Perfect Vanilla Cupcake

I realize that this title sounds a little conceited, but I really do love this cupcake.  This recipe is the product of so much trial and error working to find the perfect texture and flavor.   I wanted a cupcake that was light but wouldn’t immediately crumble in the hands of a three year old (ok, they still get squished but its not immediate).  I wanted a cupcake that the vanilla flavor was subtle and the sweetness wasn’t so much that it was overkill with the addition of frosting.  I really think this cupcake hits all of my wants.  I am super excited to get this recipe into the blog and I can finally throw away the envelope that I have had it written on with all of the notes and corrections.  All of my best ideas seem to be written on the back of junk mail, I don’t want to know what this says about me as a person. Continue reading

Oh Waffle!

On mornings when I am planning to make waffles I like to spend a few extra minutes in bed, just preparing for the chaos that will inevitably happen in my kitchen. It isn’t that waffles are that difficult or messy to make, but more that the kids will want to help. Waffles represent a fun time cooking with mom.  I love these moments, but they definitely take mental preparation, and coffee…lots of coffee.   This recipe has really evolved since I got my waffle iron at my wedding shower, oh so many years ago.  I started with just pancake batter in the waffle iron, and slowly have adjusted and read up on and practiced at making a flavorful and crispy waffle.   So let the insanity begin. Continue reading

Hubby is smokin so I’ll make the coleslaw

About once a week this lucky girl gets the night off from cooking and Mr. Insanity pulls out the smoker or takes to the grill. This week he smoked us up some awesome pulled pork. As we all slept he got up, and got to work on the coals and getting the pork ready to be smoked.  I am going to fill you in on some of the steps he took to get the pork ready before I even had my coffee.  If you don’t have access to a smoker then you can totally pop a pork butt into your crock pot to make pulled pork.  Anywho, he started off by drying off the pork, coating it with a bit of olive oil, and then liberally applying the rub.  Continue reading

Cool Days call for Soup – Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Living in New England means we get to experience all four seasons, I love when the change of seasons happens and by the end I am totally ready for the next season.  I am so excited for the approach of fall that maybe I have jumped the gun and started making soup a little earlier than the normal person.  I normally cook with either the kids or Mr. Insanity in mind, but for my lunches I enjoy just preparing meals for myself, and that means fun salads in the summer and spring and lots of soups for the fall and winter.  I love how one pot of soup will provide me with a weeks worth of lunches that can be put in a thermos and be eaten in the car! Continue reading

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Bakery Frosting.

Bakery Frosting?  What on earth am I talking about?  For the longest time I never knew what the exact name was for the light and fluffy frosting that came on cakes from the bakery and then one day I tried making some crazy concoction called Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  This was it!  This was Bakery Frosting!!!  I had unlocked a whole new level of baking.  Now, don’t assume I hate the classic buttercream. That definitely has a dear place in my heart, but for certain cakes its just too heavy and too sweet.  This post is going to cover assembling this magical cupcake and the instructions on making a classic Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Lets start with the frosting.
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My Favorite Fajita Marinade

I love babies. I know that that sentence has nothing to do with fajitas, but hear me out. I have had a slew of girlfriends having babies lately and I love getting the chance to go over and snuggle the heck out of those newborn babies.  However, there is a payment that goes along with all of those snuggles.  One must bring a meal.  I love the advent of websites like mealtrain.com so I can get booked in to see those babies!  This last meal train was a little tough for me because I was late to the signup game and all of the traditional go to meals had been taken!  So I brought out the Fajita Guns.  A little guacamole, some cilantro rice, of course peppers and onions, and chicken marinated in this awesome marinade.  I love the combo of the spice and the brown sugar along with the freshness from the lime and cilantro.
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Summer Risotto

Arborio rice is the trickster of the grain family.  Most people don’t even know that is the name of the rice that goes into making the delicious dish called Risotto.   Not too long ago you could hardly find arborio in the rice section of the grocery store.  Arborio rice reminds me of the cows in the chick-fil-a commercials, telling us to eat the long grain stuff instead, because arborio is much too complicated to mess with at home.  Don’t buy me, buy some nice brown rice, if you want to get daring check out that basmati over there.  Maybe its just me that makes up voices for the bags of rice while standing in the aisle?  Anyway, the point of all of this is that most people don’t make risotto at home.  Its far to complicated, or time consuming, or confusing to even attempt.  Best leave this dish to the professionals! BAH!!  Yes, it takes a little more effort than boiling water and adding rice, but you can make a meal out of risotto. Continue reading