Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Black Bean Chicken

Occasionally I do make something that doesn't contain sugar and cream cheese frosting...but only occasionally! :)  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this meal but that's okay, you'll get the picture with just the recipe.  I found this recipe on SparkRecipes and absolutely love it for a few reasons 1)It is a crockpot meal, 2) It has FOUR ingredients and 3)you can eat it several different ways!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken
2 cans of Black Beans
1 jar of salsa (16 oz)
1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice

1. Place uncooked chicken in crockpot
2. Pour black beans (undrained), salsa, and uncooked rice on top of chicken.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours and serve.

Ideas of how to eat this delicious meal
* As is, delicious!
* Topped with a little shredded cheese.
* In a tortilla.

I hope you enjoy this meal, you can also freeze it and heat it up later!  Did I mention because it is a crockpot meal you come home to an AMAZING smelling house?!  Also, I challenge you to share some of your favorite go-to recipes with me, always looking for something new to try!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I do...Cupcakes

It has been a while since I've updated the blog and I have missed it and my followers OH SO MUCH! I use my blog mostly as my go-to cookbook, so when I realize I am making the same recipe over and over again and it isn't on the blog I know it is time for a new post!

I was asked to make cupcakes for a friend's wedding this past weekend, I was honored she asked me to make her wedding cupcakes! We met up and talked about what flavors she wanted and how many and the details of it all! The one flavor Daly knew she wanted was my Salted Caramel frosting, which I usually do with a Pumpkin Spice cupcake, but her wedding was in July, there was no way I could do pumpkin! So we decided chocolate would pair very well with Salted Caramel frosting.  The other cupcake flavor that we decided on for her big day was Champagne! I truly had so much fun being a part of this wedding and getting to share my cupcakes for the big day!! 

Let's start with the Champagne recipe since that is the one I realize is no where on the blog (and VERY far back on my Pinterest board).  This recipe is originally from The Doctor's Dishes, Desserts & D├ęcor. 

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream (makes 18)

Ingredients for Cake
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne

Steps for Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Add vanilla and mix.
3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. 
4. Whisk together champagne and sour cream (mixture will fizz a little).
5. Add flour and champagne mixture to butter and sugar, alternating, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be thick.
6. Fill cupcake tin 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Ingredients for Champagne Buttercream
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon champagne
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Steps for Frosting
1. Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
2. Mix butter and powdered sugar together.  Once frosting is thick and fluff, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from bottle and mix well.
3. Frost cupcakes with desired cake tip (I use the star tip for this frosting and dust with edible pearls).
I typically double this recipe when using the icing guns (note that the above ingredients are NOT doubled).

Now, on to the Chocolate with Salted Caramel! Both of these recipes are previously on the blog but I'm going to post them again!

Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24) originally from Glorious Treats

Ingredients for Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Steps for the Cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.
4. Stir in boiling water (your batter will be thin, this is correct).
5. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 22-24 minutes, I still turn the pan halfway through.
7. Cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting originally from Made in Melissa's Kitchen
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Steps for Frosting
1. In a saucepan stir granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, watch it closely (very easy to burn the caramel). Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
2. In a medium bowl, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce to low speed and add powdered sugar. Mix until well combined.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add caramel. Beat on medium speed until light and airy and completely mixed, about 2 minutes. You should be ready to frost your cupcakes! If the caramel was too warm when you added it your icing will be runny and you should refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
4. I used a round tip to ice these cupcakes. Again, I double this recipe and amounts listed above the original portions not the doubled portion.

Best Wishes to Daly and Riley!