Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day <3

I'm normally not one to celebrate this crazy, historically depressing Hallmark holiday but this year I felt festive. So I put on a cute black skirt & a red sweater & red heels & I brought cupcakes to work! Not just any cupcakes... my new (made up) chocolate covered cherry cupcakes! And they were SO GOOD! Really tasted line chocolate covered cherries!! I whipped up some chocolate cupcake batter (I did mine from scratch, but the box stuff would probably work too) and I mixed in cherry chips (I found these around Christmas with the baking stuff and they got lost in the back of the pantry until I remembered them yesterday). The frosting was just vanilla, butter, confectioners sugar, milk, marachino cherry juice, and beaten egg whites folded in.

The thing about baking is that it's a lot easier to screw up.

My cherry chips all sank to the bottom of my cupcakes and stuck to the cupcake papers when they cooled. My frosting was a bit thin bc of all the liquid but I couldn't add more sugar or it would be way too sweet so I had to deal with the melting, dripping frosting... but I think that just made it more like a chocolate covered cherry, right?

Overall, a success. And I will be making a second attempt if I ever find cherry chips again.

Thusly, I leave my nonexistant audience with this question: how do cupcake shops make that perfectly pretty & decadently delicious beautiful buttercream frosting???

Monday, February 6, 2012

It happened upon a New Year's Eve

Every year I host a NYE dinner party. It's always fun & there's alway a great deal of wine. What's better than good friend & great food? Nada.

Here's what was on the menu for NYE 2012:
>steak stuffed with brown rice, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onion, sage, rosemary & thyme with a burgandy sauce
>twice baked potatoes
>fresh garden salad with apples & candied walnuts and a fresh basalmic vinagrette
>candied carrots
>brown & serve rolls
>loaded poatao skins
>green fluff
>caramel apple pie

It was well worth all the time I spent in the kitchen, making up recipes as I went (especially the beef roll ups). I hope everyone who was there can agree. Enjoy the photos.

nachos -- leftovers' bff

What do you do when you have leftover ground beef, random veggies, a tiny bit of cheese, and tortilla chips? Clean the fridge & make nachos, of course! That's all I really have to say about that (except that they were delicious).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rub vs. Marinade

I had some friends over for dinner the other night. I made venison steaks, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. As I was prepping, debate ensued over whether I was going to grill or fry -- obviously the answer was grill pan (best of both worlds in February in Wisconsin). Then the marinade vs. rub debate started. I like to marinade. I feel it seals the flavor better, especially when you're going to finish off in the broiler.

My kitchen, my rules: marinade. And you know what? My friend admitted that my marinade was "on par" with his rub -- but he did it with a smirk that said I won :-)

Here's what's in my marindade:

Soy sauce
Olive oil
Garlic salt

I know what you're thinking. Ketchup? Yes. Trust me. It works. Especially with venison. My theory is that when it comes to marinades & rubs & seasoning is that you try anything, just because you can. You never know what might taste delicious.