Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

More Simple Fun

I think these little cupcakes are adorable. While I enjoyed the Mini Mint Cupcakes (previous post), these were Serena's and my favorites. The flavor, the color, and the fresh berry... yumm!

For the cupcakes we used this recipe. For the icing we used bought Butter Cream with seedless raspberry jam (according to taste). Stir till smooth and pipe on top of cupcakes and add a fresh berry.

She puts a smile on my face!☺

Enjoy and Be Blessed!

Mini Chocolate Mint Cuppycakes

Simple Fun

While I'm very happy for my husband that he gets to teach the boys all about responsible hunting and it brings him great joy to take them to the mountains and spend time in the woods. Serena and I are getting to the point where the hunting season is beginning to infringe on what we call normal life. And you're beginning to wonder what all that has to do with mini mint cupcakes?! Well to pass the time, we do some shopping, which to be honest, gets boring after a while, (gasp) we go for walks, we sit and sing, we read, play games, watch movies, etc, etc, etc. We also usually do some baking. Something she really enjoys if it doesn't take too long and isn't too detailed. So this weekend to satisfy her desire and to avoid a huge mess in the kitchen we took the easy way out and just made these tiny cupcakes with a little surprise under the icing that she thought was kinda cool.☺ A while ago I bought a tiny decorator kit that she uses occasionally and it fits perfectly in her hand. She loves it! And she can manage it quite well.

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon +
1 teaspoon dark cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, white only*
¼ cup milk¼ cup oil
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla

*I made a double batch and used the whole egg.

Preheat oven to 325°. Line mini cupcake pan with paper baking cups.
In a mixing bowl, (Kitchen Aid with whip attachment) combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg, milk, oil, water, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spoon batter into cups, ¾ full. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Here's the part where I cheated. Instead of making my own icing I used bought Butter Cream icing and added green food coloring and mint extract and let Serena use her little gadget to do the icing. The surprise under the icing is a little pile of chopped creme' de menthe candies.

She was quite pleased to share her treat with Aunt Bev, Uncle Loren, and her cousins Bryant and Baby Kyra as her dessert contribution to the meal I prepared for them last evening.

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Twice Baked Bacon Ranch and CoJack Potatoes

I've been wanting to make some twice baked potatoes for a while but just didn't think I had a good enough reason to. I offered to bring supper to my SIL Bev and her family tonight (they have a sweet new baby girl) and thought this would be a good reason to try these out. I have only made these (or a version of) once before and that was years ago so I also needed a refresher.☺ They are super easy, and would be great to make ahead of time if you are having a crowd and want to avoid last minute hassles.

7 large Russet baking potatoes

Wash, pat dry, rub with Olive Oil, prick with a fork and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake @ 400° uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut a thin slice off the top with a SHARP knife.

With a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the pulp, leaving a thin layer against the skin.

Place into a large bowl and add:

6 Tablespoons butter
6 oz. cream cheese

With a fork mash these 3 together then add:

½ cup, (scant), milk*
2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing mix*
1½ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, finely snipped

Mix, then add:

6 oz. CoJack cheese, shredded
2 oz. fried, crumbled bacon

* I used evaporated milk because I had some in the fridge that needed to be used but regular milk would work great, and I had the bulk ranch mix on hand so that is what I used.

Mix well. Spoon back into shells.

Bake @ 350° until heated through then sprinkle a bit more cheese, bacon bits and chives over the top for a garnish and pop it back into the oven till the cheese is melted. I had put mine into the refrigerator for several hours before the last baking so I baked them between 30-45 minutes.

In her thank you text Bev described it as a yummy, yummy supper.☺ Made me happy!

Be Blessed!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grilled Teriyaki Venison Tenderloin

A few weeks ago our second son harvested a deer which put a huge smile on his face! ☺ The rest of us were also pleased because it meant a dinner of Tenderloin. My hubby is very good at getting this just right on the grill and I had marinated it for 24 hours before he put it on. It turned out tender, juicy and full of flavor = Delicious!

1 jar Teriyaki Sauce
1 whole Garlic Bulb, pressed. (I used the Pampered Chef Press)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
a few dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Mix all together and pour over *tenderloin. Allow to marinate for 24 hours, turning once if it's not fully covered.

*I poked the whole tenderloin with a fork so the marinade can do it's thing a bit better. My original plan was to grill them in larger pieces to save the juices, but to save time my husband cut them into 1½-2 inch medallions. It worked out very well and he did a wonderful job of it! Yum!

I can't really give you times on the grill or temp because I'm always in the kitchen seeing to the rest of the meal. I just know the grill is hot and we like it the exact second that the red in the center is all gone. ☺

Be Blessed!

  Mrs Happy Homemaker  Everything Under the Moon  StoneGable

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Parmesan Onion Crusted Baked Chicken Breasts

If you are looking for ways to avoid bread crumbs this is a very tasty alternative. I made this for our dinner this evening and even my very pickiest eater put his stamp of approval on it! This, my friends, is nothing short of a miracle. Because if it even remotely looks, smells, or tastes like something new and unusual he won't touch it. Amazing how fast he can go from "famished" to "not really hungry"! But I love him anyway. ☺ He's a tender hearted soul whose taste buds just need a little more time to develop. When I think of all the foods I didn't eat at his age I can pretty easily overlook his desire for all things familiar.

Anyway, I had forgotten about this recipe until today when I was casting about in my mind how I wanted to prepare our chicken for this evening. I knew I would either need to make an emergency grocery run or make my own bread crumbs and I didn't want to do either so I kept mulling it over and happened to think of this one that I had used several years ago in my SomerSizing days. Score!

Ingredient list:
2 cups dehydrated onion flakes, (5 ounces or so)
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves crushed
1¼ cups Parmesan Cheese

Go ahead and experiment with the ingredients. I'd like to try some Italian seasonings sometime.

Put the dehydrated onion into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and process for 30 seconds. Add the Parmesan Cheese and pulse to blend. Leftovers, if you have any, can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

I cut the chicken breasts into serving size pieces, dipped them into beaten egg and rolled it in the onion Parmesan mixture. Place onto a parchment paper (and sprayed with non stick spray) lined baking sheet, not tightly, leave room between each piece.

Bake uncovered at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Let rest for a bit before serving. This was another one of those gulp it down nights for the men, More hunting, and they wanted to leave right after supper so ours didn't get to "rest". But it was good anyway.☺

It was delicious!

Be Blessed!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oatmeal Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Chip Chewies

Someone called me recently and asked if I'd be willing to be/can be  held accountable for the amount of cookies she eats when she makes one of the recipes from my blog. Ha, not a chance!! She had made the Oatmeal Chewies from a previous post and had also added raisins. So I got to thinking that by changing up the ingredients a bit you could make a Christmas cookie out of them, so I tried it last night. Verdict? Yes! Definitely delicious! and worth your time. At least in my opinion. ☺

Ingredient List:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
1¾-2 cups all purpose flour (Gold Medal)
1 cup dried cranberries
¾-1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup slivered almonds
Powdered Sugar

Size 30 cookie scoop.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat till fluffy.

Add the next three ingredients and mix. Scraping down sides as needed for even mixing.

Mix in oatmeal.

Then add flour; mix.

Add the dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and almonds. Mix again.

Scoop them with a size 30 cookie scoop and roll in the powdered sugar.

Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers.

Bake @ 350° for 12-15 minutes. Don't over bake them if you want chewy cookies.  MMM, delicious!!

Enjoy and be blessed!

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