Posts in the ‘Recipes’ Category
I'm excited to introduce you to Molly Allen, our new baking contributor, and the woman behind CakeFYI. Here's Molly's first yummy recipe for Catch My Party. Don't these cupcakes look pretty! Take it away, Molly...
What better way to celebrate Easter and spring than with these easy-to-make Spring Vanilla-Mint Cupcakes with a hint of mint in the vanilla batter. Then swirl your cupcakes with light mint icing, and finish them off with Pearl White Sugar Sprinkles for an extra decorative touch.
SPRING VANILLA-MINT CUPCAKES
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
- 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Mint Extract
- 1 1/4 Cups Flour
- 1 3/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup Milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla extract and mint extract and mix well.
Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated.
Add half of the milk and mix well.
Add another third of the flour, mix, and then add the remaining milk.
Add the remaining flour and continue beating until well mixed.
Using a measuring cup, pour batter into a lined or greased cupcake pan.Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool before icing.
MINT ICING RECIPE
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
- 2 1/2-3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Mint Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Milk
- 2 Drops Green Food Coloring
Beat the butter and a 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.
Add the vanilla and mint extracts and milk and continue beating.
Continue to add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.Add green food coloring and beat until color is well incorporated.
Once cooled, top cupcakes with Mint Icing. Top with pearl sprinkles.
Enjoy at your upcoming Easter celebration or just because... they're that good!
Thanks, Molly. Can't wait to share more of your deliciousness with our readers!
Yesterday I styled an Easter brunch table (that will be up on the blog tomorrow).
I thought what's Easter brunch without some delicious muffins! So here's my mini banana muffin recipe. Thank goodness this recipe makes a lot, because I promise you will not be able to eat just one!
MINI BANANA MUFFINS
Makes 6 dozen mini-muffins or 1 dozen large muffins
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 sticks (1 cup) melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper muffin cups
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon) in a large bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter and let it cool. If you want some extra flavor, you can brown the butter.
Add the melted butter to a bowl with the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth -- about a minute. Mash the bananas and stir them in. If your bananas aren't soft, you can just put them in the microwave, one at a time. Cook on high for 30 seconds, then turn it over and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the mixed dry ingredient to the wet, and stir until it just comes together.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about three quarters full.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn the pan once to help ensure even cooking.
They look great by themselves or you can dust them with powdered sugar.
For more Easter food inspirations, check out these amazing Easter parties on our site!
In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to share a simple recipe that makes the prettiest Irish cookies! These will take you no more than 30 minutes and the results are stunning.
IRISH OATMEAL LACE COOKIES
Makes 3 dozen
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar - firmly packed
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and mix on high until nice and creamy. You don't want butter chunks so it really helps to let the butter warm to room temperature. You can also throw the stick in the microwave for about 45 seconds on very low (power 2). It's ok if it starts to melt a little.
Mix the salt and flour directly into the same bowl, then do the same with the milk. Last, stir in the oatmeal with a spoon or fork. You should have a creamy somewhat sticky dough. Don't refrigerate the dough while you bake, you want to keep it nice and soft so it will spread.
Make teaspoon sized dough balls and place on a cookie sheet. Use a silpat or parchment paper so they don't stick. Flatten them a little bit with the back of a spoon or your palm. You need to give each cookie a couple inches to spread, so you should put 6 on each cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
Because these cookies are so thin they can overcook quickly. Check on them and pull them out when you see a nice brown ring around the outer edge. If your oven cooks at all unevenly, I recommend rotating the cookie sheet after 4 minutes. Let them cool at least 2-3 minutes before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet. They need to harden before you can move them.
Look how cool they look in the light!
You can serve them stacked on a plate...
Being sick is no fun! And with a five-year-old, we're used to lots of colds at our house.
When I was little, my mom always made me homemade chicken soup when I was sick, and I loved it! It's a really strong memory for me so I've continued the tradition. Whoever is sick at our house, gets warm blankets, lots of fluids, as much TV as he or she wants, soft tissues, and homemade chicken soup. :)
I think there's nothing better than eating steamy hot soup when you're feeling lousy. Plus, since it's hard to get any real nutrition in (that is especially true for my daughter), I feel good serving my chicken soup which is packed with fresh ingredients. Plus, the best part... it's simple to make, you end up with a lot in one batch, and it's so delicious.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP
Makes about 8 bowls of soup
For the stock
- 16 cups of water
- 1 whole chicken - about 4 pounds (I like Mary's Air Chilled chickens because they have so much flavor)
- 2 large carrots
- 2 leeks
- 1 onion (we used 4-5 purple young spring onions)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 small bunch of celery (4-6 stalks)
- 1 tablespoon of dill
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 12 oz bag egg noodles
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (from making the stock)
- 2 teaspoons dill for garnish
Directions for the stock:
Add 16 cups of water to a large pot. While the water is coming to a boil, break down the chicken and add the individual pieces including the backbone and the neck.
Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn down the heat to a low simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Skim off the froth. Now add the rest of the stock vegetables to the pot.
