Thursday, April 22, 2010

French Cupcakes or Bouchees Chocolat au Yaourt

So I kinda have this thing with Paris. I can honestly tell you that I've been in love with Paris for more than half my life. Ever since 6th grade when Ms. BlahBlah gave us our annual country project. I don't remember exactly how it was done. I think we drew for position and then got to pick our country. All I know is that I got France and it was then my love affair with all thing French began.

In high school my friends convinced me to take Latin and I eagerly agreed as a) I wanted to hang out with my friends and b) thought I was going to be a lawyer and Latin seem like a good idea. In college when I had to pick a language I naturally went with Francais. Je voulais français! A couple years later and I could only parle un peu
français. Then I came across a book, a wonderful book, a gift from the gods. I began reading The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz and I fell in love again.

The Sweet Life In Paris is a great book. Even if you are only a casual reader I would recommend it 100%. David weaves recipes and stories together in a magical way. And the recipes, oh wow, the recipes. If nothing else, oh the recipes- they are très excellent!

Bouchees Chocolat au Yagourt (Chocolate Cupcakes)
by David Lebovitz, The Sweet Life in Paris

7 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or plain whole-milk if you prefer)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a double broiler melt the chocolate with 1/4 c of the oil until smooth. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. In a larger bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir a couple of times and add the chocolate, stirring just until combines. Pour batter into the muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool (though I can never wait until they are cool, I dare you to try).

Note: No matter how healthy you want to be, do not substitute apple sauce for the oil. The first time I made these with Kenz we did just that and these cupcakes are about 1000x better with oil. Trust me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A celebration of friends and springtime

Dinner parties, my specialty. No really I love to have friends over for dinner, to each delicious foods and to drink wine. So a few weekends ago (sorry this is a late post), I had my two bestest (is that a word?) friends over for dinner and a movie. We watched The Time Travelers Wife (such a beautiful story).

We decided to celebrate the start of spring and eventually summer. So our entree of the night was black bean burgers, Molly's potato salad (see previous blog) and a spring salad. I love black bean burgers (I am the vegetarian in the title of the blog), but I have never made them before. So I decided I was up for the challenge. So I set my sights on to The Food Network and found an easy, yet delicious recipe.

I am going to be honest, this was a delicious burger.
Happy Cooking :)

Food Networks Black Bean Burgers


1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drain

d, divided

2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 hamburger rolls

Optional Toppings:

1 tomato, sliced

4 small Romaine lettuce leaves, or any other type you have on hand

1/4 cup ketchup


Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat

In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add 1 can black beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, and red pepper flakes and pulse to combine.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining can of black beans and the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix until well combined

Reserve 1/3 of the black bean mixture for Round 2 Recipe. Divide remaining

mixture into 4 portions and form into patties. Place on hot oiled grill over medium-low heat and cook about 6 minutes a side or until heated through. Toast hamburger buns on a grill. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and ketchup. Cover the burgers with the top of the bun and serve.

Sorry my pictures are out of order, I am still in the learning process of how you use this!!!