Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boeuf Bourguignon Soup

So how about we switch gears for a minute and do a savory dish?  I don't usually post anything I make for dinner......not because it's not good.....but because I'm too busy trying to finish cooking and get it on the table before it gets too late.  But this soup was so good, I had to take a moment and document....trust me.....you'll want to try this one!

I still haven't gotten up the nerve to try the masterpiece that is Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon (you've seen or read Julie and Julia right?).  I've got Mastering the Art of French Cooking on my bookshelf....I keep telling myself that's something I'll tackle when the boys get a little older.......we'll see.......

In the meantime, I found this recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon Soup (I love saying Boeuf Bourguignon.....so fun!) in Martha Stewart magazine...so you know you can't go wrong.  Short ribs, mushrooms, bacon, red wine......so many yummy things in here!  It's a one pot dish.....you'll just need to give yourself the couple of hours on the stovetop to get those short ribs nice and tender.

Check out Martha Stewart for the recipe.......and Enjoy!

This post is linked to:
Tuesday Talent Show - Link Party - Link It Up Wednesday - These Chicks Cooked - Cast Party Wednesday - Full Plate Thursday - Show Off Your Stuff - It's a Keeper Thursday - Anything Goes Linky - Feature Friday Free-for-All - Friday Favorites - Fusion Fridays - Friday Food

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Toffee Whopper Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies were a huge hit!  Crispy edges, chewy centers, with oatmeal, toffee chips, and chopped up Whoppers......they've got it all!  Of course, since it's from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, you know it's gonna be good....and gonna have tons of yummy stuff in it, right?

This was the first time I had made a batch a cookies that called for a box of instant pudding.  I know there are a million recipes out there for different kinds of cookies with pudding in the dough.....I just had never gotten around to any of them.  I'm sure that helped with the chewiness of these....I'm sold!  I'll have to try some other ones now as well!

By the way......are you wondering about the little monster guys?  Well.....in a house with two little boys (and don't forget about the hubby), there is bound to be some video gaming going on.  Well, thanks to some Christmas presents, my boys are loving the world of Skylanders.  Of course, so is everyone else apparently......because if you try to go to the store now and find some, the shelves are picked bare!  So since they're such a part of our lives, we decided they had to be in a picture :)

Check out Confessions of a Cookbook Queen for the recipe......and Enjoy!!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Welcome to the January round of the Improv Cooking Challenge, hosted by Kristen over at the Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  The two ingredients for this round of the Improv Cooking Challenge were lemons and sour cream....yummy, right?  I wanted to make something on the simple side, and not too heavy (since we were leaving for Maui the next day!).  I found this recipe for a Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  I've had the book for a while now, and though I've loved looking at the pictures in it, I hadn't tried a recipe in it yet.

This cake absolutely hit the spot.  It has a lovely lemon-y taste from the lemon zest in the cake and the lemon juice the the syrup drizzled over the top.  The sour cream gives it a nice little tang-y kick.  And the poppy seeds.....they're so pretty (although the recipe did pretty much use up my whole jar of them).

So grab some lemons.......and Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream Cake
Source: Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 T sour cream
1 3/4 t pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
5 t loosely packed lemon zest
1/3 cup poppy seeds
14 T unsalted butter (65 to 75 degrees)

Coat a bundt cake pan or fluted tube pan with baking spray with flour.

With the oven rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees if using a dark pan).

Whisk together the whole egg, yolk, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, and the vanilla, in a medium bowl until just lightly combined.

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the flat beater attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt lemon zest, and poppy seeds on low speed for 30 seconds.  Add the butter and the remaining sour cream.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes.  The mixture will lighten in color and texture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.  Using a silicone spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted between the tube and the side comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.  The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.

Shortly before the cake is finished baking, make the lemon syrup.

Lemon Syrup

1/2 cup plus 1 T sugar
6 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2 large lemons)

In a 1-cup or larger microwavable glass measure (or in a small saucepan over medium heat), heat the sugar and lemon juice, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved.  Do not allow it to boil.  Cover it tightly to prevent evaporation.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a wire rack, poke the cake all over with a thin skewer, and brush it with about 1/3 of the syrup.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Invert it onto a 10-inch cardboard round or serving plate.  Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup.  Cool completely and wrap airtight.

For best flavor, complete the cake 1 day ahead.

