Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have SO MUCH to be thankful for! I am so blessed in so many ways, it would take hours to name them all. Enjoy the feast!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MSC Sweet Potato Cupcakes

First off, let me say that sweet potatoes are my favorite vegetable. I could eat sweet potato any way they are cooked; tempura in sushi, in fabulous creme brulee at Acacia, baked on the hot bar at the UVA cafeteria, or mashed with marshmallows in our family's holiday casserole. I L O V E sweet potato. Just thinking about it makes me salivate, so when I saw that this month's MS Cupcakes Club Challenge was her Sweet Potato Cupcakes. Let me cut to the chase, these cupcakes were fabulous!! My dad and brother both made it a point to independently tell me that these were the "BEST CUPCAKES I'VE EVER EATEN! IN MY LIFE!!" My dad emphatically told me how good they are and ate 4 on the spot. My dad has been subject to many successful and unsuccessful cupcake attempts over the years, and for him to say these are his favorite EVER is really making a statement. Even the BF had nothing but praise for these little babies and he doesn't even like CAKE!

Unfortunately the recipe is not on the Martha Stewart website so I can't post a link, but I feel like if you google it someone will have posted this fabulous recipe. My only altera
tion was not bothering to make the candied pecans and using one large marshmallow as topping instead of mounding mini marshmallows. PLEASE try these cupcakes! They are delicious, perfect for a holiday party, and so easy to make!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are you a Mexi-CAN or a Mexi-Can't?

I just got back from Mexico a few days ago, and I just can't get over how awesome it was! We went to an all inclusive resort, the NH Riviera Cancun, located in Puerto Morales, about 20 min South of Cancun Airport. The food was overall very good, but by no means a culinary masterpiece! My favorite meal was lunch. It was a fillet of white fish (tilapia?) fried on the grill served with rice and steamed veggies. I took it up a notch by smothering the whole thing in guacamole and pico de gallo. YUM! It was absolutely divine, and I'd like to believe it was healthy since it was fish with veggie salsa and avocados. You can't beat guacamole from Mexico, for whatever reason its always better than when I make it. Oh well.... I'll keep trying until I go back!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crab and Corn Bisque

I went to Mexico for 6 days, it was AWESOME, and definitely contributed to my delinquency with this poor blog. I left sunny 85 degree weather and came back to the remnants of Ida, one nice day, and rain falling with the night. The cool rainy weather really makes me want to snuggle up with a soft velour blanket, some hot cocoa, my puppies, a good book and a bowl of hot soup. I guess being by the ocean made me crave some serious seafood, and I was reminiscing on some delicious she-crab soup so I decided on crab soup. I looked up she-crab soup on the internet, although I couldn't find a specific recipe for that, but this Corn and Crab Bisque from Emeril recipe came pretty close. I doubled the crab in it, my main gripe with restaurant soups is that you have to hunt for the crab! I thought I had milk at home but I didn't, so for half the milk volume I used cream, and the other half I used seafood stock. Otherwise I followed the recipe as is. Not sure my blond roux came out, but I cooked the death out of some flour and butter, and it thickened, so I guess it worked out fine... I'll have to work on this again for the next time, and there definitely will be a next time!!! This soup was absolutely delicious!! The BF said it was "the best soup I've ever had." Brother was also a huge fan. Almost the whole bath was devoured the same day. Tomorrow I'll be posting my better late than never MSC recipe of the month: Sweet Potato Cupcakes. Yum!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I was SO excited to see SUSHI as this month's Daring Cook's Challenge! I made sushi often, so it wasn't too far outside of my comfort zone, so I tried to mix up the fillings a bit, and to make some really pretty looking rolls. The top roll there is a gorgeous and oh so easy to create salmon sushi roll.I also made some salmon and tuna nigiri sushi...

And my personal favorite, a steak and avocado topped spicy tuna with cucumber roll! Call is the Chubby roll. So delicious!
I seared some steak and put it on top of a basic inside out roll with spicy tuna and cucumber strips inside. I love sushi!! The whole family came over, and we had a good old fashioned sushi throwdown! Yum!!!

Tips for sushi:
For cucumbers, peel them, cut in half lengthwise, and then scoop out seeds with a spoon and cut the remaining flesh lengthwise into rectangles.

Vegetables are best cut into long skinny rectangles, it works best to fill with.

Spicy Tuna recipe: sashimi grade tuna, diced mixed with Real Mayo- Hot and Spicy variety, green onions diced finely, and tobiko or some other type of fish roe.

When rolling, roll and pull the sushi roll toward you at the same time as to decrease the extra space and make the roll as tight as possible. If it is not tight it will fall apart when you try to cut it!

ALWAYS use SASHIMI GRADE fish! If not you could get seriously ill. That's no fun for anyone!!

The recipe for the gorgeous sushi rolls was found here.