Categories
Bake Desserts Featured Recipes

Insanely easy Red Velvet Cake Balls recipe

Making Red Velvet Cake BallsThis past weekend I had to chance to fly home and spend some time with my family. I always treasure these days with my family, and my little sister and I got to spend some time baking together. In high school we would make treats for our football players before games, but we loved doing this so much that we began making more desserts — like these Red Velvet Cake Balls — whenever we found recipes on Pinterest that we wanted to try. So when I came home last weekend I made sure we had time to make something I recently found online: Red Velvet Cake Balls.

I love the idea of making everything from scratch, and usually I would do that, but we only had a few hours for the whole project, so we succumbed to cake mix from a box. Terrible, I know, but Duncan Hines sells a delicious red velvet cake mix, and saves you so much time. First, we made the cake as instructed on the box and placed it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. While it was baking, we made the cream cheese frosting. If you do not want to make the frosting, you can always buy a jar of it from the grocery store. I don’t really like premade frosting, and homemade does not take very long. The recipe for the frosting is above; just make sure the butter is already softened before trying to blend it.

When the cake is finished baking, use a fork to crumble it into fine pieces, avoiding the edges if they are hardened. Transfer the crumbled bits into the bowl of frosting, and blend together. If the “dough” feels too warm to roll into balls then place the bowl in the freezer until it feels firm enough. This was about 20 minutes for us, so while we waited we had the chance to look at even more recipes on Pinterest and get inspired for Thanksgiving!

Next, take the bowl out of the freezer and roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper. Something I love about cake balls, truffles, Oreo balls, or any kind of “ball” is that anyone can help with the rolling and dipping. It makes baking a time to come together and enjoy each other’s company while working on the task at hand. Once you roll the balls, place them back in the freezer so they can keep their shape.

For the coating we used 6 cubes (12 ounces) of white chocolate almond bark. This stuff is amazing as a coating because it is made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter, and it covers the cake balls more evenly than chocolate chips or something. Melt the cubes in the microwave in 30-second intervals, until it is completely melted. If you “over-melt” the bark, then it will lose it’s consistency and not harden the way it should.

We took the balls out of the freezer and began dipping them in the melted almond bark. Once again, I “supervised” for this part because I didn’t really want to get my hands covered, and my sister is just so skilled at the dipping part. Make sure the cake balls are completely coated before placing them on the wax paper. Top with sprinkles, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Red Velvet Cake Balls Ingredients and Directions

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Sprinkles
  • 12 oz cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Half stick softened butter,
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, half pack cream cheese,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Mix together by hand, then blend on high for 2 minutes until creamy.
Categories
Desserts Featured Recipes

Oreo Balls — Yes, OREO BALLS

These are Oreo Balls, and they are yummy and delicious
These are Oreo Balls, and they are yummy and delicious

The recipe for Oreo Balls is extremely easy, and even though the whole process takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, actual “hands-on” time is much less. First, empty the package of Oreos into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Next, crush the Oreos into fine crumbs, and then transfer into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, and blend together. This part got a little messy, and I accidentally spilled some of the crumbs all over the counter. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls, and place on wax paper. Put these balls into the freezer until they are firm (about 20 minutes for us). While they are in the freezer you can go ahead and melt the chocolate. We used Dolci Frutta Milk Chocolate Chips, which are made to dip fruit in. I would recommend using actual chocolate chips, or almond bark, because the stuff we used formed a clumpy texture, but we added a little canola oil to fix it! Once you take the balls out of the freezer, dip them into the melted chocolate. (Warning: This step can also get a little messy.) At this point I let my friends take over and do the dipping while I “oversaw” the production… a.k.a. danced to Beyoncé. As soon as the chocolate-coated balls are set on the wax paper, shake a few sprinkles onto them, and put them back in the freezer. Wait about 10 minutes before eating.

We used reduced fat Oreos and reduced fat cream cheese to make them slightly less bad for us. They still taste delicious and it’s hard to only eat one! I ran across the street and got milk to go with the Oreo balls, and the combination of the two is heavenly. Seriously, these treats are so good that people won’t believe they only have three ingredients.

