Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Orange Ginger Frosting

My absolutely wonderful brother sent me this recipe to include in my blog since I have been MIA for awhile. Unfortunately, he gave it to me a month ago! Sorry Earle! Well here it is and I can't wait to try it. Enjoy!
You can find the recipe here.

Here are the great pictures he sent:

What's been going on?

So if you have wondered why I haven't been posting lately, it's because we are expecting! We are so excited and can't wait to find out what we are having in December. I am 12 1/2 weeks and due May 10, 2010.
I never thought that I would be one of those pregnant women who couldn't stand to cook early on in their pregnancy. I was sure this couldn't happen because I love food too much! Well it happened and I took a break from blogging. Now I am back and have lots of posts to catch up on. Please continue to enjoy reading my blog!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nola Potatoes

These potatoes are amazing! We had these with the ratatouille and some steak. I would definitely make these again!


I have made this a few times and I got it from one of the cooking blogs I frequent. It is an amazing dish and she is a phenomenal cook! Enjoy!

Before baking:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

I am so behind in my blogging but this recipe we made while in Colorado in July. This is one of those recipes that everyone makes at some point while they are up at the ranch, it is kind of like a tradition. The box for the beer can chicken said you only need one whole chicken, 1 12oz. can of beer, 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons of cajun spices (one tablespoon for the beer can and one to use as a rub on the chicken). Pretty simple and very good! I decided that I would add my own touch to this recipe so I went to the pantry and found a few things to add to the rub. Here is my version of the beer can chicken recipe:

Beer Can Chicken

For the Rub:
1 tbs. cajun seasoning
1/2 tbs granulated garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter (melted)
Prepare the beer can with the beer (of course), worcestershire sauce and cajun spice. Set the beer can in the holder for the chicken. Place the chicken over it. Brush the chicken with the melted butter and mix the seasonings together for the rub in a bowl. With your hands or brush, coat the chicken completely with the rub. Also, take a quarter of an onion and stick it in the top of the chicken to keep the moisture from the beer mixture in and don't forget to put something to catch the juices that Cook the chicken on the grill on medium, indirect heat until the thigh juices run clear.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Colorado Pictures

Here are some pictures from Colorado, can't wait to go back in August!

Photos are property of Blue Mars Photography, used with permission.

S'mores! and a Variation

We recently went on a small vacation to our family's ranch in Colorado. It was our first time to go by ourselves and we had a blast! The next couple of posts are about the food I made while there. It was a nice and relaxing weekend in the mountains. I have also included some pictures of our beautiful surroundings! Enjoy!

Everyone knows how to make a s'more but incase you don't here it goes...
You need:

graham crackers
chocolate (preferably, hershey)
Over a fire, roast your marshmallows until they have reached your desired "doneness".
Take a graham cracker and break in half to make a "sandwich". Place a piece of chocolate on one and on top of that place your warm marshmallow and replace with the other side of graham cracker. Enjoy! So yummy!
Variation on a Theme- Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows with Crushed Graham Crackers

So not wanted to make s'mores again the same way the next night, I decided to try and recreate the s'more in another way.
This uses the same ingredients as above. For this I used about 10 marshmallows, 2 chocolate bars and 1 graham cracker.
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate bars. While the chocolate is melting, take the graham cracker and put it in a freezer bag and close it up. Take a pan and beat it into tiny pieces, set aside.
When the chocolate has melted dip a marshmallow into the chocolate until it has been completely covered. Set the marshmallow on a plate to cool. Do this with each marshmallow until done.
Sprinkle the tops of the marshmallows with the graham crackers and set in freezer until completely cooled. Enjoy!

Oreo Cupcakes

These were absolutely amazing!!! One of my favorite cookies is an oreo so when I found this recipe I had to try it. Also, while you are checking out the recipe, take a look at her blog, it is fantastic! I love seeing what she posts about. I hope you enjoy my pictures!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Peach and Strawberry Filling

I have heard of people talking how wonderful the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes are and so I had to try them. I found the recipe on Food Network but decided to use this buttercream recipe. I added my own twist to the recipe by adding a fruit compote to the middle of the cupcake. This would also be good on pancakes (or french toast)!

