Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cupcakes, Cannolis, and Chairs OH MY!

So Erick has been gone all week. Sad? Yes. Him being gone is the result of an incredibly bored Sam.
I was finishing summer school and working most of the week until today. Erick isn't supposed to come home until 6:30ish so I had the whole day to figure out what to do....

Well, here we go! I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned until my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen were all so clean and sanitized you could eat off of ever surface. Yes, including the toilet.

Then, I decided to finish our unfinished dining room to Lows I go! But, I got sidetracked...I ran into Petsmart and found puppies and cats to play with.

I went back home. Painted the chairs and started on my next project.......

Cannoli Cupcakes!!!

I recently got some ricotta cheese because I have been wanting to cook with it for awhile, and I looked up recipes and this is what I found!

It is a vanilla citrus cupcake with a cannoli filling, a ganache topping with a cinnamon whip cream. Here's the recipe I kind of tweaked from



  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons orange zest (I didn't have oranges so I used grapefruit)
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil (I don't have that so I used another 1/2 tablespoon of zest)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cannoli Filling:

  • 1 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced candied orange peel (I didn't use this)

Bittersweet Ganache:

  • 2.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoons sugar

Cinnamon Whip Cream

  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Toasted almonds, for garnish (this would be really good if you have them)


For the cupcakes: Preheat a convection oven to 325 degrees F. Line 24 regular-size cupcake pans with liners.
Combine the flour, orange zest, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 8 minutes. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and orange oil to the mixer. On low speed, gradually alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth.
When the mixture is smooth, divide the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners. Bake until lightly browned and fully cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
For the filling: With a large wooden or metal spoon, mix the ricotta, confectioners' sugar, chocolate and orange peel in a medium bowl until combined.
For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream and sugar to a boil ensuring the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the cream and sugar mixture over the chocolate and let sit 5 minutes. Gradually whisk until smooth. Cool completely.
For the cinnamon whip cream: In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, sugar and cinnamon until the cream is firm enough to pipe on the cupcakes but not too stiff and buttery.
To assemble: Cut a small hole the size of an apple core in each cupcake and fill with the cannoli cream. Pipe a small amount of ganache on the entire surface of the cupcake and do the same with the cinnamon cream. Top with toasted almonds.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition (and by Sam). The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use, therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tomatoes and Things

So when Erick and I first moved into our little side apartment off of a couple's house, they said that we could have a little "plot of land" on the side of our house. Erick immediately started making plans for a garden. So, now we have a little garden. We have two HUGE tomato plants, two pepper plants, a basil plant (mmm...fresh basil), and a zucchini plant. There's been a tomato growing on the plant that's been getting rather large, so we picked it. I heard that if you pick it while it is green and put it in the window it will get red...well, that's a big fat FALSE. So I ruined our first tomato. So, another tomato that we have been watching we vowed not to pick until it was red.

So...long story short, I came home from a final and a 3 hour study session to this:

Can I just say...I have an awesome husband. :)

We made our first "weed" aka TOMATO!!!!!


Oh, here's what it came from.