So you can imagine my delight when the party’s theme – finger foods – was announced. What better finger food than a cupcake! And I knew just which two to whip up in celebration of the beginning of a new year and the many mysteries and hopes it holds.
I’ve mentioned my nonna – and her impeccable kitchen skills – in a few blogs over the past year. And although her pasta was to die for, her lasagna reigned supreme. Served up for special occasions, like New Year’s, it was a melt-in-your mouth concoction of cheese, sauce and fresh pasta noodles. Knowing I could never duplicate this appetizing work of art, I did, however, want to pay homage to this much-missed tradition with Lasagna Cupcakes.
I started with the lasagna trifecta…Boiling the lasagna noodles…
Browning the ground beef, and…
Cooking the homemade sauce (i.e. adding the necessary oregano, pepper and salt, to taste).
Once the noodles were ready (very al dente) I cut each one into four pieces, lining each cupcake well with two. Then came a layer of beef, ricotta cheese tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.
I squeezed all the ingredients as snug as a bug in order to fit another layer on top, this time including mozzarella for the perfect melt.
The final outcome was a little messier than originally planned, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be a perfect addition to the main dish apps course offered at tonight’s New Year’s bash.
Peach Bellini cupcakes
There’s nothing like a little girl’s night. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a $10 cover charge for $7.50 drinks while creepers try to hit on you, despite the unveiling of that sparkler on your married finger. In fact, it’s even better to celebrate some time with the girls when there are a few apps – and a few beverages – present.
In honour of Girl's Nights everywhere, I thought this Peach Bellini cupcake would be the fitting end to one year – and a great way to welcome a new one.
The first part of this cupcake experiment was heading out to the liquor store to pick up the required champagne and peach schnapps. Now I admit, I’m not much of a drinker. In fact, I often end up wandering aimlessly through the aisles of wine, spirits and liquers to find exactly what I’m looking for – not to mention I usually end up feeling like a lush every time I walk out of the LCBO carrying those brown paper bags.
No matter… when the time came to put everything together it was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. Following this fabulous recipe, I mixed the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, with the champagne and peach schnapps mixture as the alternator.
The final ingredient was a fresh peach diced into little cubes.
The end result, according to my taste-testing husband, was that the champagne-peach schnapps mixture was flavourful, but not overpowering. Topping each one off with the peach bellini buttercream added that extra kick – and will be the perfect way to celebrate the big ball drop at midnight.
Here’s wishing you a new year filled with endless possibilities, the opportunity to make your dreams come true and, most important, health and happiness.