Monday, December 31, 2012

Brie Cups

My friend, Tasha, is required to make these at our annual Cookie Swap. I love them and would eat every single one if I though my friends wouldn't kick me outta the group! 

They're crazy easy to make! Don't shy away just because it's brie. Brie has a pretty mild flavor and is nice and creamy.


Ingredients
Phyllo cups (can be found in the freezer section, usually with the pound cake)
Brie
Raspberry Jam

Directions
Preheat oven to 375.
Place Phyllo cups on a baking sheet. Place bite-sized pieces of Brie in to the cups. Top with a little bit of jam. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Seriously - that's it.

A few notes: 
- You can leave the rind on the cheese, or take it off. Completely up to you.
- I've only had these with raspberry jam, but you could certainly try it with other flavors!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Slow-Cooker Sticky Wings

Found this on Pinterest and it looked super easy and the blogger said they're crazy good.


Ingredients
1 3" piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 lbs chicken wings, halved at joint and tips removed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste

Directions: 
Make Rub
Pulse ginger, garlic, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper in food processor until finely ground. Add mixture to slow-cooker insert. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Cook and Cool
Cover and cook on low until fat is rendered and chicken is tender, about 3-4 hours. Using slotted spoon, remove wings from slow-cooker and transfer to clean large bowl (discard liquid in slow-cooker). Let wings cool about 20 min (or cool briefly and refrigerate up to 24 hours).

Sauce and Broil
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Set wire rack inside rimmed backing sheet and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk water, tomato paste, remaining sugar, remaining oy sauce, and remaining cayenne pepper in a bowl. Add half the sauce to a bowl with cooled wings and toss gently to coat. Arrange wings, skin side up, on prepared rack. Broil until wings are lightly charred and crisp around the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Flip wings, brush with remaining sauce, and continue to broil until well caramelized, about 3 minutes. Serve.

Note: In step 3, rack should be 10" to 12" from heating element. Don't wander off while the wings are in the oven.

Serves 12.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower


One head cauliflower, cut into florets; 1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder. (I threw all the ingredients into a Tupperware container and just shook it up.) Roast at 400F for 10 minutes, stirring 1/2 way through.

Had this at a party and it was good - on the must try list!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Cookies

Another cookie swap season is upon us!

This is my contribution for this year's swap with my friends. they're pretty darn tasty! I easily doubled the recipe and made well over 8 doz cookies.




Ingredients
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 c blueberries (if you use frozen, make sure they're completely defrosted and then rinse till water runs clear)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in cream cheese, egg and vanilla. Fold in Blueberries and Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks

6/29/13 UPDATE: I wanted to add that I gave these to our UPS guy for Christmas. I saw him recently and he said that he and his daughter still talk about these cookies! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jim Beam Glaze


Got this recipe from Red Robin....YUM!


1 cup Jim Beam bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
Combine the brown sugar and bourbon in a 3 qt. sauce pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol.

Add to the pot:
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

- Whisk the ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Cook the sauce over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken slightly and the flavors have married.

- Remove the sauce from the heat and cool completely. Use to baste meat, especially chicken or salmon, while cooking

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oriental Salad


Oriental Salad:
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed (I used baby spinach - it looks nicer and doesn't have so many stems)
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced ( I buy the presliced ones)
3/4 cup drained bean sprouts ( I used fresh)
1/2 lb. fried bacon, crumbled
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
dressing:
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/6 cup catsup ( not the 1/2 cup I originally tried!)
2 T. vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Toss salad ingredients together.  Mix dressing ingredients; add to salad.  Toss and serve. 
Eat immediately after adding dressing - not good the day after.

Asian Slaw Salad

Asian Slaw Salad:

2 pkgs. beef flavored ramen soup mix (3oz each)
16 oz cole slaw mix
1 cup sliced almonds (toasted - on cookie sheet in oven or toaster oven)
1 cup sunflower kernels/seeds (I used unsalted but the recipe says either)
1 bunch green onions - chopped
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
Crush uncooked ramen noodles.  Layer noodles, slaw, nuts, seeds, and onions in a bowl.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl combine flavor pack from soup mix with sugar, oil and vinegar.  Mix well.  Pour dressing over salad and chill.  Serves 8-10 people ( if they eat a lot otherwise serves way more!).
Good the day after too.

