Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cupcakes with Beer and Cheese? Who Knew?

For this month’s Taste and Create, I was paired with Stef from The Cupcake Project. Since I am not a baker, I spent a lot of time looking through her cupcake concoctions. I finally settled on the Beer Cheese cupcakes with Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Frosting. I liked the idea of a beer cheese cupcake. One of my favorite soups is Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon, so it was an easy decision for me to make.

The cupcakes weren’t hard to make; the boys helped me some, and when they were done, they just had to dig in. The oldest ate four, while my youngest ate two plus a bite. They seemed to like them better with no frosting on them. I think part of the reason for that is that the pumpkin muffins I make don’t have frosting on them.

I really think the concept was interesting – my husband’s favorite ingredient, beer, with my favorite ingredients, cheese and bacon all wrapped up into one tasty moist morsel. These cupcakes have to be the moistest cupcakes I have ever tasted; the beer must add that special touch. I also really liked the brown sugar instead of the always present white sugar. I agree with the kids; I liked them better without the frosting, but that is because I don’t have a real big sweet tooth, and the frosting was a little sweet for my taste, but it looked very good, like frosting with little surprises hidden inside.

Beer Cheese Cupcakes with Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup beer
1 stick, plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup grated cheddar
2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the beer and the butter, chopped into 1-inch chunks, in a large sauce pan, and heat to melt the butter. Add cheddar. Remove from heat, and whisk in the sugar. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter. Pour into cupcake wrappers and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean.
Makes 18 cupcakes.

Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

1 8oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup grated cheddar
1 cup bacon bits (I made my own, drained it, ran it through the food processor and drained it again)

Make sure cream cheese and butter are room temperature and beat them until creamy. Add grated cheddar. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Stir in bacon bits.
If you want to try something different, try these cupcakes – they are a different take on an old classic.

Chicken Pasta Salad and a Picture

Before I get to my recipe, I just wanted to post this picture of my youngest helping in teh kitchen. He loves to help me cook and has a blast adding flavor to any dish we create! On to my chicken post.

I like to eat healthy at lunch at school, but I am tired of cottage cheese and tomatoes. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer, so I thawed them, marinated them, and roasted them in the oven. I also decided to try whole wheat pasta too. Not bad, I actually liked it!

I just finished up my pasta salad this week and I must say that I enjoyed every bite

Chicken Pasta Salad Marinade

1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ shallot chopped
2 small cloves garlic minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup scant white wine vinegar or less
Olive oil to emulsify

Combine all ingredients except olive oil. Drizzle oil in and whisk together to make an emulsion. Pour ½ over raw chicken to marinate. Set rest aside. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have time.

Roast marinated chicken in 425 degree oven until just done and still moist.

Chicken Pasta Salad

2 chicken breasts marinated and cooked (see above)
½ lb whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled
1 small can artichokes, chopped
5 peppadew peppers, chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
7 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large spoonfuls mayonnaise
Rest of marinade
Salt and pepper to taste

After chicken and pasta have cooled a bit, slice chicken thinly and combine with pasta. Add rest of ingredients except for mayo, mustard, and marinade. After mixture is combined, stir in wet ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This is also my entry for this week's Presto Pasta Nights, an event created by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast, and hosted this week by Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. Go over and check her blog out!
My next post will be this month's Taste and Create event - I have been paired with a cupcake blogger. Wait and see what I post!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gringo Chicken Tortilla Soup

Some nights you want an easy recipe for a home cooked meal and fast. I am really liking my Gringo Salsa recipes – this is the second one I have posted about, but the third one I have made.

I found Gringo Salsa one day while shopping on the Hill in St. Louis. I was at Di Gregorio’s, one of the major Italian markets on the Hill. Anyway, on Saturdays, they sometimes have tastings, and I was lucky enough to try Gringo Meatloaf one time. Meatloaf isn’t one of my favorite meals, but this meatloaf and the one I blogged about recently I really liked.

Back to dinner – tonight I made Gringo Chicken Tortilla Soup. Not only was it an easy recipe, Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups in the whole wide world. My friend, Dottie, makes the best Tortilla Soup in the world. This recipe, though, is really easy; not as good as Dottie’s, but pretty good nonetheless. When I make this again, I will add green onions and tomatoes, for a fresher taste. The cheese really smoothes out the flavors, and the spice of the salsa really adds a kick to the soup. if you don’t have Gringo Salsa in your area – it is a local product, any black bean and corn salsa should be fine.

Gringo Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup cooked chicken cubed – I think shredded would be better
1 jar of Gringo Black Bean and Corn Salsa
1 lb Velveeta cubed
2- 15 oz. cans chicken broth – I used stock
1 15 oz. can corn – drained

Stir broth, chicken, salsa, and corn together, simmer 10 minutes. Add cubed Velveeta, stir and simmer until melted. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream, if desired. For variation – add cooked rice.

Have a great evening! Check out this link for information on Gringo Salsa!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sauteed Chicken with Pan Sauce

I bought some chicken at the store and wanted to cook it a different way. I usually roast in the oven with salt, pepper, olive oil, and whatever seasoning I want. This time, I decided to sauté it and make a pan sauce to go with the chicken. It made for a good entrée. I served it with some buttered garlic noodles. My kids thought the chicken was wonderful! I can’t wait to make it again for them. I added Dijon to the mix – it added a fresh little zing to the sauce that enhanced the flavor of the chicken. Enjoy!

Sautéed Chicken with Pan Sauce

3 chicken breasts
3 chicken thighs
Flour for dredging
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine or chicken stock/broth
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp butter
1/3 cup parsley chopped

Pound chicken with meat mallet until about ¼ inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Season the flour with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, coating chicken.

Put 2 tbsp of oil in a large heated skillet – medium high heat. When oil is heated place chicken -in skillet, in two batches if necessary. Don’t crowd the chicken in the skillet. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. Remove from pan – set aside on serving platter.

Put rest of oil in pan and sauté garlic and shallots until softened. Deglaze with wine, cook down a bit. Add butter and Dijon, stir to combine. Add parsley, stir gently to combine. Drizzle sauce over chicken, serve.

This dish is really versatile. Instead of shallots and garlic, one can use mushrooms, capers, sun-dried tomatoes; anything that works.

Next entry is a soup that uses my favorite gringo salsa! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cubed Steak Stroganoff

For this week’s Presto Pasta, I decided to make my version of Beef Stroganoff. It is a pretty easy dish, that has a little kick to it. I am always looking for ways to use the beef we have in the freezer. For tonight’s dinner, I chose cubed steak – why? Because I don’t want country fried steak and I have around 7 packages of cubed steak in the freezer.

Cubed Steak Stroganoff

1 lb. cube steak diced
2 tbsp olive oil plus two turns of the pan
1 ½ tbsp steak seasoning plus 1 ½ tsp
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper to season the flour
Olive oil – 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole shallot, minced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
A scant 1 quart beef stock
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Marinate steak in a shallow dish with olive oil and 2 tbsp steak seasoning for 30 minutes. Dredge steak in flour and sauté in olive oil until browned. Remove from pan. While meat is cooking, cook noodles according to package directions. Sauté garlic, mushrooms, and onions until softened. Deglaze pan with red wine, let reduce by 1/3. Add beef stock, bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add meat and noodles to pan. Stir to combine. Add Dijon, sour cream, and cheese. Combine. Top with parsley, stir and serve. Yummy!
This week's Presto Pasta roundup is being hosted by Joanna from Eats Well with Others. Check out the round up this weekend!