cupcake supremacy

when cupcakes rule the world…

What’s cookin? January 17, 2010

Filed under: daily life,housewifery — cupcakesupremacy @ 5:18 pm

Hello there. I fell off into the black hole of no blogging again.

To bring you up to speed on my life:

I was doing so well with the cold-turkey giving up pop thing. I had to cheat yesterday though because I had a really unhappy stomach.

If I try to do anything more than space out on the bus at night, I get really carsick. It usually subsides by the time I walk home from the bus stop, but for some reason Friday night it didn’t.

I went to lay down around 6:30 and told Keith if I wasn’t out to wake me at 8:00pm. Well I woke up to pee at 7:50 and didn’t feel any better so I laid down again. He came in to wake me around 8:45 and I had zero desire to get out of bed, so stay in bed I did. And I woke up at about 8:30a.m.

So a nice 14 hours of sleep and I felt kind of okay. I eventually got hungry (after sleeping through dinner) and ate an enchilada I found in the freezer around 11ish. And felt okay for a bit until I started to feel all car sick-y again. We had plans to go to dinner with Keith’s friends but I decided to lay down for a bit and then decided I had no desire to eat anything at all.

I asked Keith to bring me home some ginger-ale and drinking that settled my stomach enough that I could eat some soup.

Waking up today, my appetite was back, so whatever weirdness that was seems to have passed.

And I don’t really care that I drank the pop. It was not impulsive, it helped. Now the real struggle is not drinking the rest of the 2-liter in the fridge. Which I will probably do. And forgive myself.

Today I made waffles for breakfast and my light brioche burger buns are currently on their second rise.

Making anything with yeast used to terrify me and even my challah didn’t rise at first, but I tricked it into rising. My buns are looking awesome and I’m really excited about the doors that have been opened now that I’m no longer afraid of bread. Weeee!

Advertisements
 

Stormy Christmas January 4, 2010

Filed under: daily life,housewifery,photos — cupcakesupremacy @ 8:25 pm

Now Christmas is not my favorite holiday, never has been. Okay, maybe from the ages 3-8 or so but I grew up on the poor side of things, so once the magic of Santa wore off, I knew there were more exciting things in life.

Christmas lights are pretty cool and though I’ve never actually made a gingerbread house, I long to. Christmas music, on the other hand, is one of the most horrible things ever created. (In my personal opinion).

When I was old enough to have a job, I felt obligated to buy everyone presents. Which always became a frantic period of “how many paychecks ’til Christmas?” (I can only imagine how my parents felt playing that game with 4 children.)

Last year, I gave up. It was a combination of no money and too much stress and I didn’t buy anything for anyone. I warned everyone ahead of time and Christmas was actually pretty nice. I can’t remember if I got anything, but I didn’t want anything, so it was fine. Christmas was family and food and I finally completely enjoyed it for the first time in my adult life.

This year was different. I had a decent job and a boyfriend. I had decided on Keith’s Christmas present sometime in July, it was just a matter of finding the best one. My siblings and I had decided to not exchange gifts, so that narrowed it down to buying something for Keith, something for my mom and something for my step-dad.

I wanted to get Keith a homebrew kit. After months of consideration and entirely too much research, I got Keith a Mr. Beer kit. Maybe not the best one out there, but certainly the simplest and that was my second requirement.

For my mom, I got her a cover for her Kitchenaid. Kinda lame, but it was something she wanted without even knowing it, so she liked it.

I split the cost of the cover with my brother who grabbed a season of LOST for my step-dad.

Bam, bam, bam, done.

Weeks ago, Keith and I went out and bought a Wii. He paid, and after getting in the car, said “Merry Christmas!” I said “Okay!” And figured that was that.

I came home from work on Christmas Eve to a stack of presents near the tree. Keith had the day off work and wrapped his mom’s and stepdad’s presents. So I pretty much ignored the presents, since I assumed they all belonged to others.

I was planning on making lemon meringue pies for Christmas and decided to sit down for a bit before starting them. Out of nowhere Keith says, “One of those is for you…” “Nuh uh.” “Yea and you have to open it now.” “No way, you did not get me another present.” We went back and forth a few times before he finally convinced me to open it.

And inside was this beauty.

hello, gorgeous.

A 6 quart, Professional Series Kitchenaid. It is a thing of beauty. I had talked and talked and talked about the mixer and jokingly probably a dozen times told him he could buy me one but I really never expected him to. For a brief moment I did think he might, but then after the Wii thing I figured not. And I was totally fine with that because HELLO!

ugly crust, lovely pies.

He didn’t really want me to open it until Christmas but figured it would be pretty mean to let me bake two lemon meringue pies while a gorgeous workhorse of a mixer sat on the floor.

