Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pizza Pasta Bake for #SundaySupper

This week for Sunday Supper we are celebrating the Super Bowl and preparing foods that will be perfect for your Bowl Party Buffet.  Our host this month is the amazing TR of Gluten Free Crumbley.

The dish I am sharing today was adapted from one that I found in Cuisine at Home.  It was in their 30 minutes or less dinner section but I made it early, put it into casseroles and heated them up when it was time to eat, so that I wasn't cooking while my guests were over.

We did have one of the playoff games going in the background but we were also busy playing "Heads Up" which is a game designed by Ellen DeGeneres.  Have you played this yet?  It is a great family game and you are going to have a blast.  My only complaint is that as I get older when I laugh too hard it causes me some "ahem" problems, and I was laughing very long and hard during these games.



This dish is the perfect cross between pasta and pizza....who could ask for more than that?  The only problem was that since I made the casseroles early in the day and didn't put them in the oven until guests were over and we were distracted, I forgot to take photos when I took them out of the oven. This is a little corner of one casserole that was left over but you get the idea anyway.


I adapted the recipe to feed a lot more people and then I doubled the recipe I am sharing with you to make 2 casseroles, each with enough to feed 9 or 10 hungry mouths.


After you brown the Italian Sausage and render some fat from the pepperoni you remove the meat to a paper lined plate and saute your mushrooms, garlic and onions in the drippings.  This not only gives you flavorful drippings in which to cook your vegetables but prevents the pepperoni from leaving pools of grease on your casseroles.


Then you are ready to build your sauce by adding your tomatoes and seasonings.  I also added some tomato paste to thicken the sauce a bit.  You can skip this step all together and used jarred marinara sauce mixed with the mushrooms and onions or omit that step as well.  This is your dish.....Do you like green peppers and olives on your pizza?  Add them in.


When the sauce is complete you toss it with the pasta and Italian sausage.  Top it with some fresh mozzarella slices and layer that with your pepperoni.  Now the casserole is ready.  You can bake it immediately or refrigerate it for later at your convenience.  

Pizza Pasta Bake
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #97

This is enough for one casserole, double the ingredients if serving more than 10.

16 oz. dried curly pasta, I used gigli
6 oz sliced pepperoni
1 lb Italian Sausage, bulk or links with skins slit and removed
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. Italian Herb Paste
1/2 t. Chile Pepper Paste
1 qt. tomatoes with juices
1 T. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
10 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced


Cook pasta, al dente, per package directions. In a large skillet, over med high heat, brown the sausage. Add the pepperoni and cook to allow some of the fat to render out.  Remove meat to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  In the same pan, over med high heat, saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms until tender.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, herbs, chile paste.salt, pepper and tomato paste.  Cook for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Combine the pasta and Italian sausage in a casserole treated with cooking spray.  Pour in sauce and toss to coat.  Layer the mozzarella cheese over the pasta and the pepperoni over the cheese.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned in spots. Print Recipe

Take a look at some more great Super Bowl Party Recipes!

Main Dishes
Desserts and Drinks

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.








Weekends in a French Kitchen:Garlic Soup

Today is Cook's Choice in our group that we call Weekends in a French Kitchen.  This group is led by Tammy, Christy and Emily who invite others to join them as the cook their way through Mimi Thorisson's "A Kitchen in France".  I thought this would be a fun group to join, especially since I am learning more about French Wines in my Winophiles group and could pair the recipes from this group with wines from the other.  A win/win situation.  You can learn all about Weekends in a French Kitchen by going to the about page.

The recipe that I am sharing today is one that I served as a soup course at our family Christmas dinner.  It was a very successful dish and enjoyed by all, especially our daughter, Nicole, who had two servings.  Garlic is not only a wonderful flavor it is also very beneficial for your health.  

This recipe can be found on page 242 of the cookbook and I stuck pretty true to the recipe making a few minor changes in technique and using olive oil instead of duck fat.  I also added some garlic croutons as garnish.
”Tammy

The first change I made was combining the onion and garlic in a food processor before sauteeing them together as opposed to dicing the onions and slicing the garlic since it was all going to get pureed at the end anyway.  




