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Lynsey Lou’s has moved

January 30, 2012

That’s right!  If you haven’t noticed by now, this site hasn’t been updated in quite some time.  Go check out my new home at www.lynseylous.com, also be sure to change your RSS feeds and subscription in your Google Reader.  If you enrolled in email updates please go to the new site and re-enroll to continue receiving the latest yummy recipes!  Thanks for your support.  See you at the new site!

Take 5 Cupcakes

January 13, 2011

Hershey’s Take 5 candy bar is one of my all time favorites!  I remember when they first came out, I could hardly keep myself from rushing to the store to buy one so I could try it.  In the words of one of Spencer’s co-workers, “They might be one of the most underrated candy bars of all time”, and I completely agree.  They have everything you want in a snack; sweet, salty and crunchy, I mean what more could you actually want?

Well I thought the same thing until I decided to create a Take 5 cupcake.  Yes, you heard right, a cupcake created with all the elements of the wonderful Take 5 candy bar.  Once I decided to create a cupcake based on this candy, my mind went in several different directions until I finally came up with the final product.  It was absolutely amazing; a crunchy and salty crust, soft and chewy chocolate cupcake, a filling of homemade caramel, topped with a peanut butter caramel frosting and crumbled Take 5.  Trust me, it really doesn’t get much better than this!

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, in fact I think I it’s more of an addiction.  I must say, this takes this love and addiction to a whole new level.  I was so excited when I thought of the concept but I couldn’t believe how amazing the finished product was.  I was so excited about my new creation that I packed them up and took them to work to share with everyone and I have to say I wasn’t prepared for the reviews I got.  I’m always excited when I attempt and succeed at a new recipe or dish, but the true test is when I watch other people try my latest and greatest and their jaw drops in amazement that’s when I know I have a winner.  That was the case with this little treat; everyone absolutely loved these cupcakes and couldn’t help but go on and on about them.  These were out of this world, so if you have an obsession with chocolate and peanut butter or if you know someone that does you can’t go wrong with these!

 Take 5 Cupcakes

Ingredients-

For the cupcakes:

1/2 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa powder

1 Cup boiling water

1 1/3 Cup all purpose flour

2 Teaspoons baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 Cup granulated white sugar

2 Large eggs

2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the crust-

1 Cup pretzels, roughly chopped

1/3 Cup dry roasted peanuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pretzel and peanut mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 

For the filling-

1/4 Cup peanut butter

1/2 Cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

Directions-

Place all ingredients in a small bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together until fluffy.

For the frosting-

1 Stick butter, room temperature

4 Cups powdered sugar

1/4 Cup milk

2 Tablespoons caramel sauce, homemade or store bought

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions-

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Place butter in a bowl and whip on medium-high until butter is light and fluffy; add the powdered sugar and whip until combined.  Add the milk, caramel sauce, vanilla and salt and whip until combined; be sure not to overwhip.

To assemble the cupcakes-

Open 2 King Size Take 5 candy bars and roughly chop with a sharp knife.

Hollow out a small portion of the cupcake and fill with the peanut butter filling.  Frost the cupcake as desired.  I used Wilton tip 1M.  After frosting, sprinkle the broken pieces of the candy bar over the tops of the cupcakes.

 

Recipe Source: Cupcakes, Joy of Baking

                         Filling, A Lynsey original

                        Frosting, A Lynsey original

Weekly Meal Plan

January 10, 2011

Week of January 9-15, 2011

Leftovers from the weekend

Salsa Verde Chicken and Dumplings

Deer Bacon Burgers

Spinach and Artichocke Pasta

Chicken Quesadillas

Pizza (undecided about what kind)

Leftovers from either spin & art pasta or chicken and dumplings

(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken

January 10, 2011

 I love Chinese, I think we get take out four to five times a month and I could eat it more than that honestly!  I usually stick with the same couple of dishes I always order; fried rice, spicey garlic chicken, or lo mein; I always see other dishes that look terrific but I just love my regular items so much that I don’t want to risk getting something else and being disappointed.  So one night while I was eating one of my “safe meals” my brother-in-law ordered one of his regular choices which happened to be General Tso’s Chicken and I decided to be a little adventurous and try some of his.  Well let me tell ya, that has made it to my list of regulars; it was absolutely delicious and it had just the right about of sweet and spicy and the added crunch of the fried chicken just put it right over the top.

When I got my “Now Eat This” cookbook I was reading through all the wonderful recipes and I came across this recipe for General Tso’s Chicken and I knew immediately that I had to try it to see how it compared to the take-out version.  This recipe was not a let down; the chicken was crispy, the sauce was sweet and spicy and you would never know that this was a made over, lighter version of the original recipe.  The next time your in the mood for take-out try this recipe instead, I promise you won’t be disappointed.   

(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken

Ingredients:

1 Cup whole-wheat flour

2 Cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

4 Large egg whites

12 Ounces bonless, skinless chekcen breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 Cups broccoli florets

3/4 Cup Rockin’ Asian Stir-fry sauce (recipe follows), or storebought low-calorie, low-fat Asian sauce

3 Packets (10g) Truvia, or 3 Packets (3g) Splenda

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

2 Teaspoons chili garlic sauce

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F. 

Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set aside.

Put the flour in a shallow dish.  Place the panko in another shallow dish.  In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whish until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks. 

Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the flour (shaking off excess), add the checken to the egg whites and toss to coat completely.  Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the panko and toss to coat.  Make sure they are completely coated.

Spread the chicken out on the wire rack, in a single layer.  Bake chicken until the breading is golden and crispy and then chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe dish, and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook on high until tender, about 4 minutes.  Keep the broccoli covered until ready to serve.

In a large bowl, combine the Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce, Truvia/Splenda, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce and mix together.  Add the cooked chicken to the bowl and toss gently until the chicken is evely coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken and serve with the broccoli.

Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 Cup chopped, fresh ginger

6 Garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bunch scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

6 Tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 Cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 Cup reduced-sugar ketchup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over high heat.  when the pan is hot, add the sesame oil.  Add the ginger, garlic and scallions and saute, stirring often, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Add the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice vinegar and ketchup and whisk to blend.

Whisk the cornstarch mixture inot the saute pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Store the sauce in a covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe Source: “Now Eat This” by Rocco Dispirito

Weekly Meal Plan

January 3, 2011

Typically I do not make new years resolutions and this year is no different as far as personal resolutions go, but I did make a few resolutions (goals) regarding my blog.  Last year my posting was very sparatic, there were times I would post very regular for a week or month and then I may go a month or longer without a single post; during those times I would feel terrible not only for letting my readers down but also for neglecting something that is so important to me.  So this year I would LOVE to post on a more regular basis; at least 2 to 3 times a week, I think this will help me keep my blog up to date and not leave my loyal readers hanging for weeks or months.  Another goal I have for myself is to make weekly meal plans.  After a busy and hectic day the last thing I want to do when I get home is wrack my brain trying to decide what I am going to cook for supper.  I did make meal plans a few times last year and I found that when I did so it helped me tremendously; I didn’t dread going home knowing that I had to decide what to cook and I already had everything prepared to cook for the nights meal.  I highly recommend making a menu for the week, you don’t have to assign meals to specific nights but at least plan what you will prepare throughout the week, I promise you will be so happy you did.  My meal plans will consist of what I plan to cook throughout the week, I do not assign meals to days just so I can have some flexibility and cook according to my cravings and mood.

 As for those of you who have decided to jump on the resolution band wagon, please feel free to post any requests you may have to help you accomplish your goal whether it be cooking, baking or even lighter options for meals.  Also, if there are specific dishes that interest you please make your request and I will do my best to quench your craving. 

Happy New Years everyone, I hope this year holds many wonderful things in store for you and your family.

Meal Plan

Week of January 2-8

* Leftovers from New Years dinner

* Gourmet grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup

* Briskett French Dip Subs

* Out to eat with friends

*** We have prior plans for the other few nights of the week.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2011

The holiday season has come and gone once again. I can’t believe 2010 has come to a close and we are entering a new year, it seems like yesterday Spencer and I were bringing home our little bundle of joy and boy has it been a fun year! As much as I hate to see 2010 behind us I can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store. I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful and memorable year and I hope that 2011 is even better.

From our family to yours, here’s to a new year full of happiness, joy, health and wealth…and of course to preparing and enjoying fabulous treats and eats! 

Happy Birthday Tucker…and vanilla bean cupcakes

December 14, 2010

One year ago today Spencer and I were blessed with our healthy and wonderful little boy, Tucker.  It’s amazing how quickly time flies, it seems like this past year has been a whirlwind.  We’ve had so much fun and we’ve experienced something new and fun each and every day.  We’ve made so many wonderful memories throughout this past year and I will cherish each and every one of them forever.  I look forward to what the future has to bring but still I can’t believe my little boy is already a year old.  Happy birthday baby, I love you so much!

We haven’t has his party yet but I just had to make something sweet for him to have on his birthday and to share with all of his “classmates” at “school”!  I decided to make Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, adapted from a cake recipe seen on  Confections of a Foodie Bride.  I wanted the cupcakes to be delicious but I didn’t want to do too much since a group of 1 year olds would be eating them. 

These cakes were absolutely delicious, the vanilla flavor really stood out with the use of fresh vanilla beans and I love the small flecks of vanilla that can be seen throughout the cake.  They were very moist and fluffy and packed full of flavor.  The next time you want a delicious “plain vanilla” cake I would make this, no questions asked.  You will get more than you bargained for with this recipe, and it’s so much more than a normal vanilla cake!

My Sous Chef-He loves butter!

  Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 Cups cake flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 Cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature

2 Cups sugar

5 Large eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 Cups buttermilk, room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Split and scrape the vanilla pod into the butter, discard pod (or reserve for another use). Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.

Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl before each addition. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. Place pans on the rack placed in the center of the oven.  Bake the mini cupcakes for 12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.  Let cook completely before frosting.

Yields approximately 60 mini cupcakes.

Recipe Source: Seen on Confections of a Foodie Bride

                              Originally from: The Well-Decorated Cake’s Moist Yellow Cake

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