Friday, March 25, 2011

Snow Day #4

This will be the fourth snow day this week.  It just will not stop snowing here in Truckee.  The kids will be going to school until July 4th at this rate and Little League has little hope of starting anytime soon. Such is life at 6000'.  It does make for some warm and cozy nights thumbing through food magazines and watching movies.  I recommend Secretariat and Temple Grandin. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring = Snow Day

 No matter what the calendar might say it has not turned to spring here in Truckee.  600 inches of snow to date this season on the summit translates into about 300 inches at our elevation and means that green grass and spring blooms are still way off in the distance.  Another 3 foot of snow over the weekend and a school snow day today!  Not kidding.  I am only dreaming when thumbing through the garden and seed catalogs.  Thank you Mister Mailman for battling your way through the snow to deliver those catalogs. Finding our mailbox is a bit of a "where's Waldo proposition right now.  It is in there I promise.  Can someone promise that spring really is on the way?  I hope so.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Runza's for St Paddy's Day Dinner

Easy to make and delicious.  Why don't I remember to make these more often.

2 lbs Ground Beef - browned and seasoned
1/2 yellow onion - diced
1/2 red onion - diced
1 head of cabbage - diced
1 pkg of 24 freezer rolls - thawed
Melted butter

Add ground beef to a large skillet, brown and season.  Drain as needed.  Remove ground beef from pan and add onion and cook until it begins to sweat. Add cabbage and cook until begins to soften.  Add ground beef and combine, cook together for a few minutes.  Taste and season as needed.

Roll each roll out to make a disc.  Add about a 1/2 cup of beef and cabbage mixture, fold over, pinch edges forming a stuffed pocket like shape and place on baking sheet.  Baste each pocket with a little melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden on top.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patty's Day.

A friend ordered 20 cupcakes for her classroom to celebrate St Patrick's Day.  Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and a Peppermint Patty.  Of course. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweet Saturday

Sweet Saturday equals Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.  I found the recipe from Barefoot Contessa online. 

Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing, recipe follows
  • Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.
Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

The cake is moist and I doubled the powdered sugar and cream in the frosting to make it really fluffy and light.  New favorite?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Extreme Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Craving a vanilla bean treat I found this recipe on website.  It is easy to make, moist and delicious.  I made a vanilla bean buttercream to top it with but her recipe for strawberry buttercream looked yummy too.  These cupcakes hit the spot. 

vanilla bean cupcakes
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (these can always be left out, and the cupcakes will still be delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Fill cupcake liners slightly more then halfway full.
2. Bake for 15 minutes, or until center cupcakes bounce back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.   From Sophistimom.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Delicious Short Ribs from the Slow Cooker

I found this terrific slow cooker short rib recipe on wordstoeatby and found boneless short ribs on sale Saturday at the grocery store.
Great combination.  They turned out so well, are super easy to make and the rich, comforting smell fills the house.  Yum.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs of BeefFrom Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
Serves 4

1 cup red wine [I used an Italian table wine]
2/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds beef short ribs
2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped

Combine first six ingredients (through black pepper) in the slow cooker and stir. Add the ribs, submerging them in the sauce. [In my oval, this required cutting the ribs into one-bone widths, then dunking each end in the sauce. I cooked them with the bones positioned upright.] Scatter the onions over the ribs, cover, and cook on low until the meat starts to separate from the bone, 7 to 9 hours.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Notable Nosh

I had the chance to eat out a couple of times this week.  Lucky me.

First at a lunch meeting with my business partners.  We met at the Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. I ordered the Mixed Green Salad with fried goat cheese croquettes with golden beets and Meyer lemon vinaigrette and the Lobster - Roasted Parsnip Bisque.  The bisque was served at the table in a copper pot.  Delicious.  The restaurant itself is beautiful too.  It really was a treat for all of us to meet for a lunch meeting.  We normally work independently and solo in our offices across California.  The delicious food and setting were ideal.

Last night my Rotary club celebrated our 34th year at a Charter Night dinner.  We met at a local and very  popular Truckee restaurant owned by fellow Rotarian Billy McCullough.  Dragonfly is a favorite of mine anyway but last night with the place filled with friends and fellow Rotarians it was even better.  Three courses, mixed green salad with Asiago shavings, Slow Roasted Beef Short Ribs with an Asian flair and German Chocolate Cupcakes.  Yum.  Happy Anniversary Rotary Club of Truckee.
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