Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl !

Congratulations to the Packers, whom I felt would win before the Playoffs. Strange thing to feel, as I am not a real football fan. Congratulations to both teams for making it a really exciting game to watch- and to indulge in lots of snacks by . It seems that Superbowl is a day of food, friends and great commercials  , with football in the middle. I decided to make some football related snacks for the day so that it could be an easy day all around.

The most fun was some cupcakes that I made. Nick is really into decorated cupcakes, but neither him or I are skilled at great cake decorating ( And Bob is not even compelled to do anything but eat them). However, lack of skill should not stop anyone from having fun, so we assembled was decorating stuff we had, teamed it with what limited skills we possessed and came up with these. The recipe was a really great one for the cakes to start with !

JavaCupcake’s White Velvet Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

  1 cup  milk
 ¼ cup sour cream
 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
  1 vanilla bean
12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line cupcake pans with liners.
2. Prep vanilla bean by scoring the bean down one side and scraping the inside of the bean out. In a small sauce pan, add 1 cup milk, sour cream, vanilla, vanilla bean and inside scrapings.  Cook on medium high heat until the milk starts to steam and bubbles begin to form around the outer edge of the milk, whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat immediately and let cool for 5-10 minutes.  You want warm but not scalding hot milk.  Remove the vanilla bean shell before adding to the batter.
3. In a large bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix together to blend.  Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs and mix on high just until they start to whip up like frosting.  You want them to be light, but not too whipped.
6. In thirds, slowly add the flour mixture.  In between each addition, slowly add half the milk/vanilla mixture.  Begin and end with the flour. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and thoroughly incorporate (without over mixing) the batter with each addition.
7. By hand, fold in remaining ¼ cup milk.
8. Fill each cupcake liner using an ice cream scoop with batter, about 2/3 full.
9. Bake 15-18 minutes.  After 10 minutes of baking, rotate pan 180 degrees to ensure even baking.
10. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Not pretty, but tasty. I made a simple butter cream frosting ( butter, powdered sugar and vanilla) but these would be better with a cream cheese frosting or a French Cream. Sadly the cupcakes were the only thing I remembered to take pictures of ! The rest of the food consisted of BBQ Wings ( I want to find a bbq sauce recipe from scratch with a good flavor), meatballs, italian sausage bites and wings. I think I found the BEST wing recipe yet- real ingredients and a fantastic flavor

Rubbed Wings

2 Tablespoons melted butter
3 cloves garlic pressed
 2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt
10 chicken wings/drumsticks

Put all of it in a large plastic bag and shake to coat
375 for 1 hour

It was declared a day free from veggies ( an extremely rare thing in this house) , and the rare inclusion of chips and dips. I made the dips, to avoid a lot of questionable things. Guacamole ( which turned out only so so)  and an onion dip that is to die for ! No need for those envelopes of onion soup mix, thanks to Alton Brown !

Onion Dip From Scratch(Alton Brown)

  2        tablespoons  olive oil
  1 1/2           cups  diced onions
     1/4      teaspoon  kosher salt
  1 1/2           cups  sour cream
     3/4           cup  mayonnaise
     1/4      teaspoon  garlic powder
     1/4      teaspoon  freshly-ground white pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  kosher salt

In a saute pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt.  Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add the cooled onions.  Refrigerate and stir again before serving.
This recipe yields 1 batch.

One really funny thing happened during the game. I have had an intolerance to beer and wine for a long time ( gives me instant heartburn), but with the dietary changes I have found I am suddenly able to enjoy an occasional glass of wine. We decided  to try beer for the game - it has been well over 20 years since I had a beer because of the heartburn it gives me. Bob decided the thing to buy , because of the minimal footprint in the fridge ( a 4 can pack) would be Guinness Draught. It's a very robust beer , and one thing Guinness is famous for is the great foam head it gets when you pour. We decided to split the first can between the three of us, letting me see if I could tolerate it and allowing Nick ( who will be 19 this March) to have his first ever taste of beer.  Turns out it still bothers my stomach , but Nick has either an allergy or a serious intolerance to beer. One sip brought on a total digestive clean out and enough gas to power a small village. ( He has decided beer is the stupidest thing on the planet as a result- kind of a comfort in that). As the can emptied we noticed the sound of something rolling around in the can, and became concerned. We opened the can with an old fashioned opener and found this

Something that looked like a ping pong ball. Turns out, after dashing off a letter to Guinness and an inquiry on Facebook, I learned that this is something that is in every can of Guinness. It is not a ping pong ball, but a device that insures a foamy head in every glass of Guinness.  Kind of ingenious  when you think about it . Lie and learn something new each day !


Gypsy Soul said...

I'm a regular Guiness drinker, but had never had it out of a can. I find this post very funny because I had the same exact reaction the first time I finished a can...about 4 months ago. Luckily, there's drunken video evidence of my discovery. :-). Cheers!

Post-it Notes said...

Wow! Thanks for the great recipes. They all sound so yummy. Keep up the good work!