Showing posts with label cheese recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheese recipe. Show all posts

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghost Cheese Cupcakes for Halloween


It's creepy and it's kooky,
mysterious and spooky...

But isn't it fun?!

Colorful, decorative, with memories that make you shiver, laugh, and howl.

Did you run down the street when you went trick or treating?

 Did you play pranks or were you the polite person who said please and thank you after "Trick or treat"?

Did you love wearing masks? Did you shun them because you couldn't breathe?

Did you have the one friend who loved to jump from around corners and scare the spit out of you?

What was your favorite candy? What candy did you absolutely hate?

Did you ever perform in a Halloween play? Do you like books about ghouls, ghosts, witches, the paranormal? Do you like a regular book that has a slightly paranormal element?  Did you love the TV show Bewitched?

Have these questions made you wade through memories? If so, mission accomplished. I did, too. And I've been smiling throughout.

One of the other things I remember is having Halloween parties. Pizza, candy, orange-colored everything.  Cupcakes should always be part of a party, don't you think? And if you can make them "spooky" for Halloween, all the better.

I got these cute cupcake liners (up, to the left) at, of all places, Barnes and Noble bookstore. Aren't they adorable? There were enough for 2 dozen cupcakes. I made one dozen cupcakes and a 9 x 9 sheet cake, so I still have a dozen cupcake decorations for next year. Yay!

Note: This recipe will make 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 dozen cupcakes and one 9 x 9 cake. Perfect for kids and adults.



         1 1/2 cups sweet white rice flour
         3/4 cup tapioca flour
         1 teaspoon Kosher salt
         1 teaspoon baking soda
         3 teaspoons baking powder
         1 teaspoon xanthan gum
         4 eggs
         1 1/4 cups white sugar
         2/3 cup Best Foods mayonnaise (GF)
         1 cup milk
         2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Mix the sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.

Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. 

Add milk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture. Mix well again.

Using soup ladle, pour batter into the cupcakes liners. 

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15-17 minutes. 
Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched 
or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Put on wire rack to cool so they don’t get “moist” on the bottom.

Let cool completely then frost, if desired.

4 oz. goat cheese  - room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese – room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (more if necessary)
½ cup pure maple syrup

Mix all in a blender. 

May be saved in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

NOTE: this recipe can be made "normally". Just replace the flour with regular flour and don't use the xanthan gum. And you can use real vanilla


We're having mini-CONTESTS some days this week. 
Leave a comment TODAY answering one of the questions above, 
and you'll be entered for today's contest. 
I'm giving away these perfect-for-fall coasters! 
Absorbent, made by "Counter Art."
Not scary at all.

The winner will be announced in a post right before midnight tonight, EDT.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Frittata with Buffalo Sausage

Savory, rich, delicious! 

That's a frittata.

Making frittata is not "easy," but if you prepare ahead, it's well worth the effort.

But more about that in a minute.

First... I took a week off with my husband. No writing. As little thinking as possible. I know, lucky me. We went to a beautiful, serene place and I did a lot of breathing. If we (as authors) haven't told you before, we have deadlines, and sometimes those deadlines can be pretty tight. A book due today, but yesterday the revisions were due, and the day before that the outline was due.

Okay, maybe they're not that tight, but they're tight. Add to that the fact that we have our own promotion to do (the world has changed and though the publisher does a lot of promotion, they "hope" that we will do our part...a big big big part). Sometimes it's hard to find breathing time.

So my husband forced me on a vacation...LOL...okay, he didn't have to break my arm. We went to lovely Hawaii.  I read and read--friends' books, new authors. I closed my eyes. I meditated. I walked and swam. A slice of heaven.

Except for the wind, which was blowing so hard the entire time.  The Trade Winds had hit the island. I'm not a big girl. I was blown over a number of times.

But it was still fun, and perhaps that was God's way of telling me I needed more air in my lungs!
I thought I'd share a few pictures.

