September 20, 2009

Adventures in icing

Tonight, my lovely parents made a soda can chicken. Very tasty and moist! To accompany it, Z and I made some awesome loaded mashed potatoes and cupcakes with raspberry icing. Here's the goods:


(feeds 4-6 people)

6 medium-sized red potatoes, washed and cubed (I imagine Yukon Gold would be good too)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1.5 cups plain yogurt, unsweetened
6 pieces of bacon, crunchy and crumbled
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 green onions, diced
heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard (Trust that it will work, sounds crazy, but it adds a tangy flavor)
heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain off the water, then mash potatoes using a hand mixer. Add yogurt and butter, mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Record in your log books that today was the first time I've ever gone back for seconds on mashed potatoes. EVER. They were flavorful and interesting to eat. My main complaint on most other mashed potatoes is that they are blah and starchy and dry. Totally not so with these. :)


(Fairy Cakes recipe from "How to be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 Tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Directions :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.

Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency. (I use the full 3 Tablespoons)

It doesn't seem like enough batter, but it will all work out, scrape every bit from the bowl and try to fill each cup equally.

Bake for 15-20 or until they are golden on top. It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, but remove from the tin as soon as possible.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 heaping tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon raspberry extract

Cream butter and jam together. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in raspberry extract. More milk makes a thinner, more glaze-like frosting, and less makes it thicker.

When cakes are cool, frost with the yum-tastic frosting. I sprinkled mine with pink sugar right before serving. MMMMM. The simplicity of the cake and the sweet tanginess of the frosting waltz together happily in your mouth. :D

It's getting colder outside, and that's exciting! More decadent and rich things coming soon...

Eat well!

September 13, 2009

Happy birthday, baby brother!

It's Patrick's birthday! He is *gulp* 22 this year. He asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, so I made this nom-tastic cake:

Perfectly chocolate cake:


* 2 cups sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Oh murder. He'd better hope he gets here before I eat it all, it smells amazing. Bwahahahahahaha! Oh, crumb. I'm next... 25!!! *double gulp*

September 10, 2009

Made pitas with avocado, tomato, sprouts, lettuce, tofu, onions, and a tasty yogurt and tahini dressing. Recipe soon!
Rainbow Noodles were on the menu Tuesday night. Tasty, tasty. We did ours a little differently; we sauteed the veggies in sesame oil (minus the cucumbers). I forgot to get more soy sauce, so we added lime juice and some coarse salt in its place. Turned out just fine! :)

September 7, 2009

Chocolate and cinnamon? I'm in.

Mexican Chocolate Brownies (from Bon Appetit, with a few changes) graced the table as the dessert for Chicken Tortilla Soup tonight. Yum yum yum!

For brownies

* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
* 1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)

For brown sugar topping

* 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1/4 cup whipping cream
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Make brownies:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over sides. Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon, and pepper. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Continue to whisk until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing surface. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Make topping:
Whisk sugar, cream and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until mixture is smooth and comes to boil. Remove from heat; mix in vanilla. Cool 10 minutes. Whisk until thick enough to spread. Spread over brownie. Sprinkle with almonds. Let stand until topping sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Using foil as aid, life brownie from pan. Cut brownie into 16 squares. Serve cold or at room temperature.

September 6, 2009


I made s'mores treats and boiled some corn to contribute to tonight's meal @ the parent casa.

S'mores treats:

4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1- 16oz box golden grahams
1 bag mini marshmallows
1- 12oz bag chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add vanilla, stir until smooth. Pour in the marshmallows, stirring until melted and smooth, coating the spoon. Gradually add the cereal, stirring to coat the cereal fairly evenly. Pour mixture into a greased large baking dish, press out evenly. While it settles, use the microwave to heat the chocolate (in a microwave-safe bowl). Heat one minute at a time, stir between heating. Once smooth, add the milk and microwave for 30 seconds more, then whisk until incorporated and smooth. Pour over cereal mixture, then let cool until just set. These are a bit more fun than the usual krispy treats.

The corn I did utilized a delicious product I'd never tried: Wiley's Corn Boil. It is delicious! It made 6 ears of supermarket corn sweet and tasty. Definitely suggest it! :)

Baby bro Patrick created a remoulade sauce to top the crab cakes my mother made, and it was super good.


* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 2 Tablespoons grated onion
* 1/2 cup cocktail sauce
* 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
* 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients and chill.

A very tasty dinner, indeed!

September 3, 2009

Heavens to Betsy! Homemade Caesar Salad, to die for!

I made a Caesar salad (inspired by my food crush P-Dub) from scratch tonight, it was amazing! Here's what you need to make it happen:

whole lot of romaine (maybe 2 bunches)

4 tbsp mayonnaise (none of that fakey fake MW business, however tempted you may be by its tangy zip)
2 tbsp lemon juice
dash of Worcestershire
5 tbsp olive oil
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
almost 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 french bread loaf, cut into cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
heaping tbsp minced garlic
dash of salt

Rinse the lettuce, take it apart and put it in a very big bowl. You can tear it up or leave it whole, your choice. Make your dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a small prep bowl until mostly un-lumpy. Make your croutons by mixing your oil, garlic and salt in a bowl, then coating your bread cubes in the mixture. When they're all coated, lay them out evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet. Set your oven to broil, put the cookie sheet with the cubes on it in there for a minute or so. Watch them, you don't want to turn them into tiny charcoal briquettes. When they're golden brown, take them out and let them cool slightly. Toss your lettuce with the dressing. then add your delicious warm croutons. Add more Parmesan if you want. This salad will definitely make your family and friends roll in the floor in fits of pleasurable agony, and you'll definitely receive several marriage proposals. Best case scenario, your sweetheart will have a new-found appreciation of your grasp of the "lost arts." :) Enjoy!!!