Friday, August 7, 2009

Blueberry cupcakes

I bookmark recipes from cooking blogs all the time. I have to make myself go through the bookmarks just to remind myself what I have bookmarked, so I won't forget to try all the yummy things out there. I got some fresh blueberries a while back, but didn't really have a plan for them, so I froze them to use later. Yesterday, we were at home (for the second day in a row) and my sweet angels :) were getting a little stir crazy, so we got in the kitchen together.

I found this recipe at How To Eat A Cupcake
Blueberry Cupcakes (plus her specific directions)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Insert liners into a regular muffin pan.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs (one at a time) to the creamed mixture and beat well.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat portions of the dry ingredients into the cream mixture alternating with the milk.

*Lick the beaters!!!!!!* Mix for 3 minutes (I don’t know why the recipe says this. It’s not a good idea. I only mixed until the flour was almost fully incorporated.). With a spatula, fold in the vanilla and blueberries.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full with batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 18) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

I frosted them with a regular vanilla frosting. She made an awesome looking blueberry buttercream, but I was already out of blueberries. YUM! Not blueberry muffins, blueberry cupcakes!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Easy BBQ Chicken

I love this recipe for so many reasons:
- it's in the crockpot, which makes things easier on me
- it uses chicken quarters or chicken thighs, which are cheaper
- it's barbeque!!

I never used to buy chicken on the bone- only boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Well, that is definitely NOT the cheapest option as far as chicken goes. When I started paying attention to my groceries and trying to buy 2 weeks of groceries under $175, buying a couple of packages of boneless, skinless chicken was not helping. My husband doesn't like eating chicken from the bone, but he does like dark meat. In the last year I realized how much I can cook with bone-in chicken, and you don't have to eat it off-the-bone. If you put bone-in chicken in the crockpot, it will get so tender, it falls off the bone. It's so moist and yummy! I have also started buying whole chickens and roasting them, then shredding them to pieces for at least 2 different meals.

I didn't find this recipe anywhere, but I'm sure someone else has done it before. Chicken, barbeque sauce and a crockpot. That's all you need!!
I used chicken quarters, the leg and thigh are connected. There were 3 in the package. Mine were even still frozen. I placed the chicken in the crockpot, seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then, pour your favorite sauce over the chicken (save some sauce for later). Turn on low. Mine was ready after 6-7 hours. It's not super pretty, and your hands get messy, but I think it's a great meal!
I drained the chicken from the crockpot and put in this dish.
I let it cool for a few minutes before I started shredding.
I used tongs and put all the meat in this bowl.
It literally falls off the bone, and comes off very easily.
I mix the shredded meat with a little more barbeque sauce. To serve, I put some chicken on a soft roll and more barbeque sauce, for me. My husband wanted a slice of cheese.