Irish Beer Cheese Soup!!

12 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015!!!

So in honor of today I have my Beer Cheese Soup recipe for you today 🙂

beercheesesoup

I made this soup a couple of years ago when I did a St. Patrick’s Day Cooking Class, I also served Guinness Mac & Cheese, Guinness Black Lager Irish Stew and Guinness Stout Cake Pops 🙂

We all had a great time and everyone loved the food and of course the beer 😉

So before we get to the recipe for the soup, here is what a few of the people over here at the office look like today dressed in their St. Patty’s Day garb 🙂

First let’s start with the man that was named
after this day… Sir Patrick!!

IMG_2152

Here is Connie with her Irish scarf

IMG_2153

Janet and Jennifer have their green on 🙂

IMG_2159

And Kathie and Heather have their head bobs on 🙂

IMG_2151

Kathy in her green

IMG_2157

There are the “Meat” guys in green too 🙂

IMG_2154

Ann has a head bob too

IMG_2149

 

Margie being silly 🙂

 

IMG_2155

Here is the advertising girls pretty as ever

IMG_2160

And I think Tina wins the prize
as she is all decked out!!!
Her tie lights up too and her head
bob thing does too just can’t tell

IMG_2158

 

And this is one of ladies that Demo’s
for us in one of our stores, she Dressed
up for the day too 🙂

w

 

So what ever you do today enjoy it and have fun and make some soup!! 🙂

Irish Beer Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup onions, grated or finely minced
½ cup celery, grated or finely minced
½ cup flour
1 stick butter
1 bottle Harp Beer
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
16 oz. Sharp cheddar, shredded (Tillamook is what I used)
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, shredded (Cabot Vintage Choice)
2 cups cream
Cooked bacon for garnish
Green onions (tops only), thinly sliced

In a stock pot over medium heat add butter, onions and celery sauté until softened.  Add flour, whisk and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking often.  Whisk in beer slowly and same with the chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.  Then add dry mustard and Worcestershire then add cream while whisking and then cheese a good handful at time until all added keep whisking until smooth and cheese has melted.  Cook for about 10 minutes more. Taste, season with salt and pepper etc., if too thick add more broth, beer or cream, too thin add more cheese.  But nothing extra was needed; garnish each bowl with bacon and green onions.

Let me say the bacon really put this soup over the top, serve with my Harp Beer Bread recipe and you are good to go…Enjoy!!! Cheers!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Here are my Guinness Stout Cake Pops…yummmy!!!

Irish cake pops

Advertisements

Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

10 Comments

Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake 🙂

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure 🙂

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name 🙂 so this is my recipe 🙂

photo (2)

Ingredients

IMG_20140810_185656

 

Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out

IMG_20140810_191748

 

Place parchment in pan and spray paper

IMG_20140810_191921

 

I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan

IMG_20140810_192015

sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan

IMG_20140810_192415

 

Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time

IMG_20140810_192607

then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)

IMG_20140810_192817

 

Fold in lemon zest

IMG_20140810_193137

 

pour on top of blueberries and bake

IMG_20140810_193258

let cool for about 10 minutes

IMG_20140810_201252

place platter on top of cake and flip upside down

IMG_20140810_202828

and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

IMG_20140810_203006 IMG_20140810_202941

slice and serve

photo (5)

 

Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Topping

1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Cake

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently.  Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen  cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious 🙂 Enjoy!!!

photo (3)

Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting!!

15 Comments

This is a little late, but Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there 🙂

This past Mother’s Day I had my parents over to my house along with my bestie Danny 🙂

I made dinner and dessert and everyone went home full and my folks got all the leftovers 🙂

Lets start with the best the dessert, I made a Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting…YUM!! 😛

10313823_10152377300036438_2960032182049847146_n

Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

For the Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup Chocolate Milk (TruMoo)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Frosting
Peel of 1 orange and Zest of 1 Orange
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (more or less, to taste)

DIRECTIONS
For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray
2. In Medium bowl whisk together eggs, hot milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in eggs, hot chocolate, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Divide evenly between prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:
Infuse orange peel into cream first:
1. Place cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add peels of one orange to the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the cream has taken on some orange flavor.
2. Take cream off the heat. Remove peels with tongs or by straining the cream. Discard peels. Allow cream to cool a bit before placing in the refrigerator until completely chilled, I did this over night.
3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream just until very soft peaks form.
4. In a second bowl, beat together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in ¼ of the whipped cream, then fold in the rest of the orange-scented cream and the zest of one orange, (keeping a little to garnish the top of the cake), into the mascarpone mixture until incorporated. Frost cake, keep chilled until ready to serve.

