Archive for the ‘Rambling’ Category

For St. Patrick’s Day, we had our good friends Leslie and John over for dinner. I made corned beef with cabbage, carrots and potatoes for dinner and these cupcakes for dessert. They stole the show!

The cake base is actually my go to chocolate cake recipe. Paired with whiskey ganache and Bailey’s frosting, they pack a powerful punch.

Guinness, Whiskey and Bailey’s Cupcakes
Source: Smitten Kitchen

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup Guinness
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.


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This recipe was so good that it had to be blogged rightthisverysecond. I admit, up until a year ago I absolutely HATED tomatoes. Fast forward to now and I just can not get enough of them. I crave bruschetta at least once a week. This will most definitely be going into our dinner rotation.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Bruschetta Turkey Burgers

Burger mixture:

  • 1 lb  ground turkey breast (I used 85/15 so the burgers would not be dry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh mozzarella (bocconcini aka the little small ones)
  • Burger buns

Bruschetta mixture:

  • One pint cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Pesto Mayonaise

  • 1 tsp prepared pesto
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise

For bruschetta,  combine all ingredients, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Combine pesto and mayonnaise and refrigerate until ready to use. In a large bowl combine turkey, salt and pepper. Form mixture into large thin patties and place two balls of fresh mozzarella in the center of the meat. Form the turkey mixture around the mozzarella so the cheese is completely in the middle. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total. Toast buns and spread with pesto mayo. Assemble burgers on buns and top with bruschetta mixture. Die of deliciousness.

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Mexican Coleslaw

I have never been a fan of coleslaw.  Nothing about it appeals to me. Soggy cabbage swimming in mayonnaise? Gross. And yet on every summer menu it somehow makes an appearance. The first time I tried this slaw I was skeptical. But the tangy, crisp flavor had me hooked at first bite.

Mexican Coleslaw
Recipe from EatingWell.com

  • One large bag coleslaw mix (mix of cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Toss with coleslaw mix. Adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate for one hour. Can be prepared up to one day in advance.

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The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you.

Everything happens for a purpose. We may not see the wisdom of it all now but trust and believe in the Lord that everything is for the best.

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Year One

On October 18th Jordan and I celebrated our first anniversary. We kept it really low key and did a nice dinner at home on Saturday (recipes to come). Sunday we spent our actual anniversary cheering on our beloved Dynamo boys as they played the LA Galaxy. I wish I had something poetic to say about the first year of marriage and the lessons we learned. Was it easy? No. But we had one hell of a first year. 🙂

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Scene: 6:00 on Wednesday evening.

Mom: Guess what. I got called for jury duty. And not just any jury duty, FEDERAL jury duty. I am so pissed off.

Me: I bet you are. That sucks. Just be really argumentative and pissy and you can get out of it.

Mom: When I filled out the form that they asked me to send back, on the bottom where it said comments I wrote “I don’t want to be a juror”. Your dad was so mad! He said I can’t do that!

Me: Mom! You can’t write that! Why would you write that?

Mom: Because I want them to know that I DO NOT want to be a juror. I have other things I would rather be doing. The form said to not wear flip flops. So guess what, I am wearing my Reefs just to spite them!

Me: Man I really hope you get a really spiteful lawyer who sees your comment and makes you a juror.

Mom: Oh, they don’t know anything about being spiteful. I dare them to pick me!

Me: Well, just be yourself. I think that will do the trick.

Mom: Oh, I will!

*** a few minutes later***

Me: I am going to bring some baked goods when we see you in a few weeks. Maybe if you are nice to me I will bring you a strawberry pie from House of Pies.

Mom: If you bake, you are not allowed to bake any healthy stuff. No soy, no tofu, no healthy shit. If it isn’t crap, I don’t want it. Understand?

Me: You got it mom. I will keep my fingers crossed you don’t get picked for jury duty. And I will make sure to bring you lots of crap when I see you.

Mom: Thank you. I love you

Me: Love you too mom.

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“And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what’s to come
You are autumn”

-Nichole Nordeman

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