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Walrus Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Devil's Food Cake With Vanilla Icing

Image by SimplyAvoir via Flickr

I recently was gifted the recipe book– ‘What’s New Cupcake?’ by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Let me just say this is probably my new favorite cookbook! Every cupcake is like a cartoon! Bears, race cars, golf course- you name it, it’s a cupcake! The first one to catch my eye was the Walrus!

I think walruses are cute in generally- so lazy and blubbery and CUTE!! And these cupcakes looked just like that! I attempted to re-create them. They weren’t difficult to make, but I will say that you need to allocate a couple of hours for the whole process. The recipe called for boxed Devil’s food cake and canned frosting. But, the foodie in me decided to make everything from scratch!

Chocolate Cupcake:

I used my Snowy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe- just doubled all the ingredients (except increase 1/4 cup Buttermilk to 1 cup.)

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

I used my Dark Chocolate Frosting Recipe– can be doubled if you desire more frosting, but these measurements sufficed.

  • 2-3 cups of frosting

Topping:

  • thin chocolate wafers- i used 100 chocolate wafers (that’s the only thing they had at the grocery store!)
  • 12 glazed doughnut holes (I used Entemann’s Pop-Em’s)
  • white nonpareils
  • 4-6 marshmallows
  • chocolate covered black sunflower seeds (or mini brown m&m’s)
  • chocolate sprinkles (jimmies)

Process:

1. Using an off-set spatula mound about 2-3 tbsp of the frosting on each cooled cupcake. Spread evenly. Place the doughnut hole towards the edge of one side of the cupcake. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

2. While the cupcakes are freezing cut the marshmallows in half diagonally, then cut again diagnally, to produce 4 corners. Cut each corner in half to produce spikey tusk. Shape as necessary in order to resemble tusks.

3. Cut each wafer in half- 2 halves for fins, and one for a tail. Take the remaining wafers and crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin, or pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Pour into a shallow bowl.

4. Using the off-set spatula use about a 1/3 of the remaining frosting to completely coat the donut hole and any gaps that remain. You want the cupcake to be nicely coated in frosting, with no gaps or bare donut showing.

Carefully dip the cupcake into the cookie crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the frosting to stick. You want it to completely coat the cupcakes and start to resemble the shape of a walrus.

5. Place the remaining frosting in a ziplock bag and cut the corner about 1/8 an inch. Pipe two small circles on the head portion for the snout. Carefully place the tusks, topping with a bit more frosting to stick. Dip your finger in water and then in the white nonpareils and place on the frosting snouts.

Place a black sunflower seed sideways in the middle of the frosting snout- this is the nose. Take one chocolate sprinkle, dip into a little bit of the frosting and place above the snout as the eyes. Place some frosting on the edge of the chocolate wafers and place as the flippers- 1 on each side and one horizontally on the back.

6. Refrigerate so the frosting sets. Before serving, remove form the fridge serve at room temperature.

Makes 12 Walruses

Like Chocolate Desserts? Check these Out!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate-Rasberry Frosting

Mini Spiced Apple Tartlets w. Chocolate

Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Peppermint Bark


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Stuffed Mexican Pizza Towers with Avocado-Jalapeno Crema

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and even if you’re not Irish, doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the festivities! Growing up in New York City, I’ve witnessed all kinds of St. patrick’s Day celebrations, and if you’re hosting a party of your own then this will be the perfect addition to your spread of delicious food! They’re my Mexican Pizza Towers with an Avocado-Jalepeno Crema.

So, it’s not really Irish, or from a region close to Ireland at all, but it IS green and awesome! Now, I’m not much of a historian, but according to some Irish legends, Saint Patrick used a green shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to pre-Christian Irish people (yes, grade school does come in handy once in a while!). That being said, even though my appetizer pizzas are Mexican, they fit right into the St. Patrick’s day theme! A great size, these pizzas are perfect for big parties where most of the guest are just grabbing bits of food here and they’re a good size to hold and eat! Loaded with smokey refried beans, spicy vegetables and a crema thats smooth, creamy and spicy all at the same time! Your guests will keep asking for more! Meat eaters won’t miss the meat, and vegetarians AND vegans will be happy! Plus, they’re super healthy and nutritious!