We visited the active volcano, Kilauea. The breadth of the hole in the earth is almost a half-mile wide. Steam poured from vents all around the area. We walked in a nearby rainforest. The stems and roots of these ferns are incredible in size.
The water features were inspirational. Can you see the metal crane? The meditation hut or "hale". The roar of the water was steady and soothing.

The flowers were exquisite. I love how happy they look.

I hope a few photos will help you breathe a little better. Breathing is a much underrated activity nowadays!

And then, when you can find the time, enjoy this frittata. It was a delicious meal to come home to. Hearty, rich with flavor. The house smells so savory. And most of all, the frittata is packed with scrumptious cheese.



8 eggs
6 oz. white cheddar (I used Kerrygold)
6 oz. buffalo sausage
¼ pound mixed mushrooms (I used portabella, crimini, & regular)
2 cups spinach snipped into 1” slices
1 scallion
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
*If desired, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese


To do ahead:  Dice the cheddar into little bits (about ¼” each).  Remove the casing from the sausage and dice the sausage into small slices (about ½” to 1”). Chop the scallion.  Slice the mushrooms into thin slices. Snip the spinach into thin strips (about 1”).

Now…whisk the eggs.  Add the cheese to the eggs along with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Set aside.

In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil.  Add the sausage and scallion. Heat on medium high for about 8 minutes, remembering to stir often so the mixture doesn’t stick.  Drain the sausage and scallion and set aside.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil. Toss in the mushrooms. Heat over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until tender but not overcooked. Drain and add to the sausage mixture.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil. Toss in the spinach and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until wilted.  Add the sausage and mushroom mixture to the spinach.  Pour in the eggs and cheese mixture.

Using a spatula, lift the sides of the mixture and help the eggs ooze to the bottom of the pan, rotating the pan repeatedly to make the mixture cook evenly.  Cook for about 4-6 minutes.

Now you have 2 choices:  Either heat another skillet the same size. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.  Set the skillet face down on the egg mixture skillet. Carefully flip the two skillets.  The egg mixture will slide into the other skillet. Cook for 4-6 minutes and serve.

OR…turn the oven onto broil.  Set the skillet under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture bubbles and cooks through.
*If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pate de Fruits or Apricot Jam?

Okay, I'm in the experimental phase. Is that a summer thing? Does sunshine make me feel more daring? Possibly. For whatever reason, I'm trying different things in the kitchen. Here's one more experiment. Bear with me.

A few weeks ago, I shared a CHEESE PLATTER  that had some fun little candy-looking squares on it. The squares were fruit, and they had the consistency of a gumdrop, soft and chewy. They added just the perfect amount of sweetness to a bite of cheese and there was no mess.

I wanted to know how to make them, so I went on line and looked up what they might be. I'd never seen them before.  They are called Pate de Fruits.  The recipe looked simple, but other than fudge and peanut brittle, I have never made candy.

I bought  pectin, which is a hetereopolysaccharide. Yeah, I know. Way more than you or I want to know. Simply put, it's a gelling agent.

I had fresh apricots from my step-son's tree. I had sugar, lemons, and a candy thermometer.

How hard could making these little suckers be? Note: The recipe warned me to wear potholders because the concoction can spit. My daring, um, quaked...

I started to get a little scared.

Don't be. Nothing spit. I did not get hurt. You won't either.



1 cup fruit puree ** see RECIPE below
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
3/4 tablespoons pectin powder


Wear long sleeves. You do not want to get burned by boiling sugar! {It didn't spit that much, but better safe than sorry, right?}

You need a sugar/candy thermometer.

Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar with pectin. Whisk together.
Heat the fruit puree in a deep saucepan to 120 degrees.
Add the pectin mixture and whisk. Bring to boil for one minute.
Mix rest of sugar and 1/8 cup water. Add this to the saucepan. Cook to 223 degrees. This could take a ton of time. (But it didn’t take a long time for my concoction. Go figure.)

Now for some, your thermometer will rise steadily and you’ll think, “I’m close,” but it isn’t so. (Except for me, it was. I'm not sure why. Maybe my heat was too high? Nothing burned.) Keep going.

