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Chicken Soup with Heart

Chicken Soup with Heart |

It’s pretty cold here this Valentine’s Day (minus 8 degrees this am)… so I decided to make a quick Chicken Soup. Chicken Soup is pretty popular in this house. I wanted it to be festive, so I recently saw a neat idea of cooking some lasagna noodles and with tiny heart shaped cookie cutters, cut heart shaped noodles out and dropped them in the soup. What a neat idea and it looked so nice…and perfect for Valentine’s Day…Chicken Soup with Heart!

As always I take the short cut to making the soup, cooking some boneless chicken breasts in some chicken broth. This time I had some precut sliced of carrots I use for stir fry, so I chopped them a bit and put them in the soup. I added some celery, half an onion , finely minced, and some peas. One of my favorite restaurants, Francesco’s in Hartford, CT, has the best chicken rice soup, and I swear the peas in it give it a unique flair. I removed the cooked chicken breasts, diced up, and put back into the soup. I also added a little granulated low sodium chicken bullion…it has a different balance of chicken flavor than the broth does.

Chicken Soup with Heart |

After a very short time, you have the most delicious soup. Soup doesn’t have to be complicated to taste good. As a matter of fact, I much prefer the flavor of the shortcut recipe to the chicken with the bones recipe.

Try this any day for a special twist on chicken noodle soup. Your kids will love it, your sweetie, or just about anyone who tastes it will LOVE it!

Chicken Soup with Heart |


Chicken Soup with Heart
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3 Chicken Breast Halves
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced or diced
  • half of a medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 – 15 oz cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium granulated chicken bullion
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • Heart shaped noodles cut from cooked lasagna noodles
  1. Place chicken breasts in broth, water and bullion in a stock pot.. Add carrots, celery, onion and peas, and cook until chicken is cooked, approx. 15 minutes. Remove chicken, cool and cut or shred into small pieces. Place back into soup. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add cooked noodles just before serving.
  2. Tiny soup noodles can also be added and cooked in the soup.


Blog/ Cookies & Bars/ Desserts/ Front Page/ Home Page/ Valentine's Day

Frosted Brownies

Everyone loves Brownies! Especially Frosted Brownies! This is the perfect post for Valentine’s Day. Make these for your significant other…they will love you forever!

Anyone can make these! All you need is a big bowl, big spoon, and an oven. Mix the ingredients, pour into pan and bake! And these are better than any box mix could ever be!

Frosted Brownies |

I added walnuts and espresso powder from the original recipe. I used King Arthur Flour Espresso Powder as I always do, and King Arthur Flour Bensdorp Dutch-Process Cocoa for this recipe. Both can be purchased in my store.

Top with deep, dark rich, creamy chocolate frosting, and you’re in sugar overload heaven!

Make these brownies for your sweetie, and you’ll have the best Valentine’s Day ever!

Frosted Brownies |

Frosted Brownies
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 9
  • Brownies:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 c. or so chopped walnuts
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp Espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium low heat, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Hand mix in cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder until just moistened. Add walnuts. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 25-27 minutes. Allow brownies to cool in pan on wire rack for 2 minutes. Then turn brownies out onto wire rack and allow to cool.
  4. In a small bowl combine butter, cocoa, vanilla, espresso powder, milk, and confectioners sugar. Frost brownies while they cooled.

Source: Sweet Peas Kitchen



Blog/ Desserts/ Front Page/ Home Page/ Pies & Tarts/ Valentine's Day

Fudge Truffle Pecan Tart

Fudge Truffle Pecan Tart |

Chocolate…what can I say? It’s an addiction! Especially this time of year!

I’ve had this Fudge Truffle Pecan Tart for some time now, and have never got around to making it. I’m not sure why, because it is the easiest thing to make.

And it reminds me of a giant Brownie! Only it’s a little gooier (is that a word?) towards the middle. And who doesn’t love brownies, gooey or not?

