Monday, December 8, 2008

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa and Black Beans
Originally uploaded by kel h
Quinoa is a great whole grain, and black beans are full of protien. This is one of my favorite recipes for Quinoa, and it's especially good on a cold day like today.


* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
* 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or replace with 1 chipotle pepper chopped up, but beware because it's a bit spicier this way)
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

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1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

Here is what I made for our Thanksgiving meal that we had at 1pm. Keep in mind there were only four of us. I just really like cooking. The menu was:
Turkey and Gravy
Homemade sage stuffing
Apple, Onion, Butternut Squash, and Sweet Potato Gratin
Roasted Veggies (brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, and butternut squash)
Stuffed Delecata Squash
Whipped potatoes with celery root, garlic and buttermilk
Homemade cranberry sauce
(not pictured: Apple and Pumpkin Pie)

I don't really feel like going in depth about all of it (gotta rest up for black friday and all), but there are a couple of things I am really pleased with

Too Much Food for Thanksgiving

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash

This is superduper easy and tasty.
Preheat the oven to 400
Cut brussel sprouts in half and then notch the core with a knife
Cube some other root veggies. I like purple potatoes for color, and butternut squash and sweet potatoes
Toss with olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper and spread out in a layer on a baking sheet
cook 10 min, stir, and then cook another 10
add some more salt and peper to taste and there ya go! If I'm feelin super fancy I will add some chopped garlic in the last 5-10 min

Chickpea and Craisin stuffed Delecata Squash

Fried Chickpea and Port Soaked craisin stuffed delecata squash

(taken from Gothamist)
Chickpea-Stuffed Delicata Squash
for the chickpeas
1/2 can chickpeas
4 C water (or, better yet, mushroom broth)
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C tawny port
2 smallish delicata squash
Salt, sugar & olive oil to taste

Preheat your oven to 475 F.

Mix the dried cranberries and port together in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds, then set aside for 30 minutes.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds. Lightly slather the squash with olive oil and salt. Fill a small pan 1/4 inch with broth and place sqash in pan skin up. Bake them for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Add a pinch of salt to the port/cranberries, then transfer them to a small pot and simmer until the port reduces to a syrup.

Drain the chickpeas, then fry in safflower oil on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Drain on paper towels.

When the chickpeas are ready, toss them with the cranberries and port syrup.

Place a squash ring in the center of each plate. Fill each squash ring with the fried chickpea mixture.

The only other thing I have to add about this thanksgiving is that adding one peeled and cubed celery root to the potatoes really added something interesting to the flavor, and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Odds and Ends: Drinky Drink Ginger Margaritas and Olive Balls

I am a BIG fan of the ginger margarita. It's super easy to make a pitcher this way.

Ginger Margaritas
take 1 can limeade
pour 1 can water
3 cans ginger ale or ginger beer. (I like it with Goya Ginger Beer but it can be a bit "ginger forward" for some...aka: "tastes like burning". These people are wimps :P)
around 1/2 can tequila and 1/4 can contreau
lime juice to taste

toss it all in a pitcher and mix it up. YUM!

Also, I wanted to post this NYT recipe for olive bread balls that i made a while back. They are a super yummy salty snack.

Lingurian Olive Balls from the NYT Bitten Blog

For about two dozen balls, put a cup of all-purpose flour in the food processor along with half a teaspoon of instant yeast, a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary (or thyme, perhaps, but only a teaspoon) and half a teaspoon of fine salt. Give it a pulse to blend, then, with the machine running, slowly add tepid water, a little at a time, until a smooth but fairly solid dough is formed – a little less than half a cup is what it generally takes. Then drizzle in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and run the machine until it is incorporated. (Obviously, you can make this, and any, dough by hand as well – or using a stand mixer with a dough hook, which might be overkill for this small quantity.)

Chop up some olives — I use a mixture of mostly black (Niçoise, for instance, if only because they make geographical sense, Nice having been a Ligurian town before it changed its name from Nizza) and a few green. If I don’t buy them pitted, I just whack them with the side of a knife, one by one; this makes it easy to remove the pits. Chop them fairly fine, but not into a mush. You want a good half a cup of chopped olives.

The (potentially) hard part comes next: kneading them into the dough. What can make this difficult is that the moisture and oil in the olives initially turn the dough into a nasty, ropy mess. Continued kneading, with the addition of a little more flour if necessary, will eventually bring it together, though it might remain a bit sticky. If you’re using a stand mixer or if, like me, you have an old food processor that came with one of those stubby plastic bread-dough blades, you can breathe a sigh of relief and do this by machine – but the regular metal blade will puree the olives, which is not what you want.

