Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes


To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today's recipe is another Halloween idea, but it can be used for any other time of the year as well,  I'm going to be showing you how to make "Chocolate Cupcakes",  these are delicious, they came out so good, they reminded me of  one of my favorite Mexican treats "Pinguinos Marinela" Pinguinos are a very famous, soft and chocolaty Chocolate cupcakes filled with whipped cream,  of course my version is not filled with cream, but the bread part of the cupcake tasted almost the same! They melted in my mouth, they were so soft and moist! if you like sweets and chocolate, you should definitely give these a try!

Makes 18 cupcakes
Ingredients:
  • 2¼ cups of cake flour
  • 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter soften
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cups of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of boiling water

Chocolate Icing Ingredients:
2  stick of unsalted butter
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup plus 2  tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

For decoration:
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
Red Sugar (optional)
Halloween Pumpkin Sprinkles (optional)
(in the picture above, I also used Pre-made Orange Icing)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Melt the chocolate. (you can melt in the microwave or in a double boiler.) Set aside until ready to use it

Sift the flour, also sift in 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt, stir together and set aside until ready to use.

In an electric mixer blend 1 stick of butter on medium speed  for 1 or 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Add in the Light brown sugar, blend until well combined.  Reduce the speed to low, add the eggs one at a time. (Blend each egg for 30 seconds before adding the next one.) Continue to blend on high for 5 minutes. (These 5 minutes of blending are very important to get a super soft and moist cupcake, so do not blend for less than 5 minutes! )

After 5 minutes, you should have a very creamy, and soft texture, almost like a Mousse.
Reduce the speed and add in the Vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate, blend for 2 more minutes on high. Reduce the speed again, add a third of the flour mixture, then add half the sour cream, blend for 30 seconds. Add the second third of the flour, followed by the rest of the sour cream, blend again for 30 seconds, and finally add the rest of the flour. Blend on medium speed for 1 more minute or until well combined. Reduce the speed to low, and add in ½ cup of boiling water, blend until everything is incorporated.  Pour batter into your cupcake pan and bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until cooked.

Let them cool completely before  decorating them.

To make the Chocolate Icing:

In an electric mixer blend 1 stick of butter for 2 minutes on high or until soft and creamy. Reduce the speed, Add in the vanilla extract, and cocoa powder, mix well until incorporated, scrape down the sides,  add in the powdered sugar, and half the heavy whipping cream, mix for 2 minutes on high or until all the ingredients are well incorporated, then add the rest of heavy cream and continue to mix for 3 minutes on high or until you get a creamy and fluffy consistency.

Decorate the cupcakes any way you like.
I used a Pastry Bag, I began decorating right in the middle of the cupcake, going outwards to the outer edge of the cupcake.  Or you can start decorating around the edges and go inwards all the way to the center of the cupcake. To finish, sprinkle with some chocolate sprinkles and colored sugar.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Cookies for Halloween

To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!

Hi everyone, today's recipe is another Halloween idea, I hope you like it! These delicious Chocolate cookies are perfect to make with your children, so if you got any children at home, let them have fun in the kitchen, decorating these beautiful cookies!

Makes 2 dozens
Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1½ sticks of unsalted butter soften (3/4 cups)
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

You will also need:
  • Halloween Cookie Cutters
  • Black, Orange and Green Icing (Use your favorite colors) (you can buy it at most grocery stores)
  • Chocolate Sprinkles (optional)
  • Red Sugar (optional)
  • Pumpkin Sprinkles  (optional)
  • Black and white Decorating Gels (use your favorite colors)(you can buy it at most grocery stores)

Preparation:
Melt the semisweet chocolate chips. (you can melt them in the microwave or in a double boiler)

Mix the flour with ¼ teaspoon of salt, mix well and set aside for a minute.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter for about 1 or 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Scrape down the sides and add in the melted chocolate, continue to blend on medium speed for 1 more minute or until well combined. Add in 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1 large egg, mix well for another minute and add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened Cocoa Powder, blend for 30 seconds, then add in half the powdered sugar, blend for 30 more seconds and add the rest of the sugar. Continue to mix on medium-high for 2 more minutes or until all the ingredients are well incorporated and have a nice and smooth creamy texture.

Scrape down the sides, reduce the speed to low, and slowly add in the flour.  Continue to mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well incorporated into a soft dough.

Cover the dough with some parchment paper and refrigerate for 1 hour before using it.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the dough on a floured surface, sprinkle some  flour over the dough, to prevent it from sticking to your rolling pin, and roll it out to a ¼in thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place them on a baking sheet and bake the cookies at 350ºF for 12-15 or until they are done.

Let the cookies cool completely before decorating them.



Decorate your cookies any way you want,  just be creative and have fun with the design.






Spread some of the icing over the cookie, smooth it out on an even layer and you can either top it with chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar, Halloween sprinkles or make a beautiful design with the decorating gels! 

 

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Mini Pizzas


To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today's recipe is another Halloween idea, another Halloween Pizza! I just love pizzas, they are one of the easiest and more versatile dishes out there, they are also perfect for any kind of party; easy to make, budget friendly, you can make them in advance, can be eaten warm or cold, so after you bake them, dinner is ready and  you can go ahead and enjoy the party, and the guests can serve themselves!

So yes, Spooky pizzas are a great dish for a Halloween Party! For this recipe I will be making my own pizza crust, but feel free to go buy your favorite pizza crust at the grocery store! It will save you a lot of time...

But if you are willing to make your own pizza, you can make it the night before, and just keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  And even better, this crust can be frozen for up to 2 weeks!

Ingredients: (makes 8 5½in pizzas)
(For the Pizza crust)

  • 3½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of warm water plus (115ºF)
  • 1 package of quick rise Yeast
  • ½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
Ingredients to make (top) the pizzas:

  • 1 14oz jar of your favorite Pizza Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 16-24 cheese slices cut into ghost shapes (2-3 slices per pizza) (cut with a cookie cutter, I'm using White Cheddar Cheese, you can you Havarti, or any other white cheese you like)
  • 8-10 slices of bacon cut into Bat shapes (cut with a cookie cutter)
  • Black or Green Olives for garnish.

To make the crust: Combine 1 cup or warm water with 1pack. of Quick Rise Yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt, mix well until the yeast and sugar have dissolved. Then add in ½ tablespoon of Extra virgin Olive oil. Mix well and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Combine the flour with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan Cheese, ½ teaspoon of Garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Stir together until well combined and set aside until ready to use.

After 10 minutes or so.  Slowly combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture. Knead until you get a soft and elastic dough; if the dough seems too dry, feel free to add up to 4 more tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time. after you get the desire texture, (a very soft, non-sticky dough,) continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Then  place the dough in a bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Just before you start building the pizzas, preheat the oven to 450ºF.

Cook the bacon in a 400ºF oven for 8-10 minutes or until brown.

Mix 1 tablespoon of extra virgen olive oil with a ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, mix well and set aside for a minute.

After an hour or so,  the dough should be ready to roll out.  Place the dough on a floured surface and punch it a couple of times, just to get rid of any excess air that might be in the dough.  Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness.  And using a circular cutter, cut the pizza circles.

Brush each circle with the Olive oil mixture and sprinkle each circle with about ½ tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese.  (For super Crispy Pizza dough, bake these for 5 minutes in a 450ºF oven, before adding the tomato sauce!)

Top the circles with the tomato sauce, you want to add plenty of the tomato sauce to each pizza. I added about 2½ tablespoons to each circle. Then top the circles with the Cheese figures, place them right in the middle of each circle, you want to add 2 or 3 slices of cheese per pizza, to make sure the figure holds its form while in the oven. If you only add 1 slice, the cheese will melt before the crust is completely cooked and the figure will disappear  right into the tomato sauce without holding its shape.

Garnish with the bacon, and sliced olives.  Use the olives to create the eyes and the mouth of your ghost.  Bake at 450ºF for 10-12 minutes.

The crust will cook in 8 minutes. You want to remove the pizzas from the oven just after the crust is cooked and the cheese has melted. if you leave them in the oven for too long, the ghost will melt away, and the figure wont be very visible at all.
Thanks it, Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vegetarian Quesadilla (Mushroom and Black Beans)


To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today's recipe is another vegetarian recipe: "Mushroom and Black Beans Quesadilla", even if you are a meat lover, you wont regret giving this recipe a try,  I never thought mushrooms and black beans would work together, but they do make a terrific combination this super easy dish is perfect for lunch, dinner and even breakfast.  It is full of flavor and it is also rich in  antioxidants, fiber and protein!

Serves 3-4
Ingredients:

  • 1 14oz can Black Beans
  • 2  cups  Sliced Mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped Tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped Onions
  • ½ cup chopped Bell Peppers
  • 1-2 Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 minced Garlic clove
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dry Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Tortillas (I'm using 9in Whole Wheat Tortillas, but feel free to use any kind-size of tortilla you like)
  • 3-4 cups shredded Cheese (I used Cheddar Cheese, you can use  your favorite cheese)

Wash and drain the beans. Season the beans with ½ teaspoon of each: Salt, Black Pepper, and Dry Oregano.  Mix well and set aside for a minute.