Do yourself a favor…make this for your special someone, whether its Valentine’s Day or not. This is super delicious anytime of year!

Fudge Truffle Pecan Tart
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • Chocolate Tart Shell
  1. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended; add eggs, beating well. Stir in melted chocolate, vanilla, pecans, flour and coffee granules. Pour into baked tart shell.
  2. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes.
  3. Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Serve with warm tart.


Chocolate Tart Shell
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 crust
  • 1-1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  1. Combine ingredients; press into bottom of a 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Beverages/ Blog/ Front Page/ Home Page/ Valentine's Day

Spicy Hot Chocolate

Spicy Hot Chocolate |

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I throw back to my childhood and think of those Red Hot candies. Of course, it just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without CHOCOLATE!
Hence, this great recipe for Spicy Hot Chocolate.

Spicy Hot Chocolate |

I was trying to come up with a recipe for a Martini using Dekuyper Hot Damn Hot Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur. Everything I tried just didn’t taste any good. Then I saw this great recipe from the Dekuyper website, and it clicked…this is perfect for Valentine’s Day! Chocolate and hot cinnamon!

Spicy Hot Chocolate |

The pairing was perfect. It was so delicious I wanted to drink it. If it hadn’t been that it was 9:00 am, I would’ve. I will definitely be making one this evening. It was unbelievably delicious. This is something you could order out as well. And don’t forget the whipped cream! It’s Valentine’s day after all!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Spicy Hot Chocolate |

Spicy Hot Chocolate
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
This is perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any day. Warm and comforting.
  • 1 Part DeKuyper® Hot Damn!®
  • 1 Cup Hot Chocolate
  • Splash of Light Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Red Hot Cinnamon candies for garnish
  1. Fill mug with hot chocolate, DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® and a splash of light Cream or Half and Half cream.
  2. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon or Red Hot Cinnamon candies.


Blog/ Christmas/ Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes/ Desserts/ Front Page/ Holiday/ Home Page/ New Year's

Minty White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Cupcakes

Minty White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Cupcakes |

I got the inspiration for these fabulous Minty White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Cupcakes from these Peppermint Bark Malted Milk Balls I bought over Christmas. I thought these would be the perfect theme for a cupcake for New Year’s!

Peppermint Bark Malted Milk Balls |

I started with a delicious vanilla cupcake recipe I found on Martha Stewart

Then I found the White Chocolate Mousse recipe also from Martha Stewart, and added some mint extract, to give it a subtle mint flavor. Trust me, this mousse is delicious all by itself, but the mint really is delicious especially during the holiday season.

Lastly, I found a great recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese frosting on the site, which I thought would be perfect for these cupcakes.

Minty White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Cupcakes |

These cupcakes are truly decadent, and you don’t want to know how many calories are in them. But to celebrate a special occasion like New Year’s, they are the perfect cupcake. And you’re only having one, right? Good luck with that one!

Minty White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Cupcakes |

In retrospect, I would make these shortly before you need them. I put some in the refrigerator for overnight, and the mousse filling and icing got too hard (hence the chocolate in them), and although it was really good, lacked the creamy texture mousse and icing should have. I should have had my thinking cap on, as it is reasonable to think if refrigerated, the chocolate will re-harden.

This is what I love about cooking. Every recipe is an adventure. When recipes don’t come out exactly as you would expect, you learn why, and remember for the next adventure. And by this you become a better cook, with every recipe you make!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated; scrape down sides of bowl, and beat in vanilla.
  2. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.


Minty White Chocolate Mousse
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • 1 envelope (7 grams) powdered gelatin
  • 12 ounces best quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more to taste) mint extract
  1. Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, and set aside for 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Place 3/4 cup cream in a small saucepan, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Add gelatin, and stir for 30 seconds to dissolve completely. Pour into food processor with the motor running, and process until chocolate mixture is smooth.
  3. Transfer to a medium bowl and place over ice water bath. Chill until mixture is thick enough to fall from a spoon in ribbons.
  4. Whip remaining 1 3/4 cups heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. Add extract, and mix well. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container.
This recipe made “more than enough” of filling for the cupcakes.