Let the dough rise in a covered container for about an hour (or longer if you want to make it ahead of time). Then punch it down and form as many 3/4-inch balls as you figure you need; refrigerate or even freeze any remaining dough. Lay the little balls out on a tray lined with lightly floured waxed or parchment paper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 to 40 minutes or until they feel soft and puffy. Fry them until golden, about seven or eight minutes, at 325°F in an inch and a half or two inches of neutral oil jazzed up with 1/2 cup olive oil. Try to turn them once or twice as they fry, though they may resist this. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Iron Cupcake World: Cranberry

I am competing in Iron Cupcake World, and this month's ingredient is Cranberry. I made White Chocolate, Cranberry, Macadamia nut cupcakes with cranberry and cheese frosting.

The prizes for winning iron cupcake come from:
Lollipop workshop
Cookie Sunshing
earings from Lots of Sprinkles
and corporate sponsors:
Head Chefs by Fiesta Products
HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
The Cupcake Courier(would also make a great xmas gift...hint, hint)
Taste of Home Books
and Iron Cupcake is sponsored by 1 800 flowers

ICW: White Chocolate, Cranberry, Macadamia cupcake with cranberry frosting

ICW: White Chocolate, Cranberry, Macadamia cupcake with cranberry frosting

White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cupcakes with Cranberry Cheese Frosting

I started with a basic white chocolate cupcake recipe:
Heat the oven to 325 and put liners in your pan

Mix 2/3 c buttermilk and 1 tbsp white vinegar and set aside

cream 11tbsp butter with 1 1/3c white sugar. once creamed add 3 large eggs one at a time.

take 3/4c of white chocolate chips and heat in a sauce pan with 1/3c water and stir until you get a milky mixture. add 1 tsp vanilla to the chip mix

melting the white chocolate

let the mixture cool for a smidge, then add half to the egg, butter and sugar mixture. Let the mixer run for a minute, then add the rest.

In a separate bowl add 2c flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt and whisk together. Add to the mixture a little at a time.

Fold in another 3/4 c of white chocolate chips, 1 cup cranberries, and a small package of macadamia nuts that you've placed into a ziplock baggie and whacked a few times with a rolling pin (unless you're fancy and have a nut grinder, or use your food processor I guess)

adding the cranberries

Add batter until the cupcake liner is around 1/3 full. Then take a teaspoon scoop of cranberry jelly and plop it in the middle (I <3 the teaspoons from Ikea because they are nice and round).

adding the cranberry sauce

Fill up another 1/3 of the way and bake for around 20 to 25 minutes.

For the frosting take 1 packet of cream cheese, 1 5oz log of chevre, and 1 1/2 stick of butter and cream. Add around 1/3can of cranberry sauce, and add powdered sugar to the right consistency. I also took craisins, whirled them around in the food processor and added them for extra cran-tasticness.

They got a good review from the folks at the party I brought them to.

as for the contest:
Voting will begin no later than Sunday, November 30 at 8 p.m. at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, and will be open through Friday, December 5 at 12 noon. PLEASE VOTE!

Braaaains! AKA Red Velvet Cupcakes for Zombies, or folks who just got a PhD in neuropsychology

Red Velvet Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese frosting made to look line BRAAAAINS

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen from the Food Newtork website


* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* 2 tablespoons red food coloring
* 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

* 1 pound cream cheese, softened
* 2 sticks butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
* Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

You make them look brainy by using a larger opening circle tip and making wavy lines, starting with a parallel set in the middle.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lemon Ginger cupcakes with lemon ginger frosting...Cupcakes We can Believe In

Lemon Ginger cupcakes with lemon ginger frosting
Preheat oven to 350 and fill tin with liners
cream 1 1/2 sticks butter with 1 c granulated sugar and 1/2 c brown sugar
separate 2 eggs. Save the whites in a bowl for later. Add 2 yolks, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp lemon zest
add 2 1/2 flour, 1 tbsp ginger, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 c milk and blend til smooth
beat the 2 egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter
Fill liners and bake for 25 min or so

1 stick butter, 1/4 c lemon juice 2 tsp ground ginger, 3 to 4 c powdered sugar
blend butter, lemon and ginger, then add sugar for desired consistency
optional: sprinkle with chopped candied ginger and toasted shredded coconut

