Tag Archives: baking

7 Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day When You’re Single & Red Velvet Cupcakes

11 Feb

Valentines Day is approaching super fast. I’m sure the ones who are lucky in love are trying to figure out what to get each other and are planning the perfect date…. But, what if your not lucky in love and looking at Valentines Day as a sad reminder that you are “Single” party of 1? I’m going to give you seven ways to celebrate and enjoy Valentines day and make it one to remember!

  1. Self- care day: All Day, make it all about you. Even if you have to go to work that day. Dress up, wear that outfit and shoes you’ve been holding onto for that one special event that you don’t even have in your planner yet. Treat your-self to goodies all workday: Starbucks or McDonald’s fries and a coke are some ideas. While you’re at work plan your after work events: Do you want your nails done or maybe a massage? Do it!!! Finally, take your self out to dinner. Yes, everyone will be out and all coupled up and that can sometimes be depressing but, don’t even think about that. Every thought you create on your Valentines Day should be only amazing thoughts about you!! What makes you great? Say it and claim it!!! Are you awesome at baking, do you have great style? Think that! How awesome are you at accomplishing your life goals? Are you crushin’ it? That’s the bomb!!! You should be totally pumped about that! So just make this “ME” Day. Because it’s all about you!!!
  2. Send physical Valentine’s Day cards to everyone that you love (not romantically): Send to your mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparents and/or BFF’s. That’s right, go to the store and buy several Valentines Cards picking each one out especially for that loved one. Then sign the card, address the envelope and stick a real stamp on it and put it in the mail! How classic is getting a hand written letter or card in the mail? How special is the person on the receiving end going to feel? Very. Which in turn will make you feel special too. Send some love in the mail. Boom!
  3. Spend some time with an elderly loved one for Valentines Day: Create a memory with them or listen intently while they share their’s.  That’s really something special.
  4. Create a Valentines Day wish list with your Girls over cocktails or mocktails: So, make your significant other wish list; I’ll start: Intelligent, attractive, motivated, christian and God-fearing, employed or self-employed (making money) and, able to hold a great conversation. That’s just for starters….
  5. Take yourself on that dream date you’ve always wanted to go on: Is it to a fancy restaurant or going to listen to live music in an intimate setting or, is it a trip to the museum you’ve never been to and the little 24 hour coney island/breakfast spot in the college district? Do it girl!! What’s stopping you? Go. Something serendipitous might just happen.
  6. Make a romantic dinner at home: Just for YOU! Make your favorite whatever!!  Get your ingredients from the store and turn on that iPad and stream your best-loved tv  show or movie. Light some candles, pour some wine and enjoy YOU! Celebrate you. Oh! Don’t forget dessert! Try the recipe below for Easy and Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
  7. Shoot your shot (Take a chance): If he’s single, why not? But, be cool. Just let him know you think he’s pretty dope and you want to wish him a Happy Valentines Day.

 

Easy and Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients for cupcakes

1 package boxed German Chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

½ cup water

¼ cup vegetable or corn oil

2 tablespoons or 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Pre heat oven to 350°. Place 18-21 cupcake or muffin liners in the muffin pans.  In a large bowl mix together the eggs, oil and, water with a heavy wire whisk or electric mixer. Next add in the cake mix, sour cream, vanilla extract and, red food coloring stir together with wire whisk until combined or on low for 30-60 seconds if using mixer (batter may have a few small lumps).

Using a portion scoop and rubber spatula fill each muffin cup with cake batter. You should end up with 18-21 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 15-18 minutes. The  cupcakes are ready when the tops spring right back when lightly touched on top. Do not over bake.

When the cupcakes are done, remove from oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely; about 1 hour.  In the mean time make the icing.


Ingredients for icing

½ cup or 1 stick salted butter at room temperature

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature

1 pound box confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a medium to large bowl blend together the softened butter and cream cheese. Add in half the confectioners sugar and mix on the lowest speed so the sugar won’t splatter everywhere. Next, pour in the remaining powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and mix again on the lowest speed till all sugar is incorporated. Add in salt and stir the mixer on the highest speed for 1 minute to make light and fluffy.