White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces (half an 8-ounce package) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  1. Place the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on 50% power for 1 minute. If not completely melted, put in for another minute. Make sure to use 50% power as you don’t want to burn your chocolate. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.
  2. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Add the peppermint extract and 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and blend on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
I doubled this recipe for the full recipe of Vanilla Cupcakes, and “just made it” topping cupcakes with a piping bag![br][br]The recipe listed is a single recipe. Double the amounts if you would like to double the recipe.


Blog/ Christmas/ Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes/ Desserts/ Front Page/ Holiday/ Home Page

Gingerbread Cupcakes for Christmas

Gingerbread Cupcakes |

It’s finally here! With all the hype since Halloween, Christmas is here! All the shopping, planning, cooking, cleaning and wrapping, the day is here to enjoy the season’s best! And to me, one of those great things is, Gingerbread. And for ease of baking and taking, its Gingerbread Cupcakes.

The hustle and bustle was all worth it. Seeing the joy on the children’s faces for getting that special gift from Santa or, the look on your families face when you make that special dinner or dessert that they love. It’s about giving, whether its a gift, or really great food.

So, take a breath, relax, and enjoy the sounds of the season.

These great cupcakes capture the essence of Christmas with the delicious smell of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon filling the house. With the anticipation of those delicious treats topped with an orange icing entering our mouth, you can hardy wait.

Well wait no more. These great Gingerbread Cupcakes are super easy to make, and super delicious to eat. What could be better this Christmas, or for that matter, all winter long?


Gingerbread Cupcakes |

Gingerbread Cupcakes
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
  • 4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cup mild or light molasses
  • 1-1/2 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Grease top and liners with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, ginger, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter, molasses, and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs until incorporated. Gradually add buttermilk and milk until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (Do not overmix.) Scrape batter into cupcake pans.
  4. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched and edges pull away from pan, about 30 minutes. Cool completely, and frost with your favorite icing flavored with orange.


Blog/ Christmas/ Desserts/ Front Page/ Holiday/ Home Page/ Pudding

Eggnog Rice Pudding

Eggnog Rice Pudding |

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without eggnog. There’s nothing like sipping a cup of that creamy and wonderfully spiced concoction to welcome in a peaceful Holiday season. It’s funny how you don’t see the prepared stuff in the stores any time but the holidays! I got the idea for this Eggnog Rice Pudding from my Coconut Vanilla Rice Pudding that was such a hit, and thought it would be perfect for the Christmas holidays!

Now I’ve made several versions of eggnog , one even had a dozen eggs in it, and loads of whipped cream (thank you, Martha)! This rice pudding is a mixture of a comfy dessert, and the tradition of eggnog, all into one cozy little dessert dish!

Eggnog Rice Pudding |

Eggnog Rice Pudding
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • Rice:
  • ½ cup plus 2 T jasmine or basmati uncooked rice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. prepared eggnog
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ t salt
  • Custard:
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 T vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup prepared eggnog
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Add to mixture:
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp fresh orange zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the rice in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups cold water. Bring the rice to a boil and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Strain the rice and discard the starchy water. Place the blanched rice back in the pan and add the sugar, eggnog, milk, and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover the pan with aluminum foil or the lid. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the rice expands, and absorbs all the liquids, 30 minutes. (If the pan is not oven-proof, transfer the rice and liquid to a metal or glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil). If there is still runny milk in the pan, continue to bake, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes. When the rice is done, remove if from the oven, leave it covered, and set it aside.
  4. While the rice is baking, make the custard.
  5. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds with a knife and combine the empty pod along with the seeds in a heavy saucepan with ½ cup sugar, eggnog and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla to steep for 10 minutes.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, egg, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/16 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp salt, and briskly whisk for 1 minute. Using a ladle, slowly whisk some of the hot cream into the egg mixture to warm it. Gradually pour the warmed egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking the cream constantly as you pour.
  7. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring continuously and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and remove the empty vanilla pod.
  8. Scoop the rice into a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot custard over the rice and, using a whisk, slowly whisk until all of the rice granules are dispersed evenly and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Add the dried cranberries,and orange zest. Allow the rice pudding to cool completely.
  9. Portion into individual dishes.