So far I have used it to make two lemon meringue pies, a meatloaf, and a loaf of challah.

challah!

Even though I’ve never seen Star Wars, I think my mixer looks like a Storm Trooper and thusly has been named Stormy. She’s a beauty and I’m excited for all the beautiful things we will make together.

 

Vaguely Asian Noodles November 15, 2009

Filed under: housewifery,nablopomo — cupcakesupremacy @ 8:43 pm

lomein

A few months ago, Keith asked if I knew how to make lo mein. I had dabbled very little with asian inspired dishes, only trying to recreate Lulu’s Spicy Basil Noodles, which I did! Yay! But never lo mein. I looked around and found a few recipes for chicken lo mein but a lot of them seemed overly complicated or used weird ingredients that I didn’t feel like buying.

So I modified and adapted and ended up with the one dish that Keith requests every week.

They are super easy, take maybe 20 minutes start to finish and you can adapt them for whatever you have.

Ingredients (for 2 servings and a little leftover)
1.5 chicken breasts
1 bag of frozen veggies of choice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup water
linguine (I suck at portioning this and we always end up with way too much, so I’m not telling you how much to use.)
1 tablespoon-ish sesame oil

Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Measure out the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger and cornstarch and mix together. (I usually just mix it right in the measuring cup.)
Pour this over the chicken and let sit. (Sometimes I do this a few hours in advance and put it in the fridge, sometimes I do it right then and only let it sit for a few minutes.)
Put your water on to boil.
Take a slotted spoon and transfer the chicken to a pan, reserving the liquid.
After the chicken is mostly cooked, throw the veggies in.
Once the veggies are cooked through, pour the rest of the liquid in the pan, letting it reduce until it’s nice and thick.
Eventually your noodles should be done, strain and toss with the sesame oil.
Put some noodles in a bowl, top with the chicken/veggie/sauce and
Tada!

Now I’ve used pork and veal in place of the chicken, we switch up the veggies depending on what looks good (I am particularly fond of the Giant Eagle Edamame blend and the Pepper Stir-Fry. You could use real lo mein noodles or regular spaghetti or even egg noodles.

I don’t even measure anything anymore, just throw it all together and hope for the best. It’s quick, easy and forgiving. And vaguely Asian.

 

Tuesday night is cookie night. November 3, 2009

Filed under: housewifery,nablopomo,photos — cupcakesupremacy @ 11:00 pm
cookies

mt. cookie

Well, not really, but it is tonight.

Two weeks ago I was in a baking mood and decided to bake some cookies. Surfing around tastykitchen.com I found a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and I was sold at the first three words. So I busted out my baking supplies and made some cookies. (And a mess.) About halfway through baking I realized there were entirely too many cookies for just Keith and myself. Especially because I had no idea how they’d even taste.

So I employed one of the greatest tactics I’ve ever been taught. I shaped the rest of the cookies, stuck them on a plate and flash froze them. Threw them into a freezer bag and tada! Cookies on demand!

You have to bake them a bit longer when you pull them out of the freezer, but no thawing needed. I think I baked these for 9 minutes with raw dough and 17 with frozen, but it’s a small price to pay to be able to bake 3 cookies with no fuss.

So tonight when my craving for cookies and my laziness were going to battle, I remembered the bag full of frozen cookie dough disks and every side of me wins!

Recipe: here.

Note: the picture at the top is not of these cookies, but rather my holy grail chocolate chip cookies which I’ll probably share later. At first these peanut butter ones were kinda meh but they grew on me. I ended up eating almost all of them, so it’s a good thing I froze half.

 

my first chili. October 2, 2009

Filed under: housewifery — cupcakesupremacy @ 12:58 pm

A while back I decided I wanted to try my hand at making chili. I was a little scared, having never made anything similar before, but I had the internet at the tip of my fingers and my mom (who makes awesome chili) is usually only a phone call away.

So I went for it and only had to make one phone call to my mom (who never actually answered). The chili was pretty awesome. It was very spicy and I didn’t even throw in the jalapeño I had. I deem it a success and now that I have chili under my apron, I’m itching to make my own pasta sauce. (The true measure of a cook when you’re Italian.)

and so it went from this...

and so it went from this...

to this...

to this...

Recipe (adapted from various sources)

1lb ground chuck
1lb hot italian sausage
3 15oz cans chili beans in sauce (i used bush’s (2 medium, 1 hot))
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 bell peppers chopped (i used already chopped from the store so mine was red, green and yellow)
1 small can green chilies
2 cubes beef bullion
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs dried oregano (i had none so i used majoram)
2 ts ground cumin
2 ts hot pepper sauce (i used tapatio which is pretty hot, next time ill use less or something milder)
1 ts dried basil
1 ts salt (at least. i added more later to taste)
1 ts ground black pepper (again, more to taste)
1 ts cayenne pepper
1 ts paprika
1 ts white sugar
4oz beer

Serves 6-8

It was pretty simple, I browned the meat then added all the beans/vegetables, cooked for a few minutes, added all the spices/hot sauce/worcestershire/beer, gave it a good stir to combine everything and cooked on low for probably 4 hours. I alternated the lid on/off so it wasn’t too wet or too thick. The end!

