Sunday, November 10, 2013

Egg Nog Cupcakes

I LOVE egg nog!

My husband LOVES egg nog even more than I do!

We are a perfect match--especially in November and December.  Several years ago, I came across a recipe for egg nog cupcakes in a flier from a local dairy store.  Of course, I had to give it a whirl.  It very quickly became one of my husband's favorite desserts, so now it makes an appearance every year on his November birthday.

Seeing as how it's November--and my husband's birthday month--I decided to finally take some pics and post the recipe on my blog. . . and most importantly, pin it on Pinterest so I can find it much more easily every fall!

Now, those of you that know me, know that I never quite end up with the same recipe that I started with, once I have made it a time or two.  This one did not get edited too much, but I did add a few little "Vanessa" touches to perfect the product.  So, for all of you egg nog kindred spirits, out there, here you go. . .

And you're welcome!

Egg Nog Cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 oz full fat plain yogurt
1 cup egg nog
1/3 cup water
3 eggs
 1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
 Mix wet, then dry, mixing just enough to combine.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes *Do not over bake!*
 Top with cream cheese buttercream (recipe below)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Egg Nog Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (the real stuff, not margarine)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup egg nog
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Mix softened cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.  Add egg nog vanilla and cloves.  Slowly add powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.  Put in decorator bag and frost cupcakes.

Happy Birthday, Dave.  Here's your egg nog cupcake!
Oh, and just to spice things up this year (really, I was just lazy), I decided to forego the hassle of cupcakes and I actually whipped this spectacular recipe up into a regular ol' 9 1/2" X 11" cake.  I did increase to baking time to 35 min, but other than that, it is exactly the same.  It's not as impressive in presentation, but equally delicious, I can assure you. 
So, if you're nervous about the whole cupcake thing (I understand, I've seen the Pinterest Fail site, too), the cake is WAAAAAAYY easier. . .
Happy Birthday, Dave. Here's your egg nog cupcake!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Vanessa's Embarrassingly Easy Posole'

I have had a few inquiries over the years about my posole'.  I think that most people think it may be difficult to make, and back in the day I used to make it a lot harder than it needed to be.  So, over the years, I have pared this little Christmas Eve recipe down.  It now takes me approximately 15 minutes of actual preparation time--my oven and crock pot do the rest.  So here it is:

1 Pork Loin
2-16 oz cans of hominy
5 cups chicken broth
1-36.5 oz tub of Bueno Red Chili
1-36.5 oz tub of Bueno Green Chili (they both come in hot, med, and mild, so mix and match to achieve your desired heat.)

I slow roast my pork loin covered in a roasting pan with a couple of cups of water in the oven at 275 degrees for 4-6 hours.  No need to add any seasoning, as the hominy and chili will provide plenty of delicious flavor!  Then I cut it up into bite-sized chunks, put it in my crock pot with the other ingredients.  Set on low.  Come back when you're hungry and viola, it is ready!  Easy as can be!

This is what our Christmas Eve dinner looked like this year--my homemade posole' with tortillas and tamales from Rosa's.  De-Lish!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vanessa's Supreme Lemon Pound Cake

I absolutely LOVE lemon cake.  Even my wedding cake was a Cakes N More lemon with butter cream frosting--magnificent!  However, I have never been able to replicate that particular cake at home.

So, I plagiarized this recipe from my mother-in-law about a decade ago.  I then spent a couple of years playing around with the formula to make it much more "lemony".  While not the same as Cakes N More, it is certainly delicious and super easy to make.  I hope you enjoy!

1 pkg Duncan Hines Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (you can probably use whatever brand)
1 (4 oz) pkg lemon instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (make sure to strain out the seeds!)
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Do Not Over Mix!!!!  Bake in a greased and floured 10" bundt pan @ 350 for 45-55 min. until center springs back when touched lightly.  Cool right side up for half an hour then remove from pan.  Cool completely then glaze.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Drizzle over cake.  Cool completely and serve!  Viola!  The most lemony cake in the world!

Molasses Sugar Cookies

               ¾ cup butter                                       2 cups flour
               1 cup sugar                                          ½ tsp ground cloves
               ¼ cup molasses                                 ½ tsp ground ginger
 1 egg                                                       1 tsp cinnamon             
 2 tsp baking soda                              ½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375F. Cream sugar and butter together on medium speed. Mix in eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in dry ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Form 1” balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.