At 223 degrees, pour the mixture into an (prepare ahead) 8x8 pan, which has been lined with heavy plastic wrap. Let the mixture set to room temperature. It will cool so that it is sliceable.  This might take a long time. (It did. All night.)

Now the recipe I got from the internet said I could cut the resulting candy into any shape, with cookie cutters or knife. But my experiment didn't gel up that much. It tasted terrific, but it was more the texture of a very thick jam. I was able to make a few squares out of it. I rolled them in granulated sugar  (extra to the recipe above). 

The JAM was absolutely fabulous on a cracker with cheese, on toast, on ice cream.

Note: If your texture comes out better than mine, then for kids, you can make a “Sourpatch” taste, by rolling in sugar that has been laced with lemon or lime juice.

Apricot Puree Recipe
12 apricots
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon water

To peel the apricots, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Using tongs, dip an apricot into the water, set aside. When all apricots have been dunked, peel them. The skins should slip off pretty easily. Remove pits.

Put the apricots into a blender. Add the juice and water and puree.  Pour mixture into a container. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use. (No more than 24 hours.)

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Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched in May: Lost and Fondue. If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. To see a trailer, click HERE. To read an excerpt, click HERE. If you you'd like to find out more about the series or want to download a few recipes from me (on recipe cards, including a recipe for fondue), click HERE. And be sure to catch me on my other blog, Killer Characters, and on Facebook and Twitter @AveryAames.  SAY CHEESE!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cornbread BLT with Cheese

Hi. I'm at a writers and fans conference called Thrillerfest this week in New York, so I have to admit that I didn't make this sandwich last night or even last week. I was too busy packing, planning, stressing. But would you even know if I didn't tell you? Not about the packing and stressing but the baking?

This was an experiment that I just had to try. I adore corn bread. Being gluten-free, it's one of the few breads that I can make that keeps the original consistency I remember as a girl. I thought wouldn't it be great to have a cornbread BLT. I don't think I saw the idea on any food channels, but one never knows.

Anyway, I made my handy-dandy cornbread recipe, let it cool completely, sliced the pieces in halves, grilled the corn bread and added the makings of a great BLT in the middle. With cheese, of course. The results was so delicious I wanted, three.  I settled for one. But yum!

Pardon the short post. I'm on my way to a meeting. I hope the deliciousness of the meal will suffice for this week.

Hugs to all.

Avery's Corbread BLT with Cheese

First the Cornbread:


1 ½ cup milk, plus 2 tablespoons
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
¼ cup maple syrup plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup cornmeal (gluten-free)
½ cup sweet white rice flour
½ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder


Mix all together.
Pour into 8 x 8 pan that has been oiled.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.

Now for the sandwich:

Serves 4

[Recipe for corn bread above, baked in an 8 x 8 pan]

4 ounces Fromager de Affinois (which Krista told me about and is sublime!)
8 slices bacon, crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin


Bake corn bread according to recipe, in an 8 x 8 pan.  Let cool.  Cut in 4 squares. Remove from pan and slice, using serrated knife, into thin slices (bread-thick).  Set aside.

Griddle or microwave bacon.  When done to crispiness desired, sprinkle with paprika and pepper. Crumble into bite-sized pieces. {It’s easier to eat this way}

Slice tomatoes and separate the lettuce.

Heat a griddle. Butter the “bumpy” sides of the corn bread. Lay the butter sides down on the griddle.  Top 4 of the slices with the Fromager de Affinois cheese.   Cook the bread on low until warmed through.  Do not overcook.

Assemble the BLT: Corn bread with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce.  Top with bacon bits and the other slice of corn bread.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched in May: Lost and Fondue. If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. To see a trailer, click HERE. To read an excerpt, click HERE. If you you'd like to find out more about the series or want to download a few recipes from me (on recipe cards, including a recipe for fondue), click HERE. And be sure to catch me on my other blog, Killer Characters, and on Facebook and Twitter @AveryAames.  SAY CHEESE!