This is based on a recent post for Coconut Rice Pudding. It’s made from a basic custard and has eggnog added to it, along with added spices and dried cranberries.

Blog/ Christmas/ Front Page/ Holiday/ Home Page/ Potpourri

Christmas Potpourri

Christmas Potpourri |

Let’s face it, it’s not Christmas without those familiar smells. For me its the “Winter” scented candle from Slakin bought at Bath & Body Works, Balsam candles from Yankee Candle, and the smell of simmering cloves, cinnamon and orange. This great potpourri is great for everything winter!

Christmas Potpourri |

I just took some fresh orange and lemon rind and slices and put them on the dehydrate setting on my countertop convection oven, and viola!, I’ve got fresh orange and lemon peels ready for the potpourri! Add some other spices of the season, put them in a spice bag, and simmer on your stove top, and your house will smell like you’ve been baking up a storm!

Spice Bags |

Anyone can make this. If you don’t have a dehydrater, just dry overnight. This potpourri is also great for gift giving! I even dehydrate orange slices. I put the potpourri in spice bags, and tie the orange slice with raffia to the bag. You can even use these when gift wrapping!

Christmas Potpourri |

Christmas Potpourri
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • Star Anise
  • Whole Allspice
  • Whole Nutmeg
  • Mulling Spices
  • Orange Peel (fresh dehydrated or store bought)
  • Lemon Peel (fresh dehydrated or store bought)
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Dried Cranberries
  1. Blend all together and put in spice bags, to simmer in water on stove top.


Blog/ Cakes/ Christmas/ Holiday/ Home Page

Peppermint Cake Roll

Peppermint Cake Roll |

Cake rolls have never really been my thing. However, I love they way they look and taste. So here I go again trying to master the cake roll. It all started when I decided that I would make a Buche de Noel for my Christmas cake this year. I decided I was going to master the rolled cake if it was the last thing I did.

Then I saw this great cake from Lisa’s Wineandglue blog and thought this would be the perfect thing to use as a “dry run” for my Buche de Noel. So, off I go.

Peppermint Cake Roll |
Making the cake was very simple. However, the first time I made it (yes, you heard me right), I made the stripes of colored cake batter in the wrong direction. So, when the cake would be rolled with the widest end, instead of having red and white colors of cake per slice, I would’ve had all white or all red. The cake came out fine, but it just wasn’t right. You need red and white in every slice. So…back to the drawing board, and I made another cake. This time putting the stripes of batter from left to right on the longest part of the pan (15″ side). That way, when you roll it up starting with the longest side (15″), you will get both red and white cake.

When flipping the cake onto the dish towel after baking, the second time I didn’t put any confectioners sugar on the towel first. Bad move. The cake slightly stuck to the towel (not so much that it ruined the cake), but enough that my hands were all sticky and the towel was sticky. It was much easier putting the confectioners sugar like the directions dictate. Also put more food coloring than you think you need. I thought I had enough with about 10 drops and my cake came out dark pink instead of red!

Peppermint Crunch | afoodieaffair.comI did change the filling a tad. I put less butter in by half, and added some Marshmallow Fluff. It came out pretty good, but then again what frosting recipe doesn’t taste good? I think I will use this filling for my Buche de Noel and include some Peppermint Crunch to it. Chocolate cake with a crunchy peppermint filling, and chocolate frosting….what’s not to like?

