Thursday, September 16, 2010

Margarita Cupcakes

Now for a recipe I make often. These cupcakes are a staple to parties and are often requested by my friends.

It's easy to make aside from the lime zesting. I typically use 3 limes in total for the juice and zest. The only issue I had was that the lime buttercream was melting in the heat of my house.

Cooling cupcakes!

Green butter cream. I usually add the alcohol to taste but make sure to adjust the measurement of powdered sugar for the liquid.

Frosted cupcakes waiting for my garnish. I sprinkle with the white chunk sugar to look like salt and add a candy lime slice. The finished product was melting in the Las Vegas heat!


1 cup lime margarita mix
3 ounces tequila
2 ounces Grand Marnier (I use Cointreau)
1 box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs. lime zest (I used 2 Tbs.)


2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lime zest
green food coloring, if desired
1/2 jigger of Grand Marnier (I substitute with Cointreau and also add a bit of tequila too)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.

Prepare cupcakes: Whisk together margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Measure out 1¼ cups for the recipe; pour the rest on some ice and drink it while making the cupcakes.

In a large bowl, blend cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and 1¼ cups of the margarita mix from step 1. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about ¾ full). Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them to a rack to cool completely.
Prepare icing: Once cupcakes are completely cooled, prepare the icing. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency. Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you’d like the frosting to have a green tint.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feta, Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers

On my way home from work today I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I knew it had to involve chicken because that is what I had and I knew it had to be quick. At a red stoplight, it hit me, "I really want to have some feta!" It all came together. I knew I wanted to have a stuffed pepper.

In the parking lot of the grocery store I looked up recipes on my iPhone. That's where I found this one. It makes a lot of dishes and I have some leftover filling but it was very good. It was pretty easy as well. I added extra garlic and cooked the peppers on a bed of the filling (since I had a ton leftover).

There are not many ingredients to this recipe.

After cutting off the tops of the peppers, I chopped them up along with the garlic and onions.

Heating the vegetable. I love the smell of garlic!

Recipe (Source)

2 chicken breasts
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked basmati or white rice
2 large green or red bell peppers
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove; minced (I used two!)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (I omitted)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 8 oz. can of tomato paste
Shredded Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat a large pot of water (not completely filled) and boil. Add chicken and boil for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Shred the chicken (or you can cut into chunks and put through your food processor). Put aside.

Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the rice, cover the pan and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.

Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in a baking dish and roast them for 20 minutes or so, until they soften, then remove them from the oven until the filling is ready. -I put in my rice cooker/steamer for about 10-15 minutes.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add garlic, onion, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until softened.

Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes, chicken & tomato paste. Add the rice into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Fill peppers with the rice mixture; top pepper with shredded Parmesan. Bake 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

-If you are not a rice person, I think this would still be pretty filling without it. As I said, I had a lot of filling left over.