Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Red Velvet Cup Cakes & Creamy Cheese Frosting

Had a craving, had to make them. And they turned out looking pretty good. If you tasted them, tell me about it!

Thanks for all of the responses on the cup cakes. For those that crave this deceivingly chocolaty treat, which does involve more steps than you will find in my cook book, here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups flour
2 TBS of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of buttermilk*
1 1/2 TBS of red food coloring (see below for options)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of distilled white vinegar

Frosting ingredients

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz cream cheese (I like whipped), room temperature
2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

* If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, can make it by adding 1 TBS of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for approx 10 minutes.

* If you “don’t do” red dye – then you can substitute red beat juice to get the desired color. The end result will be a bit more purple-ish vs. a deeper red. You may want to sample the batter to see if you need to adjust the flavor with a pinch more sugar.

Cup Cake Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for three minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated into the batter.

In a medium-size bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. Then blend into the butter and sugar mixture.

In another large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add one fourth of the dry ingredients at a time and mix very well.

Scoop into cupcake papers 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for one minute in the pan before transferring.

Makes approx 30 cup cakes.

Frosting Directions

Cream the butter and cream cheese together, approx three minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Then add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes – have fun with the designs

Reviews Recap Page

There have been so many cool new reviews that I wanted to share them with you in one spot. I’ll continue to go back and update them here so if ever want to know the scoop- this is the place to save on your book mark page.

Book Reviews:

Jane Maynard
This Week for Dinner
Taste This! Cookbook
Free Giveaway ‘Taste This!’ Cookbook and Apron

BonggaMomBonggamom Finds

You’ve Got to Taste This!

Recipe Reviews
Rock-e Road

Red Onion and Red Grape

This Week For Dinner- Giving Away the Goods!

This Week for Dinner
Monday, February 2
Free Giveaway! ‘Taste This’ Cookbook & Apron

Remember the Taste This cookbook signing that Jane Maynard of ‘This Week For Dinner’ recently wrote about? Well go to her site and log in a comment and you could win!!!

One lucky, random winner will receive a copy of Taste This, signed by Gina and photographer Tom Vano. The winner will also receive TWO Oilcloth Alley aprons – one Mom-sized and one kid-sized! Practical AND adorable, you definitely want to get your hands on these great oilcloth aprons!

To enter the giveaway, please add a comment to this post by Midnight PT on Sunday, February 8. The randomly-selected winner will be announced on Monday, February 9.

In the Hood


This past weekend was a blast from the past. I had the privilege of doing two book signings at the market that I would consider my neighborhood store. It is a gem for all those who know it – great food, great products and a strong local flair. It was a Pre-Superbowl tasting/book signing and it was a lot of fun seeing so many familiar faces from the community where I grew up (and now where my children are growing up). Scotty’s Market is the name of the place and if you are from Marin County and you don’t know it then you should. Passers-by tried corn bread, Mediterranean dip, sausage skillet, pumpkin cake and rock-e-road. If you haven’t tried these recipes from the book, give it a go, I think you won’t be disappointed. Some cool things from this book signing:
1- The local fire house enjoyed the tasting and bought a book to keep there for meal-time ideas. (I was flattered!)
2- Three pre-teens came by and tasted everything and MADE their parents buy the book.
3- A sweet elderly woman by the name of Glorie wanted the book but hadn’t brought enough money (she was only there to buy milk) I told her not to worry that the book would be on sale at the store and if she really liked it she could come back to get it sometime. She came back 40 mins after she left and asked if I would sign it for her. I was really touched.
4- A good friend of mine from grade school, Jennifer, came by to say hello and I was so happy to see her!
5- My cousin Rochelle came by both days to share her support and she put a huge smile on my face. And she wasn’t the only family member that came by – a lot of them did and I cherrish that.
6- A man stopped to look at every picture in the book and then asked for the publication date. He bought the book.
7- And at the end of the day Scotty’s said that they would sell the book on the magazine rack at check out, when I went by it to check it out, it was next to the Martha Stewart magazine. That was a personal high for me…why I never thought!