Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chocolate or Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

Our little boy, the baby of the family, turned 7 this week and he wanted chocolate cupcakes, but the others wanted vanilla so, I made a compromise for them. I combined a chocolate and a vanilla cake mix together, marbling them together before baking. I did the same with the butter cream frosting, mixing them both. I also scooped out the insides of the cupcakes and filled them too (see how to here). They get the both of both flavors with these special birthday cupcakes!

The chocolate frosting did not make enough to fill and frost my cupcakes so I do recommend at least doubling it for 24 cupcakes, plus with my ruffly icing it probably uses up more. By the way, I used a Wilton 2 D tip for that effect. Also this frosting will get melty in the heat so I kept these in the fridge until it was near time to serve.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
Adapted from Allrecipes. Makes about 2 cups.

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Mix together butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until combined. Add in vanilla and milk and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
Adapted from Makes about 3 cups.

1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat till blended. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

For the combined swirly effect of my frosted cupcakes, I placed some chocolate frosting in one pastry bag and some vanilla in another bag and then added them both to a bigger pastry bag with a tip frosted away.

they loved them!

Happy Birthday Buddy!

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Veggie Burgers

Here is another great vegan recipe I found for our daughter who is trying Vegan. I've been making her recipes that will last throughout the week so she always has something and it's less stress on me to make her a separate meal. Being vegan is hard! Kudos to any of you out there! Hey if anyone has favorite vegan recipes you'd like to share with me I'd love to see them!

I had seen this Bean and Zucchini burger recipe on pinterest before (that ahh-mazing photo!) and decided to give it a go. It's a pretty simple recipe and although I did not make this gluten free (I was afraid if I did, I'd eat all of her burgers lol) you certainly could. I also just realized her recipe calls for kidney beans, I don't know where I got garbanzo beans from, but that's what I bought. They worked great!

I had forgotten to get zucchini at the store but I had frozen shredded in the freezer already so I thawed that and used it. I also added in some shredded carrot and more seasonings. Let me tell you, these smelled amazing while cooking, I kept sticking my nose into the pan, lol.

Veggie Burgers
adapted from Vegan Sandra 

30 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 white onion, finely diced
2-3 medium zucchini, diced or shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
3 tsp curry powder
1 TBL chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3 tsp vegetable stock powder (I crumbled 1 GF veggie bouillon cube)
3/4 cup wheat flour (OR gluten free flour)
oil for frying

 Drain and rinse the beans, put them to a bigger bowl and mash them with a potato smasher. Add onions, zucchini carrot, along with curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper, vegetable stock powder and whole-wheat flour. Mix carefully with your hands or with a fork. Shape into desired sized patties (I used my burger shaper and got 7 regular sized patties). Heat about 2 TBL of oil in a large skillet and fry them until crispy on both sides (about 6 mins/side). Keep warm in oven as you cook the rest.

load these up on your favorite buns or lettuce wraps with your favorite accompaniments

these patties develop a crispy exterior with a soft center.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Asian Noodle Salad

Since my oldest recently exclaimed that she wants to try Vegan, I've been searching online for recipes we can all enjoy. I have seen PW's recipe many times before but it came up on pinterest under the vegan tag so I finally thought I'd try it. WHY did I wait so long?? This salad is good!! It reminds me of a soba noodle salad I loved that we sold in the deli back in the day. I made ths recipe to be gluten free friendly too, which was not difficult at all. I have found the new Barilla gluten free pastas to be very good and they held up lovely in this salad. Also be sure to get a very large container so you can easily toss this together.

Asian Noodle Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 pound package Fettuccine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled (gluten free spaghetti pasta)
1 small head Sliced Napa Cabbage
1 small head Sliced Purple Cabbage
1/2 bag Baby Spinach
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1 bag Bean Sprouts
Cilantro, Chopped, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced 3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
1 Cup Roasted Peanuts

1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (gluten free Tamari)
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Grated
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
1/2 tsp Sambal Oelek

Combine all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients together and toss with the salad. Enjoy this salad cold from the fridge.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gluten Free Flatbread

I was craving Indian food again lately and of course I needed gluten free naan to go with it. I found this easy recipe and used my favorite GF flour blend in it. For the naan, I also added in crushed garlic and curry powder for great flavor. Wow! Let me tell you, I have made this a few times since (non flavored) to keep on hand because this "flatbread" is quite handy for all things you like in bread. I have rolled it out into oblong shape and round depending what I want to use it for. It's been great to take to the fair when we camped out there for the kid's racing. I made myself breakfast burritos in it, sandwiches, used it for hot dog buns (just cut it in half) and now burger buns (again cut a large one in half). It's soft, pliable and delicious, just reheat it up before using so it's nice and a little warm and will be flexible. I just love this!

