Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Banana Pecan Cupcakes



Banana bread is good--a great use for overripe fruit. Add toasted pecans and it gets more interesting. Turn it into cupcakes and top with chocolate sour cream frosting and you have a delicious dessert, perfect for sharing.



This recipe is another winner from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. As a member of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club we are baking our way through this fun cookbook. Banana Pecan Cupcakes was a bonus pick for September. These cupcakes were lighter than banana bread and the chocolate frosting turned them into wonderful. I give them 5 stars! Check the MSCC blogroll and see what others thought of this recipe.



My Favorite Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Melt 1/4 cup butter and 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate. Cool 5 minutes, add 1/2 cup sour cream. Beat in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar. This is the best! I like Ghiradelli choocolate, I just tried Tillamook Premium sour cream and I think I have another favorite!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes




     I am happy to be a member of an online baking group. We will bake our way through the Martha Stewart Cupcake book. This months recipe was a winner. It uses up the ever prolific zucchini that is abundant this time of the year. It also gave me a chance to try out my new KitchenAide Food Processor. My old one died making Blueberry Bars--I just wore the poor thing out!
     It did a beautiful job of shredding the zucchini! This recipe was easy to make; whisk dry ingredients, including cinnamon, cloves and fresh nutmeg. Wet ingredients include eggs, oil and vanilla; add lots of brown sugar, a bit of lemon zest, the shredded zuchinni and some toasted walnuts. Gently stir and enjoy the spicy scent as these cupcakes bake.
     I frosted them with a simple cream cheese frosting! They are delicious for breakfast--I know! Check out all the bakers to see their creations.


     As I make a recipe in a new cookbook I like to write things in the margins--things I would do different etc. I also give recipes a star rating. This is a full 5 stars (5 is the best), I will certainly make them again. I would make just 1/2 recipe of frosting. This recipe makes 18 regular cupcakes and 24 minis.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Great Adventure and Smoked Salmon Dip


My sweet husband spent a wonderful week in Alaska on a fishing adventure with my brothers. He enjoyed every aspect of the trip and arrived home with many fish stories as well as a cooler of fresh fish. Nothing can compare to Fresh Alaskan Seafood. And no seafood feast is complete without Smoked Salmon Dip. This recipe has evolved over the years and really is delicious.


Smoked Salmon Dip
Mix together:
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 green onion, minced
3/4 teaspoon Pampered Chef Dill Seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of white pepper
stir in flaked Smoked Salmon to taste. Serve with crackers.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Holiday Snack Mix





My brother Craig is a genius when it comes to computers, he is the real deal. He is always able to solve my techno dramas. He won't take payment, which is good because I'm sure I couldn't afford him! Craig does have a fondness for salty, crunchy Chex Party Mix. Yes, you can buy it in a bag but this is a 'cooking blog' and the kind in a bag never has enough of the good stuff--cashews, almonds, peanuts etc.

I modified a recipe from the back of a generic wheat square cereal box. I like oven baked snack mix, I have melted too many bowls trying the microwave version (unattended butter in the micro can get really hot)!
This is a perfect snack for movie night, game night or any holiday gathering. Serve with a bottle of water!

Holiday Snack Mix
1/4 cup melted butter
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
7 cups any combo of Wheat, Corn or Rice Square cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mix-Up Adventures (pretzel and cheese goldfish)

Mix melted butter and seasonings in an open roasting pan. Gradually stir in cereal, nuts and fish. Mix well. Bake 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towel to cool.