Monday, August 29, 2011

Rice with Herbs de Provence

Sorry no picture here. You would think that rice would be so easy to photograph, but as it turns out it's pretty boring. Huh. Anyway, trust me when I tell you that this is really very yummy :)

Rice with Herbs de Provence

1 c. white rice
2 c. chicken stock
11/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper


The original recipe has you cook your rice on the stove, but I'm a modern girl and just threw everything in my rice cooker, gave it a stir and let it go. It turned out great!

Easy as can be, but much better than plain old white rice for dinner :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

chocolate cupcakes with caramel swiss meringue buttercream

 Yeah, um. Yum. Not much more to say! The cupcakes were a little diva-ish in the prep (3 bowls) but they didn't overflow their wrappers, which is more than I can say about my other chocolate cake recipe lately. So these get 5 stars!

Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Annie's Eats

Yield: 24 cupcakes

½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.  Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 5 cups


  • 1/2 cups sugar plus 2 tbsp
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce


  1. Whisk together sugar, the egg whites, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees. (I rub it between my fingers, if it's grainy, it still needs more time.)
  2. Return bowl to mixer; fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Switch to paddle attachment. Reduce speed to medium low; add butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue until smooth.
  3. Add caramel and vanilla; beat on lowest speed until combined, 3 to 5 minutes. The buttercream can be made 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Before using, bring frosting to room temperature; return to mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth.