Friday, April 30, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes.

Divide batter according to how many colors you are using.
Use food coloring to color batter to desired intensity. Wilton brand gel colors have the brightest colors and wont thin your batter.

To get a layered stripe like I used, you'll want to put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on it's own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers. (I thank Christy for such great instructions because this was perfect!)

Bake them according to the package directions, until a toothpick comes out dry.
Frost with your favorite frosting.

We couldn't wait for frosting!



The girl who ate everything is a fun blog with amazing pictures of these cupcakes. The recipe can be found there. My girls keep asking me to make these again and again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

This was one of those meals that almost brought tears to my eyes. It was so good that I was wishing all my friends could just happen to stop by! I made it because a friend did stop by and shared with me her wealth of cilantro. The smell of cilantro is one of my favorite things. Thanks Jen. I put it to good use.

Simmer your sauce.

Fry your eggs.

Combine with all. I did make mine with scrambled eggs..which is better! But JT swears that his with fried eggs was the best. Something for everyone!



Huevos Rancheros
from A Real American Breakfast

Sauce
  • oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 4 oz can chilies
  • 1 15 oz diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
  • 1 Tb white vinegar
  • 1 tea raw sugar
  • 1/4 tea cumin
  • 1/2 tea salt

Cook onions and garlic till soft. Add other ingredients and simmer 15 minutes.

Serve with
  • softened corn tortillas
  • sour cream
  • fried eggs
  • lime wedges
  • fresh cilantro

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Budini for Elizabeth

Bittersweet is the name of the cookbook in which this recipe lives. It is also how I was feeling when eating this dessert. I am moving...a long ways a way. My friend, Elizabeth and I have been getting together every Monday to savor our time together. Last night with every bite the flavors melted away and my mouth was happy but my heart was breaking. These last moments are cherished moments but hard ones. Who knew that chocolate wouldn't soothe but only intensify the "Bittersweet" moment.

Beat eggs, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.

Melt chocolate and butter. Add rum and semolina flour.

Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into chocolate.

Pour chocolate into egg and fold until blended.

Even though you may be tempted...don't taste yet.

Divide between ramekins.

Bake until deep cracks but still gooey. Approximately 20 minutes.

I love my dear friend, Elizabeth.

Budini from Bittersweet

Ingredients:
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 TB rum (1 only!!)
  • 3 Tb semolina flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Joining the Circus!

What happens when you need a day off and can't take one?

Well, my girls friends have been throwing around some great ideas and I have decided to take them up on their idea #5.

Ideas that SC gave in all her brilliance..


1. Lunch with someone who can really cook!

2. Hire a Maid so you can have bon bon time

3. Start planning a weekend away with your spouse

4. Declare a "Mental Health Day." Here are the rules. Cereal for breakfast, PB an J for lunch (or McDonald's?) and let Mrs. Dominoes cook dinner. You aren't allowed to do chores, or pay bills, or run errands. The only thing you have to do is make sure the kids don't die. Bring on the cartoons! When you have down time you are only allowed to do something you WANT to do. Like read a book, or watch something like "Ghost Hunters International." Screen phone calls. Power down the computer.

5. Run away and join the circus.

6. Call and commiserate while the children run amok.

7. Invite yourself over to someone's house for a play date.

May I add:
  • Have a tea party with cream cheese sandwiches!!
  • Drink Hot Chocolate and use lots of mini marshmallows
  • Snorkel in the tub


If I joined the circus I would want to be a fire spitter or an acrobat. Not being as young as some...I think I will go for the flames.

One of my favorite circus food is popcorn..in any form, but most of all caramel corn. I love cracker jack (history) and munch and crunch.

Here is a great recipe for some wonderful snackage.

Caramel Popcorn from cooks.com (source)
Ingredients:
  • 4 quarts popped corn (I used the left over giant tub of movie popcorn!!-filled up when we left)
  • 16 oz peanuts (didn't use...due to family allergies)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 tea vanilla
  • 1/3 tea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250°F degrees.
Measure 1 cup of light brown sugar into a medium saucepan (with high sides) and stir in 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of corn syrup and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly (set timer for 2 minutes).
Remove saucepan from heat and quickly stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and vanilla (mixture will foam up). Stir mixture down.
Using a pot or bowl which is large enough to hold all of the popped popcorn, combine popcorn and hot mixture, stirring and tossing to mix thoroughly using a large spoon greased with butter. Add peanuts (optional). When pouring liquid over popcorn be careful because the mixture is HOT.
When thoroughly mixed, spread the coated popcorn on a greased baking sheet. Do not overload the baking sheet; bake in multiple batches if necessary.
Bake 15 minutes at 250°F; turn over using a silicone spatula and bake another 15 minutes.
Allow to cool thoroughly and store in air-tight containers in a cool place.


Younger family members choose to be acrobats
I choose to spit fire

Everyone enjoys the popcorn

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Humble Samoan Chicken

Is there a fine line between being excited about food and being prideful?