Oreo Balls Ingredients

image-2

  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 16 oz Chocolate Chips- can be milk, dark, or white.
  • Sprinkles
Categories
Featured Recipes Holidays Meals Recipes

Try this Greek Pumpkin Risotto Just in Time for the Holiday Season

This delicious fall-twist on risotto, courtesy of Priscilla Claman of Career Strategies, Inc., is the perfect seasonal meal for almost any occasion. In between helping job seekers update their career searches, Priscilla is on the hunt for recipes that are quick, simple, and utterly delicious. Check out the recipe she shared below to fill your table with plenty of fall flavors.

AI0206-1_Baked-Pumpkin-Risotto_s4x3_lg 

Ingredients:

*2 leeks (the white part and 2.5 cm from the green part) well-washed and cut into thin slices

*1/3 cup. olive oil

*1-3 teaspoon Halep pepper or boukovo

*2 large garlic cloves, chopped

*750 gr. pumpkin red (or the pulp of a big green one), peeled and seeded, cut into cubes of 1 cm
½ cup.

*3 cups of dry white wine

*1 ½ cups chicken stock, without fat or water

*Arborio rice or Thrace ” Mylelia ”

*salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired

*
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*2/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped

 

Procedure:

1. In a large pan or a wide pot, heat the oil and sauté the leeks for 6-8 minutes, until softened.

 

2. We add the pepper, the garlic and the pumpkin. We saute all the ingredients together for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.

 

3. Add the wine and stir a few times.

 

4. Add about ½ cup of water and reduce the heat. Allow the pumpkin to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until tender.
(Up to this point the food can be prepared several hours earlier).

 

5. Twenty minutes before serving, put the broth in a pot to simmer on very low heat.

 

6. Heat the pumpkin mixture and as it starts to boil, then add the rice, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to lubricate it.

 

7. Add about ½ cup of the hot broth and let it simmer, stirring constantly and adding per ½ cup broth as it is absorbed by the rice.

 

8. After about 15 minutes, taste the rice, which should be al dente.

 

9. Add salt and black pepper.

10. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the cheese, stirring well.
Serve the risotto into warmed soup dishes, sprinkled with cilantro.

 

Serve this dish on a cool, crisp fall evening to add some warmth to you table or while you try out some of Pricilla Claman’s advice about updating your job post. 

Categories
Autumn Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes Recipes

Warm Up this Winter with these Tasty Rum Cocktails

If you thought rum was something only to be used in a frozen summer cocktail – think again! Boston bartenders are mixing up some great fall cocktails with rum. In-season apples help to keep cocktails fresh for fall days, the earthy cinnamon notes help keep you warm during the brisk fall nights, and the dry flavors of Brugal Extra Dry Rum and Brugal 1888 Rum allow all of the delicious autumn flavors to shine through.

To get in the fall spirit, mix up the “Dominican Old Fashioned” created by Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard or the “Old Orchard Style” created by John Henderson of Tavern Road (recipes below).

Dominican Old Fashioned
Created by Kevin Martin, Eastern Standard Dominican Old Fashioned (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

1.5 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum
.5 oz. Santa Maria Al Monte
1 Barspoon St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1 Barspoon Sugar
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

In a mixing glass combine sugar, Angostura, Peychaud’s with a splash (.25oz) of soda water, stir to make a paste.  Add Brugal Rum, Santa Maria Al Monte and Dram with ice, stir until properly diluted and chilled.  Strain cocktail into a chilled lowball over fresh ice, garnish with a long orange twist.

Old Orchard Style

Created by John Henderson, Tavern Road

2 oz. Brugal 1888 Rum

.25 oz. Demerara Syrup (2:1 Demerara or raw sugar to water)

1/8 of Granny Smith Apple

1/8 oz. Allspice DramOld Orchard Style4 (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

Muddle apple in a mixing glass, add other ingredients and stir with ice until well-chilled. Fine strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, top with freshly grated cinnamon and a thin slice of apple.

