Monday, August 24, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Everyone knows my favorite cookies are snickerdoodle. I LOVE them!! This past spring we visited the Napa Valley and hit up our favorite store Dean & Deluca in St. Helena. At the bakery shop i was introduce to my very first snickerdoodle cupcake topped with edible sparkles and a mini cookie. It was absolutely divine. Since then we decided to find a very delish and super simple recipe for this great cupcake and we believe we found perfection. After sifting through several we found online we landed on one from GroupRecipes.com. We really liked it because it was super easy and fail-proof. We also have one that is a homemade cupcake recipe. If you want the homemade cupcake let us know and we'll post it later!


Recipe:
1 Vanilla Box Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1 C Milk
1/2 C butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheated over at 350 degrees

Start by adding the cake mix to the mixer. Then add the eggs, milk and melted butter and mix.

Next add the vanilla and cinnamon. These are the key ingredients that really make these taste homemade. After adding them, beat the mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into 24 prepared baking cups.


Bake for 20-22 min, just until the edges are barely golden and a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. You don't want to over bake them or they will be really dry and dense. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes and then place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Now its on to the real star of the show the Snickerdoodle frosting!

Recipe:
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2-3 tsp milk (start with 2 and add more to get the desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups powdered sugar

Start by beating the cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add the vanilla and milk and mix. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until smooth and creamy.

We like to use our cookie scooper to make sure that each cupcake gets the same amount of frosting.
Here is some finished cupcakes. We also like to add a small snickerdoodle cookie on top as a garnish, but trust me they are just as amazing by themselves! We hope you enjoy these quick, but delicious cupcakes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Open-Faced Caprese on Artisian Bread

Do you like caprese salad? Do you like the crunchiness of brucheta? We'll we have a recipe for you! Welcome guest chef, C, to our kitchen. The first night C was here he whipped this up and it immediately became a household favorite.

So C... take it away...

Recipe:

1 Loaf Artisian Bread
1 Large Tomato (we used heirloom)
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


Cut the bread into thin slices, roughly 1/4 inch thick.
Place on a cookie sheet and broil both sides until slightly browned.

While Broiling slice the tomato and cheese.


Now that the bread is toasted you can add the tomato slices and cheese (don't forget the salt and pepper) and place back in the oven to broil.

Once the cheese is nicely melted take out of the oven and top with the basil and give it a nice drizzle of EVOO.

Here is a shot of the final product. Mmmm this is a tantalizing twist on the traditional caprese, if you want to add more sustenance try adding a slice of your favorite meat. Enjoy!!

Thank you again C for this delicious addition to our blog!!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

As you know by now, B loves anything and everything strawberry, so of course when we saw this recipe on Omnomicon we knew we had to try it out. Needless to say we were not disappointed! It is a little tedious to make because you need to sift the ingredients several times, and measure everything carefully, but its well worth a little bit of patience with the process. The other key to making these is to not over mix the dough, you want the ingredients to just come together. Put these together with the ice cream, whipped cream and some fresh strawberries and you have one irresistible dessert!


Recipe:
1 lb fresh strawberries.
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter
3/4 c light or heavy cream
Preheat over to 450 degrees

Start by sifting the flour onto either a flexible cutting board or a piece of parchment paper.

Using the paper as a funnel pour the flour into the measuring cup, it will be over filled. Take the flat side of a butter knife and level off the measuring cup. Do this for the second cup of flour as well. Add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Then, re-sift the flour mixture.

Cut the butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Use a pasty cutter or two knives to "cut" the butter into the flour mixture. You are done when there are no more chunks of butter and the mixture is crumbly. Now add the cream and mix just until the ingredients are moistened and the dough just comes together.

Set the dough aside to rest while you cut the strawberries. Take the 4 best looking strawberries and cut off the top in a cone shape.

Cut the strawberries in half, and then cut out a "V" shape in the top to make it into a heart.

Spoon the dough into a greased muffin tin to make 8 shortcakes. Place a strawberry on top of each one and gently press it in to the dough. Place them in the over for 12 minutes.

While the shortcakes are baking cut up the rest of the strawberries and mix then with 2 Tbs sugar. Cover and place them in refrigerator.

Take the shortcakes out of the oven and let them cool a few minutes before removing them from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Here is what it looks like once they are cooled, but they aren't quite done yet! We still need to make some whipped cream! :)
Recipe:
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
4 Tbs sugar
1tsp vanilla (we like to use Vanilla bean paste from Williams & Sonoma)

One of the keys to whipping cream is making sure the cream is cold. To make sure it stays cold I like to place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before I start. Once the bowl is cold add the cream and begin whipping it.

