Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Morning Breakfast

Christmas morning was low key and relaxing around my house
and it couldn't have been much better.
until i made some delicious egg muffins, then it was perfect.

and what's better than red green and white in a Christmas morning breakfast?

i got the idea for this breakfast from 
my friend Cait over at a bicycle built for two.

preheat your oven to 350.

first i chopped red and green peppers, onions and shredded some cheese.

next cook the peppers and onions in a pan with a little olive oil
(much healthier than butter).

while they're cooking, whisk some eggs.

pour eggs into muffin tins and add peppers and onions
top with shredded cheese.

bake for about 20 minutes until eggs are firm
and start to turn golden brown.

if you're a cheese lover like everyone in my family,
top with some more shredded cheese,
some salt and freshly ground pepper and enjoy!

my family usually has monkey bread every Christmas morning but this years
breakfast was a much healthier option. 
what are your favorite family holiday meal traditions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

mini pumpkin pies

one of my favorite fall dishes is pumpkin pie.
i also have a love for mini desserts.
this is my combination of the best of both worlds.

pumpkin pie just isnt the same without Libby's
did any of you experience the hurt that i did when i found my
local markets shelves bare where i would normally find 
this lovely little orange labeled can?
oh the excitement when i found last years 
pumpkin crop catastrophe was over!

following Libby's trusty recipe, i mixed the ingredients and
filled mini tart tins lined with pie crust.

bake until filling is firm and crust is golden

top with whipped cream and 
revel in the taste of fall.

black bottom cupcakes

as i perused the internet for ideas of somethign to make before
running off to a weekend at my family's new york lake house,
i saw many recipes for black bottom cupcakes.
believe me, they taste better than they sound.
i took a little from many recipes so i will try to remember as best as i can
[i really need to start writing every recipe down]

preheat oven to 350°

1 package softened cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt

mix these ingredients until smooth then add 1 cup chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (heaping for extra cholocolatey cupcakes)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
approximately 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vinegar
vanilla extract

sift together dry ingredients before folding in wet ingredients
mix well and divide into cupcake papers

spoon filling into the center of each cupcake

bake until tops are golden brown

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

weheartit: cupcakes

if any of you have read my other blog
you will probably have noticed that recently i developed
a interest/love/obsession with weheartit
here are a few of my favorite finds using keyword: cupcake



with many cake/cupcake/baking book gifts this holiday,
my bookshelf will very soon look just like this




strawberry seduction angel food cake

word travels extremely fast around my office
like, exceptionally fast.
depending on the topic of conversation this can be good or bad.
however, after the graduation party desserts i made for someone at work,
the word that traveled fast was good.

pretty soon after, I was asked to make a birthday cake for someones wife.
i was given no restrictions and the options were endless.
we decided she liked angel food cake and strawberries and those were my only guidelines.

heres what i came up with.
i found this recipe for strawberry whipped cream angel food cake
and used it as my starting line.
while my cake was baking i played around with marzipan flowers.
this was my first go at such a thing and i was delighted with the outcome.

after the cake was cooled i cut the hole in the middle to be larger than normal.
then i used homemade whipped cream frosting
(i wish i could tell you the recipe, but i made it up as i went and forgot to write it down)
i flavored some of the frosting with strawberry extract and used that to fill the hole.
also layered in there were some sliced strawberries, chopped dark chocolate, and plain frosting.
next up, i dirty iced the outside of the cake (this eliminates crumbs in the final layer of icing)
and set it in the freezer for a little while.

after letting the cake chill and set,
i whipped up some fresh frosting (no pun intended)
and added my marzipan roses and leaves
then came the writing,
the most nerve-wracking part.
after holding my breath the entire time,
it turned out alright.

i added some halved strawberries around the sides and it was complete.

Monday, December 27, 2010

anniversary party

as you can imagine,
by the end of my baking weekend
i was beyond exhausted.
in my sleep walking state of mind i 
completely forgot to take pictures of my 
anniversary party cupcakes.

luckily these were for my friend cait's parents
and cait had her camera out snapping all sorts of pictures.

here are my gluten free lemon cupcakes
i used Betty Crocker's gluten free cake mix and frosting
and added some lemon zest and lemon extract to enhance the flavor
i also used bright colored cupcake papers and wilton gel 
food coloring to make four different colors of frosting.

graduation party

party number two was a highschool graduation party. 
the graduate's high school and college happened to have the same school colors
so the color choices for this project were pretty easy. 

first up was blueberry lemonade popsicles. 
they were my favorite of the three desserts and 
ended up being the most popular.
first i did a layer of lemonade and let it freeze 
before pouring the blueberry mixture on top. 