***Feel free to add in some food coloring if desired change the color of your icing for a little flare.***


Happy Valentines Day no matter how you decide to spend it. I hope you get some ideas from this post and try out these yummy cupcakes! Send me a picture in the comments if you do. And, let me know how you did spend Valentines.

If you like this post and/or others, please share with your friends and family. Let me know in the comments if you have questions on any of the recipes or other posts on mouthfuloffood.com.

Thank you so much for reading, liking and sharing,

Kim Cherie

Follow me on FB, Instagram, and Twitter @ mouthfuloffood

Here’s some pictures of the cupcakes being made…..

This recipe whips up in like 5 minutes!

Put the eggs, oil and, water together in a large bowl.

Scramble together lightly.

Add in the cake mix, sour cream, food coloring and vanilla extract.

Stir again until all ingredients are incorporated.

I picked up these silver liners from a cake and candy supply store. And, you can get a portion scoop from your restaurant supply store.

Bake the cupcakes 15-18 minutes. Using a portion scoop makes your baked goods come out the same size.

They should look just like this when done.  Can’t wait to bite into one!!

Now lets make the icing!

In a medium to large bowl mix together the cream cheese and butter.

Mix in the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract.

Stir in salt last. (I need something to cut the sweetness a little)

And, if you want separate a little icing in a small bowl with a drop of food coloring to change the color.

Decorate your Valentine Red Velvet Cupcakes however you desire and ENJOY!!

Bye!

Favorite Cookbook Friday #8 and a FAIL!

28 Apr

The picture of this cupcake is enough reasons to pick up the Magnolia Bakery cookbook and take it home. (Original Picture from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

 

It’s the end of April and I have not met all of my goals for the month……..Sigh. Although I did not write them down or post them anywhere, they were in my head. And, they still are. April has given me challenges while I was thought it would be a breeze being that April is my birth month. Yay!!!…April 3rd was my birthday and I spent it recovering from what I think was food poisoning. I spent the first 3 days of the month at home except for one 8 hour shift of work that turned out to be a blessing because, it was an observation shift. The rest of the time, I sat home with no appetite and no ambition. By the 4th, I was out and about without appetite, taking care of business. I baked my self a birthday cake on April 5th. The finished product was not what I had intended or expected. But, I moved on. I put candles on it and sang happy birthday to me and cut it to have for lunch at work that night.. NOTE: Do not judge my baking skills by the pictures that will be featured here today.) LOL….Actually, it was not the baking or the cake itself that was bad, it was the frosting that did not set up. Ugh. I was not happy…..with the finished cake presentation.

I also had work challenges that I have been dealing with this month but, have since been resolved. I am so grateful for my job, my bosses, and my co-workers. The challenges I experienced almost got the best of me and, may have had me down for a minute, but though communication, honesty and support of my family and bosses, I have regained my footing and feel pretty good about my job again. I’m feeling pretty good again about everything… But, I have to say that this month everything had seemed to give me some type of grief… It distracted me from what my goals were and, what I wanted to work on to become more successful personally. I didn’t realize this was going on for about 3 weeks. I don’t think I cooked more than twice this month, I just felt yucky mentally and physically… Then I realized something was purposely keeping me away and distracted from my plans/goals/tasks I had set for myself to become a better me… As soon as I conscious to it, I knew I had to get right back in focus.  I had to get back to working on my goals, my blog, and me. I was done with the failures/losses for the month of April.

So, I started making wins immediately. I booked airline reservations to Houston to visit my sister next month….I have not flown in 28 years. Yes I’m nervous. But, I’m going. I have never been to see her in all the time she has been there…. (What a bad sister I am. I know.)…By happy accident I wrote out a plan for growing my brand… I entered a contest and it asked all types of questions on my vision and when I answered them I realized I answered a lot of questions I had for myself… It all came together once I started writing. I call that a Win Win!

So, as this month began really bumpy and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next, I’m glad it did happen. I got a few “W’s” and a couple of “L’s” (wins and losses mom), and if I keep going I know can certainly get more “W’s”….

