I found this recipe on a website called hoosierhomemade.com. She has tons of great cupcake recipes and decorating ideas. These were called "leftover Halloween candy cupcakes" and since my daughter is a fan of Reese's peanut butter cups, we decided to whip up a batch for her school party. Needless to say - they were a big hit.
We had to gather up our ingredients and get these cupcakes made quickly because the peanut butter cups started disappearing as soon as we opened the bag.
We started by making a batch of our favorite devils food cupcakes. You can follow my recipe or use your own favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.
Devil's Food Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup buttermilk
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Combine water and buttermilk. In bowl of mixer, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with water mixture. Scoop into 12 paper lined muffin tins. Bake 18 minutes at 350.
The cupcakes baked up beautifully. We put them on a rack to cool while we made our peanut butter frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
3 Tablespoons milk
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and Peanut Butter until fluffy.Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with a little milk at a time. Beat well, until desired consistency.
This is what the frosting is supposed to look like. (After you add the milk.)
When the cupcakes were cool, and the dishes were done, we frosted the cupcakes and added a mini Reese's peanut butter cup to the top of each one.
My family really likes English muffins so when I ran across this recipe for English Muffin Bread in my Cook's Country magazine, I decided to give it a try.
English Muffin Bread
5 cups bread flour
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to 120 degrees
Stir in hot milk until combined.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Stir dough and divide between loaf pans. (I kneaded mine a few times to make it more cohesive.)
Cool on wire racks.
This bread was good warm out of the oven but it really stands out when it's toasted.
And it was even better when I served it with homemade strawberry jam! (Check for that recipe on tomorrow's blog.)
This bread was cooling on the counter when my daughter came home from school one day last week. The 2 of us ate 1/2 a loaf! It was so good - we just couldn't stop eating it. This recipe could be dangerous. I turned the last couple of pieces of bread into french toast for breakfast. It makes really yummy french toast too. Enjoy!
Last week, I needed a quick weeknight chicken dinner and I was in the mood to try something new so I turned to my favorite recipe website for inspiration. (Williamssonoma.com) The website did not disappoint - I found lots of yummy looking chicken dinners but I finally settled on this recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca for my family.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried sage
2 large slices prosciutto
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
In a large fry pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil until very hot. Add the chicken breasts and cook until the undersides are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over and continue to cook until they feel firm when pressed in the centers, 4 to 6 minutes more. (I had to cook mine in 2 batches.)
Reduce the heat to very low. Sprinkle the breasts evenly with the chopped fresh sage. I headed out to my garden in search of fresh sage where I have 2 different kinds of sage growing.
Please send me a comment if I get the names wrong but I think the sage on the left is called purple sage and the one on the right is Russian sage. I picked some of each because I really didn't know which one I wanted to add to my chicken dinner. After several minutes of debate and intense sniffing, I decided to use the Russian sage. (I think I made the right choice because it was the perfect seasoning for this dish.)
Spoon an equal amount of the sauce over each breast. Serve immediately.
This chicken saltimbocca was delicious.
I don't know who is more excited about Spring Break - me or the kids? I'm pretty psyched about having them home all week.
We started our break off in style on Saturday with a fabulous cookout at a friends' house. My contribution to the party was a blueberry pie. I love fruit pies and I tend to make pies in stages. I make a ton of them in a couple of weeks and then I don't make another one for months. (I really don't know why.)
Pastry for double crust 6 cups blueberries
1 Granny Smith apple (grated) 2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice ¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant tapioca (ground) 2 Tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 400 with a baking sheet inside. Place 3 cups blueberries in a saucepan and cook 15 minutes or reduced to 1½ cups. Cool slightly
Bake on heated baking sheet for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake another 30-40 minutes.
Cool at least 4 hours before slicing.
To find out how I make my homemade pie crust - check out my post on pie crust making.
I took some serious criticism from my family for making a batch of soup in the middle of summer. For some reason I was just craving a hearty bowl of soup that was loaded with vegetables. So I turned down the air conditioner and enjoyed my steaming bowl of hot soup in the middle of summer. (Don't judge me - it was awesome.)
Minestrone with Turkey Meatballs
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds 1/2 inch thick
2 celery stalks, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped kale leaves
1 cup dry red wine
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 can (19 oz.) cannellini or white kidney beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp. salt
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 lb. ground chicken (I used ground turkey instead.)
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
Stir in the stock, water and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until well flavored, about 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes, drain the beans, rinse with cold running water and drain again, then add to the pot along with the basil. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Discard the bay leaf. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chicken, half of the cheese, the bread crumbs, egg, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. black pepper.
Increase the heat under the soup to medium and bring to a light boil. Drop rounded tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the soup. Their texture will firm up on contact with the hot liquid. (I baked my meatballs in a greased pan in a 350 oven for 25 minutes instead of cooking them in the soup.) Cover and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper.
Ladle into warmed individual bowls and serve hot. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.
I doubled the meatball recipe and I put half in the soup and served half with a pasta dinner. The little turkey meatballs were just as good with the spaghetti sauce as they were in the soup.
This soup was really good. I made a double batch and I put some in the freezer - it's going to taste even better this Fall. If you are a fan of really great Minestrone soup - you need to try this recipe. It's so good that you won't want to wait until Fall to try it.
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