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Friday, September 30, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway Results!

Overall we had 14 valid entries for the Blogoversary Giveaway. We numbered everyone's entries and went to Random.org to determine the winner. So without further ado the winner of our Blogoversary Giveaway is ...




Congratulations Molly




You won a copy of Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding! 


Thank you to everyone who entered! Kelsey and I are happy to celebrate our one year with you and are excited for the many culinary adventures to come. Happy Blogoversary!

Margarita Cupcakes Revisited

After our first botched attempt at Margarita Cupcakes Kelsey and I resolved to give the recipe another go using the lessons we learned (sometimes trial and error is the best way to learn, right?). So here we are a year later and its time to see if we can conquer the elusive margarita cupcake recipe. 

In this battle of bloggers vs. margarita cupcakes bloggers WIN! 
Last time we made two critical mistakes: over-beating the batter and refrigerating the finished cupcakes. With those in mind we embarked on the Margarita Cupcake Challenge in honor of our one year Blogoversary. In an attempt to create a fluffier cupcake I substituted cake flour for all-purpose flour (Note: You can make cake flour simply by adding corn starch to all-purpose flour. 1C cake flour = 3/4cup and 2T all-purpose flour + 2T corn starch). 

The original recipe we used was off of one of our favorite blogs We Are Not Martha. Their version is scaled to make one dozen cupcakes, but I decided to go all out and make enough to share the love. So this version is doubled! 

Yield:  24 cupcakes
Cake Ingredients:
  • 3 C cake flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • Tequila for brushing

Frosting:
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 T tequila
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two cupcake pans. 
  2. In a medium bowl use a fork to mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then set it aside. 
  3. In a large bowl use an electric mixer to cream together the sugar and butter. Add in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Finally mix in the lime juice, zest and vanilla extract. 
  4. In thirds add the dry ingredients to the wet alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until fully incorporated. 
  5. Divide the batter into the cupcake tins filling each 3/4 of the way full. 
  6. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. Then remove and and cool completely. Before frosting brush the tops with tequila to enhance the margarita flavor. 
  7. While the cupcakes are baking begin on the frosting. In a double boiler bring the egg whites and sugar to 160 degrees stirring frequently until the sugar is fully dissolved. 
  8. Remove the mixture form heat and whip on high speed until the mix is fluffy and stiff peaks begin to form. Add in the butter 2T at a time until full incorporated. (Note: If it begins to look soupy or curdled, beat on medium- high until the mix thickens again.)
  9. Finally stir in the tequila and lime juice until fully incorporated and smooth. Leave the frosting at  room temperature if you are using it the same day or you can transfer it to an air tight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Just be sure to bring it to room temp and mix it for about 5 minutes before using.  And remember not to refrigerate the cup cakes once they are frosted as we learned last time that ruins the texture of both  the frosting and the cake. 
  10. Once the frosting is complete and the cupcakes are cooled you are free to frost and garnish with lime wedges. Then you can enjoy your summer inspired sweets! 

Cheers to another year of foodie fun! Happy Blogoversary!

How did this batch compare to last year's misadventure? Well, I'd say we made an excellent recovery. This time around the cupcakes were much less dense. Although they still had a texture vaguely reminiscent of pound cake they were a bit fluffier and had an excellent citrus flavor. And the frosting, Oh the frosting! It's officially one of my favorites. It's creamy and airy and it packs the perfect  tequila-y bite!  Overall, this batch was a success. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway [CLOSED]

The week of WTF's Blogoversary has arrived! Kelsey and I are so excited to have shared this past year of culinary adventure with you. As a little way to say thank you for your support along the way, we're doing a special Blogoversary giveaway this week. One lucky reader will receive a copy of our new favorite cookbook Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding (authors of Eat This, Not That!). This pint-sized cookbook packs super-sized flavor and creativity, offering easy and healthy alternatives to some of our favorite restaurant fare. My favorite part about these 350 calorie recipes is that they cut the calories without forfeiting flavor.





