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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Miniature King's Cakes

I’ve been wanting to make a king’s cake for years now, but the traditional recipes are more elaborate than I have the time for during the week. This year for Fat Tuesday I finally decided to give the Mardi Gras staple a try. I cut the cook time down by using Pillsbury French bread dough as a base. The glaze added a nice level of moisture and flavor to this festive cake. These semi-homemade miniature king's cakes turned out delicious and were so easy to make!




Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 tube Pillsbury french bread dough
  • 2T butter, melted
  • 3T sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1t lemon zest
  • pinch salt
  • food coloring
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1t rum extract 
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 3t milk

Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray oil on top to keep the dough from sticking. 
  • Open the french bread dough and separate the loaf into 3 equal parts. Place each ball of dough into separate bowls and add food coloring to each and work the food coloring into each until well mixed. Note: You want to end up with green, yellow and purple dough so follow the coloring directions on the back of your food coloring box for best color results. 
  • Separate each dough ball into five smaller balls. On a flowered surface roll each of the small dough balls into 3 inch strips.
  • One the cookie sheet lay one strip of green out the top with a strip of yellow and purple creating an asterisk symbol with the dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Then brush the top of each with melted butter.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each and reserve any excess to sprinkle on top of the cakes before baking. Fold in the sides of the dough. Be sure to add your baby figurine into one of the cakes. Note: If you don't have a figurine you can add in dried bean or even a piece of dried fruit.
  • Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes. Then remove from the oven and cool. 
  • While the cakes are baking mix together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Once the cakes have cooled drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with colored sugar.
  • Let the glaze set for about 20 minutes before serving then enjoy! Happy Fat Tuesday! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Cupcake Inspiration

I haven't made cupcakes in some time. Megan and I made so many last year that I just haven't had the urge to make any. With Valentine's Day on the horizon, inspiration has struck. I'm making cupcakes for my office, so I started a search for cute Valentine's-inspired ideas. Behold.

Source: thecupcakeblog.com via Kelsey on Pinterest


Source: cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com via Kelsey on Pinterest


Source: marthastewart.com via Kelsey on Pinterest


See the rest of my Valentine's Day inspiration on Pinterest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatless Monday: Tomato Bagel Sandwich

This simple and delicious sandwich is a Valente family classic. Its one of the first meals my dad ever taught me to make and still one of my favorites.The key is to use fresh basil and perfectly ripe tomato. From the crunchy bagel and creamy mayo to the succulent tomato and crisp fresh basil this is my ultimate comfort food. The best part is you can have it on the table in less than five minutes! 


Ingredients: 
  • Fresh tomato slices
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1T mayonnaise
  • 1/8 t Dried oregano
  • 1/4 t Dried parsley
  • 1 bagel
  • Salt and pepper to taste  

Herb mayo is the secret ingredient in this delicious sandwich. YUM!
Directions:
  1. Toast the bagel and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine mayo, oregano and parsley and stir until well mixed. Then spread the herb mayo in a thin layer on both halves of the toasted bagel.
  3. Add the tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Then add the basil leaves and enjoy!
Bon appetit! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Curried Hummus Dip

It's the Friday before the Superbowl, which means its time to finalize the menu for the big day.  My favorite things about this game day have always been the amazing commercials and plethora of dips. The past few days I've been mulling over which dip to make for the game. There's the classics like seven layer dip, salsa and guacamole. And the creative new recipes like Kelsey's Greek layer dip, pizza dip and buffalo chicken dip. YUM! After much debating I finally decided to put a twist on a classic hummus recipe. Caramelized onions and curry seasonings kick this recipe up a notch. This savory sweet dip is packed full of flavor and great served with fresh pita chips or chopped vegetables. What dips are you planning on whipping up this Superbowl Sunday ? 


Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained 
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
Directions:
  1. Add the butter, onions and sugar to a large pan over medium heat and cook until the onions begin to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix the chopped red pepper into the onions and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the onions are fully caramelized and the pepper is cooked.
  3. Stir in the garbanzo beans, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder, orange zest, salt and pepper. Cook for another couple minutes allowing time for all the spices to warm and the flavors to meld, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley then pulse until the mixture is smooth. 
  5. Serve with your choice of veggies or chips and enjoy! 

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