 I did save a couple of cloves of garlic to slice for garnish.


Then I used the oil left in the pan from frying the garlic to make croutons.


The soup was fragrant and delicious.
I made it earlier in the day and needed only to rewarm it and add the garnishes before serving.


It is a delicious and delicate start to a dinner party.

This is my 3rd or 4th recipe that I have made from Mimi Thorisson's, "A Kitchen in France; A year of cooking in my farmhouse."  Each one has been easy to follow, easily adapted and absolutely delicious.













Saturday, January 30, 2016

Life is for the living and we still gotta eat so here is the Weekly Menu

We are so very blessed with such wonderful family and friends.  On the day of Mom's visitation we received so many wonderful food trays, honey baked ham, bread, deli meats, salads, homemade cinnamon bread that was to die for!! (I really NEED that recipe), brownies, snacks and treats.

While we were at the afternoon viewing, John and Kirsten were here setting up all the food and goodies for everyone so that we could replenish our strength during the break before the evening viewing.  It was a God send because it was a very busy and stressful day.  I can't believe how lucky we are.

So that was what we had for dinner yesterday and today is the Mass in celebration of Mom's life after which there will be a reception with food prepared by our funeral committee. It is always a wonderful and delicious spread.

Tomorrow life returns to normal.  I'm going to start working on some of the leftovers.  I will be repurposing some into other meals and some will go into the freezer for later meals.  We don't have any big plans for the week.  It will be nice to get back into a routine.

Here's the Weekly Menu


Saturday
Sandwich Buffet

Sunday
Ham and Broccoli Quiche

Meatless Monday
Soup and Salad

Tuesday

Wednesday
BBQ Beef Sandwiches (using leftover Pot Roast)

Thursday 
Out for dinner before Choir

Fish Friday
Asian Tuna and Noodles (Brought over from last week)


Get Ready!! It is almost time for #FreshTastyValentines


#FreshTastyValentines is almost here. A group of 22 talented food bloggers who will be posting recipes for an entire week that, we hope, will inspire you to make some healthy Valentines treats for your loved ones. Here we are...

The Bloggers
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

From February 1st through February 8th, not only will you find nearly a hundred recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.

The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)


The Prizes

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.


BenBella Vegan is a division of BenBella Books, a boutique book publisher located in Texas. BenBella Vegan has published over twenty plant-based books and cookbooks in the past decade.
They are providing a prize package that includes five different cookbooks from their 2015 publishing releases! One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive a print copy of the following cookbooks: The Plant-Based Journey, Dining at The Ravens, Plant-Powered Families, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, and The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook.


While there's been a growing awareness of whole grain benefits in recent years, Bob's Red Mill been providing whole grain products to customers since 1978. Their philosophy: provide whole grain foods that have endured the test of time. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with a package of Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts. With a nut-like flavor and creamy texture, their hulled hemp seeds are a nutritious, healthy, and delightful addition recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the hulled hemp seed hearts!



Casabella grew out of the idea that housewares and cleaning products could be great looking, fun and functional simultaneously. And, to that end, they strive to deliver products that are attractive, intuitive and functional. Additionally, all of their products are designed and assembled in America. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: Casabella's Clip n StripShears and a Garlic Roaster.



Envy Apples were born in New Zealand using natural plant-breeding methods by cross-pollinating Braeburn apples with Royal Gala apples. They have since planted trees in Washington state and Chile. They are providing a prize package for one #FreshTastyValentines winner that will include Envy apples, an apple corer, and more.



Gourmet Garden loves herbs and spices and strives to make everyday cooking easier and more enjoyable. Their herbs and spices are washed, chopped and prepped within 18 hours of harvesting though patented processes that seal in the natural essential oils to maximize the fresh flavor and aroma of the herbs. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.




KitchenIQ is the new houseware branch of Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc. and embraces their long-standing reputation for innovation and quality, reflecting their commitment to producing smarter products for the kitchen. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: KitchenIQ's Strawberry Tool and Better Zester.