Tower Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 large white onion- finely diced
  • 1-2 (depending on size) red/green bell peppers- finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic– crushed and minced

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds (be generous)
  • salt- to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 roma tomatos- seeded and finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro– washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese (I use Sargento Brand or vegan substitute)
  • Avocado-Jalepeno Crema (RECIPE BELOW)
  • Smokey Refried Beans (RECIPE BELOW)
  • curled lemon peels- garnishing (optional)

Tools: 2-3″ round cookie cutter, non-stick pan, toaster oven

1. In a medium-sized skillet spray with a little PAM and pour olive oil and set over medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for 30 seconds or so then add onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Add all the seasonings, including salt and pepper. Saute for about 5-6 minutes because the vegetables should be soft and flavored well. Taste for salt and seasonings.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, use the cookie cutter to cut out round tortilla disks. 3-4 large tortillas should make about 30-32 disks.

Place on a baking sheet in a toaster oven, and toast for about 5 minutes, just until they’re slightly golden color and crispy.

3. To assemble, place a layer of crispy tortilla disks on a serving dish and pile about 1-2 tbsp of bean mixture. Spread evenly, but not too much near the edge of the disk. Top with about 1 tbsp vegetable mixture and cheese (more or less depending on how much you like!).

Place another disk on top and press down slightly- you don’t want the mixture to be oozing out! Drizzle on avocado-jalapeno crema and garnish with chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lemon peel. To add a festive and more green touch, I sliced fresh jalapenos and layered them on the serving dish- just in case anyone wants an extra spicy kick!

Makes about 16 pizza towers

Smokey Refried Beans:

  • 1 can refried beans (I used Old El Paso– make sure they’re vegetarian!)
  • 1 medium onion- finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic– crushed and minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- to taste
  • salt- to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor

Tools: non-stick pan

1. In a large non-stick skillet spray with PAM and set over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for about 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cayenne pepper, black pepper and seasonings. Saute for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add salt and combine, and then add the refried beans and reduce heat to medium-low. Make sure to combine everything well and taste for seasonings. If it seems too thick, add a little warm water. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until heated through and flavored well. Once finished, set aside.

Avocado-Jalepeno Crema:

  • 2 ripe avocados- pitted and diced
  • 2 jalapenos- finely diced (I keep the seeds, skin and all!)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • 1/4 cup (a little bit less) reduced-fat sour cream (I used Breakstones brand or vegan substitute)
  • half a handful cilantro- finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) water

Tools: Blender

1. In a blender add avocados, jalapenos, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro and sour cream. Blend on high until thick and smooth- it will be a little chunky. Blend on low and slowly drizzle in water until creamy and a bit thinner- not too thin, you want it to be the consistency of cream. Set aside.

Like Mexican? Check out these Zesty & Healthy Dishes:

Spicy Enchiladas with Smokey Corn & Roasted Pepper Sauce

10 Minute Pita Mexi-Pizza

Gourmet “Taco-Bell” Mexican Pizza

Garlic-Chili Guacamole

 

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Power Shake for Breakfast

PHP Power Shake

Ingredients:

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/power-shake-for-breakfast-18300#ixzz1HXiZDnC3

Directions:

  1. 1 Wash produce.
  2. 2 Juice the mango, oranges and papaya.
  3. 3 Pour juice into a blender, add the banana and liquefy.
  4. 4 Serve and feel the power.

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Creamy burrito casserole recipe

sam mason burrito

Image by chotda via Flickr

Creamy burrito casserolle recipe. Looking delicous!

 

Directions:

  1. 1 Brown ground meat/turkey and onion; drain.
  2. 2 Add taco seasoning and stir in refried beans.
  3. 3 Mix soup and sour cream in a separate bowl.
  4. 4 Spread 1/2 sour cream mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish.
  5. 5 Tear up 3 tortillas and spread over sour cream mixture.
  6. 6 Put 1/2 the meat bean mixture over that.
  7. 7 Add a layer of cheese.
  8. 8 You could put some hot sauce on this now.
  9. 9 Repeat the layers.
  10. 10 Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.

Ingredients:

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/creamy-burrito-casserole-33919#ixzz1HXh9QIvs

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Mexican Cuisine

 

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Crunchy Eggless French Toast Recipe

French toast served at Mac's Restaurant in Roc...

Image via Wikipedia

You’re probably thinking how is this Eggless French Toast possible?! Well it is! I woke up this past Sunday morning with a sudden craving for french toast. I’m usually more of a home fries, cheesy-omlette type of person, but I can use a little bit of sweet-stickyness from time to time! So I decided why not make french toast, but healthier, crunchier and eggless?

