top 13 of ’13

so today is the last day of 2013….

i know i should be all sad and melancholy about the year ending but honestly, it has been the shortest {seriously, i feel like *just* yesterday i was doing the top 12 of ’12} but it has also been the looooongest year for me.

and since it’s the last day of the year, it’s the perfect time to round up the top 13 of ’13 {based on recipes that were posted in 2013}. i’m going to show you the top 7 based on views and my top 6.

hope you enjoy what made the list!

your top 7

7. vanilla caramel cheesecake – as much as i would love to say i get this, as i said i’m not a fan of cheesecake. but i am a HUGE fan of the caramel layer and my friend who requested this as a birthday treat loved it!

vanilla caramel cheesecake6. brown sugar maple cookies – these little gems made their way to my kitchen via averie cooks and i’m so glad they did!! they were maplely and soft and everything a cookie should be.

brown sugar maple cookies5. brownie cookies – another hit cookie from averie! i mean how could you go wrong with 3/4 lb of chocolate in a cookie that kept a melty center and chewy brownie like edge?!

brownie cookies4. mini grasshopper pies – mint chocolate + mini mason jar = cuteness & deliciousness overload!! i mean there was definitely something magical about putting a mint chocolate pie in a mini mason jar.

mini grasshopper pie3. jalapeno cheesy bacon rolls – oh.my.geez these rolls!! there are so many reasons i love that these were the 3rd most viewed recipe from this year!! partly because i was successful with yeast and because spicy, cheesy, bacony goodness!!

jalapeno cheddar bacon swirl rolls2. breakfast casserole – this is by far my 2nd most requested recipe of all time!! it even earned me an insulated pyrex dish!! 🙂

breakfast casserole1. twinkie bundt cake – it’s a giant version of the all american favorite that we almost lost this year. plus it came from on of my favorite cookbooks.

twinkie bundt cake

my top 6:

6. greek couscous salad – this pasta salad turned out to be such a hit!! i loved it so so much and it’s super versatile.

greek couscous salad5. red velvet sandwich cookies – these are BY FAR the most requested recipe i get asked to make… which makes me smile because they are so stinking easy!!

red velvet sandwich cookies4. cookie monster ice cream – i love ice cream and that love has only grown since i got my ice cream maker. and this ice cream…. how could you go wrong with oreos and chocolate chip cookies!?

cookie monster ice cream3. brownie sundae ice cream – so i obviously love ice cream since it’s my nos. 3 and 4… and cookie monster narrowly lost out to this recipe. the caramel swirl was the nail in cookie monster ice cream’s coffin.

Brownie Sundae Ice Cream via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen2. caramel stuffed chocolate cupcakes – no shocker that it’s another recipe that has caramel but truth be told, even if the caramel isn’t there these are fantastic!! this is my new go to chocolate buttercream and cupcake recipe. in fact these came about when i was testing for a wedding and once i tasted the end result, i was in love.

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen1. amped up drunken blondies – i mean c’mon. these have me ALL.OVER.IT. there’s brown butter, bacon, booze, chocolate, and sugar. are you surprised?!

amped up drunken blondiesi hope some of your favorites made the list!!

thank you for dropping by now and then to stalk what’s coming out of my kitchen. i hope everyone has a marvelous new year’s eve and a wonderful 2014!!

kisses.

peppermint mocha cupcakes

i know….

three posts in one week!

what has happened to me??

i mean i went like a year between the last couple of posts and this week.

and to be honest, i wasn’t planning on posting this much this week but today is super special…

see i just made these cupcakes for my mom’s office departmental christmas party. and i was feeling quite proud of myself so i posted a picture over on instagram and one of my favorite bloggers said she just made them too!! so zainab and i made a blogging date to share these today because great minds think alike!!

{and you should go totally check out her version too!!}

so these cupcakes….

when my mom asked me to make something, she gave me carte blanche. she did mention chocolate and maybe something stuffed in the center. so i brainstormed because at this time of year, festive is always best. and that’s when i remembered seeing these over at naomi’s site. plus i had already bought the peppermint andes and i knew that a boozed topped version was meant to be….

