Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anatomy of a Perfect Egg Sandwich

Take that, peanut butter and jelly!

*A sandwich by definition contains ketchup. Without ketchup, it is not a sandwich.

And yes,  if you were wondering, we DO have egg sandwiches for supper. Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly. So there!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes

Sometimes, something is so insanely good, I have a hard time writing the post to go with it. Really. If it were up to me, I would just hand out these cupcakes this week instead of writing something fun and witty. But frankly I am just too tired. These cupcakes have so many adjectives that go with them, its hard to pick just one.

 Chocolatey would be an obvious first.

Ok, got the basics down pat. Here's some more I thought of:

Chocolate hitting you from every angle....
An explosion of chocolate to your senses...
Chocolate, Chocolate, and more chocolate?

Ok, let's let the picture do the talking:

Brooklyn Blackout Cupakes

For The Cupcakes
One Recipe Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake 
(All good things begin with Hershey's perfectly chocolate cake. If I teach you one thing, its this.)
For The Filling
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting

2 sticks margarine/butter
1/4 cup cocoa
4 cups powder sugar
6 tablespoons heavy cream or Rich's whip
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make The Cake

Prepare the cake, and pour into lined cupcake tins. Bake, and allow to cool completely.
Make the Filling
In medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. In a medium bowl, beat milk and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually stir into sugar mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil and stir for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, butter and vanilla. Stir until melted. Pour into a bowl. Place plastic wrap over filling to prevent skin from forming and chill for several hours. 
Make the Frosting
Beat margarine in a standing mixture until creamy. Add 2 cups of the powder sugar, and the cream. Beat until creamy. Add remaining powder sugar,cocoa,vanilla and salt and beat until fluffy and smooth.
Assemble The Cupcakes
Once cupcakes have cooled, line them up on your work surface. Using a paring knife, cut out a cone shape from the center of the cupcake. Alternatively, you can use a 1M Wilton tip to punch out the middle, or a cupcake corer. Slice off the "skin" from the top of the cone, and place it next to the cupcake to use as a "cover." Save the remainder of the cone in a small bowl. Fill a ziploc bag with the cooled filling, and snip off the corner. Squirt about 1-2 tablespoons of filling into the hole in the cupcake, and place the cover on top. Repeat  with the remainder of the cupcakes. Pour the prepared frosting into a ziploc bag, and snip off a corner- about a half inch wide.  Pipe a swirl on top. Use reserved "cones" to crumble and sprinkle on top. 

I know these sound like a lot of work, but they are SOOO good, its totally worth it. 
I originally saw this as a cake on A Tender Crumb, then on Zoe Bakes. (She has a great clip on her post on how to frost a cake. I would definitely recomment watching it.) I substituted the fillings and frosting for my own favorite recipes, and I was really happy with the result. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Dish Dinner : Spiced Chicken and Rice

Spiced Chicken and Rice
1 whole chicken, cut into quarters or eighths ( its better with the skin on,but you can take the skin off if you like.)
1 1/2 cups rice; brown or white
3 1/2 cups water
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder

Pour rice and water into a large roasting pan. ( You can use an aluminum pan instead, but it will take at least another hour to bake.) Arrange chicken pieces on top of rice. Sprinkle with seasonings. Cover and bake at 375° for 1 hour. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cream Filled Cupcakes- In a Jar!

The first time I saw these Cupcakes in a Jar, I fell in love. It's such an original and creative idea. So, of course I mentally filed away the idea for future use. When Purim was approaching, this idea floated towards the front of my cluttered brain. I wanted to do something a little different, hence the Cream Filled Part. But these aren't just for Purim- they definitely have the critical "wow factor" and are fun for any sort of gifts or get-togethers. 