White's Chili


Chili:
3/4 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz. can tomatoes, cut up
1 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 to 3 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
 
    In large saucepan cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic until meat is brown.  Drain fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, salt, and pepper.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover, simmer for 20 minutes.  Makes 4 main dish servings.  (I had doubled the recipe)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Smokey Sweet Potato Souffle

I keep seeing recipes that I'd like to try, so I'm adding a "TO BE TRIED" label for those recipes. Once I try them, I'll update the pose and remove that label.

Saw this while I was watching 5 Ingredient Fix on Food Network with Little Lady #1 recently. Looks fantastic!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes, pricked with a knife
  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roast the potatoes on sheet tray until fully cooked, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels, reserving the rendered bacon fat. Chop bacon and set aside, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish.
Peel the sweet potatoes and mash. Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Stir in the chopped chipotle, adobe sauce, maple syrup, chopped bacon and egg yolks. Mix together until combined. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
In a separate large bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of whipped egg whites to sweet potato mixture and fold to create a lighter base. Fold in remaining whites until just incorporated, leaving some white streaks.
Grease a 2 quart baking dish with some of the reserved bacon fat and gently pour in sweet potato souffle mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped bacon. Put the baking dish on a sheet tray and bake 40 minutes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Slow Cooker Cider Applesauce

Like most New Englanders, we always have tons of apples come Fall. I made my very first apple pie this year and it was YUM! Another favorite is apple crisp - although I have yet to make one this year. Have to rectify that STAT!

Last year I started making apple sauce to use up apples we had sitting around, and then I freeze it. It's pretty good if I say so myself! Usually, I just cook the apples on the stove until they're good and soft and then call it a day. But this year I ran across a recipe on Pinterest for Cider Applesauce in the slow cooker! It's crazy easy and tastes delish.

I modified it a little bit, but the original recipe can be found using the link above.

Ingredients
enough apples to fill your slow cooker, any flavor of your choosing - peeled, cored and cut
2 tsp Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend*

Directions
Layer apples and spice blend until the slow cooker is full. Cook on high about 4 hours, or until apples have completely softened. 

Serve hot, or freeze for later use.


*The Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend is a Pampered Chef product that includes cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and orange peel. It's a great substitute when making apple pie or pumpkin pie.
The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

My friend Martha raved about these sweet potatoes so I had to try them. They're pretty darn tasty!


I've made them twice, but I can't get them to be crispy/crunchy like the recipe and Martha said they get. they're still crazy delicious, so I'll be making them again. Farmer Bob RAVED about them to my mom when she came home from vacation.

UPDATE: I made these in mashed potato form recently and they were just as tasty, and a lot easier! Just boil chunks until tender, then add everything in the pot and mash! I did end up using garlic powder instead of Garlic Garlic though, since the Garlic Garlic really needs to cook and soften.

Ingredients

2 medium Sweet Potatoes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil


Topping
1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Garlic
10 grinds black pepper – coarse



Directions

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice about 1¼ inches thick. Add ½ teaspoon salt to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add potato slices and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until somewhat softened. Remove carefully to a wire rack and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Blend the topping ingredients together really well with a fork, making to sure to get the sugar completely incorporated.

Line a large, heavy sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a flat bottomed bowl, slightly mash each potato slice, taking care that they stay intact. Drizzle each slice with a mixture of the butter and oil and sprinkle slices evenly with ½ of the topping mixture. Make sure you avoid getting the topping on the sheet between the slices if possible – it will burn and smoke before the potatoes are done. Gently turn over each slice, drizzle with the remaining butter/oil mixture and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings. Roast at 375° for 20 minutes, carefully flip each slice and return to oven for about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sheila's Apple Pie

Went apple picking with the Little Ladies and Farmer Bob today (Farmer Bob is my mom's husband). Picked up some Cortland and Macintosh apples. The girls kept asking to make an apple pie, how could I say no???

