Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I think it was Coco Chanel who said that anything you really love never goes out of style. I really love red velvet cake and red velvet cupcakes, with anything from cream cheese icing, like here, to seven minute icing, like my grandmother made.

Here's to timeless cakes.

And to decorating with sprinkles.

To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with papers or to make a cake, grease and flour 2 8- or 9-inch cake pans.

3 tablespoons cocoa
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

Mix together and set aside.

Cream together:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Add 3 whole eggs and the paste of cocoa and food coloring. Beat for 10 minutes.


1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups cake flour that has been sifted three times with 1 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking
soda. Add that to the mixture.

Whew. Pour all that in the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes.

Cool on wire racks for a few minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
teaspoon or two of vanilla

Beat together until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's What's For Dinner

Oh, wait, that makes it sound like Sam Elliott will be here talking about beef.

Instead we're talking about healthy 400-calorie Flat Belly Diet Four Day Jumpstart meals! Can you hear the enthusiasm?

Dinner on Day One called for grilled tilapia filets, green beans, and roasted new potatoes.

Jeffrey is a wonder and he cooked all this for us. He seasoned the fish with lemon juice, cracked black pepper, and dill. He tossed the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and pepper. Using the stovetop smoker we got for Christmas, he smoked the fish and the potatoes. We steamed the green beans and it was all really good. Not like, "Sigh. I'm being healthy and, fine, this is edible." It was really tasty.

Thumbs up, which is more than I can say for that blueberry smoothie.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Parma Rosa Pasta With Grilled Chicken

We made this one night last week. It was a weeknight and it'd been a long day. This is the perfect meal for one of those days.

I boiled whole wheat penne. While that was cooking, I mixed up the pasta sauce.

It's in a packet, it's a sauce mix; JUDGE ME, that is fine. I'll be over here enjoying this pasta.

I sliced up some grilled chicken. It was chicken left over from the other night and do you know how happy that makes me? To be able to use leftovers to make another yummy dish? VERY HAPPY INDEED. I love being efficient and frugal. Throwing food away makes me feel bad.

When the pasta was done, I poured the sauce over it and added the sliced chicken. I served it up and topped it with some grated Parmesan. Good stuff.

Leftover steamed asparagus or green beans would have good in there, too. Not pictured was the side salad we had with the pasta.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Raspberry Chipotle Chicken and Grilled Asparagus

Saturday I brined a few bone-in chicken breasts for several hours. Late that afternoon I brushed them with sauce and Jeffrey grilled them.

During dinner, pretty much every other bite one of us mentioned how good it was. We're looking forward to making chicken salad with the leftovers.