10250140_10152377298051438_7141175614663044838_n

The was great I love the chocolate and orange combo 🙂

10302509_10152377299451438_1031536902369811577_n

Now for Dinner I made Grill Salmon with fresh pasta, pistachio pesto along with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus…it was yummy too!! :

10306313_10152377297071438_2524828915591505176_n

My pasta making O_o

969423_10152362451446438_6630770350386528679_n

10300117_10152362452091438_6300023733849603843_n

10325276_10152362452716438_5050632269385463754_n

10171695_10152362453341438_6799249344541162676_n

10153847_10152362455396438_4458887898342064533_n

10308114_10152362455761438_3161610538024106653_n

I need to make fresh pasta more often, it really is easy 🙂

Enjoy Everyone!!!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake!!

10 Comments

So who doesn’t like Chocolate!! 🙂

IMG_20140115_190724

I do know some people that don’t, and that is okay.  It’s January and what comes in January every year…people getting on the band wagon about losing weight.  Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem in that what so ever, and at work there is a small group that are in a contest the “Biggest Loser”.  I wish everyone on them great success!!! 
With that there has been a discussion in the office about people bringing in “Sweet Treats” and putting them in the ‘Lower Kitchen” area.  We have two kitchens, a big one upstairs next to the break room and a smaller one on the main office level.  Putting sweets in the lower kitchen is being frowned upon, leading to temptation.  My opinion on that is…

Temptation is everywhere…when you walk out of your house, driving past a drive-thru, when you go shopping, you have to learn to avoid temptation and if you are trying to lose weight then you need to walk pass the “Donuts” or the “Cake”.  Not putting “Sweets” in the lower kitchen is not going to teach anyone to avoid temptation, will it help at the moment…yes, but as anyone knows its something that has change in your lifestyle.  We all are “Big Boys and Girls” and all know what’s good and bad for us and we need to take that responsibility.  

Now for those of us that love a sweet indulgence any time of the year, I made this cake and those that got to taste it here in office absolutely LOVED IT. 

And its quick and easy 🙂

Ingredients

IMG_20140115_145150

In medium bowl whisk, eggs, buttermilk, oil & vanilla

IMG_20140115_142015

Mixed

IMG_20140115_142205

In a large bowl whisk, flour, sugar, salt, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda

IMG_20140115_143608

Mixed

IMG_20140115_143720

Add liquid to flour and stir

IMG_20140115_144005

 

IMG_20140115_144053

stir in hot coffee,

IMG_20140115_144204

batter will be thin

IMG_20140115_144325

Pour into a sprayed 9×13 pan

IMG_20140115_144417

Bake

IMG_20140115_152538

Let cool

for the frosting you need

IMG_20140115_145513

in a medium sauce pan add sugar, milk and butter

IMG_20140115_152626

once it comes to a boil pour over Chocolate chips and vanilla

IMG_20140115_152733

Let sit for about 5 minutes, when whisk until smooth

IMG_20140115_154637

Let set at room temperature for about 3 hours until it becomes thick
you can also but in the fridge, just keep stirring and checking of the thickness
I just about every 1/2 hour I gave it stir, until the cake was cooled
you can see how thick I let it get

IMG_20140115_185417

With a hand or stand mixer, blend until fluffy, about 2 minutes

IMG_20140115_185540

 

IMG_20140115_185628

Then spread over cooled cake and serve 🙂

IMG_20140115_185745

 

IMG_20140115_185839

 

IMG_20140115_190052

Recipe

Cake
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup Buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup strong hot coffee

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean.

In a large bowl whisk together, flour, sugar, salt, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda, set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla

Pour buttermilk mixture in flour and stir, then pour in hot coffee and stir until smooth.  Pour into a sprayed 9×13 pan and bake.  Let cool completely
IMG_20140115_190251

Frosting

2 cup sugar
1/2 cup regular milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cup Chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, sugar, milk and butter stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl add chips and vanilla, once mixture on stove has come to a boil pour it over chips and vanilla, let stand for 5 minutes then whisk mixture until smooth.  Let stand for 3 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour, while your cake cools.  Then beat mixture with hand or stand mixer for 2 minutes until fluffy, then spread on to cooled cake.

IMG_20140115_190421

 

You can see how moist and fluffy the frosting is…yum!!

IMG_20140115_190512

IMG_20140115_190556Enjoy!!

 

Apple Cake

8 Comments

IMG_20131120_131359

This recipe I first made because I was teaching a cooking class and I was using different beers and Redd’s Apple Ale had just came out.

Which if you never tried it, it really is a great light beer, its very refreshing, when I first tasted it my first thought was this beer would be fantastic on an extremely HOT!! day 🙂 
It just gave me that refreshing feeling…I thought it was great, so I paired it with this Apple Cake.