[note to self-when blueberries are blended, they turn pinkish purple...not blue]

next up was ice cream sandwich cups.
i did a layer of ice cream (vanilla or chocolate)

a layer of homemade chocolate chip cookies 
that i crumbled a food processor,
then topped with another layer of ice cream.
adding in those little wooden spoons 
(circa fourth grade cafeterias)
and you have a great summer treat!

lastly i made graduation hat cake pops. 
after seeing Bakerellas post with these adorable caps
i knew i had to make them for the party.

they were definitely a little difficult but they were
definitely worth it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

bridal shower

my first delivery of the day was for a bridal shower.
i had been asked to make bride and groom cookies for this special occasion.

i used a standard sugar cookie recipe and buttercream frosting,
adding wilton gel frosting to create the gray suits and teal bow ties.

just a little visual of exactly how many cookies were made.
and this is only half of them. 

three parties. one weekend. baking 24/7

when i first started baking on a regular basis i would make anything. 
i was (and still am) willing to try pretty much everything.
word got around and before i knew it, i was making deserts for three parties
in the same weekend...actually...on the same day.
i was making desserts for a graduation party,
a bridal shower,
and an anniversary party.

i was thrilled.
but the title of this post doesnt lie.
having decided on menu items that couldnt
exactly be made ahead of time, i spent many many hours 
baking up until the last minute for most of the events.
i came home from work friday afternoon (with my lovely assistant Mairead)
and worked on a few of the items. while taking Mairead home, we got
persuaded to meet a few friends for a well deserved break drink(s).
i pulled myself away from the fun to return to my tasks at hand,
before i knew was 430 am. whoops.
i wrapped up and hit the hay, waking up just three short hours later.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

strawberry and vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

using a standard white cake mix
some flavored extract, and cream cheese frosting
i made these bite size treats to share at a friends annual labor day party.

first i filled a tray with plain cake batter(for those that are particularly picky)
and then made a tray of strawberry flavored cupcakes.

while cupcakes are baking and cooling, in a mixer
whip together softened cream cheese, a little vanilla extract
and some sugar for a simple cream cheese frosting

pipe just a little onto the cupcakes...

add a slice of strawberry to a few...
and just like that, youre done!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

mini strawberry lemon cakes

this might be one of my favorite recipes so far.
it was another spur of the moment,
bake with whatever i find in the cabinet kind of night.
i baked lemon cake mix (yes i know. another cake mix,
but hey, it was late and spur of the moment.)

instead of baking the cake in a regular cake pan, i divided
the batter into muffin tins, for easy individual servings.

i whipped up some semi-homemade frosting and mixed in
a little strawberry extract for added flavor.
top with sliced fresh strawberries and enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bride & Groom Chocolate Covered Strawberries

nearly two years ago, the world lost the most beautiful person i've ever met.
Kate was not only beautiful on the outside, but even more so on the inside.
Heaven is extremely lucky to have her. (but i know she feels luckier to be there.)
over the past two years i've had the privilege of getting to know Kates older sister Aftan.
Aften is just as gorgeous. She is extremely creative, faithful, hilarious, fashionable and
all around adorable; i definitely see the relation between the two of them.
six months ago Aftan got married! when she asked me if i was interested in helping
with some of the pre-wedding "crafts" i was thrilled.

unfortunately i had to work the night before our arts & crafts day at the Hunt household,
so i knew i would be particularly tired that morning.
while working from home over night into the early morning hours i decided to
take a stab at a new recipe idea i had seen online. i know what youre thinking.
who starts a project at 12am. yep. i do. blame my moms side of the family, thanks to them,
i have the worlds worst sleeping patterns. anyways, what better than strawberries and chocolate
to give you a little pick me up? of course couldnt take plain old chocolate covered strawberries.
instead i made brides and grooms.
they were perfect. i was so happy with how they came out
and even happier seeing the look on Aftans face when she saw them.
heres how they came out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

away she goes

hello dear readers (all 5 of you).
i'm off to a tropical vacation to escape the
upcoming threat of a snow storm along the north east.
i will be publishing a few posts while away, but not very many.
check back late next week for lots of exciting posts.
while i'm gone be sure to check out
for lots of fun surprises!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries

so this might not be the most appetizing picture to start with.

but this recipe certainly won everyone over at a company meeting this year.
i've since had so many requests for this dish.
the best part of this?
i threw this idea together in oh...2 minutes?

above is crushed oreos mixed with some melted butter.
you then press this mixture into the bottom of some plastic cups
or dishes of your choice to create a crust.
top the crust with chocolate mousse and a few pieces of fresh fruit.
i also added a few more oreo crumbs to the top.