Monday, December 31, 2012

Champagne Cupcakes~Happy New Year!!!

Nothing says, "Happy New Year" like champagne.  Well at our house we say, "Merry New Year" but that's because we are movie nerds and consider Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd our quintessential holiday movie.  It's not my favorite beverage really.  I'd rather make a toast with a Diet Coke in a champagne flute.  Little Devil usually drinks sparkling cider in a "fancy glass."  We keep a bottle or two on hand for Mimosas, but not so much for celebrating the new year.  It's been years since I've been out on the town on New Year's Eve.  I hate the crowds, the traffic, the cold weather.  The phobia of crazy, drunk people.  Since we had Little Devil, we've pretty much stayed home and had our annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve Crab Boil."  It's festive, the food is awesome, and the best part is we get to party in our pajamas!  Since the crab boil menu varies, my New Year's Eve cooking fun is resigned to dessert.  I saw a recipe for Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes on Pinterest, and I was sold.  A soft, moist champagne-flavored cake, filled with a creamy champagne pastry cream, topped with a champagne buttercream frosting.  Guaranteed you can't go wrong with this cupcake for any special occasion. 

Champagne Cupcakes
Merry New Year!

This recipe can be found at SPRINKLE BAKES blog here:

This is not my original recipe. Full Credit for this recipe
goes to Heather at SPRINKLE BAKES. 
*NOTE the only change I made is I made 6 JUMBO cupcakes
instead of regular-sized.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy the cupcakes and have had a blessed 2012.  Please be safe tonight and here's to a fabulous 2013 full of more cooking fun.  (I'm toasting you with a Champagne Cupcake!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Summertime Hard Lemonade

When Little Devil's Graduation Party rolled around, I was looking for a cocktail to make for our guests.  I had all kinds of things in mind, and handed Mr. Devilish Dish a list for the liquor store.  He took one look at it and said, "Why don't you find a use for all of those crazy liquors you bought that are just sitting on the bar?"  WHAT?!?  Me make a crazy purchase at the liquor store?  No Way.  Well there is that bottle of pink lemonade vodka.  And the red raspberry vodka.  And the marshmallow vodka.  And the banana rum.  Let's not even get into the stuff I've purchased because I needed 1 tablespoon for a recipe.  SOOO...I was determined to find a use for at least one of those rarely used bottles of vodka.  What's more refreshing that lemonade at a summertime party?  And raspberries and lemonade go hand-in-hand.  It was a HUGE HIT, we made this all summer for various get togethers.  It was especially tasty with Blue Moon beer!
Our new summer party drink!
I finally used up that raspberry vodka!
Combine everything in a pitcher.
Garnish with lemon slices.

Chill and serve over ice for a
refreshing treat!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Homemade Naan Bread

Indian food is one of my favorite types of cuisine.  I feel like I have Mexican cooking mastered, as we eat that at least three times a week.  I haven't exactly mastered the art of Indian cooking yet, but I love to make it.  The blend of spices is so fragrant and just makes the house smell awesome.  Usually when cook Indian-style, I cheat and buy Naan bread at the store.  I've had this recipe for years but I only make it occasionally.  In an effort to do more things myself, I started making this bread again, and serving it whenever we have Indian cuisine.  It's well worth the effort!
Warm, crispy Naan bread. 
Ready for your next Indian meal!
The Ingredients
Combine sugar, warm water and yeast.
Combine flour, salt and baking soda.

Add oil and yogurt to flour mixture.
Stir in yeast mixture.
Mix well.
Knead for a few minutes until a soft dough forms.
Place dough in a greased bowl.
Cover with a towel and let rise
in a warm place.
When dough has doubled in size,
punch down.  Knead briefly.
Divide dough into 8 equal portions.
Cover with a towel and let rise again.
Roll into oval shapes. Brush with water
and place on a hot griddle.
Cook Naan on both sides until golden and bubbly.

Place Naan under the broiler to crisp.

