Week 45- Beer Mac N Cheese
Wow. Just wow. This recipe is awwwwesooooome. I literally devoured my portion. Sadly… this is another one of those recipes that is so far from “light” it probably won’t be happening very often. Even with all the RF items & the light beer it still tops off at 502 cals per serving.
I adapted the recipe (slightly) from How Sweet It Is. I added the chicken because we were eating this as a meal, not a side. I seasoned the chicken w/ Spicy Southwest seasoning from McCormick, and then cooked it on the GF Grill.
The next time I make this… I’ll probably leave the chicken out, and sub the parmesan for a lower calorie cheese. Speaking of parmesan, I used a container of pre-shaved cheese from the grocery store.
So, despite the extra calories, this Beer Mac N Cheese gets 2 thumbs up from Hubs. He is, after all, allowed almost double the calories I am!
Week 46- Taco Pizza
Ok… So there’s no recipe for this because I just didn’t like it. I won’t make it again unless Hubs asks for it.
Basically I cooked 1 lb of ground turkey (seasoned with taco seasoning), then I threw some salsa on a pizza dough crust (this homemade version from BH&G), topped it with Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese & the turkey and baked it.
I know it’s not reeeeeeally taco-ey. I do plan on redoing it with fresh veggies, regular pizza sauce, and HALF the amount of ground meat. We’ll see how it goes.
Week 47-Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce and a Spaghetti Squash
Last week one of my FB friends posted a picture of his dinner. It was Spaghetti Squash and tomato sauce! I was all like… “WHAT!? Squash instead of carb loaded pasta!? I have to try this.”
So I did! Overall it was ok. To be totally honest, it doesn’t compare to the carby, calorie laden pastas I love. As a side item spaghetti squash would be just fine. It would be great. As a pasta substitute… no.
The sauce was adapted from So How’s It Taste. It tastes great. ;). Hubs ate 90% of it. I’m not a huge fan of cooked onions, and I can NEVER get then chopped really fine, so I only had one serving. I think I need a Slap-Chop (What’s a Slap-Chop? It’s one of those stupid As Seen On TV gadgets).
This sauce would be great on my favorite pasta… siiiigh.
Week 48- Roasted Potatoes
I (barely)adapted this recipe from Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom. It’s so freaking good (and EASY) I wish I had thought of it myself. They’re so easy I don’t even have anything to say.
Honestly, I don’t think there’s any way that you can go wrong with potatoes. That is, unless you don’t cook them long enough and they’re still hard in the middle… Maybe that happened to me the first time I ever baked a potato. Maybe it didn’t. I’ll never tell.
At any rate, these potatoes are probably going to go into our weekly rotation. Between the two of us, we devoured the whole pan!
That wraps up the New To Me Cooking Challenge for November.
PS. I didn’t take any pix of the Taco Pizza, ’cause I think all pizza looks pretty much the same. I also accidentally deleted ALL of the pix for week 47. That was def a FML moment. Also, click on the headers to see that weeks recipe!
I won’t lie… when I drink beer I craaaave salty things. So what could be better than beer cupcakes with pretzels baked right in?! Add caramel. BAM!
I used some extra mini pretzels to stick these on top…
so, buy 2 bags of mini pretzels!
not really what I wanted.
don’t buy Sundae Syrup… buy caramel sauce!
My original plan for these was to make chocolate stout and pretzel cupcakes. But I was too lazy to go out and find chocolate stout. Then I remembered that I had a bottle of Guinness and a wonderful beer cake recipe! Tah-Dah! I thought about making these with a chocolate cake, but I wasn’t really in the mood for it this week. Gasp! Weird, right? Anyways…
The cake batter is delish. But not very Guinnessey. That seems to be a “normal” problem when I bake with beer though. The beer flavor doesn’t come out very strong. I’m not sure why… I’ll bet it has something to do with chemistry or some shmarmy gastronomical stuff. 😉
As for the buttercream… weeeell… it’s a recipe that I’ve made before, but for some reason it didn’t come out as good as usual. It looks kind of like it’s separating, and it’s not as fluffy as I expected. Normally, when I use “caramel”, I use the Smucker’s brand that comes in a jar. I think it’s called “caramel sauce”. This time I used “caramel sundae syrup” in a squeeze bottle. It has def got a different texture/ consistency. I also made the effort to reduce the rest of the bottle of Guinness to use in this buttercream… it wasn’t really worth it. I’ll probably use a tablespoon of (not-reduced) Guinness if I make this again. The buttercream flavor is ok, but overall the frosting needs another try.
These cupcakes are fun, but I think they could use a few tweeks. Back to the oven I go. See my recipe here.
For the cupcakes I used a recipe from Sweet Tooth that was original for Blue Moon (not my favorite, but it’s OK). I didn’t use any “zest”. Mostly because I’m not sure how to “zest” a raspberry… I also made my frosting instead of using the one on there. Have I mentioned that I don’t like cream cheese frosting!? The recipe makes 24 (or 27 if you’re me) cupcakes. I baked the first 12 for the full 18min and they came out a little brown on the bottom. Not burnt, mind you, but too brown to be perfect. I had kind of a ditzy day and I got new cupcake tins, so… oops. The next batch went in for 14 minutes and came out perfect!
The ganache came from Lulu’s Sweet Secrets. It originally called for 45 grams of Raspberries. UGH… grams?! The grams:cup conversion on my phones was 1g=0.19c. And I was not about to measure that. I ended up using 1/2 raspberries… just because. They also suggested that you put it in the fridge for 45 minutes- 1 hour… but I’m impatient, and I didn’t copy that down in my directions. Haha, another oops. I cored them using a paring knife, and filled them using a spoon.
The Purple Haze & Raspberry frosting was a guess. I used the Guinness buttercream as a starting point, and figured out that to reduce beer you need to BOIL it (not simmer it forever). So I boiled, and boiled, and boiled, and finally it was reduced. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been particularly ditzy today, so I have no idea how long it took to boil down. I also didn’t measure how much I had ended up with. Sorry. I’d guess that it was less than 1/4 cup. After letting that cool, I stirred it into the chopped & thawed raspberries. Everything else was normal. I’ll most likely add a touch of blue food coloring (to make them purple), but it’s a pretty pink color. I forgot to take pictures of it… Sorry again! I also forgot to put the tops back on before I frosted them. Bummer.
I used frozen raspberries in the ganache and frosting because I have this weird phobia of uncleaned produce, and raspberries are wicked hard to wash. I had to have faith that the company I bought them from cleaned them well. I know… I’m weird and you’re judgemental. I topped these little guys with a raspberry & drizzled them with leftover ganache.
For shiz… this cupcake has got my brain juices flowing. I’m soooo pumped about all the awesome flavors I can use with this recipe! Wild Blue (blueberry), Harpoon Raspberry UFO, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde… just to name a few. Basically, I think this would work with ANY fruity beer. I don’t drink beer very often, but when I do… it’s fruity, or a Hefewizen (there are like a million ways that word is spelled, and I have NO IDEA which is correct), or it’s a fruity Hefewizen. My favorite beer is Harpoon Raspberry UFO, but it’s seasonal and I can never find it. Hence the Purple Haze…