January 31, 2013

Camo Frosted Brownie Cupcakes

 My hardworking Army EOD husband was promoted this week and for the ceremony I decided to make Camo Frosted Brownie Cupcakes for my husband and all his fellow EOD soldiers. These guys like food, especially sweets, so I thought these fun cupcakes would be a much appreciated treat for them. 
Congrats to my sweetie, SPC Hood! I am so very proud of you!

Cupcake Ingredients:

Makes 12 cupcakes
  •  1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, cubed and at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Add your wet ingredients to the bowl: egg, butter, sour cream, and vanilla. 
  4. Beat until fluffy.
  5. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop fill each liner half way.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  8. Let cool completely, then frost.

Camo Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp of milk
  • green food coloring
  • approx 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 pastry bags with 1 decorative tip

Directions: 

  1.  Using a hand or stand mixer beat butter on low until it is broken into pieces, about 15 seconds.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar to the bowl, about a cup at a time.
  3. Once all sugar in added mix the frosting on a higher speed for a minute or two until until the frosting is whipped and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla and milk and whip for another minute. Taste and if you would like it creamier add another tbsp of milk. 
  5. Separate frosting evenly into 2 bowls.
  6. Add a couple drops of green food coloring and about 1/2 tsp of cocoa to one batch. Mix together and add more food coloring if needed until you have an Army green color.
  7. For the next frosting add cocoa powder (start with 1 tbsp) until it is a darker brown color.
  8. Add both frostings to two pastry bags, then take both bags and place in a larger pastry bag with a star tip in it.
  9. Pipe on top of cupcakes and it will come out swirled camouflage frosting on top. Enjoy!
Cupcake Source: http://mingmakescupcakes.yolasite.com

 
The two main ingredients in these cupcakes: cocoa and sour cream. 
They make these cupcakes rich and brownie like!
My friend Molly gave me these camo cupcake liners for Christmas. 
This was the perfect time to use them!
Mix dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients.
The batter will be thick and brownie like.

Hot out of the oven, with a crispy brownie like top!
I found these great disposable pastry bags, still sealed, for 25 cents at a yard sale!
 
Don't melt the butter or your frosting will not whip and become fluffy, it will be greasy. If you want to speed up the softening you can microwave it for 5 second intervals, flipping in between.

Creamy, sweet buttercream frosting!
Cocoa powder makes the buttercream the perfect camo brown!
Mix green food coloring and cocoa until you get the Army green color.
 
Here's an easy way to fill a pastry bag: place bag in a cup and fold over half way. Then just spoon in frosting, twist the top and push frosting down to the tip. No mess and you are ready to frost!
Camo Frosted Brownie Cupcakes
Perfect for the hungry guys!
My two sweeties: Ava and Ashton! She was all decked out for her Daddy's promotion in her Army hat and EOD onesie! You can order this adorable camo hat on Etsy here: KaseyCreations



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Lucky Dog Lobster and Potato Hash with Hollandaise Sauce

   
Lobster is a favorite seafood splurge for us, especially on a certain day every year: Jan 26th. That's my beagle, Charlie's birthday. This year he turned 8 and call me crazy but I swear my dog's favorite food is lobster- he goes nuts for it! So every year I make him his own steamed lobster and we have a Lobster Feast too! I've made Lobster Rolls, Lobster & Egg Salad Sandwiches, & Lobster Thermidor...and this year I decided to make Lobster Hash!

 This homey meal is great for a hearty brunch or a delicious dinner. 

Checking out his favorite food.
 Charlie's portion!
 
  I also stopped at the dog bakery and picked up some special birthday dog cookies for my boy.
 Dylan and my parent's dog Jagger got some sweet treats too!

 Ingredients:

Serving size : 2 large brunch or dinner entrees 
(or 4 small entrees with fruit or a salad)
  • 1 cup of cooked chopped lobster meat (about 2 1 lb Maine Lobsters or 3-4 Lobster Tails)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 red bell pepper or 4 small sweet peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 eggs 
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh Thyme, minced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp White pepper
  • Cracked black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until half-cooked and almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle. Cut into cubes. Set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy pan (I prefer a cast iron) cook bacon slices until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and drain. Leave bacon grease in pan and add diced onions and sweet peppers. Cook over medium for about 5 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Add thyme, paprika, salt and white pepper. 
  3. Turn heat to low and add bacon, chopped lobster, and potatoes. Stir to combine and heat throughout.
  4. Bring a pot of 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to a boil over medium, then turn down to a simmer. Break eggs, one at a time into a bowl and slide into simmering water. Cook for 2 minutes, until whites are cooked but yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon
  5. Serve on a plate with the warm Lobster Hash and a healthy drizzle of Hollandaise sauce (recipe below) and top with a poached egg, cracked black pepper, and green onions.

Hollandaise Sauce:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter 
Sauce Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com

Sauce Directions:

1 Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.
2 Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne into a bowl. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium speed with an immersion blender (or use a traditional bender) until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds.
3 Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting (if you only have one speed on your blender it will still work), and drizzle in the melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.


Don't cook the potatoes all the way, as you would for mashed potatoes.
   You want them to still have a firmness to them when you add them to the hash so they don't fall apart.  15 minutes of boil time is perfect.
I love using my Cast Iron skillet, especially for a hearty dish like Lobster Hash! It has a built in flavorful seasoning, holds it's heat and cooks everything evenly!

Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle cube them into bite sized pieces.


You can use either steamed Lobster tails or whole Lobsters (claw and tail meat). 
I prefer the tails because it is a softer more luscious meat which is great in this hash! 



We always save lobster shells and freeze them in a freezer bag.
You can use them later for a homemade seafood stock or Lobster Bisque!

Once cooked, mix everything together in the cast iron and warm. Them add the Hollandaise and poached egg and green onions. Time to dig in!

Don't break the egg right into the simmering water to poach. Break it into a bowl first them slide into the water. This way you do not accidentally drop egg shells into the poaching liquid.
Perfectly poached eggs, the yolk is still runny so you can break it over the
hash and mix it all together. YUM!
You don't need to buy a package of Hollandaise sauce! Hollandaise sauce is actually easy to make!
It's basically just butter, egg yolk, and lemon juice beaten together.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Charlie the beagle!

My sweet pup turned 8 this year and of course I cooked him his own lobster!

Nom, nom, nom!
Lucky Dog!
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