Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Big Boy's Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

Yesterday was my son's birthday. I am now the proud mother of an eight year old, sigh. Where has the time gone, it seems like just yesterday he was small enough to fit in my arms. I am truly blessed to be his Mommy. Being that his birthday is during the week, he wanted to share his day with his classmates. So at his request, I made him chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing.

We are big chocolate lovers here, so I wanted to make sure to find a good chocolate cake recipe. And boy did I; you can never go wrong with Martha Stewart. This was the most moist and delicious cupcake ever, and topping them off with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream just sent them over the top. The kids in his class really enjoyed them.

Chocolate Cupcakes
fromMartha Stewart's Cupcakes
makes 36 cupcakes

For cupcakes:

3/4 c cocoa powder
3/4 c hot water with a tsp of decaf instant coffee ( I always add a little coffee to chocolate)
3 c All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 c (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs-large and always room temp
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 c room temperature sour cream

For Icing:
fromMartha Stewart

5 large egg whites
1 c plus 2 tbsp of white sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound of butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 ounces of melted semi- sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a 2 cup measuring cup combine hot water with coffee and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and butter over medium heat. Stir occasionally until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add to mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Mix on medium 4-5 minutes or until cool.

Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and coca mixture.  Then with the mixer on low add dry ingredients in two batches add flour then sour cream. Mix just until combined.

Fill liner 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Check for doneness with a toothpick, when it comes out clean, cupcakes are done. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in pan then move to wire rack to finish cooling. While cupcakes are cooling prepare icing.

For Icing:

In a heatproof bowl add egg white and sugar. Then place bowl over a simmering pot of water, and whisk constantly until mixture is warm to the touch and feels smooth between your fingers. Transfer to mixing bowl, and with the whisk attachment beat, starting on low and increasing gradually to medium high, beat until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing until fluffy and glossy, and bowl is cool to the touch. This should take about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium- low add butter a few tablespoons at a time, and mix until incorporated. Once all the butter has been added whisk in vanilla. At this point if you want chocolate buttercream add in the melted chocolate. If not, skip to the next step.

Switching to the paddle attachment, continue beating on low speed to remove any air bubbles (about 2 more minutes). Scrape down the bowl and continue beating until completely smooth. Then using your favorite decorating tip, pipe icing on cooled cupcake (make sure cupcakes are cooled, we don't want any Cupcake Wars incidents).

These were definitely the best chocolate cupcakes, just another reason to love Martha. She knows what she's doing. Hopefully you will use this recipe for the next celebration you have. Be blessed and enjoy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meal Planning Monday 3/19-3/24

The weekend has ended, and a new week is beginning. Which means it's time for another episode of meal planning for the week. I am so excited for the 1st Day of Spring tomorrow; we have already had a nice little taste last week. One day the temps actually reached the 80's.  Time to break out the sandals and some light spring time recipes.


Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Peanut Butter and Jelly with Grapes
Dinner- Pot Roast with Rice and Mixed Veggies


Breakfast- Biscuits and Sausage with Fruit
Lunch- Chicken Tenders with Corn
Dinner- Shredded Beef Tacos with Spinach Salad


Lunch-Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Dinner-Fried Chicken with Rice and String Beans


Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Chicken Nuggets and Baked Fries
Dinner- Leftover Fried Chicken


Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Turkey, Lettuce and Mayo on Honey Wheat with Potato Chips
Dinner- Pizza Night


Breakfast- Pancakes and Sausage
Lunch-Leftover Pizza
Dinner- Take-out (Even Mommy's deserve a break)

That is my plan for the week. I will share a recipe from my menu with you guys this week. Wishing everyone a Happy Monday. Be blessed and enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Caramel Pound Cake with Caramel Sauce

I love a good pound cake. A nice slice of pound cake with a cup of coffee or tea is a good breakfast. My great- grandmother was a great cook and baker and made some of the best pound cakes ever. So this is in honor of  her, unfortunatly I don't have her recipe. But I found a one that came close thanks to Southern Living.

The cake had a great caramel flavor, but I didn't really like the frosting part so I reworked it. That's the great thing about cooking and baking is that you can change the recipes to make them your own. Someone once said that recipes are just guidelines, and that is so true. So don't be afraid to change things up if you want.

Caramel Pound Cake with Caramel Sauce
adapted from Southern Living

1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
5 Large Eggs
3 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Caramel Sauce

1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar (like used dark, but it you choose)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat sugars and butter with an electric mixer on medium.

Next add the oil and beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time just until you see the yolk disappear.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Now add to flour alternately with the heavy cream, being sure to start and end with the flour on low speed.

Then with a spatula stir in vanilla, making sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl.

Pour into a tube pan preped with butter and flour. Bake for 1hour and 20 minutes.

After you remove the cake and set it aside to cool make the sauce.

For the Sauce

In a medium sauce pan bring all ingredients except for vanilla to a rapid boil.

Cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

With a hand mixer beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Remove bake from the pan to a large cake plate and pour half sauce over top. Reserving some to pour over individual slices.

