Monday, March 19, 2012

PEEPS Chicks Cupcakes

I posted this awhile ago but I wanted to repost this for all who are new followers.  I think these are the cutest little treats ever!  They are so simple to make and can be made with kids for Easter and making great school treats for any class party.  You can make any type of cupcakes you like.  I used simple yellow cupcakes, added green buttercream.  I then added the PEEPS chicks, I used yellow but you can do all the colors if you'd like after that I added Malted Milk Eggs for the chick's eggs.  They came out so cute and all the kid's in my daughter's class loved them and thought they were so cool.  I will make them again this year for her class and bring them in to her PSR class as well since they are all excited about making their First Confession this week and celebrating Easter!  The nuns always love treats!

So this is what you'll need:  (I always make 2 dozen cupcakes)
24 cupcakes (any flavor either made from scratch or cake mix)
24 PEEPS Chicks (any color)
Green Frosting (homemade or store bought vanilla or cream cheese frosting dyed to green)
Whoppers Malted Milk Mini Eggs

Bake your cupcakes according to your recipe or cake mix directions.  (If making them from cake mix you may have to make 2 boxes which will make more than 24 cupcakes, nothing wrong with having extra, hee hee)  Let them cool.

Make your frosting and dye it green either with gel dye or dye drops until you reach the desired color, I made mine a pale green not over power or destroy the flavor of the frosting)

Place each PEEPS Chick on each cupcake.

Tuck in your eggs onto the side of the chicks.

Then you're done!  Quick Easy Easter/Spring Treats!

Ready For Class....

Spring is Coming!
Have A Sweet Day!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Texas Roadhouse Brooklyn, Ohio

On the suggestion of a friend she told us to try Texas Roadhouse because I was craving some ribs.  She said that she had some great ribs at Texas Roadhouse.  My friends have praised Texas Roadhouse for awhile so we thought we should go out and try it.  I was there once before when it first opened and I don't think I got anything special that stood out so I think that's why I didn't think to go.  I gave it another try because every time I drive by it, it's always packed.  What is awesome is that you can do call ahead seating.  With 2 unpatient kids, that's an A+!

First time I went I had ribs and they were so huge I couldn't believe it.  I ordered a veggie and a loaded sweet potato!  Yum!  On our order was also Chicken Fried Steak which was huge and the kids got chicken tenders which were tasty bites for them.  They have the best bread, most people love their cinnamon honey butter but I don't so I just get regular butter.  I think I could just go there and eat bread, it's that good.  We ordered the "blooming onion" type appetizer and got cheesecake for dessert.  The blooming onion was good but greasy as it always is no matter where you get it.  The cheesecake was amazing!

The second time we went since our first experience was awesome, I got the grilled shrimp on skewers with rice, of course the loaded sweet potato and some baked beans.  The shrimp was awesome and flavorful!  Perfectly cooked.  The rice to me reminded me of jambalaya seasonings.  I love jambalaya so I was hooked.  This time steak was also ordered and it was cooked perfectly to order.  The kids of course got the chicken tenders again and also we had the Rattlesnake Bites that were so good.  I thought since it was jalapeno it may be a little too hot but they weren't.  The flavor and the peppers were there but they were also gooey and cheesy.  I was in love.  I love my cheese!  Before when we ate at another time they ran out of their brownie dessert, since we thought it sold out last time that we should get it because they praise.  To my disappointment it was horrible.  It didn't taste chocolaty or brownie type.  Had no chocolate flavor, it tasted like bland cake.  We did however also get cheesecake to go with the strawberry topping which was always awesome.  I managed to find out they get their cheesecakes from Tennessee Cheesecake which you can order online HERE.  It's amazing!

I am glad we went back because the food really is good.  Depending on what you get you can spend a range of money.  I think it's worth it.  The staff was really great to us every time and never had problems.

Here are some pictures of menu items we ordered....

Rattlesnake Bites

The perfect yeasty rolls with butter.

Johnny enjoyed munching on the bread!

Ribs & Steak
(it was't served like this, it was arranged on the plate better)

Chicken Fried Chicken

Yummy Huge Gooey Loaded Sweet Potato

Grilled Shrimp with Rice

Sofia's picky Salad, only Romaine, Cheese and Ranch
They have a fully loaded salad that is awesome.

