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Eggnog Cupcakes: Success


(but could be better)

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There they are, slippy-slidey goo of frosting and all. This won’t be a recipe or much of a process post, because if you really want instructions for baking cupcakes I am not the best person to ask. Here’s basically what I did:

  • Add a bit of eggnog and a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg to a cake mix.
  • Fail at making frosting
  • Look up recipe: add a bunch of powdered sugar to a little bit of eggnog, probably still too much, blend, drop on top of cupcakes like gooey mess.

Then they were slowly devoured. The frosting hardened a little after a while, so it wasn’t just goo sliding across the cake tops forever…

They were (or are: there are a few left) very tasty, although not at the level of the bakeries I like to buy from. They were pretty good for homemade, mix-based cupcakes. That’s all I can really say. No one wanted to come over, so the only other person who could form an opinion on them is my roommate, and she said they were good.

Lesson learned: don’t assume you know how to make something like frosting, even if you did it once several years ago, because until you know, you don’t know.

Head over to my youtube channel (link in the “referred sites” section of the sidebar), where I have posted my video documentation of making the cupcakes.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDVblVfQPoU

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Homemade Pita Chips


A few weeks ago I had this for dinner:

 

 

Yup, those are homemade. (By the way, Roasted Red Pepper is the very best variety of hummus. It’s just freaking delicious. It took me a long time to get on the Roasted Red Pepper train, but now I’m never getting off!)

These items being pretty much the only things in my kitchen at the time that I could make a meal out of, and not being super hungry, I was just going to eat pita and hummus, but I’d had that for lunch at least two days in a row. I wanted to finish off the hummus, because that stuff doesn’t keep forever, you know.

All right, so everyone knows that pita chips are just baked or oil-fried pieces of pita, right? I figure that’s obvious. What is often NOT obvious is, you can just make your own. Yup. I’ve done that with tortillas before – that is, cut them up and cooked them in a bit of oil. I overcooked them last time, not fun. For the pita chips, I figured baking them would make more sense. I didn’t want them to be all oily and burnt.

I didn’t look up any instructions. I can’t even remember what temperature I put the oven on, but I think that I should try a lower setting next time. When the edges were getting all crisp and brown, the middles of the chips were still kind of soft. So I’ll try, maybe, 350 next time.

I drizzled a bit of olive oil on top of each chip, and then sprinkled some herbed sea salt on top. I don’t like a lot of salt so I might have tried a little too hard not to overdo it. Or maybe there’s some trick to flavoring pita chips that I’m missing. Like dipping them in oil and then dipping them in herbs/spices before putting them on the baking sheet. I don’t know. Either way, they could have used a tiny bit more seasoning, but on the other hand, the plain flavor went better with the hummus. The biggest problem was that they didn’t bake evenly, like I said.

If you’re considering trying this, keep quantity in mind. My medium-sized pita would have been enough for two people, assuming they both weren’t really hungry, or had something else to eat. A large pita could probably work for at least three, but if you get those mini-pitas, the existence of which I just don’t get, don’t even expect that to fill up one person. Then again, a whole package of mini-pitas might be enough.

While baking, I’d check them at ten minutes, no later than 15. If you think you smell them burning, check them immediately. If they seem to be getting really brown at the edges, then you have to choose between possibly not having them crisp in the middle, or letting the edges overcook.

Of course, you can always look up an actual recipe if you’re not willing to risk the imperfections of experimental cooking. Then, pair with whatever kind of dip or food item you’d like, and eat to your heart’s content.

 

 

They were tasty, so I’m calling it a success. (Ish)

Possibly a Bad Idea


I recently got some kitchen items that I believed my kitchen needed, whether or not I get around to using them any time soon – like a nice big pot, large baking pan, and a cupcake tin.

Although muffins would probably be the most practical and healthiest option for breaking in my cupcake tin, I had this thought that I really want to make some mini pies.

I’m really hung up on this idea now. I love pie. Really. SO GOOD. And with the cupcake pan method, I could make several different kinds of pie. But pie is a lot of effort, and almost certainly requires a recipe…

My thought right now is to buy the ready-made kind of pie crust to cut down on time, and maybe select up to three different kinds of fillings, look up a recipe so I know what tempt to set the oven on, and then just go for it. I’m not interested in perfection; I want a fun experiment. The worst thing I can do, I think, is burn them, and if that happens, it’s not the end of the world.

Likely I’ll end up with something somewhat resembling pie, but not officially qualifying as pie. I think I’d be happy with that.

 

Apple is the obvious choice. It is apple pie season. Obviously. I think I’m going to have to buy some nutmeg too…

Maybe I’ll buy some canned “pie filling” and make little cherry pies that taste something like the ones my grandmother used to make.

 

I need some whipped cream. Definitely.

This might be a project for this weekend. I’ll let you know what happens.

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