Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Food Network Cupcakes!

Has anyone heard of the new Food Network Cupcake app for the iPad? I just heard about it on Food Networks show Cupcake Wars and after trying it out, its a proven winner!


This app has 100+ amazing cupcake recipes that vary from the frostings, fillings, decorations, icings, and the types of cakes. Its everything a cupcake maker could have ever dreamed of!

To say that I freaked out would be an understatement... But how couldn't I? Watching a bunch of people make cupcakes and not being able to try them is torture!


Not only does it provide the beautiful pictures and recipes, but also incredibly useful tips on how to ensure the perfect quality for all of your cupcakes. I personally will be using this app alllll the time... I am telling you, if you are a cupcake freak like I am or even if you just want a great recipe, you absolutely need this!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Looking for a Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe!

One of my favorite kinds of cakes are red velvet, and I really wanted to recreate that into a cupcake. The only problem is that I can't find a good recipe for it. Of course I cannot make red velvet without the complimentary cream cheese frosting. Have tried a few different red velvet recipes that I have found online and NONE of them are working! So I decided to ask anyone out there that has a wonderful red velvet cupcake recipe to please send it to me! Also if you have any ideas for things for me to post please give me some ideas in a comment below. Once I have found my recipe I will show you all how it turns out! Thanks Everyone!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Best Burger in Maine?

When I first heard of the Five Guys restaurant, it had very high reviews for its burgers and fries. It was soon after that I heard that this chain restaurant was coming to Maine! Now, of course, I had to go try this award winning burger and fries, but did it become my new "best burger in Maine"? 


I came here with my whole family to try this burger and though wildly amazing and delicious, this burger only came in second place for the "best burger in Maine". From the two perfectly cooked patties, to the super fresh toppings, everything about this burger was perfect! This burger was very, very close to first place in my ratings for burgers, but honestly how in the world am I supposed to pick between this burger, and my current best burger in Maine from Sunset Variety? Five Guys has a bunch of different toppings and ways to eat your burger so if you are ever craving a quick delicious meal, this is the place to go! I highly recommend this restaurant and you can see if they are located anywhere near you by going to their website at www.fiveguys.com

If you have any questions or comments please post them below! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lemon Chicken Pasta with a Garlic Gravy Anyone?


Pasta, one of my many favorite things, is paired with an amazing arrangement of flavor in this recipe. How, when put together, can the many simple ingredients that we use practically every day make something this delicious? No, really... Can you tell me? 




On this special Thursday when I have nothing to do and I am at home all day, what better to do than to put on an apron and get to work? Spending the day in the kitchen is my favorite way to spend a day, and a great bonus is making something absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)
1 pound chicken breasts

Chicken Marinade
2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dried)
2 teaspoons rosemary (fresh or dried)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Garlic Gravy
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons evoo
4 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons of better than bouillon chicken flavoring
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup parmesan

Directions
Chop chicken into cubes and put in a medium size bowl, set aside. Combine thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, evoo, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and add to chicken. Cover and place marinated chicken in refrigerator for 20+ minutes. Saute the chicken in evoo until fully cooked (about 4-5 minutes) and set aside. Over medium heat in a large saute pan add butter and evoo. Saute garlic until soft, add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add in water and bouillon and simmer gravy until thickened, add in basil. Season with the salt and pepper and add the chicken, pasta, and tomatoes to the gravy. Toss until fully combined and sprinkle grated parmesan over the top and serve. This recipe makes for 5-6 people.

Hope you all like this recipe! If you have any questions or comments please post them below! Thanks!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

As I promised, here is the recipe for the Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting! When I first tried this recipe, I was surprised that it didn't taste too much like marshmallow. When I thought of marshmallow frosting I immediately thought it would be sticky and super sweet just like a marshmallow, but this recipe provides the perfect balance of the sweetness without completely taking away the marshmallow flavor. If you like piping your frosting onto your cupcakes like me, than this is a perfect recipe for you! While being very fluffy, the frosting holds its shape perfectly! This is a very simple and quick recipe that goes well with many kinds of cupcakes!



Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
               
Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1(7 ½ ounce) jar marshmallow fluff
1 cup confectioners powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
                


Directions

  •   Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until creamy.
  •  Beat in marshmallow fluff.
  •  Reduce speed to low, and beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
  •  Increase speed to high; beat until fluffy.

Notes
                Make sure butter is at room temperature and not melted or hard. Recipe frosts 10 cupcakes if piped, and 12 if spread. 

If you have any questions or comments please post them below! Thanks!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chocolate Cupcake

What could possibly be better than a chocolate cupcake? I spend much of my time making cupcakes and I simply can't get my hands off the chocolate ones! There are so many different recipes for chocolate cupcakes that I have probably tried dozens... They are my guilty pleasure. :)


I made these recently for my friends birthday party and everyone loved them! Of course, afterwards my friends were jumping off the walls... This recipe is from the Food Network television show Barefoot Contessa. It originally has a peanut butter frosting but, like I said, what could be better than chocolate? I have made these a few times now and have served them different ways each time. My favorite way to have these cupcakes is with a marshmallow buttercream frosting, which I will give you the recipe for in another post.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

If you have any questions or comments please post them below! Thanks!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Best Part of Vacation

What is the best part of vacation? It doesn't matter where you are, whether you are hanging out with friends or you have gone to a completely different place, the answer is always the same... THE FOOD! I recently went to Walt Disney World in Florida and spent the majority of my time eating. For some reason whenever its vacation time I always allow myself to eat as much as I want and anything I want, and this vacation I did just that.

In Epcot, one of Disneys' four main parks, I ate at four different restaurants, each with a different theme. In Epcot, there is something that is called the World Showcase where you can walk to different themed pavilions and find yourself standing in a different country. Each pavilion has picked a different country to represent and represent it with different buildings, decorations, and foods to bring it to life.

The four pavilions I ate at were Japan, Morocco, France, and Italy. They were all very different from anything I am used to eating. The Japanese restaurant,  Teppan Edo, was an amazing experience where they cook traditional Japanese dishes right at your table. The talented chefs not only cook your food but also entertain you with different tricks and small stunts making it the traditional Teppan-yaki experience. The menu includes Udon noodles, steamed rice, and various types of shellfish, meats, and vegetables that were all very well cooked and seasoned. Teppan Edo has been one of my favorite restaurants since my first time there a few years ago and is one of the many things I absolutely must do when visiting Disney.

Another restaurant that I ate at was Via Napoli in the Italian pavilion. This was my first time eating at this new restaurant and definitely wont be my last! This culinary tour through southern Italy has arranged some of the best meals that I have had in a long time. The menu includes various pastas, spinach lasagnas, chicken and steak salads, and amazing pizzas. For the restaurant to ensure the best Italian experience, Nick Valenti spent time in Naples studying the art of making pizzas and brought his knowledge to this restaurant making it the most mouthwatering pizza I have ever had. From the classic cheese to the magnificent margarita pizza, Via Napoli will always please.

Although much of the food I ate was at the best quality, not everything can always have such high reviews. Restaurant Marrakesh in the Moroccan pavilion did not quite live up to my other dining experiences in Epcot. While the setting, entertainment, and dinner servers were lovely, the food was lacking in more than one way. As expected, the food on the menu had a very different quality than I am used to, but what was strange was that  the meals were all lacking in flavor. I had hoped for maybe not more spice, but more flavor all together, and it is simple to say that it was disappointing.

Last, but certainly not least, is Les Chefs de France in the French pavilion. This restaurant has been my favorite for many years now and still lives up to my high expectations. This restaurant not only offers new foods that I was delighted to try, like escargot, but familiar French dishes that are all delicious. The menu includes lobster bisque, French onion soup, roasted duck, braised short ribs, creme brulee, various fish dishes, and many other unique and delicious meals. Les Chefs de France also provides a character meal where you can meet Remy from the Disney movie Ratatouille, making a great place for kids as well. All of these restaurants are very different from each other, but Disney always finds ways to entertain everyone!