Thanksgiving Leftover Cupcakes: Honey Cornbread w/Cranberry Icing


I’ve been mulling over this idea for a recipe composed of leftovers from Thanksgiving and got the perfect excuse (and crowd to beta test!) when the lovely Ellie M. invited me to her co-op’s Friendsgiving shindig last Monday 🙂

The recipe is quite easy! I followed this recipe for honey cornbread muffins from the Food Network for the “cupcake” part, then gathered the following leftovers from Thanksgiving with my family and friends this November:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Turkey gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce

I also bought:

  • Berry cream cheese for the frosting (regular cream cheese should work too)
  • Cupcake liners
  • A cupcake pan (a little Google research revealed some neat, but not so pretty alternatives, so I figured I might as well)

The Steps

  1. Follow Honey Cornbread Muffin recipe found here to make the cupcakes. I was surprised that the recipe called to put all of the batter into 12 cups and there was enough to make most overflow, so I’d recommend filling each cup almost to the brim so nothing oozes all over your pan or oven during baking.
  2. While the cupcakes are baking, grab a bowl and mix mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I would start with a small batch as you will want to play around with adding more of each ingredient until you reach the proportion you like best 🙂
  3. Once the cupcakes are ready, use a thick knife to make a large hole in each one. I only made mine 2 inches in diameter and found that filling about half of the cupcakes would probably have been better, so don’t be afraid to make the holes pretty big.
  4. You might want to let them cool a little before you use a spoon to drop dollops of your mashed potato-gravy-stuffing mixture into the hole you poked into each cupcake.
  5. Lastly, mix your cream cheese with left over cranberry sauce, and frost your cupcakes (helper elves optional).
Yay, elves!

Yay, elves!

Lastly, Take a photo and chow down!

Yum!

Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday recipes in the comments 🙂

Bacon Crack & Beer Hipster Cookie Recipe


More or less every Tuesday the last few months, I’ve been baking for the Wine Wednesday happy hour I run at work each Wednesday. I’ve gone through quite a few recipes so I wanted to try something new and had no clue what to look up so, on a whim, I googled “hipster cookies” and came across The Oak Leaf News’ Hipster Cookies.

Took a little trial and error, but amazing stuff!

So here’s the deal (slightly modified from original recipe):

Ingredients

Not pictured: butter and salt.

Not pictured: butter and salt

You need:

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan optional)
  • 2 sticks butter (melt in microwave 45 seconds per stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 entire pack bacon (12-ish strips?)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup PBR beer (or in my case, Trader Joe’s Simpler Times)

*Wine – optional for consumption before rest of beer can is ready!

And now, what to do.

Directions

Part 1: The Bacon

Bacon crack!

Bacon crack!

  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Spread tin foil on baking sheets (for easier clean up later)
  3. Lay strips out on 1-2 baking sheets
  4. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over bacon
  5. Pop into over for 5 minutes
  6. Flip each strip over, then put back into over for 4 more minutes (total: 9 minutes)

Part 2: Cookie Dough

*Note: I didn’t need a blender for any of this. I simply took my time adding the ingredients and mixed with a fork.

Your 2 bowls of dry ingredients

Your 2 bowls of dry ingredients

  1. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
  2. In a larger bowl, beat melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract (add dry ingredients to butter slowly for a more even mix)
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating some more in between
  4. Add flour/baking soda/salt mixture slowly, continuing to beat as you go
  5. Add the beer and then the chocolate chips (careful not to beat overzealously lest the beer foam!)
The finished dough

The finished dough

Part 3: The Baking

  1. Now cover your baking sheets with tin foil, spray with butter/olive oil spray, and drop rounded dollops of dough onto each sheet
  2. Bake 9-11 minutes at 350* until cookies are golden brown
  3. Let cool before you try to remove the cookies from the sheet (I sprinkled them with bacon crack while I waited)

Part 4: The Sprinkling

Yes, the piggy socks are an important part of the cooking process - especially when you're chopping bacon!

Yes, the piggy socks are an important part of the cooking process – especially when you’re chopping bacon!

