure you cook your potatoes long enough and the lumps will melt away as you mash.


Mary's Cream Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
4 lbs peeled and cut potatoes
8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1/2 to 1 cup of half and half

Peel and cut up potatoes into fourths.  Boil for about 25-30 minutes until they are done.  When I can slip a knife through one of the potato pieces like butter, they're done.

Drain the potatoes.  Next, mash the heck of them.  Slice up an entire stick of butter and add to the potatoes and keep mashing.  Next, add an entire 8 oz pkg of cream cheese.  We added it in whole and it melted just fine.  Next, add the half and half until the potatoes are fluffy.  If you're going to bake these, add enough half and half to make them a teensy bit soupy so they won't dry out while baking.  Add salt and pepper to taste -- we probably added about a 1 tsp of both.  You can also add Lawry's Seasoning Salt, but we forgot that step and they still tasted heavenly.

Lastly, I think this step is optional because they tasted so good before we put them in oven.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minute.

If you make them up a day or so before, take them out of the fridge an hour or two beforehand, then add several pats of butter on top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Seriously, if you don't try these you will never know what heaven is like. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Melt in Your Mouth Brown Sugar Fudge


I'm a born and raised in Texas girl, and my family LOVES Tex-Mex food.  When I was a little girl there was a local restaurant called The Monterrey House.  They would give you these little bits of candy in the chip basket that were Mexican candies called Leche Quemada.

I loved those little candies, and even now 20-30 years later - god, I feel old - I still remember the taste and never can find anything like it.  So, I've been on a hunt.  I found a recipe that was literally 4-5 hours long.  Who does that?  I'm not stirring for 5 hours.  Then yesterday I found penuche.  It's brown sugar fudge.  It tastes almost exactly like those little candies.  So, today I attempted my own.  Most recipes have heavy cream in them.  But, I looked for a recipe that had marshmallow creme in it because that's what I had on hand.  Plus, on a snowy and icy day in Texas (Yes! Our first White Christmas ever I think!), you don't leave the house because down here we don't know how to drive in that kinda weather.    

So, after cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, my reward was this recipe.  I made the penuche tonight and it's heavenly. It literally melts in your mouth, but it's very rich. One little piece will do you, and if you eat more, you will feel the sugar overload.  My 8 year old loved the taste and texture combination. Everyone else was asleep, so he was my only taste tester so far, but he's usually the best taste tester.  He loves all his momma's cooking :D.

This recipe has an option of nuts, but I left them out as a lot of my family (i.e. me) doesn't like nuts.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Penuche Fudge

2 tbs butter - cold
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2/3 c evaporated milk
5 oz marshmellow creme
1 tsp vanilla
1 c pecans - OPTIONAL

Line a loaf ban with foil or plastic wrap.

In a 2 or 3 qt sauce pan, warm milk on medium then add white and brown sugar.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until rolling boil.  Then, add the marshmallow creme.  Stir and stir and stir until the marshmallow creme is completely melted.

When the mixture is back to a rolling boil set the timer for 5 minutes.  STIR CONSTANTLY!  Do not stop stirring until the timer goes off.  Then pull the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla.  Drop in the butter, as one big piece is fine, and let it sit for 2 minutes without stirring.  The butter will be mostly melted at the end of the 2 minutes.  Then, vigorously stir until well mixed -- for this I used a metal whisk.

Pour entire contents into loaf pan and allow to set until firm.  Mine set in about an hour's time.  Then, remove the plastic wrap/foil from loaf pan and cut fudge into squares.  Store in a covered container for up to a week. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yummilicious Thanksgiving Dressing

One of my favorite meals is turkey and dressing.  In fact, I made it Tuesday night. I actually cooked an entire turkey with homemade dressing plus gravy and veggies for a week night dinner.  Yes, I am crazy.

