Friday, January 17, 2014

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

As I've stated before, I love to bake and used to do so all time when I worked at a bakery. Seeing as I've been on the savory side of things for the last year, I crave baking at home more often now. These lemon scented cupcakes are topped with silky raspberry buttercream... yum!

Lemon Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested; 1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl with a whip attachment, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
  • Add to the butter mixture a third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first two additions of flour. Beat until just combined.
  • Fill the prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes, until springy to the touch.
  • Let cool before decorating.

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup raspberry puree

  • Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. On high speed, beat the mixture until it holds stiff glossy peaks and has cooled down; about 6 minutes.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium-low speed, add several tablespoons of butter at a time and beat well after each addition. {Beat on medium-high speed for several minutes if the buttercream isn’t smooth enough after adding all the butter.} On low speed, add in the vanilla and raspberry puree and beat until smooth; about 2 minutes.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Seared Salmon with Edamame Succotash

We have a ton of fish in our deep freezer, salmon being some of it. I've also been trying to figure out more meals with less carbohydrates. It's definitely not easy seeing as I love to eat pasta and bread. This dish is quite easy, it's essentially a one pan meal, which means less dishes! I love the crispy bacon with all of the vegetables. It adds a lot of flavor. I also decided to pair it with rice.

Seared Salmon with Edamame Succotash
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light


3 bacon slices, chopped
salmon fillets, deboned and skinned
salt and pepper, to season fish

1/4 cup water
1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 cup yellow corn, frozen
1 cup edamame, frozen
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Cook bacon in a large pan over medium heat until crispy.  
  • Season the salmon evenly with salt and pepper. When the bacon is done, transfer it to another container, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.
  • Add the salmon to the pan with the bacon drippings. Cook 4 minutes over medium-high heat or until browned. Turn the salmon over and continue to cook. Remove the salmon once finished cooking. 
  • To the pan add the remaining ingredients. Cover and steam for 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in the bacon and serve the salmon over the succotash.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread

It's obvious I love food, I went to Culinary School, work in an amazing fine dining restaurant and blog about what I'm cooking anytime I get to. I've been using the same camera to photograph my food since I started this blog in 2011. It was a simple Nikon Coolpix S1 which I purchased in 2005. Now, I know that everyone around me uses DSLR's but I was just happy to have my compact little camera. This Christmas though, my fiance purchased me a Nikon D5100. I was completely thrilled! It take beautiful photographs, I'm excited to see all of the things I can do with it and this blog.

On to this delicious cornbread... I've made it before and loved it! It goes great with a bowl of chili or any other hearty soups or stews you might desire.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder 
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups milk
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan 
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved.
  • Mix in 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar, scallions and jalapenos; allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
    Pour the batter into a
    greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar and extra chopped scallions.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Beef Chili

I'm not the biggest fan of chili, but Tim definitely is. I figured since I've been working for the last 3 weeks straight, I'd make him some since I've been neglecting him. This chili has an addition that we both love... coffee. The richness from the coffee gives this chili a great flavor.

Beef Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped

15 oz can chili beans {high quality}
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can ro-tel

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf

1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • In a dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the ground beef and garlic. Once the meat has browned, stir in the beans, diced tomatoes, ro-tel and coffee.
  • Bring the chili to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Add the sugar, bay leaf, chili powder, cumin and salt. Continue simmering on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring often. Adjust seasonings according to your taste preference.