Monday, March 26, 2012

Great for Dippin' Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread
So there are a ton of different dishes that require some delicious garlic bread for dipping I love this recipe because its super easy to make, like everything else on my blog. This is usually requested alongside my baked ziti.

  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • 1/2 cup or one stick of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 2 tbs of garlic minced (if you like super garlic bread add an extra tbs)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese 
Oven: 350° F         Baking Time: 13 Minutes         Serving Size: 4-5 people

How to put it all together
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Cut your bread in half horizontally
  3. In a small bowl mix together the stick of butter with all of the garlic
  4. Spread the mixture onto the cut side of the bread
  5. Evenly sprinkle the parmesan cheese on bread 
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 13 minutes

Taste Like Home-Made Boston Cream Cupcakes

My boyfriend, Alan, his friends and his family love it when I make them some boston cream cupcakes. These are so easy to make and they add that little bit of sweetness you need at the end of your meal. These cupcakes can be made from scratch but I find that these cupcakes, made with cake mix and instant jell-o pudding mix are just as delicious in the least amount of time. If you don't have a lot of time to make something that everyone will enjoy this is the dessert for you.

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
    • Ingredients according to cake mix box:
      • Eggs
      • Water
      • Cooking oil
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract 
  • 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
    Oven: 350° F         Baking Time: 25 Minutes         Serving Size: 6-8 people

    How to put it all together:
    1. Line cupcake tin with liners
    2. Mix, pour in cake batter into the cupcake tin with liners and bake cake mix according to the directions on the box
    3. In a medium sized bowl add the vanilla pudding mix, milk and the pure vanilla extract 
    4. Wisk together until it thickens and come together
    5. Place plastic wrap over the bowl making sure it touches the pudding so that it does not form a skin, refrigerate till you are ready to fill the cupcakes
    6. Once the the cupcakes are baked, place them on a cooking rack and let them cool completely about 15-20 minutes
    7. Once they are completely cooled you can use a Cupcake plunger to scoop out the center of the cupcake or i used to use a spoon to just scoop out the inside before I had a plunger
    8. I like to save the tops, cut a bit of the bottom off and replacing them after filling the cupcake
    9. Place the pudding in a decorating bag or injector and fill your cupcake centers to the top.
    10. Replace the tops and set aside
    11. Now its time to make the chocolate ganache create a double boiler using a medium sized sauce pan and a medium sized bowl that fits on top of the sauce pan without touching the bottom
    12. place about 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil and place the bowl over the pot 
    13. place the chocolate and the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk together till the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the heavy cream.
    14. Cool the ganache for about 20 minutes
    15. Spoon some ganache over the cupcakes and allow to set for 5-10 minutes
    Other ganache options: 
    • Pipe it out - If you want to have a more icing like consistency cool the ganache completely in the fridge till its thick and firm. Place the cooled ganache in a piping bag or tube and pipe onto the cupcakes
    • Whip it good - Allow to cool slightly in the fridge about 15 -20 minutes so it is cool but not completely firm. Whisk the ganache till light and fluffy about 10 minutes
    Serve and Enjoy!

      Monday, March 19, 2012

      Give Me More Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

         After living in Rochester for four years I've learned that western New York has delicious wings. There is one thing that almost every restaurant has is Buffalo chicken wing dip. This recipe has been a huge hit at all the parties I've brought it too, usually the first thing to fly off the table. It's super easy to make and a great addition to any party or BBQ you may go to.
         The best thing about this recipe is that it doesn't require that many ingredients to make something that is totally delicious that everyone will love.  

