Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

I am so excited...why you might ask, well it's because I'm the host of this month's "what's baking challenge! And seeing that it's Valentine's time again, I wanted to try a new cupcake recipe so I figured why not make a red velvet cupcake to stay with the holiday color theme.

Since Valentine's day lands on a night that I have to work later, I decided that we would celebrate the weekend before. This year I asked my three year old what he wanted to dessert and his response was "I want cupcakes!" Seeing that it was Jonathan's Valentine's Day Dinner as well, how could I say no.

I couldn't have been happier with the way the cupcakes turned out and I can not wait to make them again. Please make sure to come back and check out my what's baking round up and I've already gotten some amazing submission.

Like always happy baking!

Source for Cupcake Paula Deen
Source for Vanilla Bean Frosting http://www.browneyedbaker.com


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

In another bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in stand mixer.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.

Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through.

Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

While the cupcakes cool start making your vanilla bean frosting.

In your stand mixer whisk butter at medium-high speed until smooth.

With the edge of a knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.

Once incorporated, add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moiste.

Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully incorporated, continue scraping the bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed.

Once everything has come together, increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost cupcakes and Garnish with raspberry, strawberries or even red candies.

Like always, Happy Baking!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Have I told you all how much I love Pinterest? Well if I haven't let it be known that It's my new love. I love that fact that I'm able to "pin" (book mark) just about anything and I can come back to it at a later date.

I think that over the past 3-4 months most of my pins have been either decor or food related. Which for me is great because I love the fact that I could get meal ideas from other people. I think that it's so great that I could look at someone's else recipe and it can inspire me to make something new when I find myself in a food funk!

This such a great dish and has made it's way into our meal rotation. If you're looking for sides to go with this, it pairs well with roasted potatoes and a side of veggie such as mushrooms, or green beans. I hope you all enjoy this as much we did.

Like always happy cooking!

Adapted from chimeraobscura.com


2-3 Sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves
2 Cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 skin-on, chicken thighs
1/8 Cup of chicken stock
1 Cup of plum tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 450.

Using rosemary leaves, garlic, salt and the red pepper flakes and mash ingredients together to make a paste.

Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat, and let chicken marinate over night.

30 minutes before starting your meal, take chicken out of frig and set aside.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin browns.

Once chicken has browned, drizzle chicken with any marinade remaining in the bowl and the juice of the remaining lemon.

Add the rosemary sprigs, chicken stock, tomatoes, and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet.

Transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.