Chocolate Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting

If you like cheese or goat cheese in particular, you will love these.  If you don’t, but you like chocolate, you’ll love the cupcake part.  Either way, you should try them.  They got left out on my kitchen and my cat licked almost half of the icing off of an entire cupcake!  Needless to say she is a cheese lover and lover of food in general.  I adapted this recipe from Butrcreamblondi.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2teaspoon. vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Goat Cheese Frosting
  • 14 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make coffee and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars till light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla.
  5. Sift dries together.
  6. Alternate adding the dries with the coffee and buttermilk.
  7. Fill cupcake pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes rotating once halfway through.
  8. Cream goat cheese, light brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed till creamy.
  9. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar till stiff.
  10. Fold whipped cream into goat cheese mixture and refrigerate till ready to use.

Sesame Chicken

This isn’t exactly a recipe because the measurements aren’t exact.  This tends to happen whenever I experiment and come up with something.  I just use whatever seems to be the right amount of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts or one huge one
  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • peas
  • vegetable oil
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • sesame seeds
  • your favorite teriyaki sauce or asian inspired marinade
  • mandarin orange slices if you have them (I didn’t this time)

Directions:

  1. Start to cook rice as directed.  Once it is simmering you’ll start the chicken.
  2. Oil a large pan or wok with the vegetable and sesame oils
  3. Add soy sauce.
  4. Begin to cook chicken in oil/soy sauce.
  5. Once the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, sprinkle each breast with a handful of sesame seeds.
  6. Begin to cook your peas in a separate pot.
  7. Add teriyaki or other marinade/sauce of your choice, and the mandarins if you have them.
  8. Continue to cook until chicken is completely cooked through.
  9. Put chicken over rice, add some peas, and top with more soy sauce and sriracha sauce.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

This past summer I went to Ireland with my siblings and our dad for 10 days.  We learned a lot about our family history, and drank a lot of Guinness.  And a little bit of Jameson.

My best friend is currently studying abroad in Dublin, and based on what she has told me as well as the things our relatives told us while we were there, St. Patricks Day is really more of an American holiday than something the Irish actually celebrated.  Well, I’m in America, and I’m celebrating with these DELECTABLE cupcakes.  I can’t stop eating them.  And washing them down with Guinness, though it isn’t as yummy as it was in Ireland.

I adapted this recipe from Will Cook For Friends, but you can find it just about anywhere at this time of year.  Many have been asking, “can you get wasted from them?” and I would have to say no.  When they were really fresh they tasted like alcohol, but after 25 hours you don’t taste it at all, and you NEVER feel the alcohol.  You could try eating the whole batch but I think at that point you would have so much food in your belly it would just soak up all of the alcohol.  However, you should have enough Guinness, Jameson, and Baileys left over to make some real Irish Car Bombs which are sure to get you wasted.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 cup Guinness stout, or other dark beer. fill so that the head begins at the 1 cup mark- this will die down and you want to make sure you have the full amount of beer.
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (loosely filled, not packed) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

For the ganache:

  • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or in chip form (semisweet, bittersweet, use what you like)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 TBSP Irish Whiskey

For the buttercream:

  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

 

 

Directions:

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f and line 2 cupcake trays with liners.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, combine the butter and stout and bring to a simmer.Once the pot simmers, the head from the beer will get very frothy. Add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Be sure there are no lumps of sugar or baking soda left.
  5. In another large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sour cream. Beat together until blended
  6. Pour the cooled Guinness/butter/cocoa mixture into the eggs/sour cream. Beat to combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix on low speed until well incorporated.At this point you should really taste the batter. It was the BEST tasting cake batter I have ever had in my life.
  8. Evenly distribute into the lined cupcake trays. They should be filled no more than 3/4 of the way up. Tap the tray 2-3 times atop the counter to help remove any air bubbles.
  9. Place one batch of cupcakes on the middle rack of the oven, reduce the temperature to 325f., and bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Rotate the pan from front to back to ensure even baking, then bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool 1-2 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tray, and set on a cooling rack.
  12. Bring the oven back up to 350f., and repeat with the second batch.

For the filling:

  1. Place chocolate into a heat-safe bowl.
  2. In a small pot, warm the cream over medium heat until just simmering.
  3. Pour cream over the chocolate and stir, starting from the middle and working out, until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  5. Stir in the Irish whiskey, and set aside until ready to fill.
  6. To fill, use a small knife to remove the center of each cupcake.
  7. Using a piping bag, or a spoon and your fingers, fill the center of each cupcake with the ganache.

 

 

 

 

For the buttercream

  1. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes or until light, fluffy, and pale.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Repeat until all the sugar is added.
  3. Once all of the sugar is added, pour in the Bailey’s and mix to combine.
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add another tsp. of liquor (or milk or cream) to thin it out. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Ice your cupcakes!
  6. EAT!!!!! And be merry, of course.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone!

Buttermilk Waffles: Breakfast for Dinner

I have always been a big fan of breakfast for dinner, and recently, my mom gave me her old waffle iron.  At that moment, this meal was destined to be.  I had some fun with the photography for this one, I had never noticed how lovely eggshells could look.

I had some trouble with the first few waffles sticking to the waffle iron because I had never used it before and didn’t know just how much butter I needed to use to grease the plates.  You can see in some photos where some of the waffle got ripped off from being stuck.  My advice: use LOTS of butter to prevent such sticking.

I found this recipe at The Secret Life of a Chef’s Wife.  They called them crispy, but mine didn’t get crispy at all.  I don’t know if they cooked them longer or if it was my waffle iron or what, but they didn’t turn out how I expected.  BUT that does not mean they weren’t yummy and that I won’t make them again!  I will absolutely make them again.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 2 cups buttermilk*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp bak­ing powder
  • 1 tsp bak­ing soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter for greasing waffle iron.

Directions:

  1. Place the egg yolks in a large mix­ing bowl.
  2. Whisk the dry ingre­di­ents (flour, bak­ing pow­der, bak­ing soda, and salt) together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the buttermilk to the yolks and beat well.
  4. Add the dry ingre­di­ents and mix until smooth. Don’t over mix.
  5. Place the whites in bowl of a mixer fit­ted with the whisk attach­ment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. Fold the beaten egg whites care­fully into the bat­ter until just incorporated.
  7. Bake in hot waf­fle iron until steam­ing stops.
  8. Top with your favorite syrup.
  9. Serve with your favorite breakfast side dishes.  I chose bacon!

Goulash for my 25th post!

Goulash is a Hungarian dish which there are many variations of.  I found a recipe for one version at How To- Simplify, adapted it, and this was the result.  This is a yummy and healthy dish that is not too difficult to make.  It is a bit time consuming, but worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni

Directions:

  1. Saute ground turkey in frying or sauce pan over medium-high heat until browned. Strain grease.
  2. Add the onions, cook for about five minutes.
  3. Add water, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt.  Stir, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the macaroni, stir, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
  5. Serve!