I bet you can guess who I'm voting for



You heard what the cupcakes said...Vote no on 1 in MA

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Because man was not meant to live on Cupcakes Alone...Homemade Pizza and Sauce

Homemade Pizza and Sauce
Originally uploaded by kel h
Pizza Dough: taken from Fabulous Foods
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 c grated Romano/peccarino blend cheese

Start with 1 c warm water
add the honey and salt and mix til it's disolved
add the yeast and stir
add 1 c flour (I used 1 c whole wheat)
mix for a while (I used my stand mixer w/dough hook because i'm spoiled)
Then add the rest of the flour, the garlic, olive oil, and cheese and mix til it forms a ball on the hook
Let it sit for 45 min to rise

I took half of it and refrigerated it, took the other half and rolled out til it fit on a cookie sheet

for the sauce (and this was VERY improv)
2 cups or so of canned crushed peeled tomatoes
salt to taste (I am imagining somewhere between 1/2 to 2 tsp salt)
1 tbsp oregeno
1 tsp tarragon
2 tsp basil
a clove or two of garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
still and spread over the pizza dough
then add cheese

Bake at 450 for 10-15 min
the crust is crispy, but not crackery. Nice kinda hybrid between doughey and superthin crust.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Cupcakes...Chocolate PB Spiders and Pumpkins

These are the cupcakes I made for Halloween. I used the recipe for the Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter frosting. I then used a peanut butter cup and snack sized whopper to make the body and head of the spider. I used frosting to draw legs and eyes. You can also sub thin pretzel sticks for legs as seen here:


The pumpkin cupcakes are pumpkin with ginger cream cheese frosting colored orange, with a candy corn for a stem and a spearmint leaf.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350, fill tins with liners
cream 1 stick butter, 1 c brown sugar, 1/3 c white sugar in mixer. Once fluffy, add two eggs one at a time.
Add 2 c flour (I sometimes like to do half whole wheat, half all purpose), 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground clove, 1/2 tsp salt along with 1/2 c milk.
Add 1 can pumpkin and 1 tsp vanilla.
Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 min

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream 8 oz cream cheese (I usually use the low fat kind) and 3/4 to 1 stick butter
add 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp vanilla and mix
add in 3 c powdered sugar a bit at a time until you get the right consistency (may need a little more)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mojito cupcakes and Margarita Jigglers

Mojito cupcakes.jpg
Originally uploaded by kel h
I have successfuly made a mojito cupcake that i like. 1 cup softened butter 1 cup brown sugar 2 cups self rising flour .25 tsp baking powder 4 eggs (aka your basic cupcake recipe) zest of one lime juice of one lime 1 shot of rum 1 tbsp mint (or chop up a handful of fresh mint) mix it up, then put it in cupcake wrappers in a tin. bake for 20 minutes while that's going on mix 3 tbsp rum, 2 tbsp lime, 2 tbsp brown sugar and a tsp mint together in a saucepan and simmer it for 5 minutes. when the cupcakes come out, poke a few holes in the top and then pour a tsp or so of the syrup into the holes. (if you're feeling really wacky, also pour a bit of rum in the holes). the frosting i made was 3 tbsp softened butter 1.5 cup powdered sugar a shot of rum 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp lime zest some chopped up mint brown sugar to taste/texture mix it up.

I also made some scary margarita jigglers 4 packets of lime jello .5 cup lime juice 1.5 cup water or seltzer .5 cup tequila (i did mine with 1 cup seltzer and 1 cup tequila, but i think they are too strong) heat up the lime juice, then mix in the jello. once it's all disolved, turn off the heat and add the tequila and water. pour in a pan and let it set. the great thing about doing it this way is that it sets wicked fast, AND they are solid enough that you can pick them up with your fingers.

Cherry Coffee Cake Muffins

Originally uploaded by kel h
Cherry Coffee Cake Muffins (based on a recipe from Rachel Ray December-January 2008)

4 1/2 cups flour (I used half regular and half whole wheat in the cake batter, and all white for the crumb topping)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used plain yogurt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
! 10-ounce bags frozen cherries, thawed and drained (if you want to do a giant coffee cake instead of muffins, use two bags)
I also added 1/2 tsp butter extract, and 2 tsp almond extract to the batter
I also added 1/2 cup sliced almonds to the crumb topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, using your fingers, combine 3 cups flour, the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in all but 2 tablespoons butter until large crumbs form; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the egg and the buttermilk.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the egg mixture and stir to form a thick, smooth batter. Fold about a third of the reserved crumb mixture into the batter; If you're making a cake, then spread evenly into the prepared baking dish. Otherwise put liners in your muffin pans and fill each one about halfway up.

