Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Sorry for the long silence, but I have some news...

We're having a GIRL!!!

So in honor of this news, I went through my pictures of yet to be blogged about dishes and found something pink :)

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes (minus the lemonade).

I found this recipe at Annie's Eats and it looked tasty, so I decided to give it a try. But I got lazy and skipped the lemonade part. :P

These were definitely better than my previous attempt at strawberry cupcakes. They weren't as gorgeous as Annie's but by my standards, this was a huge improvement. These were much fluffier than last time, the flavor was great and the icing wasn't a total disaster! I still need more practice baking, but I there is hope! :)

Inspired by Annie's Eats

Cupcake Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups strawberries, chopped (I used thawed frozen strawberries)

Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped (I used thawed frozen strawberries)
- 12 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
- 18 tbsp. unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

- Mix flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Beat the butter on medium in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the sugar and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.
- Add the milk and mix.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture until everything is smooth and incorporated.
- Fold in the strawberries.
- Fill up paper-lined cupcake tins about 3/4 way full.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

- Blend the strawberries in a blender for the frosting.
- Strain the strawberries to remove the seeds.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Mix in the strawberry puree one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the texture, flavor, and color you want.
- When the cupcakes are totally cool, frost them and serve!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Egg Rolls (vietnamese style)

I love egg rolls, especially Vietnamese ones, so when I make my own, I always go for that style.

I've blogged about these before, but last time I baked them. Since fried ones are so much better and you're allowed to indulge during the holidays, I fried them this time. Everything else was pretty much the same.

I made these weeks ahead of time and froze them individually and fried them up the day of and served them with chili sauce. A tasty and easy appetizer for any time of the year!

- ground pork
- carrots
- onions
- glass noodles (mung bean noodles)
- garlic
- wood ear mushrooms
- fish sauce
- soy sauce
- egg rolls wrappers
- oil (for frying)

- Shred the carrots and set aside.
- Finely dice the onions and set aside.
- Mince the garlic and set aside.
- Soak the glass noodles in water until they're pliable (about 15-30 minutes), then cut them into shorter more manageable pieces.
- Soak the wood ear mushrooms until they're soft (hot water will speed this up), then cut it into thin strips.
- Mix everything together, seasoning to taste with soy and fish sauce. You can always fry up a small portion of the filling before wrapping the egg rolls to make sure it tastes good.
- Take a sheet of egg roll wrapper and fill it with a diagonal line of filling and wrap it up.
- You can either fry them immediately or put them in the freezer at this point to fry up at a later date.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Artichoke Dip

Here's another appetizer that I put out on our buffet table for Thanksgiving. I put the artichoke dip in a mini crock pot to keep it warm.

The crackers are rosemary crackers, also homemade. But since my husband made them (and refuses to share the recipe) I can't tell you how he made them. I'll keep bugging him about it, but in the meantime, here's the artichoke dip recipe.

- Marinated artichokes
- Mayo
- Cream cheese
- Salt
- Pepper

- Drain and chop the artichokes.
- Mix the artichokes, cream cheese and mayo together, microwaving it periodically, until it reaches the consistency you desire.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with crackers, pita chips, or veggies.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cranberry Sauce (revisited)

This is another one that can be made ahead of time to reduce stress on Thanksgiving day. An even better way to reduce stress is to ask your husband to do it! Thanks babe! :)

We used the same recipe as we did last year, except we made a bigger batch. Too big in fact (we bought the Costco size bag of cranberries). Anyone want some frozen cranberry sauce or have any ideas of what we should do with all the leftovers? If you do, PLEASE let us know!

- Cranberries
- Orange juice

- Sugar

- Lemon zest
- Ginger


- Rinse the cranberries and then pour them into a large pot.

- Add enough orange juice to cover barely cover the cranberries (they won't look covered because cranberries float)

- Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a simmer.

- Add LOTS of sugar to taste.

- Add some lemon zest and grated ginger to taste.
- Simmer until all the cranberries of popped and the sauce has thickened.

- Let the sauce cool and then place it in the fridge to set.