From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Apple Cider Buttercream

This is a new recipe that I'm really excited about. I got the idea for it when I saw the grocery store ad, and apple cider packets were on sale. I thought, wouldn't that be an awesome flavoring for a frosting? Well, it did turn out to be exactly what I thought, TDF! I also found a really good "made from scratch" vanilla buttermilk cupcake recipe on Baking Bites, a food blog on the web. Combine the two and this cupcake is a winner. This recipe can be doubled if you want to make 24 cupcakes. The true test taste was my husband. He ate one when he got home from work, and I didn't tell him what was in it. I asked him what he thought it tasted like. He replied saying he thought it tasted apple cinnamon like.....YES! Just what I was looking for! (P.S. try using a cream cheese frosting and add the flavoring to that would be really good.)

Vanilla Cupcakes with Apple Cider Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1 1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 c buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and 1 tbs vinegar, combine and let sit for 10 min.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees line muffin pan with liners. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together sugar and butter, add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively until just combined. Evenly distribute batter into muffin pan. Bake for 15-20 or until done. Do not over bake! Let cool, frost with apple cider buttercream.

Apple Cider Buttercream:

1/4 c. butter, softened
1 packet instant apple cider
1 tbs. water
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
milk for desired consistency
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
2 1/2 - 3 c. powdered sugar

In a small bowl dissolve instant apple cider with water, stir and let sit for a minute. Combine butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and apple cider liquid. Add a pinch of salt to bring out flavor. Add milk to reach desired consistency.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mabel's Pie Crust

Making your own pie crust can be very intimidating. My mother has always made a perfect flaky crust, and I just now feel like I can measure up to that. This recipe was found in a 1971 Betty Crocker Cookbook that was my Grandma Mabel's. She passed away almost 15 years ago. She was known for her amazing pies. I love having a hard copy of this recipe book because in the pie section there are splotches of whatever pie she was literally whipping up. So, when I'm cooking from this book, I am reminded of her free spirit, giving, and accepting mentality. Most of all her love of cooking that I feel was genetically determined in myself.

Don't be afraid to try making your own crust. Practice makes perfect. Get the courage and just do it! (Double recipe for a 2 crust pie)

Mabel's Pie Crust

8 or 9 inch one-crust pie

1 c flour
1/2 rounded tsp salt
1/3 c plus 1 tbs shortening
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Measure flour, salt and shortening into a bowl. With a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until mixture resembles pea sized balls. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork each time, until dough comes together. Dough should not be too wet. When you push on the dough it should stick together. Lightly flour table surface and roll dough out to a 10-11 inch round. fold circle in half and transfer to pie plate, unfolding crust once it is in the plate. Trim excess pie dough if needed. Bake according to recipe that you are making. (If doing a pre-baked pie crust, prick pie crust all over with a fork, and bake at 475 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Light Loaded Potato Soup

Living in Hawaii, I have had a hard time being inspired by “fall weather” food. I live in the endless summer, where you never ever hear yourself saying, “Oooo, lets get our warm jammies on and cuddle underneath a blanket.” My house never has any windows closed, and when it is dumping rain, my boys are playing outside under our lanai. However, I love, love, love soups! They are easy, one-pot meals. My husband does not like soups, he says they make him sweat…especially in Hawaii. Anyways, this recipe is simply to die for. Not only is it WAY less fattening than the other recipes out there, but the flavor is amazing. I used to feel bad about eating creamy-based soups,but this recipe I don’t. I use skim milk, reduced fat sour cream, and way less butter than what normal cream based soups call for. Triumph! Granted this soup doesn’t have a gravy like thickness that the full fat version has, but that kind of “eeks” me out anyways. It gets thicker, the longer it sits, so I usually make it ahead, and leave it on the stove for a little bit. This was pretty fast to throw together as well, as long as you have all the ingredients in hand.

Light Loaded Potato Soup

6 slices bacon
1/2 c onion, chopped
4-5 russet potatoes, depending on size
2 tbs butter
2 tbs reserved bacon drippings
1/3 c flour
4 c skim milk (or whatever you have on hand)
1 can chicken broth
1 c reduced fat sour cream
1 1/4 c. medium or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4-5 green onion, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel, and cube potatoes. In a large pot, bring potatoes to boil, salt water to flavor (should be almost like the ocean water). Cook until done, drain, and set aside. In same pot cook bacon until crispy and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot. Add onion and butter, cook until translucent and soft. Add flour, to onions, and continue to stir and cook for about 1 minute. With a whisk, slowly add milk, whisking constantly to break up any lumps, add chicken broth. Over medium heat continue to stir, for about 5-7 minutes. Place about 2 cups of cooked potato into a bowl, and smash it with a fork, add this to the soup. Add remaining cooked potatoes, cheese, and bacon. Stir over medium/high heat until a slightly thick consistency. Turn off heat, add sour cream and green onions. Salt and pepper to taste.