Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Elvis Lives in Cupcake Nation!

Melissa and I were at it again tonight.  When we'd done our Hawaiian cooking the other night, there were also some cupcakes made.  For you see, we're also doing cupcakes at our party.

A lot of cupcakes.

We've been planning to make about 2 dozen of 8 different cupcakes (you can do the math, I'm too lazy) and wanted to do some test runs on them.  We started trying to make a few of them Saturday night, but kind of had to abandon it after awhile and focus on the Father's Day cooking.  So tonight we picked back up where we left off.  And oh my, what a mess we made.

This is just one small area of my kitchen, and we'd done some cleaning at this point...


Here's a horrible picture of the 5 of the 8 flavors. We'll work on the remaining 3 some other time.  (I warned you people that I'm not good at the photos.)

But let me tell you about the 5.  One was so ridiculously and unexpectedly good that it had us all giggling.  Seriously, giggling over cupcakes!  I'll get to that one last.

By the way, allow me to digress a bit.  I opened this blog tonight and saw I had a follower.  A follower!  I was so excited.

Turns out it is my husband.  He's following a blog documenting what he just ate for dinner.  That is awesomely weird.

OK, back to cupcakes.  We made...

  • Chocolate Chipotle w/ a Vanilla-Chipotle-Marshallow Frosting (front left one) - this one was tasty, with an interesting afterburn.  But the frosting wasn't thick enough.  This seemed to be a theme for us and one we're going to have to address, since our party is going to be outdoors in July in Southeast Texas.  Imagine handing a popsicle to Satan.
  • Pineapple w/ an Orange Frosting (left, behind the chocolate-chipotle) - the pineapple cupcake was really, really good, but the frosting needed to be more solidly orange flavored.  Everybody who tried it kept thinking it was lemon flavored.  But at least it wasn't melty.
  • Chocolate w/ Peanut Butter Cup Center & Peanut Butter Frosting (far back, right, in a separate pan) - we tried two different approaches to putting the peanut butter cup into the cupcake and decided we needed to compromise between the two (try putting it in after it is halfway cooked).  This was great, but by the time we were ready to taste it, we were in a sugar coma!
  • Lemon w/ Lemon Curd-Ricotta Filling & Blueberry Frosting (the two weird, gray topped ones on the right in front of the chocolate-peanut butter ones) - oh my, this was my favorite until we got to the next one.  It was soooo good, even though the frosting color was ugly.  We need to work on that.
  • The Elvis:  Peanut Butter Cupcake w/ a Banana-Creme Filling & Candied Bacon Frosting (front right) - HOLY SHYTE!  Seriously, I thought this one would be interesting and reasonably good.  But it was out-f'ing-standing!  It was stoopid good.  Melissa and I don't even like bananas, but this was crazy good.  We've got a few things to work on it, but seriously, it was good.
When we make the remaining three, I'll share the details.  Until then, I'm now going to pass out in a powdered sugar coma.  And did I mention the Elvis cupcake was good?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Luau

I meant to take pictures.  Really, I did.

I should admit now that I'm a HORRIBLE food stylist.  My food may taste good, but if I do manage to take pics (more often than not, we're washing the dishes after dinner when I realize I meant to take a picture), they look bad.  Paper plates, bad lighting, no garnish, dirty pots and pans in the background.  Oh, how I'd love to be able to pull off those gorgeous food pics you see in the magazines.  But alas, this is not a talent I have.

But I did mean to take pictures of yesterday's meal.  My dear friend Melissa and I planned a big meal for our husbands, Hawaiian style.  In truth, it was somewhat self-serving...  she and I are celebrating milestone birthdays together next month (40 for me, 30 for her) and are doing an Elvis-Hawaiian-themed party.  So we used the day to test run a few things.

We spent the day down at McFaddin Beach, which is about 30 minutes from us.  It is a little redneck, but if you drive down a mile or so, it is pretty clean and sparsely populated.  And the kids love it.  Well, the two younger ones.  Our oldest HATES the beach.  Fortunately he's off at SpaceCamp this week.  So off to the beach we went with our Hawaiian food for a day of splashing in the waves, fishing, collecting hermit crabs, and studying Six Sigma.

Yeah, that last part sucked.  I had a Six Sigma test last night for an online class I'm taking.  Blah.

Back to the food.  Melissa and I made quite the spread.  It was so much fun cooking together too.  The original game plan included a green salad, but I overestimated the shelf-life of the lettuce I had in the fridge.  Oh well, we'll eat veggies another day...

Here was our menu:

Ahi Poke
Huli Huli Chicken
Spam Musubis
Macaroni Salad
Potato Salad
Hawaiian Rolls
Pecan Pie

OK, so the potato salad and pecan pie weren't Hawaiian.  Call Hawaii 5-0 on me.  My husband wanted them and it was his day, after all.

We kinda followed this recipe for Huli Huli Chicken.  It was so good.  We did skinless in the oven;  I think skin-on and smoked would be outrageous!
scroll down to dragonchowmein's recipe here...  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788498

And this one I followed pretty religiously for Macaroni Salad.  I was not hopeful, especially with all the milk and mayonnaise.  But it turned out to be pretty good.  I may tinker with the seasoning a bit next time, but it is a good starting point.

There are plenty of recipes out there for Ahi Poke.  I don't have one in particular to suggest.  I just use a little sriracha, sliced onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt.  And believe it or not, we've found the frozen ahi steaks from Sam's club work just great.  Thaw, dice up, and toss into the rest of the ingredients.  Admittedly, I overdid the sesame oil just a bit yesterday.  But everybody else loved it.

I'll do a separate post some time about musubis and pecan pie.

And then there's the cupcake testing.  That's for a later post too.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My FaceBook page is being overrun with my food porn.  So it is time I start a blog for all things food related.  In fact, despite years and years of people telling me I should start a blog, I haven't done it till now.

I love cooking.  I love going on food adventures.  I love good grocery stores, farmer's markets, and ethnic food shops.  I love watching food shows...  sometimes (those can get boring after a while, especially all the staged drama on shows like Cupcake Wars and Chopped).  And I love sharing food stuff with other people.  Restaurant recommendations, interesting ingredients, food pictures, and recipes are all fare game here.  I'll also start moving a lot of my stuff from FaceBook to here.  Eventually.  I do have 3 young kids, a job, college, a not-so-secret desire to be a stand-up comedienne, and a husband.  So it isn't like I have tons of foodie time.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I'll always make time for food.  So here goes...