Archive | January, 2011

Daily Cravings: Mini Chicken Taquitos

27 Jan

Photo Credit: Taste and Tell

Chicken, Bacon and Cream Cheese. Three of my favorite ingredients. Who are we kidding, three of everyone’s ingredients. Put them all together and you’ve got this taste-bud tingling recipe Chicken, Bacon & Cream Cheese Mini Taquitos.

I’m already thinking up a million reasons to make and serve these. If you’re planning a Super Bowl Party you should certainly add these to your menu. Or just make them for lunch, dinner, whatever excuse you can find.

Check out Taste and Tell’s other ideas for Super Bowl additions!

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Daily Cravings: Brownie Truffle Pie

25 Jan

Photo Credit: The Family Kitchen

I just died and went to brownie heaven. On top of how fabulous this Brownie Truffle Pie looks, the recipe is super simple! This is most certainly on my “priority to make” list.

DC DVD Party

25 Jan

Photo Credit: TLC

Do you remember this summer when we all were so excited for the premier of DC Cupcakes only to be disappointed by it’s mediocre reality?

Of course you do! Every foodie and cupcake lover alike was excited. Well, now you can order yourself the DVD set of the mini season one. Or, seeing as season two is “coming soon” you could just wait for TLC to start replayed the episodes and set your DVR to record. Just saying. I love the idea of this show, but it wasn’t worth shelling out $19.95.

Although I was disappointed in season one, I’m still hopeful for a more fulfilling season two.

Brainstorming for Valentine’s Day

24 Jan

Photo Credit: Oh my! Sugar High

M&M Cookie Cups. Just not sure how these could go wrong.

Photo Credit: Bakers Royale

Raspberry Mousse Cakes. YUM!! Although, I’m not the biggest raspberry fan these look delicious. I’d probably substitute strawberries.

Photo Credit: My Baking Addiction

Homemade Oreos. I’ve had homemade oreos on my list for a while. These are certainly on the top of my list (the husband loves oreos).

Photo Credit: Pastries of a Chocoholic

Red Velvet Cupcakes. Classic, simple, always delicious.

Daily Cravings: Southwestern Potato Nachos

23 Jan

Photo Credit: The Sweets Life

One of my all time favorite meals is the “Kitchen Sink Nachos” from Jim ‘N Nicks. Unfortunately, we don’t have one in our new hometown.

When I spotted these potato nachos I knew they’d be a good possible replacement, and how wonderful will these be to serve at a Super Bowl party? I can’t wait to make these!

Sifting Through Cupcake Wars

23 Jan

The fabulous Food Network show Cupcake Wars has started again and is as wonderful as last season if not better.

Just the other week, the episode culminated in what is officially my favorite final cupcake arrangement. Winners, Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar created a rustic display perfect for a fall wedding or one set in wine country (where their business resides). I stumbled upon a quick interview of theirs with Cupcakes Take the Cake giving some insight to one of my favorite shows and desserts. I’m hoping they won’t mind me reposting their interview here, it’s too good to pass up!

Photo Credit: Sift Cupcake & Dessert

How did you decide to appear on Cupcake Wars? Did you create a video application?

We created three audition videos! We never heard back, so we would just make a new one and keep calling the producers to see if they watched it. By the end, I’m sure they only said yes to make us stop calling. 😉

What was the filming/taping like?

It was incredibly intense. The crew on the set was amazing…I don’t know how they are even standing at the end of the show…we were only still standing because we won $10,000!! Everyone worked so hard, it was a very looooong process. I remember begging the producer to let me change my shoes…my feet were killing me! Corey was a natural, she helped keep us grounded and calm (or so it seemed).

What was it like behind-the-scenes?

It’s so sureal actually being on the set that you’ve only watched on TV. It’s also a little intimidating being in someone else’s kitchen and having four or five cameras running after your every move. Many times we were like, “Woah! Watch out for the cameraman!” as we’re running with a hot pan.

How different were your experiences than what we saw on TV?

It’s really amazing how long you film for versus how LITTLE of it actually makes it in the 30-minute show. We tried giving Justin some of the wine we were using…that didn’t make the cut. Ha!

Were you given guidance by the Food Network? Were there things you wanted to do but were unable to?

Take my shoes off, sit down, and enjoy a glass of wine. They didn’t allow that…

How did you choose your winning cupcakes?

We decided on our Samoa and Pink Champagne, which is one of our best sellers (and perfect for weddings!). Then we decided to bring in a little wine country with our Zinger (Zinfandel Ginger). We could have used our Ooh La La (top-selling red velvet), but we just felt that flavor was a little played out.

What was the competition like?

Competition was tough. Lucy & Leo’s gave us a run for our money. And at the end we really had no idea which way the judges would go. We had two completely different wedding looks and themes. We called them on the air date to congratulate them on a great show. They were good competition!

