Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rasberry Coconut Cupcakes with Snowmen

My wonderful Mother-in-Law loves snowmen, so I created these cupcakes for her. They are a fluffy white cake filled with homemade raspberry filling and topped with vanilla buttercream and coconut. I made the little snowmen out of fondant, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coq Au Vin

This week's Barefoot Blogger post is a classic recipe. Phillip & I thought it was really tender and juicy, but it didn't turn out very pretty. Yummy isn't always pretty, I guess.


4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced
1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8ths
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound frozen small whole onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.

Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.

Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Pizza

Since Phillip & I have been eating lighter, I've been forced to mix it up a bit to keep our dinners from getting boring. This pizza was great, even though Phillip thought it could have used some meat.


1 (4-ounce) golden beet
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 frozen pizza dough
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey


1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beet; scrub with a brush. Wrap beet in foil. Bake at 450° for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool. Trim off beet root; rub off skin. Cut beet in half crosswise; thinly slice halves.
3. Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack.
4. Increase oven temperature to 500°. Preheat pizza stone 30 minutes before baking pizza.
5. Gently brush oil over Basic Pizza Dough. Arrange cheese, beet slices, and onions evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Slide dough onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide.
6. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from pizza stone. Sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with honey.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Cookies!

These are for my clinic at school, they are my ultimate recipe guinea pigs!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Now Accepting Orders!

I've finally created a product/price list! I'm getting pretty full of orders for the month of December, but I could squeeze in a few more orders. Click here for product/price list.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mexican Chicken Soup

This is my second Barefoot Bloggers post, and I'm so glad that I joined! I tend to get stuck in a rut for our dinners, and this gives me the motivation to try a new recipe at least every two weeks. I'm at my parents' house today, home for thanksgiving, so I made this soup for us for lunch. My mom loves chicken tortilla soup, and she was not disappointed with this recipe.


4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

Isn't my mom's big copper pot pretty?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cranberry Maple Walnut Cupcakes

I made 4 dozen cupcakes this weekend for Phillip's family Thanksgiving party. The other 3 dozen were not new flavors, so I just took pictures of this new recipe.

Cranberry Maple Walnut Cake

1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to directions
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup Craisens
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Bake according to box directions

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag fresh cranberries
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar

Bring cranberries and water to a boil, add sugar. Simmer until craberries "pop" and are soft. Puree in food processor or blender. If the sauce is too thin, add some cornstarch to thicken.

Maple Buttercream

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 pound confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp maple syrup

Cream butter. Add confectioner's sugar slowly. Add maple syrup. If frosting is too think, thin with a few Tbsp of milk.

I cut a small sone out of the top of the cupcake and filled it with the cranberry sauce, then topped it with the buttercream.

Source: Inspired by Beantown Baker

Monday, November 17, 2008

Herb Roasted Onions

I've just recently joined a blogging event group, the Barefoot Bloggers! Every two weeks, one member chooses a recipe from the great Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa), and we all cook/bake it. This is my first entry, and they were so good. They fit in perfectly with Phillip & my new healthy eating plan.


2 red onions
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Phillip & I are trying to lose a little weight before we go to Mexico over New Years, so I'll be posting some lighter recipes on here for a while. I loved these, they were so filling that I actually couldn't finish it all. Phillip thought that it could have used a little more meat, which is easy to fix next time.


4 small acorn squash, 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups cooked rice *
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, completely thawed, drained and chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Generous pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut 1-inch off the top of each acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. If necessary in order for the squash to sit upright, cut off a small portion of the bottom. Put 1 of the 4 pieces of butter in the cavity of each squash. Set squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown the ground pork until no longer pink. Remove the meat from the pan, add the olive oil and saute the onion, celery, and carrot until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Return the pork to the pan along with the cooked rice, spinach, pine nuts, oregano and salt and pepper, to taste. Stirring constantly, heat mixture thoroughly, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Divide the mixture evenly among the squash, top each squash with its lid and bake for 1 hour or until the squash is tender. Serve immediately.