I had absolutely no problem rolling and re-rolling the cake as I’ve had in the past. Maybe I’m starting to master this rolled cake thing after all! I hate to fail at anything, hence the making of the second cake. I’m glad I did. It came out looking pretty good, and tasting even better. This is a great recipe for holiday time!

Peppermint Cake Roll |

Peppermint Cake Roll
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp red food coloring
  • For the filling:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract
  • Peppermint Crunch
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degress F, and line a 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cream of tartar together, mix until just combined.
  3. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of water together on high until they are light and airy, about five minutes.
  4. Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Divide the batter into two, and dye one half red.
  6. On the long side of the pan (15″) , gently pour a spoonful of the red cake batter all along one edge. Then a row of white, then a row of red, and so on. I had four rows of each color in the end, and had to work once all the batter was added to the pan to make sure it was completely spread out.
  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the white begins to turn golden brown.
  8. While the cake is baking, spread a clean kitchen towel on a large cutting board.
  9. Use your 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to cover the kitchen towel completely.
  10. When the cake is done baking, flip the entire pan over onto the kitchen towel and gently peel away the aluminum foil.
  11. Working at the long end, roll the cake into the kitchen towel. This will give the cake its rolled form. Leave the cake for at least one hour, but not more than four hours.
  12. While you are waiting to unroll your cake, mix together the 6 Tbsp softened butter, two cups of powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff and the peppermint extract. Don’t refrigerate the frosting while you are waiting for your cake!
  13. Unroll your cake. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and roll it back up. (This time without the towel).
  14. Roll the cake in aluminum foil and chill for at least an hour before serving, but do not wait more than a day or two to serve or the cake will dry out.
  15. When you are ready to serve, whisk together the topping of powdered sugar, extract and milk. Pour over cake (you may need to do some spreading) and top with Peppermint Crunch.



Blog/ Cookies & Bars/ Holiday/ Home Page

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti with Peppermint Drizzle |

I noticed this great Chocolate Espresso Biscotti recipe on Pinterest from Wendy at the Themondaybox blog, and thought they would be perfect for one of the cookies on my Christmas cookie tray this year!

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti with Peppermint Drizzle |
Wendy, these Chocolate Espresso Biscotti are truly a chocolate and espresso lovers dream!

Peppermint Crunch |
I even drizzled some with a little peppermint icing and peppermint crunch topping, to jazz them up for Christmas. They were so delicious, they reminded me of a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie! These biscotti would be fantastic any time of the year, with or without drizzle, and be a “recipe to save” in your collection of recipes!

Espresso powder |
I didn’t have any espresso beans so made up for them with some more espresso powder. But next time I’m definitely going to get the espresso beans as I think they would be even more delicious with them!

Now I just have to get all of the crumbs out of my keyboard!

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti |

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti
Recipe Type: Cookies
Author: A Foodie Affair
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground espresso beans
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and chopped chocolate. Pulse until the chocolate is ground into the flour mixture.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture just until combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips and ground espresso beans.
  7. Divide the dough in half and form two logs about 14” x 2”. Place on baking sheet at least 4” apart.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Logs should be firm but not hard.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  10. On a cutting board using a serrated knife, cut each loaf into ½ inch slices. (If the slices are crumbling, let the loaf cool a little longer.)
  11. Stand the slices, ½ inch apart, on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until the surface of the cookies is dry ( though the chocolate chips will be gooey).
  12. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
  13. Note: If you use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process , use ½ teaspoon of baking soda instead of the baking powder.
  14. Packing tips: Wrap pairs of biscotti in plastic wrap, then store in an air tight container or zip lock bag. If shipping in hot weather, leave out the chocolate chips. Chopped nuts can be substituted for the chocolate chips, if desired.


