YUM-O!

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Today is dedicated to my latest cooking ventures.

I have always loved to be in the kitchen. Whether that means eating, having dinner with the family, cooking, or baking. I have always been more of a baker than a cooker. Probably because I have the biggest sweet tooth ever, asides from Julian who can eat two bowls of ice cream, 15 cookies, and still want something sweet. We make quite the couple, it’s a surprise were not weighing in at 250 pounds each…not yet anyways.. But ever since we got married in May I realized Julian can’t solely live off of brownies and pies, even though he wishes he could.

Now my mom had taught me the basics, like breakfast foods. (I can cook breakfast like a champ) Along with chicken parm, various casseroles, and stews. But I had never really learned how to cook. I mean COOK. As in watching my mom not have to measure a dang thing, throw it all into a pan, cook it and it would taste wonderful.

So I started reading online recipes, people’s cooking blogs, and even watching the occasional cooking show. Along my cooking journey I have had many disappointments: my rice never fully cooking, my chocolate hardening too fast, my chicken coming out drier than a raisin. But I have also had a lot of proud moments: my delicious cream cheese cupcakes, mastering delicious grilled chicken, and even homemade spaghetti sauce ~ YUMMM ~ Come to find out being in the kitchen is therapeutic. I have come quite fond of cooking.

I love to spend about an hour chopping and stirring, then giving Julian the finished product and him eating every bit of it saying “This is really good, how did you make this?” Now that may be his job to say those things, but I can tell when he really likes something and when he doesn’t.

The majority of the time he does, even Jacob will come by on the occasion and go “Dang sis this is good”… now that my friends is a feat. He invented the work picky.

I still almost every other day have to call my mom and go “Mom how long do you simmer rice” “Mom what ingredients are in your beef stew” “Mom should I boil the water then add the ingredients”. Thank goodness my mom is a patient woman, and I even think she likes to answer my questions and is glad to be a part of my cooking ventures. ~ Thanks Mom 🙂

Anywhoodle I wanted to share just a couple of my recent feats that were Oh So Deliciouso!

Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

You can also use raisins, chocolate chips, gumdrops, Red Hots, or nuts for decorations

Makes: 24

Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 recipes Cream Cheese Frosting  Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 1/2 pint blueberries, for decorating
  • 1/2 pint raspberries, for decorating
  • White sprinkles and nonpareils, for decorating

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-holed muffin pans with baking cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until pale, light, and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined.

  3. Step 3

    With mixer on low speed, add 1 cup reserved flour mixture; mix until combined. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk; combine. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with flour, until all has been incorporated.

  4. Step 4

    Fill each baking cup with 1/4 cup batter; batter should almost reach tops of cups. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool.

  5. Step 5

    Remove cupcakes from tins, and frost with cream-cheese frosting. If desired, use a pastry bag fitted with a plain writing tip to pipe letters or designs onto cupcakes. Decorate with berries, sprinkles, and nonpareils.

These cupcakes are DEVINE! (Found this from marthastewart.com)

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup  Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4   boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
  • 4 tsp.  Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with Mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes.
(I found this one on hellmans.com)
I made this chicken last night.. so fast. So easy. So good!I hope all of you little cooks have some free time to experiment with some new recipes like I have. Odds are you have been cooking a lot longer than I, and could give me tips/advice.

I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes or some tips! Believe me, I still need it! I’m on a long journey! I encourage you all to comment! I would love some good new recipes to try!

Thanks for reading lovelies! Love Always – Ashley

 
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