Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

I found the cake recipe on www.whataboutsecondbreakfast.com and tried the icing from www.thatwinsomegirl.blogspot.com. Yummy! I think next time I would tweak the icing to just use butter and add in a little heavy cream, rather than half butter half crisco. The cake turned out so moist and fluffy, really tasty!

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

2¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour

¾ Cup Unsweetened Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1½ Teaspoons Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk
1½ Cups Malted Milk Powder
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 Cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Chocolate Covered Malt Balls, chopped

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
½ cup malted milk powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
5 cups confectioner sugar, sifted
*Chocolate Covered Malt Balls and Straws to garnish (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until powder is dissolved.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat just until combined. Fold in crushed chocolate covered malt balls.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter and shorting for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Sprinkle in malted milk powder and cocoa powder. Whip for 1 minute. Slowly add the powdered sugar a few spoonful at a time, letting it incorporate until the frosting becomes thick and stiff.

Fill bag with the frosting and pipe large swirls on top of cupcakes. Top with candies.

Radish and Apple Salad

Since one of the interesting veggies that showed up in our organic produce box were radishes, I've been searching for a fun way to prepare them. I found this recipe on www.honestvanilla.com and changed out the spinach for red leaf lettuce, which was also in the organic loot. This turned out so crisp and fresh! Really yummy and convinced me hey, I think I like radishes!

Radish and Apple Salad

  • A handful of cherry radishes, thinly sliced
  • A bunch of baby spinach, rinsed
  • 1 red apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Toss spinach, radish and apple slices in a bowl
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over the mix
  3. Drizzle honey and olive oil
  4. Toss again to ensure everything is well coated
  5. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was looking for another cookie recipe and found this one on Tastykitchen.com. Really easy to whip up and were perfectly browned after exactly 10 minutes. Thanks to my sister for the cute dish to display them in!

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoonBaking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoonSalt
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1/2 cupRolled Oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saucy Thai Chicken Noodles

I found this recipe in one of my magazine subscriptions, Taste of Home, the June and July '11 issue. It called for beef (sirloin steak), but I felt like chicken and it worked well. Great nutty flavor and I think the sherry was the key to the sauce.

Saucy Thai Chicken Noodles

1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
2 T sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)
12 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1 lb. chicken breast or steak sirloin, sliced thin
1 1/2 t canola oil, divided
1/2 c thinly sliced fresh carrot
1/2 c julienned sweet red pepper
1 c fresh snow peas
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 c chopped salted peanuts
2 T minced fresh cilantro (optional)

In a small sauce pan, bring the first eight ingredients just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; set aside. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
In a skillet, stir-fry chicken in 1/2 tsp oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Stir fry carrot and red pepper in remaining oil for 3-4 minutes. Add snow peas and onion; stir fry 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp tender. Return chicken to skillet.
Drain noodles; add to pan and combine everything with sauce to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cherry Buckle

A buckle is a coffeecake with a streusel topping. The batter will be extremely thick and heavy, and some effort will be required to spread it into the prepared cake pan. I got this recipe from a coworker, but the original one came from cooksillustrated.com. I've tried it with blueberries, as well as cherries since they're in season right now (and plentiful on the front yard tree!). You must use fresh fruit since frozen will provide too much liquid for the batter. This is a fantastic recipe. Very dense, moist, sweet, LOVE the streusel!, and super easy.

Cherry Buckle

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( 7 1/2 ounces)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened but still cool
2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 2 large eggs , room temperature
4 cups fresh blueberries or cherries (about 20 ounces), picked over

1. For the streusel: In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.

2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper round, and spray round; dust pan with flour and knock out excess.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze handful of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).

5. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place upside-down plate (do not use plate or platter on which you plan to serve the cake) on top of cake pan; invert cake to remove from pan, lift off cake pan, then peel off and discard parchment. Re-invert cake onto serving platter. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.

Marinated Flank Steak with Cardamon Bok Choy

I'm not sure where this marinade came from originally, but I got the recipe from a coworker and have probably made it 25 times in just a couple years. It's wonderful. This particular time I decided to make a side of bok choy since I've been getting fresh organic produce from a local farm. The bok choy recipe came off their website, www.farmfreshtoyou.com.

Marinated Flank Steak

1/2 c vegetable oil
1/3 c soy sauce
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 T worcestershire sauce
1 T Inglehoffer stone ground mustard
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 1/2 pound flank steak

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate steak overnight, turning a few times throughout the day. Reserve marinade in a sauce pan and boil several minutes. Grill steak on high heat about 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Let sit a few minutes and then slice. Serve with rice and use cooked marinade as a sauce over rice.