      • 8 oz of cream cheese, at room temp
      • 1/2 cup of ranch dressing
      • 1/2 cup of Buffalo Wing Sauce (I've fallen in love with Wing-Time)
      • 1 lb of chicken cutlets
      • 1tbs olive oil
      • 1/2 cup of blue cheese (optional) 
      • Tortilla chips/ celery sticks (for serving)

      Oven: 350° F                Time: 15-20 Minutes           Serving: 4 people

      How to put it together:
      1. Preheat the oven to 350° F 
      2. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes
      3. In a medium skillet on medium heat add 1tbs of olive oil
      4. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook through 
      5. In a 8x8 glass baking dish combine together the cream cheese, ranch dressing and hot sauce till smooth
      6. Add the chicken to the mixture
      7. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is heated through
      8. Once you take it out of the oven add the blue cheese, if you want
      9. Serve immediately with the tortilla chips and or celery sticks

      Recipe Inspired by: Frank's Redhot

      Monday, March 12, 2012

      Back to the Boardwalk Zeppoles

         So being from New Jersey I've spent many of my summers on the boardwalk. I have fond memories of eating zeppoles, fried oreos and italian ice on warm summer nights. Zeppoles are similar to fried dough that you would get at a festival or fair. They are traditionally topped with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar mixture. If you find them at an italian bakery they maybe filled with custard, jelly, or cannoli filling. These are super easy to make but make sure you serve them right away. Enjoy!

      • 2 quarts of vegetable oil, for frying
      • 1 cup of flour
      • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, for dusting
      • 1 pinch of salt
      • 1 1/2 tsp of white sugar
      • 2 eggs 
      • 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract
      • 2 tsps of baking powder
      Oil: 375° F               Fry Time: 4 minutes              Serving Size: 4-6 people

      How to put it all together:
      1. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
      2. In another bowl beat the 2 eggs
      3. In a medium sauce pan on low heat mix the dry ingredients with the eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla
      4. Cook the ingredients for 2 minutes on low heat
      5. Bring up the oil to 375°  and drop in the dough, I like to use a small to medium sized ice cream scoop for this to help keep the zeppoles a uniform size
      6. Cook each piece till golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes 
      7. Coat the zeppoles with the powdered sugar. There are two ways you can accomplish this
        • Place the zeppoles in a paper bag with all of the powdered sugar. Close the bag, shake and enjoy. This coats the zeppoles completely
        • If you want a little less sugar place all the zeppoles on a plate with a paper towel underneath to help absorb all of the oil. Then just dust the powdered sugar on top
        I recommend using a dutch oven or a deep fryer to fry your zeppoles if you have it because they keep a more constant heat but it is not necessary.

        I like to serve them with some ice cream or carmel sauce but they are delicious by themselves.

        Monday, March 5, 2012

        Manly Stuffed Mushrooms

           These stuffed mushrooms are delicious and a huge hit with all of my guy friends. This is a meatier style of stuffing which is probably why it's so popular with the guys. I love serving these as appetizers at parties. Its a great way to either tide your guests over till the entree or as part of your entree if its tapas style.

        • 16 XL white mushrooms (get the largest ones you can find because mushrooms shrink when you cook them)
        • 2 1/2 tbs marsala wine
        • 5 Tbs olive oil
        • 3/4 lb sweet italian sausage (if its in a casing remove it)
        • 6 scallions white and green parts minced
        • 2 garlic gloves minced
        • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
        • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
        • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
        • 2 1/2 tbs parsley (dry is fine for this)
        • Salt and pepper to taste

        Oven: 325° F                  Baking Time: 50 minutes                  Servings: 4 people

        How to put it together:

        1. You're going to want to clean the mushrooms first. Don't run them under water, simply take a moist cloth or paper towel and wipe off the mushrooms
        2. Remove the mushroom steams and chop them finely, we'll be using them in the stuffing so don't throw them away.
        3. In a bowl toss together the mushroom caps with 3 tbs of olive oil and all of the marsala wine
        4. In a medium skillet heat the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat
        5. Add the sausage and cook until its no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes 
        6. To the pan add the chopped mushroom stems, garlic and scallions, cook for 3 minutes
        7. Add the panko bread crumbs and mix
        8. combine the mascarpone cheese and add salt and pepper to taste
        9. Stuff the mushrooms with a heaping tablespoon of the stuffing
        10. Now for the easy part, put it in the oven and bake it for 50 minutes 
        Recipe inspired by: The Food Network