Friday, January 20, 2012

Limoncello Cupcakes

I have found a use for my homemade Limoncello other than drinking it.. lol...  Now who wouldn't want a refreshing lemony cupcake.

I found a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for Lemon-Limoncello cupcakes... I made these the other night and let's just say thankfully they only made a dozen.  I loved them.  One thing I would change in the recipe is the amount of lemon zest in the lemon curd.. 

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes
Yield: 1 dozen

For the cupcakes:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

For the lemon curd:

Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the cream cheese limoncello frosting:

2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon limoncello
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Prepare the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the lemon curd. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.

3. Prepare the cream cheese limoncello frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

4. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a hole into each cupcake with the large end of a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with a star tip (I used Wilton 1M) with the cream cheese limoncello frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Decorate with lemon and berries, if desired.

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork

As I mentioned I follow the Pioneer Woman's blog.  Can you believe I have nevered watched an episode of her show on the Food Network?  My best friend Melissa sent me emails reminding me to watch it. 

Last Saturday I watched her Ranching in the Mist episode.  I felt like I was watching some old friends.  This episode she was making her Spicy Pop Pulled Pork.  Now I have heard of using soda/pop in pulled pork recipes but I was reluctant to use it.  She proved me wrong.  Another thing she proved to me is that a Pork Butt (no it is not the butt of a pig, actually it is from the front shoulder) can be delicious.  I had made a pork butt once and was devastated with the results.

This recipe was a pleasant surprise.

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork
Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond


  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole pork butt (pork shoulder roast)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 11-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cans pop (I use Dr Pepper)
  • 4 packed tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Start by placing the onion quarters in the bottom of a pot. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, and then place on top of the onions. Pour the chipotle peppers over the top, and then crack open the cans of pop and pour them over the whole thing. Add the brown sugar to the liquid and stir.

Cover the pot, put in the oven and cook for at least 6 hours, flipping the roast 2 or 3 times during the cooking process. When it's done, the pork will be dark and weird and wonderful. It'll also be fork-tender. That's when you know it's done.

Remove the meat from the pot and shred completely. Then return the meat to the pot and keep in the juice until you need it.

Pioneer Women's Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders

I usually check Pioneer Women's site every day.  I happen to have checked it on the day she blogged about her Spicy Whiskey BBQ sliders.  Once I saw that recipe I knew it was part of the New Year's Eve menu.  They are simple and easy to make.  And, they were the hit of the party.  I have made them one other time since. 

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders
Pioneer Women - Ree Drummond


  • 2 pounds Ground Meat (beef, Bison, Turkey)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 cup Whiskey
  • 1 cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Jarred Jalapeno Slices (more To Taste)
  • 12 whole Slider Buns Or Dinner Rolls, Split

Preparation Instructions

Form the meat into 12 (or so) miniature patties and salt and pepper them on both sides. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties until just about done in the middle, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of grease, then return the skillet to the stove.

Throw the diced onions in the skillet and stir to cook, about 3 minutes. Pour in whiskey (be careful if you're cooking over an open flame; turn it off momentarily to be extra careful) and stir. Allow the whiskey to reduce by half, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in jalapenos and the barbecue sauce.
Reduce the heat to low and place the patties in the barbecue sauce, turning to coat. Allow the patties to simmer in the sauce until everything's hot and bubbly.

Place the patties on individual buns and be sure to spoon extra sauce (with the jalapenos!) over the top of each one before topping with the other half of the bun.


Machaca... I get a kick out of saying this word, don't know why.. lol..  Lately I have been watching Rachel vs Guy - Celebrity Cook-Off on the Food Network channel.  Are you surprised???  One person that surprised me with his cooking was Cheech Marin.  I believe it was the first or second episode he made a beef machaca for the hungry people.  I had never heard of machaca.  It looked delicious and the crowd loved it.  I thought I have to make that...  So I found a recipe, cooked it and loved it...

Big Dave's Beef Machaca


¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Juice of two limes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup vegetable oil or olive oil


2-3 lb Chuck Roast or Skirt Steak, trimmed and cut into ¼ lb portions.
1 Large Texas Sweet Onion (yellow onion) diced
½ green bell pepper diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper, minced
1 14oz can diced tomatoes or tomatoes with green chilies
¼ cup beef broth
1 Tb dried oregano
1 Tb ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for searing the beef


For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl then whisk them to form an emulsion. Add the beef making sure every piece is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate.
Marinate the beef overnight in a bowl in the refrigerator. Before preparing, drain thoroughly and allow meat to come up to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

In a large soup pot, heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the beef a few pieces at a time to develop a rich brown color on all sides as well as on the bottom of the pan. Do this in several batches if the pot is too crowded.

When all the beef is browned nicely and removed from the pan, add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the hot pan. Sauté for a few minutes then add the remaining ingredients to the pan along with the beef. Bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for about 2 hours. The meat should be very tender and should easily fall apart when pricked with a fork.

Remove from heat, remove meat to a cutting board and shred with a pair of forks. Return to the pot and bring to a simmer, uncovered. Reduce the liquid until very thick, almost dry. At this point, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and whatever additional heat you want to add if any.

Serve with tortillas, cheese, salsa, lettuce and guacamole for a great beef taco. Portion and freeze the remaining machaca in zip lock bags for later use.

Happy New Year!!!

One day I was sitting here thinking of the menu for our New Year's Eve Party and realized how many years it has been since we started.  Can you believe it has been 14 years since our first our first New Year's Ever party.  I can remember that night all to well.  My oldest son had a incident with the tabletop warm mist vaporizer.  He was fine but scared the heck out of me.

We also incorporate my Mother-In-Law's birthday into the NYE party, since she was born on NY day.  This year I made my Mother-In-Law a checker board birthday cake.  I saw this beautiful cake in a catalog and thinking I can make that.  What I didn't want to do is pay $70 to order it.  I set out on my mission to make this cake. 

I used one white cake mix and a devil's food cake mix.  I found a recipe for a white frosting from Amada's Cookin'.  I made the chocolate mousse from scratch and can not find the recipe I used. 

White Frosting
1 cup vegetable shortening (not butter flavored)
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

To Make the Frosting:

Beat shortening and extracts until creamy, about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, then 2 tablespoons of milk, 2 more cups of powdered sugar, then the remaining milk and any additional powdered sugar that may be needed.
Put 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl and tint it with a small amount of yellow paste food coloring. Frost in between the layers yellow and the sides and top of cake white. Decorate with green tinted coconut and jelly beans on top.

Once I had the cake frosted I decorated it with shaved white chocolate and mini chocolate chips. 

Let me just say, if you are using a new recipe test it out first.  The frosting was very good, but the chocolate did not stick very well to it.  I should have used a buttercream or whipped cream frosting instead.  I was not happy with the way my cake looked.

Here is my sorry looking cake..

The inside:

I promise I will do better next year! lol

What happened???

I wish I had an excuse as to why I haven't blogged any recipes in almost a year.  It's not like I starved my family.  Nothing exciting happened in the past year. hmm...

Let's see my last couple of post said something about dieting.  Ha!  Ya, right.  Actually, I was behaving for a while and eating healthier meals.  I had lost 10 pounds for a while.  I think once I came back from Key West it went down hill from there.  Those 10 pounds I lost found me again... ugh...

Anyway, I will try to do better at posting the recipes I have try.