Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ham, Pepper, & Goat Cheese Egg Cups

I'm not a huge fan of eggs, but since I need more protein in my diet, I am trying. I decided to make some egg cups to have as a morning snack everyday to replace the oatmeal or cereal I have been eating. These were easy to make and baked up quickly. I like that you can add just about any ingredient you have on hand. I decided to use ham, green peppers, and goat cheese. But sausage and spinach would be good, too! You can also top these with salsa or avocado. The only issue is that some stuck to the pan. Next time, I will make sure to grease the pan better.

Ham, Pepper, & Goat Cheese Egg Cups
Source: Adapted from Pinterest
(makes about 8)

6 eggs
1/4 milk (I didn't use because I didn't have any.)
1/8 cup chopped green pepper
1/8 cup ham (cubed)
1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons goat cheese, divided
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a cupcake tin liberally with nonstick cooking spray or line with 8 paper cupcake liners and mist with nonstick cooking spray. (Make sure you spray the wells of the pan well.)
Whisk together the eggs and milk and pour into the wells of the pan.
Divide the ham, green pepper, and shredded cheese between the wells.
Dot the goat cheese on top of each well. 
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool and either freeze or store in the refrigerator.
To heat, pop in the microwave for about one minute. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bourbon Butterscotch Blondies

My husband has a new fascination with whiskey and bourbon. So when he saw this recipe in a recent issue of the Food Network magazine, of course he wanted to make these blondies. They came out as promised: sweet, chewy, boozey, and delicious.

Bourbon Butterscotch Blondies
Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home by Duff Goldman via Food Network

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar 
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup bourbon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray or butter it generously. (You can also line the pan with parchment paper and spray it.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a small pan, melt the butter and 1/4 cup of the butterscotch chips 
over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer.

Beat the brown sugar into the butter mixture and then the egg. Add the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup butterscotch chips.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Raspberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

I make a lot of cupcakes. And I'm always trying to come up with new and exciting flavors. One of my favorite frostings is raspberry buttercream. It's sweet and tart and pairs well with both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. For the base, I decided to add some melted white chocolate to my vanilla recipe and fill them with whipped white chocolate ganache. The result was a sweet and decadent cupcake sure to please a crowd.

White Chocolate Cupcakes
Source: Adapted from Melissa Bakes
1 stick butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 white chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
Turn mixer to low and alternately add flour mixture and milk in three additions, ending with flour.
Fold in melted white chocolate.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 18 - 20 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack.

Raspberry Buttercream
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature)
3–4 cups powdered sugar
2–4 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1–2 tablespoons water or milk (or any other liquid)

Beat the butter on high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low-medium speed and add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add raspberry preserves and water, until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.

Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter

Place white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Simmer the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot. Pour hot cream over the white chocolate chips and let sit for one minute. Add the butter and stir until silky and smooth. Cool completely. With a hand mixer, beat ganache on high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew

I love vegetarian dishes, but it's hard to please my family with non-meat meals. I also love Indian spices, so when I saw this hearty vegetable stew, I knew I had to make it right away—even if I was the only one in my family who would eat it. I adapted recipe to my tastes and cooked it in the oven instead of on top of the stove. Well my husband surprised me because he really enjoyed this dish. He even requested it be added to the rotation. It tasted sweet and rich and is packed full of chick peas, sweet potatoes, and fire-roasted tomatoes. It's definitely a keeper!

Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew 
Adapted from Deliciously Ella

2 large sweet potatoes
1 green pepper
2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can of coconut milk
2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of turmeric

2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped) (optional)

Chop the sweet potato and green pepper into small chunks and set aside.
In a dutch oven, add the oil and cook the garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, and spices on medium heat until fragrant.
Turn up the heat to medium-high, and add the coconut milk, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pepper, chick peas, salt, and pepper and allow it to heat until boiling.
Transfer the oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees until sweet potatoes are soft but not mushy. (If it's too thick, add about 1/2 cup of water.)
Serve over brown rice or quinoa, and sprinkle cilantro on top.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Recipe Remake: Enchilada Stuffed Shells

We eat a lot of Mexican dishes. I love how versatile a few basic ingredients can be. I made a version of these back in 2010. I haven't made them since and decided to revive the recipe. I made a few tweaks to incorporate cilantro, tomatoes, and green chiles. Like the first time around, they were a huge at my house.

Enchilada Stuffed Shells

Box of large shells
1.5–2 pounds of ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chiles) (drained)

1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped finely)
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
2 cans red 
(or green) enchilada sauce 
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salsa and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), optional for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray.
Boil shells according to directions on package. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
Brown ground beef. Drain beef and return to pan. 

Add Rotel, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water, and half of the cilantro.
Cook 3 to 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Spoon mixture into shells and place in pan.
Top shells with enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.
Bake about 20 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serve with cilantro, salsa, and sour cream.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Recipe Remake: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are my most requested recipe. I make them quite a few times a year—sometimes a few times a month when I have a lot of special events going on. And they always get rave reviews! I have to agree. These are pretty great, plus they are no fail. The chocolate cupcakes are bouncy, chocolately, and perfect every time. (Shh, they also happen to be vegan!) The peanut butter icing is fluffy, salty, and amazing enough to eat with a spoon. If you're looking for a cupcake to win over a crowd, try this one.

Chocolate Cupcakes 
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In another bowl, beat together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake about 18–22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Salted Peanut Butter Icing
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 stick butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt)
2–3 cups powdered sugar
2–3 tablespoons milk

Beat together peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth with a mixer on medium speed. With mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time and milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk or powdered sugar if needed. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tandy Cake Cupcakes—Take 3

I get a lot of requests for peanut butter. Usually it's for chocolate peanut butter. This time I had a request for vanilla, peanut butter, and chocolate, so I decided to make a tandy cake -inspired cupcake. I used a vanilla cupcake filled with peanut butter icing and topped with chocolate icing. I topped them with a peanut butter cup since you can never have too much chocolate and peanut butter.