 


This week’s Favorite Cookbook Friday “The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook” is a winner in my book! Written by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey, Magnolia Bakery is probably one of the most famous bakeries in New York if not the whole U.S.A…… Scratch that, the world. I just checked out there website again and they have 9 U.S. locations and 17 international locations!!!! How exciting is that?…This place is on my long list of food spaces to visit. If only for a cupcake or 2….dozen.

The recipes I tried though are a 50/50 half win half loss…. I’ll explain but, first let me tell you why this book is a favorite of mine. Three words: OLD FASHIONED RECIPES. To me old fashioned basically means comfort. It could mean food, recipes, or even a quilt or afghan that was past down from one generation to another.  Old fashioned makes me feel good and secure. You can’t feel that way about everything or everyone. It’s almost like a special nostalgia feeling you can only get from being at home or when you think of your grandparents………I decided to bake myself the Old Fashioned “Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake” with “Traditional Vanilla Buttercream Icing”. I personally don’t usually go for cakes with “birthday cake” icing because the icing tends to be too sweet for me. If I happen to have a cake with the too sweet icing, I generally flip it over and eat it from the bottom up because the cake is the best part anyway for me. Why waste time getting to the best part? Anyway, this cake is very easy to make even if you have never baked a cake before. And, the cake itself is delicious. I liked it. I like cake. It was moist and had good flavor. That was not the problem. I give the cake a ‘W”. It was the icing… It did not set up well. I made the frosting after I put the cake in the oven….I mixed and colored it and kept it completely sealed on the kitchen table until the cake was cooled and ready to be assembled….When i mixed the icing, it seemed to be stable but, when I came back to it hours later it was runny and soupy….I still assembled the cake and frosted it and watched the icing just fall off the cake before I could even make my way around the whole cake. For those reasons I give the icing a “L”…… I to scrape off as much of it as I could and make a “naked” cake. A cake that basically has a crumb coat of icing is a “naked” cake. You can find pictures of naked cakes on the internet…There will be some not so great photos here too. But, please reference the internet for a better interpretation on this one, thank you.

I was so disappointed in the finished product, I baked it again later that week and just bought some milk chocolate icing from the store and used it on the new cake. Who does’t love chocolate??  I did not want to be defeated. I do not have pictures to show for it because I was really anxious to cut into this cake and did not think pictures at that moment. I thought only about my belly. Again. LOL.

Here’s the recipe for the cake. Try it out and see for yourself. You have to choose the icing though.

 

Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups self rising flour

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour three 9×2 inch round cake pans. Line the cake pan bottoms with wax paper circles.

To make the cake: In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine and stir together the flours. Combine and stir together the milk and vanilla extract. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/2 of the milk mixture and repeat beginning and ending with the flour.  Mixing each addition just till combined. Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Cool cake layer in the pan for ten minutes. Remove cake layer from pan and then remove and let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Assemble and frost with your favorite homemade buttercream or chocolate icing. If your in a pinch. Pick some up at the closest grocery store! (Smile)

Spray your pans with pan spray or grease with shortening and line with wax paper.

Measure everything into separate bowls and combine according to the recipe.

Cream together the butter and the sugar with the mixer on low.

Mix together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy.

Mix in the room temperature eggs one at a time just till the yellow disappears.

Next, mix in the 1/3 of the flours.

Mix in 1/2 of the milk and repeat with the flour & milk. End with the last 1/3 of the flour.

Your mixture should look like this with all ingredients combined.

Evenly divide cake batter among the prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees 20-28 minutes.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire cooling racks.

Choose your favorite cake plate to assemble and frost your cake!

Evenly distribute your desired icing on each layer. Put as much or as little as you like.

Pinks are one of my favorite colors. I had so much hope for my Pink Vanilla Cake. 😦

I couldn’t bare to show you how the icing just fell straight of the cake so I just scraped it off.

That’s ok, I made the best of it anyway. I still had my birthday cake.

What is your favorite Birthday Cake flavor? Let me know in the comments.

If you liked this post or any of the others also let me know.