  1. While your cookies are baking, chop your bacon into thin slices and then dice into tiny pieces
  2. You now have bacon crack sprinkles!
  3. Sprinkle these lovelies onto your cookies while they cool

Then taste test a cookie, you know… to make sure they’re good 😉

You've got cookies!

You’ve got cookies!

Let me know how you like these! And try out my other recipes here.

French Cherry Cake


This French clafouti is one of my favorite cakes from when I was a kid! It’s sweet and fruity with a hint of vanilla.

Cherry Cake

Here’s what you need for the recipe:

Ingredients

700g – 1400g of cherries (fresh is better, but work with what you can get.)
2 cups of flour
1 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs & 4 egg whites
1/2 liter of milk
1 whole stick of butter
2 tea spoons vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Set your oven to 350 degrees F, melt your butter, get a bowl out, and mix each ingredient in until smooth in the following order: start by whisking the eggs, then add a pinch of salt, the sugar, the vanilla extract, and the flour, the butter and finally the milk.

Mixing until smooth each time you add an ingredient is a tad painstaking, but it makes the overall process a lot easier (ie. you won’t be fighting a goopy mess.)

Optional: add a little butter and sugar on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, but check it after 30 minutes, then 40 to make sure it’s not burning.

Fancy & Easy French-Inspired Appetizer


My last few posts have been about recruiting so it seemed like a good time to break things up with a recipe =]

The finished product

The finished product

This one is inspired by a delicious French appetizer my mother makes with foie gras, but this is a little easier (and cheaper ;D)

What you’ll need (based on servings at Trader Joe’s):

  1. One bag of pitted, dried plums
  2. 2 packages of prosciutto
  3. 2 – 3 small goat cheeses (or 1 long loaf)
  4. Tooth picks (one box is plenty)

And now for the steps!

First, cut prosciutto in half to avoid wallet obliteration

First, cut prosciutto in half to avoid wallet obliteration

All you need to do is cut your slices of prosciutto lengthwise (hot dog style), put goat cheese inside each pitted prune, wrap the slice of prosciutto around and use a tooth pick to secure it all.

Present as you wish =]

Protein Benedict, the Breakfast of Champions!


I can’t take credit for this recipe — It’s from my partner in crime, cuddling teacher and culinary savior (You mean you actually thought I have some clue what to do in a kitchen? You’re too sweet!)

To be honest, I will admit it sounded a little odd when he first described it to me, but I love meat sauce so we did it anyway!

Tada!

Tadah!

What you will need to serve 4 people:

  1. 1lb of ground beef
  2. 1 roll of polenta
  3. 1 jar of tomato sauce (try tomato basil)
  4. 8 eggs
  5. Some butter
  6. 2 pans (or 1 pan, 1 skillet)
  7. 1 egg poacher, or if you’re really good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMiCy8EH1go

The meat takes the longest to cook, so start by cooking your ground beef (Matty swears by lean, I like the flavor of the fatty ones so it’s up to your good judgement) in a pan over medium to high heat. The trick is to not break it up into too small of pieces so it doesn’t get over cooked. The beef should take around 20 minutes. Make sure you flip it over every 5-10 minutes so it cooks evenly.

See? Not too small...

See? Not too small…

While that’s going, get a cutting board out and slice your polenta into 1 – 1.5 inch discs.

Once the beef is ready, add your tomato sauce, turn down the heat and get ready to cook your polenta.

This is how your beef will look once it's ready.

This is how your beef will look once it’s ready.

Spread some butter over a skillet, turn it up to medium heat and place your polenta discs (with a little room between each) on the skillet. Flip these over after 2-4 minutes, and plate after 2-4 more minutes of cooking. Cook to preferred crispiness.

Don't be too stingy on the butter ;D

Don’t be too stingy on the butter ;D

Last, but not least: the eggs. You can either use a poacher or this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMiCy8EH1go. If you’re using a poacher, fill a pan with 3 inches of water, get it boiling, place your poacher on top and then your eggs. Your eggs will be ready in 2 minutes (they should look done but the center still runny.)

Plating – the polenta goes first, then your eggs, and top with the meat sauce. Yum!