In a large skillet, on medium heat,  heat up 1 tablespoon of  Extra virgin Olive Oil, and cook the onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until soft. Add in the mushrooms, season with salt to taste, and cook for 3 more minutes or until the mushroom begin to soften. (Add more oil if necessary)

After the mushrooms are somewhat soft, bring in the tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers, season with salt and black pepper to taste, (I added ½ teaspoon of each); also season with 2 teaspoons of dry Oregano.  Continue to cook for 3 more minutes or until the mushrooms are completely cooked and the peppers have become soft.  Add in the beans, stir together, taste the flavor and add any more seasoning if needed. Cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the beans are heated through and there's no more liquid in the skillet. (The mushroom will release some liquid while cooking)

On a griddle or skillet, heat up the tortillas, top the tortillas with some cheese, then add in some of the mushroom mixture over the cheese, sprinkle with more cheese, and cover with a second tortilla. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until the cheese has melted.   (If you prefer, you can fold your Quesadilla as if it were a taco, add some cheese, top with the mushroom mixture, then fold it like a taco, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.)

Serve with your favorite Salsa and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Creamy Chicken Rigatoni

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi Everyone!
Today's recipe is a wonderful dish, full of flavor, creamy, cheesy and simply delicious, perfect for any time of the year.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

Serves 3-4
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked Rigatoni (Add 1 more cup of pasta to serve up to 5-6 )
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite sizes pieces (add 1 more breast to serve 5-6)
  • 1 12oz package of frozen broccoli and cauliflower
  • 1 10oz can of Cream of Chicken
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water (add 2/3 cups of broth or water to serve 5-6)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (add ¼ cup more of cheese to serve 5-6)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cook the Rigatoni according to direction on the package. ( I usually cook my pasta in boiling water, with salt, 1 garlic clove and splash of olive oil. Cook until Al Dente, drain and set aside.

In a large pan, on high heat,  heat up 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil,  cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes or until brown on all sides. (It doesn't matter if the chicken isn't cooked all they way, you just want to give it a little color, and it will finish cooking later.) Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for a little bit.

Reduce the heat to medium low, add ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes or until soft and aromatic.  Add in the white wine and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes on medium high, or until the wine is reduce to half.

Once the wine is reduced, add in the cream of chicken and also add in ½ cup of chicken broth or water; stir together,  continue to cook on medium high for about 5 minutes or until heated through,taste the flavor and add any salt and pepper if needed; then add in the frozen vegetable and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add in the chicken, continue to cook for 2 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Add in the pasta,  season with ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley. Give it one last toss, and that's it, turn off the heat, top the pasta mixture with 2 more tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and serve.

Garnish with more cheese if you want to and fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Vegetarian Tostadas


To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi Everyone! Today's recipe is a super easy Vegetarian Recipe, full of flavor with lots of delicious goodness, "Cheesy Zucchini Tostadas". Zucchini are low in calories, but are also a great source of Vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. So these delicious Tostadas are not only easy to make, but they are also good for you.  I did add some cheese, but you can use Vegan Cheese to make it even healthier!  Enjoy

Serves 3-4
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini (I used green and Yellow Zucchini)
  • 1 15oz can of corn kernels
  • ½ cup of chopped onions
  • ½ cup tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese ( I used a Mexican Blend. You can use Vegan Cheese if desired.)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

To serve/Garnish:
  • Tostadas  2 per person
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1/4 cup of sliced onions
  • Your favorite Salsa
  • ½ cup of shredded cheese

In a large skillet on medium heat add  1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook the onion for about 3 minutes or until soft. Add in the tomatoes and the garlic, season with about ½ teaspoon of each: salt, ground black pepper and dry oregano; give it a quick stir and cook for about 2 more minutes or until the garlic becomes aromatic.

After 2 minutes or so, add in the zucchini,and season again with about ½ teaspoon of each: salt, ground black pepper, and dry oregano;  stir together, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 6-10 minutes or until the zucchini is nice and soft, and there is no more liquid in the skillet.

Once the zucchini is soft, add in the corn and the cilantro, mix together and cook for 2 more minutes on high heat or until there is no more liquid in the skillet.

To finish, add in about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, stir together, taste the flavor and add any more seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat, top the zucchini  mixture with the rest of the cheese,  let it melt a little bit, and then serve.


To serve, grab your tostada, top it with the zucchini mixture, and garnish with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions and if you like, you can also add a little extra shredded cheese and your favorite salsa and that's it!

Enjoy!





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