mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

white cupcakes with strawberry buttercream January 24, 2007

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 3:56 pm

i saw martha make these today. i cannot wait to give them a try!!! these will be prefect for the baby shower i am helping to host next week!
now i just realized, while copying this down, that it contains 6, count ’em 6, sticks of butter. i think i will try and slim it down a bit….

White Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

2090_recipe_cupcake.jpg3 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
24 small strawberries, washed, hulls intact, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up. Frost cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream, swirling to cover. Cupcakes may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with strawberries just before serving.
recipe origin: Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, featured on her show

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor

1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160°).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.


3-ingredient fettuccine alfredo January 23, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,pasta,vegetarian — girlymama @ 5:05 pm

3-Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo
2 sticks butter
½ pound grated parmesan cheese
1 lb fettuccine

with a mixer, beat 2 sticks butter and ½ lb cheese until creamy. Cook pasta in large pot, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve ½ cup cooing water, then drain pasta. Return fettuccine to pot. Toss pasta with a bit of salt, cheese mixture and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add more water, as needed and serve with extra cheese.

recipe origin: Everyday Food


pork barbeque January 21, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,slow cooker — girlymama @ 10:06 pm

easy easy easy, yum yum yum 

Pork Barbeque
1-2 pounds pork chops or pork roast
1 bottle barbeque sauce
hamburger buns
Put pork chops in slow cooker and cover with barbeque sauce. Cook on low for about 6 hours until done. Shred meat with fork and serve in buns.


wilted spinach and tomatoes January 18, 2007

Filed under: side dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 4:44 pm

i could eat this every single day! 

Wilted Spinach and Tomatoes 

1 bag baby spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved if desired
olive oil
minced garlic

In a large skillet, heat up a bit of olive oil. Add spinach and garlic and stir as it wilts, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir until all is wilted (about 3-5 minutes more). Mix in a dash of balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.


barefoot contessa at home January 16, 2007

Filed under: review — girlymama @ 3:54 pm

I got this for Christmas and was so excited. Ina Garten and the Barefoot Contessa series are a favorite of mine. I love the simple, elegant recipes that aren’t unnecessarily complicated. (cough, martha. cough cough). I made Blueberry Crumb Cake first and it is fantastic! (How can you go wrong with 2 sticks of butter, right?) It was easy and quick to make and got rave reviews on Christmas morning. I can’t wait to try Cornish Hens with Cornbread Stuffing, the Caesar Club Sandwich and Chicken Piccata. 
I was very disappointed in the desserts. I love her desserts, but these seemed… strange. Not her usual classics with a twist. Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing? Peanut Butter and Jelly Tarts? Really? Not as many good desserts as usual. Although I will definitely try the Peach & Blueberry Crumbles this summer.
While this is not my favorite of the series (that goes to BC Family Style & BC Parties!), I thought it was much better than her latest Barefoot in Paris, which is full of fantastic, beautiful French recipies that I will probably never make. Worth a buy. Or check it out from the library at the very least!


cream scones

Filed under: breakfast,snacks — girlymama @ 3:33 pm

these are so so so good. they’re light and flaky and perfect with a cup of coffee. (my kids could eat a whole batch in one sitting!)

Cream Scones

2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c mini chocolate chips, dried currants, chopped raisins, whatever
1 1/4 c heavy cream
Wisk dry ingredients together in a bowl (including the add-in of your choice). Add cream and mix together with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Dump out on a floured surface and press into a flat sphere.* Cut into pieces and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, until tops are just brown.

*do not over-mix or they will become like rocks when you bake them! its okay when the dough should be crumbly and barely holding together. that’s what makes them so flaky.

recipe origin: Joy of Cooking


linguine with shrimp scampi January 15, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,pasta — girlymama @ 4:08 pm

really, why go out to a restaurant when you can eat like this at home?  

Linguine With Shrimp Scampi

Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, zest grated (I do not use this.)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds (For presentation purposes, don’t bother for family.)
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Cook linguine with 1 tablespoon of salt according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan or skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for just 1 minute. Then add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper. Saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes. Stir often.

Remove from the heat. Add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. (I don’t bother with the lemon slices unless it’s for company. And I eliminate the lemon zest. I feel it’s plenty lemony without the zest.)

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce. Toss well and serve.

recipe origin: Barefoot Contessa Family Style