Monday, January 30, 2012

How about some bad A cupcakes?!?

Ok, so I tried these last night, as good as the cocoa bean and I think better. If the battaer seems a little runny add flour!! They will run over and look exploded. ha ha ha, and one batch will do, it really will make more than it says. With these though, BE CAREFUL! You will eat TONS!!

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

If you like Milk Chocolate better, use it!!!!!! I tested it and it rocks!! TRUST ME! Bittersweet I dispise!
Makes 12 cupcakes
Use a high quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for this recipe, such as one of the test kitchen's favorite baking chocolates, Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate L-60-40NV or Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar. Though we highly recommend the ganache filling, you can omit it for a more traditional cupcake. The cupcakes can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored unfrosted in an airtight container.
Ganache Filling
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fin or in chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine or in chips
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee (Just do it, it makes it AMAZING!!! and so worth it) 
  • 3/4 cup  flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Frosting
  • 1. FOR GANACHE FILLING: Place chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
  • 2. FOR CUPCAKES: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-size muffin pan (cups have ½-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  • 3. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • 4. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
  • 5. TO FROST: Mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.
 Cream Cheese frosting works great on these, just jives with them so awesome!!
1 pkg cream cheese
3T Cocoa
Powdered sugar til stiff and to taste!
Tiny bit of milk if needed.

Mix together and frost, let the cupcakes sit, REALLY! You frosting will melt and they'll be as ugly as my first batch! If you take a sandwich bag and spoon the frosting into it and slightly cut a corner off you can pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.. Now ENJOY!!!
Warning: May cause extreme happiness!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Ok people, first thing's first! RELAX in the kitchen and have fun!! Meals will turn out so much better than you thought. And remember, measurements are suggestions, if you like a little more garlic, pepper, or whatever put it in!! Always grease pans, unless it says not to, which is not often. Experiment with recipes! USE SEASONINGS! God made herbs and spices for reasons. Don't be afraid of them, they're your friend, and garlic ROCKS! That's how I got as good in the kitchen and (I think?) I am.Now let's do some dinner!!!

Meatloaf (I promise! this is the best EVER! Meatloaf just sounds gross, but this ROCKS!)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs (these rock! just buy them!)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. chopped onion (dehydrated onions are great, invest in a lot of those!)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg
 Mix all together. Hands work best (if you hate to touch meat invest in rubber gloves, mixing with hands works best!) Put in greased loaf (bread) pan and spread some ketchup on top. Bake @ 350 for 1 hour, may take a bit longer. Serve with baked potatoes and green beans.

EASY Chicken Enchiladas

3 lg cans chicken (or boil some chicken and shred it, potentially cheaper)
1 can Cream of Mushroom or Chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1 can verde (or red, verde is my favorite and is less spicy) enchilada sauce
1 pack of 10 tortillas
mix the soup and sour cream together in a bowl, lay tortilla out, spread a bit of soup mix, a stripe of ench sauce, some chicken (don't over load it, 3 cans should do it for all 10 tortillas!), and then some cheese, roll it up and put it into a greased glass pyrex pan (or what ever you may have) and continue this process until all ten are done. May have to use more than one pan, that's ok. Put leftover soup mix and enchilada sauce on top of rolled enchiladas, cover with cheese and bake uncovered @ 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly.

EASY Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
16oz cottage cheese
1 bottle/can spaghetti sauce
1 package lasagna noodles
Brown beef, mix in cottage cheese and spaghetti sauce with the browned beef. Grease 9x13 pan and start layering. Noodles, beef/sauce mix some cheese, noodles, beef/sauce mix cheese, until sauce for about  mix is gone. Should only be about 3 layers. Cover with cheese and bake @ 350 for about 45 min. Mozzarella cheese is best but colby jack can be used too. Serve with bread sticks, or garlic bread.

Swiss Steak

4 Cube steaks
flour (1/2 cup-ish)
1-2 onions, peeled and sliced)
1 15oz can tomato sauce
salt, pepper, brown sugar and chili powder to taste (mix these with the tomato sauce for the sauce)
Dredge (or coat) steaks with flour, brown them on both sides in frying pan with a small amount of oil. Add all ingredients in Crock Pot and put on low for 5-8 hours. If in a hurry bake @ 350 in a covered 9x13 pan for about 45 min or until onions are done. Serve with potaoes or whatever else may sound good.