(I do a very basic job with the vegetables. I cut the onions in half. I cut the green tops off the leeks and cut them in half. I cut the bottoms off the celery and throw in the stalks including the leaves. And I split the carrots in half lengthwise, then cut them in half.)
Next add the soy sauce. My mother didn't do this, but I think it brings a nice umami flavor to the stock. If you like your stock salty (like me) add an additional 2-3 teaspoons of salt.
Let the stock boil for about 45 minutes, or until you can see the chicken is cooked and coming off of the bone.
Turn it down to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours, salting to taste.
Using tongs, pull out the chicken pieces. Let them cool, and pull off the meat. Set the meat aside to use later in the soup. Throw the bones back in the pot, and cook for another hour.
Strain the stock until it's clear, and let it cool before you put it in the refrigerator. I set the bowl in the sink with some ice to speed this up. Once cool (I usually leave it in the refrigerator overnight), the chicken fat will have risen to the top and solidified. Scoop it off with a spoon.
Directions for the soup:
Preparing your egg noodles. Reheat the stock with some of the cold chicken pieces added back in and about a 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots. Boil until the carrots are soft (about 10 minutes).
Garnish with pinches of dill. And watch your family get better quick!!
Also, last year I had my Vitamin D levels checked and discovered that I was very deficient. I know... How can I be deficient in the "sunshine" vitamin when I live in California? Well, I'm also a hat wearing, sunscreen slathering woman, who spends a lot of time at her computer indoors.
Since going onto Vitamin D supplements, my immune system seems to be much stronger. I've also put my daughter and husband on Vitamin D, and maybe it's a coincidence, but I feel like we've been much healthier this winter. Has anyone else had the same experience?
Wishing you lots of good health and good eating!!
This cold and flu season, make the care complete with Kleenex® brand, and together we’ll turn a seemingly small gesture into something bigger, to make everyone feel better.
We have a crazy big lemon tree in our backyard that is just bursting with lemons. So when I needed to make a quick dessert to bring to my friend Rachelle Doorley's house for dinner (she's the creative force behind Tinkerlab and a very good friend), I couldn't wait to use our lemons.
Even with adding the lemon icing stripes, these cookies took about 30 minutes from start to finish. They turned out so pretty with the stripes, and were delicious at dinner, sweet, but not too sweet, and with just the right level of lemon punch.
LEMON SUGAR COOKIES
Makes 2-3 dozen
For the cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks - softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs (or 1 egg + two yolks)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon water
Add the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl, give a quick mix with a whisk, just enough to evenly distribute the salt and baking powder.
In another bowl, add the softened (room temperature) butter, eggs. sugar, and vanilla. We used 1 whole agg, plus two yolks to try and bring a little extra color to the cookies, but I don't think it is necessary. I would just use two eggs next time. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth -- about a minute. Mix in the zest and lemon juice.
In three or four batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until incorporated.
Roll them into one inch balls, pat them down a bit, and placed them on a lightly greased cookie sheet, or use a Silpat.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I take them out when there just starts to be the slightest hint of browning along the bottom.
While the cookies are cooling, you can put together the lemon glaze. Put the powdered sugar in a sauce pan over low heat and add the lemon juice. Stir until it is smooth. If it is feeling too thick, you can add a little water. I added a teaspoon of water to mine.
If you don't have piping bags, you can just pour the glaze into a ziplock bag. Pour it into one corner of the ziplock bag and cut a small whole in the opposite corner.
Squeeze out a few stripes over the cookies. You could also just use a spoon to drizzle the glaze. The glaze will start to harden as it cools, so you should either to do all the cookies at once, or plan to reheat the glaze to soften it again after each batch.
We have company coming over (read: playdate) so we'll be finishing them up today. Yum!
If you are stumped over what to serve at your Super Bowl party this weekend, how about trying out one of our delicious recipes:
If you're going traditional, our tangy spicy buffalo wings take the cake!
If you want a mouthful of yum, I recommend our pulled pork sandwich.
If you want to add a little "fancy" to your party, try our lemon garlic shrimp.
And if you want some Asian flair, check out our cold sesame noodles.
Also to add some decor to your party, take a look at our free Super Bowl party printables. Just download the files, print them out, cut them out, and decorate!
Finally, the question of the hour... Who are you rooting for?! Living in the Bay Area, I'd be kicked out if I didn't say the 49ers!!! :)
My husband loves pulled pork sandwiches, so I thought I'd post our favorite pulled pork recipe that goes beautifully with our yummy spicy Asian slaw.
This dish would be perfect to serve at a Super Bowl party!!
- 1 bone-in pork butt (6 to 8 pounds)
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Prepare the rub by mixing together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and dry mustard.
Cut through the fat on the top of the shoulder in a 1 inch crosshatch pattern. Cut through the fat, but try not to cut into the meat.
Rub the mixed seasoning on the entire shoulder and into the cuts on the top.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator over night (at least 12 hours). We put ours on a cookie sheet to catch any drippings.
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lower the rack to its lowest position.