4D851647-2057-4246-8599-22539D999818-7304-0000067BA0684668 My family has a secret recipe for dressing that is to die for.  We are from Texas.  We like cornbread dressing in these parts, and we don't do the weird apples in the dressing thing.  In fact, we tend to put things like jalapenos in the dressing.  We also don't call it stuffing, it's dressing.  I don't know why these things are the way they are, but I just go with it.

If you love cornbread dressing, then you will love this recipe.  It actually comes from my aunt's sister in law, whose name is Honey.  So, we call it Honey's Dressing.  Everyone who comes over for Thanksgiving and tries it, LOVES this dressing.

When you put it in the oven, it's almost like a soup, but it comes out so wonderfully moist and delicious.  I even converted my husband who tends to prefer "Stove Top" to the real made from scratch thing.

It calls for lots of broth - more than you think is necessary, but it works.  I usually use 1 of those 32 oz chicken broth containers plus about 2 or so cups of drippings directly from the turkey.  You want it to look very soupy and runny when you put it in the oven. 

Honey's Dressing

1 tube of biscuits
2 pans of cornbread
1 onion
1 stalk of celery
1 tbs sage

1 stick of butter
3 eggs
lots and lots of broth

Chop onion and celery into tiny pieces, saute in butter.  Crumble breads.  Mix everything together until soupy.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour. 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Delicious Taco Soup with Turkey

Sorry I've been gone for awhile.  Between the kids' school work, dh's in college and needing math tutoring, and sewing for my first craft fair, I decided the blog would take a back seat for awhile.

I hadn 't told you guys, but it's so exciting! My first craft fair!  I was selected to be apart of this Handmade Harvest Etsy craft fair in about 4 weeks.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back to blogging regularly.  We go all out for Halloween around here, and we have decided to go as an entire family of zombies for Halloween.  So...I've got costumes to zombie-fy in addition to all my other duties.   

On to the soup!

This weekend was our first big cold front.  It dropped into the 50s for the highs, and we're in Texas, so that's seriously cold weather in these parts.  I was getting that hankering for a warm soup or stew to fill our bellies for dinner tonight.  A taco soup recipe caught my eye a few weeks ago, and I wondered how well something like that would go over with the whole family.  Em hates Mexican food.  The baby eats 2 bites of anything and spits out most of it, and Mr. E and dh are essentially human garbage cans.  Those two will eat anything, I think, lol.

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I whipped up my own recipe from things I had on hand, and OMG it was so darn good.  Everyone, including the baby, cleaned their bowl.   So I thought I'd share.  This recipe is super easy and super quick.  You can be serving it in 20 minutes.

Taco Soup

3/4 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 cup of crushed tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 pkg of Knorr's taco rice
6 cups of water 
1/2 pkg of taco seasoning
crushed tortilla chips
shredded cheddar cheese
Opt. sour cream

Brown the turkey.  Heat up the dutch oven on high and add crushed tomatoes and both cans of beans.  Add the meat and stir.  Next, add the package of rice.  Add the water.  When it starts boiling, add the taco seasoning and stir until it's all well blended.  Simmer on medium until rice is tender.

I topped each bowl with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese.  I was out of sour cream, or I would have added it as well.

Mr E and dh both added taco sauce and jalapenos to their bowls for extra spiciness. 

I served it with corn muffins I made from this recipe
It was a perfect balance of spicy from the soup and sweet from the cornbread.

Two things for the cornbread recipe:
   1.  I didn't have buttermilk, so I added 1 tbs of lemon juice and filled up the rest of the measuring cup to 1 cup with milk.
   2.  Since I made muffins, it only took 15 minutes for baking while the soup was simmering (the recipe calls for 30 minutes for a pan of cornbread).

This served 5 with a bowl or two to spare for leftovers. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pinterest for Dinner!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI could not think of anything for dinner tonight in my normal repertoire of recipes, so I went over to my Yum pinterest board and looked at the various things I've been collecting.

