Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Cupcakes!

Since I dropped the ball this year and did not bake Christmas goodies for my friends, I promised myself I would rectify the situation come New Years Eve. Today I baked Vanilla Latte Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream, topped with gold sprinkles. (Both recipes are courtesy of Annie's Eats.) I used Bailey's Coffee liqueur, along with espresso powder, and freshly brewed American coffee to achieve a strong coffee taste and color, and then the light, fluffy vanilla frosting gave it the whole 'latte' taste effect. The packaging idea for these cupcakes came from Pinterest, but you can view the link here. I think the effect is elegant and pretty, and these would be a big hit for a baby shower, bridal shower, or even as a goodie bag from a wedding. One of my co-workers actually gave me the leftover cupcake liners from her wedding cupcake tower, so they really helped in making these pop!

Comfort Food!

Today was a cold day for South Florida, and a very typical one for our winter season at a balmy 61 degrees. I decided to take advantage of the weather and make a comfort food dinner. I used a Salisbury Steak recipe from All Recipes that I have used before. I love this recipe, it is easy to make and very flavorful using ground sirloin beef and French onion soup, along with other traditional meatloaf-type ingredients. I added half a cup of red wine to make it more gravy like. I kept it simple and made a pot of white rice and cannellini beans to serve alongside.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Christmas was very special this year. Not only was it the first one for my boyfriend and I as living together, but it was also our official one year anniversary. We didn't really celebrate on the day since we were with both of our families, but I decided to surprise him with a romantic dinner a few days later. I feel like I haven't been in the kitchen, cooking a meal in ages. Between my busy busy job and school, I have not had the time, nor made the time, for about two months. It felt so good to grocery shop in WholeFoods and come home and be a little housewife. I decided to keep it simple, with fresh flavors. I had some lovely tilapia filets, and I baked them in foil with diced cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon slices, salt, and pepper. To serve alongside, I decided to oven roast four different types of veggies and not serve a rice or pasta side. I diced butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, and portabella mushrooms and roasted them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. Everything came out fresh, delicious, and so healthy! I also made a simple chocolate mousse, using heavy whipping cream and melted Ghiardelli dark chocolate, to be served with raspberries. Yum!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

2012 is almost over! I can't believe it is already Christmas Eve, as this month truly flew by. Work has been both insanely busy and rewarding and baking a mere afterthought ... something I plan on changing with the new year! Today I made time to get my bake on and put a Carla twist on a holiday classic - red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I made them 'pink velvet' instead and garnished with grated white chocolate, to create a cute 'snow' effect that matches the snowflake cupcake liners! I used a red velvet and frosting recipe from Joy the Baker, because she does not use cocoa powder in the batter (there are some picky non-chocolate eaters in my Christmas midst, so I was mindful). Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes!

In honor of another lovely co-worker birthday at work, I whipped up mini red velvet cheesecakes topped with Godiva white chocolate liqueur whipped cream and garnished with white chocolate chips! I used dark chocolate fudge cookies for the crust. Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday love!

Wow I can't believe I haven't posted in about a month! November has been crazy what with my birthday, Turkey Day, the semester wrapping up, work being insanely busy, and life in general being busy and lovely. I did manage to bake something today which was nothing short of miraculous as I have been eating out and getting takeout often these past few weeks! I definitely had to reacquaint myself with the kitchen this morning!

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins with Maple Almond Butter Glaze and Cinnamon Sugar on top! The almond butter and cinnamon-sugar grinder were two lovely gifts I received in the fall as part of the fabulous Foodie Penpals program, thanks again girls!