Before I tell you what's cooking, I feel it's my duty pass on a small warning about Internet recipes. I wanted to make some of my favorite soft oatmeal cookies for a bake sale this weekend; the best recipe I have found is from America's Test Kitchen. I have loaned Sarah my ATK cookbook, so I went looking on line. I found a recipe that a blogger called the ATK oatmeal cookie, and the recipe seemed right, but the cookies were not the delicious little orbs of oatmealy perfection they usually are. When I get the book back (or buy another copy!) I'm going to check. It could have been me. Either way, consider yourself warned.
I am always on the lookout for a great casserole recipe to make in quantity, freeze and share with others; I think I found my new go-to dish: The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti. I tripled the recipe, but got 4 nice 9x13 dishes for my effort --viola! Dinner for us! I did leave out the green pepper (a very bad experience with cooked green pepper has made me a hater) and added mushrooms, which I sauteed in a little olive oil with the onion for a bit, and used a can of cream of mushroom soup for one of the cream of chicken. Also, I tossed the cheese for the top with breadcrumbs and a little melted butter, because that's just how I roll.
I've always been a cupcake fan, and am trying out recipes from Martha's Cupcake Cookbook. Last week, it was her applesauce cupcakes. In general, I don't love icing, but I could eat the cream cheese/brown sugar icing on these cupcakes without the cupcake, if you know what I mean. With a spoon. All of it.
And, I accidentally developed a recipe, by opening a box of white cake mix that I thought was chocolate. I made cupcakes for the Junior Miss dinner the other week, and had already made a batch of white cupcakes with raspberry cream icing; I didn't need 2 dozen more white cupcakes. So, I added a package of instant chocolate pudding, 1/3 cup cocoa, 3 teaspoons of espresso powder, an extra egg and 1 and 1/2 cups of chocolate chips to the white mix. I dusted them with powdered sugar and espresso powder, and they were good. I am calling them Mocha Chocalatta Cupcakes. Ya ya.
My latest decorating extravaganza/failure:
Sometimes (read: all the time lately) my cakes don't turn out anywhere as beautiful as I had them pictured in my head. See that blue blob on the right there? That started out as the base for a rice krispie ferris wheel; I had seen a picture of one, and was sure I could re-create it. I could re-create it, but I couldn't make it stand up. Not even with skewers, chopsticks and a little time in the freezer. Boo. And, although they look like baby booties, those little orange and blue blobs are bumper cars. Could you tell?