Enjoy with your favorite Indian Cuisine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Butter Chicken

In my quest to conquer all kinds of cuisines, I've been cooking a lot of Indian food lately.  I could eat Basmati rice every day, so it only makes sense to put something spicy and aromatic on top of it.  I love the blend of spices and the way the kitchen smells when I cook this type of food.  Butter Chicken is quite simple to make, and a great foray into this kind of cuisine if it's something you're not too familiar with.  (Put it this way, I got my Beans-Cornbread-Fried Potatoes Dad to eat this!)  Give it a try.  Whether you're an expert or a novice in Indian food, Butter Chicken is delish!
Yummy, fragrant Butter Chicken!
The Ingredients...
Season chicken breasts with curry powder, salt and pepper.
Bake, cool, cube and set aside.

Combine garlic and spices to create a paste.
Saute onion in butter, adding the spice paste.
Stir in the tomato sauce.
Add the yogurt.
Stir in the half and half.
Add cooked chicken to the sauce.
Stir in remaining butter.
Allow to simmer 30 minutes.
Enjoy a taste of India!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Herbed Focaccia

I'm not much of a bread maker.  I want to be.  For holidays I try to whip out some homemade rolls.  Like something my Nana would have done back in the day.  I don't have a bread machine.  I don't want to give up the counter space.  Because I need room for my Mickey Mouse collection and the Yonanas frozen treat maker.  Occasionally I do try to make some kind of bread.  It's usually when the main course is something that isn't a main course, that I'm trying to pass off as a main course.  (Hoping that Mr. Devilish Dish will be so enamored by the homemade bread that he won't notice his entree is really a side salad.)  I made this Herbed Focaccia a while back.  Alongside a salad of course.  It was really crisp and very good.  Try it with any herbs you like.  It's delish!
Crisp and herb-y!
The Line-Up:
I used fresh chives and rosemary from my garden.
Feel free to use the fresh or dried herbs of your choice.
Combine sugar and yeast with warm water.
Let sit until foamy.
Add to flour.
Add water a little at a time until dough
pulls together.
Add herbs.
Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface.
Place in a bowl greased with olive oil.
Turn dough to coat with oil.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a
warm place until doubled in size.
Punch dough down.
Knead again briefly.
Pat into rectangular shape
on greased baking sheet.  Brush with
remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake 10-20 minutes until desired crispness.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gorgonzola Dip

Summers in Oklahoma are brutal.  When it's 110+ degrees outside it's really hard to get excited about cooking a big, heavy meal.  It's hard to get excited about eating a big, heavy meal.  However, something tells me I cannot feed Mr. Devilish Dish and Little Devil fudgesicles for dinner.  That's when I send him to the patio with something to put on the grill, and I try to feed them some kind of semi-healthy, tasty but refreshing side dish.  Gorgonzola Dip with a bunch of crisp, fresh veggies hit the spot.  We love blue cheese around here, and this dip proved excellent with veggies.  It would also be great served in a bread bowl with bread cubes, or your favorite pita chips or pretzels!
Great with veggies, bread cubes, chips
OR a spoon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Symphony Brownies AKA Bybeth's TO DIE FOR BROWNIES

I think I told you that my dear great-aunt passed away this summer.  She was a precious little Cadillac-driving, country club-dining, feisty Texas LADY.  A true lady.  I'm pretty sure she never owned a pair of jeans.  She did her gardening in slacks.  Although I did not inherit her green thumb, I am proud to say that she and I shared a love for reading, cooking and entertaining.  I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with my cousins the week of her funeral.  We had a good time looking through photos, and reminiscing about our childhood.  Let's just say a beer and a glass of wine or two might have been consumed.  My cousin Amy's friend Bybeth graciously brought over some snacks and smartly advised us to "hide the brownies until the company was gone."  She wasn't kidding.  These are the best brownies I've ever had.  She said they were named Symphony Brownies, after the candy bar they are filled with.  We unanimously agreed they should be re-named Bybeth's To Die For Brownies.  They are surprisingly simple, but seriously to die for!

Trust me, these brownies are
To Die For!
Prepare both boxes of brownie mix. 
Layer half of batter into a greased
9x13-inch pan.
Top with the three candy bars.
Layer remaining batter over candy bars.
Bake.  Allow to cool completely
before cutting into squares.
I made these to take to my mother who had pneumonia,
my mother-in-law who broke her ankle,
and my aunt just because I love her.
Along with homemade chicken noodle soup.
I could not have an entire batch of these
delicious brownies just sitting around the house!

Too Tempting!  Thanks a lot Bybeth!
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