Sunday, September 11, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes

These are so delicious. I really really want some right now! I unfortunately I made them this past June when the strawberries were perfect. This is a really fun recipe. It is from Martha Stewarts, "Cupcakes" recipe book. You can get the recipe here. There are NOT the sprinkles recipe that she has posted before, that I have tried, and that I did not like.

So I never just follow a recipe so here is what I changed about it. I made the cupcake base, which is really just a vanilla cupcake batter. Instead of cutting up the strawberries and folding them in I didn't (look at the picture on the bottom). I sliced up the strawberry and put a thick slice and pressed it into the batter. Trust me it was so good to bite into the cupcake and have this tasty little treat right in the middle.  The top picture is the "Strawberry Meringue Buttercream". So I followed the recipe exactly. It turned out tasty, but it did not look like the picture on her website, or in her cookbook. It did work out though. I got rave reviews from everyone I shared these with. I personally couldn't stop eating them. Try them out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We recently went on a little family excusion to the snow for a week. It was so fun to get away and do something fun. For me the best part was being able to take a few cookbooks and just cook, cook, and cook some more. I don't always have the luxury of time to go to the grocery store let alone cook for hours. On the 3 hour drive over I made lists. Lots of lists. As soon as we unloaded the car I headed to town for groceries. I found a wonderful organic grocery store to buy produce. These are just a few pics. I have posted several recipes from the trip as well. We ate caprese salads, and had this wonderful peanut sauce with mango rolls. It was divine.

Simple Carrot Soup

I had not planned on making carrot soup when I went to the grocery store. Then I saw these beautiful carrots that looked really fresh and colorful. I couldn't resist.

The end result was simple and very satisfying. I thoroughly enjoyed making this for other reasons as well. Rob took the girls to the park to play in the snow while our little guy took a nap. I had a quiet house with just a hint of music in the background. It was sheer bliss. It is rare to be able to cook with just me, myself, and I in the kitchen.

The best part of this recipe is that it is so easy and quick.

Carrot Soup
4 T unsalted butter
3-4 chopped shallots
2 pounds fresh carrots (farmers market variety)
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until shallots are tender. Cut thick slices of carrot and put into the saucepan. Mix the carrots into the shallots and butter then add 5 cups of water and the bay leaf. Salt and pepper lightly. Slowly bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the carrots are soft. 20-25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and pour the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor. Bend until smooth and serve. Use fresh mint or cilantro with some creme fraiche to garnish

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mango Spring rolls with Peanut Sauce

I can't help but sigh when I see these pictures. I really wish I had a fresh mango right now because I would stop everything else I am doing to make these. Have I mentioned I am in love with the cookbook, "Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes". Obsessed is probably a bit more like it.

This is yet another recipe that I made while we were up playing in the snow for a family vacation. Rob died (almost literally over these). They are really so simple to make with simple, fragrant, and flavorful ingredients. I ate so many that I couldn't eat anything else for dinner. These will definitely be an appetizer at whatever party I host, or bring food to next. I can't imagine anyone not loving these (OK unless you are allergic to peanuts).

I just have to add that I love you Jeanne Kelley wherever you are! If not for your entire cookbook just for these wonderful bites of pure bliss.

Burrata Cheese with Fresh Pesto Drizzle

This was delicious. The Burrata Goat Cheese is worth finding. It has such a nice smooth yet dense texture. It was so flavorful with the basil and pesto. I could easily eat this everyday for lunch and be so happy. We have made a goal in our house to eat local and organic produce. It tastes so much better that I wonder why I haven't I been buying better all along. Possibly because WinnCo and Albertsons are both less than a mile from my house. Which makes them oh so conveniently located. Well no more lazy and convenient for me...apparently. It is suprising though how much better food tastes when you make a little bit more effort.

Anyways less with the rambling more about the food. Again this comes from the Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes cookbook that I can't stop talking about to everyone within listening distance.

I followed the recipe exactly (will wonders never cease) and ate it for lunch 3 days in a row. This again was while we were on vacation in Sunriver (ahhhh).

Check out Jeanne Kelley's blog which is linked above with her book for her wonderful recipes!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

I have a daughter who actually doesn't like chocolate. I am not sure how that happened. I know for a fact that each time one of my children were in the womb they were inundated with ample amounts of chocolate. Regardless, she really doesn't like chocolate.

She does however love these snickerdoodle cookies. So we made some for her the other day. We tend to bake cookies...often...and so we like to share them with our neighbors, friends, and teachers.

They turned out quite delightful if I do say so myself. I must admit though that baking these with a 3, 5, 8, and 10 year old tends to get a bit on the messy side. Like with sprinkles we end up finding bits of sugar and cinnamon for days and days after. This was my grandmothers recipe. I love it.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

1/2 C Butter softened
1/2 C Shortening
1 1/2 C Sugar
2 3/4 C Flour
2 Eggs
1 t Baking Soda
1/4 t salt

2 T Sugar
2 t cinnamon

Mix together the butter, shortening and the 1 1/2 cups of sugar until well blended. Add the eggs and mix again. Add in some of the flour with the salt and baking soda. Mix. Add the remaining flour. In a small shallow bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the cookie dough into small balls and then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

I don't know what I would do without chocolate. It makes me so happy most days. This cheesecake is my husband's favorite. It is very dense, really rich, and will leave you incredibly satisfied. The first time I ate it was at a work function (a very long time ago) when I was pregnant with my first baby. I nearly ate the whole cheesecake and just about assaulted my friend Connie for the recipe. I have made it MANY times since. I used to have a really hard time sharing it with anyone besides my husband. That didn't really go over to well with my thighs. Now I make it for functions where I have to share it, always with the hope there will be a few slices left over.

The chocolate cookie crust is divine...really...and I use it for other cheesecakes too.

This is for a 9 inch springform pan.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

1 1/2 vanilla wafer cookies (I use the Nilla Wafers)
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/3 - 1/2 Cup Cocoa (Use an exceptionally good brand it makes a difference)
1/3 Cup Melted or softened butter. (When I am in a hurry I just melt it and it turns out great)

Put the wafer cookies into a food processor and pulse until you have crumbs. Put the crumbs into a bowl and add the powdered sugar and cocoa. Mix until well blended and then add in the butter. When they are all blended press evenly into the 9 inch springform pan.

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
1 12 ounce bag of Semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use the Ghiradelli or Guittard chips)
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the sweetened condensed milk then set aside. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Slowly beat the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture. Add in the vanilla. Beat the eggs in one at a time just until blended.

Pour over prepared chocolate cookie crust. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. You want the center just slightly underbaked. It will continue to cook in the pan after removing it from the oven. Let it cool, and then refrigerate over night or for at least 6 hours. This recipe is best prepared the night before.

Additional topping ideas:
Freshly whipped cream,
Fresh raspberries, or strawberries,
Long shaved strips of dark chocolate,
Sprinkled Cocoa powder, or powdered sugar