Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birthday Rainbow Cupcakes and Romesco


I've seen Rainbow Cupcakes hovering (I was going to say "floating", but rainbows don't float, so I went with "hovering") around the blogosphere and they looked so cool.  So I thought I would make those for Parker's birthday party he had with his friends.  That was supposed to be last Saturday, the 5th.  Parker decided to (gross) vomit a few times that morning.  Not sure why, not sure what was wrong, but since his birthday party was at the local swimming pool, I canceled it.  I could have seen the local paper's headline the next day, "Community of Swimmers Infected With Stomach Virus."  Yeah, no.   Lucky for us, they were able to get us in the next week, yesterday.  I had already made the rainbow cupcakes but hadn't frosted them yet, so into the freezer they went.  They were great!  The kids loved them and although just a tad time consuming, they were easy to make!

I used a recipe I found on Nicole's trusty blog, Baking Bites.  Her recipe said it would make 10 cupcakes, so I doubled the recipe and must have filled mine with a lot more batter, because the double recipe only made 12 cupcakes.  I can tell just from looking at hers and mine that I definitely filled mine fuller.  Hers are so cute and dainty.  She also used one less color than I did.  Parker and his friends thought they were pretty cool, so that's all that mattered.  I piped some white 7-minute frosting on top because I thought it looked like clouds.  Get it--rainbow and clouds.   'eh


All the colors, ready to go.


So last Saturday, after we postponed the party, I couldn't help it, I froze 11 cupcakes and kept one to frost and cut open, I was anxious to see the inside.  I made up a super easy marshmallow frosting, just a tiny amount, enough to frost one cupcake.  I used marshmallow creme, a little butter, powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla.  It was pretty tasty.


Not quite a rainbow, but pretty darn colorful and cool.  In hindsight, I would 1, omit purple next time and 2, not use quite so much of each color.  It would also be fun to just use 2-3 colors and swirl it around for a tie-die look.

Fast forward one week.  I pulled the 11 frozen cupcakes out of the freezer and frosted them on Saturday.  I made a 7-minute frosting, which is also like marshmallow and really good.  I love that it has no butter!  Just egg whites, and a sugar syrup with a little cream of tartar in it.  Let the mixer do the work and you have a great, not to sweet, fluffy frosting.

I used a recipe found here on the King Arthur website for the 7 minute frosting.



Some of the kids scarfed their cupcakes down.




Parker, on the other hand, took one bite of his and told me he didn't want it.  I'm telling you, there's something wrong with these boys of mine not liking cake!  I think Parker did eat about half that bag of Doritos, Cheestos, Pretzels Munchies!


It was a good, (easy) birthday party as they swam for an hour, Parker opened presents, then had treats.  I like that.

I enjoyed sitting and talking with one of the boy's moms while they swam.  Taylor was mad at me because I didn't get in the water with him.  I was getting quite the glares.  (BAD photo color!)


Before the glares, Taylor was actually having fun.  It was when he realized I wasn't going to get in the water with him that he was pretty mad.  I didn't want to leave the one mom sitting by herself (AND I didn't have to get into my swimming suit!)



Parker was having so much fun, this is the only picture I could get of him in the water with his friends.


Happy Birthday, Parker.  It's now officially over until next year!



There was about half that 7-minute frosting leftover, so I whipped up one of these quick, tasty Chocolate Crazy Cakes.  I took the frosting and added one ounce of melted bittersweet chocolate and folded that in.  Mmmm!




Now, to end this post with something savory.  What?  Well, I can't help it.  Blame it on Chef Paige.  Yep, another class, more delicious recipes.  I feel like I'm really branching out here.  The recipe was part of Paige's Spanish Tapas class.  I can't wait to make the Tortilla Espanola--delicious potato omelet.  (I'm pretty proud here, I even ate a bite of shrimp.  I do not like shrimp!  It's more the texture, but I did taste it!)   Tonight as part of dinner, I made Romesco.  Paige has adapted a recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone book.  This stuff is so flavorful and de-lish!  It's a sauce/dip for broiled or grilled vegetables.  Well, thin it out a little more and I could almost drink it! ;) (ha, kidding!)  Since it's a sauce, it didn't photograph really well, but here's a few photos anyway. 


Wait, that looks pretty good to me!

I served it with some roasted carrots, baby potatoes and sweet potatoes and some baked, crispy flatbread.  I think this would be fabulous on some crusty, toasted baguettes or another similar bread.  The Flat-out bread crisps were really good.  Kevin thought this was just okay, he thought it was a little sweet and not spicy enough to him.  (Nothing seems to be spicy enough for him.)  I LOVE this just as I made it and it tasted VERY similar to the one Paige served us in class, which makes me happy.  I'm going to save some for my parents who are coming to visit this next weekend!  We're also going to a dinner/class by Paige--my parents will love it!