Mann Packing was founded in 1939 and is now a third generation, majority women-owned company. Their mission is: Fresh Vegetables Made Easy™ and they value honor, passion, quality, and vision. Additionally, they support local school and donate generously to numerous charitable organizations throughout the community and the industry. They are giving one #FreshTastyValentines winner a $25 gift card. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the Mann Packing vegetables!


Not Ketchup was created by Erika Kerekes who also writes the kitchen blog In Erika’s Kitchen. She shares: "When we think of ketchup, we think tomatoes. But it hasn’t always been that way. The first ketchups were actually made several centuries ago from pickled, fermented fish in China, Malaysia and Indonesia." Not Ketchup got its name because the United States has bizarre regulations about what can be labeled as 'ketchup.' Since Not Ketchup does not contain any tomatoes, according to the powers that be, it’s Not Ketchup. Not Ketchup is providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with a bottle of their NEW No-Sugar Added Tangerine Hatch Chile fruit ketchup. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the newest flavor of Not Ketchup!




Pacari Chocolate is a family owned business created in Ecuador by Santiago Peralta and Carla Barbot├│. They wanted to revolutionize the chocolate industry; pacari means “nature” in Quechua, and was selected to embody everything that Pacari Chocolate represents. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner a package of their premium organic chocolates!


Sun Basket is a convenient ingredient delivery service that was created by a top San Francisco-based chef and approved by an in-house nutritionist. Each delivery includes easy, delicious recipes and seasonal, sustainably souced ingredients from West Coast farms. Sun Basket has generously donated THREE prize boxes. Winners must reside in the following states: CA, WA, CO, UT, OR, AZ, NV, & ID to win these prizes.


T.Lish began because each Christmas, Tiffany Denson would make dozens of mason jars filled with her signature dressing and marinade for her neighbors, friends, and family. Then, they began requesting the sauce throughout the year; a neighbor recommended she start selling it retail. She did. And word spread. T.Lish is Tiff's line of all natural and extremely versatile dressings, marinades and sauces. They are providing a prize package of their three marinades and dressings to one #FreshTastyValentines winner. Keep an eye out for event recipes that feature the T.Lish dressings and marinades!



UncommonGoods was founded by Dave Bolotsky who, at a craft show at the Smithsonian in 1999, was captivated by the unique handmade goods and the craftsman behind them. He had a vision to create an online venue to connect makers to individuals searching for special and uncommon goods.
UncommonGoods (www.uncommongoods.com) is an web-based marketplace offering creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner a $150 gift certificate for a shopping spree at the online marketplace. Particularly timely for this time of year - glassware for when you uncork a bottle of wine with you sweetheart (here), or the corkcickle in case you forget to put the beer or wine to chill ahead of time (here). And I might just have to leave this link - for Valentines' gifts - open on my computer!



Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi began over thirty years ago, when Robert Mondavi had a goal of getting great California wine on every table in America. In 1979 he established the Woodbridge Winery near his childhood home of Lodi, California to make fruit-focused wines for everyday drinking. They are providing a prize package for the raffle. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive two bottles of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine - one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Pinot Noir. Cheers!


The Giveaway
For FOURTEEN Different Prizes
begins February 1st and ends February 8th
If you are visiting before the rafflecopter opens, please check back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 28, 2016

There's a Party Going On.....

And it is up in Heaven.  Our dear mother left us yesterday to join my Pops, brother, nephew, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  Not too mention nearly every single one of her friends.  When you live to be 95, the majority of your friends and acquaintances are long gone.

Those that knew my Mom know that she was a social butterfly.  Mom loved nothing more in this world than dressing up pretty for a night on the town, unless it was sitting at the kitchen table with her family drinking beer and playing cards.

When we kids were all young and broke with small children, Mom's house was the place to gather every Saturday night.  There would be a big pot of chili or pizza would be ordered in, the babies were all turned over to our youngest sibling who was a born caregiver to children and loved keeping the babies and then we would all pull out our change and break out the cards.