Peach and Strawberry Filling

4 fresh peaches, chopped into small chunks
1/4 cup or so of strawberry whole fruit perserves
1 lemon, zested, with a small amount of juice

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl then transfer to a small pan and reduce it down for about 15 minutes. While the filling is reducing, I started the cupcakes. When the cupcakes are ready to into the cupcake papers, scoop enough of the cupcake mixture to fill the paper half way up and then add a tablespoon full of the filling.

Fill the remaining paper with the cupcake mixture. Repeat with all 24 cupcake holders. Bake has directed in the recipe.
While the cupcakes were baking I made the buttercream recipe I have linked above. It is probably the best buttercream I have ever tasted!
The cupcakes were great!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Salmon with Peach-Mango Salsa

I love fresh peaches and decided to try putting them on salmon. It was really good. I tried my best to include measurements for the ingredients but I just threw things together because they sounded good. It sure was good!

Salmon with Peach-Mango Salsa

2 pieces of Salmon
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
half of a freshly chopped shallot
2 freshly diced peaches (no skin)
2 tablespoons mango preserves
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Mix the parsley, shallots, peaches and mango preserves into a mixing bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven for 375. Prepare a baking sheet with some olive oil and place the salmon on top so it won't stick to the pan. Salt and Pepper to taste. Spoon a little of the mixture on each salmon and put in the oven until salmon is done. (I didn't check my times.....)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Ginger-Scented Rice and Snow Peas with Almonds

This is such a great dish! I have made it a couple of times before and it is very much a crowd pleaser! The recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine which I received a subscription gift from my Mother in Law. (I have THE best In-Laws ever!) I have used this particular issue on numerous occasions in fact, it is the same issue that my crab cakes came from! Enjoy!

Chinese Five Spice Chicken

4 garlic cloves, pressed

2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (I used to taste, 2 tablespoons seems too much).

1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper (I added this).

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder- I probably used closer to 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons.

1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces; about 3 1/2 pounds) – I used thighs and legs (about 10 pieces).

1 large onion, peeled, cut into 16 wedges

Combine garlic, salt, olive oil, and Chinese five-spice powder in large bowl. Add chicken pieces; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange onion wedges in 13x9x2-inch roasting pan. Arrange chicken, skin side up, atop onions. Roast until chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Arrange chicken and onions on platter and serve.

Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed- The store didn’t have any so I used Sugar Snap, the were great and I also made a 1 pound not a half.

2 teaspoons minced shallot

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste- I added this.

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook until golden and fragrant and butter begins to brown, stirring frequently, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add snow peas and shallot; sauté until snow peas are crisp-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Ginger-Scented Rice

1 3-inch-long 1-inch-thick piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces- I used ground ginger… I didn’t really measure, I would a guess maybe 1 tablespoon.

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Using garlic press, squeeze enough fresh ginger into small bowl to measure 1 1/2 tablespoons juice with pulp. (Remember, I used ground ginger, so I skipped this step.) Transfer ginger to small saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups water, rice, butter, and salt to same pan. Cover; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let rice sit 10 minutes. Uncover; fluff rice with fork.

4th of July Flag Cake

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the lake and we had so much fun with my mom, grandma and my adorable little niece. We were celebrating the 4th together and I decided to make a flag cake I saw in a magazine. It was so good! I did tweak the frosting a bit because it tasted like powdered sugar, it felt griddy and not what I thought it should taste like. Here is the link to the actual recipe (from Family Circle) and this is what I added to the frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese
add 1 more tablespoon of milk
add 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice
add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

The rest of the recipe was fine but this really made a difference to the frosting! Enjoy my pictures!