As far as I know, I've never made an apple pie before. I've had the pleasure of eating many apple pies, but never actually making one. So I went to Facebook looking for help. My cousin Sheila came through with this recipe she got off of a pie dish she bought. It was pretty good! Farmer Bob said it was one of the best pies he'd ever eaten. He judges an apple pie contest every Fall, so I'll take that as a compliment!

The Little Ladies helped me mix the apples with the sugar and cinnamon mix and then helped pour them in to the pie plate. When the time came to eat the pie, they only wanted to have the vanilla ice cream, which Little Lady #1 said was the tastiest part ;-)


A watched pie never bakes.

Fresh out of the oven!

Ingredients
2 crusts for a 9" pie plate (I used Pillsbury, but you can use whatever you like!)
6 cups apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Place one pie crust in the bottom of the pie plate. Mix flour, sugar, spices and a dash of salt with apples until completely combined. Place apples in pie crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, crimping edges to seal in juices. Cut vents in the top using a knife.

Place strips of foil over edge of the crust to prevent burning. Remove foil shield about 15 minutes before pie is done.

Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Another recipe found on Pinterest. Seriously... that site is crazy addictive!!!

Original recipe is found at the King Arthur site.

The Little Ladies got me a donut pan for my birthday in June (with the help of their dad), and I finally decided to christen it. Little Lady #2 is down for a nap (which means it's quiet!!), so Little Lady #1 and I went to work!

It was a pretty easy recipe to make. We didn't have pumpkin pie spice, so we used the make-your-own method that's listed. I found that 12-13 minutes was a way better time than the 15-18 that's listed in the recipe. Speaking of... the recipe on Kind Arthur's site doesn't mention an oven temp (at least not that I saw), so I went with the 425 that's listed on the pan. I might try 400 next time though.

Little Lady #1





Place the following in a mixing bowl:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Beat everything together until smooth.
Add 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, stirring just until smooth.
Lightly grease two standard donut pans. (I only had one pan, so I just kept re-using it)
If you don’t have doughnut pans, you can bake these in a couple of standard muffin tins; they just won’t be doughnuts.
Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full, using a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well; a tablespoon cookie scoop helps with this task. I found 4 scoops per donut well worked well.
If you’re making muffins, fill each well about 3/4 full; the recipe makes about 15, so you’ll need to bake in two batches (unless you have two muffin pans).

Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re using self-rising flour, bake for the longer amount of time.
If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon-sugar. Or better yet, pumpkin-spice sugar, made by combining the aforementioned pumpkin pie spice (or substitute) with granulated sugar.
If you’ve made muffins, sprinkle their tops heavily with the spiced sugar of your choice.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

I've been M.I.A. for a while. Trying to figure out the new normal for me and my Little Ladies. We're getting there ;-)

Another Pinterest recipe! This one's from Can You Stay For Dinner.

I've become a big fan of Buffalo Chicken over the past few years. When I saw this recipe, I just had to try it.... especially since we've had egg roll wrappers hanging around for a while.

I made a version for the Little Ladies that had the slaw, plain chicken and shredded cheese on it. Little C liked them, but Little M did not.

We had them for dinner, but they'd be really good for a party! They were super easy to make too. I whipped them up in about 15ish minutes, after a veeerrrrryyyyy long day out with the Little Ladies.




Ingredients

12 egg roll wrappers (roughly 4 square inches)
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (6 ounces)
1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup broccoli slaw (dry)
Small bowl of water
Nonstick cooking spray
Blue cheese dressing, for serving
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.
Begin by placing one tablespoon of the broccoli slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.
To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.
Repeat with remaining rolls.
Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls crisp and turn a light golden brown.
*Note: To make the chicken, place 1/2 lb of uncooked chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover it. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Fruit Snacks Made with 100% Fruit Juice

Another great recipe found on Pinterest! It originated from MommySavers.com


Little Girls really like fruit snacks - especially Little Girl #1. Ocean Spray has a new fruit snack, which is a little healthier than the other kinds on the market. But I still wasn't crazy about them. Then I found this recipe.


I bought the Outset Hex Ice Cube Tray silicon mold on Amazon for under $8. It's got 34 holes and they're the perfect size for fruit snacks, in my humble opinion. They're about the size of dime or so.



