White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes. Epic Tune By Hungry Ghost.

White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes

Funniest_Memes_last-night-i-was-visited-by-the-ghost-of-gloria_19182

Boo!

I thought these little guys were so cute and hi-hats are always so much fun.

The Hi-Hat Filling I used here is a really easy version to whip up, but a touch airy. I prefer the filling I used to make these hi-hats. That post also includes some step by step instructions which you might find helpful.

White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes–I used a combination of 12 regular and 24 minis. My flavor choice was Devil’s Food. :)
Marshmallow Hi-Hat Filling (recipe follows)
White chocolate or candy melts, melted (about 2 pounds)
Chocolate chips, full size and/or minis

Directions:

1. Fill a pastry bag with the Marshmallow Hi-Hat Filling.

2. Pipe circles onto the cupcake as if you were creating a soft serve ice cream cone. You want a total of 4 layers, each a bit smaller than the previous.
Hi-Hat Filling
Hi-Hat Filling

3. Place the piped cupcakes in the freezer for several hours or overnight. The marshmallow must be very cold and firm so that it holds up when dipped in the chocolate coating.

4. Dip the filling of each cupcake into the melted chocolate. (I had more luck spooning the chocolate over with a spoon with this particular, delicate filling.)

5. Press chocolate chips onto the chocolate before it sets to create eyes and mouth. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and paint on a more dramatic face.

Recipe from Mighty Delighty

Marshmallow Hi-Hat Filling

Ingredients:

1. In a measuring cup, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in the microwave. Stir in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Once the sugar water is cool, add 1/4 cup of meringue powder to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar water and beat for 10 to 15 minutes until very stiff peaks form.

Makes enough for 12 full size cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes

Recipe from King Arthur Flour
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes

Since the chocolate sets up hard, the cupcakes are very portable so perfect to bring to a party.
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Ghost Cupcakes

I was looking for something to get me in the Halloween mood. I stumbled upon this song and fell in love with the lyrics. I mean, who hasn’t felt Epic Sadness? And doesn’t this song remind you of how it felt?

“We dreamt of light
But went for dark
Our epic sadness
Broke our fucking hearts

The darkness came
And swallowed us whole
We lost our way
And fell far below”

Check out Hungry Ghost on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and link to buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cupcakes, Halloween | Tagged | Leave a comment

Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables. Rocking New Music From John Scargall.

Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables
deb352cf9a9e9735ca67fd35bede07a6

John Scargall, a musician out of Philadelphia, PA, sent me a note to let me know that he loves rigatoni. He added that his music goes great with it, too.

You know what?

I think he’s right.

John is a vegetarian, so I prepared for him this recipe for Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables. The dish has a Mediterranean flair and is packed with colorful ingredients. The soft vegetables, crunchy nuts, and creamy mozzarella perfectly partner with the rigatoni.

Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables
Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables

Ingredients:

1 lb rigatoni
1 small red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp oregano, divided
Black pepper
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tsp fennel seed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 lb bocconcini, halved
Garlic bread, to serve

Directions:

1. Prepare rigatoni per package directions. Drain.

2. While pasta is cooking, sauté the red onion and green pepper in olive oil until slightly tender; season with 1/2 tsp oregano and black pepper. Add mushrooms and cook until lightly sautéed.

3. Pour rigatoni into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

4. Mix sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, olives and pine nuts into pasta. Top with Romano, remaining oregano, fennel seed, and sliced garlic.

5. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until the garlic slices on top just begin to brown.

6. Spoon pasta into serving bowls and add a few of the bocconcini halves to each. Serve with garlic toast.

Serves 6

Recipe from Kitchen Convivial
Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables
Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables
Baked Rigatoni With Sautéed Vegetables

John Scargall’s debut EP, “Breakthrough”, will be released in early 2015. The tracks I’ve heard are country heavy with plenty of swagger.

I love the smooth, deep vocals and hot guitar in “Harder They Fall”.

Check out John Scargall on his Website, where you can learn of an upcoming gig in Philadelphia and get his music.

Cheers!

Posted in Pasta | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping. Listening To Solid Gold Balls.

Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to take a pie baking class at King Arthur Flour given by Joy The Baker. I’ve been reading Joy Wilson’s blog for years and I own both of her amazing cookbooks. I’m also a long time listener to her podcast, Homefries, that she records along with Tracy from Shutterbean. I felt like I knew the gal!

Joy instructed 16 of us how to make her favorite Buttermilk Pie Crust and turn it into a Double Crust Apple Pie and the Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping that I am sharing today. Over the course of 4 hours we rolled dough, made fillings and toppings and listened to Joy’s fun stories and helpful baking hints of all kinds. (She taught the same class right after for another lucky bunch of students!). Definitely take a class with Joy if you can. I also highly recommend checking out the many offerings at King Arthur Flour here in Norwich, Vermont. I’ve taken a bunch of classes and they are always really fun (and highly organized).
KAF Class
KAF Class
KAF Class
KAF Class
KAF Class
Here’s Joy serving up some of the Pumpkin Pie for us to try.
KAF Class
Me and Joy!
photo

If you love pumpkin pie and praline, you are going to adore this pie. A perfectly spiced, creamy pumpkin filling is baked in the flaky buttermilk crust. The pie is then cloaked in a thick pecan-packed, sticky caramel sauce that hardens as it cools. Sweet in every sense of the word.

Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

Ingredients:

Buttermilk Pie Crust (recipe follows)
Pumpkin Pie Filling (recipe follows)
Pecan Praline Topping (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Transfer the pie filling mixture to the prepared pie shell.
Pumpkin Pie

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until the center of the pie no longer jiggles. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie

4. Pour warm praline topping over still warm pie. The topping will thicken and become harder as it cools. Allow pie to cool completely before serving. Even better, store in refrigerator and serve cold.

Makes 1 9-inch pie

Buttermilk Pie Crust

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add butter to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces about the size of small peas.
Crust prep

3. Make a well in center of butter mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

4. Dump the dough mixture out onto a floured work area. To bring the moist and shaggy bits together use the outer sides of your hands (the palms create too much heat). Form into a disk and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Pie dough

5. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a pie pan. Trim any overhang, fold edges under and crimp with your fingers. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pie crust

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Ingredients:

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, sugars, spices and salt. Cook until mixture is thick and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and cream. Stir in vanilla.
Filling

Pecan Praline Topping

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light brown sugar
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Making topping

2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.

All recipes from Joy The Baker
Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping
Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

Portland, Oregon’s Solid Gold Balls describe themselves as a “Family Core Indie Punk Hard Folk rock band”. Their latest album is a collection of pleasant songs that depict the day to day goings on of musical dads with kids.

Check out Solid Gold Balls on the band’s Website. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

Posted in Pie | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Easiest Tortellini Meatball Soup. Cold War Kids On The Stereo.

Tortellini Meatball Soup

meal-pie

You are 5 ingredients, and about 15 minutes away, from a warm, hearty and healthy soup.

Healthy.

Yes, you read that right. I posted something that is not only easy and delicious, but good for you, too.

Don’t worry, though. There will be some over the top pie tomorrow! :)

Tortellini Meatball Soup
Tortellini Meatball Soup

Ingredients:

48 oz chicken stock
1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini (in the refrigerated section)
16 frozen lean turkey meatballs
1 (6 oz) bag fresh spinach
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. In a soup pot bring chicken stock and Italian seasoning to a boil.

2. Add tortellini to stock and cook according to package.

3. While the tortellini is boiling, cook the meatballs according to package directions and quarter.

4. Add meatballs and spinach to stock just before tortellini is finished cooking and heat through.

Serves 6

Recipe from Design Crush
Tortellini Meatball Soup
Tortellini Meatball Soup

While warming up with soup, I’ve got Cold War Kids heating up the stereo with some ‘Hot Coals’. Rawk n’ roll it.

Check out Cold War Kids on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming world tour dates and buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Soup | Tagged | Leave a comment

Baked Jalapeño Poppers. Fun New Music From Bentcousin.

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Halloween week humor:
Mummy-nightmare-halloween
Making Jalapeño Poppers at home doesn’t get any easier than this baked recipe. The filling is a cinch to throw together and the filled poppers can be made up to 1 day ahead of baking.

