Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here is a sneak peek at cupcake number 4, pumpkin!

The actual cake didn't have the pumpkin flavor I was going for, it was much too subdued, so I kicked it up a notch by adding pumpkin to the frosting! As an extra bonus, I don't need to color the frosting orange! It is a beautiful light orange color on it's own, I may add a little color just to make it a wow pumpkin orange, but we'll see!

October Lifeteen cupcakes

I've started the process of making the Life Teen birthday cupcakes!  They are turning out really well in my opinion:)  Here are 3 of the 4 variations I plan on making.  The witches hats are going to be changed some, I'm not going to dip the whole thing in chocolate, just the sugar cone, it was too much chocolate and messy too!  I will probably but a hatband on them also to jazz them up a bit.  The spider webs will also be changed from being on a high hat to being flat...I think it will make them pop a little more, but I'll have to try it out to be sure:)

I'm really pleased with how they are turning out!  I'm going to try out the pumpkin cupcakes soon, hopefully tonight, but we have to wait to see how my baby is feeling, she hasn't been feeling well.  I'll post recipes and instructions along with more pictures soon.  But if you are like me you won't want to wait, so I'll explain quickly.  The witches hats are a sugar cone with cupcake baked in it, I flipped it over and used melted chocolate to attach it to a chocolate sugar cookie.  I then dipped the cone in more chocolate, you can add a fondant or frosting hatband for a bit of pizzaz.  I used melted white almond bark to make the spider webs.  I traced out a pattern that I printed off the computer and added a little dark chocolate spider for whimsy.  These were attached to high hat cupcakes (you can google a recipe, I used Martha's).  The Ghosts were also a version of a high hat but instead of a chocolate cupcake I used a vanilla and I covered the topping with white almond bark.  I then rolled out some marshmallow fondant into a rough circle, I placed it over thee whole cupcake letting it fold and wave to make it appear as if the ghost is floating.  I then used dark chocolate to put on the eyes and mouth.  Hope you enjoyed this little preview!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good soup!

For dinner a few nights ago I made a very yummy soup.  Now my family is not really the soup eating type, my dad adds crushed crackers until all broth is absorbed, while my husband doesn't care for anything that could pass as "baby food."  So the butternut squash soup experiment began!  So I finally found an almost winner, it still requires the crushed crackers, but everyone agreed it was very tasty!

Butternut Squash soup with black beans and chickpeas

2 med. size Butternut squash
1 stick of butter
2 cans chickpeas well drained and rinsed
2 cans black beans well drained and rinsed
chicken flavoring(optional)
Water (or Chicken or vegetable broth)

Bake the Butternut squash in a low heat oven (250-350) until the skin is slightly browned and pulling away from the flesh of the squash.

Peel, seed, and chunk the squash after it has cooled enough to handle.

I then cooked the squash further in a crock pot for a few more hours.

Place the pieces into a blender adding water (or stock) to help it reach the desired consistency.

Repeat the blending process until all chunks are blended and are now soup.

Add chicken flavoring and any other seasonings( I used two packets of Ramen Chicken flavoring because that was what I had in the house and it worked very well!)

Pour the soup back into the crock pot and add in the chickpeas and black beans.

Heat and enjoy!

My family of course still added crushed crackers, but it would also be great with bread.  I think the chickpeas can be omitted if you wanted, it is the black beans that really give the contrasting flavor and make the dish interesting.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A most wonderful dinner!

So tonight I made these two wonderful recipes from The Pioneer Woman, and they were insanely good!  First is this one grilled ribeye steak with onion blue cheese sauce.  This was amazing!  So rich, so creamy...SO GOOD!  I had issues with the gas grill so my Dad ended up grilling them and I forgot to tell him to NOT use season salt, so this time it was too salty but still SO DELISH!!  We also had Rosemary and onion bread with blue cheese topping. This bread was tricky, but worth it! When the recipe says it's sticky, it's not kidding! I thought this was going to be a total bust because I couldn't handle the dough without it sticking to everything...and not just a little! But when all was said and done it was amazingly moist and full of flavor! I also made a few changes to the bread recipe. The recipe calls for 3 cups of bread flour. I only had 1 1/2 cups of all purpose so I used that and 1/2 cup soy flour and one cup whole wheat flour. I added a bit more water also, but I'm not sure it was necessary (it could be why it was so sticky for me), but then again the bread ended up moist and wonderful! So if you are looking for a fairly easy and incredibly delicious meal for any special occasion, or just because it's Friday and pay day was Wednesday..then try these recipes!