mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

carrot cupcakes February 18, 2007

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 9:53 pm

we’re in cupcake mode this week – its my daughter’s birthday on thursday so we are making cupcakes for school, her party, the whole town….
these are a family favorite.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, and eggs.
2. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut with a spoon or spatula.
3. Oil a standard muffin tin or line with paper cups; distribute batter evenly.
4. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool before frosting. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.


roasted cornish hens with grapes February 17, 2007

Filed under: entertaining,holidays,main dishes — girlymama @ 9:41 pm

I had planned to make this for Valentine’s Day. But, you know, snow storm, sick kids, blah blah blah. Maybe next year. I still think it sounds amazing. Maybe because of my new obsession with shallots… 

Roasted Cornish Hens with Grapes

1 ½ pounds mixed red and green seedless grapes
8 shallots, root end intect, halved if large)
6 springs fresh thyme, plus some leaved for hens
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
4 Cornish game hens (1 to 1 ¼ pound each)

1. Preheat oven to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss grapes and shallots with thyme springs, oil, tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
2. Nestle hens among grapes on baking sheet, breast side up. Season hens generously with salt and pepper; sprinkle with thyme leaves.
3. Roast, basting hens occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of leg (avoiding bone) registers 160°, 30 to 35 minutes.

Recipe origin: Everyday Food


chicken curry February 2, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,slow cooker — girlymama @ 4:20 pm

another family favorite.

Chicken Curry

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken (thighs or breasts)
1 onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
8 slices fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 cup plain yogurt
1 package frozen peas (10 oz)
½ c toasted cashews (optional)

1. In a slow cooker, toss chicken with onion, garlic, ginger, curry, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook on high setting until chicken is fork-tender, about 4 hours. (Don’t be tempted to peek – keep the cover on while cooking.)
2. Stir in yogurt and peas; cover and cook until peas are heated, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to a large bowl or plate and shred with a fork. Return to pot and toss with the sauce.
4. Garnish with toasted cashews, if desired, and serve over rice.

i think that the cashews make a difference – add a good salty crunch. i never make this without them!


No-Bake Cheesecake Petit Fours February 1, 2007

Filed under: desserts,entertaining — girlymama @ 5:54 pm

I found this on this great food blog I’ve recently found.  I’m making them for the baby shower on Saturday, along with these. I must warn you — these are amazing. You will not be able to stop eating them!  And they are so easy.
I’m not thrilled with the chocolate coating. I’m experimenting with other coatings, trying to get a smooth, hard finish. Tough work, but someone has to do it 😉

No-Bake Cheesecake Petit Fours
1 package (7 oz.) chocolate wafer cookies
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons vanilla
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
10 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely

1. Line a 9×9″ baking pan with foil. Place cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground. Combine cookies and 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Add the melted butter, and mix well until crumb mixture holds together.

2. Transfer cookie mixture to the prepared pan, and pat out evenly to make the crust, only filling the bottom of the pan – notlining the sides. Place in freezer while proceeding.

3. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a mixer, and beat until combined. Lightly whip cream to soft peaks, and fold into cream-cheese filling.

4. Remove crust from freezer, and pour filling evenly into pan. Cover with plastic wrap, place in freezer for 30 minutes, or over night.

5. Remove pan from freezer, allow cheesecake to soften slightly. Remove from pan (should be easy with the foil liner) and slice into 1-1.5″ squares. Return to freezer for 30 minutes or overnight.

6. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Turn off heat. Remove cheesecake squares from freezer and dip each one in the chocolate – covering them completely. Allow to cool on a cookie rack and decorate with icing, melted white chocolate, or pre-made/bought decorations. Store in freezer, allowing at least 10 minutes at room temperature prior to serving.

recipe origin: Domestic Goddess