Cardamon Bok Choy

1fresh cilantro, finely chopped1teaspoon salt
1tablespoon sesame oil1teaspoon black pepper
1clove garlic, crushed1teaspoon ground cardamom
1onion, thinly sliced in rings1pound bok choy leaves

Stir-fry garlic, onion and bok choy in sesame oil. Cook for 5 minutes until tender and crisp. Add salt, black pepper and cardamom. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until cardamom aroma is strong. Serve hot with other stir-fries on rice or noodles, or as a side order to barbecued beef or chicken.

Mexican Sauteed Pepitas Prawns

This recipe came highly recommended from a coworker out of a book by Heather Van Vorous. Reading through the ingredients, it may sound interesting, but nothing spectacular. Well let me tell you, it's incredible!! This seriously launched to my top ten list. It's so fresh, nutty, and delicious. You must try!

Mexican Sauteed Pepitas Prawns

1 lb. prawns, rinsed, shelled, and deveined
1/2 c green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 t coriander seeds
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, mashed
1 large tomato, diced (I used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes)
1 small red bell pepper, roasted
1/4 t salt
3 t olive oil, divided
juice of one lime
1 c finely chopped fresh cilantro
rice for serving

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a large, ungreased (not non-stick) frying pan over medium high heat until they crackle, shaking pan constantly. Do not brown. Cool.

To roast the red pepper, place whole pepper in broiler pan and broil as close to heat as possible, until skins are black and blistered, turning peppers occasionally so they char evenly. Let pepper cool, then slip off skin, remove stems, and seeds. You can also roast the pepper over a gas burner until evenly charred, then cool and remove skin, stem, and seeds.

Add the pumpkin seeds and the coriander seeds to a food processor or a blender and grind to a fine powder. Add the onion, garlic, tomato, roasted red pepper, salt, and 2 tsp oliveoil. Puree until smooth. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and simmer, covered, over medium low heat for 30 minutes to mellow flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped prawns and saute until they just begin to turn pink. Stir the sauce into the skillet and heat through until shrimp are cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Serve over rice.

Cherry Chiffon Cupcakes

I found this recipe on cakewalker.blogspot.com and with my cherries ripening up, it was a great opportunity to use some. The cupcakes turned out super moist, but the cherry chunks sunk to the bottom. I think next time I'd chop them up even finer in hopes they might suspend better in the batter. Great flavor though! I used my cream cheese frosting recipe from the Coconut Cupcakes posting back in April, but it was a little overpowering for the delicate cake. I think next time I'd use a buttercream frosting.

Cherry Chiffon Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
7 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
3/4 pure cherry juice
1/2 cup minced fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Create a well in the middle of the mixture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks to combine; pour them into the well. Add the oil, cherry juice and vanilla to the well of the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on low until combined. Scrape the bowl and continue beating on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth. Fold in the minced cherries. (This step can be mixed with a hand mixer. For the next step, if you don't have a stand mixer or an extra pair of beaters, you'll need to thoroughly wash the beaters ensuring they are oil/grease free before proceeding.)

If available, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment add the egg whites and cream of tartar (or use a clean bowl and clean beaters with hand mixer). Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently add the egg whites to the batter in thirds using great care to slowly fold the whites in using a spatula with each addition. The whites lighten the batter—folding them in with more than a gentle hand may deflate the air volume of the egg whites and potentially thwart the cake's rising power in the baking process. The cake should rise over the top of the pan by a couple of inches but it will recede slightly as it cools.

Using an ice cream scooper, pour batter into a cupcake tray with liners in place. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Cool for a couple hours and frost. Top with a cherry!

Beef and Fresh Veggie Soup

I made this recipe up with what I had on hand. And I had some GREAT veggies on hand since I signed up to get local organic produce delivered to my doorstep. A friend from work also gave me some spicy oregano which she had grown and dried--it made the perfect seasoning! The soup turned out delicious. I'd never tried turnips, but they worked well in the soup.

Beef and Fresh Veggie Soup

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
12 c water
salt and pepper to taste
2 T Better than Beef Bouillon
2 T Better than Chicken Bouillon
1 can tomato paste
3 cloves garlic minced
3 turnips, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
small bunch of diced broccoli rabe rapini, fibrous stems removed
1 baby bok choy, diced
about 3 T fresh dried spicy oregano (probably 1 T equivalent from jar)
2 cups or a small bag of tiny pasta shells

Brown ground beef in pot with garlic. Add remaining ingredients except pasta. Bring to a boil, simmer for about an hour and add in pasta shells. Cook an additional 10 minutes or per package directions.