Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Best Vanilla Frosting

The best VANILLA frosting :) 

Recipe from Our Best Bites. Check out their site for full photos and instructions. 

Isn't she a beauty? This vanilla is the companion of the best chocolate. It's fantastic!
This recipe only makes enough for 12 cupcakes. You'll most likely need to double it. Unless you follow my lead and do a half and half. 

3 T flour
1/2 c milk
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla

Whisk flour and milk in a sauce pan. Turn on med heat. Whisk constantly. Boil until it becomes a paste. You'll need to switch to a rubber scraper to make sure you get out the lumps. 
Place pan in the fridge and stir until the mixture is completely cool. 
In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip butter and sugar together. Add in vanilla and COOLED flour paste. 
Whip for 6-8 minutes. You have to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Take a pinch and test it to see if there are any grains rubbed in your fingers. Or on your tongue. 
It will become and light fluffy cloud. 

Totally worth the work. Not even that much work really. It comes together quicker than you think. It's waaaay better than the overly sweet, butter creams we're used to. 

The Best Chocolate Frosting

Recipe from Our Best Bites. Check out their site for detailed pictures and instructions. 
The best chocolate frosting!

2/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c flour
3-6T cocoa (depends on how rich you want it. Start small and add more if needed) 
1 c milk
1 c butter, room temp 
1 c melted chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips. Let sit at room temp. 
Mix sugar, flour and cocoa together in a sauce pan. Whisk in milk. Turn on med heat. Boil for 1-3 minutes. Stirring constantly. Until it becomes a paste. 
Remove from heat. Put the pan in fridge or freezer. Stir every so often so that it cools faster and doesn't form a crusty top. 
In a mixer with the whisk attachment whip butter. Add in the COOLED (no heat at all) chocolate mixture. Beat for a few minutes. Add in the melted COOLED chocolate chips. Beat again for a minute or two. Until its all combined becomes a chocolate cloud of heaven. Frost cakes! 

**I only made a half batch. I didn't need that much for my project. A full batch will frost 24 cupcakes. 

**I used 3T of cocoa in my small half batch. I have expensive, delicious, high quality cocoa. Dutch processed. Highly recommend!! It results in a deep fudgey dark chocolate frosting. So I did not need to add the chocolate chips. Make sure you add in a bit more sugar to make up for the sweetness the chips would have added. 

This is such an amazing frosting. Travis says, this is what clouds must taste like in heaven.
If you're going to take the time to make and frost a cake. You can take the time to make this frosting. The chocolate mixture cools in 10 min or less. It's totally worth the work!! 
Make sure you make it the day you serve for the best results. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pork carnitas

Recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. 
It might look like a lot of work but it couldn't be easier. It is so delicious!! So moist and tender. Heaven! 

4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper. 
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Barbecue sauce

  1. Recipe from Mel's Kitchen 
This is the best! We fell in love. Won't buy bottled sauce ever again. 

  1. 2 cups ketchup
  2. 2 cups tomato sauce
  3. 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  4. 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  5. 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  6. 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  7. 4 teaspoons hickory flavored liquid smoke
  8. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon paprika
  12. 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  13. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  14. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  15. 1 teaspoon salt
  16. 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  17. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all the wet ingredients and then add the seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it simmers (and then as it cools). I try to plan ahead and simmer for at least an hour. Use the sauce to brush onto meats the last ten minutes of grilling or for any other recipe where barbecue sauce is used. Once cooled, the sauce can be frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator and use as needed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wingers copycat

1/2 c brown sugar 
1/4 c FRANKS original hot sauce
1 t cider vinegar
1 T corn syrup

Bring to a boil. Cook 2-5 minutes The longer you boil it the thicker it gets. 

P.s. too long and it makes toffee.  So keep an eye on it 😉I know from experience. 

This only serves 3. 

If your serving it for kids that don't like spicy cut back on the franks a bit. 

We like it with Tyson's chicken tenders. And steak fries. 

You can wrap it up in a tortilla with lettuce tomato cheese and ranch to make a sticky wrap. Wingers uses chipotle tortillas but I've never seen that flavor in stores. 

I like to mix it with ranch and make a creamy dressing for salads.