Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cupcake Tops

When I was in Los Angeles earlier this year I stopped by a cupcake shop and they were selling these darling mini cupcakes called Cupcake Tops. These little cupcakes resemble a toy top, hence the name, all that's missing is the string :) . They were so cute and  fit perfectly in my mouth that I decided to make my own. Since the 4th of July is right around the corner I dyed them red and blue, but they could be dyed yours any color. This is super easy and cute and will make your guests think you slaved for hours.

2 Boxes White Cake Mix ( Duncan Hines is my choice)
1 Batch Butter Cream Frosting

Preheat oven to 350, heavily spray mini muffin pans with nonstick spray.

Make cake mix following boxed directions, add dye to the batter. Place small scoops of batter into muffin tins and bake for 8 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in pan to cool before placing on cooking rack. Repeat and make second color of mini cupcakes.

Place Butter Cream Frosting into a piping bag and place small amount of frosting on bottom of red cupcake, place blue cupcake on top of frosting, slightly smooshing the cupcakes together. Place in a cupcake liner. Makes 50+ Cupcake Tops.

Ingredients for cupcakes
Sorry for the dark pics, flash issues!
Ready for the oven
So cute!
The perfect bite!
For my daughter's 15th birthday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taco Salad Pizza

I made up this recipe last year after having something similar at California Pizza Kitchen, I hope you enjoy it. It has just the right amount of zing to make it special.

4 chicken cutlets, seasoned and cooked
1 ball of pizza dough
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups shredded cheese

Cook chicken in saute pan and chop up. Take ball of dough (raised) and roll out and place on pizza pan. Spread 1 can rinsed black beans and 2 cups shredded cheese and chopped chicken on top of dough. Bake for 20-25 (375 degrees) minutes or until pizza is done.

Ingredients for Avocado Ranch Dressing
1 avocado
1 cup milk
1 pkg spicy ranch dressing mix (follow package directions)
1 cup mayo
1/2 c cilantro
Mix ranch dressing mix and mayo and chill for an hour. Place into food processor along with 1 avacado and 1/2 c cilantro, pulse until creamy.

Salad Pizza Toppings
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
Avocado Ranch Dressing

After pizza comes out of oven immediently top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and drizzle 1 cup of avocado ranch dressing. Slice and serve
Serves 4
Ingredients for Avocado Ranch Dressing
I used some chili lime rub for my chicken
My ball of dough before the rising process started
Chicken cutlets all cooked
Drain your black beans
Ready to build the pizza
Pour black beans directly on to dough
Add chicken and cheese and bake
Pour prepared spicy ranch dressing into food processor and 
add avocado and cilantro
I love cilantro
Blend until smooth
Pizza is out of the oven and ready to be topped
I love the avocado dressing dripping down the sides of the dough
Ready to slice

Barbecue Coleslaw

This last weekend my husband put 12 pounds of pork butt into our smoker and made me a very happy person! He spent 9 hours babysitting the smoker, adding wood chips when needed, and the end result was a lot of delicious smoke flavored pulled pork. This coleslaw is to be served on top of pulled pork, we scooped huge servings of pork onto soft rolls and then piled on this spicy coleslaw, top with bbq sauce! What an amazing taste!

I have a bbq cookbook that I go to often for great sides; I suggest you check out this book.

1 medium head White Cabbage
3 TBSP Granulated Sugar
1 c Cider Vinegar
2/3 Ketchup
1/2 c Water
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 tsp Salt
Dash Tabasco Sauce

Grate or thinly slice cabbage. In a small a sauce pan, combine the sugar and vinegar and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the other ingredients and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick , thin with 2 TBSP warm water. Pour the warm sauce over the grated cabbage, toss to combine throughly. The recipe calls for you to serve it immediately, but I let it sit on the counter for at least another 30 minutes.  Place large spoonful on top of pulled pork. Tastes great cold as a side dish also!
Shred the cabbage
Pour the hot mixture over the cabbage, mix
All that is missing is the sauce!


Here are some pics of our smoked pork butts
 Pork butts, I purchased them at Sam's Club
Yumm, can you almost taste it?
Shred it up!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Triple Chocolate Chunk Oreo Cookies

I absolutely love baking, need I say more? I love measuring out the flour and sugar, creaming together butter and eggs, smelling the vanilla as I pour it in. Yumm,  I love it all! I also love trying new recipes, especially ones that have three different kinds of chocolate in them, I refuse to count white chocolate as chocolate. These came together super easy and the dough has a rich dark look and flavor. I hope you enjoy eating them as much as my family did!

2 1/2 c Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 Dutch Processed Cocoa
1 c Unsalted Butter, room temp
1 c Sugar
1 c Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 c Chopped White Chocolate Chips
1 c Chopped Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 c Chopped Oreo Cookies

Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa, set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Next add vanilla, mix until blended.
Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture until flour is completely blended in. Stir in both kinds of chocolate chips and Oreos. Drop cookies onto prepared sheet two inches apart.
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, don't over bake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to cooking rack to cool completely. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

Chopped chocolate chips and Oreo cookies
The dough is thick and tasty
Drop onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart
Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

For Mother's Day Olivia bought me a tube of vanilla beans and I've been so excited to try them. I wanted to use some of them for vanilla ice cream, but thought that vanilla bean frosting sounded too good to not make it. I first made some chocolate cupcakes using a Duncan Hines mix, I added 1 TBSP real vanilla  and a 1/2 c cocoa to doctor up the boxed mix. This frosting has a nice light flavor that enhances the cupcakes flavor. I love seeing the flecks of vanilla in the frosting!

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise ( if you don't have access to vanilla beans increase extract to 2 tsp)
3 c confectioners sugar
Pinch Salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (clear)
2 TBSP fat free half and half (heavy cream works well also)

In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat butter at med high speed until smooth. Using a sharp knife split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds from bean, place into butter and mix.  Add confectioners sugar, and salt. Scrape sides of bowl often. Add vanilla and half and half, beat at medium speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  I like to place my frosting in a piping bag and then refrigerate before using. Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes.

The bean
Slice it lengthwise
Scrape seeds out with sharp knife
See the yummy vanilla seeds?

Source: Browneyedbaker

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ginger Pork Tenderloin

I love when you have a recipe that turns out great every single time, this recipe is one of those. I've made this in large batches for parties and it's a favorite of ours for Christmas Eve. The yummy sweetness of the ginger and sugar really make this pork pop with flavor.

3-4 lbs Pork Tenderloin
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 c Soy Sauce
1/2 c Sugar
14/ to 1/2 tsp Ginger
chopped Green Onions for garnish

Place tenderloins in gallon sized Ziploc bag. Combine garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger, pour into bag. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Pour meat and marinade into a 9x13 baker and cover baker with aluminum foil, bake for about 90 min or until pork reaches internal temp of 145. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing, cut on angle. Place pork on serving platter, pour juices over the top and sprinkle chopped green onions over the top. Serve with rice. Serves 6-8.
Pour all into ziploc bag and refrigerate
Place in 9x13 baker, cover with foil and bake
Make sure to save the juice to pour over cut meat