Tuesday, February 28, 2017

King Cake Cupcakes For Fat Tuesday Or As The French Call It Mardi Gras

King Cake Cupcakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes

1 stick Land O Lakes Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature lightly beaten before adding 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
Purple, Yellow and Green Sugar
1.  Preheat oven 350".
2.  In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer cream softened butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
3.  Sift flour, salt and baking soda, then fold into the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the milk.
4.  Using mixer whip for 3 minutes.
5.  Line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
6.  Fill the cupcake liners with the batter and gently tap pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
7.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  
8.  Cool completely.
9.  Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, then top with colored sugar.

 Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup Land O Lakes Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cup powder sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.  Place the room temperature cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
2.  Using a mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
3.  Gradually add the butter and beating until smooth and blended.
4.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla all at once. Blend until just combined.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chicken Noodle aka "Southern Comfort"

 Recently Stone and I were invited to friends for dinner and Mahjong.   On the menu was Chicken Noodle or what I call Southern Comfort that was made in the crockpot and with frozen egg noodles.  First of all I had never heard of frozen egg noodles.  Apparently the grocery's here in Knoxville had just begun to carry them.  In fact last week I went to our local Kroger's and they had not gotten any in as of yet, but they did have the label attached where it will be in the freezer section. 

The first thought that came to mind when I had this recipe was Cracker Barrel's Chicken and Dumplings.  I know your probably thinking Chicken Noodle and Chicken and Dumplings are two different recipes.  The thing is this Chicken Noodle recipe is thick, not soupy like most, although you could add more broth if you wanted, I did not.  Also the texture of the frozen egg noodles are different, thicker.  The first time I made this I added a container of baby portobello mushrooms that I cooked in butter and olive oil and added a splash of white wine.  This time I added english peas.  Talk about good.   So if its cold and dreary out like it was here today, build a fire, put on some tunes and make some Southern Comfort and I don't mean whiskey.  

Southern Comfort
2 (14.7 ounce) Campbell's Cream Of Chicken Soup, I used the fat free.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 (32 ounce) chicken broth, may want extra to thin it out, I did not.
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon chicken base
6 small or 4 large skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper 
fresh parsley
portobello mushrooms, peas and carrots (optional).

Salt and pepper chicken breast and place in the bottom of crockpot.   Spoon soup over the chicken.  Cut butter into several pats and place pieces evenly over soup.  I whisk the bouillon with the broth and pour over soup.  Place lid on pot and turn to low.  Cook for 6 hours.  Remove chicken and tear into pieces.  Add back to pot.  Now add noodles.  Cook for another 2 hours or until noodles are desired tenderness.  Add vegetables if you choose.  If you want a thiner texture add more broth at the end.  We like it thick enough you eat it with a fork.  Salt and pepper more if you want.  Serve.  This freezes beautifully!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Hurricane That Hit On Valentine's

What was expected to be an afternoon of cards then dinner didn't exactly play out that way and this is the reason why.  My day began with waking up early to get the final prep work done for our special R-O-M-A-N-T-I-C Valentine meal, then onto the treadmill.  We all know the older you get the more you have to exercise or lets just say you should.  As many miles as I put on that machine everyday, it just goes to show I'm no spring chicken, nor do I want to be.  With my mileage put in, I needed to have a small bite to eat (remember the words a small bite to eat) to get me through until my evening meal.  Now typically I don't like to eat much throughout the day with dinner being my main meal, especially when it is to be followed with dessert that is loaded with calories. With that being said lets get to the reason we never played cards.  

Our guests arrived with this incredible cocktail for us to enjoy while we played cards, you know the cards that we never touched.  The cocktail was called a Hurricane.  I had never heard of or consumed a H-u-r-r-i-c-a-n-e.  This cocktail is a sweet alcoholic drink with rum, lots of rum.  It's so fruity you don't realize how much alcohol you are sipping until its to late.  Its even worse if you've only had a small bite to eat throughout the day as I had.  The alcohol goes straight to your head or as I was pre-warned, it would put you on your ass as it most certainly did.  

Makes: 3 pitchers
One Fifth (750ml) Bacardi Light Rum
One Fifth (750 ml) Bacardi Dark Rum
9 3/4 cups Orange Juice
9 3/4 cups Pineapple Juice
1 3/4 cups Grenadine

Mix it all up and serve over ice.

 The cards that didn't get played.

A little festive touch to our evening.

Greg-Karen (The Culprit who made the H-u-r-r-i-c-a-n-e)-Stone-Me