Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD: Pumpkin Muffins

Once again, Dorie has blown me away. These muffins were easy and delicious! I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins and a pecan pie glazed pecan for the topper. Those pecans are a one for you/one for me kind of treat. Yummo!
The recipe says it makes 12 but I got 19 muffins which is good since I made them for my daughter's Daisy Scout troup and I would be sad if there weren't extras for, um, tasting. Yeah, I have to taste them to make sure they're edible! You can find the recipe on Kelly's site. It says bake at 400 for 25 minutes but luckily I read the message boards and saw that most were done in 17 minutes. My glazed pecans still got a bit burnt but the flavor was still good and it gives the muffins a sweet, crunchy bite. I omitted the ginger and allspice since I didn't have any. I'm actually sitting here, eating one as I type and wow. Rush out and make some today! I just might make another batch tonight, just for us.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lovely Husband Cooks!

Chuck makes so much fun of me taking pictures of just about everything. I've whipped my camera out in restaurants for a pretty plate and he about dies of embarrassment. So this weekend when he made some pretty amazing stir fry, he called up to me, "Aren't you going to take a picture of this?!" And so I did!
Ladies, there is nothing sexier than a man who can cook! These shrimp were to die for! And the meal is pretty simple. We love the Sesame Garlic marinade by Iron Chef and do almost all our stir fry with it. Chuck also sauteed up some onions and chopped portobello mushrooms. Then he threw the cooked rice in to fry in some sesame oil and soy sauce. Our house smelled like Chinese food for 2 days and I did not care!
Note how he plated it so nicely, placing the shrimp delicately on top of the bed of rice? That comes from watching all those Top Chef episodes with me that he claims to not like and yet it's the one reality show where he does not make me change the channel.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TWD: Lenox Almond Biscotti - I mean brownies :(

Um, I'm an idiot and forgot this week. Totally forgot! I was planning on spending Sunday afternoon making these but then got invited to my father-in-law's for dinner and completely forgot about the biscotti until....oh, about 9pm last night! Oops. For what the other bakers did, please click here.
Otherwise, enjoy this photo of the amazing Lady's Brownies I made. Recipe from Paula Deen's Lady & Sons cookbook. It is so simple, no mixers and just one bowl! I added about a cup of toffee chips just for fun!
2cup sugar
1 cup veg. oil.
4 eggs
6 tbs cocoa
1tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans ( I omitted, nuts take up valuable chocolate space in our mouths) ;)

Preheat oven to 325, blend together sugar, oil, eggs, cocoa, and vanilla. Add flour; mix. add nuts (or in my case, toffee chips); spread into greased 13x9 baking dish, bake 25-30. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Chuck said they were the best brownies he has ever had! I must say, I baked them for the full 30 minutes and they were incredibly soft and gooey: a perfect brownie texture, if you're of the people who prefer gooey over cakey brownies, which we are.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Caramel (half)Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

You know how some recipe are dubbed "One Bowl whatever"? This cake is "Four Bowl Cake". Four. Bowls. And one pan. As someone who loathes doing dishes, this was not ideal. Although I was happy that I didn't have to lug my big heavy KitchenAid from under the counter. This cake was very simple to put together. See the recipe on Tammy's site since she is the master mind behind choosing this fantastic recipe!

The caramel topping was time consuming but again, not difficult at all. I think I overcooked it a bit but it still tasted amazing. I have the world's pickiest husband who did not want peanuts on his so I did just half with peanuts. That was tricky since the cake fell so much in the middle. I think I may have undercooked it but when my timer beeped, the oven turned itself off so I couldn't add more time because the temperature had gotten too low. It certainly didn't affect the taste though. The cake was moist and delicious and the caramel was rich and creamy and the peanuts gave it a little saltyness and crunch. A perfect combination. Tastes best with a glass of cold milk!

Apple Spice Cupcakes w/ White Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing!

Wow is all I can say about these cupcakes. So wow infact, that I have no photo. They went too fast. Everyone loved them from my hubby to my 2 year old. The 2 year old wouldn't even wait for me to take off the paper, she was willing to eat that they were so good! The perfect start to the fall season. These cupcakes were moist, light, a wee bit spicy, and just delicous!

For the cupcake, I used my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe that is Amy Sedaris':

1½ sticks of unsalted butter
1¾ cups of sugar beat well
Add 2 large eggs beat in one at a time
2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla beat again
½ teaspoon of salt
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
2 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ cups of milk
Then I added 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, mixed it all up and then folded in one diced Fiji apple. Fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I made 12 regular and 24 mini cupcakes.

For the icing, I had made a huge batch of white chocolate cream cheese icing for some strawberry cupcakes that are a best seller at the coffee shop. So I just took the leftovers and added cinnamon to taste, about a tsp. or so.

The pieces of apple in these cupcakes keep them so moist and give little pops of flavor that have you begging for more. I had to hide them from my daughters. I can't wait to hear how they sold at Get Coffee.