I had the ingredients for Pizza Cupcakes.  Everyone but my 13 year old liked them.  Even the toddler had seconds, which is a feat in itself.  For this one, since I read the original blogger's pizza dough was still raw in the middle, I decided to just use the picture as an inspiration and made my own recipe.  It's at the end of the post.

Then, I was still in a baking state of mind, so I finally whipped up the Reese's Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies for a late night stack.  Can I just say...OH MY GOD!  My girls and I had just had a taste test and I swear that is the best tasting cookie I've ever had.  Melt in your mouth, peanut buttery deliciousness!!  For this one I used the exact recipe, except I flipped the chocolate chip and Reese's Pieces amounts because I only had 1/2 cup of Reese's Pieces.  I also did not have a whoopie pie pan, so I just put scoops onto a cookie sheet.  One thing I liked better was not smooshing the dough down.  My first batch I did not, and I liked how they came out better.  The insides were all melty and gooey, while the smooshed ones were less gooey. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App gotta make those cookies.  You will think you have died and gone to heaven.  And, they are so rich, you really can only eat just one (with a tall glass of milk).

And now for the pizza recipe....

Pizza Cupcakes

2 rolls of Pillsbury pizza dough
1 jar of Ragu Robusto Garlic sauce
8 oz pkg of finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg of Hormel Pepperoni minis
1 pkg of Hormel beef crumbles pizza topping
chopped onions
olive oil
garlic powder
garlic salt

Yields 14 pizza cupcakes (in a normal cupcake pan, not jumbo)

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix 3 tbs olive oil with a teaspoon of garlic powder.  Coat each cupcake tin with olive oil/garlic mix.  Open the pizza dough rolls, but keep the dough in a roll.  Cut it into 7 slices (like when cutting dough for cinnamon rolls).  Take a slice, knead it out into a circle, then stuff into cupcake opening making sure to push sides of dough up along sides of cupcake.  Then, place a spoonful of sauce on each cupcake.  Next, add a big pinch of cheese.  We like ours cheesy, so I piled the cheese above the cupcake.  Next, add your toppings.  We used mini pepperonis, onions, and beef topping.   Because we are garlic lovers in this house, add a tiny pinch of garlic salt to the top of each. 

Bake for 13 minutes until golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

If you are baking in a jumbo cupcake pan, bake for 16-7 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is bubbly.


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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Jumbo Ombre Cupcakes

My son is still talking about the rainbow cupcakes I made from a few months ago, so I thought I'd try this ombre thing everyone is doing.  I could not get a decent picture, but they sure look cool in real life.  

It's super easy if you haven't done it before.  I was a bit worried they'd bake weird. 

I made 6 jumbo cup cakes.  Here is what I did:

1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites (no yolks to prevent yellowing of the batter)
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Separate batter into 4 bowls. 
1 bowl: white
1 bowl: 3-4 drops food coloring
1 bowl 6 drops of food coloring
1 bowl 10 drops of food coloring

 Then I layered the cupcakes.  I used a regular ol' flatware spoon and but 2 spoonfuls of each color batter starting with dark, then medium, then light, then white.  I filled these up about 3/4 full as I wanted big tops.  This yielded 6 jumbo cupcakes (which is probably about the same as about 18  regular cupcakes only filled 2/3 full of batter. )

Bake for 20 minutes.  

And Voila! Ombre cupcakes. 

I also made a cream cheese butter cream frosting
6 oz cream cheese
3-4 tbs butter
3-4 cups of powdered sugar

Allow cream cheese and butter to sit until close to room temperature.  Then beat together until smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar until the frosting makes stiff peaks.  

I used a large star tip and swirled it on the cupcakes.  Then, I dusted them with pink sugar crystals. 


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Like I said in yesterday's post, this is a compilation of a few recipes. This amount feeds my family of 5 plus leftovers for hubby to take to work a couple days. I'll post the long way and the changes for the quick and dirty way.