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

peppermint mocha cupcakes

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c + 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/3 c + 2 tbs dark cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c {1 stick} unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tbs instant espresso
  • 1/2 c hot coffee
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps ganache {recipe below}
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream {recipe below}
  • 1/2 recipe chocolate pouring sauce {recipe below}
  • peppermint andes, for decorarting {optional}
  • peppermint candies, for topping {optional}
  1. preheat oven to 350F and line baking cups with paper liners.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. add the butter, eggs, peppermint and vanilla extract to a bowl and beat together on medium speed for one minute. add in half the coffee followed by the dry ingredients. add the remaining coffee and beat until just combined. divide evenly among lined cupcake cups.
  3. bake 18-22 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.
  4. while the cupcakes are cooling, make the peppermint schnapps ganache and allow to cool slightly before filling the cupcakes by either cutting a 1 in hole with a small knife in the top or by using the bottom of a large pastry tip; cut the hole about 2/3 the way down into the cupcakes. spoon the cooled ganache into the center of the cupcakes, pipe the peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream on top and drizzle over the chocolate sauce. sprinkle the peppermint andes over the top and top each with single peppermint candy.

peppermint schnapps ganache

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp peppermint schnapps
  1. make the peppermint schnapps ganache filling by heating the heavy cream until just simmering and the pouring it over the bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbs butter to melt. stir in the peppermint schnapps.

peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream

  • 3 egg whites, room temp
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c {2 sticks} unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 c peppermint schnapps
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • pinch salt
  1. combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer placed over simmering water. while whisking constantly, bring the mixture to 160F, or until the sugar is completely dissolved {you can test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should be completely smooth.}
  2. transfer the bowl to the mixer base; using your whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture cools and doubles in volume, about 10-12 min. {the bowl should feel cool to the touch.} add the butter 1 tbs at a time allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. once all the butter has been added, add in the peppermint extract, peppermint schnapps and salt. continue to beat until it’s thoroughly combined. {it might not look like it’s coming together but keep beating; it will become even and smooth.}

chocolate pouring sauce

  • 2/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-5 tbs warm water
  1. place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. let the chocolate and cream heat and melt together for 2-3 min without stirring; slowly stir mixture to combine. sift the powdered sugar into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. add water 1 tbs at a time until the mixture is a pouring consistency. {i only need 1-1/2 tbs.} set aside to let the sauce cool before drizzling over the assembled cupcakes.

kisses

cupcake and pouring sauce recipe adapted from: bakers royale, ganache recipe adapted from this whiskey ganache, swiss meringue buttercream adapted from: bakers royale

chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

soooooo……

right after i talk about how i’m too lazy to get into the christmas spirit, i’m here with some chocolate dipped snickerdoodles for a cookie exchange!!

yes my friends… it’s that time of year again!!

the great food blogger cookie swap!!

if you didn’t catch the low down last year, i’ll give you the short story.

lindsey and julie organize a cookie swap among bloggers… you sign up and they match you receive the address of three food bloggers and three food bloggers receive your address. everyone sends everyone some delicious homemade goodness.

in addition to the fun-ness of the homemade goodness, we also partner with cookies for kids’ cancer. so you not only get the homemade goodness but everyone raises money for a good cause.

did i mention the homemade goodness??

right…. on to that!

see last year’s cookie swap inspired me to host my own with my friends and for this year’s food blogger cookie swap, i sent some of my friend rachel’s chocolate dipped snickerdoodles. last year when she brought them over, i was a little suspicious. see, i love some snickerdoodles but dipping them in chocolate. i hate to admit, i was skeptical. i mean, i like snickerdoodles and i like chocolate but it kinda weirded me out to combine the 2.

but was i wrong!

these ended up being the cookies that i would eat one, then another, then 5 more. after that, i knew immediately, that these would be this year’s food blogger cookie swap cookie.

