Friday, June 17, 2011

cupcakes are my middle name!

I love cupcakes. if I could make them all day long I totally would. Unfortunately I cannot. I love trying new things. I think of things I like and then I figure out how to pit them on cupcakes. That's where this recipe comes from. I love plums and I love honeydew. Voila! Don't be scared of this recipe; these are possibly the best cupcakes I have ever made.

I'm not going to lie, this recipe was a little involved and I might have to give you some estimates about quantities of certain ingredients. It's all about trial and error. The first step is roasting some plums. I split them plums in half and threw about 2 tablespoons of butter into a lined pan with cracked pepper. The plums go on top. In a cup I combined about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and maybe 2 tablespoons of freshly ground ginger. Pour that on top of the plums and sprinkle a generous amount of sugar over all of it and pop it into an oven set to 400 degrees F for about 20 mins. You can kind of tell when they're done. Take them about and let them cool down as in stick them in the fridge for at least an hour. When they're cooled it's time to get messy. Dig in there and pull out the stones and as much skin as you can. It's going to be pureed next so don't worry if there's still some skin left. Once it's pureed put it back in the fridge until it's cupcake time.

The frosting is a beast of a different kind. I used a standard buttercream recipe. The honeydew was pureed with some added sugar. I mixed in some puree instead of milk. It wasn't strong enough so I alternated honeydew with powdered sugar until it was stiff enough but still tasted like melon. Sorry I can't be more specific.

I always use a standard 1,2,3,4 cake for cupcakes. It is so completely versatile and I can substitute so many things for so many other things. It is the perfect base. Here is my roasted plum version.

Roasted Plum, Ginger, Balsamic Vinegar, and Black Pepper Cupcakes
2 sticks room temperature butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
3 tbs baking powder
1 cup pureed plums

 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cream the butter and the sugar. Then add the egg. It should be a very pale color when your done. Air makes fluffy cupcakes!
3. My trick is alternating the flour and the liquid (plums in this case). I add 1 tbs of baking powder to 1 cup of flour and mix it in. Add 1/2 of the plums. Then flour/baking powder, then plums, then the last of the flour/baking powder.
4. Spray the cupcake papers and fill 3/4 of the way.
5. Bake for around 20 mins. These are unusually moist and may require a few more minutes than normal.
6. Frost when cool
7. Eat and enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

classic comfort

it's april 17th and it's cold outside! i wanted something that would warm me up while cooking it. i wanted something sweet, simple, comforting. i have rice. i have maple syrup. a-ha! quick and simple. i do mean simple. everything goes into the pot together, it boils and simmers and then you have rice pudding! doesn't it look yummy? don't you just want some right now? here ya go!

maple syrup rice pudding
5 cups milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup rice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger

1. put all of your ingredients into a pot and cook on high until liquid begins to boil.
2. reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 30-40 mins.
3. spoon rice into bowls and chill.
4. eat and enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

country style rigatoni penne

it was my father's birthday today. i decided to invite my parents over and make dinner. whenever they dine at a certain italian restaurant around here, he always orders country-style rigatoni so i figured, why not? when my parents came over, they brought us a little housewarming plant. how pretty!

i bought this plate at an antiques barn recently. it copies my [would have been someday inherited until they were sold] plate set. i am sure it's not original, but i love it all the same. tonight it held some nice cantaloupe which had some leftover prosciutto to go with it.

i made more garlic butter to go with this yummy Hannaford bakery bread. it was suprisingly good. don't you just love my new serving bowls? antiques barn. love them.

ok, so you say, what rigatoni? i'm stubborn and wouldn't buy pasta that wasn't whole grain so penne it was! it was a good dish overall and i would totally make it again! i would make some minor changes like maybe another can of beans...

country style rigatoni (or penne!)
1 lb mild sausage
1 can (15oz) of chicken broth
1 (or 2) can of cannellini beans
1 lb pasta
1 med onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 slices of prosciutto
olive oil

1. over med/high heat place 2 tbs of olive oil into a large skillet and add onions and garlic. cook until soft.
2. add sausage and break up. cook for another 8-10 until sausage is done.
3. add chicken brother, seasonings, beans, and cheese.
4. cook until it begins to thicken (5-10 mins).
5. chop up and add prosciutto last.
6. cook pasta about 4 minutes.
7. add broccolli to water and continue to boil until pasta is done.
8. add pasta and broccolli to skillet and turn off heat.
10. eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

inaugural dinner

we just got our stove hooked up in our new place! w00t! anyway, that means a first dinner, and what to make? i decided on mozzarella stuffed turkey burgers with homemade baked french fries. i started with the fries first. i used yukon golds because i love them to death. i decided to boil them slightly before baking them. it was a good move indeed. they drained and dried for at least a half an hour before i tossed them in some olive oil with some dill, oregano, parmesan cheese, sea salt, and pepper.

next i tackled the turkey burgers. i put in a bit of dijon mustard, thyme, and sea salt and mixed it. i divided it into 4 balls and then, one by one, divided the balls in half and formed patties. i only had shredded mozzarella. i made an indent in the middle of the patty and filled it with cheese. i put the two patties together, sealed the seamed, and reshaped them a bit so they would stay together.

so of course if things can go wrong, they do. the oven set off the smoke detector, so no "oven" french fries. i guess i have to clean it more thoroughly! anyway, i baked them off in the toaster oven, caramelized some onions, and toasted some buns. earlier in the day i had roasted a head of garlic and make some roasted garlic mayonnaise and some roasted garlic butter. i used the mayo on the burgers. it was so good!