I get so excited about food that I sometimes think people get the impression that I am a food snob. In fact, the only thing I turn my nose up at is overly processed or overcooked food...and ramen (sorry Dave). Sometimes people will say things to the effect of..I made this and was going to bring you some but it wouldn't have been as good as yours. Yes, it would have! I love trying new things and seeing what other cooks are cooking up.
The other day I was so excited I shouted to the mail lady, "look in the car at what I made!" My husband reprimanded me for being "all that". But I just was so excited to show someone this cool food..not because I made it but because it was beautiful to look at. I wanted to share the beauty of the food, not my ability to make it.
This recipe is one of my favorites. It is from my favorite Junior League Centennial Cookbook-which was a gift from JT when we were newlyweds. It later was a gift from my sister in law, who has great taste in cookbooks!

Flatten your chicken breasts.

Place prosciutto and sliced peaches, mango, papaya, or nectarines. I like nectarines best. Sadly this time my peaches and nectarines were not ripe enough so I used canned peaches. Not as good as fresh. And not as good as a good nectarine.

Roll and secure with toothpicks.

Mix coconut, curry, and thyme together.

Roll chicken breasts in coconut mixture.

Ready for a sauce of lime, butter, and cream with the drippings from the chicken. This sauce is excellent.

Fresh limes...what can I say?

And dinner is served. Samoan chicken, arroz verde, and roasted green beans. The rolls came from the bread master. They were so delish!


Ingredients:
Layer together and Roll:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Prosciutto
  • sliced nectarine
Roll chicken rolls in following:
  • 5 Tb coconut
  • 1/2 tea thyme
  • 1 tea curry powder
Sear on all sides then bake 350 15 minutes
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 3 Tb oil
Remove chicken and keep warm while mixing sauce. Deglaze with lime juice add cream and simmer 10 minutes. Add zest and butter. Cook 2 min.
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tb lime zest
  • 1 Tb butter

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thirteen Tale Hot Chocolate

Everyone told me I had to read this book. Everyone said they loved it! I found it too "disturbing" for my taste. I struggled through it but finished it and didn't even skip to the end.

I did like the Aurelius character because he was a chef and he was kind. I could relate to his character. The book is very well written and is interesting..very unpredictable, which is a plus.

While reading this book I found myself always craving hot chocolate! And then to my amazement a cooking friend posted a recipe. I can also relate to my friend because Food Is Her Love Language! It is mine too! If I bake you something..I love you. If I continue to bake for you..I really love you.

I really love hot chocolate!

3 simple ingredients.

"I made myself a cup of cocoa". The character in this book lives on cocoa and hardly anything else. I wish I had counted the number of references to a single cup of cocoa. Hence my continuous cravings.

mmm good stuff.


Marzipan Hot Chocolate for 1 (source Lois)

Ingredients


  • 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, rounded
  • 1 oz. marzipan
  • 1 c. milk


Directions

Combine chocolate and marzipan in a food processor until it resembles a very coarse meal.
Heat milk until steaming.
With the motor running, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture; process until throughly combined.
Return to pan and heat to desire temperature.

(If making more than one cup, only add one cup of milk to the chocolate mixture. Combine the chocolate mixture with the remaining milk in the saucepan.

Serves 1

Call me lazy but...
I just threw everything in the blender and whirled it about. It was great.

Friday, April 23, 2010

150 Best- Mayan Mystery Cookies

ST calls these "Lion" cookies. I started making them when she was little and really couldn't form "m". It is a family treasure now. We also do not add the "mystery" because we are too impatient and the mystery is only good immediately upon coming out of the oven: making left overs not as pleasing. Not that you have leftovers with this cookie!

MT is cookie master today. Showing you the finer points of rolling the dough.

And then rolling the balls in sugar until well coated.

Baking them for the perfect time. They do not flatten that much.

Taking them out of the oven.
We had great plans for a final photo but we ate all the cookies! We just couldn't wait.

Mayan Mystery Cookies (source: 150 Best American Recipes)

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This makes a small batch of wonderfully delicious cookies. I have found that people either love these or hate them.
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
  • 3/4 c sugar
Cream butter and sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tea vanilla
Add to creamed mixture
  • 1 1/2 c four
  • 1 1/2 tea baking powder
  • 1/4 tea salt
  • 1/2 tea pepper
  • 1 tea cinnamon
  • 1/4 tea allspice
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
Mix dry. Add to wet and mix until batter is uniform.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Roll into balls. Roll balls in sugar.
Bake 8 minutes @350-they do not flatten. I use a #40 cookie scoop (approx 1 1/2 TB) for these cookies. The recipe says it makes 5 dozen...I find it only makes 2 dozen with the size scoop I use.

If you are feeling decadent...make an indentation before baking. Fill the well with chocolate ganache! MMMM Grand. That is my favorite way to have these- Toni's Mayan Thumbprints!! A new creation.