This a wonderful and delicious cake to enjoy for breakfast or dessert. I hope you enjoy this recipe for your next potluck or just because it's that good. Be blessed and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

For all you Math wiz's today is Pi Day,and for those who don't know what that is its how you measure the circumference of a circle. For us baker's, it's a day to celebrate our favorite circular dish, PIE. Pies are the greatest things, they can be sweet or savory, full size or small enough to fit in your hand. I am a big fan of both sweet pies, apple and sweet potato to be specific. But today we are going savory with Chicken Pot Pie.

Chicken Pot Pies hold a special place in my heart. I remember when I was a kid and having the little personal size one that you pop in the microwave, oh yeah those were the days. I know probably not best think to eat, but I loves them anyway. My version is a great semi-homemade version to transition from this winter to spring weather. Yes, semi-homemade I just didn't have the patience to deal with pie dough. I had 2 members under the weather one of them being me, so I caved and got store made dough. The recipe is really easy whether you make your own dough or not. Normally people use chicken breast, but I had some nice chicken thighs so I used that.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into cubes
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1 stick butter, divided
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian seasoning.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add chicken and cook through.

Add frozen vegetables, and warm through. Check season and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Transfer to another bowl.

In the same pan melt 1/3 cup of butter. Add onions and saute until soft.

Add flour and cook until you have a light brown rue. Add milk and chicken stock.

Cook over medium low heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roll out pie dough and press into pie pan. Add chicken-vegetable mixture to pie pan, and pour gravy over mixture.

Place top crust and crimp edges. Cut a few ventilation slits in the crust and brush with some melted butter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest 15 minutes before you dig in.

I hope you try this recipe soon before the weather warms up to much. Happy Pi Day! Be blessed and enjoy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crafting Tuesday-Granny Square Blanket

I have a new hobby, I started around Christmas time. Crocheting, I am completely obsessed. My husband at first asked if I was officially an old woman, cause only old women crochet. After I gave him the silent treatment for like 2 hours, I explained that I am still and will be the young woman he married, and that plenty of young women crochet now a days. I went crochet crazy, I started off with hats. I made hats for everyone, me, my kids and many others for Christmas.

Materials needed crochet hook size I, scissors and tapestry needle.  Along with  yarn of your choosing.

I learned initially when I was younger, but I lost touch with the skill over the years. I am happy I did, it is a relaxing hobby that I can do anywhere. I am still no expert and haven't gotten to the point where I can crochet without watching, but I am getting there. I don't know that many stitches to create my own pattern, but there are plenty of great ones online to follow. Allow with video tutorials on YouTube if you need a visual.

My newest project is a blanket I am working on for my little princess, a granny square blanket. I have been working on it for about a month and I think it is coming along nicely. The pattern I found is really simple and easy to follow. If you want to start and follow along here is the link to 21st Century Girl Granny Square Blanket . So what kind of crafts are you working on? Be blessed and enjoy.

Work so far.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Meal Planning Monday 3/12-3/17

Well, Sunday is here again and time for my meal plan for the week. I am always thinking of new and fun recipes to get my family to eat. But still try to keep some of their favorites in there. It can sometimes be a struggle with picky little ones, but I do my best.


Breakfast- Cereal or Bagel with Jam
Lunch- Tuna on Whole Wheat and Fruit
Dinner- Chicken Pot Pie with Salad


Breakfast- French Toast Sticks with Sausage
Lunch- Chicken Nuggets with Baked Fries and Fruit
Dinner- Leftover Chicken Pot Pie and Salad


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Chicken Sandwich and Chips
Dinner- Roasted Chicken Breast with Green Beans and Potatoes


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Chicken Salad on Whole Wheat and Fruit
Dinner- Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Bread


Breakfast- Banana Muffin with Fruit Smoothie
Lunch-Take-out (prepping for an event)
Dinner- Leftover Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Bread


Breakfast- French Toast Sticks with Sausage
Lunch-Chicken Salad on Whole Wheat
Dinner-Church Banquet (a night out)

I will share a recipe or two during the week. So what are you planning to eat this week? Be blessed and enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

I know I've been away for a while, the holidays were extremely busy. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. But now I am back and ready to share some great recipes with you, along with some new things I learned. For the next few weeks I will be sharing some great vegetarian recipes to kick the year off right. To start things off here is what my family will be having this week.


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Leftover Pho with Kimchi/Veggie Dumplings
Dinner- Veggie Stir-fry with Brown Fried Rice


Breakfast- Oatmeal or Smoothie
Lunch- Leftover Stir-fry and Fried Rice
Dinner- Black Bean Soup


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Leftover Black Bean Soup
Dinner- Corn and Black Bean Empanadas


Breakfast- Cereal or Smoothie
Lunch- Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Dinner- Leftover Corn and Black Bean Empanadas


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Mixed Green Salad with Pomergrante and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Dinner- Lentil Soup


Breakfast- Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch- Leftover Lentil Soup
Dinner- Vegetable Fajitas


Breakfast- Cereal or Smoothie
Lunch- Leftover Fajitas
Dinner- Vegetable and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

I will be posting some of these recipes this week, so follow along if you like. Be blessed and enjoy.

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