A New Post? Whaaaaaa?!

So, it seems to me that I’ve been gone for a quick minute….almost. I’ve been so busy with school and work I haven’t had time to update my blog, BUTTTTTT I have been on Pinterest.

That could only mean one thing….come find me and follow me. I have over 15 thousand pins (I can safely admit I have a problem) and over 42 thousand followers. I have lots of cooking/baking boards as well as drink boards because every one loves a good beverage now and again. Plus there’s lots of other things I love!

Click the following link to check out my pinterest. If you have a pinterest you want me to check out comment below with the link. Also leave your personal pinterest and I’ll follow you 🙂

Nicole’s Pinterst 🙂 

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Margarita Cupcakes: Shot Glass Included

margarita4

Margarita Cupcakes, who knew? Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo I thought I’d post a few more fun recipes I’ve discovered and came across. I’m not a big Cinco de Mayo celebrating for a number of reason: I do not enjoy Spanish food even though I’m Puerto Rican and I don’t drink…so it’s kind of like another day in my book. Anyways, back to the recipe. I saw one of my friends made these cupcakes for a party she’s going to tomorrow and she had a lot of fun making them. Check out Recipe Girl’s website for step-by-step instructions that include pictures as well as other recipes.

margarita5

Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Cake: Mason Jar Style

whiskey cake Whiskey in a Jar Chocolate Cake

I feel like everyone responses well to alcohol related recipes. Courtesy of The Family Kitchen they provide an easy JD Chocolate Cake recipe. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

Whiskey in a Jar (Flourless) Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 stick butter
8 oz chocolate pieces (chopped fine) or small chips, semi-sweet
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Tennessee whiskey, I used Jack Daniels
nonstick spray

Frosting
4 oz shortening
4 oz softened butter
1 lb powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or whiskey

For Cake:

1. In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir well. Let cool.
2. Add butter and chocolate to a large mixing bowl with sugars. Mix until well combined. Add whiskey and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix well. Add salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix very well. .
3. Pour into 4 pint jars that have been sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, or until cakes pass the toothpick test. (And they have risen and fell)

For frosting:

1. Cream softened butter and shortening in stand mixer with wire attachment.
2. Add sugar. Mix on low until combined. Turn mixer to high. Add a little of the milk or whiskey at a time, until icing is light and fluffy.
3.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 4 large servings

Enjoy! xo

Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro & The Chocolate Expo!

Yesterday, I was happier than a bird with a french fry! I met Buddy Valastro of TLC’s Cake Boss. I’m a HUGE fan. I live not to far from him bakery in Hoboken and I have been there a few times. I would go more often except with his new found fame the lines are exceedingly long. The normal wait time just to get into Carlo’s is around 4-5 hours. As much as I love, food waiting on that line is painful.

I went to the Chocolate World Expo  and it was FABULOUS! Everything a girl could want and more. There was tons of chocolate samples, as well as ice creams, cookies, brownies, fondue, cheeses, and of course wine!

My top favorite’s included (in no particular order):

  1. Breezie Maples: Best organic maple syrup products I’ve ever had. The most awesome part about them was their Maple Syrup Cotton Candy…yes you heard right: Maple Syrup Cotton Candy. It was like eating a syrup filled cloud. The taste of syrup was over powering or anything. It was phenomenal. I bought two bags hehe
  2. Pie Lady and Son: I’m not normally a pie kinda girl, but their pies were out of this world. They had debuted their Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Pie and it was amazing. I went back for seconds during our sampling.
  3. Picklelicious: Need I say more. I LOVE pickles. Delish.
  4. Screme Gelato Bar: Ah, it was like heaven in a spoon. I tasted Mint Chip which was based off of the York Peppermint Patties and Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Brownie Batter ice cream. Now, the first ice cream was good: tasted just like … well, mint chip. I don’t drink so having a liquor flavored ice cream seemed weird of me to try, but I did and surprisingly I liked it. It was actually really good. You could most certainly taste the Jack Daniel’s, but the chucks of chocolate and brownies was awesome.

Overall, the chocolate expo went well especially around the waist. I ate so much junk food, but learned so much about my taste buds. All the different flavors..ah! It was so much fun.

