Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cheddar Broccoli Potato Mashers

-Cheddar Broccoli Potato Mashers

     Sometimes, I try a new twist on a standard dish and think to myself, "Self, why have you not tried this before?"  And then I wonder if I can ever go back to the standard.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, behold, Broccoli Cheddar Potato Mashers.  This twist on standard mashed potatoes has literally rocked my world, and both My Giant and I swear this is how we will eat mashed potatoes from here on out.  I also feel awesome about working in some extra veggies into our meal.  Give this dish a try and I swear you will heart it forever!

Cheddar Broccoli Potato Mashers
6-8 potatoes (I prefer Yukon)
1 small head of broccoli - chopped
1 cup milk (or if being scandalous, half and half or heavy cream)
4-6 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and place in pot with cold water enough to cover potatoes. (No need to peel if using Yukon.  I still do, but only because I despise potato skins).
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce the heat to med-high and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes to broccoli and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes and broccoli and return to the hot pan to dry out the potatoes.
  5. Add butter, milk and cheese and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.     

Thursday, February 13, 2014

5 Valentine's Day Desserts

      Happy Valentine's Day all!  Well, a day early.  I thought I'd give you some dessert ideas from Feeding My Giant to celebrate your special day.  My Giant and I celebrated earlier this week with a lunch and dinner date!  Lucky girl right here.  My Little Giant and I are making Valentine's to take around to his friends in the neighborhood (all of which are women over 70). I hope you have a magical Valentine's Day!

1 - Strawberry Filled Cream Puffs
2 - Sugar Cookies - No Chilling Required
3 - Pink Cherry Snickerdoodles
4 - Tuxedo Brownie Bites
5 - Mini Berry Pies

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cherry Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

Cherry Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

      I am the first to admit that I am not a fan of cupcakes.  Or, most sweets for that matter.  My mind has been changed after trying these Cherry Vanilla Almond Cupcakes.  I love cherry flavoring (but not real cherries. Weird, I know). Especially around valentine's day.  When I saw a picture of these floating around on Pinterest, I knew I needed to try them.
      Now, I was super nervous to make these.  I haven't made very many cakes from scratch, and was very hopeful on how they would turn out.  The first batch I made I almost cried over.  They took me forever to make, and tasted, well, meh.  But then, I realized that I had added more than double the butter called for.  I cried.  Then swore I would never make cupcakes again, and bought myself a soda to comfort my frustration.  I eventually decided to try them again and am glad I did.  In fact, I may or may not have had three for breakfast the day after I made them.  And by three I mean four.  I am definitely now on the hunt for more cupcake recipes to experiment with.  
      Just FYI, for these cupcakes, I used Maraschino Cherries from Wal-Mart that still had the stem on and are supposedly all natural.  I'm not sure what brand they are, but they did not give me a super pink color.  If you don't buy the kind that is all natural, your coloring will be a lot more vibrantly pink.  

Here is a pic of My Giant and I at Kara's Cupcakes in San Francisco.  My Giant surprised me for my birthday the first year we were married with a vacation to San Francisco to see Wicked.  Best hubby ever!  And, best cupcake ever.

Cherry Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

Adapted from Better Homes and Garden


½ cup butter
4 egg whites
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt           
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
Juice from half a lemon (1 ½ tablespoons)
1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  1. Allow butter and eggs to come to room temperature for at least a half hour. 
  2. Meanwhile, line cupcake pan with liners and pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt  and baking soda and set aside.
  4. In a separate dish or bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon juice and maraschino cherry juice.
  5. In large mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.  Beat until well incorporated.
  6. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Alternately, add buttermilk mixture and flour mixture, beating well after each addition.  Mix until just combined.
  8. Using cookie scoop or spoon, place batter in cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan onto wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Frost with Cherry Almond Butter Frosting.

Cherry Almond Butter Frosting
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
½ teaspoon almond extract
milk as needed
  1. In large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth.  Slowly add one cup powdered sugar and mix well.  Add maraschino juice and almond extract and beat well.  Slowly add remainder of the powder sugar and mix until well incorporated.  Add milk or additional maraschino juice 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.