Fiesta Friday #57

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I’m in big troubleee! I forgot to ask anyone to be my co-hosts this week! I forgot Friday comes once a week! Ay ay ay, I’m losing my mind. So, let’s do something new and different this week. All of you can help me select favorite posts from this round by voting.

As soon as linking is closed on Wednesday at noon, you have to come back to vote. Visit the InLinkz page where Fiesta Friday #57 is housed, and there will be a clickable voting prompt on each thumbnail photo. According to InLinkz, each person is allowed to vote only once on each photo and supposedly, you will be prevented from voting on your own link.

Obviously, you should only give your vote to your most favorite links. I would say your most favorite five would be sufficient.

Voting will end on Thursday at 6 pm EST. I know, there isn’t a big window of voting time, but I need to prepare for the next Fiesta Friday.

We’ll see how it goes. This is a new exercise for Fiesta Friday. If everything works out, we’ll have participants’ Fave Five by next week.

All of you are my co-hosts this week, hurray! Incidentally, if any of you would like to co-host in the future, like next week and beyond, please leave me a comment. I will make a list to make it easier for myself!

Now thanks to last week’s co-hosts, Tina @Mademoiselle Gourmande and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju, we are able to present to you the following FF56 features:

Black Garlic Harissa from Elaine @foodbod

“Black garlic! Is this possible? Where can I buy some? Can I grow it? Recipes…? Elaine introduced us to this amazing new product. She has posted a source in the UK where you can get a discount and free shipping. For me, living in the States, it was better to order from a source here. I certainly will be looking for it in the many specialty stores in my area. Unfortunately, I cannot grow it as it needs to be aged and fermented and apparently only a few places do this. As a cook and a gardener I am looking forward to following Elaine as she gives us recipes such as black harissa and a spicy garlic cauliflower. Yes, my garlic is on the way – you can actually buy it peeled or in whole cloves. Thanks Elaine as I am so excited and I know many others will be too!!!”

“You know how exciting this is?! I’m totally with Juju on this one!! If I could grow these, I would. But turns out black garlic starts out as regular garlic, then becomes black following a slooow and looong roast. So highly intriguing! I know roasted garlic to be one amazing ingredient, so black garlic has got to be super-duper amazing, right? I need to source this! Like today!” — Angie

Chocolate, Chia Seeds & Dry Fruits Pudding from Naina @Spice in the City

“I love this pudding, it sounds absolutely delicious with all those different kinds of nuts and dried fruits. It’s such a natural dessert without any artificial sugar yet it must be perfectly sweet with the dates. What a healthy dessert without any artificial sugar added.
Moreover, I loved Naina’s story about the memories she associates with this pudding. Having a perfect time out with her mother when she was younger. I immediately texted my Mum after I read this. Thank you for reminding me how precious the relationship with one’s Mum is.” — Tina

“I have chia seeds languishing in my pantry. My mom made me buy them in bulk the last time she came to visit, she being a health-food addict. Me? Not so much a health-food addict, but a dutiful daughter. With too much chia on her hands and not know what to do with it! Thanks for this idea, Naina! Now I can finally clear that space in my pantry!” — Angie

Crispy Potatoes with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Bacon from Michaela @the lodge on haydon.

“What’s not to like about it as it sounds absolutely delicious. Love the use of potato slices as a base instead of bread or a pizza crust. Great appetizer which I am anxious to try!” — Juju

“Me, too! Me, too! I want to try this, too! Good thing I already have caramelized onions ready and what do you know… I bought goat cheese yesterday! It’s just meant to be!” — Angie

Chinese New Year from Johanne @French Gardener Dishes

“We’ve had three holidays recently; Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year. Johanne did a wonderful post on Chinese New Year. She begins with a parade where a dragon is the prominent character, followed by her garlic-ginger meatballs for her Asian noodle bowls – yum! There are lots of add-ins to personalize each diner’s soup. She tops it off with a lovely Asian-inspired table setting which includes orchids from her own plants. Too bad there is not a Chinatown very close to me, Johanne says the nearest is Toronto.” — Juju

“I missed celebrating Chinese New Year this year. I usually take my family to Chinatown to see the lion dance and have a phenomenal Chinese dinner. But we just didn’t feel like braving the cold this year, so no Chinese New Year dinner for us. So sad… Thankfully, there were many of you who linked Chinese New Year posts to make me feel like I was celebrating along. Johanne’s post definitely got my attention. Look at that beautiful table setting!” — Angie

Fiesta Friday #57 is officially open, with every one of you as my co-host! What kind of a party would that make? A one-of-a-kind, only-at-Fiesta-Friday kind! 😄 Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

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Pecan Pie-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

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pecan pie filled chocolate cupcakes

pecan pie stuffed chocolate cupcake

Two things happened last weekend.