Panko/Cajun Crusted Chicken Over Mushrooms and Rice

6 Chicken Breasts or thighs
2Tbs Butter
2 eggs (Melt butter and then mix in eggs, this will be the dip before coating)
2 cups panko bread crumbs (if not use italian seasoned bread crumbs or normal, but who's normal!?)
1/4 cup flour
2Tbs Cornmeal
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt (normal salt is BORING!) USE GARLIC! IT ROCKS and keeps mosquitoes away
1 Tbs or more Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp dry mustard
(Mix all dry ingredients here together, this is dry coating. So, dip chicken in egg mix and then dredge in dry mix and brown in 2 Tbs oil in frying pan. Does not have to be cooked through. Oven will finish it.)
While the chicken is browning, take a 9x13 pyrex pan (if you do not have Pyrex GET SOME! It's amazing! So is stonewear, but a regular cake pan will do I guess ;o)) Put 1 1/2 cups rice on the bottom of pan and even out, take 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and mix in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk and pour over rice.( If you hate mushrooms, use cream of chicken and leave mushrooms off, simple as that!) When that's done, slice as many mushrooms as you'd like and lay on top. Take browned chicken and lay on top of the mushrooms and rice, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes @ 350. Or, put on @ 250 and go to church! :)
I invented this the other night, so twist it in anyway you'd like! Enjoy!

Sweet Pork Burritos /EASY!!! (originally from Clisty Mickelson)

Take a pork roast and cook it ALL day in the crock pot on low (or on high if in more of a hurry) in water, Garlic, and cumin powder.
When it is falling apart take it out and drain crock pot of all but about a half cup liquid. Shred the meat and put back in crock pot.
1 can Pato (mexican isle, yellow can with duck on it) Mexican tomato sauce
1-2 cans (15oz) tomato sauce
1 cup brown sugar
mix together and simmer for a little bit.
Serve on tortillas with cillantro, lettuce, tomato, olives, guacamole, sour cream, cheese ect.....

Appetizers/Dips/ and Drinks

Appetizers are great for parties, games, or just fun nights with the family. I have come up with a few myself and have some family favorites.


BBQ Cheeseball (I made this one up and do this to taste I do measurements just for an idea of how much to use)

1 package cream cheese (generic really works!)
1tsp garlic salt (California with parsley flakes is the best!)
1T BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays, best ever!)
1 T liquid smoke (worth the buy it's in a ton of my recipes)
1/4 c shredded cheese (cheddar is best)
Mix together and serve with crackers. Chicken in a Biscuit and Wheat Thins are best with this, but any crackers work. You can leave this in the bowl and not form it and roll it in almonds, I never do, plus it's easier to transport just in the bowl like a dip.

Chili Sauce and Cream Cheese Dip (mom taught me this)

1 pkg cream cheese
1 bottle chili sauce
1 can baby shrimp (optional)
 Spread cheese flat onto a plate, and then dump as much chili sauce as needed. Top with shrimp if you'd like. Serve with Wheat thins and/or other crackers.

Finger Food Type Appetizers:

Ham & Pickle Roll ups (learned from Gary)

Cream Cheese
Deli sliced ham
Spread Cream cheese on ham, roll a pickle in it and serve. Can be cut like pin wheels if you'd like. (Surprisingly good!)

Ramaki/Chesty Bacons (Jess and I got that name somehow for them, that explains all)

Water Chestnuts
Cut bacon into half slices and roll 2-3 sliced water chestnuts and put a tooth pick in it to hold it together. Take a cake pan and put them in it to bake. Bake @ 350 until bacon is done (around 30 min). Mix 1 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup brown sugar (or more of each if needed and do this to taste) together and put over cooked Ramaki. Put back in over for about 5 min.


My top 10 (for now).

Ok, these are just a few tips/opinions of mine, so I hope they help or at least throw ideas at you.

1. USE BUTTER! (if it tastes better the extra dollar is worth it, plus it's better for you than that manufactured crap).
2. Buy generic, noodles are noodles and so on.
3. If there's a WinCo nearby shop there! It's cheaper overall than going to WalMart and it's employee owned, so therefore you're helping the local community.
4. Use the crock pot/slow cooker! You can make anything in there, and I will post recipes to show it.
5. Love your kitchen and it will love back!
6. Eating good is eating good and you're body likes it. It's portions that are killing all of us!
7. A way to a man's heart is through good food!
8. Mac&Cheese is not classified as a meal, either is Chunky Soup over mashed potatoes.
9. Taking time in the kitchen will make for a healthier family.
10. Meals around the table will make for a family that gets along better and hides less secrets.