(I was doubling the cake in these pictures, I used a 11×15 pan)

Ingredients (missing in photo, butter and brown sugar)

IMG_20131120_093333

 

IMG_20131120_100036

 

IMG_20131120_093526

 

Peel, core and slice apples

 

 

IMG_20131120_094954

 

add flour, cinnamon and baking powder, whisk together

IMG_20131120_095938

 

Add softened butter and brown sugar

 

IMG_20131120_100209

 

Cream together

IMG_20131120_100430

 

add eggs and vanilla

IMG_20131120_100525

 

when mixed

IMG_20131120_100901

 

add 3rd of flour, mix, then half applesauce, mix
another 3rd flour, mix, rest of the applesauce, mix
add rest of flour, mix

IMG_20131120_101003

 

IMG_20131120_101153

 

fold in the flour on the sides

IMG_20131120_101334

 

spread mixture in sprayed baking dish

IMG_20131120_101613

 

layer you apples over top and bake

IMG_20131120_101936

 

Meanwhile in a sauce pan add cider, beer & brown sugar

IMG_20131120_080114

 

reduce down and let cool slightly

IMG_20131120_102027

 

Baked

IMG_20131120_112353

 

pour over cake using a pastry brush to spread around

IMG_20131120_112616

 

IMG_20131120_112810

 

Then let cool down, then slice and serve

IMG_20131120_131325

Recipe – Apple Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed, divided
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup Redd’s Apple Ale

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, spray a 9 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In a large bowl beat with a mixer butter and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar for 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and eggs, beat until combined, reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of applesauce and beat until just combined, scrap the sides and fold in by hand.

Pour batter into pan and smooth out, arrange apple slices in rows on top, if you like more apples you certainly use more, and overlap them more closely.

Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Set on wire rack to cool about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan add cider, beer and remaining brown sugar cook over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1 cup and let cool slightly.  With a pastry brush brush mixture all over the top of the cake, letting drip down the sides.  Let cool, then serve.

IMG_20131120_131432

If you did not want to use beer you can just add more cider.

This cake is super most and the cider/beer reduction is so good, soaks right in 🙂

IMG_20131120_131613

Enjoy!!!

My Birthday 2013

14 Comments

Well as I mentioned in my last post, this past week was my Birthday

(This came up when I signed into Google..SO COOL!!!)

IMG_20130912_115346

and I had a little party this weekend celebrating along with  a friend who also had his Birthday this weekend

The day of my Birthday was great, spent some time with my folks and we had cake…I made this cake with bright food coloring…I loved it!!

Before we cut it

IMG_20130912_120854

A slice

IMG_20130912_151914

I love my Tye-Dye Cake

IMG_20130912_152131

Then later that night I met up with a friend of mine and he took me out to dinner, we went to the “Blue Elephant”

IMG_20130912_190550

and I had “Pad See Ew” and I ordered this only because  Miranti  from the blog “The High Heel Gourmet” post this recipe click here http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/18/pad-see-ew/ and I thought is sounded so good, that I would make it sometime 🙂

IMG_20130912_200438

It was really good, I would definitely go back to this restaurant again for sure 😛

So Saturday the 14th was my party and I shared this party with my good friend Paul, we had food, drinks, cake and lots good times with a few friends 🙂

Oh and if you were wondering…Pinnacle Rainbow Sherbet Vodka mixed with Fruit Punch…is really good 😛

So here is how is went 🙂

Making my candle holders 

IMG_20130913_162514

My candles

IMG_20130913_163716

Little touches to my flatware holders

IMG_20130914_152559

The cake – Which was made at one our stores,
by Linda she is awesome 🙂

IMG_20130914_152015

IMG_20130914_151839

IMG_20130914_151901

The table

IMG_20130914_152036

IMG_20130914_151749

Outside on the deck

IMG_20130914_152327

IMG_20130914_152412

IMG_20130914_152438

IMG_20130914_152346

Some friends ready to eat

IMG_20130914_180050

Sam’s says bring on the food 🙂

IMG_20130914_180227

Okay Food is Ready, picture is kind of dark, but we had
BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken Legs, Apple Slaw, Bean Salad, Fresh Tomatoes, Caramelized onions on grilled Bread
my homemade Pickles, deviled eggs, and what is not in the picture is Paul’s Haluski 🙂

IMG_20130914_191134

More Friends

IMG_20130914_201800

IMG_20130914_201629

IMG_20130914_201702

IMG_20130914_204835

IMG_20130914_204856

IMG_20130914_204921

Then we sang and had Cake

IMG_20130914_205643

It was a great Birthday and I thank Paul for sharing with me and all my friends that made it
Abe, Laura and little Ben
Chris, Shannon, Sam and little Anna
Jason and Jamie
Danny, Joe, Monika and Michael Todd 🙂

And thanks to all you who took the time to read this, thank you for indulging me!!!