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Thank you for stopping by mouthfuloffood.com,

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Cookbook Friday #6 with Simply Sweet (and buttery) Cornbread

24 Mar

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Hello everyone!

It has been a few weeks since my last post, it has been very busy at my away from home work place. When the demand for overtime exist we have to step up to the “plate” or step out of employment. There are really no other options when it is a 24 hour 7 day a week operation. Any who, I’ve missed sharing with all of you who take the time to read mouthfuloffood.com. It is really a great delight to be able to express how I feel about food, recipes, cookbooks and my family with you. Thank you for taking the time to be here.

The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine: Perfect Recipes for Spicing Up Your Love Life is this week’s choice for Favorite Cookbook Friday. Authored by culinary enthusiast Shakara Bridgers, Jeniece Isley, and Joan A. Davis, this book is second of three books by this trio and is a masterpiece. This second book I believe, is a second edition of the first cookbook that was published by the ladies. Some of the recipes are the same, some have been omitted and there has been some new additions to the newer version. All the while the purchase was still worth the duplication in my culinary information center.

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I first read of the “Get Em’ Girls” in a Houston Texas newspaper several years ago. My mom brought the article home to me in Flint, Michigan after her visit with my sister.  I remember reading the article at my desk at work and being excited for these ladies becoming cookbook authors. Immediately after I was off the clock I was ordering their first cookbook on Amazon. I was not disappointed and, have not been with those Get Em’ Girls. Filled with tips for spicing up your love life, cooking for your love, reasons to cook for him, and, preparing you to do so even if you have no idea what to do in the kitchen arena. Then there are the RECIPES!!!!….

  • “Grown ‘n’ Sexy” desserts meant for sharing
  •  “Morning After” Breakfast
  • “Bring Him Back” Chicken Soup
  • “Meet the Parents” Carrot cake …and today’s recipe:
  • “Simply Sweet” Cornbread

This cornbread is delicious plain and simple.uj Yummy yummy to my tummy. If you like a sweet cornbread such as a box of Jiffy corn muffins, you will L.O.V.E. this one. And it take no time to make. The wait time is all in the oven. Sweet yellow cornbread hot out the oven with butter and/or honey. There are no words….. Except two…… MORE PLEASE. And when you taste this one you will understand why…..

img_1089I first made this recipe way back in April 2010!!

 

If you happen to be a novice baker, this is a good place to start. Basically, you only need 2 bowls, a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and a round cake pan. Measure all dry ingredients  into one bowl for the dry. Then measure all the wet ingredients and place into the bowl for the wet. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir just till combined. Pour into the prepared greased and bake. Easy Peasy. You are a success. This can be your first dish to take to a pot luck. Congratulations!!!!

SIMPLY SWEET CORNBREAD

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil 

4 tablespoons butter, melted*

Butter, for serving

Honey, for serving (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenhiet. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with your preferred pan spray.
  2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly death the eggs. Stir in the milk, vegetable oil, and butter until well mixed. Slowly stir in the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into prepared skillet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. 
  5. Serve with additional butter and honey if using.

Serves 8 generously.

img_1031-1Measure the dry ingredients into one bowl.

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img_1049Measure the wet ingredients into a separate bowl or large measuring cup.

img_1050Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir till combined.

img_1053This should how the combination should look when totally combined.

img_1061Pour the cornbread mixture into the prepared pan and place into the preheated oven.

img_1063Bake for 20-25 minutes till done. Test with a clean toothpick.

img_1064-1See, even the cornbread itself knows how good it is. It’s smiling!!!

img_1068Turn the cornbread out onto a serving plate and cut 8 ways. Serve hot with butter and/or honey.

If you happen to be a novice baker, this is a good place to start. Basically, you only need 2 bowls, a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and a round cake pan. Measure all dry ingredients into one bowl for the dry. Then measure all the wet ingredients and place into the bowl for the wet. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir just till combined. Pour into the prepared greased and bake. Easy Peasy. You are a success. This can be your first dish to take to a pot luck. Congratulations!!!!

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How’d it turn out?! Great, I hope!