Mom and Pops never thought the kids were too noisy and if they wished they could have a Saturday night home alone in peace, they never once let us know it.

They weren't perfect parents but they were the best parents they could be.  And they must have done some things right because the entire family, all of the siblings, our children and now our grandchildren remain close.  We always have each others backs and even if we are cheesed with each other over something it never lasts longer than a few minutes.

I think there is no greater legacy parents can give than to raise a family that is filled with love, encouragement and respect.  Mom did that...she taught us that to hold a grudge only hurt you.  That forgiveness set you free and that understanding and empathizing with others would get you much further than judging and condemning.  She taught me that helping others makes you feel good about yourself and that being kind to someone, even just once, could change that person's entire life.

Thanks Mom...I will miss you and I will not forget the lessons you taught.
  


Gladys M. Dubrul

age 95 of Ira Twp., MI. died January 27, 2016 in her home.  She was born December 13, 1920 in Mt. Clemens, MI.  She married Louis Dubrul on December 29, 1937 In Mt. Clemens, he died September 23, 2010.
Gladys was a retired bus driver for the Clintondale Public Schools, and a longtime member of the Our Lady on the River Parish St. Catherines Catholic Church, Algonac, MI. 
Mrs. Dubrul is survived by her children Lawrence F. (Mary) Dubrul, Gary M. (Catherine) Dubrul, Richard D. (Jacqueline) Dubrul, Wendy (Frank) Klik, and Dawn (Thomas) Mager, 20 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.  She was predeceased by a son Daniel A. Dubrul, and a grandson Daniel A. Dubrul Jr.
Mrs. Dubrul will be instate at 12:30 PM Saturday January 30, 2016 with Mass at 1:00 PM in the Our Lady on the River Parish St. Catherines Catholic Church, Algonac.  Visitation 1-4 & 6-9 PM Friday in the Gilbert Funeral Home, Algonac. Memorial donations may be made to the Village of East Harbor-Haven Hall Activity Center 33875 Kiely Dr. Chesterfield, MI. 48047 or the McLaren Hospice 1515 Cal Dr. Davison, MI. 48423
  
Copyright © 2016 Gilbert Funeral Home. All rights reserved. ........ Powered by SitesAreUs.com 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Book and Cuppa Swap Reveal


My package from Ali of Home Crafts by Ali arrived yesterday.  I was so excited!!  I love when the ladies of Chaotic Goddesses host a swap.  It is so much fun meeting new bloggers, getting to know them and trying to pick out stuff they will love to receive.  Ali is a talented crafter and seamstress who makes gorgeous products many of which she has for sale in her shop.   Ali also has a page dedicated to books and another for recipes.  

Book & a Cuppa Swap at Chaotic Goddess Swaps

Today is the day that all the participants of this swap get together and reveal what they received in their packages.  We are all linking up over here so you can easily join in the fun and perhaps join us for the next swap.

This is the 4th or 5th swap in which I have participated and it is always a blast.  The hosts, Beth from Printcess and Angie from My So-Called Chaos always keep things organized and running smoothly.

But back to all of my goodies because after all that is what this post is all about.  I eagerly tore open my package and found:

This great coffee cup in my favorite colors.


These wonderful hand crafted coasters, again in my favorite colors.
The back of them are in the brown print.
They are gorgeous.


An adorable hand crafted card.


These great homemade bookmarks.


A Diana Gabaldon book that I have been wanting for the longest time.
In these books Gabaldon goes further in depth on the secondary characters of the Outlander Series.
I cannot wait to finish up the books I am currently reading to get into this one.


And this great cookbook to add to my huge collection.
I immediately sat down and started perusing this wonderful book.
I will be making something yummy with it and sharing my review and recipe at Foodies Read 2016.

Thanks Ali.  It was a pleasure getting to know you and I absolutely LOVE my package. Thanks Angie and Beth for another successful swap.  I look forward to joining you again next time.







Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Tales

It's been a while since I have posted without the a link up to a club or group so I thought I would just drop by today and let you know how things are progressing here on the farm.