Check out what everyone else made!
Improv Challenge

This post is linked to:
Bake With BizzyIt's a Keeper Thursday - Sweet Treats Thursday - Full Plate Thursday - Show Off Your Stuff - Anything Goes Linky - Fun Stuff Fridays - Seasonal Inspiration - Fusion Friday - Friday Favorites - Friday Food - Sweet Tooth Friday - Sweets for a Saturday - Sweet Indulgences Sunday - T' Time - Tuesday Talent Show - Crazy Sweet Tuesday - Link Party - Bake with Bizzy -  Link It Up Wednesday - Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party - These Chicks Cooked - Cast Party Wednesday

Monday, January 16, 2012


Aloha everyone!  I know I've been quiet this whole week, but I had a good excuse....we went on vacation!!  This was our first actual vacation as a family with the two boys.....our other vacations were apparently "trips" and not "vacations" (according to the hubby)....they generally involved a lot of running around and other family with us.  This vacation was all about us hanging out at the beach and/or pool with the boys and having fun as a family.  And it started out so wonderfully........

There's just no beating Hawaiian sunsets!
The boys were fantastic on the flight over......I think we may have some travelers on our hands!  Got to Maui just after noon, grabbed our car, got some supplies, and headed on over to Wailea.  We got to stay at the Grand Wailea (my first time there), and let me tell you.....this place is a-ma-zing!!  The boys never wanted to leave.  Between the pools (and the awesome waterslides) and the gorgeous beach.....the boys were in hog heaven!

Even our little guy enjoyed the slides!

Our third day there started off as a great day exploring nearby beaches.....and even included a lovely massage for me at the spa (yeah!!)......but as soon as I got back to our room I started feeling yucky.  I remembered the lovely lady that had been hacking away on the plane across the aisle from me, and I got that sinking feeling.  Yep....hello flu!!  And not the 24-hour, knock you on your butt, but you're better fast, kind of flu.....oh no.  

Black Sand Beach

Keawala'i Chuch - established 1832

Today is 6 days later, and this is the first day that I haven't had a fever. Yeah, the rest of the vacation is kind of a blur for me.  Luckily the kids and the hubby were ok for the most part.....the hubby started getting it as we were heading home...and both boys got fevers once we got home.  So.....great start to a vacation, kind of a lousy ending.  There was a lot we were planning on doing that we couldn't get to.....but what are you gonna do?  Things happen.  We had some great family time, and the boys were really bummed that we were leaving Maui.  We'll be back Maui!!  We've got unfinished business!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Oh my!  How did I ever let this one slip by?  As I was going through some old pictures I found this one of Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche frosting that I made back in the Fall.  These were a huge hit, they were insanely delicious, and yet I somehow completely forgot to post them.  Wow!  My bad!

I had some leftover Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting after making a batch of Tres Leches Cupcakes (which you need to make if you haven't yet!).  I couldn't bear the idea of tossing the frosting, bit I wasn't in the mood for more cupcakes.  So, after thumbing through a bunch of my cookbooks, I settled on the Chocolate Whoopie Pies from Baked Explorations (you can't go wrong with those guys!).  Their recipe called for a Swiss Vanilla filling, but I used my leftover Dulce de Leche buttercream frosting, and it went together perfectly!  The whoopie pies are a deep dark chocolate, and I think for my first time making whoopie pies, they don't look half bad!  These got rave reviews from everyone, including the hubby!

Check out the recipe for the Whoopie Pies at Modern Domestic, and the frosting recipe at Bakers Royale......and Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Club: Baked - Devil's Food Cupcakes

Happy 2012!  Hope you had a Happy New Year's!  We were very low key last night......but I did manage to sneak in some baking yesterday!  After missing the last two Club: Baked assignments, I was determined not to miss another!  This time around, Natalie, over at Just About Food, has selected Devil's Food Cake with Angel Frosting.  As I do with most of the cake recipes selected, I opted to make cupcakes.  And let me tell you......these were perfect, if not ideal, as cupcakes!!

The chocolate cupcakes are super chocolate-y, thanks to not only dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate, but the addition of strong coffee or espresso to boost the chocolate flavor.  These cupcakes are tender and moist.....they just might end up being my go-to chocolate cupcake!

Now let's talk about this frosting.  It might not be everyone's favorite, but for someone like me, that absolutely loves marshmallow....this Angel Frosting is absolutely fabulous!  It truly just tastes like marshmallow fluff, with a little vanilla bean loveliness.  And the best part?  There's no butter in this frosting!  Yep!  Just sugar.  Makes me happy!

Give these a try......you'll love them!

Check out Club: Baked for the other baker's results.....and got to Just About Food for the recipe......Enjoy!

This post is linked to:
Sweet Indulgences Sunday - Tuesday Talent Show - Link Party - Crazy Sweet Tuesday - Tea Party Tuesday - Tasty Tuesday - T Time - These Chicks Cooked - Link It Up Wednesday - Cast Party Wednesday - Bake with Bizzy - Full Plate Thursday - It's a Keeper Thursday - Sweet Treats Thursday - Show Off Your Stuff - Fusion Fridays - Anything Goes Linky - Feature Friday Free For All - Friday Favorites - Friday Food - I'm Lovin' It - Fun Stuff Fridays - Sweets for a Saturday - Seasonal Inspiration - A Baker's Themed Sunday