Gluten Free Flatbread

2 1/2 cups high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more 
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it) 
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1/4 tsp cream of tartar 
3 tsp sugar 
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast 
1/3 cup  plain greek yogurt, at room temperature 
3 TBL butter, melted and cooled
1 egg plus 1 egg white, at room temperature 
3/4 cup warm water, about 105°F 
 Butter for frying 

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place 2 1/2 cups flour, xanthan gum, salt, cream of tartar and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the yeast and whisk again to combine. 

Add the yogurt, ghee, egg and egg white, and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until just combined. 

With the mixer still on low speed, add the water in a steady stream. Once the water has been absorbed, turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for about 3 minutes.
Add more flour by the tablespoon, mixing well after each addition, until the dough thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl in spots. 

Turn off the mixer and scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and gently press it into a ball. Cover the bowl and place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until it is nearly doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.

Once the dough has finished rising, divide it into 8 pieces (with wet hands). Place about 2 tablespoons ghee or butter in a cast iron skillet, and melt over medium heat. 

With the pan is heating, take one piece of dough and lay on another piece of plastic wrap. Cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into an elongated oval (or round), about 3/8 inch thick. 

With wet hands, carefully peel dough off plastic wrap, and place in the hot pan. Fry on one side until large blisters begin to form, about 1 minute. Allow to continue to fry for another 30 seconds to one minute, or until the underside is golden brown. Flip the bread to cook on the other side until browned – another minute or so. Remove to a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining 7 pieces of dough. Serve immediately. 

Freeze any unused portion with pieces of waxed paper between each flatbread, store flat in a freezer safe baggie. Reheat in microwave for maybe 30-40 seconds if frozen and 15 for thawed. It'll be warm and pliable.

dough ready to cut and roll out

if you have a rip in the flatbread, smooth it out with a spatula or dab it back together with your damp finger. 

PB&J Rollups!

Hot dog buns!

Sandwich wraps!

Buns for burgers! This flatbread holds up nicely!

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remembering One of Our Own, Elle! Elle's Favorite Bean Dip #ElleAPalooza

January 28th, the food blogosphere lost one of it's own. Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen suddenly passed away leaving her wonderful family and many friends both online and in her life offline shocked, and devastated.

Friends and foodies on Facebook are celebrating Elle's life this weekend by choosing a recipe from Elle's food blog ( and blogging about it. We're using the hastag #ElleAPalooza on all social media to remember her.

Friends of Elle are also working on an auction where funds will go directly to her family, please follow along on her Facebook remembrance page to learn more.

I met Elle probably a year after I started blogging back in 2007, I believe it was on the Foodie Blogroll site. She was always visiting and commenting on my blog posts with such friendliness. We followed each other on Facebook and she was always there to lend support and reply back to anyone in need. Her witty posts made us all laugh.

I was just on a new-to-me blog the other day and they had a google friend connect gadget in their sidebar, and who's little pink haired icon did I see? Elle's! 

Elle had recently alerted her facebook fans of a great site and company for pet ID tags. She loves her pets, we all knew, so of course I checked into it since we recently adopted a rescue doggy. Winks' tag arrived soon before Elle passed and I posted a "Thank you" to her with Winks' photo. She was, as always, polite to reply back. Now I'll forever remember Elle when I think about his dog tag. 

The recipe I chose to make from Elle's blog is actually one of two I want to share about right now. This Bean Dip and her Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream. I'll make that (gluten free) soon, I promise!

everything's in the pot!

In her post she says this is her most favorite bean dip and would even eat it from the pot at the stove, lol. Of course I had to try it! It is delicious! I love bean dip and corn chips. I made this for Superbowl (WHAT? We're not football fans really, but Broncos are who MR. roots for, he was born there and it was his mom's fave team, but during the season you won't find us watching a game, MR. watched Nascar). Anyways, I served this up with some nachos and we all sat on the couch to watch the commercials game. I loved how the adobo (chipotle) flavored this, I actually used less and it was still great. It's very smooth and dippable.

I freaking love this Bean Dip 
Makes about 4 cups 

 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
 1 cup shredded cheese, I use a Mexican blend
 1/2 cup chopped green onions
 1/4 tsp adobo powder (I used some chipotle sauce)
 1 jar (8 oz.) taco sauce
 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
 dash of garlic powder (I used chopped garlic)
 Corn chips for dipping

 Mix all the ingredients, but not the corn chips, in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Keep warm. Serve with corn chips. So simple! And if you want more heat, go ahead and add it.

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