Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkins for Halloween!

I had a wonderful weekend in New York City for my friend Carmela's 21st birthday.  We ate at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, which was incredibly delicious. And we saw How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which was really really good and Daniel Radcliffe is just adorable and the whole cast was hilarious and very talented! It was quite lovelyyyy, minus the snow! Since when does it snow in October. It made it most difficult to kidnap Daniel and take him home with me.

Now there is snow on the ground for trick-or-treating, which I get to do later with my little sister Ava (Hermione from Harry Potter), Carmela 
(& her dog Truffles, he'll be a lion) and Jenna and her son Jackson (who will be a Tiger for his First Halloween)!

This weekend I also made some cookies for a Halloween party, pumpkin cookies - that is, cookies that taste like pumpkin and cookies that look like pumpkins.

Enjoy Halloween! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup

Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles adapted from Food Network

I'm on fall break from school, which is glorious!  I love being lazy and cooking instead of going to classes all day every day.  So, I was asked to make a light meal for dinner this weekend and tried this soup.  This is a really yummy broth, and shrimp are really yummy, but I  hated these rice noodles. I thought they were super weird tasting and had a super weird texture (they did look pretty).  So I ended up not eating them, I'd try Soba noodles next time in this soup.
I served this with Gyoza (which my mother just loves) for an Asian inspired meal?! 

Nothing to do with Asia, but I might be traveling abroad to Italy - more on that later if I ever learn how to write for this blog. 

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles (flat ones)
  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • Salt
  • sesame oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 6 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic clovers, smashed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (bottom third only, sliced thinly on the bias) (I used jarred lemongrass)
  • 5 shallots, sliced
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1/4 cups of reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole fresh cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1 lime 
Make soup
Soak the noodles in hot water for a half hour until soft, then drain
Peel the shrimp and save shells for alter. Coat the shrimp in sesame oil and salt and leave in fridge until later.
Bring the stock to a boil with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass then lower the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes
Add the shrimp shells and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes. 

Strain the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the shallots and the grated jalapenos till they're soft - about 15 minutes 
Add soy sauce and the sugar and salt to taste
Then add the shrimp to the broth. 
Turn off the heat and add in the cilantro and lime juice.

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

So when I saw these on How Sweet it is, I knew I had to make them.  Peanut butter is my favorite and I could probably eat a jar of Fluff with a spoon in a sitting - probably with a spoon of peanut butter in the other hand.  Who really needs the bread? Especially when you can replace it with cake!  

Fluffernutter Cupcake

for about 12 cupcakes - I think I made 15

1/4 cup butter - softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup of marshmallow fluff

Bake them

Preheat over to 350 degrees
Cream together the PB and regular butter
Then add eggs and sugar until incorporated - then the vanilla
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients - add half to the PB mixture, then the milk, then the other half of the dry
Then fold in the Fluff
Pour into lined cupcake tray and make for 15-18 minutes 
Then let cool.


Make Frostings 

Peanut Butter Frosting

2 tablespoons of softened butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk, if needed 

Beat together the PB and butter, until creamy - then add the vanilla
Slowly add in the powdered sugar until completely combined 
Add milk if the frosting is too thick.

Marshmallow Buttercream

2 sticks of butter - softened 
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of marshmallow fluff 
3 cups of powdered sugar 

Beat butter until creamy then add in Fluff and beat
Then add in vanilla 
Add sugar one cup at a time 
If too thick add milk, if too thin add more sugar 

With a piping bag or spoon or whatever you have, stuff the cupcakes with the PB frosting then spoon on globs of Marshmallow buttercream on top of your cake.  Drizzle with melted peanut butter.