Friday, April 29, 2011

Daring Bakers' April Challenge, Bacon Cups

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at The Daring Kitchen.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I LOVE the monthly challenges that are presented to the the daring bakers.  Every month we are presented with a new and exciting challenge and a lot of them push me out of my comfort zone, but a lot of the challenges are things that I have wanted to make but haven't gotten around to actually making.  This month was one of those months that we were challenged to make something that I had actually had on my "to make" wish list for quite some time.  I have wanted to make edible containers for quite some time.  I have had a couple of desserts from restaurants that were presented in edible, mostly chocolate, conainers and they were not only pretty and jaw dropping but absolutely delicious.  Having these desserts made me want to make edible containers/dishes that much more.  I mean what's better than being presented with a dish that looks and tastes amazing?  Being presented with a dish that not only looks and tastes amazing but is also edible.  You really can't beat that, plus there are no dishes to clean after you are finished with your dessert!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perfect Party Cake

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. We certainly did; we enjoyed time with family and friends. Tucker had a great weekend, he played hard all weekend and he had the best time hunting Easter eggs!

Easter started a few days early around our house since Tucker's daycare had an Easter party. For his party, I decided to make mini cupcakes for all the kiddos. All kids love cupcakes and I especially love these mini cupcakes because they are the perfect size for their little hands and the perfect portion for them. I've made a few different types of cupcakes for his daycare for various events, but kept the flavors simple to avoid any food allergies anyone may have. Since I've kept it simple, mostly vanilla and chocolate, I have tried numerous vanilla cake recipes and this time I decided to be a little different and try a white cake recipe instead. I know this isn't too much different than a yellow cake, but like I said, I try to keep it simple to ensure all the kids can enjoy them. I'm so glad I came across the recipe for Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake.  Don't get me wrong, Dorie Greenspan is not a well kept secret, she has many cookbooks and one of the most popular is about baking which is appropriately titled, "Baking: From my Home to Yours."  There is even a cooking group/club dedicated to making recipes by her, Tuesdays with Dorie, they cooke their way through a cookbook at a time and post their recipes and reviews every Tuesday (hence the name, Tuesdays with Dorie).  Like I said, she's no hidden secret, she's a very well know and talented cook/chef and a best selling cookbook author.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our family to yours. 

Come back over the next couple of weeks to see updates of the delicious desserts I made for Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cumin-Seared Scallop Tacos

Kelsey Nixon of "Kelsey's Essentials" is one of my new favorite cooks.  Most of you may know her from "The Next Food Network Star", she was on season 4 and she actually made it to the top 4.  I absolutely loved her on NFNS and I had hoped she would win the title of NFNS and have her own show, well that didn't happen.  When she was cut I was so sad, I really enjoyed her and her spin on recipes as well as her cheery personality and thought she would have made a wonderful host.  Not too long after her dismisal from NFNS, Kelsey got her own show which premeired in 2010 Cooking Channel and I could not be happier.  She has so many helpful tips and the recipes that she prepares look so delicious and very do-able for the homecook.  Since I discovered her show it is now on my DVR list so I am sure to never miss an episode!  Each show has a theme and she prepares recips that correspond with that nifty is that?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese with Pesto

Let's face it, macaroni and cheese is one of the all time, ultimate comfort foods and this applies for any age group.  It doesn't matter whether you are 1 or 100 hundred, I don't think there is a person out there that doesn't love macaroni and cheese.  It's just a feel good food.  Although the stuff in the blue box is hands down one of the most popular macaroni and cheeses out there; there are a lot of people who don't care for it and feels like it's lacking in flavor.  If you are one of those people, please don't let this turn you off of this wonderful food.  Macaroni and cheese is so very easy to make and can be customized to your taste.  Just boil your noodles as normal, which is so easy, right?  After this point your half way there.  Then for the cheese sauce, the good stuff, just combine milk/cream, butter, your favorite cheese (this is the fun part where you customize your mac and cheese) and salt and pepper.  I mean, does it get any easier than that?  I think not!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

It's been crazy, but here's the menu for this week.  Better late than never!  I will be posting some yummy recipes in the next few days.  Thanks for staying with me!

Menu for April 17-23, 2011

Pasta salad with grill jerk chicken
Crepes stuffed with chicken, topped with lemon butter asparagus sauce
Beef Tostadas
Pork Stir-fry
Eat out/Take out

Other baking: White cake with apricot filling and buttercream frosting, Easter sugar cookies, mini yellow cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting

Have a great week and a very Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal Plan for April 3-9, 2011

Pizza, Old Chicago
Mushroom Bolognese, jalapeno cheese muffins and maybe a side salad
Chicken saute with sugar snap peas and asparagus
Take Out
Sauteed tilapia served over jalapeno noodles with a jalapeno cream sauce
Seafood gumbo

Other cooking/baking- sugar cookies, vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting, chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.
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