Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

One evening my hubbie and I went to Provo to visit with my niece. She is currently living in the dorms as a freshman and we went to some fine dining at her dining hall. I was still on the edge of eating and not eating and I chose a Shephard's Pie to eat. It ended up being so delicious, I ate two. The most food I had eaten in forever. So naturally, I had to make one at home to keep up the trend. And I have to say, I think it turned out pretty dang good. Thanks for the recipe, Mom!

5 medium potatoes
1 pound hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato soup
2 cups corn (I used frozen)
2 cups green beans (I used canned)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cube the potatoes (remove the skins first, if you like) and add to a large pot of boiling water. Boil the potatoes until fork tender. 

Meanwhile, brown the hamburger and onion. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, tomato soup, corn and green beans and stir gently. Once it's all mixed nicely and bubbly hot, place it into a 9x13 pan.

Mash the potatoes. Add the milk and butter. Spread over the mixture in the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 5 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Orange Creme Cupcakes

 Yes! Another cupcake recipe! :) These were also served at my cousin's bridal shower. And they were yum-o! I got the idea from a cupcake magazine I bought (Better Homes and Garden) but I changed it up. They were trying really hard to make them look like creme pops, but I really didn't think the extra icing and the wooden craft stick poking out of the top was worth it. So this is a orangey-orange flavored cupcake. Seriously, the flavor is amazing. Then it is topped with an orange creme icing. Delicious! And a hit at the party. This recipe uses a box cake mix and makes 24 cupcakes.

1 3-ounce package orange flavored gelatin
1 white cake mix
1 4-serving size cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
1 1/4 cups orange juice
4 egg
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cupcake tins by lining them with cupcake papers.

Set aside 2 teaspoons of the orange gelatin for the frosting. Combine the remaining gelatin, the cake mix, the pudding mix, the orange juice, eggs, oil and vanilla - mix well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each one 2/3 full. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool cupcakes in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely. 

For the frosting:

8oz package of cream cheese
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
orange food coloring

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the 2 teaspoons of reserved orange gelatin. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency. Add a few drops of orange food coloring until it reaches your desired color.

Then frost away baby!! I like to do a swirl frosting top, but you can decorate them however you like. I added a little extra bling with orange sugar sprinkles. Fancy, I know. Now try to only eat one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

I'm back! I'm really, really back! And what a better way to start back up a cooking blog then with some delicious cupcakes. I made these little lemon yummies for my cousin's bridal shower. These amazing cupcakes are lemon themselves, and then filled and topped with lemon curd. And trust me, they are delicious. But I might be slightly biased because I LOVE lemon curd. Like lick the bowl clean, love lemon curd. The cupcake itself is pretty dense, but it needs to be that way so they don't go soggy from the lemon curd. And this recipe makes 42 cupcakes! I adapted it from a Martha Stewart recipe. Here is a view of the inside of the cupcake:
For the lemon curd:

2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Combine whole eggs and egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (like a double boiler). Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Move the curd to another bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it directly to the top of the surface. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least two hours.

While the curd is cooling, it's time to make some cupcakes!

1 3/4 cups butter
3 cups sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
7 large egg
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour2 Tablespoons fresh finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans by lining with cupcake papers.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, on low speed until each egg in incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, lemon peel, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter and mix just until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake pans (remember this recipe makes 42 cupcakes!), filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 23 to 28 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

To assemble, dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Fill a pastry bag with curd. Insert the tip into the top of cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside. Then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to one hour or kept in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.