Monday, April 20, 2015

What's for dinner?

Spicy Italian Meatballs

If you know me you know I randomly have cravings for spicy food and meat. So whats better than sticking it in your pasta? Crazy Italian problems... Well to cut to the chase here's my dancing on your tongue creation.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb Hot Italian Sausage 
2 large eggs
1 cup of onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
5 teaspoons of basil (I always throw in a little extra)
5 teaspoons of parsley 

Now combine all ingredients. Shape into balls. Place uncooked meatballs in pan with sauce. I used Prego (traditional) sauce. Allow to simmer on low without stirring for 25-40 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Superbowl Eats

Super Bowl Eats

If you're anything like me well then food is your life. Like you can literally hear me talking about food all day and non stop. I constantly get asked, "How come you're not fat?" Well I'm assuming the gym does its wonders for me. 
Anyways recently I forced James to cook with me. Really cook with me not just watch me cook and be the test tester; like he usually is. I'm not complaining though because I personally like him just being there. He usually picks out some good things to make or gives me some creative ideas, that I personally would never think of. We were making lunch and he's like "we need an appetizer." That's probably one of my favorite things about him because we try everything but have way too much food for one sitting. So we scrolled through pinterest and found Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Pretzel Bombs by the Slow Roasted Italian and I almost died. They were super spicy and heavenly. So if you don't like spicy food these ain't for you. 
So here's the recipe

(Not very good quality but don't knock on these babies till you try them)

Jalapeño Popper Cheesy Pretzel Bombs

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
12 ounces warm beer (110°-120°), I used Blue Moon *see tips
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting counter
1 teaspoon kosher salt + more for pretzel tops
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 cups water
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar cheese)
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeños
12 ounces bacon, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces

Preheat oven to 450°.  

Pour beer into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (see cooks note if you do not have a stand mixer), sprinkle yeast over top, add sugar and stir.  Allow yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes.  Once it is nice and foamy, it is ready. *It should look like the 'head' of a beer poured too quickly and smell yeasty.Meanwhile in a medium mixing bowl combine cheeses, bacon and jalapeños.  Mix together.  You may need to use a wood spoon to get it well mixed.  

In a small bowl beat egg, set aside.  Sprinkle clean counter top with ¼ cup flour.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Add flour and salt to stand mixer.  Knead for 3- 5 minutes until the dough comes together in one ball.  Add more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed, if bread is too sticky to come together.  Dough should be tacky when you pull it out of the mixer, not sticky.

Place dough on floured counter top and knead in flour until it is no longer tacky, just a minute or two.  Form dough into a ball.  We are going to cut this ball into 36 (somewhat) even pieces.  First quarter the ball of dough. *I used a bench scraper, but a butter knife would work too.  Roll each quarter into a fat log.  Cut that into 3 pieces.  Roll each piece into a log and cut into 3 pieces.  When you are done you will have 36 pieces. 

Fill a medium (4 cup) bowl with 2 cups of hot water and add baking soda.  Place baking sheet, baking soda water and cheese mixture on the counter that you are working on.  

Roll each dough piece (one at a time) into a ball and then flatten it into a circle.  Add 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture in the center *I used a tablespoon scooper.  Carefully pull each side over the cheese to create a ‘cheese package’, pinching the edges closed.  Roll the dough into a ball.  Be careful to make sure you can not see the cheese through the dough.  Tap fingers in flour, pinch any tears and roll again.  Set aside and repeat until you have 3 stuffed dough balls.  Transfer 3 stuffed dough balls to hot water mixture and allow to set while you prepare the next 3.  Prepare the next 3 dough balls.  Remove dough balls from water with a slotted spoon and place on prepared baking sheet.  Place 3 newly prepared balls into the water and prepare 3 more.  Repeat until all dough balls are on the cookie sheet. 

Arrange all pretzel balls on parchment so they are not touching.  Brush egg wash onto each one and sprinkle with course salt.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops are browned.

*Tip: We did not cut the ball into 36 pieces we preferred ours somewhat larger so we cut them as we went along.
I substituted the beer for water and it worked perfectly fine

Now after this James informed me that we would need a cheese dipping sauce. I looked at him crazy because I would never even think of that. I was like aren't these enough? But I knew he knew what he was talking about because he is an amazing taste tester; so we found a cheese dip that complimented these Bombs well; Pepper Jack & Pimento Dip.

Pepper Jack & Pimento Dip

1 C pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ C reduced fat mayonnaise
¼ C reduced fat sour cream
3 Tbsp diced pimentos
1 Tbsp Worceshire sauce
kosher salt, for seasoning
black pepper, for seasoning.
cooking spray
tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Spray a small baking dish or ramekin with cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the dip is melty and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Tip: I forgot the pimentos at the store and I was too lazy to venture back so I substituted them for almost a tablespoon of red pepper seasoning  

These are the perfect thing to snack on during a game or if you're just having those late night cravings. ;)

Now I just got to make some cupcakes for dessert.... Not a real party till the cake (cupcakes) arrive :)

Enjoy and let me know how they turn out for you or share your game day recipe with me. I'd love to try it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chocolate Overload

    Chocolate Coated Dreams

So I've always been chocolate obsessed; there's no hiding that. And today I thought I'd share a little recipe I've become attached to: Triple Chocolate Cupcakes. This used to be a best seller of mine when I would regularly run my side business; De Ruyter Bakes. 

Anyways enough at staring at the screen here's the recipe.

The Best Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12 cupcake pans with cupcake liners
2. In a large bowl with electric mixer combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be very thin. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop batter into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners.
3. Bake in oven for 20-25 mins or until toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cupcake.

Chocolate Fudge Filling (from Martha Stewart)

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Place chocolate chips, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate mixture; let stand until chocolate melts, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, whisk until filling is smooth and well combined.
  2. Transfer chocolate filling to refrigerator; let chill until slightly firm, but still spreadable, about 2 hours.

The Best & Easiest Chocolate Frosting

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons milk
Whip butter and cocoa together until smooth in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Scrape sides and whip again until light, fluffy and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Frosts 1-9 or 8 inch round layered cake or 24 cupcakes.

Now that you've made all the ingredients and the cupcakes are cool; fill them with the chocolate fudge filling and icing them with the Chocolate Frosting. Add some chocolate sprinkles and whatever else your little heart desires (the ones with peep was my Easter edition) and eat!
Enjoy and let me know how these turned out for you!