Saturday, June 26, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

We are finally settling into our new home! I am truly hoping this means I can give this negelected blog a little more attention. With the wallpaper removal, painting, and packing, we have had a lot of dinners out, and I am eager to return to the kitchen. My broken foot is finally healing which should help with some extra standing at the end of the day. School is out too, so I should have no excuses!

These cupcakes were made for my friend's son Will's first birthday party. He was having a Curious George monkey party, so I thought these were an appropriate selection. This recipe comes from Bakerella, and if you have not checked out her site, you need to. She makes everything look amazing.

For the cupcakes, you will need:
*1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
*3/4 cup sugar
*2 eggs, room temperature
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 large ripe banana
*1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tray with 12 baking cups.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.
3. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer for about four minutes.
4. Add banana and mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add half the flour in three additions alternating with milk in two additions. Scrape down the sides with each addition.
5. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until done.
6. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting you will need:
*1/2 cup butter, room temperature
*8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 box (1lb) of confectioner's sugar
*you could add an icing color if you'd like

1. Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer until thoroughly combined
2. Add vanilla. Then the sugar in small batches until combined and creamy.
(If using color, add to the mixture and combine)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken

This is another great recipe from Gina's WW blog. We made this a few weeks back, and now that we are in the craziness of moving, I am thinking we will be having it again soon. It was a simple recipe that can be ready when you get home from work. I served this over brown rice. I love using my crockpot when the warm weather hits. It does not heat the kitchen the way using an oven does.

You will need:
*1.5 lbs chicken breast (I put them in frozen)
*14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
*15 oz can black beans
*8 oz frozen corn
*1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
*14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
*3 scallions, chopped
*1 tsp garlic powder
*1 tsp onion powder
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp cayenne pepper
*salt to taste

1) Combine chicken broth, drained black beans, frozen corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt in the crock pot.

2) Season chicken breasts with salt and place in crockpot mixture. Cook on low for 10 hours, or on high for 6 hours.

3) About a half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning as desired. Serve over rice.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

WOW. We never buy oreos because both Dave and I can't resist them. They are one of those things that I never crave, but if they are around then I must eat them. These treats served as a double batch. We used them to celebrate our friend Haven's and Seth's birthdays. I plan on making these again because they were simple and delicious. I just need to make sure I have somewhere to bring them.

This recipe comes from Martha's Stewart Cupcakes, and if you don't own this book-you should. I think it is my favorite recipe collection so far.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes
(Makes 30 cupcakes)
*42 Oreos-30 whole and 12 coarsely chopped
*2 pounds of cream cheese, room temperature
*1 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
*1 cup sour cream
*Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate, in tins, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

I made 24 regular size cupcakes and then some minis. Both came out great.