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Comments

Well summer is here and the gardens are producing some awesome vegetables!!  Every year we always make zucchini bread with the zucchini.  

This time I decided to make a Cake instead….now I’m sure someone out there has made a zucchini cake…but I have have, this really is no different then the bread just in cake form, so this is what I came up with 🙂

IMG_20130728_200200

along with the things I would change next time 🙂

Did I say change…yes I did 🙂  No one is perfect!!!!!!!!!!  

Ever watch Top Chef or I like Top Chef Masters myself, (in case you don’t, it is a cooking competition show with mostly well know chefs)  I like this show better since I do admire some of the chefs that have been on the show and am amazed at the talent they have  that have made them famous.

download

This new season just started last Wednesday night on Bravo, this season does not have many chefs that are TV known except Chef David Burke he has multiple Awards, Restaurants, and few products.  They have many talented Chefs this season and I am excited to watch.

 It is hosted by Chef Curtis Stone images and recently he posted a picture of dish he was trying make and it just flopped, and he said “see not even Chefs are perfect”  I love him for that 😉

Which brings me back to telling you as I made this cake and it did not turn exactly as I wanted it too, so next time I know the things I’ll change (which I will let you know in the recipe what that is) 🙂

So I’ll tell you a secret, not everything I make turns out just right, including “my new idea for a cookie” that I tried to make this week 🙂
I was trying to make it with no flour, butter, oil…okay health and using things I already had around the house…well I am going to admit, the garbage had its share of treats 🙂  

Oh my goodness I can’t describe the texture…closest word I can think of is “RUBBER”LOL  Hey at least I tried 😛  

UPDATE on this post – I brought this cake into the office today and everyone loved just as I made it, so I’ll leave it up to you on the changes, that are below 🙂

Alright, alright lets move on to the cake 🙂

Ingredients

IMG_20130728_151421

add dry indgredients to a bowl

IMG_20130728_151837

whisk together to combine

IMG_20130728_151935

add eggs, oil and vanilla to large bowl

IMG_20130728_152350

whisk to combine

IMG_20130728_152435

Grate zucchini over the wet mixture bowl
or just add the grated zucchini to the wet mixture

IMG_20130728_152600

IMG_20130728_152940

fold in to combine

IMG_20130728_153026

then add dry to wet

IMG_20130728_153056

just mix until everything is moist

IMG_20130728_153211

Pour into a 9×13 pan
(this is what I would change, if I use a 9×13 again I will double the recipe or I’d use a 9×9 baking dish)

IMG_20130728_153357

Bake and let cool completely

IMG_20130728_160642

Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients

IMG_20130728_153458

add softened cream cheese and butter to bowl

IMG_20130728_195007

with hand mixer or stand mixer, just mix to combine

IMG_20130728_195046

then add confectioners sugar a little at a time

IMG_20130728_195127

add as much sugar as you like for taste of sweetness and consistency

IMG_20130728_195343

I use only 3/4 of a 1 pound bag

IMG_20130728_195409

frost your cake

IMG_20130728_195541

done, you can dig in right now, but keep in the refrigerator

IMG_20130728_195724

IMG_20130728_200333

Zucchini Cake Recipe

 (exactly as I made, with what I would change)

1 large zucchini, grated (about 3 cups or so)
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cinnamon (I would have put in a least 1 more tablespoon, I also would have added 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)

Nuts are optional I did not use any

In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk to fully combine.

In a large bowl add oil, eggs and vanilla, whisk to fully combine, add grated zucchini and stir to combine.
Then add dry to zucchini mixture, fold just until everything is moist.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pour mixture into a greased or non-stick sprayed baking dish*** see Note below

(In the pictures I used a 9×13, for this recipe  would change that to a 9×9 baking dish.  I felt that the cake was too thin, I would have liked it to be thicker.  Therefore if using the recipe above and  you want a thicker cake use a 9×9 baking dish, if you like it thin (about 1 1/2 inch) then use a 9×13 baking dish.  Now you can also double this recipe and use a 9×13, resulting in a thicker cake)

Bake time using above recipe in a 9×13 done in 30-35 minutes,  using a 9×9 pan check at 35 to 40, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool completely 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz. cream cheese, very softened
4 tbsp. butter, very softened
1 box confectioners sugar (1 pound box)

in a medium mixing bowl add cream cheese and butter, beat on med-high speed just until combined, then on low speed add sugar a little at time until you have the sweetness and desired consistency.

Frost cake, slice and serve, or this can kept in the refrigerator until you serve. 

This cake is Super Moist!!

IMG_20130728_200420

and Cream Cheese Frosting is so creamy 🙂

IMG_20130728_200521

I hope you try it!!! Enjoy!! 

IMG_20130728_200547