Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

We made it. Somehow Sandy didn't do anything to us except knock a tree down in the parking lot. Thank Goodness we didn't park our car in the last parking space there Sunday night or it would have been hit. Or maybe we should have parked my car there. As much as I love Clifford, (he is a red mazda 3) he could use a replacement with all the running I've made him do. Maybe next time. You know, since we have so many ridiculous storms like Sandy all the time aka once in a lifetime. Well, it's back to work tomorrow. I've been teleworking the past 2 days from Sandy and now I will be in the office once again. At least it will be Halloween and I made these cupcakes to bring in for our Halloween party! Hopefully these new co-workers don't make fun of me for my baking habits like an old group of co-workers. *cough cough*

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Yield ~24 cupcakes

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 package of butterscotch pudding mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup sour cream

2 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup caramel

In a bowl mix together the pumpkin, eggs, water, oil, and sour cream. Then add in the spice cake mix and pudding mix. Pour batter into cupcake tin. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile put your room temperature butter in a bow and mix it with the vanilla. Then add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Last mix in the caramel. 

If you want to make the ghosts all I did was use Wilton candy wafers and melt them in a baggy in the microwave. I then snipped a tiny hole in the corner and squeezed ghost shapes onto wax paper and let them harden.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Holy Moly! It's been 2 weeks since I've blogged. You normally get 3 posts a week out of me and I've left you with absolutely nothing. The first week I was on vacation and went from Asheville, NC to Savannah, GA to Charleston, SC to Raleigh, NC. It was quite the road trip and it was really neat to go from the mountains to the beach. Exhibit A, wake up at the mountains go to bed at the beach.
Then this past week I started a new job. At this job I don't have quite so much "free time" so blogging has not even been an option while I'm there. I'm going to have to start finding some other times to write my posts from now on. So I will do my best to start back up with the recipes this week! On to the real reason we're blogging today.

I was unbelievably excited about this until about one hour ago when I learned that I will have to take vacation tomorrow since I haven't been set up to telework yet. Major bummer, now for once in my life I don't want inclement weather. I'm so depressed but it is what it is. With that being said, this storm is a once in a life time kinda thing. It's pretty amazing and the effects that are going to come with it will be devastating. As I've told you all in previous posts, I'm obsessed with this stuff in a non-morbid way. Of course, I want everyone to be safe but I get excited about weather like a kid gets excited about Christmas morning. Maybe while I'm staying home tomorrow taking vacation I'll make a post with some pictures so far of everything. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

This picture does not even do this coffee cake justice. 1) Because this is a picture before it was even put in the oven 2) It does not show the heavenlyness of the cake. The reason I didn't seem to get a picture is because the second it was done I went on a nice 4.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh and the thought must have slipped my mind. Ooops! Anyway, I brought this to our tail gate bright and early Sunday morning and it was divine. Side note: DO NOT decide to play Gangnam Style at your tail gate unless the median age is somewhere around mid 20's. Between the hustle and bustle of classic rock hits being played I said "Hey DAD! Let's play gangnam!" He proceeded to let me and I started dancing. Within a few seconds I noticed no one else was dancing and just looking at me in sheer confusion. It was one of those awkward moments where you look around slowly and see everyone's eyes on you and it's like crickets are chirping even though I never would've heard them. Well,  you can imagine about halfway through I just ran up there and said "Dad! HURRY Put something else on!" Then I went and hid in a corner with my beer and coffee cake. There was about 1/3 left Monday morning so I brought half of that home. I couldn't bring it all because I would have just been in a pumpkin coma. The good news is though that my boyfriend ate all of it as of today. He told me he had to eat a little bit at a time because it was so good and needed to make it last. If he's eating my sweets, that's a big deal, he's not even a sweet eater. Plus 1 for team KBTM.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Yield ~20 servings

1 package vanilla cake mix
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk

In a bowl mix together the pumpkin, eggs, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then mix in the cake mix. Pour this into a 9 x 13 greased baking dish. In another bowl melt your butter and add 1/2 cup brown sugar, flour, and walnuts. Mix this together with your fingers until it becomes crumbly, then spread it out on top of the cake batter. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let this cool, then place the milk in saucepan on medium high until simmering and add the other 1/2 cup brown sugar and white sugar. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved then pour over the coffee cake.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Yesterday was the first legitimate totally 100% Fall day at home. It was in the low 50's and raining. The only answer for dinner was soup. It had be a nice spicy one too to really warm me up since by a certain individual's house rules the heat can't be higher than somewhere around 62. I begged to turn the heat on yesterday to a balmy 63. My wishes were granted. At least the soup and my fleece bath robe kept me warm. I definitely needed some warming to the core too especially after being at the Steelers game in upper 40's temperatures and rain. This was a great cure.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Yield ~ 8 servings

2 cups split red lentils
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1/2 pound shredded chicken (you can buy prepackaged chicken or boil your own to shred)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 can chickpeas (I used northern, doesn't matter much)

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat a tablespoon of oil and add in the red pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook on medium high for about 8 minutes, then add in the tomato paste, curry powder, cinnamon, and salt cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the water, chicken broth, chicken, coconut milk, cauliflower, lentils, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Steelers Game

This forgetfulness keeps getting worse and worse. Once again, I forgot my memory card to my camera. Which means I don't have pictures for the risotto recipe I was going to share. I will have to wait until next week to spread the risotto love. Until then, all I can do is give you a recipe we came up with a few weeks ago that I am currently obsessed with and we've made it every week. I eat it for dinner, and lunch, and snacks. It's my favorite thing ever and probably not what you're expecting. I am making it though for our tail gate this weekend.  I am going to the Steelers game with my Dad since he has season tickets. I love going to the games and my Dad has an awesome tail gate set up with a tiki bar and sound system. It's a great party. Exhibit A.
This is just us getting everything set up too! It's such a fun time and I can't wait so I am bringing this cabbage dish we made up. I'm not sure what to call it, maybe braised cabbage. We'll go with it. Unfortunately, no picture though.

Braised Cabbage
Yield ~12 servings or more (depending how you eat it, for me, it's less)

2 head cabbage, sliced into salad size pieces
1/2 package of bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 12 ounce beer (light preferably)
1 cup water
salt and pepper, to your liking 

Place all your ingredients in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, let it simmer on low heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Peach Pie with Pecan Brown Sugar Struesel

I am getting really bad at remembering to do posts or maybe it's just that I've been super busy. Then, when I finally  make something you get a picture like this because 1) my good camera dies right as I try to take a picture and 2) because I can't even wait 5 minutes after it's taken out of the oven to take a picture before I indulge. Alas, you get what you get and hopefully that's good enough.

I've been so busy because I got a new job! I start on October 22 and since then it's been a roller coaster ride of celebrating and home improvements.It started with the new light fixture I showed you last week and then we painted the kitchen this past weekend and now we are putting in new floors and wainscoting. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. See how pretty it looks! Ok, I know it's really not that great but before the walls were light blue and the dry wall was peeling and there was leftover wallpaper. So from that to where we are now, it's a big deal so I'm happy!
Peach Pie with Pecan Brown Sugar Struesel
Yield ~8 servings

2 1/2- 3 pounds peaches, sliced
juice of 1/4 lemon
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frozen pie crust (or you can make your own)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your pie crust or take your frozen pie crust out to thaw. In a bowl mix together the peaches, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Let it sit while you make the topping. In another bowl mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans, and salt. Cut your butter into slices about 1/2 tablespoon large, then add them in. With you fingers mix it together until it becomes crumbly. Next pour about half the juice that will accumulate from the filling bowl out down the drain, then pour the rest into the pie shell. Then place all the topping on top and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After that, lower it to 350 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes. If the crust is starting to brown quickly you can cover it with tin foil.