Well, actually, many more things happened, but they were all unworthy of being mentioned.

For instance, I accidentally tripped on the curtain in the dining room as I was rearranging the chairs and the whole thing fell on me.

I accidentally bit my own tongue while eating a bagel.

And finally, I accidentally fell asleep in the middle of a conversation with the husband, mid-sentence.

See, nothing new, nothing unusual. They were so totally not worthy to report to you.

The only two things worthy to report are these:

1. We were completely snowed in. Okay, come to think of it, that’s not so worthy to report, either. Especially for you who live in the Northeast. It’s been this way for a long time now. Nothing new, nothing unusual.

2. The oven guy finally came to deliver and install my new stainless steel oven/microwave set.

Okay, that’s totally worthy to talk about, right? The fact that I was getting a new and pretty oven set?

Except, I didn’t. In the end, it didn’t happen.

chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting

First of all, the guy told us he would arrive between 10 am – 3 pm. Talk about being precise, it’s almost like the weather forecast. Haha…

I was advised not to use the oven/stove because if the oven was hot, he wouldn’t be able to move it.

So all day long, we pretty much lived on toasts and bagels.

The kids were being good and not complaining.

The husband was being a sport and not crying.

And I was a saint for keeping my mouth shut, even though the hours kept ticking and the guy was taking too long and I was really hungry for more than bagels and toasts.

chocolate cupcake with pecan pie filling

Around 3 pm, when we realized he was late, we gave him a call to see if delivery had been cancelled due to weather. Which would have been understandable. At that point, the snow was piling up thickly.

He said no, he would be there shortly. Shortly being loosely defined. He arrived 2 hours later.

And said, “Yeah, I’m going to need you to shovel a pathway so I can bring the oven in.”

Huh?!

“I can bring it in, but if I accidentally slip and drop the oven, I won’t be liable.”

What?!

He left me speechless.

I did the only thing sensible. I told him to pack up and come back another time.

When it’s not snowing!

But I was very disappointed…

And when you’re disappointed, you want a cupcake… The happy, chocolate kind. Stuffed with pecan pie filling.

chocolate cupcakes stuffed with pecan pie filling

Frosted with white chocolate mousse.

white chocolate mousse frosting

And it must have lots of sprinkles…

rainbow sprinkles cupcake

‘Coz without sprinkles, it would just be a muffin…

Pecan Pie-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Chocolate cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar*
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate morsels, melted
1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
4. Mix instant espresso with melted chocolate, if using. Stir into butter mixture.
5. Alternating between the flour and the milk, add them to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition. You’ll get a stiff/thick batter.
6. Line muffin pan with paper baking cups. Fill about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Makes 10 medium cupcakes.
*Use 3/4 cup of sugar if you don’t plan to fill cupcakes.

Pecan-pie filling
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Mix all ingredients, except for vanilla and pecan, in a small saucepan.
2. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, just until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Let mixture cool completely.

White Chocolate Mousse
4 ounces white chocolate*, cut into very small pieces
3 tablespoons milk or water (at room temperature)
1 cup heavy cream

1. Place chocolate and milk in a heat-proof bowl.
2. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide pan. Turn the heat off.
3. Place the bowl with chocolate & milk in the pan of hot water
4. Stir constantly until melted or smooth. Or you can melt chocolate in a microwave, on low. Place in a microwave-safe container. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir. Return to microwave and heat for another 30 seconds.
5. Let melted chocolate cool.
6. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add cooled melted chocolate. Stir with a spatula. At this point, you will get very soft and smooth mousse.
7. Whip again until a stiffer, spreadable mousse is achieved.
*Use only baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bar).

Assembling the cupcake
1. Use a cupcake corer or a melon baller to scoop out the center of each cupcake.

cupcake core extractor

2. Trim the core, saving the top part to use as a plug.
3. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of pecan pie filling into each cavity. Place the “plug” piece back on the cupcake.

pecan pie filled cupcake

4. Spoon white chocolate mousse into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
5. Pipe frosting on cupcakes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Just before serving, decorate with colorful sprinkles.