I had told you that Saturday we were going with Tingting and Little Miss to see Sesame Street Live. I was a little concerned that Melody was too young but I was wrong.  She absolutely LOVED it.  She was dancing and clapping and laughing.  I didn't see too much of the show because I was busy watching her having so much fun.  About 15 minutes before the show was over, she climbed into Mama's lap, turned her back on the stage and laid her head on Mama's shoulder.  We took this as a cue that we should leave, thinking she would fall asleep in the car and get a nap in before dinner.  She didn't.  Of course, we were then concerned that she was going to be a crabapple in the restaurant. Nicole was working and Pierre met us at her restaurant for dinner.  We needn't have worried. We sat there for 2 hrs. visiting and eating.  Little Miss colored and played with stickers, ate all her food and was a complete Angel Face the entire time!!

Sunday, Tami and the kids were supposed to come over for dinner but EJ was sick and they were unable to join us.  I had taken 2 chickens out of the freezer to roast so our Weekly Menu has undergone a huge change.  We had fried chicken legs and thighs on Sunday and chicken and dumplings last night.  Tonight we are switching things up a bit and having pork but then we will be back to chicken again as I figure out what to make with the second bird defrosted in my refrigerator.

Image result for what lesson am i supposed to learn

Ok....to the subject I have been avoiding.  Mom is still hanging on....why?  I have no idea....she is now just a skeleton wrapped in skin.  My heart breaks each time I look at her.  I don't know how to help her and I pray each day that God will take her soon.  I am wondering what lesson God might be trying to teach me through this trial.  I hope that I figure it out and learn it soon so that Mom can be in peace.  She has been very restless for the past few days.  Throwing off her blankets and taking off her nightgown.  Every time I check on her I have to put the blankets back on and several times I have found her naked, uncovered and ice cold.  I don't know how to calm her.  I have been giving her anti anxiety meds for the past 2 days but they don't seem to be helping.  The nurse is supposed to be here today sometime so hopefully she will have some advice for me.  

I don't want to leave you on a sad note so I will tell you that Little Miss started her swimming lessons again.  She is there right now and then she is going to come spend the day with me while her Mama works.  I always look forward to having her little body full of energy and life running around my house.

Have a good day all. 


Monday, January 25, 2016

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins: #MuffinMonday

I have to confess that I almost didn't participate in Muffin Monday this week because this whole month has been crazy busy for me and I didn't know where I was going to fit it in.  Then on Thursday, I got to keep Little Miss Melody while her Mommy worked and she kept grabbing me by the hand and taking me to the cupboard.  We got out the craisins and some cheerios.  She snacked on those.  Then she took me by the hand to the refrigerator and I saw a half package of blueberries that were left from blueberry pancakes on Monday.  I offered some to Mel but she wanted string cheese.

While she enjoyed the string cheese and went into my spice cupboard (one of her favorite things to do) I grabbed the blueberries, yogurt and egg from the fridge.  I snatched the cinnamon from the Little Angels hand and in the time it took her to eat the cheese, my muffins were in the oven.  Life is good.


Life got even better because after I put the muffins in the oven, my Little Miss came to me and said "night night".  I took her up for a nap and now have time to write and schedule this post.  When my Angel face awakens she will have a wonderful Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin waiting for her.


Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
adapted from Betty Crocker

1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 egg
2 T. canola oil
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Prepare a 6 cup muffin tin by spraying with baking spray.  

Combine yogurt and oats in a small bowl.  In a large bowl whisk together the egg, oil and brown sugar.  Stir in the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add the yogurt mixture and stir to combine, then fold in the blueberries.

Divide batter evenly among the prepared cups and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

Look at these delicious muffins our group made


Homemade Hostess Cupcakes for SRC

Woohoooooo.  Secret Recipe Club is back!!  Well it never really went away it was just on hiatus for the holidays so my group and group C did not participate in December and groups A and B had January off.

I am very glad to be back because this was not only my first group, it was one of the main reasons I started blogging.  You see, in order to participate in SRC, you need to have at least 100 recipes for people to browse.  Then you can apply.  When I applied there was a waiting list but I soon was accepted and have been blogging happily ever after.  You can learn all about how to join us by going to the JOIN SRC page.



