Bella’s Golden Birthday & Peanut Butter-Carob PUPcakes!

Bella's 5th Birthday

My Bella turns 5 today! Woo Hoo!

Yes, my little puggle can be quite mischievous and well–rather rascally. But at the end of the day she’s my super cuddly and loving little gal. Yup. She’s the Best Pup Ever. True Story.

Peanut Butter-Carob PUPcakes

To celebrate her golden birthday, I wanted to make her a few PUPcakes! After all, a mama has to indulge her little one from time to time….and well, because I somehow became one of those obsessed puppy parents ;)

Since chocolate is a definite no-no for dogs, I opted for both melted and whole carob chips in the batter along with peanut butter, honey, shredded carrots, and jarred baby food. That’s right–baby food! Organic chicken to be exact. It may sound odd but it’s a hit with the pups. And lastly, I dipped the pupcakes into a carob “ganache” and topped them with carrot sprinkles.

Bella's 5th Birthday

Needless to say, Bella loved them! Although I must admit that it was torture for her to wait until her mama finished snapping pics before she could dive into the pupcakes. She is much less concerned with documenting her Foodventures than I am but was such a good sport nonetheless.

And with that….HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLA! Love ya to pieces!

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Peanut Butter-Carob PUPcakes
Makes 1/2 dozen pupcakes

Ingredients:

Batter
½ cup carob chips, divided
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ounces organic pureed baby food (chicken or beef)
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup shredded carrots

“Ganache”
½ cup carob chips
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

Garnish
shredded carrots
carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup carob chips and honey. Using 15 second intervals, microwave the chips and honey until melted and smooth. Be sure to stir every 15 seconds to avoid burning the carob. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the egg, vegetable oil, baby food, peanut butter and melted carob until thoroughly combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and then the carrots and ¼ cup carob chips. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners until they are about 2/3 filled. Bake the pupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on racks.

While the pupcakes are cooling, prepare the “ganache”. In a bowl, combine ½ cup carob chips, peanut butter and honey. Using 15 second intervals, microwave the items until melted and smooth. Check and stir every 15 seconds to avoid burning the “ganache”. Working with 1 pupcake at a time, carefully dip each cake top in the warm “ganache”, twisting your wrist as needed to ensure the pupcake top gets completely coated. Allow the “ganache” to set 1-2 minutes and decorate with shredded carrots and carob chips. Repeat with the remaining pupcakes.

Pupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts + Nambé GIVEAWAY

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

If you are anything like me, you’re still finalizing what dishes you’ll be making for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ve got the desserts squared away but still need to commit to an appetizer or two……Baked Brie? Cheesy Mushroom Bread? Oh, the options…

But if you are in need of a dessert to wow your guests, you must try out these beautiful Pomegranate-Pear Tarts.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

You can use whatever types of pears you like but I find that either Bartletts or Anjous work out best. I also put a light honey-glaze to provide a little bit of sweetness and a sheen. As for the pomegranates, they added a great freshness and crunchy texture while giving a bit of tart flavor. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the tops with crushed pistachios.

Not only are these tarts eye-catching and delicious but they only take a few minutes to put together! Perfect for holiday entertaining when I always seem like I’m racing the clock.

And since this is a time for giving Thanks….our amazing friends at Nambe are giving us a chance to say THANK YOU to our readers with a giveaway!

One reader will have the chance to win this gorgeous Handled Tray !

How to Enter: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…Thanks!

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll serve using the Nambe Handled Tray

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  2. Like the Nambé Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like Nambé, leave a comment and let us know); or
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so).

The deadline to enter is Monday, November 26th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

THANKS so much Nambé and HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

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Pomegranate-Pear Tarts
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and sliced lengthwise to 1/8 inch width
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup pomegranate arils
fresh whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the sheet into 4 equal squares.

Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving ample space in between each square.

Leaving a ½ inch border of the puff pastry around each square, shingle the pear slices so that all 4 pieces have been covered. Gently fold over the dough on each side of the squares and pinch the corners to seal.

In a small bowl, mix the honey and water together until combined. Brush the tops of the pear slices with the honey glaze. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the pomegranate arils and serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

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I’ve had this little number in my queue to try for some time now and with the holidays just around the corner–what better opportunity!

It was pretty simple to come together and were beautiful when proofed and baked. I decided to add to the original recipe by sprinkling the rolls with Maldon Sea Salt flakes before baking. It added a great flavor and texture to the slightly sweet rolls. YUM!

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I made this batch of rolls to accompany a few roasted game hens but they would be great alongside stews/soups, buns for mini sliders or simply slathered with butter. Whichever you choose, I would highly recommend trying them out.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

2¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup honey, plus 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
cooking spray
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon sea salt flakes

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add ¼ cup honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Mix together the melted butter and 2 tablespoons honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture.  Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with the sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Slightly adapted from Annie Eats

Why Hello, Sopapillas….

Sopapillas with Honey

Hello Dear Friends! My sincere apologies with being MIA but I was out of town for several days. A part of my adventures included a quick road trip with my big brother from Houston to Orange County—that’s 1,600+ driving miles we clocked in! And although the drive was done in 2 quick days, we did stop for some great eats on the road back to California.

One such memorable pit stop occurred in Las Cruces, Mexico. Nopalito Restaurant is a family owned establishment that features New Mexican cuisine at its greatest. I, of course, inhaled my delicious lunch that included a cheese enchilada, crispy taco, and a flauta—all smothered with their yummy chile verde. It was DARN GOOD! But as tasty as our entrees were, it was our dessert that had me.

My brother had insisted that wherever we ate for lunch while in New Mexico, we needed to order Sopapillas. I had never heard of Sopapillas, let alone try them before. But when he said it was a flat bread that was fried, I was ALL over it. Our awesome server brought over a basket of our freshly fried Sopapillas with a bottle of honey. It was SOOOOO good! The bread was crispy but not greasy and the dough was slightly sweet and further enhanced by the floral notes of the honey. And I’m not the least bit embarrassed to admit that I had polished off my entire Sopapilla before my brother even had his second bite. Heheheh…. it was good.

Headed to Las Cruces anytime soon? You must stop by Nopalito Restaurant. Delicious food, friendly service, great prices…and of course, Sopapillas.

Nopalito Restaurant
310 South Mesquite Street
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001
(505) 524-0003