How has winning affected your business, if at all?

Wow. We imagined business would increase…we just had no idea by how much. Let’s just say that we took in extra money in sales that week…and paid for it in overtime! Ha!

In all seriousness, our Sift family has worked so hard, they are simply amazing and we couldn’t be more grateful. They must love what they do because they keep sticking around.

What are you planning on doing with your winnings?

We are launching a Wine Country Cupcake Truck! We’ll roam the valley and vineyards and pass cupcakes to the wine-weary…or wine-happy. Follow us on Twitter @Sifted.

Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?

We just received our first Food Network order for Guy Fieri’s birthday cupcakes! We’re doing sushi, burgers, bbq, pizza, and Jack Daniels-themed cupcakes. We’ll send pics when they’re done

Be sure to check out Cupcakes Take the Cake for other little cupcake gems like this!

Daily Cravings: Blueberry Pancakes

20 Jan

Photo Credit: My Kitchen Moovement

Don’t these pancakes just look delicious? Of course they do!

Unfortunately, I got a call today from the doctor saying I failed my Glucose Screening from Monday. This means tomorrow at 7 a.m. I’m headed to the hospital to do a three hour test full of blood-work and boredom. If I don’t pass, all of these sweet treats will just be dreams for the next ten weeks. Let’s hope for the best.

Semi-Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Pie

16 Jan

What more does a pregnant woman want than ice cream? Not much, that’s what.

So, for Christmas I asked for the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. Well, it finally came in this week! Even though it looks like this outside….

I’ve been planning ice cream recipes.

For my first go-around I decided on mint chocolate chip. After looking around, I found a basic recipe, nothing fancy but with good reviews and a yummy looking photo. (Yes, I do judge some recipes according to their photos as well.) Here a little tip if you’re a newbie with your ice cream maker as well: chill the ice cream mixture before putting it into the mixer.

This was yummy, but made more than I expected. It was just over two quarts worth. So with the extra batch I decided to make a pie! Nothing complicated just a quick throw together. Here’s what you need:

Recipe

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

  • 4 cups 2 percent milk
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 8 drops green food coloring
  • 2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla and peppermint until the sugar has dissolved. Let mixture chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the directions from your manufacturer. After the first 10 minutes, open the lid carefully and add the chocolate chips, then return to churning. Once the machine has stopped churning, remove the thickened ice cream and put into a freezer safe container. Freeze until hard (about 2 hours), then serve.

For the pie:

  • Chocolate pie crust
  • Oreos (crushed)
  • Chocolate sauce

Chill the pie crust before filling it with a proportional amount of your ice cream. Cover with crushed Oreos (about eight cookies was plenty). Then top with the chocolate sauce and place in the freezer.

Fauxstess Cupcakes: The Best EVER

12 Jan

I’ve been looking around for inventive cupcake ideas when I came across this miraculous recipe. Faux Hostess Cupcakes.

All I have to say after making these is, Thank you, Google. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

First of all, the chocolate cupcakes for this recipe will now officially be my “go-to” chocolate cupcake. It’s light and moist and not overly chocolatey. Moving on to the cream filling. Oh the cream filling. Also another recipe I’ll be reusing. It could easily be used as frosting for a S’mores cupcake, which is an exciting prospect. Sweet and creamy, what more do you need? Lastly, chocolate ganache needs no explanation. I mean it’s chocolate.

All of these components combined made for a cupcake that was heaven-sent. The entire batch has been gobbled up over the past few days, and that was with us even trying to pace ourselves!

One little warning in assembling these little cakes: do not pipe in the filling from the top. The blogs I read said “don’t worry the ganache will cover the filling.” Well, it didn’t. I’d recommend either piping it in from the bottom or cutting out a little crater in your cupcake and recovering. Also, I realize my piping swirls aren’t perfect. I’ve never really done much detail piping. For a first time, it’s acceptable though.

Take my word, you MUST try these cupcakes. It will change your world.

Recipe adapted from Bake at 350 and Family Kitchen:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl sift together sugar, Dutch process cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla and then add into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the hot coffee.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme

Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

Inject each cooled cupcake with 1-2 tablespoons of the filling with a piping bag.

For the ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently until the cream is hot and just starts to boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Spread warm but slightly cooled ganache over the tops of the filled cupcakes. Level off ganche with knife or spatula and let cool for 15 minutes.

Daily Cravings: Macaroni and Cheese

11 Jan

Photo Credit: Southern Plate

I’ve always loved mac-n-cheese. Always. I mean honestly, who doesn’t? You’re just not American if you don’t, or at least not Southern. However, my love for macaroni and cheese has quadrupled since I’ve been pregnant. In fact, during the first few months when morning sickness ruled my life it was all I could eat.

Easy-Mac, homemade mac, whichever way you choose to make this cheesy goodness, you really can’t do it wrong.

Photo Credit: Hog and Hominy