I recently attended a cupcake war that one of my good friends was having at her house. There were a lot of great entries such as Tiramisu, Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Raspberry, and Strawberry Angel Food Cake to name a few. I decided to attempt a recipe that I found on Yahoo’s Food website. The recipe was for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavored cupcakes. Initially I thought that this recipe was going to be a high level of difficulty especially for a beginner chef like myself. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy these were to make and how wonderfully delicious they were.
Photo From Yahoo.com
1 recipe’s worth batter for Devil’s Food cake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 package of store bought cookie dough, chilled
Cookie Dough Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill paper-lined cupcake tins 1/2 full of cake batter. Add a 1″ scoop of chilled cookie dough. Press down slightly. Bake for 18-20 minutes until tops are set. Remove from oven and cool. Frost with cookie dough frosting. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and serve to unsuspecting guests.
To make the frosting:
Beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar. Sift in flour and salt and mix until combined. Add in milk and vanilla until frosting is smooth.
What cupcake would you enter for your own Cupcake Wars?
I have been a vegetarian for the last few years which means that I have a love of beans…..especially black beans. I recently found this amazing Black Bean Soup recipe through one of my favorite cooking websites that is easy and relatively inexpensive to make. It’s very flavorful without being super spicy. I usually top with a spoonful of sour cream and a little sprinkle of my favorite cheese. Mmmmm!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
- 1 tablespoon(s) chili powder
- 1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
- 2 can(s) (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup(s) prepared salsa
- 1 tablespoon(s) lime juice
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
- Add beans, water, salsa, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.
- Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Stir the puree back into the saucepan.
(Recipe from EatingWell.com)
Katie’s Tip: Blackened or grilled chicken would also make a great addition to this soup.
Photo By All Recipes.com
This week’s Hit Or Miss recipe is Southwest Stuffed Chicken from All Recipes.com.
This was a great recipe if you are a fan of chicken with a little southwestern flavor and a whole lot of melty cheese. Mine didn’t come out at nice as the picture here as the cheese oozed out each side of the chicken; however I’m told that this was one of the best chicken recipes that I have made so far.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 2-inch x 1/2-inch sticks
- 1-1/4 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained
- 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- Flatten chicken to /18-in. thickness. Place a cheese stick down the middle of each; top with chilies. Roll up and tuck in ends. Secure with a toothpick. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt and cumin. Coat chicken with flour, then dip in butter and roll in crumb mixture.
- Place roll-ups, seam side down, in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Discard toothpicks.
(Recipe from All Recipes.com)
Katie’s Tip: I used a thin cut chicken breast so that I didn’t have to flatten the chicken as the recipe indicates. A great alternative to flattening chicken is to use the butterfly technique in order to split the chicken. Doing so keeps all those juices in the chicken which can add more flavor to your dish.
Ever make a recipe that was just so terrible that you decided to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner instead? As a beginner chef, I certainly have. You will always find a spare box of cereal in my house just in case a good recipe goes bad.
Looks yummy, but beware!
This Test Kitchen feature will serve as an open space to share cooking stories and experiences. When it comes to the worst thing that I have ever made, I would have to say it was the very first apple pie that I ever attempted to make. I remember being super excited to make the pie especially because the recipe looked fairly simple which is how I like to roll when it comes to cooking. My husband and I had just begun dating and I figured what’s more impressive than fresh apple pie so I gave it a whirl. Keep in mind that my husband actually loves pie and cake so much that during holidays he secretly hopes that no one else will eat the sweets so he can keep them for himself.
Many experienced cooks would have noticed that this pie recipe had waaay too much nutmeg; however I added the nutmeg to the pie thinking I was going to be the next Martha Stewart. The pie looked fantastic in the oven; however one bite and the massive amount of nutmeg was all I could taste. We could only stomach a few small bites and that was it for the pie. I learned a tough lesson about the power of nutmeg that day.
Care to share a story of the worst thing you have ever made?
If you love beets but hate the mess of making them, or even if you think you hate beets, Love Beets are worth a try. Love Beets are baby beets, each about the size of a golf ball, already cooked and peeled and often marinated for extra flavor. They come plain (vacuum-packed) and in white-wine balsamic, mild vinegar and Sweetfire flavors. The latter is a little spicy and a little sweet but not so much that is detracts from the beet’s natural flavors. It was our favorite when we taste-tested some samples.
Love Beets cost $2.99 for a clam-shell holding about 9 beets. However, you can get a $1 off coupon when you “like” their Facebook page
Photo By Kraft Foods
Even though I’m not an expert chef, I’m often referred to as the ‘queen of appetizers’ by my family and friends. Over the years, I am always first to volunteer to bring an appetizer to Thanksgiving instead of attempting an actual dish. Appetizers were the first dishes I attempted to make and for some reason they don’t seem as overwhelming to make. I am constantly trying out new appetizer recipes here and there, but I definitely have a few go-to recipes that always make an appearance at parties or events.
My go-to appetizer recipe is an easy, yet incredibly delish spinach and artichoke dip that gets nice and bubbly in the oven and is always a hit.
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients making sure to properly drain spinach and artichokes
Place mixture in a lightly greased pie plate or dish. I use a light coating of Pam Cooking Spray
Cook for 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbly
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
(Recipe Adapted from Kraft Foods)
What’s your Go-To Appetizer?
Hi There! My name is Katie Duma and I’m a new cooking blogger here at the Times Union. You probably find yourself wondering who I am and how I will be contributing to the already awesome Recipe Box blog. Well, let me introduce myself a little bit.
I was born and raised in the Capital Region and this area is truly what I call home. I attended three local colleges over my educational career and have recently completed my master’s degree in Business. I have worked in the advertising department here at the Times Union for almost five years now as a Digital Media Coordinator. I am a vegetarian and have been for the last four years. I enjoy eating healthy for the most part; however I do indulge every now and then. While I am a vegetarian, I do cook non-vegetarian meals for my hubby who cringes at the thought of a meatless meal for dinner. I got married in 2010 to my husband and best friend and he has been very understanding as I learn to cook.
While my mother is an absolutely amazing cook; I find that cooking isn’t a skill that comes easy to me. You name the cooking mistake, and I have made it. I have overcooked, undercooked, spilled things, burnt things, and much much more in my cooking past. So what I would like to contribute to this blog is my tips for beginner chefs, appetizers, desserts, side dishes, recipe successes, recipe fails, make ahead meals, 5 ingredient meals, and both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. I would like to do a feature each week that details a new recipe that I have tried and whether it was a Hit Or Miss.
I hope you will come along on this cooking adventure!
There’s more to Irish cuisine than corned beef and potatoes. And that’s not just a bunch of blarney. So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, hit the cookbooks (or websites) and help us highlight the culinary diversity of the Emerald Isle for the Recipe Box of March 8.
Post recipes using the comment link below.
Be sure to include your name, address and phone number (or email address if using the website) and include the number of servings. And don’t forget to share your recipes for cheddar cheese for March 1.