Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Audrey’s Birthday Cupcakes…. it is a little involved, but once you taste it, worth. every. step.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large eggs, separated
One 5.5-ounce bag soft caramels, such as Werther’s Original Chewy
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 18 cups of 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with baking liners. In a large bowl, beat 1 stick butter with 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup bananas, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup flour. Mix in 6 tablespoons milk and the remaining 3/4 cup flour until smooth.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually mix in the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar at high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each liner three-quarters full. Cut 9 caramels in half, and submerge one piece in each muffin cup of batter. Bake until the cupcakes are springy to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
4. Meanwhile, in a small, heavy saucepan, cook the remaining caramels, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup banana and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted.
5. Using the electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar until thick, about 3 minutes. Slowly beat in the caramel mixture; transfer the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
6. Using the electric mixer, beat the remaining 2 sticks butter at high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cooled caramel mixture, then beat at high speed until fluffy. Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.

mmm…. try not to eat more than 2 or 3 in one sitting.  ;)  I double dog dare ya!

Behold the deliciousness of my favorite cookie….

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 cup oatmeal
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375*. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda, and set aside. Put butter and sugars into bowl, and mix with an electric mixture fitted with a paddle attatchment; mix until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and banana, and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix till just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate, and walnuts.

2. Drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until golden brown and just set, 12- 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days. Makes about 2 dozen.

I love to cook, and I especially love easy, fast tasty food.  The following recipe is one of our family favorites.  We eat this once a month, if not every three weeks.   I’ve made it so many times, I don’t need the recipe anymore. Enjoy!  I know you will!

andrea burns photography | maryland photographer

Rotini with Spinach & Asiago Cheese

1 pound rotini pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
2-4 TBS minced garlic
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine. Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve.

We serve this with cheesy garlic bread, and call it dinner. A couple times though I have served it with italian-fried chicken (Dredge chicken tenderloins in flour, then coat in beaten egg, then dredge again in Italian Bread Crumbs. Fry in Olive Oil in Med-High Heat until done).