mozzarella-stuffed turkey burgers
1 lb of ground turkey
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp thyme (i like it a lot, you can use less)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1. mix mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper into the ground turkey.
2. divide into 4 equal balls.
3. take each ball and separate in half.
4. for patties out of each and make an indent in the middle.
5. fill the middle with a pinch or two of cheese.
6. sandwich the patties together and pinch the seams closed.
7. in a pan on medium-high cook the patties for about 5 to 6 minutes per side.
8. eat and enjoy!

seasoned oven baked french fries
4 to 5 yukon gold potatoes
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dill
1 tsp oregano
olive oil

1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. peel 4 to 5 potatoes.
3. slice the potatoes in half, then slice the halves lengthwise 4 or 5 times depending on the size of the potato. sometimes i had to further slice the potato to get nice, even fries.
4. boil them until they are about halfway cooked through.
5. transfer them to a colander or strainer and run under cold water for awhile. you don't want them cooking more.
6. let them drain awhile, using paper towels if necessary.
7. once dry, coat them in olive oil
8. add almost all of the spices and cheese and toss until evenly coated.
9. line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (saves on cleanup) and coat with non-stick cooking spray. i didn't have any, so i used a bit more olive oil.
10. lay french fries down and place in oven for 30 minutes.
11. halfway through flip fries and use the rest of the cheese and spices to top fries.
12. bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
13. eat and enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

muffin time!

eat me, delicious is one of those great food blogs that inspired me to create my own in the first place. Over there is found a recipe for Earl Grey and white chocolate chunk muffins. My love of tea and white chocolate made me realize this was way too good to pass up on. I use an obscene amount of Earl Grey tea in these. There was a major power outage today throughout my town (lucky us, we still had power) so my niece and nephew didn't have school. They were bored and needed something to do. In comes me to save the day! Baking sweets on a rainy fall day...heaven. FYI, I made these into mini muffins.

She's like a little mom sometimes. She loves to bake.

He is less enthused by baking, but likes it none the less...

I add way more Earl Grey than is called for. Yum!

They are all ready to go! I didn't have white chocolate bars, so I just used white chocolate chips instead.

Can we say delicious?! The recipe below is my slightly altered recipe.

Earl Grey and White Chocolate Chunk Muffins
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 bags of earl grey tea
3/4 sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter (melted and cooled)*
3/4 cup of white chocolate chunks/chips

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. In one bowl mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking power, and tea).
3. In a seperate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (sour cream, eggs, butter, and vanilla).
4. Gently add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5. Mix in the white chocolate. Do not overmix your batter!
6. Line your tins with paper and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
7. Fill cups with batter. I use a mellon baller. It delivers the right amount every time.
8. Bake for approx. 12 mins**. If your knife/toothpick pulls out clean, they are done.
9. Let cool slightly and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
10. Eat and Enjoy!

*I used salter butter and therefore, I omitted the 1/4 tsp of salt from the recipe.
**The recipe says 18-20 mins, but since mine were mini, I found 12 mins was a perfect time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

zucchini garlic soup

I obviously read a lot of food blogs. I'm also a big fan of TasteSpotting where I found this recipe. Zucchini and garlic in a soup? Sign me up. The strange thing is, I'm not a soup fan at all. It's the strange combination drinking hot food that doesn't settle well with my stomach. This soup makes me forget all of it. It's blended and creamy, and the best part is that it's done without cream! Not only am I a huge fan of this soup, everyone else that tastes it becomes one as well! On y va!

Most of the ingredients. Zucchini, onion, garlic, and chicken broth.

My sister took a trip to Le Gourmet Chef and bought me this while she was there! Coolest peeler ever. That thing took on the zucchini like it was its job. Oh wait, that is its job! ;)

Onions and garlic first. Well, onions first, then garlic. No one wants burnt garlic. I cook these longer than the recipe says. I cook the onions until everything is caramelized. Careful. Let me repeat though, no one wants burnt garlic! I don't care about the size of the chop very much because everything goes into the blender in the end!

I borrowed my mom's saucepan. This thing is a beast, I swear. Look at all of that fantastic zucchini.

When everything is soft, add some broth. I bought broth. I'm lazy....

What is this? Basil. What would I do without basil? Do you see a theme yet from this summer. Everything was about zucchini and basil. I had loads of both and didn't hesitate to use every bit of it. Basil is not part of the original recipe...

Finished product. This is post-blender and has an added parmesean crisp. The crisp was a failure at what it was supposed to be, but yummy none the less. It's totally not necessary, just an added indulgence.

Creamy Zucchini Garlic Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion
8 large cloves of garlic
4 zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs)
4 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Basil (a good handful and is completely optional)
Salt (although I don't use any additional salt for this recipe)

1. Melt the butter. When it foams, add the onions then the garlic. Cook for about 10 mins until onions are soft (or in my case, slightly caramelized).
2. Add sliced zucchini and cook that until soft (the time depends on how you sliced your zucchini)
3. Add broth and basil. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for around 45 mins.
4. Use an immersion blender, or standing blender, and blend the soup. Only do half at a time. You want this too be creamy and well blended. It's much easier to handle this in steps. This is the point where I season with ginger and pepper. I season each blending. I probably use more than 1/2 teaspoon of ginger. It's more like a 1 teaspoon of ginger when I'm all done.
5. Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

insalata caprese

I've been busy lately. Here's some caprese salad to hold you over until I make my post about zucchini soup!


Insalata Caprese
1 tomato
Mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

1. Cut tomato into slices. Do the same with the cheese.
2. Alternate layers of cheese, tomato, and basil.
3. Mix olive oil with a little bit of lemon juice. No, this is not traditional, but it adds a little something for me.
4. Add salt and pepper to top. Eat and Enjoy!