Beef/ Blog/ Home Page/ Soups, Stews & Chowders/ St. Patrick's Day

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Every weekend in the cold weather months, I always make a soup. This great soup, chuck full of carrots, potatoes, leeks, cabbage and bell pepper, along with the delicious taste of corned beef, is surely  a tummy pleaser this time of year!. I saw this great Corned Beef and Cabbage soup from Skinny Taste, and thought it would be the perfect soup for this week, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day next weekend.

I never thought I’d be making Corned Beef anything, since I have never eaten it before. Actually, I have never associated Corned Beef as being Beef at all. Don’t ask me why..I realize the word Beef is in the name of the meat. I think because it is salt cured, it reminds me of a pork Picnic roast. Nonetheless, I have never really been a fan of a Boiled Dinner, or any of the type roasts similar to those. But I have to say, this soup was delicious, and quite a change from your basic chicken or beef soups.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup - afoodieaffair

Having said all this, I decided to break out of my old habits, and try this Corned Beef and Cabbage soup. Am I ever glad I did. What a tasty soup! They only thing I added was a little cubed yellow turnip. I had some leftover and thought it would be perfect in this soup.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Irish
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped (whites and light green only)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 c. cubed yellow turnip
  • 1 lb lean corned beef brisket (yields 9 oz cooked)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 – (14-1/2 oz.) cans low sodium beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • fresh pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes; add garlic, carrots and yellow pepper and sauté about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add corned beef, peppercorns or seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef, bay leaves, parsley, beef broth and water; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat becomes tender.
  3. Remove the corned beef, set it on a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return it to the pot then add the cabbage and potatoes, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Cook until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 45 more minutes.



Blog/ Breads, Muffins & Pretzels/ Home Page/ St. Patrick's Day

Irish Soda Bread

I love St Patrick’s Day for the simple fact that I love Irish Soda bread. However, as much a I like to eat it, I’ve never made it. I’ve meant to many times, but never did.

I saw this great recipe from Ina Garten, and thought I would give it a try. Irish Soda bread is extremely easy to make. Unlike most breads, you don’t have the lengthy process of letting it rise before baking. Just mix it, form into a round loaf, and bake. Her’s did not have Caraway seeds in it, so I added a teaspoon of them into the ingredients. I also used golden and dark raisins instead of the currants.

This bread bakes up to a golden brown crust, just as promised in 45 minutes. And smelled delicious.

Irish Soda Bread - afoodieaffair

Make sure you make some traditional Irish Soda bread this St. Patrick’s Day, or for that matter, any time of the year.

Irish Soda Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This delicious Irish Soda bread is full of raisins and Caraway seeds. Perfect to go along with Irish Stew, or any soup.
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp extra for raisins
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp.baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1-3/4 c.cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/2 c. dark raisins
  • 1 tsp. Caraway seed
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  3. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  5. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes/ Desserts/ Holiday

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Icing

The holiday time is so busy for me, I hardly have time to do the one thing I love, cooking and baking. And when I make the time, its for things to bring to party’s, church, etc., and are done in a rush. I have so many great recipes bookmarked, or posted on Pinterest to make, and the holidays fly by without getting a chance to make!

I wanted to make some cupcakes for Christmas, and remembered I had these great gingerbread decorations I got at Stonewall Kitchen. So I decided to make gingerbread cupcakes. I remembered I had bookmarked a recipe from Epicurious, so found it and got to work. I doubled the recipe to make 24 cupcakes.

I used a great recipe for orange cream cheese icing I had to top them with.

These cupcakes were supposed to go to church with me Sunday, except the all fell on the floor as I was taking the container out of the fridge. I didn’t take them with me, but was able to salvage a few to re-ice and taste. They tasted unbelievable! Just like old fashioned gingerbread. Not that stuff from the box, either. I even think if you added some raisins, they would be even better! The orange icing, really complimented the gingerbread well, and was perfect for the cupcake…even though they did end up on the floor! Next Sunday, I will try again. They were that good!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Icing
  • Cupcakes:
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 stick plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, OR 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Icing:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp.pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lb. (about 2 c.) confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer, mix together sugar and butter (or oil), until fluffy (or blended if using oil).
  4. Beat in molasses and egg, until smooth.
  5. In a measuring cup, combine the baking soda with 1/2 c. boiling water, and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda.
  6. Stir the water and baking soda into the molasses mixture (the mixture may appear curdled, if using butter).
  7. Slowly mix in flour and spices, stirring to combine.
  8. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway.
  9. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of your oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.)
  10. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool completely before icing.
  11. For the icing, mix the cream cheese, butter, orange zest and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until just combined. Add the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth. Adjust the consistency with a little milk if needed.







