Monday, June 29, 2009

Coconut Cupcakes

A few months back, friend Hillary and I were served coconut cupcakes at a wedding dinner in Washington D.C. They were out of this world good. I've been on a quest to find a recipe that approaches the amazingness of those cupcakes- and I think I've come across it. These are from Barefoot Contessa. FOREWARNING: this recipe calls for six sticks of butter. The recipe says it makes 24 cupcakes, but really it's more like 30-32. I also halved the frosting, which I recommend to you, as it makes wayyy too much. More than once I was told these were the best cupcakes the recipient had ever tasted. See for yourself...

Cococnut Cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 C. sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu June 28-

Sun- Hamburgers, spinach salad with mandarin oranges and almonds, cheesecake

Mon- Spaghetti and steamed zucchs

T- chicken caesar salad wraps

W- Southwest taco salad

Th- corn chowder

F- breakfast for dinner

Sat- Happy Fourth of July!!
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Pizzaiola

This recipe comes from one of my most favorite cookbooks - The Best 30-Minute Recipe (from the editors of Cook's Illustrated). I thought it sounded like an interesting take on your standard baked chicken recipe, so I wanted to try it out. Turned out pretty good, if I don't say so myself. And now for the recipe...

Chicken Pizzaiola

Almost any of your favorite pizza toppings can be substituted for the pepperoni. This dish is great served over pasta or with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

3 cups tomato sauce
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
20 slices pepperoni (2 ounces)

  1. Heat oven and prepare baking dish: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread tomato sauce into 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
  2. Coat chicken with parmesan: Spread parmesan into shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one breast at a time, dredge in parmesan. Press on parmesan to make sure it adheres. Lay chicken in baking dish, smooth side facing up.
  3. Bake chicken: Place chicken in oven and bake 15 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature, add toppings, and finish: Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Mound 1/4 cup of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast, then shingle 5 slices pepperoni over cheese. Continue to bake until cheese melts and until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

I'd be willing to bet that everyone has their own slightly different version of this recipe, but this is ours. It is definitely a classic and a Bradshaw family favorite.

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

2 pkgs. frozen broccoli
2 pounds chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1 c. mayo
juice of 1 lemon
parmesan cheese
buttered bread crumbs
2 c. grated cheese

Cook broccoli slightly. Cook chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Mix soup with sour cream, mayo, and lemon juice. Place broccoli in bottom of large, well-greased casserole dish. Pour 1/2 soup mixture over broccoli. Add chicken. Sprinkle 1/2 the cheese over the chicken. Add remaining soup mixture and remaining cheese. Add a thick layer of buttered bread crumbs and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu June 21


I don't know who would have more fun with these plates, me or the kids. (Me.)

Here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Sun: kalua pig, pineapple ginger rice, Emma's rolls, garden tomatoes, roasted asparagus, and root beer floats

M: California club pizza

T: corn chowder

W: teriyaki chicken and veggies

Th: chicken pot pie

F: out

Sat: we'll cross that bridge when we come to it
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Dad's Day


Maren, or Mom, or Emma, which one of you wants to make these for Sunday?

Find all the directions and templates on Bakerella.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Chicken Georgia

I hardly ever make anything with mushrooms, but since my husband loves them I thought I'd be nice and find a dish that included them. This was so good and so flavorful! Recipe from Paula Deen.

Chicken Georgia
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

Melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. Transfer chicken to platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with mushroom mixture. Cook and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

June 14 Menu


Sun- Chicken rolls, Tatum's veggie salad with freshmade ranch dressing, blueberry crumb bars and ice cream

M- breakfast for dinner

T- chicken cordon bleu casserole, spinach strawberry salad

W- shredded beef tacos

Th- teriyaki chicken n rice, steamed carrots and broccoli

F- BBQ beef sammies, corn on the cob

Sat- leftovers

C'mon Maren, I KNOW you have a menu this week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

California Club Pizza


California Club Pizza

Inspired by Maren's birthday lunch at CPK. This may be the very best way to use those tomatoes from your garden.