They were pretty easy to make. The thinner snacks had a weird texture, so I think I'll make sure they're half (or more) full next time. The real test will be when Little Girls try them in the morning *fingers crossed*



Ingredients
1/3 c. 100% frozen fruit juice concentrate
2-3 .25 oz envelopes unflavored gelatin (use 2 for softer fruit snacks, and 3 for firmer ones)
molds

Directions
Pour the juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Put the pan over medium heat and stir until all the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout so you can easily fill your molds. Fill the molds and allow to set at least 20 minutes. You can speed up the process a bit by putting them in the refrigerator.


There's also a recipe using Jell-O and water instead of juice if you want to go that route:

Jell-o Fruit Snacks Recipe
1 3 oz package gelatin, any flavor
2 .25 oz envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/3 c. water

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Pour into molds and allow to set at least 20 minutes.


Garlic Scapes Pesto

What is a "garlic scape" you ask?


THIS is a garlic scape....

The farmer told me: Garlic scapes are the green-colored stems and unopened flower buds of hard-neck garlic varieties. they have a mild garlic flavor with a slight sweetness.
My thoughts - it's got a nice garlic flavor - and really - you can't go wrong with that!

The girls and I went to the local farmers' market today and picked these up (along with some other amazing produce). The farmer we bought them from gave me this recipe. I went right home and whipped it up. Super tasty!

I didn't do anything with it yet, but I'm planning on trying it on pasta as the recipe suggests. Maybe on some nice crusty bread too.....



Ingredients
10 garlic scapes - ends and buds trimmed
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, almonds or walnuts (I used natural almonds)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt & pepper
1/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Directions
  • Puree scapes, nuts, cheese 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  • With motor running, slowly pour in the oil.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir into warm pasta with a little reserved pasta water and serve.
  • Store in fridge for up to 1 week or freeze in ice cube trays and store for up to 1 month.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Monday, June 18, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Buttercream

Who doesn't love s'mores??

My niece's 9th birthday was last month, but her party with her friends is tomorrow. She's having a make-your-own-pizza party - how fun!

I offered to make cupcakes for her party to give her mom a little break on the party planning. I had to find something that was gluten-free since she has Celiac Disease, and also nut-free since so many kids have nut allergies. I didn't want to risk something happening with that at all.

I offered her mom a few choices and this was her pick.

I tweaked the original recipe just a bit. I used a box of King Arthur Gluten-Free chocolate cake mix instead of making a from-scratch cake like the recipe called for, along with GF graham crackers. I'd probably do the same thing if I was making a regular cake. The box I used called for 1 1/3 cups of water (plus eggs and oil), but I used only 1/3 cup of water and 1 cup of sour cream. I think the sour cream adds nice moisture to a cake!

The below recipe is how I made it, and the original can be found here at Your Cup of Cake.



Ingredients

Chocolate Cakes:
2-layer box mix of chocolate cake plus ingredients on back minus 1 cup of water
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
Graham cracker crumbs (fine crumbs)

Marshmallow Cream Centers:
4 oz cream cheese
½ cup Fluff (marshmallow cream for you non New Englanders)
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar

Graham Cracker Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (fine crumbs)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons whipping cream or milk
mini marshmallows and chocolate for decoration

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners (24).
  2. Mix cake mix, ingredients from back of the box and sour cream together in a mixer until fully combined.
  3. Spoon ¾ teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Shake pan to spread evenly.
  4. Fill liners ¾ full and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Mashmallow Cream Centers: Beat cream cheese, marshmallow cream and powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar to taste. This mixture should not be thick like a buttercream, because it will be in the center of your cupcake.
  6. When cupcakes are cooled, cut out a small area from the top of the cake and pipe marshmallow cream into each cupcake.
  7. Graham Cracker Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter until light and creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and graham cracker crumbs. At this point, the buttercream will look like cookie dough. Add heavy cream a little bit at a time until buttercream consistency is reached.
  8. Pipe onto cooled, marshmallow filled cupcakes and top with mini marshmallows and melted chocolate.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Cloud Frosting

My niece turned 9 last week and today we celebrated. She was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease when she was about 2 and I always try to make her something "normal" for her birthday.


She LOVES Nutella, so when I found this recipe, I had to try it!