We are called the Secret Recipe Club because each month we are assigned to another blogger, secretly of course, and spend the month getting to know that blogger and perusing their recipes.  On reveal day we all share a recipe that we found on our secret bloggers site and prepared.  It is fun sharing your information and learning who got your blog and seeing what recipe they chose.

This month I was lucky enough to be assigned to Amy of The Fearless Homemaker.  Amy is a crafter and a cook/baker who started her blog in 2010 as a way to chronicle all of her adventures.  Amy lives in Tennessee with her husband, daughter and a rescue dog.  She has 2 degrees and is currently working as a coordinator for an au pair program.  I was a coordinator for a student exchange program so this is something that Amy and I have in common along with our love of food, reading and travel.

You should really check out her blog.  She is an amazing person and has great recipe and craft ideas, many of which include photos of her adorable daughter.  You can imagine how many recipes she has shared in 6 years.  I was so impressed!!  I ended up choosing by deciding to look for a dessert for a dinner party I was having.  This narrowed it down to about 100 choices, LOL. I spent days looking through some marvelous recipes finally narrowing it down to Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars, Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies, a Sugar and Spice Layer Cake and the recipe I finally settled upon Homemade Hostess Cupcakes.


While mine were not near as beautiful as Amy's, they were absolutely delicious.


Amy had warned that they would sink in the middle upon baking but this still worried me.
I decided to show you so you don't freak out.


Once they are completely cooled you pipe in the cream.


Top them with this lovely ganache and let it set up and harden.


Amy used leftover creme filling for her design.
I bought some cookie frosting for my design.
You can always just mix together some icing sugar and cream and make your own.

Thank you Amy.  These cupcakes were delicious and a huge hit with my guests.  While they are time intensive and a lot of steps they are relatively easy and can be made ahead of time.  

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
slightly adapted from The Fearless Homemaker

For Cupcakes

1 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
pinch kosher salt
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 oz. baking chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Place sugar and 1 c. water into a saucepan over med high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Pour into the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the chocolate and butter.  Let sit, stirring occasionally until melted and slightly cooled.  Stir in the vanilla.  Beat the eggs into the mixture and then gradually add the dry ingredients at low speed until combined.  Batter will be very thick and sticky.  Divide evenly into 24 muffin tins lined with cupcake papers, about 1/4 c. batter per cupcake.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Cupcakes will be sunken in the middle. Don't panic.  Cool in the pan for 25 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

For Marshmallow Creme Filling

4 T. butter, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 T. heavy cream
1 (7 oz) jar of Marshmallow Creme

In small bowl of stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until combined.  Add vanilla and heavy cream. Beat in the Marshmallow creme until until smooth, light and fluffy.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For Ganache

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. butter
1/4 t. vanilla

Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl.  Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan until nearly boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let set for 5 minutes.  Whisk until smooth and glossy then whisk in the vanilla.  Allow to cool before frosting while still remaining liquid and glossy.

To Assemble

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip, with the marshmallow cream.  Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake and fill until it feels heavier and a little of the cream is visible at the top.

Spread ganache over each cupcake filling the indentation and covering flat over the cupcake with a knife.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until ganache is hardened.  

Using leftover marshmallow creme, store bought  icing or homemade icing and a pastry bag fitted with a small piping tip, create a swirly design along the top of each cupcake.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Print Recipe

Here are all of the SRC recipes this week!



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Failure to Launch Guava Smasher for #FoodnFlix


This month's Food n Flix is hosted by my friend, Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  Amy chose the romantic comedy Failure to Launch as the Flix for this month and sent out an announcement post 
inviting us to join her.

All you have to do is watch the movie before the end of the month.  Create a dish or drink or snack that was inspired by the movie.  Blog about it and share it with the rest of us by emailing Amy who will be creating a submission post linking to the blogs of those who participated.