3 WAYS TO WIN

  • Comment on this blog and tell us what your favorite restaurant dish is (Megan's is Bonefish Grill's bang-bang shrimp and Kelsey's is GrillSmith's Oak Barrel Salmon) along with your email address
  • Tweet the following: "RT @whattastyfood Enter our blogoversary #giveaway to win a copy of Cook This Not That: http://bit.ly/pdPCON " and comment below the name of your twitter. Remember, if your twitter is private we will not be able to see the @ reply. 
  • Post a blog about our giveaway and provide the link in the comments below. NOTE: These do not need to be separate comments.
The winner will be picked at random using the Random.org number generator on our official one year blogoversary Sep. 30th at 8:00 p.m. EST. Each entry gives you an additional number and makes it more likely that you'll win! Thanks again to all our readers and good luck! Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tuna Crescent Ring

Tuna Crescent Ring

A few days ago I shared a Reddick family classic, Macaroni and Cheese, so I thought this week I would share another. I have no idea where we got the idea for the crescent ring, but as a kid my sister and I would make this all the time. I remember my mom finally saying, "Girls, I don't think your dad can eat any more tuna."

It's a great pantry meal and it's very kid-friendly if your kids are into cooking.  I always have tuna, and if you're cooking for one or two you only need one can of crescent rolls. This is the most basic version you could make. You could mix this up by adding peas, onion, and celery.

This is a very visual recipe so we're doing this photo tutorial style!

Ingredients
Servings: 4-6
  • 3 cans of tuna
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • mayo (however much you like)
  • 2 cans crescent rolls

Tuna and Cheese
Drain tuna. Combine tuna, cheese, and mayo.

Tuna Crescent Ring
Arrange crescent triangles into a circle to look like a sun.

Tuna Crescent Ring
Spoon tuna into a circle around the inside of the crescent ring.

Tuna Crescent Ring
Wrap crescent ends over the tuna, pressing the excess dough along the inside of the ring.

Tuna Crescent Ring
Bake at 375ºF for 11-13 minutes or until crescent begins to brown. Slice and serve!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Shells & Cheese

It's official! The 10 day countdown to WTF's Blogoversary has begun. September 30 is just around the corner (where does the time go?). Megan and I have enjoyed this past year so much that, even though we aren't roommates anymore, we've decided to continue our foodie relationship long-distance. 

In honor of WTF's first birthday, I thought I would share one of my top 10 recipes of all time. I started cooking for the family when I was about 10 years old. I had two signature dishes: a tuna melt crescent ring and macaroni and cheese. My mom picked up a children's cookbook for my sister and me, and of course the macaroni and cheese is the recipe we picked out first. In fact, it may be the only recipe that we ever used! If you're looking for that perfectly creamy macaroni and cheese, this one is for you. Note: don't use pre-shredded cheese! It won't be nearly as creamy. Also, serve this fresh. It's best served right away.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb macaroni elbows or shells (I love shells because they hold the cheese)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 16 oz sharp cheddar, cubed
  • a dash of salt (a little will do, the worcestershire and hot cause are plenty salty)
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes hot pepper sauce

Directions
  1. Boil macaroni according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and stir until smooth. Add half and half. Heat on medium until sauce comes to a low boil and thickens slightly.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add cheese cubes, salt, worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce.
  4. Pour over macaroni.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The BEST Brownies Ever

The cover shot that caught my eye all those months ago (mouth watering, right?)
This recipe originally came from last year's Valentine Desserts edition of Bon Appetit magazine. I've made them many times now and they have quickly become my favorite brownies!

My most recent batch (warning: these beauties disappear in a blink )
These brownies are so decadent and the texture is perfect; crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with an extra crunch from the nuts. The only modification I made to the original recipe was to add in a 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter (you can NEVER have too much chocolate!). You can find the recipe on Bon Appetit by following this link.

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