Categories
Asian Boston Restaurants Featured Recipes Poultry

Moksa’s insane Vindaloo Wings will melt your soul

Vindaloo Wings 1CAMBRIDGE — In the spirit of the 2013 football season, Moksa, an Asian fusion restaurant located in Central Square, has developed its own take on everyone’s favorite tailgate food with its new Vindaloo Wings ($6). Regarded as one of the hottest dishes available on Moksa’s menu, the vindaloo wings are an all-out blitz of jalapenos, green Thai bird chili and other Indian seasonings including Kashmiri chili powder, cayenne pepper and red chili peppers. Available during Moksa’s dinner service, the vindaloo wings bring the intensity of the game right into the dining room. For tailgating, heat things up using Moksa’s wing recipe below.

Vindaloo Wings

Ingredients

MARINADE

  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1\2 tspn cayenne pepper
  • 1 tspn garlic powder
  • 1\2 tspn salt
  • 1\2 tspn chat masala

Moksa Dining RoomVINDALOO SAUCE

  • 10 dry, whole red chili
  • 4 green Thai bird chili’s
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 1\2 cup Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1\2 tspn black peppercorn
  • 1 tspn Garam masala
  • 5 pieces cardamom
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 tbspn garlic
  • 2 tspn salt
  • 2 tbspn chat masala
  • 1\2 cup oil
  • 1\2 cup vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1\4 cup melted butter

RAITA

  • 8 oz yogurt
  • 1\2 tspn roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tspn chopped cilantro
  • 1\4 tspn salt
  • Pinch Kashmiri chili powder
  • 24 CHICKEN WINGS

Directions

Mix corn starch, potato starch and all the spices together. Coat wings with spiced flour mix. Spread wings on a roasting rack and keep it in refrigerator for 60 to 90 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 350 C. Roast wings for about 20 minutes and deep fry them for 4 minutes on 350 C until they get crispy from outside.

For vindaloo sauce, put all the ingredients in a sauce pot except melted butter and bring it to boil for a couple of hours on a slow heat. Cool it down, add melted butter and make puree.

Toss crispy chicken wings with vindaloo sauce, serve with Raita (yogurt dipping sauce) and celery sticks.

Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Mexican

Bacon Pineapple Guacamole

National Guacamole Day (September 16) is almost upon us!

Today’s avocado-based recipe comes to us courtesy of Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant that focuses on taking traditional Mexican dishes and presenting them in new and delightful ways. (Just check out their signature Swirl – frozen margarita mixed with frozen sangria… delicious!)

Now, instead of your boring, typical guacamole, you can create your own version of Uncle Julio’s pineapple-bacon guacamole using the recipe below:

BaconPineappleGuacamole_FPO

Pineapple Bacon Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup guacamole (check out some simple recipes here)
  • 2 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 2 tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp diced red bell peppers

For Garnish:

  • 1 piece green leaf lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 2 tsp queo fresco
  • 1 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions:

  1. Place guacamole in mixing bowl.
  2. Add pineapple, bacon, and red bell pepper to mixing bowl and fold into guacamole carefully.

Serving:

  1. Place a piece of Greenleaf on a small plate for decoration
  2. Place guacamole on center of plate.
  3. Sprinkle additional Tbsp of bacon and queso fresco on top of the guacamole
  4. Place additional Tbsp of diced pineapple on one side of guacamole for taste & aesthetics.
  5. Place lemon wedge on other side of guacamole.  Squeeze the lemon on guacamole before eating.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone serve you your guacamole instead of making it yourself, stop by Uncle Julio’s anytime (list of locations) on September 16 for all-day food and drink specials in honor of the occasion.

  • $2 small guacamole, made in-house with fresh avocados (regular price: $5.39)
  • $4 Julio’s Gold Margarita (regular price: $8.29)
  • $4 Swirl, a frozen margarita layered with homemade frozen sangria (regular price: $7.99)
  • $4 house frozen margaritas (regular price: $7.79)
Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Middle Eastern Recipes

Quinoa Tabouleh

So fresh and so green, green!
So fresh and so green, green!