Long Way
2 chicken breasts
1 small onion
5-6 potatoes - cubed
2 cups of carrots - sliced
2 cups of chicken broth/stock
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup of milk mixed with 1tbs of flour
8 oz cream cheese
1 pkg of Reamed frozen egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts in just enough water to cover them until thoroughly cooked. Turn heat down to medium and pull out chicken to cool. Add veggies, garlic, salt, pepper, chicken stock and some water (I usually add about 2 cups). Cook until veggies tender. While waiting, cool and shred chicken. When veggies are ready add chicken back to pot. Add noodles. Wait until its boiling again and then add the flour + milk mixture. Watch the pot and stir or it will boil over. Lastly add the cream cheese in large dollops and allow to melt. Don't try to stir it in or it will separate and look nasty. Once it's all melted, stir, add water if necessary and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes before serving.

The quick and dirty method speeds up the time because there is no waiting to cook the veggies. You just add a can of diced potatoes and a can of sliced carrots. Then, you can quickly add everything else and serve.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pinterest and Sopapilla Cheesecake!

Have you discovered Pinterest?  It's so much fun.  You create "boards" of stuff you love basically, and you can look at other people's boards and repin stuff to yours that you love from theirs.You can request an invitation and then you're off and running. 

So while looking at other people's boards I discovered Sopapilla Cheesecake over at My Yellow Umbrella.  Ms Em and I had to make it.  I let Ms Em make the entire thing last night after dinner.  It was delicious!!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

We did change up the recipe just a smidge. 

Sopapilla Cheesecake
2 cans crescent rolls
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 tbs butter (melted)
Cinnamon & sugar - I used 1/3 cup and sugar and 1 tbs of cinnamon.

Unrolled and spread 1 & 1/2 can crescent rolls on bottom of un-greased pan. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

And after we made it, I thought if it's a sopapilla cheesecake, then it needs honey too, so after it's sliced and on the plate, we add some honey to top it off. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amazing Garlic Cheddar Chicken Breasts

Let's just say I have never been a fan of chicken breasts.  I have pretty much avoided them like the plague because they always tasted like cardboard to me.  However, since I cook all the time I needed some variety for my family.  I've been trying to get away from beef, so I started looking for new recipes.  Well, I found one that comes out so deliciously moist, it's unbelievable!  And don't you just love garlic? I can't get enough of it, lol.  Everyone cleans their plate on garlic cheddar chicken night, and hubby is usually in the fridge eating any leftovers before bedtime  It's so easy to make -- just throw it in the oven and come back in 40 minutes and it's perfect every time.  I found it on some recipe website, but I made it a bit more healthier. 


1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbs minced garlic
1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a baking pan or casserole dish for chicken. Mix one bowl of olive oil, 1 tbs garlic powder, seasoning salt and minced garlic.  Mix another bowl of bread crumbs (I always use crackers), 1 tbs garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and 2/3 of the cheddar cheese. Dip thawed chicken into olive oil mixture then bread crumb mixture and place evenly into pan.  After you've coated all the chicken, then take the leftovers from both bowls and drizzle over all the chicken.  Five minutes before you take the chicken out, sprinkle the rest of the cheese onto the chicken.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apricot Cream Cheese Crescents

While I was working and pregnant, there was a time I rarely cooked at home. Now I am so proud of myself, lol, I cook every night during the week and most of the weekend.

I love apricots and I was trying to think up something that would be like my rustic tart, but less messy and more bite size, so I whipped these up. My family devoured them and wanted more, lol.

Apricot Cream Cheese Crescents

1 can of crescent rolls
1 can of apricots in lite syrup
4 oz of cream cheese - softened
3 tbs of sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix 2 tbs of sugar with cream cheese. Drain apricot syrup into bowl and mix with 1 tbs of sugar. Roll out crescents. Spread a spoonful of cream cheese mixture to each crescent roll. Place one apricot in center of each roll, then roll up. Pinch edges closed around cream cheese. Brush the syrup on the top of each roll. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool several minutes.