When it starts to thicken add the sugar and vanilla, and then whip until you reach your desired thickness, but be careful not to over due it or you will end up with vanilla flavored butter. Once it is whipped put it into a container, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Now we just need to bring it all together. In a bowl place the shortcake, a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a heavy dollop of whipped cream. Then just top it all off with some of the sliced strawberries and you have a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

This dessert is sure to win-over the hearts of your family and friends. The biscuit is fluffy and light, the vanilla whipped cream brings the sweetness and of course the strawberries are the star of the dessert. Pair this with your favorite vanilla ice cream and wha-laa... deliciousness!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beef & Chicken Teriyraki

One of my favorite dishes K makes is Beef & Chicken Teriyaki. This is the dish that he makes for birthdays, celebrations, or when he's in the dog-house :-) Just kidding... mainly for celebrations. The key to this recipe is using a great marinade and letting the meat soak in that marinade for at least two hours.

The teriyaki marinade we use is made by Soy Vay called Island Teriyaki. We like this marinade because it has the traditional ingredients for teriyaki plus pineapple juice. When you find a fantastic marinade, why make you own? It saves you the hassle and time plus you know your guaranteed great flavors every time you use it!

Recipe:
Soy Vay-Island Teriyaki
1 lb. beef or chicken (0r both) cut in strips
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp. EVOO
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Place your beef/chicken in a bowl or large ziplock bag. Add the marinade and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours. When you get up in the morning and know you're going to make this dish have the meats marinade during the day. You won't regret it when the flavors explode in your mouth!

Heat EVOO in a pan. Transfer the meat from your marinading bowl into the pre-heated pan.

I love the sound the meat makes when it hits the hot pan. The sizzling begins, the aroma fills the room, and your mouth starts to water.

Cook the meat all the way through. You don't want to see any pinks in the beef or chicken.

We love to serve this dish with a cup of white rice and a vegetable dish for the side. Our vegetable dish is braised cabbage (see recipe below).

I absolutely love eating this dish and get very excited when I see the meat marinading in the fridge. The meat is sweet, savory, and tender. What more can I say, it is truly yum delish!! Enjoy!!

Braised Cabbage

When K stated he was making something with cabbage other than coleslaw I had my doubts. Anyone who knows me will testify that I have a hard time trying something new. This is another reason for this blog, to try out new new foods and flavors. Since we had a cabbage head from our recent Farm Fresh delivery, I said, "Cabbage? Why not!" I'm really glad K made this recipe and hope that you will try it out too!

Recipe:
1 head of cabbage
3 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Chop up the cabbage and set aside.

Chop onions into thin slices and set next to cabbage. Chop garlic.

Heat oil and butter. Be careful- both the oil and butter can burn so keep a firm eye on your pan. Add, garlic and onions until onions are soft and garlic is a golden color.

Add cabbage as well as the salt and pepper and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Keep stirring for this entire process or cabbage will burn.

You know your cabbage is done when it is soft but has a small crunch to it. The Italians would call this "al dente".

Remove from stove top and put in a dish with a lid. Serve hot.

See? Nothing to it! This vegetable dish brings a little more to the table than your typical salad and dressing. It is savory, crunchy, delicious, and healthy! Plus, altogether it only takes about 10-15 minutes to make. Enjoy!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard..." Lol! We'll at least my toasted marshmallow milkshake gets everyone's immediate attention!

If you made the S'more cookie recipe, then you may have some leftover marshmallows and we don't want that. We got the idea of this milkshake from Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries and Shakes recipe book. We added a few more 'mallows and a little bit more milk then the original recipe.

Recipe for two:

1/3 C. Milk
18 Large Marshmallows
2 C. Ice Cream (We used Slow Churned 1/2 fat & 1/3 of the calories)

Turn oven on High Broil mode. Line a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a silpad and spray it really well with PAM. Place 12 marshmallows on the sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown (40-60sec).

Turn the marshmallows over and brown the other side. It is important to get them nice and golden to really bring out the toasted flavor.

Place the toasted 'mallows in a blender with the milk and mix until well blended.

Add the ice cream, blend until smooth and then pour into glasses.

Toast 6 more marshmallows and use to top each milkshake.

Here's the final product- a simple milkshake with a rich & toasty marshmallow taste! It's divine and a perfect summer treat.


Enjoy this great shake that will get everyone's attention!
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