Sunday, September 30, 2012

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Pretty sure the only thing I love more than cupcakes is Harry Potter, so why not combine the two! Alas, I present to you... Butterbeer Cupcakes! The recipe for these cupcakes is superb and creates a perfectly sweet and delicious batch of cupcakes.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from: Sweet Tooth

The only thing that I found difficult for this recipe was that I made them when it was a 100 degree day--- which meant it was 90 degrees in my non air-conditioned home. Yikes! I had a hard time keeping the frosting cool long enough to decorate the cupcakes, but after much difficulty, I was able to decorate a few long enough for pictures and devouring... yum, yum, yum!

Other than that, I  only advise that you not skip out on any ingredients. The butter flavoring, vanilla, and cream soda (as well as the rest of the ingredients) are all important in achieving that wonderful Butterbeer flavor. After taking a bite you'll be saying... "Good to be back at the Three Broomsticks!"


Recipe for the day is... Mofongo! Mofongo is a dish that is thought to have originated from Puerto Rico, and can often be found there. The main ingredient is fried green plantains. Yummy!

I decided to make this dish for my roommate Darrell's 24th birthday. Mofongo has been his favorite meal since having it while vacationing in Puerto Rico--- lucky him! It was definitely fun to make, however since I've  never had Mofongo, it was pretty hard to tell whether I had made it correctly or not. He seemed to like it, so it couldn't have turned out too bad, right??


Recipe adapted from: The Cooking Channel

The recipe is pretty simple, the only thing that I found challenging was frying the plantains properly. I have yet to purchase a deep fryer, so I just had to use a deep frying pan. You want to make sure they're starting to brown, but not too brown, otherwise they'll be too dry. Think of them as the consistency of pretty much a potato. If you were to deep fry a potato too long, at some point it becomes too dry and hard to mash--- which is what you do to the plantains after you've fried them.

Also this recipe says to use bacon (which is great, because what meat-eater doesn't like bacon?!), but I think this recipe might have been a little too simple. The bacon was pretty much the only stand out flavor. For next time I think I'll go with a a recipe that calls for a few more flavorful ingredients--- maybe this one: Mofongo Relleno de Pollo Guisado?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Steak Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Caramelized Onions

So... obviously I haven't started off as the best blogger. I've only posted one blog in the few months since I started the blog. You know, life gets busy! And it gets even busier in the summer. There are place to go, things to do, and countless episodes of Grey's Anatomy to be watched. But, I have been cooking... a lot! And I'm really, really enjoying it. Cooking new recipes is always fun, yet the ones I've chosen so far are also very challenging and I'm learning so much! It's also been specifically great to cook for my roomies---three males that are always eager for a meal! 

I've decided that since I'm not coming up with any recipes on my own (not yet, that is), I won't give full instructions on how to cook the recipe. Instead, I'll have the link of where I found the recipe attached to the post and I'll include a few thoughts on how I personally made the meal---my challenges, things I did differently, etc. 

Steak Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Caramelized Onions

Recipe adapted from: The Partial Ingredient

For this recipe, I made steak tacos with a chipotle cherry salsa. It's probably best to make this when cherries are in season, otherwise you'll have to dish out quite the pretty penny to pay for all the cherries you'll need. This recipe also asked that you use a food processor to blend the cherries completely. That's great and all, but I like my salsa a little chunky, so I didn't blend it as much as they asked. 

This was actually a fairly easy recipe, however my biggest challenge was the steak. I opted for a less expensive steak that was about 1/2 an inch think... not something I should have done. The steak ended up cooking a little too quickly---I also learned that my new stove cooks a little hotter than I'm used to---and the meat ended up being a little over cooked. But alas, I am determined to cook steaks well! My grandma makes the best steaks EVER, so I've been picking her brain for all the details. I'm planning on making steaks later this week, so fingers crossed that they turn out better! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Apple, Blue Cheese, and Mozzarella Pizza

For my first recipe I made my favorite pizza. You’d think it would be a challenge to pick my favorite because I love pizza (I mean who doesn’t??), but surprisingly this one beats all other pizzas by a long shot! The apples and the blue cheese create this blissfully complementary flavor that is both sweet and savory. It’s a really easy recipe to make—especially if you buy the dough—and it goes well with a nice red house wine.

Apple, Blue Cheese, and Mozzarella Pizza

Recipe adapted from: Fifth Floor’s Kitchen
Serving Size: 1 pizza, about 1 foot in diameter

16oz      pizza dough
4.5oz     shredded mozzarella cheese
1.5oz     crumbled blue cheese
1            granny smith apple
1            clove garlic
½ tbs     olive oil
4oz     mild sausage

  1. First take your dough out of the refrigerator. Usually most instructions for pizza dough will tell you to let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. During the time you wait for the dough to sit you can prep your ingredients. First cook your sausage. The sausage needs to be very mild or else it will take away too much from the other flavors. Drain away any excess fat. Set the meat aside or refrigerate until you’re ready to put it on your pizza.
  4. The only thing left to prep is the apple slices. The recipe I used says to slice them as thin as possible, but I like to have a few that are a little thicker.
  5. Once you’ve prepped your ingredients and the dough has sat at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes (depending on your instructions), go ahead and start rolling the dough out. I am a fan of thick crust, so I usually don’t roll it too thin, but make sure that you’ve rolled it out larger than you want the circumference of your pizza to be. This is because you’ll need to roll the outer edges of your dough in for your crust and when doing this it will make the pizza smaller. When done, carefully transfer your dough to a lightly greased baking sheet.
  6. Once you’ve transferred your pizza to the baking sheet start pressing the garlic. This pizza does not have a sauce, but to add flavor I put a little bit of olive oil and pressed garlic on before I layer on the ingredients. Be careful not to use too much olive oil. You only need to lightly brush your pizza--- excluding the crusts. Otherwise, when your pizza is done baking you’ll have excess oil spewing out everywhere.
  7. Now take your mozzarella and sprinkle it over your pizza. The mozzarella is the main cheese for this pizza, so make sure to cover it well with the mozzarella. Then take your blue cheese and lightly crumble it over your pizza. The blue cheese does not need to cover your pizza. It’s very flavorful, and too much could make your pizza too rich. After the cheese, if you’re using meat, go ahead and put it on.
  8. Now for the apples! Layer them and don’t hesitate to use many slices because they will shrink in the oven.
  9. Now bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, using a utensil carefully check the bottom of your pizza to see if it is a nice golden brown. If it is not, then check again after another 5 minutes, or until it is golden.
  10. After the bottom of the pizza is a nice golden brown take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes and then serve!    

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Blog!

I'm joining the blogging world! It's something that I've wanted to do for quite some time now, but usually found excuses to put it off. No more I say! I have enough time now and why not spend time blogging about one of my favorite things... cooking!

Hopefully I'll be able to post a recipe each week, usually from ones that I have come across and tampered with. But hopefully down the road I can come up with some recipes all on my own... we'll see!

Comments and suggestions are lovely, so please tell me what you think!