Monday, August 29, 2011

Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes

Yes this could quite be the most delicious thing I have had in a very long time. The white cupcake combined with the peanut butter frosting, and jelly filled middle was exactly like a pb&j sandwich, with a glass of cold milk I was in dessert heaven. Is your mouth drooling yet?

So of course with this you could use boxed white cake mix, totally fine. But if you want to make it from scratch here is the best white cake recipe I have come across so far: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. You want it to be fluffy and light looking. 
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and set that aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract in a third bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beater often.  Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. 

I know this sounds confusing, and has a lot of dishes to clean but I promise it is a good cake :)

Now, once the cupcakes are done, remove them from the pan and let cool. I have a gadget that is for filling cupcakes with., if you don't have one of these you can simply scrape out a little well in the cupcake. The filling for the cupcake is just preservatives, any kind you like. I prefer raspberry, so that is what I used, but strawberry or anything like that would be super good too.

For the peanut butter frosting:
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons of milk. (I used 2, just depends on how thick you like it)

Beat together the butter and peanut butter, mix in the confectioners sugar and once it starts to get thick, add in the milk. Beat all ingredients together until it is nice and fluffy. 


Chicken and tomato fettuchini

So tonight it was super fast and easy. I was gone all day babysitting two other kids for a friend of mine, and by the time I got home I had about a half hour to get dinner started before Nate got off work. I don't make fettuchini very much, I like my food really hot and I can never seem to get the sauce hot enough for my liking. I do have a really good homemade sauce that I will have to post on her some other time, but for tonight it was out of a jar. 
The chicken was left over from last nights orange chicken (the orange flavor was no longer there) and fresh organic cherry tomatoes out of our garden.
For a side, we had a fresh garlic bread from our bakery. I am pretty sure that everyone enjoyed it because it was the quietest our dinner table had ever been, minus the sound of children slurping their noodles.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red Velvet Trifle

Besides cupcakes, I am huge into trifles. Last Thanksgiving I decided to try one for the first time, and went out and bought a really nice trifle serving dish. Ever since then I have been hooked. Our favorite one is a strawberry cheese cake, and the next time I make it I will post the recipe and picture for it. But for now this is my latest one... Red Velvet Cheesecake.

I have tried several different red velvet recipes, and so far this one is my favorite. Although with this specific trifle, I do not recommend letting it sit for more than 24 hours before you bite into it, the cake soaked up the filling after sitting for too long, and it wasn't very good when that happened.

Red Velvet cake-

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
2 ounces red food coloring
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, butter and sugar until creamy. Add cocoa and food coloring. Mix until well combined.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternating with buttermilk. Mix in vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine soda and vinegar and add to batter. 

I used the batter and made cupcakes with it (but you can do cake pans too), and once cooled cut the cupcakes into 4 squares. I don't recall how many cupcakes it took for the trifle, but there where some left over to frost.

For the filling, depending on how big your trifle dish is (i had to double the filling recipe for mine)
1 (3 oz.) envelope cheesecake flavored instant pudding
2 cups milk
Allow pudding to set up in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Most trifles calls for you to fold the pudding in with cool whip, I left this part out for this particular trifle, but if you prefer to fold some it it will be just as good.

Assembling the trifle-
I did a layer of red velvet cake, pudding, then a layer of chopped walnuts, and repeat. Once I got to the top I did a a layer of thawed cool whip then some more walnuts.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Focaccia

Right now we are in tomato over load. This morning I went out and picked a huge bowl full of them. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half, covered them in EVOO salt and a bit of pepper, and roasted them for about 30 mins at 350 degrees.
During the time that they where roasting I was making a  focaccia bread to put them on. I have never made a focaccia bread before, this one came out good, but I am not 100% sold on the recipe, so until I find the right one, I will not post it.
Once the dough was done rising, I put the roasted tomatoes on top of it with some mozzarella cheese and baked it. Nate thought it was really good, and the kids thought it was a pizza. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of it before I cut it, so here is just a slice of it.

Orange stuffed chicken

I use to only buy chicken breasts, but have recently found that buying the whole chicken is much cheaper, and I am easily able to get two dinners out of it.

Tonight I roasted a whole chicken, stuffed with orange slices (about 2 oranges for a smaller bird) on top of a bed of onion. After cleaning the bird, shoved as many oranges I could get in there, then coated it with EVOO and sea salt. It took about 3 hours cooking at 350 degrees. The chicken came out wonderful, it had a slight taste and scent of orange.

I shredded half of the chicken with some somen noodles, and sweet and sour sauce. To go with the chicken, I also sauted some baby corn, red and orange bell pepper, and some asparagus in some EVOO.

 We have tried just about every sweet and sour sauce that can be sold in stores, and sometimes you just don't have the time to make your own. Our favorite is the Sun Luck brand, the jar is quite small so you will need two for a family of at least 4. It is an all natural sauce and super bonus it is gluten free.

Welcome to my baking blog

I am a stay at home mom who loves to be in the kitchen. I love to bake, and hope to own my own cupcake bakery one day. This blog will not only be about what kinds of scrumptious dessert concoctions I  make, but I am bound and determined to post every night of what we had for dinner. I like to make meals that are simple, and kid friendly. I have two children, Chloe who is 6 and Trey who is 2. Neither of them are horribly picky eaters, and are usually pretty open to trying new things, especially if there is a dessert after dinner. My husband Nate and I aren't huge into spices, so you will notice that there are none of those, just maybe some salt and pepper. I hope that you enjoy my blog, check it daily for new ideas!