Monday, June 27, 2011

jalapeno hummus

With my sister-in-law's wedding coming up next month, we took the time last week to celebrate with a bridal shower.  It was a wonderful afternoon with her close friends and family spoiling the bride-to-be.  I think no party is complete without a great dip, so we made sure there were two.  I made my usual Roasted Red Pepper Dip.  I also made hummus which was served with mini pitas. 

A couple months ago, hubby was obsessed with a jalapeno hummus we had at a party so we made a few batches, trying to perfect the recipe.  This is the recipe which we came up with, although I did leave out the jalapeno for the party.  It's easy peasy and perfect with bread or veggies.

Jalapeno Hummus

1 28-oz. can chick peas
1 cup yogurt
3 cloves garlic
1 TB tahini
zest of one lemon
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

Dump everything in a food processor and blend until combined. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

mini red velvet cupcakes for my sister's birthday

My sister's coming for a visit!  S currently lives in Tajikistan, a mountainous country in Central Asia.  It's a long way to travel and her visits are always way too short!

With yesterday being my sister's birthday, we definitely need cake to welcome her home.  I had some cream cheese icing in the freezer, just needed a cake that we could slather it on.  Besides carrot cake, the only other thing that came to mind was red devil.  I had never made it before and on my hunt for a recipe, many had full bottles or more of food colouring!  The recipe that I finally settled on only had 1 tablespoon.  This recipe for mini red devil cupcakes comes from Simple Recipes.  I didn't have buttermilk so swapped it out with some homemade yogurt (which my mom makes for us weekly - I know, I am so spoiled!).

This was a simple recipe and these cupcakes were delicious!  Hope S loves them too!

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup homemade yogurt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.
Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating until a creamy texture. Add 1/4 of the flour and mix, then add 1/3 of the buttermilk mix .

Continue adding the flour and the buttermilk until all the ingredients are mixed.

Use two teaspoons and carefully scoop the batter into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer the baked cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

For the frosting, I used this cream cheese icing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

father's day and passion fruit ice cream

This year, we celebrated Father's Day with a Mexican Fiesta!  Fried fish, tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole started out our meal alongside some margaritas.  Our main was fajitas with shredded, barbecued chicken with grilled peppers and onions.  It was a simple menu but packed a lot of flavour and our families were full and satisfied.

For dessert, we cooled our palates with homemade ice cream.  I'm a bit addicted to my dad's ice cream machine.  It was supposed to be a weekend loan but I'm having too much fun, I haven't given it back.  This time, I experimented with passion fruit!  Using only one passion fruit gave the ice cream a subtle flavour.  It was a hit and this recipe is definitely a keeper.  Hope all the fathers had a great day being spoiled by loved ones!

Passion Fruit Ice Cream

1 cup whipping cream
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1 - 2 passion fruit (pulp and seeds)

Mix the above ingredients together and follow the instructions of your ice cream machine.

Monday, June 6, 2011

chocolate cupcakes for graduation

It's convocation day!!  Hubby is getting his Masters today! S has worked hard for this degree.  It took a few years, with him squeezing it in while working many hours at a demanding job.  He also had a baby at home wanting to play and a wife wanting some attention too.  It was hard work, with sleepless nights, so this calls for some celebration.  As with any milestone, cake is definitely in order!   

I think this might be my new favorite cupcake recipe.  It's Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes.  No need to separate the dry ingredients from the wet and they were ready in 20 minutes!  I didn't have buttermilk so I substituted that with yogurt mixed with some water and I used canola oil rather than safflower.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
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