Polaroid addiction

I love how digital prints give your crisp photos but I miss the look of Polaroid photos and pics my parents took in the 80’s. You know, the ones that look like they have been faded by the sun although they are brand new. Like these of a photos……

nicole_christmas 

Nicole_blue dress

 Maybe I was 3 here? Apperantly my right hand was not so sure about it and needed my left hand for some help pulling off that one.

 

Well a  great website transforms you digital pics to look like they are Polaroids- white border included! (I saw this on this blog called Emily- My Place)

love polaroid

check out Rollip!

PLUS!!! FujiFilm has come out with the Instax. Its a new instant camera. OOOOO AHHHHHH

And mine is on its way from Amazon!!!

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Creamy Stove Top Mac and Cheese

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Mac and Cheese is all the rage now. There is a really good place in Faneuil Hall that is called Mmmac and Cheese. The owner has created a creamy mac  and cheese that is great on its own but is a good base for some great add ins like tomatoes, pesto, shrimp, ham, chicken, etc.

Well, I have tried several mac and cheese recipes, some good some bad. So far I have liked Suzanne Pirret’s from her book The Pleasure is All Mine. And now I have found another… It’s from White On Rice Couple. They have a fantastic blog that features their garden, cooking, and travels.

Creamy Stove Top Mac and Cheese

From White On Rice Couple

Serves 4
1/2 pound of pasta- elbow or fusilli (I used fusilli)
2 cups of low fat milk (skim also works), you may need an additional 1/4 cup or so more for final cooking
1 tablespoon butter (optional) *I suggest truffle butter*
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to season to taste
dash of nutmeg
1 cup of grated cheese, you may combine cheese from cheddar, swiss, gouda, parmesan, asiago, jack, blue, etc. Just make sure to balance a hard cheese with a easy melting soft cheese
pepper to taste (black or white- depends on cheese and preference)
optional additions/toppings: tomatoes, Bacon, ham, chopped parsley, peas, steamed broccoli, breadcrumbs

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Quickly rinse the raw pasta in a colander, let drain

In a medium sized pot combine the milk, raw pasta, salt, butter, mustard powder, and nutmeg.

Using medium heat, slowly bring the milk to a simmer. You must stir the pasta frequently as it comes to a simmer- this prevents pasta from sticking to the bottom and together, and keeps the milk from burning on the bottom. Don’t leave the stove!

Once the milk is simmering, turn down the heat to LOW. The pasta will cook slowly in the milk (Don’t, be inpatient! If you have the heat on too high it will make the milk evaporate too quickly!)

Keep stirring frequently!

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is done and milk has been absorbed. If pasta is not done then add more milk/water un small amounts until pasta is cooked.

When pasta is ready stir in the shredded cheese.

Remove from heat and cover. Let it rest for 5 minutes- this allows the pasta to plump a bit and soak in excess milk.

Salt and Pepper to taste and Enjoy!!

 

 

*By the way, I threw some extra milk on top since we were not going to eat it right away. It would not normally be as milky as it was in the top picture*

Suzanne Pirret does this really funny Youtube video of her cooking a fish. Totally worth a watch. Check it out HERE.


Chipotle Chocolate Cupcakes

I saw the Spicy Chipotle Chocolate Cake from What We’re Eating and have wanted to do it for awhile. I love Mexican hot chocolate so I thought they that I would enjoy this too. Our friend Essa is going back to Egypt to sort some Visa issues out so decided to make these his ‘pot luck good luck send off’.

It was fun to bring them to the pot luck dinner because I was able to have quite a few reviews of it. Everyone liked them but they liked the cake and frosting seperately. The cake gave you a hint of chili about the 3rd bite in, a slow mellow burn. They could not taste any nutella in the frosting, just cream cheese.  But people like the frosting since they were eating it out of the mixing bowl (frosting them there made transporting them a bit easier!). I will try it again with a plain chocolate buttercream frosting so the cream cheese does not battle with the chipotle. Such a good cake, I know I’ll make it again.Amanda had a great idea with the chili/chocolate combination. So good!

I made changes to the recipe to work for cupcakes and my convection oven. (You may refer to the original recipe here)

Chipotle Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes
2 sticks butter, unsalted
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
For Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 oz nutella
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk, plus extra as needed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 24 cups in cupcake pans with wrappers. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the salt, flour, baking powder & chipotle chili powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl/stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugars. Beat until the sugars have completely dissolved into the eggs and the mixture begins to thicken- 3-5 minutes.

While the egg/sugar mixture is mixing, melt the butter in a double boiler. Once the butter has melted, add the chocolate chips. Stir until all chocolate has melted. Do not burn chocolate. Remove from heat.

Once the egg and butter mixture has thicken fold in the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla extract and chocolate-butter mixture into the batter. Fold to incorporate. Batter will be thin

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake lines. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (If it comes out with any gooey batter, let the cake bake longer, as needed.) Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 2 hours before frosting, store frosted cupcakes in a cool place/refrigerator. Once cooled, the cupcakes may be covered and stored at room temperature for a day before frosting.

Making the Frosting:

Using a larger bowl and electric beater or standmixer beat the the cream cheese and nutella into until light and fluffy. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add the milk then then gently beat to incorporate. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes!