Monday, December 20, 2010


This is more of a family recipe that was taught to me by an old family friend. Personally, this is one of my absolute favorites and I am SUPER picky about eating this at actual Mexican restaurants because its such a flexible dish (you can use fish or shrimp...add this or take out that). Please read this recipe thoroughly.

**Pictures added 1-11-2011**

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 lb. frozen shrimp*
  • 1 bottle shrimp cocktail sauce*
  • 1/2-1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 large lemons*
  • 4 large limes*
  • squirt of ketchup 
  • jalapenos to taste
  • cilantro to taste
*quantities are per 2 people

Thaw shrimp in water; transfer to a medium to medium-large bowl. Add lemon and lime juices. Cover and refrigerate. In the meantime chop onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro. Add to the shrimp along with a hearty squirt of ketchup and the entire bottle of shrimp cocktail sauce. I know this sounds insane but you will not taste the ketchup. Cover and place back in the refrigerator for *at least* 4 hours.

Please note:

This is a recipe that should be made in the morning; especially if using raw shrimp!! The timing is crucial since the lemon/lime juices are what cook the shrimp. If you cheat,(like I do sometimes) and use cooked shrimp, I still recommend letting it sit for at least 3-4 hours since this will allow the flavors to coagulate and the spiciness of the jalapenos and cilantro to become stronger.

 The shrimp, thawed and marinating in lemon-lime juice
The final product, ready to be served! Delicious looking, yes? Well, wait till you try it out!!!

Now, go! Make and share with all those you love!!! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I came across this recipe on a fellow blogger's page (link will be provided at the end of post) and just had to try them out!! I will say beforehand, this recipe calls for quite a few steps since you're making the cupcakes, snickerdoodle cookies, and (if you want) the frosting. I opted out of making the frosting from scratch since I had two cans of store bought frosting in the pantry and wanted to put them to use. So that being said, let's get to the recipe!

*Recommendations can be found at the end of the recipe*

**Pictures are added at the end of the post, after the recipe and recommendations*

Here's what you'll need:

For the cupcakes; Yields 30

  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 /12 c cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c milk
For the frosting
  • 3/4 c plus 1 T. sugar, divided 
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
For the garnish
  • mini snickerdoodles *make sure to half the recipe
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. sugar
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl; whisk to combine.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pans about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped to the side.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the sugar dissolves.  Continue boiling without stirring until the temperature reaches 230° F.
In the meantime, while the sugar mixture is heating, beat the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium-high speed until medium-soft peaks form.  As soon as the sugar mixture reaches 230° F, remove the pan from the heat.  With the mixer on medium-low, pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow steady stream until it has all been added to the bowl.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whisk until the bottom of the bowl is completely cool to the touch and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.  Use immediately.

Original blogger left these notes: 
"I used an Ateco tip #829 to frost these cupcakes" 
"To make the mini snickerdoodles, I used a half recipe of regular snickerdoodles (and didn’t even use all of the dough) and rolled the dough into tiny balls, about ¾-inch diameter.  I reduced the baking time to about 8-10 minutes."

Recommendations (for cupcakes):
1. If you do not have an electric mixer with a bowl, use a larger bowl than size you used for the dry ingredients. 
2. I am forever terrible when it comes to recipes that call for "butter at room temperature" so what i did was pop each stick in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it soft. Doing this also gives you the option of hand whisking the butter, sugar and eggs together (which I did since I was on the phone).
3. I *did* use the electric mixer for adding the milk and dry ingredients. ::sigh:: Once again, learn from my forgetfulness...make sure when you turn off the mixer, you let it come to a complete stop before pulling it out of the batter. 
4. With that said, while the mixer is out of the batter, it helped when I would scrape the sides of the bowl  with a rubber spatula in between adding the milk and dry ingredients. 
5. I discovered if you let this batter refrigerate for about 10 minutes, it will thicken it and make it slightly easier to transfer from bowl to pan. 
 The cupcake batter, in the process of mixing. 
 Look how smooth this batter is once its all mixed together!! (btw...this batter is finger-licking good if you enjoy licking the bowl!)
 This was halfway through the baking time (10 minutes) when it was time to rotate. 
 Cooling!! Don't they look delicious?! 
The snickerdoodles I made. There were about a dozen more than this that I experimented with. It didn't work so I tossed them. 

 Cupcakes decorated. As you can see, I tried different frosting techniques. I also used canned frosting instead of the homemade. 
 More canned frosting. In vanilla. I decided to try the basket weave design so this is my first attempt. haha. 
...and this is my third attempt. 

Have fun with decorating the cupcakes!!! Especially if its for an informal event. :) 

[[Original recipe can be found at Annies-Eats]]

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