2 chicken breasts, browned in skillet and cubed
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C cooked thick bacon, crumbled-about 6 slices
2 C chopped iceberg lettuce
1 C chopped romaine lettuce
3 T. mayonnaise
2 large garden tomoates, sliced
2 avocados, sliced

Preheat oven to 450. After letting dough rest on countertop for 30 minutes, roll out onto lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan. Sprinkle cheese, chicken and bacon on dough. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through and crust is lightly browned. Toss lettuces with mayonnaise. Slice pizza and place lettuce mixture on top. Finish each slice with tomato and avocado.

* I undercooked both the chicken and bacon the first time around, as they will finish cooking atop the pizza.

Please make this and find happiness.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Code's Famous Bundt

Confession: I've never made this cake myself, but I've eaten it MANY times, and I can easily say without any hesitation whatsoever that it is the best chocolate cake (bundt or otherwise) that I have ever sunken my teeth into. Honestly, words cannot describe. Thanks to Code for sharing the recipe and giving me permission to post it here!

Code's Famous Bundt

1 yellow cake mix
1 3oz. pkg instant chocolate pudding (I use chocolate fudge)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs

Blend on low speed--cake mix, sugar, & pudding. Add water, oil and sour cream and blend well. Blend in one egg at a time and mix well.

Make sure you grease your bundt pan with Crisco and then dust with flour. Bake at 350 degrees 50-55 minutes (each oven varies so be sure to check it--the toothpick trick works).

Let it cool for about an hour before flipping it over. Best served with your favorite ice cream flavor.

(note: If you're really looking to impress your friends and family, sprinkle powdered sugar on the completed bundt before cutting and serving--mmm lookin' good!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu June 7


(Above is another gem found on the same website as the party loaf...)

When I asked my family what they wanted to have for dinner this week, their responses were as follows:

Chris- "Broccoli chicken calzones"

Maya- "Cream of Wheat with grapes and cheese in it"

Adam- "pineapple"

I will go ahead with two out of the three.

Sun- California club pizza, fruit salad, strawberry crunch

Mon- couscous with steamed zucchini and carrots & cantaloupe

Tues- lemony chicken over mixed greens & pineapple

Wed- broccoli chicken calzones

Thurs- linguini with spring vegetables

Fri- almond chicken & sweet potato fries

Sat- somethin super yummy
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Foods from Yesteryear


Today I came across this photo gallery which shares photos of less-than-appetizing foods from the 50s and 60s. I am especially intrigued with this "party loaf", where they take an unsliced loaf of white bread, slice it
horizontally, spread each slice with a different filling (pimiento cheese spread, egg salad, tuna salad, etc.), then frost the whole thing with cream cheese, and garnish with parsley and radish slices. UNREAL. I am thinking these would be the perfect dishes to serve for Mom n Dad's birthdays this year.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Piano Cake

This was Maya's 5th birthday cake. It was a hit- and it is easy as all get out. I made two cakes (one pink and one chocolate per her request) in 2 9x13 pans. Make sure to grease the pans very well. After the cakes baked and cooled, I turned them out onto cookie sheets and trimmed the edges to get them the size I wanted. Then I placed them end to end on a covered board and frosted the whole thing with cream cheese frosting. I made the lines to separate the white keys with dental floss, and the black keys are obviously Kit Kats. This is the third time I've made the piano cake, the other two were for piano recitals. It is always a hit and the kids always try to "play" it before eating it.

My favorite cream cheese frosting comes from the one and only Paula Deen:

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 blocks cream cheese, very soft
1 stick butter, very soft
1 tsp vanilla
4 C. sifted powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer til smooth. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar. Beat til smooth.

*I guess I've got Paula on the brain as Kelli and I will be paying her a visit at The Lady and Sons Restaurant this fall. Happy Day!!!
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free Float Night


Wednesday, June 3rd, 8 pm- midnight, Sonic is giving out free root beer floats, coast to coast. See you there!

Thanks for the tip, Rachie!
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