Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Car Bombs...the good kind

No, I'm not talking about anything Army related right now, I'm taking about the alcohol version of a car bomb...CUPCAKE STYLE! I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on one of my favorite blogs. If you know me, you know that 1, I don't drink beer, and 2, I don't like chocolate very much, but these just looked really yummy (like everything else on her website)! Then I found out the guys in Jason's class right now have a thing for Irish car bombs (a shot of Bailey's & Whiskey dropped into a glass of Guinness) so I had someone to help me eat them (or eat them all if I didn't like them). So today I made THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER! I could not believe how delicious they were! I've already eaten 2 of them and I'm trying to keep my fingers off the rest so Jason can take some to class tomorrow!

Here's how I did it....

Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds). Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.) Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this). Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Here are a few pictures along the way!

When they come out of the oven, they smelled so good (and like I said, I don't really like chocolate!)

And after I cut the holes for the ganache

Filled with the ganache (ps, this was my 1st time making a ganache and it was SO EASY!)

The final product...SO YUMMY!!!


So I decided to participate in Kate's scarf swap a few weeks ago and ever since, I've been checking the mail every day waiting for my package to arrive. Well, today, I came home from our friends promotion ceremony to find this in my mailbox!!!

I love all the rich colors

Thank you so much to my partner Marisa, I absolutely love it! I never would have picked it out myself, but I absolutely love it (that was what I was hoping for out of this swap, and you exceeded my expectations!) I am so glad I participated and found your blog in the process!

Back to that promotion I mentioned, Jason's BFF took over Company Command today and I'm so grateful that Jason and I were able to attend (mostly so I know what to expect when it's Jason's turn!)

We're super proud of you Chris!

Congratulations to Chris and his wife Jessica!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ok, now for tonight's dinner! I didn't feel like putting much effort into dinner tonight so when I check my email and saw this recipe for Easy Salsa Chicken Burritos, I got inspired to make fajitas! Then I realized I didn't have "fajita" seasoning and didn't know how well taco seasoning would substitute so I did a little more research and found a recipe to substitute for fajita seasoning, SCORE! So here's how I did it....

1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1 green bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
3 small chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
1 package fajita seasoning
cheese & lettuce for toppings (I don't like sour cream or hot sauce or any of that stuff, but if you do, by all means add it!)

In a large sauce pan or wok, heat about 1TBSP EVOO and add veggies and about 1/4 of the seasoning. Cook until slightly tender.

Remove the veggies from the pan. Season the chicken strips with the rest of the seasoning then add to the same pan (you may need a little more EVOO) and cook until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Combine chicken with the veggies and serve on a tortilla with the toppings of your choice!

Roll up and enjoy!

I will definitely be making these again!

For the fajita seasoning substitute, I used:
* 1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin ground
* 1/2 teaspoon Oregano dried, crushed
* 1/4 teaspoon Salt
* 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper ground
* 1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
* 1/8 teaspoon Onion powder
* 1/8 teaspoon Red pepper ground (I actually used a little less b/c I don't like food spicy hot!)

Oh, and as I was setting this yummy dinner on the table, I looked out our back window and saw this

It was just through our backyard and across the street. Way too close for comfort! Thank God, I don't think it touched anybody or any houses!

Weekend update

We had the most beautiful weather this weekend, I wish it could be 70-80 and sunny EVERYDAY! We made the best of it by spending ALL DAY Saturday at a rugby tournament on post.

There was a bit of drama with this lady

who thought she was the field police. She seemed to think that we were not allowed to have our cute little puppy at the field.

So she called the MWR (Moral, Welfare and Recreation) on us, who came and told us "you can come to my boss's office on Monday and he'll show you the regulation", to which Jason told him he would not leave until he saw something in writing. The MWR guy told us if we didn't leave he was going to call the MP's (Military Police) to have us escorted off the field. The MP showed up and basically told us that there is no sign posted so they can't enforce the "rule" and told the lady to stop bossing people around...Jason was thrilled to have "won" the battle! (at one point, she was trying to get people to agree with her and we were standing there with about 5-8 of our friends and I really thought a West Side Story type turf war was going to break out. Luckily for them, it didn't!)

Oh, and back to rugby, OUR TEAM WON the tournament!

Unfortunately, we had other obligations that evening and we weren't able to attend the after party (if you've never attended a rugby party after one of their matches, GO DO IT! They are total mayhem but so much fun!).

We went to dinner with our awesome friends Mike & Kristi, then went to see the Harlem Globetrotter Legends at the gym on post.

Today we were on our way to watch the Bengals beat the Ravens when we found this guy in my tire:

This makes the 2nd screw I've had in my tires in as many months =( and this one isn't repairable so we have to buy a new tire =( =(

At least the Bengals won, which made me feel a little better about the afternoon.

I'll be back in a bit to post the awesome fajita recipe I made for dinner tonight!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a day late

I meant to do this yesterday and totally forgot...


We love and miss the Boyles' here at FLW!!!


The events that took place at Fort Hood today hit close to home. That could have been our base. My husband, friends and acquaintances could have been among the dead or wounded. As a spouse, you are "trained" to worry and be nervous about what happens when they are deployed. At home, you are supposed to be SAFE, comfortable, worry-free, calm, relaxed. No one was prepared for today. I'm not saying their lives are more or less valuable than those who are wounded or KIA, this is just so stunning. It shook me to my core. I'm happy my husband came home safe to me today and I was able to hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him. I try not to take anything for granted and today's tragedy just refocused me on my journey to live every day like there is no tomorrow.

Thank you Jesus for another day on this planet!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dinner: Creamy Orzo and chicken

This was too yummy and too easy not to share! I didn't take any pictures, but here is the one from Annie's Eats, which is where I adapted the recipe from!

4 small chicken breasts
8oz Orzo, uncooked
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
herbes de Provence (I couldn't find this at the commissary, so I used McCormick's Roasting Rub/French Herb)

Cook orzo according to package. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt, pepper and the French herbs on both sides(I used about 2 TBSP of the herbs for all the chicken). In a large skillet cook chicken in EVOO, about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove Chicken from skillet. Add the shallot and green pepper to the skillet (you may need more EVOO), cook about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with the juice and the broccoli. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook to combine and melt the cheese. Serve with the chicken on top....YUM!