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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Football Truffles

Football season is over, much to my husband's dismay, but I wanted to share some pictures of the football truffles I made for Super Bowl. I followed Bakerella's instructions and, as is the case any time Oreo truffles are involved, they were greatly appreciated! I loved making them!

See my truffle tips for some hints on truffle making!



Monday, February 14, 2011

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream






Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I have wanted to try Swiss Meringue Buttercream for a long time. I have read about it in my Cake Bible and heard about it on America's Test Kitchen. After seeing this buttercream featured on Annie's Eats, I could tell from her pictures that it pipes beautifully. I took a major shortcut and used a boxed Red Velvet Cake mix so I could focus my time on the frosting. It was actually pretty simple to do, just took some time to cook the egg white mixture.

So, how does it taste? this frosting is amazing! It is velvety smooth and buttery, with just enough sweetness. The vanilla flavor really comes through. I made regular sized cupcakes and some mini's as well. I also got to use my Valentine's Day sprinkles! I plan to use this as my go-to frosting from now on!

Lip sprinkles!


Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes about 5 cups

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160F and the sugar has dissolved.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

3. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3 - 5 minutes more - it will come together eventually.

4. Mix in the vanilla extract until just incorporated. Tint with gel icing color if desired.

5. Store buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Source: Annie's Eats

The mini's!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet Corn Cake


As I mentioned earlier this week, we had my parents over for a Mexican night. My mom jokingly asked if I was making Sweet Corn Cake, that delicious, scoop-able side dish served with your meal at popular Mexican chain restaurants (Chevy's being my favorite). I had seen recipes for this in the past, and even made one from a packet before, so I decided we would have it for dessert.

I found this recipe and decided to make a few adjustments, namely cutting the amount of butter in half. I had never heard of masa harina, but a little Googling informed me that it's a Mexican corn flour, and surprisingly I found it in my grocery store next to the Mexican grocery items!

This corn cake was so yummy! It was the perfect ending to our wonderful Mexican feast!

Sweet Corn Cake

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
1/4 cup water
1 14-ounce can cream-style corn
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.

2. Using a food processor, process the corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.

3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, milk, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine.

4. Pour batter into an ungreased 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is filled 1/3 of the way with water.

5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Source: Adapted from

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I was playing around with some settings which I thought would modify the email subscription feature and inadvertently shortened my posts in Google Reader. I apologize! I did not mean to do this. I love reading posts in Google Reader, and in fact rarely read outside of it, so I understand how frustrating this can be. Problem should be fixed! An updated version of the entire post should be available in Google Reader, but you'll have to go back and find it with a time stamp of 12:00 AM today :)

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce




Last month we had my parents over for a Sunday dinner, and I decided to make a Chicken Enchilada recipe I had my eyes on for a long time. I was pretty sure it would be great since it's from my America's Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook. At one point as I was making them, I worried that the amount of chicken (12 ounces) would not be enough to feed all 4 of us - especially with 2 men! I thought for sure the amount of filling would not stretch to fill all 10 corn tortillas. I soon realized that cheese is a major component of these enchiladas (bonus!!) I actually ended up having a little extra filling at the end that I baked in a separate dish!

These were really phenomenal! The sauce was the perfect blend of spices, and there was a distinct sweetness to these enchiladas. Bob and my mom actually thought I may have added some our dessert (to be revealed on Thursday) to the dish. The pickled jalapenos gave them a nice, slightly spicy kick. Everyone agreed that these were a success and should be added to the dinner rotation.

Thursday I will post a delicious side dish/dessert that completed Mexican Night!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Serves 4 or 5

For the sauce and filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast meat (or thighs, approx. 4), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 ounces pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
8 ounces Monterey Jack (or sharp cheddar) cheese, grated (2 cups)

For the tortillas and toppings:
10 corn tortillas (six-inch)
Vegetable cooking spray
3 ounces grated Monterey Jack (or sharp cheddar) cheese (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream (I use light)
1 avocado, diced medium (optional)
5 leaves romaine lettuce washed, dried, and shredded
2 limes, quartered

1. To make the sauce and filling, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds.

3. Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes.

4. Pour mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.

5. Transfer chicken mixture to a large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.

6. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300F.

7. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray and bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes. Then increase oven temperature to 400F. Meanwhile, spread 3/4 cup enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

8. To fill tortillas, add 1/3 cup filling to each and roll tightly. Place into baking dish side by side, seam-side down.

9. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and use a spoon to spread the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of dish. Cover baking dish with foil.

10. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and lime wedges separately.

Source: Adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Bowl Recipes!

I recently did a roundup of some great appetizers and party snacks, so I'll direct you to that post if you're looking for some inspiration for Super Bowl Sunday!

What am I making? I never know for sure until the last minute, but I'm thinking some Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls . . .


and Bakerella's adorable football-shaped Oreo truffles! I've been waiting to make them since last Super Bowl! I'll let you know how they turn out :)

If you like Mexican, I've got two great recipes coming up next week!

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