* I used Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Read Rice, which made it really easy, just zap it!
**I also halved the recipe and only used one acorn squash, because I could only find really large ones

Source: Alton Brown, Food Network

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cupcake Pops

This is my first attempt at Bakerella's cupcake pops. They have red velvet cake inside, and they are yummy!! I think that I'll take these to Phillip's cousin's 13th birthday party later this week.

Harvest Celebration Sugar Cookies

This weekend I made some sugar cookies for Phillip's family to celebrate the end of the harvest. I think that they're pretty cute!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Seafood Lasagna Rolls

I adapted this recipe from Annie's Eats shrimp lasagna rolls. My family loves crab, so I added canned crab. These are great to serve for a crowd, you can prepare it ahead of time and pop it in the oven. The fact that they are individually served makes it a great recipe for entertaining.
Seafood Lasagna Rolls

6 lasagna noodles
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
¾ lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can lump crab meat
15 oz. ricotta cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
pinch of nutmeg
1 ¾ cups marinara sauce, divided
shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until partially tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic to the pan as well and sauté until shrimp are cooked, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool. Coarsely chop the cooled shrimp and place in a bowl with 1 cup of ricotta cheese, the Parmesan, crab, egg, basil, salt and pepper to taste, and the nutmeg. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce with remaining ricotta, to taste. Stir until smooth.

In an 8×8” baking dish, spread the remaining ¼ cup of marinara sauce so it covers the bottom. Lay lasagna noodles out on a work surface. Divide the shrimp mixture evenly between the noodles and spread over the full length of each. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Spoon the creamy marinara sauce over the top. Top with shredded mozzarella.

Bake until lasagna rolls are heated through and cheese begins to brown, about 25 minutes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cream Soda Cupcakes

Happy Birthday to Rusty! These are for him, they're just yellow cake and buttercream frosting with cream soda extract added. Super yummy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I love broccoli cheese soup, so I thought that I would make it homemade for this weeks "soup wednesday," which we do every week.


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.

Soup before cheese:
And after:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vampire Cupcakes

These cupcakes were the first recipe that I saved in my "cupcakes" folder of my favorites list almost a year ago. The way I did it was so easy, it isn't even really a recipe.

Cupcakes: French Vanilla Box Mix
Filling: Cherry Pie Filling, pureed until smooth (I used the cone method)
Frosting: Plain Buttercream (You could just use canned frosting)
Bite Marks: I tinted a little of the frosting red, and used a toothpick to make the holes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix (18.5 oz)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream

4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp milk

Cream butter. Add sugar slowly, adding milk as needed to lighten.


Top cooled cupcakes with a large mound of frosting (dyed orange). Roll frosting in orange sugar. Use a skewer to draw lines on top of icing, and pipe more orange frosting in the creases. Add a piece of pretzel stick as stem.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Orange Chicken

After seeing this recipe on Annie's Eats, I just had to make it for Phillip & I. While it took longer to make than my normal weeknight dinner, it was really good. I could see myself making it again and changing up the sauce (General Tso's, Ross?). Thanks for the recipe, Annie!

Orange Chicken

For the marinade and sauce:
1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 ½” pieces
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 ½ tsp. grated orange zest
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)
6 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger *I didn't have any, so I left it out*
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water

For coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups peanut oil (or canola oil)

For the marinade and sauce, place the chicken in a Ziploc bag; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper; whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and pour it into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer. Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water; whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel (if using); set the sauce aside.

For the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and beat with a fork until frothy. In a second pie plate, whisk together the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne until combined. Drain the chicken in a colander or large mesh strainer; thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the dredged chicken pieces on another plate or a baking sheet.

To fry the chicken, heat the oil in an 11- to 12-inch dutch oven or straight sided sauté pan with at least 3 qt. capacity over high heat until the oil reaches 350° on an instant read or deep fry thermometer. Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Return the oil to 350° and repeat with the remaining chicken.

To serve, reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Omnivore's 100

A British foodie site has come up with a list of what it calls The Omnivore's 100 -- a hundred foods that everyone should try at least once in their life. I've posted the list on the extended entry, with the foods from it that I've tried in boldface. How do you fare?