I will definitely go back to Texas Roadhouse, hopefully soon.  I have to be guilty of craving their shrimp and rice and bread.  Okay most of what we've had has been awesome.  A great overall experience.

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Look for a location near you:

Texas Roadhouse Facebook

Have a great night,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Torta di Cioccolato: Decadent Chocolate Flourless Cake

Although today is Saint Patrick's Day most people would think that I would make something green or Irish inspired cuisine.  However, Scott being Irish has no interest in eating Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes.  He loves them all, just not together in one day.  Then really I think the whole hype of Wearing Green, Binge Drinking, Eating Corned Beef and Cabbage really is an American thing.  In Ireland it's actually considered a very holy day.  They have festivals to carry out the holy day.  Although they may wear green, dyeing the rivers or waters, drinking green beer or eating corned beef and cabbage is not celebrated in Ireland.  The young do however go to the Pubs to pay homage to their love of their land.  The more mature go to church.

So here we are, I though even thought it may not be a huge celebration in our home despite the heavy Irish side, it would be nice to be a little green in our home.  Nothing wrong with being patriotic, proud and celebrate your heritage.  I am not Irish but I thoroughly influence my family with my Italian culture so it's a nice change, plus we are Catholics.

Today I thought I'd gift the Irish in my home with a sweet treat.  It may not be green but it sure would make them happy.  I also decided to make some Chocolate  Covered Mint Oreos decorated with Andes Mints to throw in the green!

Erin Go Braugh!

I decided to make a decadent Chocolate Flourless Cake.  A special treat.  I decided to leave a message on it saying Erin Go Braugh and then I changed my mind.  I added some blackberries to decadent around so it wasn't boring and kept it an elegant treat without sounding too cheesy.  This dessert is great with or without the glaze.  Leaving it without the glaze and sprinkling the top with powdered sugar would be lovely.  I added blackberries before the glaze set.  I would of put raspberries but for some reason the grocer was out of them.  Go figure of course when I want them they don't have them.

This cake uses no flour so it is gluten free.

Here is the recipe:
Adapted from Fine Cooking

Decadent Chocolate Flourless Cake

For the cake:
12 oz. Ghiradelli chips
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces; more for the pan
5 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy; more for the pan

For the Glaze:
4 oz. (3/4 cup) semi-sweet, coarsely chopped or chips (I used Ghiradelli chips)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9x2-inch round cake pan or a 9" Springform Pan and line it with a round of parchment. Lightly butter the parchment and the sides of the pan and dust with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a medium metal bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove the bowl from the water bath and set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and 2 Tbs. water. Beat on mediumhigh speed until the mixture is very foamy, pale in color, and doubled in volume, 2 min. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually pour in the chocolate mixture. Increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add the cocoa powder and mix on medium low just until blended, about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a pick inserted in the center comes out looking wet with small gooey clumps, 38 to 42 min. Don’t overcook.

Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 min. If necessary, gently push the edges down with your fingertips until the layer is even. Run a small knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Cover the cake pan with a wire rack and invert. Remove the pan and parchment and let the cake cool completely. The cake may look cinched in around its sides, which is fine. Transfer to a cake plate. Cover and refrigerate the cake until it’s very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.

*Doesn't look very pretty but it will be....

Glaze the cake:
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a medium metal bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth just as you did before. Pour the warm glaze over the chilled cake and, using an offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly to within 1/4 inch of the edge.

*I think this picture looks cool....hee hee!

Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set, 20 to 40 min. Before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, 20 to 30 min. To serve, cut the cake into small, if not tiny, slices using a hot knife.

Tip: To slice this cake (or any dense, sticky cake), heat the knife first, either by dipping it in a tall container of very hot water or by holding it under hot running water for a few seconds. Then wipe it dry before cutting the cake. The knife will cool quickly, and the cake will start sticking, so expect to rinse and repeat several times. A crème brûlée torch, if you have one, is also handy for heating up a knife.

This dessert is decadent and rich but has a light texture, a little goes a long way.  I would say it serves about 8-12 people.  If you have a chocolate lover they will definitely ask for a second piece.  It is a huge hit in my home and everyone loves it.  Myself, I say it's perfect and perfect for the chocoholic in me!!  =)

Have a Sweet St. Patrick's Day!

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