I had never seen nor heard of the movie Failure to Launch.  I kind of live under a rock I guess.  It came out in 2006.  That was 10 years ago!  I'm not sure what I was doing 10 years ago but I guess I wasn't keeping up with the current movies.  You would think it would have gotten my attention.  It has a great cast, Matthew McCounoughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Bates, Zooey Deschanel, Terry Bradshaw and Bradley Cooper to name a few.

Image result for failure to launch


Sarah Jessica Parker is hired by Matthew McCounaughy's parents, Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw, to get him to move out of their house.  Sarah Jessica Parker's character calls this phenomenon of adult son's refusing to leave the nest as "Failure to Launch".  

The movie is predictable but it had me laughing out loud quite often and has great side stories that are also very predictable but no less fun for that.  The supporting cast is fantastic and I ended up really enjoying this movie.

It is not a foodie movie but there was plenty of food.  Starting with Matthew McCounaughy stepping onto a bag of tortilla chips before going down to a full breakfast cooked by his Mom of pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon.  There is cereal, melon, bananas and apples.  Their is wine and margaritas served with tacos. guacamole and black beans.  There were BBQ scenes, restaurant scenes and a lunch scene on a sailboat that went awry with the lovely baguette and green beans being thrown into the sea. 

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They enjoy sushi, crabs, and peanut butter and jelly on white bread.  There are hot dogs and peanuts enjoyed at the ball game. There is a lovely roast beef dinner, prepared by McCounaughy and served to his parents and Sarah Jessica Parker during which he confronts them with the fact that they were all scheming against him.

Now, for those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that my inspiration came from the BBQ scene at the very beginning of the movie where a group of friends are all gathered and lamenting the fact that they are NOT suffering empty nest syndrome.  The hostess comes out with Guava Smashers and passes them out before announcing that they were able to get their son to move out after introducing him to the "right girl".  This gave Bates and Bradshaw the inspiration to hire Parker and gave me the inspiration to research Guava Smashers.

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It appears that the drink is actually a Whiskey Smasher, and any seasonal or favorite fruit can be used when making it.  I chose to use Guava in staying with the theme of the movie but also because I have never had Guava before.  I told you I live under a rock!!

A Whiskey Smash is kind of like a Mint Julep wherein you muddle mint and sugar together, but with the Whiskey Smash you use lemon instead of lime and you can add in fruit of your choice if you wish.


As I was saying, I had never had guava before so I asked Frank to stop on his way home from work one day to pick some up for me.  He brought home 2 for which he paid $8. No wonder I have never had them before LOL.  They were creamy white inside instead of pink as is shown in the picture I found on google that I posted above but further research showed that they are more frequently creamy white.  

I don't know what guavas are supposed to be like so I wasn't sure if they were ripe.  They were hard and when I tried to juice them using a juicer nothing happened.  So I peeled them, threw them in the food processor and hit puree.  Now I had thick pulp but still no juice.  I added some water, pureed some more and then forced the mixture through a fine sieve into a glass.  It was tart but Whiskey Smashers call for sugar with the lemon and mint so I figured that might be okay.  They also said cranberries were a popular fruit to use and they are tart so I figured tart is okay.

We put the sugar, mint and lemon into a glass, muddled it, added ice, added 2 oz. each of whiskey and guava and stirred it up.  I took a drink.  Frank took a drink.  We frowned at each other and took another drink.  The second drink was better.  By the time I finished this drink I had decided that it was a new favorite.  I am normally a vodka/tonic drinker but I really liked the brightness and flavor of this Guava Smasher.  Frank thought they were okay but that he would stick to his Crown on the Rocks.

Frank is on a mission now to find prepared guava juice so we can try them with the packaged stuff to see how they compare.  I'll let you know.

Guava Smashers

4 oz. guava juice (read above to see how I juiced the guava)
4-6 sprigs of mint
2 quarters of a half a lemon
2 t. sugar
4 oz. whiskey

Muddle 2 or 3 sprigs of mint, 1 chunk of lemon and 1 t. sugar into the bottom of 2 cocktail glasses. Add 2 oz of whiskey and 2 oz. of guava juice to each glass.  Stir to combine.  Garnish with lemon twist or a slice of guava if desired.  Print Recipe