Memorial Day…In Remembrance

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the courageous men and woman that died protecting our country. There are Memorial Day parades, services, memorials and cookouts to celebrate their dedication and our appreciation of their service.

I remember marching in the Memorial Day parade with my Girl Scout troop every year. I guess that helped remind me what Memorial Day was all about even as a young child. When my children were small, I took them to that same parade every year.

Gravestones are dressed for Memorial Day with bright red geraniums. Soldiers help place hundreds of flags adorning military grave sites in neat little rows.

Memorial Day has different traditions and rituals to different people. Whatever your tradition, let’s make sure to take a moment at 3 pm today to remember all those courageous men and woman.

Happy Memorial Day!  God Bless America!

Breads, Muffins & Pretzels/ Breakfast & Brunch/ Cakes/ Mardi Gras

Mini King Cakes


Mini King Cake

Mini King Cake

I needed something to make for our Mardi Gras celebration, and had seen these Mini King Cakes in my King Arthur Flour catalog. They looked perfect for the occasion.

The tradition of king cake dates back to the Middle Ages when a popular devotion during Christmas was placed on the Three Wise Men (or Kings) who followed the North Star to find Christ. The twelfth night after the birth of Christ marks the end of Christmas and the celebration of Epiphany. Thus, Twelfth Night in some cultures became a time for pageants and giving special presents to children. Along with gifts came the celebratory cake, or king cake.

I used Fiori di sicilia extract for the icing as it had the perfect citrusy undertones that the bread has. If you don’t have any, vanilla extract would work fine. I also tinted the icing with a little yellow food coloring. I made my mini king cakes in the mini-panettone papers which worked out fine as they get quite high. You can always use muffin cups. The lemon bits also called for in the recipe are also from King Arthur Flour.


Mini King Cake

Mini King Cake

Mini King Cakes
Recipe Type: Bread
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time: 2 hours 30 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 3 hours 10 mins
Serves: 12 cakes
Wonderfully light, this sweet bread has undertones of citrus.
  • 1/2 c. (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. lukewarm milk
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. nonfat dry milk
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp lemon oil, or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3-1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 c. Lemon Bits or lemon chips, optional
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Fiori di sicilia extract or vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp + ½ to 1 tsp milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze
  • yellow, purple, and green sparkling sugars
  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients to make a smooth, soft dough. If using an electric mixer, knead for 10 minutes. If using a bread machine, put on the required setting to knead and rise dough only.
  2. Put dough in a greased bowl, and let the dough rise, covered with a damp tea towel , for 1 hour.
  3. Place 12 mini-panettone papers on a baking sheet. Or line a standard muffin pan with cupcake papers, and grease the papers.
  4. With greased hands, divide the sticky dough into 12 equal pieces, forming each into a smooth ball.
  5. Place the balls of dough into the papers. Cover the pan, and let the cakes rise for 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water, and brush it over the cakes.
  7. Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, then tent them lightly with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.
  8. Beat together the icing ingredients, dribbling in the final teaspoon of milk until the icing is thick yet pourable.
  9. Dip the top of each cake in the icing, or drizzle icing over the tops of the cakes. While the icing is still tacky, sprinkle with the colored sugars.

These smell absolutely fantastic when baking. They have a citrus tone to them, as they have lemon peel and lemon bits in them. Short of being in New Orleans, they are next best thing!