What do you prefer savory or sweet cornbread?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Kim

Favorite Cookbook Friday #2 with a Luscious Lemony Pound Cake

20 Jan


Pound cake is a timeless dessert, appropriate for any occasion or not. I bet there are a infinite number of recipes for pound cakes. I have seen Lemon, Plain, 7up, Caramel, Brown Sugar, 5 Flavor, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese and even Chocolate pound cakes. Icing or no icing, it’s your choice. A pound cake is easy to make up, easy to store and simple to transport and, perfect for gift giving. Serve it on a dessert plate or a paper towel either way the receiver will gift you with the same smile of happiness. The best thing I like about the pound cake is,  with each day the cake tastes even better than the day before. It can be baked  in a loaf style pan or a round tube cake pan when it is prepared for baking by completely greasing the pan with shortening and coating the shortening layer with flour in most cases. 

Most of my reading of pound cake recipes require that it is baked between 300-325 degrees for 70-90 minutes. Some are baked at 35o degrees but, I have been hesitant to experiment with those. A pound cake really needs to take its time baking. That is a lot of butter, sugar, flour and, eggs all in one pan and, no one wants a pound cake that is not baked in the middle (and I’ve made a few of those too).  

 Before you get ready you get ready to bake this pound cake or any cake, check to make sure your oven is calibrating at the right temperature. Go to your favorite grocery store and restaurant supply store and buy an oven thermometer.  It’s simple to check. Unwrap the temperature gage. Turn the oven on let it warm up and stick in the oven for at least 10 minutes and then check for the reading. If it is a close to perfect match you’re all set. Get ready to bake. Following these next tips will help you achieve greatness in the pound cake arena.

        Keys to amazing Pound Cakes:

  • Every ingredient being at room temperature at least. 
  • Properly measured fresh ingredients.
  • Have the oven set at the right temperature. 
  • Be sure to prepare the cake baking with shortening and flour (no pan spray for a pound cakes). This will insure an easy release from the pan.

Today’s  Favorite Cookbook Friday and and recipe comes from the beloved restaurant owner and author Sylvia Woods and her Family. The book is titled, Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook. 


Sylvia is the owner and namesake to the world famous restaurant Sylvia’s in Harlem, New York. This cookbook is the author’s second and I own both of her recipe treasures. Both of the books are invaluable resources in my library of recipes books. This particular book is one of my favorites because of the stories that are in the pages about her life before Sylvia’s restaurant and after. In between the stories are tempting, mouthwatering recipes for every tastebud. The other cool thing about this cookbook is, it is truly a family cookbook. The recipes are a compilation of recipes submitted by her family and their names have added to the cookbook as the author of their selected contribution(s). There was was even a cook off to see which recipes would be included. That’s in the book too. I hope you like today’s recipe for Luscious Lemony Pound Cake. Courtesy of her family member Sallie Brown. The only change I made to this recipe is the amount of flavoring. I added vanilla and more lemon. You are going to LOVE it!!


           Luscious Lemony Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose  flour

1/2 cup self-rising flour

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 sticks butter softened 

9 large eggs room temperature 

1 1/3 cups sour cream room temperature 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 teaspoons lemon extract

Directions:

  1. Set your oven to 300 degrees. Heavily grease and flour a 10 inch tube cake or Angle Food Cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In medium mixing bowl combine the self rising flour and the all purpose flour. Using a fork light mix the flours together.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the pound of butter and 3 cups of sugar with an electric mixer starting with a low speed.
  4. Add the eggs 2 at a time till the yellow disappears.
  5. Next, add the flour and sour cream alternately. Begin and end with the flour.
  6. Stir in the lemon and pure vanilla extracts with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes. (That is not a typo) 

Hint**When the timer goes off , turn off the oven and leave the cake in for 10 more minutes. This is to insure the cake will be perfectly baked inside. 

After 10 minutes take the cake out of the oven and immediately run a butter knife around the pan to separate the cake from the pan completely. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes then turn the cake out to a cooling rack or beautiful cake plate for complete cooking. Another option is serving warm with your favorite ice cream!


What pound cake is your favorite? Is it a family recipe?

Questions and comments? Let me know.

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