Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sausage and Zucchini Stuffed Red Peppers

 These stuffed red peppers are scrumptious. Everybody who's tried these loves them, even the picky eaters. My fiance lights up when he hears we're having stuffed peppers for dinner, and my mom is always taking the leftovers to work with her. Every time I go to make these I have a hard time finding the recipe, even though I should have it memorized by now. I figured it might be a good idea to make a easy to find hard copy. Plus, something this delicious needs to be shared. Please try this recipe and share it with the ones you love. They will love you for it;) Enjoy!

 I served the peppers on a bed of whole grain brown rice with garlic bread on the side.

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 medium-size red bell peppers (each about 4 to 6 ounces), halved lengthwise, seeded
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 9 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper halves with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Bake peppers uncovered until tops are browned and thermometer inserted into filling registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer peppers to platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve. 

Serves 8

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stamped Bunny Cupcakes

This was my first time using fondant on cupcakes and I am very pleased with the way they turned out. I don't typically like the flavor of fondant but I made it really thin, and used cookie frosting to attach the fondant to the cupcake. It was the perfect combination of sweet frosting and cake. So I was told :) The hardest part about making these cute little toppers was dying the fondant the individual colors. Other than that they were a sinch ( roll, cut, stamp, and paste).

I got these cute little cupcake cups at Target and a box of yellow cake mix on sale. Make sure your cupcakes are completely cool before placing your fondant or it will become tacky and loose its shape. Same goes with storing them. The fondant will get hard if refrigerated, and really soft and sticky if kept somewhere too warm.

I used these four Wilton's food coloring colors that are made specifically for coloring frosting and fondant. I happen to have ready-to-use fondant on hand. When coloring fondant the ready-to-use stuff will save you a lot of time. I really didn't color a whole lot of fondant but it still took me about ten minutes (per color) to get the colors mixed well.

Once you get your color mixed well roll it out to about an 1/8th of an inch. Then I cut my circles out with a cookie cutter just a tad bigger then the stamp.

Discard the scraps then stamp. Be sure to put all the pressure on the middle of the stamp otherwise your impression will be uneven. Use a spatula dipped in powdered sugar to gently lift your topper. Then I used the Betty Crocker ready-to-use cookie frosting to attach the topper to the cupcake.

I've never seen or heard of these stamps for baking until I received this one as a gift. It's a product from this company called Stampin' Up. I love them, and can't wait to use them again. It really gives the cupcakes a simple, but clean and professional look- which I love. Happy Easter!

Bunny Easter Eggs

While digging through my stamping stuff I found this bunny hole punch that I completely for got I had. It took me a minute or two to figure out what I could possibly use it for besides punching holes in paper. This is what I came up with...
I started by blowing out the eggs. Next time I think I will do this last so the eggs don't float. It made it a little harder to get an even coat of color over the eggs with them floating. They also ended up soaking a lot longer so the tape got a little soggy causing some color to bleed through. If your not looking to keep the eggs out for decoration hard boiling them would be the easiest way to go to achieve a defined clean outline of the bunny. Or blow the egg out at the very end.

After preparing the eggs I hole punched some painters tape with my bunny hole punch. You can find cute hole punchers at Mikael's for a dollar. I suggest taping the start of your tape roll on a table and holding the roll with one hand while punching with the other. Be sure you have the sticky side down (like shown in the picture above) so the bunny doesn't stick to the hole punch. Then sporadically place your bunnies on your egg.

 I used a standard egg dying kit you can get from practically any store this time of year. Let the eggs sit in the cup of dye solution (rotating and dunking constantly) for a little over five minutes. Once the eggs were evenly colored I took them out, waited for them to dry completely, then peeled off the bunnies. Place them in a nice bowel or vase for the perfect little Easter centerpiece. You can also thread some ribbon through the center of a blown out egg, and tie it off to hang them on a Easter tree. Happy Easter!                                                     

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Card

My son got these precious little felt Easter stickers in his plastic eggs at the Easter egg hunt we went to. I couldn't wait to use them so I put together this simple little Easter card.

Easy Peezy Easter Cupcakes

If your a busy mom with  multiple Easter events to go to these cupcakes are the way to go. You can whip them up in no time while still maintaining a nice sleek look, and with out braking the bank. I've already made these for two events, going on my third. I have to tell you that the ready-to-use cookie icing taste so much better then the cake icing. I think I'm going to use the cookie icing on all my quickly made (box) cupcakes from here on out. Happy Easter!

Here's what you need:
Cupcake paper cups
Box of your favorite cake mix
Betty Crocker ready-to-use  cookie frosting
Kraft Jet-Puffed Bunny Mallows Marshmellows