Romesco (Catalan Pepper Sauce), by Paige Vandegrift adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (also adapted again by Katrina)

4 Roma tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 slice  Country-style white bread, cubed (I used some crusty white bread I had in the freezer)

3-5 cloves of garlic (I used 4 small cloves)

1/4 cup almonds, roasted

1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted and peeled (after roasting, the peelings kind of just come right off, put them in a dry dish towel and roll them around, most of the skins will come off)

1 to 2 teaspoons ground red chile or red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)

1 to 3 teaspoons sweet paprika (I used 2 teaspoons)

1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used red wine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler.  Rub tomatoes and red pepper with a bit of olive oil (oops, I forgot that) and broil until beginning to blacken and the skins split---2-4 minutes on each size.  Cool.  Peel and seed the pepper. (It peeled perfectly.  I did not sweat the pepper in a paper bag or rinse it under running water--Paige says not to do that--you're washing away all the flavor!)  Peel and core and seed the tomatoes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat some olive oil (the 2 tablespoons) and fry the bread cubes until golden and crisp.  Set aside to cool.  When cool, grind the bread with the nuts, garlic and chili flakes in the food processor.  Add the tomatoes and pepper and the paprika and puree until smooth.  With the machine running, gradually add the oil and then the vinegar.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  (If you want it even a little spicier, add some cayenne pepper to taste.  I thought it was PLENTY warm as I made it, Kevin on the other hand, didn't think it was even lukewarm.  He's weird that way! ;)

Serve with steamed or grilled seasonal vegetables (potatoes, asparagus, green beans, beets, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, etc.)

Makes a generous 2 cups.  (Freezes well.)

Note:  You may substitute almonds for the hazelnuts (using 1/2 cup almonds total.)


Megan said...

Whoa - those are some seriously vibrant cupcakes!

What is it with your boys and cake? I have to laugh because obviously they take after their dad (sorry Kevin!). I'm surprised you didn't make a cookie cake or ice cream cake. Oh wait, maybe you did - because now that I think about it, I remember seeing it on your blog last week.

I didn't know you could add chocolate to 7 minute frosting - I love making that because it's so easy and tastes so good. But adding chocolate would make it so much better - for me, anyways.

Oh, and the Romesco sauce looks quite delicious and so healthy!

♥peachkins♥ said...

your rainbow cuppies are cute..

The Sugar Fiend said...

Katrina, once again you have outdone yourself! The icing really makes those cupcakes look especially vibrant!

I totally like your philosophy--have healthy food for dinner, and splurge on (slightly) healthier desserts!

Fallon said...

Oh wow the sauce sounds great and I like the use of hazelnuts!! Too bad red bell pepper and I don't agree with each other, or else I'd make this. :(

Eliana said...

These look fantastic. I love all the vibrant colors. This is the second time today I've seen these in the blogosphere so I will take it as a sign that I need to make them soon!!!

Risa said...

I love rainbow cupcakes! I will be making these when I have kids.

Leslie said...

Oh your poor little one pukin on the day of his party!
Yummy cupcakes

Melissa said...

Those cupcakes look amazing! Perfect for a child's birthday!!

Jaime said...

wow those cupcakes look so fun/festive :)

noble pig said...

They turned out so cute! I want to make those cupcakes too. The boys are as adorable as always.

DessertObsessed said...

what fun cupcakes! the first time i saw these cupcakes was actually at a concert; a group of girls sitting in my row were eating rainbow cake! your boys look like they had a grea time!

Emily said...

You are too funny. I would have stayed out of the pool also. I avoid situations where I have to wear a swimsuit, if possible.

These cupcakes look so good. I made some of these a while back. Well, sort of. :/ I used a cake mix. Gasp!

I've never made a seven minute frosting before. I have to now! I must.

This party looks like fun. I loved swimming and eating cake as a kid.

Maria said...

Love the cupcakes! So fun!

Anonymous said...

Rainbow cupcakes! Fun!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Hi. I just found your blog. Al your foods looks so good. I love the rainbow cupcakes!

Unknown said...

Wow! you've got some DARK colors on those rainbow cupcakes!! :)

Pamela said...

I was toying with the idea of cupcakes, but the cakes I made were time consuming enough. Definitely worth it, though. I would definitely make a rainbow cake again!

eatme_delicious said...

Hey thanks for directing me to your romesco recipe! I've been intrigued by romesco sauce for awhile but have yet to make it. Sounds delicious! Those cupcakes are also awesome. =)