Here's what you need to make these:

1 recipe Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake

Bake the cake according to instructions, in a 9x13. Allow to cool completely. Crumble the cake- I used a food processor fitted with the knife blade. Fill a clean 8 ounce jar about 1/3 of the way with cake crumbs. Fill a pastry bag (fitted with just a coupler) with cream. Pipe a ring of cream around the perimeter of the inside of the jar, and then fill in the middle. Top with more cake crumbs. Freeze until solid. Make the chocolate glaze, and add a few tablespoons of water to make it extra thin. Pour on top of crumbs. Use remaining cream to make the signature "Squiggly". Tie a ribbon around and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bean and Corn Quesadillas

I thought I liked Mexican food. Until I tasted these Quesadillas. Now I love Mexican food. These are some serious Quesadillas. Plus they're fun to say:  Kay-sah-DEE-ya. They are surprisingly easy to make, and you can freeze the filling in individual ziploc bags, and defrost for an easy supper.                                                                         

Bean and Corn Quesadillas
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup canned black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned corn, drained
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup medium salsa
1 tablespoon diced chili peppers (optional:for serious spicy food addicts)
8 wraps, or 4 pitas, or 8 tortillas
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add onions and red peppers, saute until soft. Stir in the corn, beans and salsa. Cook until heated through. Spray a large skillet with pam. Place tortilla,1/2 pita or wrap in the skillet. Spoon a large amount of filling,and 2 ounces of cheese on top. Cover with other tortilla/wrap/pita. Cook until golden, and carefully flip. (I found it easier to slide it onto a plate, then place the pan upside down on top, and flip really fast) Cook until the other side is golden, and the cheese is melted. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 4 quartes. Makes 3 large quesadillas. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Little S Monkey!

My little baby turned two this weekend. It sounds so cliche but I cant believe it's been two years since he joined our little football team. This kid has 20 years of personality crammed into this teeny tiny body. It boggles my mind. I really had my heart set on this adorable teddy bear cake in honor of my cutie pie's birthday. But alas, I had my first, honest to goodness cake FLOP. Seriously. It was so bad I couldn't even laugh about it and take pictures. So bad, I just slid down on the floor and practiced breathing. Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was so sad. And I had strep to boot. And it was 10pm. But no way will any of my children have a bakery cake on their birthday so I forged ahead ( with my germ mask firmly in place) and whipped together something yummy for my yummy boy. 
Seriously, this kid is a cute one.
 Here's what I came up with:

I love you S-Monkey.
 (Even when you leave cookies in my bed and cupcakes in my shoes.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cornflake Crumb Chicken

Cornflake Crumb Chicken
1 whole chicken, cut into eighths, skin removed
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 1/4 cup flour, divided
1/4 cup milk/soy milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Rinse chicken. Prepare three bowls for dipping: Combine the egg, 1/4 cup flour, milk and garlic powder in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour remaining flour into the second bowl, and the cornflake crumbs into the third. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour, then the egg mixture, then the cornflake crumbs. Arrange in a 9x13 pan. Bake, uncovered at 375° for 45 minutes. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

What I've Been Busy with....

I'm happy to say that the past few weeks I've been really busy with some fun cake orders. Here's a slice of my life from the past few weeks:

I can never say no to an Upsherin cake- it was lots of fun to make!

...a birthday cake that my friend ordered for her husband who is Land's End' #1 customer, and is on an eternal search for the perfect boot:

...some cake truffles....

and finally a rose cake for a baby girl...

Thanks for looking. And as always, thanks for all of your support.
 (I was talking to you Big D. 
Yes You.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Wraps

This is a really easy supper, that takes about 5 minutes to throw together, and but presents like you worked for hours.  Don't you just love those kind of recipes?

Barbecue Chicken Wraps
(Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
red pepper flakes (Optional)
1 avocado, cut into slices
1 red pepper cut into slices
2 wraps,laffas or tortillas

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion in oil, about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the chicken, and stir. Cook until no longer pink. Add the barbecue sauce and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Lay a wrap on a dinner plate. Arrange some avocado and red peppers on top. Spoon chicken mixture on top. Wrap tightly and secure with a toothpick, or wrap in foil. 
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