Wednesday, February 29, 2012

food lately

There has been food lately, of course.
Some winners:

Salad with cucumber, hard boiled egg, and bacon

Pasta with sun-dried tomato, artichokes, and crab

Eggplant parmesan sandwich with basil

Baked penne with ricotta and salad with maple cider vinaigrette 

Repeat of caprese salad with fried eggs because it's that good

Chicken and waffles from Beasley's
It was good but there are better alternatives, too much hype. 

Merritt's BLT. Always delicious. 

check plus team. get a cooking.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

oh yeah the super bowl

it happened. we had a party. people came. they ate and drank. i think some people watched the game. we certainly watched some of the commercials, and the halftime show.
But really, we mostly ate and drank.  
There was a lot to be had:

And more food too!
So what did I make?
A peanut butter football and a football field cake. Seriously.

Penut butter dip, shaped like a football:

This recipe and idea came from crazy for crust. Her's looks much better but it was still absolutely delicious, Megan called it her crack. 

And for the cake, I made my chocolate cake. It is just my recipe for chocolate cupcakes but in one big pan. It usually takes a couple extra minutes to bake. The recipe is in this post.


And cream cheese frosting, in field green of course:


Monday, February 27, 2012

sunday funday oscar style

So, last night was the Oscars. The girls came over for the fashion red carpet pre-show and some snacks.  They stayed for part of the show and I somehow managed to watch the whole thing...along with plenty of commentary from the roommate of course.

What did we learn? The oscars are still on struggle street. Why? Oh that's right because the hosts do a terrible job and it last too frigging long, 3.5 hours plus the pre-show mumbo jumbo is ridiculous. 

But no fear academy, I have a few fabulous suggestions that will greatly improve the show and viewership:

1. Cut 95% of the preshow, we just want to see the dresses!

2. Cut the show down to 2 hours max.  You can do it, I know you can.  Yes you'll lose commercials and a lot of that crap filler you put in. But people will love it.

3. Finally, cut the host. Yeah I said it. They are always terrible, they talk too much and aren't that funny.  How will you ever introduce the presenters you ask? Well that's easy, just have Morgan Freeman do it! It will be perfect, I promise.

Now on to the more important things - food. 

First up: Caprese Crostini - Roasted Tomates, Mozzarella, and Basil on Toasted Sourdough. Topped with Parmesan of course. 

Followed up by Deviled Eggs - Yolks, Mayo, Dijon, Pickle Juice, Tabasco, Paprika, check plus.

And last but not least cucumber sandwiches - Grainy bread, goat cheese, cucumber, blanched asparagus, and pomegranate seeds. 

All were winners in my book! 
(yeah, it was too easy)

Oh and I did have enjoy some of last night's show. 
Top moments:

5. The Cirque du Soleil performance
4. Robert Downey Jr.'s skit
3. Meryl Streep, just fabulous
2. All the bow ties, everywhere 
1. The Bridesmaid's. Because we thought of the same drinking game.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

twas the season

for pumpkin waffles. 
Well, let's be honest, it's always pumpkin season around here. 
So here is what I did:

1 cup flour
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 /4 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 T oil
1 cup pumpkin puree

Plug in your waffle iron
Whisk together your ingredients (dry first, then add wet)
Pour some in the waffle iron and close the lid (not too much now!)
When it tells you it's done (however it does) open it and eat. With maple syruyp, powdered sugar, toasted pecans, what have you. 

Pictures now:

yummy in my tummy. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

fat tuesday please

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday AND Lisa's Birthday.

Clearly that meant cupcakes were in order. The girl loves some red velvet so I followed the inspiration and made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, in the three appropriate colors of course. 

So how do we do it?
Yes my chocolate cupcake recipe:

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup flour, 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/4 t salt, 2 T cocoa powder, & 1 T freshly ground coffee
1/2 cup butter (at RT), 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 t vanilla, 1/2 cup sour cream, & 1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Melt chocolate over a double boiler and set aside
Meanwhile, beak butter and sugar in a stand mixer for 2 minutes
Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
Add the chocolate to the butter-sugar mixture and then the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Beat until creamy and then mix in the sour cream. 
Then alternate adding in the flour mixture and the milk, just until combined. 
Dip into a cupcake tin until 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes. 

Cupcakes. check plus.
Oh yes it makes about 18 regular sized cupcakes or in this case, 12 regular and 16 mini

Now for the frosting,
cream-cheese frosting recipe:

1 stick of butter, unsalted of course, at RT
4 oz cream cheese
1 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

In your handy-dandy stand mixer beat up the butter and cream cheese
Add in the vanilla and lemon, scraping the bottom to make sure it's all incorporated
Then add in the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until fluffy and delicious.

I separated it into three batches and colored accordingly:


26 for the party - 25 because that's how old she is, and 1 for good luck because that's how we do it around here.

Delicious of course.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

valentine's day? oh you mean arizona day?

Yes it was Valentine's day recently, which really means nothing really.  Except when you date a boy from Arizona, and then it means Arizona Day... Unfortunate for a California girl I know.

But I dealt with it. And made cookies. Martha's Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies actually. 

Follow the recipe, they are delicious, the only things I would note are that you need to push the dough balls down before you bake them and for an added kick put a little shake of cayenne in the rolling sugar.  The heat is nice, very faint and just makes for an extra tasty chocolate snicker-doodle, basically. 

The process: 

Well then I had to decorate them of course! I just whipped up some royal frosting (using meringue powder) and tried to make it as red as possible. And went to town trying to be as inspired by my neighbor state as possible...

I feel like my AZ outline isn't all bad, right?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

triple c

chocolate chip cupcakes that is. and they were so good.

What do you do? It's so simple of course. Just whip up a batch of your regular vanilla cupcakes and add approximately 1 cup of chocolate chips for every 12 cupcakes. I used the basic yellow cake recipe from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans

Then bake them off and let them cool. Meanwhile, whip up a batch of chocolate glaze or frosting, whichever you prefer. I used Martha's dark chocolate frosting recipe.

Top them off with some sprinkles of course,

And enjoy with milk.

So delicious. 


Friday, February 17, 2012

rant/rave: denim and kids

Recently, on a trip to target of course, we had to purchase some baby clothes (as presents).

And I came across this scene:

Yes, what you see here are the following:
Denim vest, 
Denim skinny jeans,
Denim mini skirt
(and in the back)
Denim shorts, of the long variety.

How do we feel about this? (It's all for baby children of course)

I think I kind of love it and hate it all at the same time.  Except the mini skirt, that's just bad. 

But seriously, where are the denim jackets?! Those were the good old days...


Thursday, February 16, 2012

green and white all over

sandwich time.

sourdough bread + drucker's cheddar +
cream cheese & goat cheese whipped up together + 
 cucumbers + arugula = delicious. 

check plus team.