Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

So for my dad's **th bday he requested some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Now for his **th bday, I wanted it to be special so I pulled out my Martha book!!!

I had to modify both recipes because, well, I'm picky... and I forgot an ingredient... but the cupcakes were the best I've made thus far!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 cupcakes)

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon red gel food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk* (I had to make my own. 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, let sit five minutes.)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In an electric mixer whisk together sugar and oil. Add egg, food coloring and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.

2. Reduce speed and gradually add in the salt, cocoa and flour (mix together in a bowl first). Add buttermilk half way through the dry mix and then the rest at the end.

3. Stir together, in a separate bowl, vinegar and baking soda until it foams. Add to batter and mix for 10 seconds.

4. In a cupcake pan, put in cup liners then fill 3/4 with batter.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.

6. Let cool. :)

Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS (you will have extra)

1 cup butter, room temp
12 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 pound powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. With a mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

2. Reduce speed and slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth, scraping down sides as you go.

3. Put in on a freakin cupcake!!!

And watch them be devoured!

60th Wedding Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's hard to comprehend being with the same person for 60 years isn't it?! My grandparents celebrated just that and I was honored to make the cake!

This is their original wedding cake.

And this is what I did! Same topper too!

I made dark chocolate cupcakes and my usual frosting recipe.

Now something I'm not the greatest at is flowers. I'm ok with roses but I need more practice so check these out...

White roses bought from Michael's! Much less stressful!!!!

Shrimp Scampi

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One of my favorite things with pasta is shrimp. Actually I just love shrimp with anything. Rice, pasta, on a skewer, wrapped up in bacon or dough, in soup... you get the idea. 

So, again, flipping through Rachel Ray: 365 I found another recipe I had to try. Here is my version: 


1 Pound whole grain penne
6 TBSP chopped garlic
Pepper and salt
1/2 Cup parsley
1/4 Cup olive oil
24 Medium shrimp, cooked, peeled deveined and tails removed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 TBSP butter

1. First, cook the pasta in boiling water. 

2. While that's doing its thing, heat a skilled to medium high heat and add the garlic, pepper and salt (a few grinds of each), olive oil and parsley. Cook until the garlic is a golden brown. Just a few minutes. 

3.  Add the shrimp and butter and saute another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp is heated through

4. Next, add the chicken stock and a small ladle of the pasta water. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.

5. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Toss to coat the noodles.

It was soooo good and NOT dripping in greasy butter. The sauce was garlicy and the red pepper was my favorite part. I think I might add even more next time.

I practically inhaled that bowl, and then another!


Pretzel Encrusted Chicken with Cheddar Herb Sauce

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This is my new favorite way to eat chicken! The crunch of the crust was the BEST! and the cheese sauce... well come on! Cheese Sauce?! Of course it's going to be great! It's CHEESE SAUCE!

Anywho, this recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats, recipe 267 if you have the book!


4 Thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 Cups crush pretzels (any kind works. I used some left over pretzel twists)
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp thyme
Vegetable oil for frying
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 Cups milk
2 Cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 Cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 Cup parsley

1. First, whisk eggs in a bowl and set aside. Crush pretzels in a food processor (or a zip bag and a rolling pin!), put in a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat a skillet with the oil to medium/high.

3. Coat chicken breast in pretzels, then egg, then pretzels again. Put in frying pan and cook about 4-5 minutes each side.

4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan. Once melted, add in flour and whisk well for about 1 minute. 

5. Add milk and heat until it begins to bubble. 

6. Add in cheeses, mustard and parsley. Whisk until melted together. YUM!

7. Remove chicken from skillet once done, plate and drizzle (or drown) with CHEESE SAUCE!

I made some seasoned redskin potatoes with this and coated them with some cheese sauce as well. Sooo good. The chicken is lightly salty and the cheese is tangy and delicious! 

I had extra cheese sauce and used it with soft pretzels the following day. YUM! 

White Pizza

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where have I been? Oh, sleeping. I cannot get enough sleep. I nap after work, I nap before my meeting... I sleep. And it is good!

Do you know what else is good? White Pizza!!


Whole wheat pitas
Olive Oil
Garlic salt/chopped garlic
Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Salt and Pepper

1. For some reason I didn't photograph the first step but... brush the pita with olive oil and sprinkle on either garlic salt or chopped garlic. Put under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes until just toasted. This makes a great crispy "crust" for your pizza.

2. Once out of the broiler, spread with a thin layer of ricotta almost up to the edge. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper.

3. Put back under the broiler for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Now this isn't really all that special but I couldn't stop eating it... for three days. I ate it on it's own, with pasta and cold! Next time I'm adding some spinach or mushrooms for sure. Soooo easy and good!!

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