Wednesday, April 23, 2008
During the week I like to try to cook with what I have in my fridge and cupboards. I usually have a decent amount of stuff to choose from, and love to try to make a dish out of what I think sounds good. I am usually making it for just myself, so if it doesn't turn out so well no one knows. My most recent attempt was stuffed mushrooms. I saw these ingredients in my kitchen; portobello mushrooms, jar of roasted red peppers, fresh spinach, zucchini, and cream cheese. I mixed those ingredients (either the amount that I had left or what looked like a good amount) with some bread crumbs and seasonings and baked them. Results: good, but not great... possibly too much cream cheese!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
My mom had given me the idea of making antipasto on a stick for my next party. I always love the idea of turning regular food into finger food! I probably had too much fun making these... the entire time I was making them I could not stop thinking of the conversation from "There's Something About Mary" when they talk about how there should be more meat on sticks. I laughed to myself a little too much about it.
These were probably one of the easiest appetizers I have made in quite some time. Another good part about them is you can use very good ingredients or cheap ingredients depending on what you need them for.
Ingredients for Skewers:
Roasted Red Peppers
Cut the pepperoni, salami, and mozzarella (if needed) into chunks. Add one of each item onto a bamboo skewer, add extra if there is room left over. Arrange on a tray and drizzle with dressing.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
I would recommend making this a little bit ahead of time so the vinaigrette has time to soak into the antipasto.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I could not be more excited about Martha Stewart's cupcake week! I am eager to try all of the recipes she has listed! I started out with the High Hats. After reading a few reviews, I decided to change the topping a little. Then while making it I decided to change it a little more and make it coconut flavored. I LOVE coconut and chocolate together!
The results were great! I did not pile the meringue as high as suggested and I am glad I didn't. I think the height I left mine at was the perfect amount of cake and topping.
One of the most difficult parts was the dipping process. I had quite a few "hats" fall off into the chocolate. Doing it very very quickly seemed to help with most, there were a few that had no hope!
I will definitely be making these again and again, they instantly became one of my favorites!
FOR THE BATTER
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
Put the sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a heatproof container or the top of a double boiler (make sure there is room for the mixture to expand) and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Put the bowl over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler).
The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water. Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a stiff peak, about 12 mintues. The frosting should register 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer. Remove the container from the water, add the coconut extract, and continue beating for 2 minutes. The filling will become firmer as it cools on the finished cupcakes.
Spoon the filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip . Leaving an edge on each cupcake, pipe the filling into mound on top of each one. Place the filled cupcakes on a platter and refrigerate, uncovered, while you prepare the coating.
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Put both ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about one minute, or until melted. Stir the mixture to make sure its smooth and thoroughly combined. After, dip the tops of each cupcake into the hot chocolate. Make sure to do this quickly, if not the "hats" will fall off. If you want to coat the tops completely you can always touch up with a spoon full of melted chocolate.
Place the cupcakes back onto the tray and refriderate until chocolate has cooled completely. These cupcakes should be served cold.