And there you go! If I can pull this off, then there’s no reason you can’t O=]

Chocolate Pear Yogurt Cake


I decided to try out a new recipe for my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday and proceeded to make a fine mess of the whole thing.

Yum!

Here’s how to make it successfully!

First, here’s what you’ll need:

The Ingredients

  • Plain yogurt — pay very close attention to its size since it’s what you’ll be using to measure the rest of your ingredients. I used a 2lb container of Trader Joe’s Plain, Nonfat Organic yogurt. (The 2 lb container was enough for 3-4 cakes.)
  • The Recipe calls for 3 eggs, but I used 6 since my pot of yogurt was so big.
  • Use the yogurt container to measure out 3 pots of flour.
  • You’ll also need 1.5 pots of sugar.
  • The recipe mentions a “packet of baking powder” so I eyeballed 1-2 tablespoons.
  • 2-3 pears (per cake, or more!)
  • Chocolate powder (as much as you want.)
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lastly, use the same yogurt pot to measure out 3/4 pot of oil (I used vegetable oil.)

Directions:

  1. Measure out and mix the plain yogurt, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, oil and chocolate powder.
  2. This is a good time to start pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Then skin the pears, take out the core, and cut into pieces (I cut mine into pieces a little larger than quarters.)
  4. On about middle-heat, candy the pears in butter. This should take about 5 minutes.
  5. Once they’re turning brown, add some powdered sugar (enough to cover all the pears with a light coating) and the vanilla extract.
  6. A minute or 2 later, your pears should be ready so add them to your dough.
  7. Prepare your cake mold: butter the bottom and sides, then add a handful of flour to the bottom to help it not stick.
  8. I put half the pears in the bottom of the mold, then added a layer of cake, and layered the rest of the pears on top. Having pears on the bottom did make it a bit tougher to serve…
  9. Once your oven is ready, put the mold (with cake and all) in. The recipe said to let it cook 25 minutes but mine took about 35 minutes. The mold I used was rather large and deep. I recommend setting your timer to 20 minutes and checking the cake every 10 minutes after (more often and you’ll lose all your heat.)
  10. The cake is ready once you can insert a knife into the center and it does not come out with chocolate goo.

And there you go! I let my cake cool before eating but this would probably be yummy warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce =3

Enjoy ❤

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée


My granny taught me how to cook this weekend! We made oeufs en gelée (no clue what that would translate to in English… eggs in jello? Except the jello stuff is salty….)

This appetizer takes about an hour to make (we made 7), but you also have to leave it in the fridge over night. If you’re impatient or in a rush, I think 2-3 hours may do.

So here goes!

What you need:

  1. A pack of gelée mix 
  2. Eggs (we made 7)
  3. Water
  4. Ham
  5. Parsley
  6. Cups, glasses, or bowls

Step 1. Buy French jello mix (sorry, just don’t have a translation for that…) and cook. You want to bring water (check box for amount) to a boil, then lower the heat (so it’s just simmering) and add the French jello mix. Make sure you keep stirring it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook it for a few min (check instructions on box.)

Step 2. Cook eggs. Boil them for 4 min. No more! The yolk needs to still be a little runny. Then dip them in cold water. Now for the fun part: grab a towel so you don’t burn your hands and deshell them very carefully (remember, that yolk’s runny so be gentle!)

Step 3. Grab whatever cups, glasses, bowls, etc. you’re going to put all this stuff into. Cut ham into rectangular slices and place them inside each cup/glass/bowl so as to cover the rims completely. If a piece is too short, just add another piece to cover the exposed side. Put a sprig of parsley in the bottom, and then put a square of ham on top of it.

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step 4. Now put an egg in the middle of each cup/glass/bowl, nice and centered…

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée…and pour the warm gelée on top.
Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée

Step. 5 Put in the fridge to cool overnight.

Step 6. My grandpa came around wanting to take pictures so I put him to good use =] you’ve got a video to show you how to get the oeufs en gelée out of your cup/glass/bowl (anyone else sick of the repition?) Stick them in warm water to help melt the sides a little, then slide a knife around the perimeter (inside the cup, mind you), then flip it upside down and slide it out onto a plate.

Step 7. Decorate =]

Dec 20 How to Make Oeufs en Gelée