Thursday, January 22, 2009

All-American Chocolate Butter Cake Cupcakes

Hmmm, chocolate! This title is a mouth full! The recipe is mildly altered from The Cake Bible, which was gifted from dear family friends a few years ago, Thom and Doug! My Mom let me take the book with me when Greg and I moved to Kentucky.

I've made the cake version of this recipe before, and it's always a hit. The texture and flavor are great. The cupcake version was a bit disappointing, but only because I know how glorious the cake can be. But, all said, they were very good!

The only changes I made were to throw about 1 C. of almond slices into the batter. They didn't add much flavor, so I think I would have been better off using almond extract or amaretto. I really want to try that next time!

Recipe: Serves 12 (Yes, the recipe for this, and all of the cakes, comes in volume and weight!)

Unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2C + 3 TBS OR 2.25 oz
Boiling water 1 liquid C OR 8.25 oz
3 large eggs (room temp)
vanilla 2 1/4 tsp OR 9 grams
sifted cake flour 2 1/4 C + 2 TBS OR 8.25 oz
sugar 1 1/2 C OR 10.5 oz
baking powder 1 TBS OR 5 grams
unsalted butter (softened) 12 TBS OR 8 oz

Preheat oven to 350
-Boil water, whisk in the cocoa. Cool to room temp.
-Combine eggs, 1/4 the cocoa mixture and vanilla
-In a third bowl, sift the remaining ingredients together. Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture.
-makes 24 cupcakes, bake for 15 minutes
-makes 2 9inch cakes, bake for 25-35 minutes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken with Rice and Roasted Veggies

This past Thursday we had Dan and Rebecca over for dinner. I didn't have a recipe in mind, but the plan was to stuff chicken breasts with this wonderful feta "salsa" from Whole Foods, but they were all sold out! So, after browsing the cheese section, Greg and I opted for a mustard ale semi-soft cheese to use instead. Then, as we were checking out, we noticed that sparkling cider was wwwwaaaayyyyy on sale. At this point, dinner really started to come together.

When we got home I flipped open my Flavor Bible and found that oregano and garlic go very well with mustard. Perfect. I knew that I wanted to bread the chicken breasts before baking them, so I added both oregano & garlic to my whole wheat bread crumbs. We also roasted a sweet potato, 2 red skin potatoes, and a few brussel sprouts, and cooked some multi-grain wild rice. YUM! And, a nice side note, this was a no-sodium added meal! The chicken had really good flavor, but was a little dry. Greg thought that I could have added even more of the cheese, since the mustard flavor was very subtle. The herbed bread crumbs were nice and added a good texgure. We just roasted the veggies with olive oil, black pepper and a bit of rosemary. They were scrumptious. Especially the brussel sprouts (though they did not re-heat well the next day). The rice was plain, but it has such a nutty flavor anyway that it didn't need much.

Anyway, we ended up eating at our table, which almost never happens. It was really fun to get out our wine glasses and serving platters, especially a large cabbage leaf bowl that my Mor-mor (maternal grandmother) gave us as wedding gift.

And so, yes, we will be making each of these again. But more cheese next time. I also thought a sauce using the cheese would be good. That way, each person could control the amount of mustard they put with the chicken. Maybe some carmalized onions would be nice to roll up with the cheese as well. Hm...only time will tell how we cook this next!

Recipe: Serves 5

5 chicken breasts, thawed and with a deep pocket cut in.
2 C. bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
olive oil
mustard ale cheese

-Open up the sliced chicken breasts like they were a book. Lay a few slivers of mustard ale cheese along the whold opening. Roll up tightly from one end. Toothpick closed. Coat in olive oil and then cover in bread crumbs. Place in a 9x13 inch baking pan, about 1 inch apart (i needed to use 2 baking pans). Bake for 35-45 minutes at 420 degrees (baking time depends on how thawed out the chicken is).

1 C. whole grain wild rice mixture
2 C. water

-bring water to a boil. Add rice. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes.

Roasted Veggies:

1 medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 red skin potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. brussel sprouts, cut trimmed and cut in half
olive oil
black pepper

-Combine the sweet potato and red skin potatoes. Toss with olive oil, black pepper & rosemary. Spread onto a greased jelly roll pan. Place in the oven below the chicken when the chicken has 20 minutes to go. Stir after 10 minutes.

-Toss the brussel sprouts with the same seasoning. Place cut side down on a greased baking pan. Place in oven when the chicken has 15 minutes left. Don't over cook!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year, New Food

Well, as everyone knows, it is 2009! A new year! I generally don't like New Year's Resolutions since they don't often come to fruition. But, I've come up with some thoughtful goals for the blog so I can be more active with my posts, but still have time to juggle the rest of my life. So, the goals are:

1. Post at least once a week

2. Posting once a week means cooking something new once a week! (Kind of busy for someone who works full time and goes to school!)

3. Try foods I might not otherwise try

4. Eat more heart healthy (Yes, heart healthy. My 23 year old 115lb self is prehypertensive, and high blood pressure runs on my Dads side of the family).

So, there we have it. Blog goals for 2009.

Here are a few pictures from google that have inspired me:

Well, there are many more pictures, but I'll keep those for later. Maybe I'll even try to re-create some of them!