I got to make this wedding cake for one of my past laurels. The cake turned out great, and Lisa looked beautiful!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I had to make cupcakes for YW for part of girls camp. I thought it only made sense to do smore's cupcakes!
Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. (Note: I found the bottom of my squeeze bottle to be the perfect size to do this job neatly and quickly.) Divide chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts evenly. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Note: I just set my clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments.
Lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream
1 package lemon cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1 small package lemon instant pudding
Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes. Use a strong mixer, this batter is thick. For cupcakes, bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (I was able to get 24 very full cupcakes from the recipe). For regular cake, pour into a greased 9×11 pan or two round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Don’t over bake or the cake will be too dry! The toothpick test works to check to see if they’re done.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very soft
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar, then the juice and the zest. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (I added 6 cups total). Use and store at room temperature. (Don’t refrigerate and it will last in a covered container for about three days.)
Garnish with berries, if desired right before serving.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Found this knock off recipe of the Chicken Con Broccoli from Olive Garden and thought I'd give it a try. Turned out way yummy. Only problem was it didn't make enough alfredo sauce for a whole box of pasta. I think next time I'll double the sauce recipe and that should be perfect, maybe even have a little extra for dipping sauce for breadsticks! Yum!
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Alfredo Sauce (recipe below)
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, diced (I like to boil mine. Throw raw chicken in a pot, fill with water so it covers chicken. I also usually throw in some big chunks of onion and sometimes garlic, and some fresh cracked pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through)
1-2 cups fresh chopped broccoli, cooked and hot
fettuccine, cooked according to package directions. (I used penne because it's what I had)
Cook chicken in method desired. Add chicken and broccoli to Alfredo sauce and heat through. Serve over hot, cooked fettuccine.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (1 clove) minced garlic
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic with the butter. Add cream, garlic powder, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Trust me, it will thicken. When sauce has reached desired consistency, stir in Parmesan cheese. Use for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, or just serve as is over fettuccine. Serves 4-6.
I saw this recipe in the last Pampered Chef catalog and had to try it. A little work, but worth it!
Pampered Chef Orange Chicken Lo Mein
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp Asian Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp veg. oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 pkg (3 oz each) ramen noodles, any flavor, split into halves
1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen stir-fry veggie blend (e.g. broccoli, carrots & peapods) thawed
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1. Zest 2 orange using Microplane Adj. Grater to measure 1 Tbsp. Juice both oranges to measure 1/2 cup. Combine zest, juice, water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce & seasoning mix in Small Batter Bowl; whisk well. Set aside.
2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Combine egg, salt & black pepper in Classic Batter Bowl. Add chicken; stir to coat. Combine flour & cornstarch in large Colander Bowl. Add chicken mixture; toss to coat. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until simmering. Remove chicken from flour mixture, shaking off excess, and place into Skillet. Cook 8-10 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from Skillet; set aside & keep warm.
3. Add pressed garlic to skillet. Cook 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Omitting seasoning packets, add ramen noodles & orange mixture to skillet. Cover; bring to a simmer and cook 3-4 minutes or until noodles are softened. Add stir-fry blend & cabbage; cook 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are hot & cabbage is crisp tender. Add chick to skillet; mix well to coat chicken.
Cooks tip: If desired, 2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 pressed garlic clove and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper can be substituted for the Asian Seasoning Mix.
I gotta admit, I've only attempted lasagna one time and it was a huge failure (which is why I never tried again). I know so many people make it and say it's so easy and blah blah blah.. there are just a few things that I don't make because for some reason I always screw them up (ie brownies ( I know right, the easiest dessert to make), pie). Anyway, I saw this recipe for crockpot lasagna and thought maybe this was my answer. Turns out it was!
1 pound (16 ounces) ground beef
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 whole egg
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1. In a large skillet brown beef and onion. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Drain.
2. Add spaghetti sauce and water and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and parsley.
4. Pour 1 cup of spaghetti meat sauce into a 4 to 6 quart sized slow cooker. Place half of the noodles and half of the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (If the noodles don't fit exactly break them to fit) and cheese mixture and meat sauce.
5. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until noodles are soft. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and remaining parmesan. Cover with the lid to melt the cheese and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
6. Do not overcook and don't try to speed up the process by cooking it on high.
7. *Works best with a 4 to 6 quart size slow cooker.