3. Scatter the cherries over the batter; (if making muffins, make a well in the batter and then put four cheries per muffin. sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the cake or each muffin (be sure to shape the muffin top a bit so the crumbs stick together). Bake the cake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes (muffins are more in the 25 min range). Transfer to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes before serving. I would go the full forty minutes, cause the cake takes a while to bake.

wedding cupcakes

wedding cupcakes
Originally uploaded by kel h
My sister got married earlier this month, and we made cupcakes for the reception...a LOT of cupcakes. Seriously. Like 120 of em. We did half Guiness Chocolate with Bailey's frosting for the groom, and half Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting for the bride. She got these cool laser cut wrappers to dress em up.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 325 and add liners to pan (this recipe makes a TON of cupcakes, like two dozen)

Mix together 3/4 veggie oil, 4 tsp white vinegar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract (wierd, i know).

In another bowl combine 3 c flour, 2 c granulated sugar, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 c cocoa powder.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the oil mixture into the center. Then pour 1 12oz bottle of guinness (or other beer) into the well as well as 1 1/2 c water. Beat with a mixer til blended.

Fill liner's 3/4 full and bake for 20 min.

Irish Cream Frosting
Mix 1 lbs confectioner's sugar, 5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp, 1/4 c milk, 1/4 tsp salt and 3 tbsp Irish Cream until fluffy.

Low Fat Carrot Cake Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 and put liners into pans (this recipe i think made 18 cupcakes)

combine 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger in a bowl, mix well.

In separate bowl combine 1 large egg, 2 tbsp veggie oil, 1/4 c raisins, 1/4 c chopped nuts, 1/2 c low fat milk, 1 8oz can crushed pineapple, 1 1/2 c grated carrots, 1/4 c brown sugar.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir to blend.

Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In a bowl mix 1 8oz pkg of Cream Cheese and 6 tbsp of unsalted butter, both at room temp

add 3 c confectioners sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and mix til lumps are gone.

The beer cupcakes were the favorites. They came out nice and moist and were tasty, especially with the frosting. I'm also psyched about how many come out per batch since I'm making so many. The frosting was also very tasty. Tasty enough to eat straight from the bowl.

I think dates instead of raisins would be interesting for the carrot cake, and I am always wanting to add more ginger. Maybe use the ginger variation of the cream cheese frosting where you add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.

Me and the cupcakes.

Our Dad, my sister the bride, my freshly minted brother in law, and me.

mount saint birthday

mount saint birthday
Originally uploaded by kel h
its a volcano birthday cake I made with carrot frond palm trees, berry jam lava, inhabited by teddy grams, and a blue berry vodka jello ocean filled with peach shnapps soaked swedish fish.

Sweet & sour cabbage. One of my favorite recipes!

Melt half a stick of butter in a pan. Quarter, core and then thin slice a head of purple cabbage and sautee for about 7 minutes. Add 3 tbsp red wine and 1 tbsp cider vinegar. Cook it for a while til it turns an awesome bright pink and the liquid is pretty much absorbed. Add Salt and pepper to taste. It's simple and addictive.

chocolate peanutbutter cupcakes

I am going to a cookout today at a friend's house, and I decided to bring chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. I used the Rich Chocolate Cupcake and Peanut butter Frosting recipes from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella

Preheat the oven to 325 and put your liners in the pan
chop up 3 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate and a stick of butter and put in a mixing bowl
pour 1/2 cup boiling water over butter and chocolate and let it all melt, then mix it
Add 1/2 c sour cream (or do what I do and use a half cup vanilla yogurt and then omit the vanilla in the recipe)
then mix in 2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, (and if you're like me, 1/2 tsp salt)
in a separate bowl beat 2 egg whites (don't use pasteurized ones from a box because they don't stiffen) until stiff. Fold the whites into the cupcake batter.

Fill cupcake liners a little over halfway. I then sunk an unwrapped mini reeses peanut butter cup until it was slightly countersunk to the top of the batter (when it bakes it will mostly cover it, and then you frost the top. Bake for 20 min or so.

