Friday, November 27, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes

Happy Birthday Kristy!

I just returned home from having a birthday dinner celebration with my girlfriends. Today is our friend Kristy's birthday, so we all got together for dinner at a new restaurant in our town. The food was wonderful and we had a great time celebrating. I have been wanting to make my own cupcake wrappers for awhile, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I think they turned out pretty cute for my first attempt. I made the cupcakes too, so Kristy joked and said that they had better be on my blog - so I told her I would dedicate this blog entry to her and her special day. Happy Birthday Kristy! We love you!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bites

I found these little Pumpkin Pie Bites on Bakerella and thought they were adorable. She cut hers with a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter so they looked like little baby pumpkins. Since it was after Halloween and I was making mine for a donor reception I was catering for work I decided to make mine look like miniature pies. I think they turned out really cute and they tasted just like pumpkin pie. I think they would look really nice for Thanksgiving on a tiered plate with some other bite size desserts.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

2 refrigerated ready-to-roll pie crusts
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
round cookie cutter
Optional:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
vegetable oil
ziploc plastic baggie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cookie cutter to cut out 12 circle shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough a little thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 mini muffin tray (I used the Pampered Chef one). Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie. Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until throughly combined. Spoon mixture into each pie crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove pies to cool. Makes 24 mini pies. Keep refrigerated.
To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a Ziploc baggie and cut the corner off. Drizzle on pies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ultimate Hot Chocolate

I saw this recipe for Hot Chocolate about a week ago on Our Best Bites and thought I would give it a try. I made it on Friday evening to take with me to the High School Football game. It kept me nice and warm while I watched my daughter cheer her school on to victory. It also tasted much better than the powdered stuff they sell at the concession stand! Sunday was also their school Sports Awards Banquet, so I decided to make cupcakes with my handmade cupcake toppers - I think they look so cute and really add something special to a party or event.
Ultimate Hot Chocolate
from My Best Bites
2 - 1 oz. squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 c water
1 tsp vanilla
In your microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the chocolate and the sweetened condensed milk until the chocolate is completely melted (about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave). Whisk in vanilla, combine completely and set aside.
In a larger sauce pan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate mixture. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired. Serves about 6.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grilled Basil & Lemon Salmon with Tomatoes & Asparagus

Ok, I've been making way too many baked goods lately and my pants are getting tighter, so it's time to change gears and make something a little lighter. I just noticed I made a rhyme - ha ha. I love salmon and this is such a delicious and easy dish to make. I forgot to get asparagus when I was at the store, so I made it without this time, but it was still delish. Give it a try if your pants are getting tight too!
Grilled Basil & Lemon Salmon with Tomatoes & Asparagus
from Tasty Kitchen
4 pieces of Salmon
1/2 stick of butter
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 whole lemon, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, finely chopped
large strip of foil
Mix the chopped basil into the softened butter and set aside.
Lay out foil for each serving of Salmon you plan to make. You can make them individually or put them all together in one large piece of foil like I did.
Place salmon in center of the foil. Put about a tablespoon of the basil butter mixture on top of salmon and press down slightly with a spoon. Sprinkle with pepper. Place 1 to 2 lemon slices on top of butter mixture. Add asparagus to the packet. Sprinkle with diced Roma tomatoes. Salt to taste and grind fresh pepper on top. Seal the foil together to form a foil packet. Place on medium heat grill for 10-15 minutes (in oven cook 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees). Open steaming packet carefully and enjoy.

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