Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Angela's Pasta Salad

Tim, the hubby, does not usually like cold salads.  We're talking about potato salad, chicken salad and pasta salad. Needless to say, when we have hamburgers I'm a little limited on side items - did I mention he's not a baked bean fan either.  

There is however, one cold salad that he loves and asks for quite often.  We call it Angela's pasta salad.  My god-sister, Angela, made this salad on the 4th of July last year, and it's been a big hit around the Mudd household ever since.  Not only does my husband love this salad, it pairs perfectly with burgers and is SUPER easy to make.  Oh, and budget friendly too. 

Angela's Pasta Salad

1 Box Multi Colored Rotini
1 Block of Pepper Jack Cheese (cubed)
1 Bag Mini Pepperonis 
(we like the Turkey Pepperoni, you can also buy the Pepperoni sticks and dice them up yourself)
2 Green Peppers (chopped)
1/2 Bottle Italian Dressing (we like the Fat Free)

It is oh-so-delicious! You've got to add this recipe to your summer routine. 

Who else is excited about sweet summertime?

Kelly Anne 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Car Bomb St. Paddy's Cupcakes!

For those of you who know me best, know that I love any & all holidays. Halloween, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July and St. Patrick's Day (just to name a few).  I am also a sucker for holiday crafts and baking ideas. A few days before St. Paddy's, I ran across a fabulous recipe over at I Dabble (a great blog for recipes, sewing tips and fashion!), and decided to give it a shot.

The Car Bomb Cupcakes
1 cup of stout (um, Guinness of course!)
1 cup of unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cups of cocoa powder
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
3/4 tsp of salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cups of sour cream 

1. Preheat oven at 350.
2. Combine Guinness & Butter, bring to a simmer, then whisk in Cocoa Powder.
3. In a bowl, combine Flour, Sugar, Salt & Baking Soda (set aside).

4. Mix Eggs & Sour Cream together, add the Guinness-Chocolate mix, beat until just combined.
5. Slowly add in the dry mixture, be sure to only mix until combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter as it can cause the cupcakes to become tough and not rise.

 6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full (this recipe make 24 large cupcakes).
7. Bake for 17-18 Minutes.

Let cupcakes cool completely and get ready for the oh-so-amazing icing!

Bailey's Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 - 4 cups confectioner's sugar (I used roughly 2.5 cups)
4 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
Cream butter. Slowly add confectioner's sugar, just a few tablespoons at a time until icing is "spreadable." 
Add 4 table spoons of Bailey's and stir until blended.
(if you don't care for the irish cream, you can substitute a few tablespoons of milk)

Spread the icing, add a few green sprinkles and ENJOY! 
(excuse the terrible Blackberry pic, I really need to start charging my camera for these 
spur-of-the-moment baking opportunities).

The original recipe calls for a Jameson ganache to be added after baking.  I'm not a Jameson fan, and I was too cheap to buy the whiskey for just 2 tablespoons. If you want to try the Jameson ganache, check it out here.

These were so amazing. The cake was super moist and the icing was just the right balance of silky buttercream and Bailey's Irish Cream. These were the perfect St. Paddy's treat! I'm thinking I'll be making these again even before next March.

Happy Baking! Does anyone have any ideas for yummy Easter treats?

Kelly Anne