For the frosting heat 1/2 sticks butter, 4tbsp water and 2c brown sugar to a boil (I microwaved it for about 3 minutes, but my microwave is powered by small hamsters with arthritis and is kinda crappy). Stir in 1 1/3 c peanut butter and 2 tbsp vanilla. I also added approx 1 c powdered sugar and maybe 1/2 c shortning. The book says to use it warm, but what i did is let it cool and then whipped it in my mixer (i <3 href="">

pumpkin stew

pumpkin stew
Originally uploaded by kel h
Mmmm. Rachel Ray had a pumpkin pasta recipe, and i thought it would make for a good stew.

Chop an onion, about 5 cloves of garlic and two or three shallots and brown in a stock pot. Add a cup or two of broth and throw in a couple of handfuls of peeled cubed turnips. Let it boil for about 5 minutes or so then throw in three cubed potatoes and cook for another five minutes or so. Then chuck in a bunch of veggies (I added frozen carrots and pearl onions and some left over frozen butternut squash), 1 small can of pumpkin puree, a can of black beans, more broth to the consistency you want and a bay leaf. Cook for a good while (i dunno, maybe 10 min) and add seasonings to taste. I like a tablespoon of cinnamon, a few teaspoons of cyanne pepper, and i added half a pack of sazon cause i had it. My "cooking" recipes tend to be very vauge because i start with a recipe and then just sort of improvise. It's tasty tho! Just be sure to take the bay leaf out before eating.

Chocolate port cupcake w/ganache & salted caramel

Chocolate port cupcake w/ganache & salted caramel
Red Wine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze and Salted Caramel Dollops
Yield: 30 shallow cakes

taken from:

Adapted from Cooking With Wine by Anne Willan, via Bon Appétit October 2001
2 cups flour
1 scant cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups red wine*

Chocolate Glaze
2 cups (6 ounces) semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped**
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Dollops
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon butter
Fleur de sel (sea salt) for garnish

To make the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the red wine and beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until thoroughly incorporated (because you don't want any white, buttery chunks in your dark batter).

Bake in your cupcake containers of choice for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes or so, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make the glaze:
Heat the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over very low heat until shiny and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Spoon over cupcakes.

To make the caramel:
Warm the cream in the microwave or a small saucepan until heated through, but not boiling.

In a separate pot with very high sides (this is important!), heat the sugar and water over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil. When it reaches a medium brown shade, remove it from the burner. (The mixture will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so if you wait to see the dark amber color while it is still on the stove, you will run the risk of burning it.) Wearing oven mitts for protection, CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour in the cream, whisking constantly. The cream will cause the mixture to seize and bubble up violently, so don't just dump it all in at once! Return the pot to the burner, add in the butter and salt, and continue to whisk over low heat until smooth.

Allow the caramel to cool and then refrigerate or freeze until it is thick enough to drop by dollops onto the glazed cupcakes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. (Any remaining caramel will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks. It's delicious over ice cream...or straight from the bowl with a spoon.)

I didn't cook the caramel long enough, so it was creamy and a bit grainier than it should have been. also, with port i think i will try half the coco next time, but they're chocolatey and tasty, and the ganache is fantastic!

Almond Cupcake with Coffee Frosting

Almond Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Almond Cupcakes
-Preheat the oven to 325 and line your cupcake tins
-put 1 cup slivered almonds in a blender or food processor and run til they're little bits
-cream 1 cup plain yogurt w/2 sticks unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup walnut oil (you can sub veggie if you need to)
-in another bowl sift together 1.5 c whole weat flour, 2 c white flour (can use white flour for the whole thing), 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt
-add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture a little bit at a time. make sure to blend well. Then stir in the almonds and 2 cups granulated sugar
-in the bowl you had used for the dry ingredients combine 3/4 c plain yogurt, four eggs, 2tsp almond extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
-Add egg mixture a little bit at a time, blending completely
-fill liners 3/4 full (these cupcakes don't rise a whole lot). Bake for 20-25 min.

Coffee Frosting
1 stick butter
1 tsp evaporated milk
4 tsp instant espresso
powdered sugar (somewhere around 3-4 cups)
Cream the butter, add the milk and coffee, then add the sugar a little bit at a time until you get the right consistency. You might want to toss in a pinch of salt or two.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is my new cooking blog...More Cupcakes! I am a mental health counselor by trade, but i LOVE to cook, especially cupcakes. I figured this would be an good place to share my recipes for cupcakes and other random foods.