2 cup chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 tbsp green onion, diced
1/8 cup of red onion, diced
1/8 cup of bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh dill, minced

I used my rice cooker to make the quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock. If you’re using a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients in a bowl. Stir in cooled quinoa.

The longer it sits, the better it gets!

Serving suggestions:

  • Great on its own!
  • Combine some tabouleh, hummus and balsamic glaze in a wrap
  • Pitas stuffed with tabouleh, feta, hummus and falafel
Categories
Asian Featured Recipes No-bake

An Asian-Inspired Dessert: Indonesian Layered Pudding

Indonesian Layered Pudding
Indonesian Layered Pudding
Baking is something I’ve always enjoyed and can be therapeutic. The passion stemmed from Betty Crocker packages and blossomed into experimenting with different recipes and ingredients. It’s a recipe my mom taught me and one that I love because cakes, cookies, pastries can be found almost everywhere. This on the other hand was more unique and special. It’s tasty without being too sweet and is much healthier than most baked goods.  The Indonesian Layered Pudding is probably different to anything else you’ve tasted before.

Indonesian Layered Pudding

Ingredients

  • 500g Tapioca Starch
  • 230g Rice Flour
  • 600g Sugar
  • 400ml Coconut Milk
  • 4-6 drops of Pandan Paste
  • 800ml Water

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix tapioca starch and rice flour together
  2. Add coconut milk and water to the mixture. Mix well
  3. Divide the paste in half and place in separate bowls
  4. Add pandan paste into one of the bowls and mix well.
  5. Take the white paste and carefully create your first layer in a heat-proof plastic container. Do not use glass containers.
  6. Steam for 6-7 minutes over the stove
  7. Carefully add the green paste on top of the first layer. Steam for another 6-7 minutes
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until container is full. Traditionally, there are 9 layers. Alternate the paste.
  9. Once the last layer is cooked, let it cool.

*Tip: Do not put in refrigerator, as the texture will become too moist. Keep in a sealed container

Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Italian

The Virtuous Wife’s Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

This is the MOST POPULAR recipe tutorial on my blog! I actually learned it frm my Pampered Chef consultant, Reesa Boudreaux.

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 can of refrigerated Grands biscuits
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I omitted)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Throw the cold 1/2 stick of butter in a bundt pan and let it melt in the preheating oven.

While the butter melts, cut the Grands biscuits into quarters. In a bowl, toss the biscuit pieces, garlic, Italian Seasoning, and Parmesan cheese together.

Once the butter is melted, add the biscuit mixture, sprinkling with any cheese and garlic that gets let behind in the bowl.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20- 22 minutes until golden brown. Turn out on a dish and enjoy!

Categories
Alcoholic Featured Recipes No-bake

Limoncello Granita

photo copy

This summer, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse will debut its homemade booze-infused semi-frozen Granita, perfect to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon, like the ones we’ve been seeing in Boston lately. The new take on the Sicilian classic, created by Master Pastry Chef Tom Ponticelli, combines fruity flavors with perfectly paired spirits for a refreshing aperitif. Flavors include Espresso with Chocolate Liqueur, Passion Fruit with Grand Marnier as well as Prickly Pear with Tequila and Lime! They are available for $4 through the end of August.

To celebrate the new line of boozy treats, Davio’s shared one of its recipes with Blast Food.

Davio’s Limoncello Granita

Ingredients

  • 1 qt Water
  • 6 oz Fresh Lemon Verbena Leaves
  • Lemon Zest
  • 2 oz Sugar
  • 2oz Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Directions

  • In a medium size pot, steep water, sugar, lemon verbena.
  • Bring to boil and let steep for 20 min. Wisk in Limoncello and lemon juice.
  • Combine and our ingredients into metal 2-inch hotel pan and place in freezer. Use a dinner fork to scrape any ice crystals that have formed on the side or bottom of the pan.
  • Return to freezer and repeat scraping every 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Once mixture is thoroughly frozen, fluff with a fork and allow flakes to “dry” in freezer another half hour before serving.

When served, the granita should look like a fluffy pile.