Unwrap the shoulder, and wipe of any excess rub off that hasn't been absorbed into the meat. Place the shoulder on a greased rack in a roasting pan with 3-4 cups of water in the bottom to keep the drippings from burning.
You can baste the shoulder a few times with the liquid during the cooking process. We refilled the water once about half way through.
Cook until the internal temp is at least 190 degrees. If you take it out too soon, the meat won't be tender. A probe thermometer is very helpful as the cooking time can vary depending on the size of the shoulder and the over. Our 7lb. shoulder took 8 hours to reach 190 degrees.
Here it is right out of the oven.
Let the shoulder rest for an hour, then use two forks to pull it apart. It should shred easily.
SPICY ASIAN SLAW
- 2 cups napa cabbage (about half a head)
- 2 cups radicchio (about half a head)
- 1 grated carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons dry Chinese or English (Coleman's) mustard
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons light sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Quarter the cabbage and radicchio, and cut out the hearts. Slice thinly and mix with the onions, cilantro, and carrots.
Mix together the dressing ingredients.
Add the dressing to the chopped vegetables.
Toss with the sesame seeds to taste.
And here's the final product again... Yum!!
As I posted earlier, we've just joined a CSA program at Mariquita Farm near Watsonville, CA.
On Wednesday, my husband picked up our first box of fruits and vegetables. I was so excited to see what we got!
And here it is. How beautiful do these fruits and veggies look!
- Mei Quin Choy (baby bok choy)
- Spigariello (a leafy green similar to kale)
And I had to post the first soup we made with our ingredients. This soup is perfect for a cold winter day (like yesterday). The little bit of chili powder adds a nice kick, while the warm kale and beans are so soft and soothing.
KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 cans white beans (great northern or cannellini)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 4 cups chopped kale (we used the Spigariello from our CSA box)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder
- kosher salt
In a large pot, at least 6 quarts, heat the olive oil.
Dice the onion and garlic and add to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
Stir in the kale and cook until it starts to wilt, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the beans (drained), chopped carrots and vegetable stock. Turn the heat up to medium high until the soup starts to simmer, then cover and turn down to medium low. Add chili powder and salt to taste. You can also add other veggies you have in your fridge. I added some of the bok choy from our CSA box.
Let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Makes about 6 servings.
We will be making this again and again. It's the kind of hearty, healthy soup that warms your bones.
If you are looking for a last minute New Year's Eve appetizer, I've got the perfect one. These puff pastry pizzas are quick to make (10 minutes to prep, 15 minutes to bake) and they are super delicious!
They taste like mini pizzas with the added fluffiness and richness of puff pastry.
PUFF PASTRY PIZZA
- 2 roma tomatoes sliced thin
- fresh mozzerella
- fresh basil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan - we used a three cheese mix (fontina, asiago, and parmesan) from Wholefoods
- olive oil
- 1 package puff pastry dough
- salt and pepper
Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut puff pastry into 2" x 3" rectangles.
Brush with a light coat of olive oil. Use a fork to polk about 8 - 10 holes in the center of the pastry where you are going to place the tomato slice.
Add your thin slices of tomato.
Add slices of mozzarella.
Add about a half turn of pepper, and a pinch of salt over the mozzarella.
Sprinkle grated parmesan on top.
Add thin slices of fresh basil.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Since it's almost New Year's, I'm serving mine with champagne shooters made with champagne, a touch of cranberry juice, and a blackberry for garnish. They're not only pretty, they're yummy!
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve! I look forward to sharing parties, recipes, crafts and all that great stuff with you in 2013!!
Nicole from Tikkido and Tradewind Tiaras is back with a perfect recipe for holiday entertaining -- homemade rustic crackers. What's great about them, is that you can flavor them any way you'd like, then serve them with our favorite cheeses, dips, or spreads. Don't they look delicious?
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- Egg wash (one egg beaten with 2 T water)
- Toppings of your choice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and the water, and mix until a ball of dough has been formed. No need to knead--just mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out the dough directly on two un-greased cookie sheets. I love using the little silicone rolling pin I actually bought for my daughter. It matches my big one, and we like to cook together. But that little rolling pin is absolutely perfect for rolling out the cracker dough on the baking sheets. The small size helps me get the dough nice and thin, while avoiding the bent lips on the ends of the pan. Don't have a rolling pin? No problem! Just use your fingers to stretch and push the dough into shape. The more rustic look you get using your fingers only adds to the charm of the homemade crackers.
Tip: Rolling dough directly on a baking sheet can be tricky; the pan tends to slide around the counter. To solve this problem, put a silpat under your baking pan. If you don't have a silpat, just use a barely-damp dish towel. It works wonders!
Once the dough is rolled thin, brush the egg wash over the surface of the crackers, and sprinkle with the toppings of your choice. I love using kosher salt and fresh rosemary, or Parmesan cheese. But poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic salt -- really, just about any herbs or spices -- are wonderful. Experiment with your favorite flavors.
Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crackers are golden and crispy. Let cool and devour!
Thank you, Nicole, we will definitely be making these at our house!