The reviews: My mom thought the cake was a little bitter on its own, but with the frosting she thought it was good. Another guest said he thought it tasted fine. I also thought the taste was fine, but the texture was a bit tough. I've never really tried any of my niece's GF stuff, so I don't know if this is a normal texture or not. It wasn't anything terrible, just not light and fluffy like most cakes.


But the person who mattered most loved them. She ate 2 and I think she would have kept going if her dad had let her!


NOTE: I topped half of the cupcakes with Ferrero Rocher chocolates (chocolate with hazelnuts). These are NOT gluten free, so make sure you keep that in mind.






Cupcake Ingredients
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix (I used King Arthur's)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Cupcake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth.
  • Fill prepared baking cups 2/3 full. Bake around 20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched.

Frosting Ingredients (Makes enough to frost 12-15 cupcakes - double for above cupcakes)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon milk

Frosting Directions
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar for a minute until well combined. 
  • Add vanilla and mix until combined. 
  • Add the melted (and cooled) chocolate and beat on medium speed until frosting smooth. 
  • Finally, add Nutella and beat until well combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Traditional Slaw Salad

I love Cole Slaw and was introduced to Broccoli Slaw last year - not bad! I found the recipe below on a bag of Broccoli Slaw and tried it out. It's pretty good!


(I know this isn't some fancy recipe, and it came off the back of a bag of shredded broccoli, but remember that this is a place to compile recipes)


Like all Cole Slaws, you could definitely add raisins, golden raisins or dried cranberries to the mix.


Ingredients
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
12 oz Cole Slaw or Broccoli Slaw mix


Directions
Blend together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add slaw mix and gently toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip made the rounds of my friends and is still very popular. It's so addictive that it's earned the name "Crack Dip".

This is a more scale-friendly recipe than the original, but still just as tasty! Another Pinterest find!



Ingredients
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 cups (14 oz raw) cooked shredded chicken (I use canned chicken in water and drain and chop as needed)


Directions
Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and mix until combined. You can either put it in a baking dish and bake for 20 min or until bubbling OR put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm.

Original recipe from SkinnyTaste.com

Deluxe Cheeseburger Salad

When I was a Pampered Chef consultant, this recipe came out. I was a bit skeptical. It sounds so weird. But I had to try it so that I could offer it to my hosts for their shows. It's really great! It tastes just like a cheeseburger!


You could definitely substitute ground chicken, turkey or even pork for the ground beef. And I skipped the toasted buns when I made it other times. If you want something crunchy, maybe try it with tortilla or pita chips. You can also make it a deconstructed salad by putting everything in separate bowls and let people build their salad the way they like it.






Ingredients
sesame seed hamburger bun tops
small red onion, divided
plum tomatoes
3/4 lb 95% lean ground beef
1/2 cup sliced dill pickles
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice bun tops into 1/4-in. strips. (If bun tops are very thick, slice bottoms off horizontally before slicing into strips). Arrange in a single layer on Large Bar Pan; bake 8–10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely.
  2. Cut onion in half crosswise using Utility Knife. Slice half of the onion crosswise into thin rings using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with adjustable slicing blade on thin setting. Cut tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and slice crosswise. Set onion and tomatoes aside.
  3. Cook ground beef in Sauté Pan over medium-high heat 5–7 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles using Slotted Turner. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion half using Food Chopper. Finely dice pickles using Utility Knife. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine chopped onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Add cooked beef; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
  4. To serve, arrange lettuce on large serving platter. Spoon beef mixture over lettuce. Top with cheese, tomatoes and sliced onion. Arrange hamburger bun croutons around edge of platter. Serve immediately.
Original recipe from The Pampered Chef.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

A friend told me about a recipe he found in a grocery store magazine for a lemon vinaigrette for asparagus and it sounded amazing. I decided to give it a shot for Easter dinner and it was fantastic!

Ingredients
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt or sea salt
pinch fresh cracked pepper
2 pounds fresh asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed

Directions
In a jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously until combined. Store in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.
Steam asparagus until crisp-tender; do not overcook! 
Drizzle vinaigrette over asparagus to coat lightly.
Makes 4-6 servings.