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Saturday, October 11, 2008

S'mores Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Cupcakes

1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
½ cup of flour
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
½ cup of butter, softened
¾ cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup of milk

In a small bowl combine the crumbs, flour and baking powder; set aside.

Beat the butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture with milk, beating well after each addition.

Bake at 350F degrees for 22-25 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and place on a wire rack.

Cut a small slit in the top of warm cupcakes, and insert a half of a snack size Hershey bar.

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Frosting

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, optional

Combine egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler (or a glass bowl over but not touching a pan of simmering water). Whisk constantly over medium-high heat until mixtures reaches 160°F, about 5 minutes. Pour egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for 6 minutes or until room temperature. Add optional vanilla extract 1 teaspoon at a time until desired flavor.

Frost cupcakes and dust with cinnamon and top with remaining half of Hershey bar.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes:

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium sized tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped small (about 2 cups)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl beat together the brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Beat until blended. Stir in apples.
5. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full (I did about 1/2) with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at about 18 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I cut out a very small cone and filled it in with cooked, chopped apples. Then, I frosted over the apples with a brown sugar glaze.

Brown Sugar Glaze:

1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Milk

Cook in saucepan until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Cool before frosting cupcakes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lemon Baked Chicken

This is my favorite way to make chicken, especially when entertaining. It is pretty impressive, and it's really easy to make. This chicken would feed four people, but Phillip wanted chicken salad, so I made it for the two of us.

Let's gather our ingredients:

4-5 lb whole chicken
1 onion, peeled & quartered
2 lemons, one quartered and one sliced
1/2 stick butter
olive oil
salt & pepper

Let's prepare our bird.
You see those wings just flappin' around out there?
They would burn if they stayed like that.
Tuck the ends of the wings underneath the bird.
This may take some muscle.
See that turkey butt, doesn't it need something?
How about a whole lemon and a whole onion?
Just stuff 'em in there.
Now loosen the skin form the breast as far as you can.
This is where it gets messy.
Rub butter, oil, salt & pepper between the skin and breast
Place 4-6 lemon slices under the skin (they will be so yummy!).
Put more butter, oil, salt & pepper on the outside of the bird.
Bake at 425 for an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear.
So Yummy!
I made a pan gravy from the drippings,
and it added just the right touch.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

For some reason, I was craving banana bread this weekend. I did a search to find a good recipe, and I was very happy with what I found. This recipe is from the famous Kona Inn on the big island, and it didn't disappoint.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 6 bananas)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease and flour 2 8x4x3-inch loaf pans.

Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In another larger bowl, mix together the shortening, sugar, mashed bananas, eggs and walnuts. Add the combined dry ingredients and stir only until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer or straw inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a rack and let cool completely.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Strawberry Pie Cupcakes & Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Today is both my older brother and his beautiful fiance's birthday, so I made them each their own batch of cupcakes to celebrate!

My brother requested that his birthday cupcakes "taste like strawberry pie." My brother loves strawberry pie. So much so that I considered just making him strawberry pie so that he wouldn't be disappointed. I'm always up for a challenge, though, so I took on the beast and succeeded! For both kinds of cupcakes, I used a basic yellow cake recipe (advertised as "pie crust cupcakes," but just use yellow cake... box mix if you're short on time). I cut a large cone out of the cake, and filled it with chopped strawberries and glaze. I used my mom's recipe for strawberry pie glaze, which made the cupcakes taste awesome!

Marla's Strawberry Pie Glaze:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp white corn syrup
3 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp strawberry jello

Mix first four ingredients together and cook on medium until the mixture boils, thickens and turns opaque. Take off heat and add jello.

Let the glaze cool some before you fill the cupcakes, or all of the hot glaze will soak right into the cake. Top with whipped topping if your heart desires.

The beautiful future sister-in-law-to-be is a lemon fan, so I decided that these lemon meringue pie cupcakes would be so cute. I filled the base cupcake with lemon curd and topped with meringue.
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue whipping until egg whites hold stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.
Top cupcakes with meringue and brown under broiler (watch them... they brown fast!)