Hence the birth of Crunchy Eggless French Toast. I combine creamy fat-free half&half with fresh nutmeg and cinnamon and crunchy rolled oats.

Wait, I completely forgot to mention- my brand new Le Cresuet grill pan. Amazing!!! It made my french toast crispy, golden and cooked to perfection! I think I’m obsessed with my new pan :) .

Crunchy Eggless French Toast:

Tools: Griddle Pan

1. In a shallow bowl/plate add milk and half&half and whisk in nutmeg and cinnamon. In another plate combine brown sugar and oats, and mix well making sure to break up the sugar.

2. Heat the grill pan on high to medium heat and spray with PAM Butter Flavor. Dip the bread into the milk mixture for 1 second- do it really quickly making sure not to completely soak the bread. You just want it to be moistened for the crunchy oats to stick, and the cinnamon and nutmeg to seep in. Then coat with the oats-sugar mixture, pressing in making sure its thouroughly covered.

3. Place on the hot griddle pan and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.

Try to flip only 1-2 times max. Remove and cut in fourths. Top with maple syrup and a generous amount of powdered sugar. Serve with whipcream and fresh berries. Dig in. MMM.

Serves about 4

Like Breakfast? Try These Scrumptious Dishes!

Spicy Indian French Toast

Zesty Stuffed Bagel Breakfast

Taco Breakfast Omelette

 

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Chicken Toscana Soup Recipe

A factory of Parmigiano-Reggiano. There are tw...

Image via Wikipedia

A few weekends ago, I was invited to participate in a “soup swap”. Living in the ‘burbs, I’m learning that there are far more domestic things going on out here…including “soup swaps”. So I took to twitter and asked for soup recipes because come on, I certainly don’t have any. Within minutes I had 3 ready to go. With the urging of my sister, I chose to go with Chicken Toscana Soup.

toscana chicken soup

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3-4 cups cooked chicken (I recommend a store bought rotisserie chicken)
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 mini gnocchi packages
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
2-3 cups skim milk
2-3 cups spinach leaves (torn)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Directions:
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the gnocchi, cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and tomatoes, simmer. Sprinkle in cheese, simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add cream and milk. Add spinach. Stir together.  Top with basil.

Remove from heat.

From my one attempt, I thought that leaving this soup on a low heat for a while afterwards really thickened this bad boy up. And the flavors just blended incredibly well together.

I hope you enjoy this soup half as much as I did.
Happy Friday!

Source: http://youarewhatyoueatorreheat.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/chicken-toscana-soup/

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Chicken, Soups, Vegetables

 

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Mini Mango Crisp Recipe

Example of Mangoes, shoot in Taipei, Taiwan. T...

Image via Wikipedia

by jeg

So, this blog is turning a bit food-based.  Hmm.  OK by me!  Since I’ve resolved to cook more for myself, the blog is motivation to actually do it.  And documenting it with my new toy has become borderline obsessive.  So, after my delicious “soup” lunch yesterday, I was in the cooking mood and decided to make something yummy for dessert.  I had some mangoes and decided I would finally make the individual mango crisp I’ve been planning to make for probably 8 months.  You see, last summer, after I bought my house and was replacing things that had been my old roommate’s stocking up on a few kitchen essentials, I saw these adorable little individual ramekins and decided I must have a couple.  You know, so I could make my own personal mango crisp, whenever I wanted one.  I have a tendency to make impulsive purchases like that.  Don’t worry, sometimes I return them.  Anyway, I put the ramekins on the shelf and sort of forgot about that idea.  Until yesterday.  I eyed that mango and thoughtindividual mango crisp. I frequently like to make the full size version of this dessert, but if I’m not serving it to enough people, it can turn into over-indulgence on my part.

See that little guy, hiding back there, begging to be used?

Individual Mango Crisp
1 mango (or enough frozen mango to fill your individual ramekin)
sugar to coat mango
2T butter, softened
2T flour
1T old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5T sugar
vanilla ice cream, if desired

Cut up mango into small chunks until miniature ramekin is full.  Toss the mango with about a spoonful of sugar, enough to coat the fruit. (Because mango’s just not quite sweet enough already – ha!)

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, and sugar.  This is the crumble topping.  Drop it in chunks and do your best to spread it around on top of the mango.  Since the dish was rather small, I put it on my toaster oven pan to make it easier to get in and out of the oven.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until crisp topping starts to brown.

pre-baking

Let it cool for a minute after you take it out of the oven.  Put your little ramekin on a plate, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Fruit, Ice Cream, Sweets

 

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