and because i can’t help but tinker, i tinkered. i swapped out half of the shortening for butter because i feel that butter brings some flavor to the party. and i added some vanilla because vanilla makes everything better. but really… other than those changes, rachel’s recipe was pretty on point. i really hope that valerie, deanna and caitlin enjoyed these as much as i did!!

chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

oh and check this out…. here’s the recipe!

rachels chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

so what did some amazing bloggers send me you ask?

well…..

the first package i received were some gorgeous swirled sugar cookies from alicia over at balancing motherhood. {and funny side note, alicia is based in north carolina and i got her package when i came home from north carolina! happy coincidence!}

rlk and l. smith from first time foods sent some wee little pecan tassies. they were like mini pecan pies!

and finally i received what i thought was the most festive of my packages from sara over at the pajama chef. there is something about the cranberry pistachio citrus cookies that makes me feel like the deliciousness is perfect for the holidays!

i hope that these cookies, and all the other ones from the other participating blogs, inspire you to bake some up and have some friends and family over for the holidays!

kisses.

quick white wine chicken

so we are officially in full blown holiday mode around the country….

and can i tell you a secret?

i’m totally not.

it’s not that i’m totally anti-holiday, i’m just lazy. i mean i put up a christmas wreath and sometime between now and then i’ll change out my doormat. but other than that, nada.

and christmas / holiday music?

sorry but i can really only take it on christmas eve.

again, it’s not that i don’t like it but i just feel like we get inundated with it starting on august 1. {maybe that’s a smidgen of an exaggeration but you get my point.}

plus let’s be real… this time of year is like crazy hectic. i mean i feel like things go nonstop once halloween passes. {which is partly to blame for my sporadic posting,  the other part…. see referenced laziness.}

with the hecticness of the season i figure you probably need a good, quick meal on the table.

{nice segway huh?}

and we know i normally don’t share too much savory but i do cook myself dinner pretty much every night. {ok well that’s kinda a fib since i have leftovers so maybe i don’t cook every night but i do pretty much eat something homecooked so there’s that.}  part of the reason i don’t post too many dinner recipes is because i get home late which means i eat late which means it’s dark which means questionably pictures. womp womp. buuuuuut this meal was too good not to share. i made it twice within the span of like 3 weeks which means that i ate it a lot. aaaaaaand i ate all the leftovers.

the recipe comes from an america’s test kitchen cookbook that i scored in the discounted section of barnes & noble. it’s super simple and you probably have almost all the ingredients on hand; you probably just need to run to the store for leeks and creme fraiche. if you don’t want to use creme fraiche or your store doesn’t carry it, you can totally substitute homemade creme fraiche {1 c heavy cream with 1 tbs buttermilk stirred in and allowed to sit at room temp until thickened} although i personally haven’t tried it so… oh and i’ve made this with chicken thighs and chicken breasts and both have been fabulous.

quick white wine chickenquick white wine chicken

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken {thighs or breast cutlets}
  • 1-1/2 lb small red / yellow potatoes
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 lb leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped and thoroughly washed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 in thick
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c creme fraiche
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. pat chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. add potatoes to a medium-large pot and cover with water. boil potatoes for 10-15 min until fork tender; drain and toss with 1 tbs butter.
  3. melt 1 tbs butter in 12-in skillet over med high heat; add half of your chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned on each side, about 3-4 min a side. transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. repeat with an additional 1 tbs butter and remaining chicken pieces.
  4. melt the remaining 1 tbs butter in the empty skillet and add in the leeks and carrots. cook until the veggies are softened and starting to brown, about 4-5 min. add in the wine to deglaze the pan; add in the chicken and any juices. reduce heat to medium and cover the pan; cook until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, about 15-20 min. transfer the chicken to your plate and retent with aluminum foil. reduce liquid until slightly thickened (4 min) and remove from heat. add in the creme fraiche, lemon juice, salt and pepper. arrange chicken and potatoes on a serving platter with the sauce poured over top.

kisses

recipe from: america’s test kitchen’s simple weeknight favorites