Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Cookin'? I'm cookin'!

The Bloggerette Sorority is hosting a Recipe Blog Party and those of you that know me know how much I love to cook, so I couldn't let this party pass me by.

We are still recovering from our cross country move and I don't have a studio set up yet (hopefully today I will get a makeshift studio up and running) I've found that I've been spending more time in the kitchen. When this party was announced I decided to just take pictures of what I make on a regular basis, kind of give you a glimpse of our lives. The photo's that follow and the foods that we ate are not necessarily our favorites. Maybe one day I'll share those with you.

So without further ado, here is a week of cooking by the Glitter Tart.

Sunday 7th August: We eat a fancy breakfast before going to church, eat out for lunch and normally clean out the fridge of any weekend left overs. But my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is bake.

Double Chocolate Malt cupcakes with Cherry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Years ago my husband and I were watching a Food Network program and a woman won with these cupcakes. When I was in the grocery store I saw the missing recipe item that had been preventing me from making them all these years so I snatched it up and came home to make these.

After reading the reviews provided on the Food Network I changed the recipe what follows is what I did, you can go HERE to see the original recipe.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder (the key is to have a really good one, like Godiva)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder (make sure it is fresh)
1 tsp baking soda (make sure it is fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 1/2 cups malted milk powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
2/3 cup veg oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For Buttercream:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tble vanilla extract
3 tble whipping cream
2/3 cup black forest cherry preserves
1 tble brandy
Malted Milk balls (for decoration)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 regular 12 cup cupcake pans with paper liners

Combine flour, coco, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt - whisk until blended

In a separate bowl whisk milk, malted milk powder and espresso powder. Add oil and eggs, whisk until blended. Add to flour mixture, beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill prepared cups halfway (do not overfill these are fabulously fluffy).

Bake 15-17 minutes, they should spring back when touched and a toothpick should come out clean (make sure you don't accidentally stick the toothpick in a chocolate chip, so if the toothpick doesn't come out clean, check it again)

Let cool in pan for 2 minutes then move to a wire cooling rack.

While cupcakes bake prepare the frosting. In an electric mixer mix the sugar and butter on low until combined. Add vanilla, whipping cream and brandy, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the cherry preserves mixing until incorporated. Transfer to a pastry bag (I used a Ziploc bag with a whole cut in one corner). Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and top with a Malted Milk Ball.

Taco Tuesday

When we lived in California a friend of mine started a tradition, taco Tuesday. A group of us would go over to her house every Tuesday and eat some kind of Mexican food. The tradition seems to have stuck with me because come Tuesday I made taco's.

My husband and daughters prefer soft shelled taco's while I like the hard shells. So we purchase a kit that has both shells and the seasoning, but I made a mistake this week and got a kit that didn't come with a seasoning pack. Good thing my spice cabinet is extensive.

I added the following spices to ground Beef while browning it (and I will never buy a mix again)
Chili powder
Ancho chili powder
Chipotle chili powder
Garlic (minced)
Adobo seasoning
Black pepper

The rest is fairly self explanatory, a can of refried beans, some Spanish rice and then my favorite taco toppings, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, onion, salsa, lettuce, avocado, and sour cream.

Wednesday 10th August: Hump day is easy day here and we went out to eat at Milo's. My oldest had been asking to go since Monday.

Thursday 11th August: My In Laws own a restaurant and brought us a bunch of really good meat so I decided that I should cook some of it up. I am not a griller, that's husbands terrain, so I decided on Beef Stroganoff.

Beef Stroganoff

I made a mistake with the meat, I do it frequently and it makes me mad every time. DON'T CUT THE STEAK BEFORE COOKING! inevitably you will overcook the meat, just like I did. If you cook the meat whole it is easier to monitor the wellness. However if you like your meat well done (which I do not) then pre-cutting is fine.

6 Tble butter (divided)
1 lb sirloin
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1 container of mushrooms
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp tarragon
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)

Melt 3 tble butter in a fry pan (make sure pan is not too hot, don't want to burn your butter). Once pan is hot add the beef, brown both sides. Remove meat from the pan and set aside (cut into 1" strips if you cooked the meat whole).
In the same pan add the onions, cook for a minute or two, just long enough for them to soak up the yummy pan drippings. Remove them from the pan.

In the same pan melt the remainder of the butter and add the mushrooms. While cooking sprinkle with nutmeg and tarragon. Cook about 4 minutes then add the sour cream. Do not let the sour cream simmer or come to a boil (if using an electric stove I suggest removing the pan from the heat for a few seconds). Add the beef and shallots, stir to combine, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately over your favorite pasta, I like it over egg noodles.

I also served a salad with red onion, mandarin oranges and balsamic along with some good crusty bread.

Friday, every Friday is Pizza Party Picnic at our house. I ordered from Domino's this week while the family was at the pool. When it arrived they came home and we ate on the floor in front of the television. Ginger Ale for the kids, bear for the husband and red wine for me.

Saturday 13th August: The in laws came up to help us with a bit more of our unpacking. My mother in law loves Margarita's (I am not a huge fan but I'm taking part in the Practical Magic Blog party in September. One of the main scenes in the movie is "Midnight Margarita's" so I figures I should see if I can make a good margarita).
Margarita for the Mother in Law

We love to grill on the weekends, my husband recently got a Big Green Eggs so we have been grilling a lot. We did hamburgers this weekend (that I, in my haste to eat them, forgot to photograph and there were no left overs). I served my father's potato salad (the only potato salad I have ever liked) and baked beans.

But the real attention went to desert. This one is fast easy and so scrumptious!

Brownies topped with Moca Rum Frosting

I use the simplest and cheapest cake like brownie mix (if your brownie mix doesn't call for at least 2-3 eggs it is not cake like)
Follow the instructions on the box (a lot of mixes have instructions for cake like in small print at the bottom of the instructions section) for the brownies. These need to cool completely before you cut them (I have a fancy pan that a friend gave me that makes perfect cuts).
1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup coco (use a good one like Godiva)
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup milk (I use whole milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp dark run

Stir butter and coco together. Stir sugar and milk alternately together. Mix together and add vanilla and rum.

Top brownies with a generous dollop, add a raspberry (I've used strawberries too but I like the flavor of the raspberries better) and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sunday 14th August: As I said at the start of this post we go all out for breakfast on Sunday. I wanted to make Banana-stuffed French Toast with Chocolate-hazelnut sauce but I didn't have all the ingredients. Guess I'll do that next week. So this week we had

Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips
and oven fried bacon

There's nothing really special about this one, I used Bisquick pancake mix, tossed in some chocolate chips and followed the directions.
To oven fry your bacon (which is so easy and much cleaner than putting it in the microwave) you line a pan with tin foil, lay the Bacon out and stick into a cold oven set at 400 degrees F. Walk away for 17-20 minutes. And done!

Well, that's a week in my kitchen. Tonight we are cleaning out the fridge of left overs and going to attempt to make some frozen margaritas.

So glad you stopped by and I can't wait to see what everyone else has been cooking!


toryaslim822 said...

Now I'm Hungry! Those cupcakes looked really good. :)

mercedes scott said...

Oh, my! They all look delicious, but I think I need to start with the brownies AND the margarita!!!

debi said...

Oh Caroline! Now I'm hungry again!

Everything looks soooo good. Those cupcakes are dreamy, and the beef stroganoff looks delish!

I've got to add mexican food to the menu one night this week. That's a family fave here.

Thanks so much for joining the party! And good luck with the unpacking.
Hugs, Debi