Friday, March 2, 2012

chicken stew.

we recently got a brand new cast iron dutch oven. it isn't a le cruset but it is pretty darn close. i love it. right when i got home i ripped open that box real quick and got to cooking.

Chicken Stew
2Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, torn into
1Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
4 chicken drumsticks with skin peeled off
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

-heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat, add carrot, garlic, and onion; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. stir in tomatoes with juices, broth, basil, tomato paste, and bay leaf. add chicken and submerge.

-bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning chicken and stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. transfer chicken to plate and pull meat from bones then return to pot. discard bay leaf. add beans to stew and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

makes about four servings. i doubled mine and there was plenty for my family of eight. serve with some crusty bread for dipping.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

red velvet cupcake love.

you know that moment when you finally discover the perfect recipe for one of your all time favorite foods? i have moments like that a lot and consequently spent a lot of time at the gym. but, you know. for Christmas i received this lovely cookbook. inside it was the best red velvet recipe i've ever tasted.
enjoy my friends, enjoy.

Blake really liked them, and i like her face.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
3 1/4 c all purpose flour
1tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 c sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
4 Tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 c. whole milk, room temp
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

preheat oven to 350*, line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups. sift together the flour and salt, set aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. using a whisk, whisk together the red food color, vanilla, and cocoa powder. slowly add this to the mixer bowl, mixing slowly until well incorporated. add on third of the flour followed by one third of the milk and mix, repeat. stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. ass the last third of the flour followed by the last third of the bilk and mix until incorporated. in a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. you will see the baking soda and vinegar fizz up. mix this thoroughly and add to the batter.mix until just incorporated. usinng a standard sized ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan so each well is two thirds full. bake for 16-18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

i like the cream cheese frosting recipe i've been using for years so i didn't even try the one in the book. mine is super easy and fool proof. 

cream cheese frosting
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk

whisk together the butter and cream cheese on high for five minutes until REALLY fluffy. add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix on low until incorporated then on high for another minute or so. add milk and mix for another two minutes. pour into piping bag  and pipe onto cupcake.