Xo

Nicole

Espresso Martini Jelly Shot

Espresso Martini Jelly Shot

Visit Taste for Adventure to find the recipe as well as other fun stuff. Check out the recipe below:

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 4 hrs
  • Serving Size: 15 jelly shots

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brewed dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 2 1/2 envelopes plain gelatin (or 3 if jelly shots will be sitting out for an extended period)
  • 1/3 cup espresso flavored vodka
  • 1/3 cup vanilla flavored vodka
  • 1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or simple syrup (if desired)
  • 1 tbsp Irish Crème liqueur (if desired – you can use up to 2 tbsp if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Implements – pyramid flexible silicon mold * Prepare a flexible silicon pyramid mold (we used a 15 cavity mold with .68 oz cavities) by spraying lightly with cooking spray, or wiping each mold cavity with a little vegetable oil. Follow by wiping each mold cavity with a clean paper towel. This method will leave the slightest reside which will aid in un-molding the gelatin without affecting the taste or appearance of your gelatin. Place the mold on a stable, movable flat surface, such as a cookie sheet or cooling rack (make sure the pan or rack fits into your refrigerator).
  2. our coffee/espresso into small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two. Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, and add the vodkas and Kahlua, stirring well to combine. Taste and add agave nectar/simple syrup if desired.
  3. If making dual-layer jelly shots, divide the jelly shot mixture equally into two bowls. Add 1-2 tbsp Baileys to one of the bowls. Spoon a teaspoon of the Baileys mixture into 4 of the mold cavities, then spoon a teaspoon of the espresso jelly shot mixture into 4 additional cavities. Refrigerate until set, about 3 minutes, inverting the mold on one end to create an angled layer.
  4. When set, remove from refrigerator and fill with the alternate jelly shot mixture. You will have 7 mold cavities remaining, fill these with the remaining espresso and the Bailey’s mixtures.
  5. Refrigerate until fully set, several hours or overnight. To serve, unmold.

Enjoy! xo

Strawberry Margarita Jell-O Shooters

Strawberry Margarita Jello Shooters

Courtesy of Bakers Royale they give you a step by step instructions on how to make these fun shooters.

Strawberry Prep:

  1. Cut the bottoms of the strawberry flat to get them to stand upright. When you do so, make sure that you do not cut off so much that there is a hole at the bottom.
  2. Use a huller or apple corer to empty out the strawberry.
  3. Once the strawberries have been emptied, use a towel to pat the outside of the strawberries dry.
  4. Check each strawberry and make sure there is not a hole in the bottom before you start filling.

Margarita Mix:

  • 1 box Strawberry Jell-O
  • 8 ounces tequila, preferably reposado or blanco
  • 6 ounce Cointreau
  • Salt for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Boil one cup of hot water in a saucepan,  then add in Jell-o powder and whisk until powder is completely dissolved, about 2  minutes. Set aside.  Measure out 1/4 cup of cold water and set aside.
  2. Combine tequila and Cointreau, in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add liquour mixture to cold water and stir to combine. Then add cold liquour mixture to hot Jell-o mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Pour final Jell-o mix into strawberries and chill overnight. Dip  your finger in water or use a moistened brush to wet the edge of the strawberries, dip and rotate the strawberries in salt to rim. Garnish with cut lime triangles to finish.

Enjoy!xo

Porch Swing

porch swings

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen‘s blog they give a photo detail of how to make a Porch Swing. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) gin (Hendricks is specified; Tanqueray was used)
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur (what’s Pimm’s?)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) homemade lemonade (recipe below)
7-Up or another lemon/lime soda
10 paper-thin half moon slices of cucumber (I used an “English”, unwaxed, cucumber)

Pour gin, Pimm’s and lemonade into tall Collins glass, then add a few ice cubes and a splash of 7-Up. Finish with cucumber slices.

Lemonade

1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part simple syrup, or to taste (I will use perhaps 1/2 or 3/4 of a part next time, see Note above)
2 parts water

Make simple syrup: [Please don’t buy it. I see it in stores and it vexes me.] Simmer one part water with one part sugar (I did a cup of each and ended up with about 1 1/2 cups simple syrup) until sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Or, you can use my speedier method where you simmer one part sugar with half as much water and once it has dissolved, add the second half of the water, cold, which cools the mixture down faster (when you like nothing to slow your pace to the nearest drink).

porch swings

Enjoy! xo

Guinness & Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes

On Une-Deuxsenses‘s blog you can find the step by step recipe to make these delish cupcakes. Check out their site as well as the creicpe below:

Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Original recipe can be found here.
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout beer/ Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
For the Bailey’s ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsn. butter, room temperature
2 tsp. Irish whiskey OR Bailey’s Irish cream
For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
8 tbsn. unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 – 8 tbsn. Bailey’s Irish cream
(I also used some half&half to thin the frosting out w/o adding more alcohol)
Directions:

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside. Combine stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add stout mixture and beat to combine. Mix in dry ingredients on low until incorporated. Divide batter among cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the ganache, place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Heat cream in saucepan until simmering, then pour over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Add butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined. Set aside until cool and thick enough to be piped (you can use the refrigerator to speed the process but stir every 10 minutes to ensure even cooling). Meanwhile, cut a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method and once the ganache is of the right consistency, pipe the ganache into the centers.
To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired and enjoy!
Enjoy! xo