Oh! And did I mention how absolutely delicious these Jalapeño Poppers are? The spicy peppers are filled with a creamy, cheesy, bacon flecked filling that offsets the heat and is out of this world.

Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon
12 jalapeño chiles, halved lengthwise with stems left intact, seeds and ribs removed
Salt
4 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Set wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet or use a broiler pan.

2. Cook bacon until crispy, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop bacon and set aside.

3. Season jalapeños with salt and place cut side down on wire rack. Bake until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove jalapeños from oven and reduce oven temperature to 450°F. Turn jalapeños over so the cut side is up.

3. Combine cheddar, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, green onion, cilantro, panko, egg yolk, lime juice, cumin, and bacon together in bowl. Divide cheese mixture among jalapeños and gently press down.

4. Bake until jalapeños are tender and filling is lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

Note: The filled and unbaked jalapeños can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Add 3 minutes to the baking time.

Makes 24 poppers

Recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine
Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Baked Jalapeño Poppers

This popped right out at me from the first listen. Sha-La-La, it’s melting the Monday blues right away.

Check out Bentcousin on the band’s Website, where you can link to buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Snack, Starters | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Panda Cupcakes.

DSC_0284

This has got to be the most adorable thing I have seen in awhile.

More little animal cupcakes for you. Aren’t these guys sweet? A little dopey with the big ears, I’ll admit, but those are delicious ears.

Panda Cupcake
Panda Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
White icing
Dark Chocolate Covered Thin Mints
Junior Mints
Chocolate chips
Candy eyes

Directions:

1. Frost the cupcakes.

2. Press in 2 thin mints for the ears, 2 Junior Mints for the eyes and a chocolate chip nose.

3. Use a dab of icing to attach the candy eyes to the Junior Mints.

All that is missing on this tray is tigers, Oh MY!
Lion And Panda Cupcakes
Panda Cupcakes

A short little piece of Heaven.

This is a really sweet song. Love that hook.

“It’s always nice when you’re around
So come with me let’s hit the town
No matter what, no matter how,
Let’s get together, it’s always nice when you’re around”

Learn more about Brazil on Facebook and Bandcamp, where you can name your price to get the music.

Check out Fire Department Club on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cupcakes, Short And Sweet | Leave a comment

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Brazilian Fish Stew
75474_v0_460x

Moqueca, which originates from the state of Bahia in Brazil, is a light fish stew in a coconut broth flavored with herbs, ginger root and some tomato. The hearts of palm makes it a wonderfully different dish.

Brazilian Fish Stew
Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Ingredients:

1 green onion, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons dendê oil (or substitute extra-virgin olive oil, which I did, but stew won’t have the vibrant Bahian hue)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 1/4 pounds sea bass or halibut, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups fish stock (or substitute clam juice)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup jarred hearts of palm, drained and chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced

Directions:

1. To make the marinade for the fish, mix together half of the green onion, half of the onion, half of the ginger, and half of the garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the dendê oil, all of the olive oil, and half of the cilantro. Place the pieces of fish in a resealable plastic bag and add the marinade. Pressing the bag to evenly coat the fish. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

2. Remove fish from refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

4. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of the dendê oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining green onion and onion along with the green and yellow bell peppers. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the remaining ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring to combine, for another minute. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and allow sauce to simmer.

5. Meanwhile, place the fish and marinade in a baking dish. Pour the lemon juice on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake until fish is almost cooked, 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Transfer fish to the sauté pan with the gently simmering sauce. Add any juices left in the baking dish. Cover the sauté pan, reduce heat to low, and cook until the fish is tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

7. Uncover the pan, add hearts of palm and tomatoes, and stir until hot, about a minute or two.

8. Taste the stew, season with salt and pepper then sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.

Serves 4

Recipe from The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Brazilian Fish Stew

This is new from Porto Alegre, Brazil-based band Não Ao Futebol Moderno (maybe). Perfect with some Fish Stew.

Check out Não Ao Futebol Moderno (Now, I’m not going to pretend that I know this is the band’s name, but I DO know the release is on Umbaduba Records) on the Umbaduba Records Bandcamp page, where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Seafood | Leave a comment