Fiesta Friday #56

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Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

Oh Em Gee!! Can it get any colder than this?! I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I swear I’m about to lose my toes or fingers, they’re completely frostbitten! Who wants to move with me to Hawaii or the Bahamas?

Or maybe just crash Tina’s vacation spot? That lucky girl! She’s in Colombia right now, from where, without even the slightest of guilt, she’s reported that it’s been warm and sunny

To “reward” her, I made her your co-host this week! :D

Along with Juju…who, frankly, doesn’t deserve the extra work of a co-host. Sorry, Juju, but you know, we all look up to you. You are, after all, Fiesta Friday’s very own cooking aunt. :D

Anyway, we are just so lucky to have both Tina @Mademoiselle Gourmande and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju as our co-hosts this week. As lucky as we were last week to have Sue and Suzanne, who had to sift through 114 entries! Can we all show our appreciation by giving them {virtual} hugs and kisses for their hard work? 😘😘

Before we party with Tina and Juju, let’s take a look at these posts that we fell in love with, from last week’s fiesta:

Russian red blini (pancakes) from Mila @milkandbun.

“Mila’s Red Blini Pancakes for Malenitsa (Butter Week or Pancake Week — also known as the week before we give stuff up for Lent in our household). The recipe was very simple and used cooked beets rather than food colouring, which is always good. The photos and styling of the pancakes were elegant and gorgeous. She captured such a beautiful deep pink colour, and right in time also for Valentine’s Day. The detail of the teeny heart pancake also won me over.” — Sue

“Aren’t these pancakes just so stunning? Look at that color! And how adorable is that little heart? I think we should all print that photo and frame it! Instant art for your wall or desk! Nice job, Mila!” — Angie

Small milk and chocolate buns from Margy @La Petite Casserole

“Margy’s milk and chocolate buns are reminiscent of pain au chocolat and look so comforting and delicious. I think her photo is beautiful and although the recipe is simple, the resulting bread is absolutely gorgeous.” — Suzanne

“I love these buns for precisely the same reason mentioned by Suzanne. Simple and easy recipe that gives the best result! It’s like getting the most bang from your buck. Who wouldn’t love that? These look so soft, fluffy and all-around yummy!” — Angie


Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze from Loretta @Safari Of The Mind.

“I’m the first to admit I can’t cook pork chops! They always end up dry, dry, dry! My solution has always been to either drown them in gravy or stuff them with some kind of fattening and buttery stuff. In other words, make them unhealthy. For that reason, I rarely cook pork chops. But look at these! They certainly look far from being dry. And I love the sound of that glaze! The garlic smashed potatoes don’t hurt either. What a wonderful meal, Loretta!” — Angie

Chocolate Filled Vodka Chili Chocolates from Julianna @Foodie On Board

“What the?! Have you seen these?! Now this is what I call outrageousness! Not just outrage, but outrageousness! And…I like it!! I want to try one of these so bad! Though I’m pretty sure I’d have smoke coming out of my ears. But it’d be so totally worth it! Julianna, hello…you selling and shipping these or what? Can I pre-order?” — Angie

Mysore Masala Dosa from Aruna @ãhãram

“Okay, how many of you have been wanting to learn how to make dosa? I’m raising my hand! I have urad dal in my pantry to prove it. As to how long they’ve been in there I can’t tell. All I know is that one day I went into this small unassuming Indian cafe and saw this man cooking a huge crepe, rolled it and gave it to this little girl. That crepe was almost as tall as the girl, no kidding! So, of course, when it was my turn, I ordered the very same thing! A few questions later, I came out of the cafe with the crepe and urad dal. The cafe also conveniently sold grocery items. Apparently though, I didn’t ask enough questions ‘coz I had no idea how to make the dosa. Until now, with this step-by-step detailed instructions from Aruna. Now all I need is a tava.” — Angie

Okey dokey, it’s now time to party with Tina and Juju! Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

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Daisy Cookies for Prudy

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daisy butter cookies

butter cookies with kumquats

I made these Daisy Cookies for my BFF (Blogger Friends Forever), Prudy @Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs. I made them for this wonderful series she created, Just Another Cookie Monday. And…’coz she loves daisies! And…’coz she’s not feeling too well right now. Go visit her to wish her well!

(Lightning-Speed) Beignets for Valentine’s Day

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heart shaped beignets

heart shaped beignet donuts

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