 

bakextravaganza September 11, 2009

Filed under: daily life,housewifery,photos — cupcakesupremacy @ 12:28 pm

It’s no surprise to anyone that I love to bake.  And if it is, maybe you should check your address bar before you continue reading. Cupcakes have become the big thing in recent years and for not bad reason. Who doesn’t love portable cake?

Keith had a work Steelers party thing and asked if I could make him something.  He signed up for cookies, but I decided I wanted to make something fancier and also something I don’t usually get to make, as dozens of cupcakes for two people is not the greatest idea.  And so I spent my Wednesday making Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes. (The recipe gives you several cake options, I swear by Amy’s.)

I also received a cupcake book from Elyse’s mom called Cupcake Heaven in which there was a recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes. 
Keith loves Lemon Meringue Pie and hates cake, so I thought I’d give them a whirl attempting to convert him.  So I did.  (The recipe I used isn’t online although there are similar ones.)

 

And then I had a photoshoot. 

pies go cupcake!

cakes again!

cakes!

 

The BBCP cupcakes were a hit and Keith said the Lemon Meringue Pie cakes were the best cake he’s ever had, which coming from a cake-hater, I’m not sure if that’s really high praise or not.  But I’m running with it.

 

how to (not) make pasta. May 28, 2009

Filed under: daily life,housewifery — cupcakesupremacy @ 6:43 pm

I love to bake and cook.  If it’s not dishes and can be done in a kitchen, I’m all over it.

It’s very therapeutic, measuring, mixing, spooning.  I also love creating something from nothing.  Well, not nothing, but you know what I mean.

Being half Italian, I was raised on pasta. Spaghetti, ravioli, lasagne, manicotti, rigatoni, etc etc etc.  But it typically came in a box.  My gram occasionally makes homemade chicken noodle soup, but that was really my only exposure to homemade pasta.

Last thanksgiving, my mom decided we were going to make the ravioli from scratch.  (Holiday dinners in my family always include some sauce-based dish.  Always.)

So the day before, my mom, my sister and I borrowed my gram’s pasta maker and sat around the kitchen table, ready to go.  But the machine apparently was not.  It was supposed to mix the dough as well as rolling it out, but it stopped shortly after mixing.  So we pried it out and rolled and cut it by hand.  It was awesome.  And the ravioli were awesome.  We got rave reviews from the fam and my mom did it again for Christmas.  (This time unassisted and entirely by hand.)

Earlier this week, I was reading through Google Reader and saw that The Pioneer Woman had posted a recipe for homemade noodles.  Two weeks earlier, Keith (the sweetheart that he is) bought me a rolling pin.

I knew what I had to do.

a well of eggs.

a well of eggs.

The recipe calls for 2 eggs per cup of flour.  I used 4 eggs and 2 cups of flour because I didn’t know what I was doing and wanted some room for error.  You could probably go for 3 eggs/1.5 cups of flour for 2 people, as I had some leftover. I also added some salt because I love it.

You build a well in your flour and mix by hand.  When it’s all combined you dump it out onto a floured surface.  The only flat surface is my cook top, so there it went.

(mostly) combined.

(mostly) combined.

Then you knead.  For ever.  Or until the dough isn’t tacky and sticking to your hand.  I had a layer of dough stuck to my hand after that I had to scrape off, but the dough eventually stops sticking to you.  You then let it sit for a bit, before rolling it out.  I have no idea why, I just do what I’m told.

pretty thick noodles.

pretty thick noodles.

I rolled out the dough and used a pizza cutter to slice the noodles.  They expand in the water, so I found mine were entirely too thick.  The third from the right is probably about the size you want.

And then where I went wrong.

baby fsm.

baby fsm.

I tossed the noodles onto a plate haphazardly and let them sit there.  For a while.  How long a while is, I have no idea, as Keith showed up at this point and I got distracted.

A while later when I went to cook them…they were stuck.  Sadly  I don’t have a picture of the mass, but Keith referred to it as a funnel cake, and that’s exactly what it looked like.  I recruited him to help peel off noodles but by the end I just ended up rolling out the mass again and re-cutting them.

Overall? They were decent.  They were entirely too thick and therefore undercooked a tad (the recipe said 2 minutes, but mine probably could have used 3-4).  I think they would be AWESOME in a soup, but as for topped with sauce, they were edible, but not magnificent.  I will conquer them one day, promise.