Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Classic Pepper Steak

Classic Pepper Steak

I guess if you were listing some of your favorite all American comfort foods, pepper steak would have to be way up there high on the list. I guess you could say that those tender strips of incredibly succulent and juicy steak, smothered with perfectly cooked sweet onions and delicious sweet peppers and served over a bed of hot steamy rice might be comforting. I think I’ll go have some now! 

Classic Pepper Steak


2 lb beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons cornstarch

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients of the marinade until blended. Add the sliced steak, toss to coat, and refrigerate for at least 15 min. Remove from refrigerator and shake off any excess liquid from meat and set aside on a plate. Reserve the liquid.

Pepper Steak

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, water and garlic powder until smooth. Add beef strips and toss to coat. 
In a large heavy skillet, over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and quick fry beef until meat is brown on all sides.  Transfer to clean plate and keep warm.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet. Add sliced peppers and onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved marinade. Return the beef back to skillet and continue to stir until sauce has slightly thickened.  
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until meat and vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste and add red pepper flakes if desired.  Serve over rice.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I mean who could resist a super moist, intensely chocolate cupcake with a creamy cheesecake center and chocolate chips?   Black Bottoms are definitely one of my favorite desserts and it's hard to not visit the fridge often when I know they're in there calling my name!  It's the only cupcake I can think of that's just too good for frosting!   This is a keeper my friends! 

Black Bottom Cupcakes

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened 
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12 cup cupcake pan or line with paper liners. I like to use clear or white liners so the colors show through. In a medium mixing bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese, egg, sugar, and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. With spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Next, mix water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar together.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients just until smooth. Do not over mix your batter. 

Using a large scoop, fill each cup with about 3/4 of the way up. Spoon in a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely. 

Bake for 25 minutes until the batter is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes


Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

These little cupcakes are so perfect for Valentine’s Day.  They are light and fluffy and the sweet whipped cream filling is so light and delicious.  I like to bake the cupcakes up ahead of time and store the filling in the refrigerator. Then when I am ready to serve, I just cut off the tops and spoon on the filling and put the tops back on and serve. 

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
3 large eggs whites
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup, powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, water, egg whites, butter, almond extract and vanilla extract, until well combined. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup 3/4 way full.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.


While the cupcakes cool, make the cream filling.  Using a mixture, with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the sliced strawberries into whipped cream. 

Slice the tops off each cupcake and fill with whipped cream mixture. Place cupcake top back on and sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.  Store in Refrigerator.

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Saturday, January 27, 2024

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

If you’ve never had this cake, you just have to try it. It's almost too light and airy to be called cake. Tres Leches Cake (meaning: three milks) is a melt-in-your-mouth sweet sponge cake soaked with a mixture of three milks: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream.  While I make the “from scratch” version now and then, I find using a store bought cake mix is just as good and saves so much time.  This is a keeper my friends! 

Tres Leches Cake

1 box French Vanilla cake mix (any brand) 
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper and then spray with non stick cooking spray and set aside.  

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and water with a handheld electric mixer on low speed. Beat for 2 minutes or until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.  Let cake cool for at least 5 minutes and then using a fork, poke holes all over the top.


1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and the heavy whipping cream until combined. 

Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake trying to get as much into the holes and around the edges as possible.  The milk mixture will pool around the edges of the cake but that’s okay.  

Refrigerate and allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least an hour or longer.


2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
Fresh sliced strawberries and cinnamon , for garnish

Using a mixer, whip the cup of heavy whipping cream, with the sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla on very high speed until stiff peaks form. 

Frost the top of the cake, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and then cut into squares.  I like to pipe on my topping but you can decorate anyway you like.

Garnish with strawberries if desired.

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