Noms by Nikki

Nom (N) : An extremely delicious food.

  • 29th June
    2011
  • 29

I did it!

I officially launched http://nomsbynikki.com!  There you can buy my custom goodies!  I will be blogging less as I will be nonstop busy between raising Molly, freelance writing and making lots of Noms!  I will be constantly updating my official site with photos of all my confections, so be sure to check there.  Here is the birthday cake I made last week for a little girl’s third birthday party:

  • 25th May
    2011
  • 25

Wilton Cake Decorating Classes

Have you been wondering where I’ve been and where all my Noms are?  Well, I’ve been busy taking Wilton’s cake decorating classes and I have yet to document my Noms!  Shocking, I know.  I decided that it’s time to start selling my goodies, so I’m getting some education.  Anyone ready to place an order?!

Here are my first two cakes:

Molly’s 1/2 Birthday Cake:

White cake, vanilla buttercream, chocolate chip cookie dough filling (Star tip technique)

Cupcake Cake:

Yellow cake, vanilla buttercream, peanut butter and chocolate ganache filling.

  • 27th April
    2011
  • 27

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Tonight I’m making this recipe I found in the latest Real Simple magazine, however I couldn’t find orecchiette in whole wheat so I’m using shells.  Nom nom!

          

Real Simple’s Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
  • 2nd April
    2011
  • 02

Mmmm… Bananas

Sorry for the lack of posts… I’ve been busy slaving over meals for my daughter, who is starting on solid foods.  Molly thinks I’m the best cook in the world!  Here is her first meal and let me tell you, mashed banana is quite a difficult recipe:

What you need:

  • 1 custard cup
  • about 1-2 slices of banana (equal to 1 tablespoon)
  • a fork

Directions:

  1. Mash banana in a custard cup with a fork until it’s a purée.
  2. Wipe the sweat from your brow.
  3. Serve with a rubber tipped spoon to your eager baby.

          

  • 2nd March
    2011
  • 02

Mounds Filled Cupcakes with Key Lime Buttercream Frosting

We made these for Kori’s birthday and they were phenomenal!!  We cheated and used a store bought yellow cake mix, but made the buttercream from scratch!  Here’s the frosting recipe from Southern Living:

Prep: 10 min. If you love lots of frosting, double the recipe.

Yield: Makes about 2 3/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  Key lime zest
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  Key lime juice
  • 1  to 2 Tbsp. milk

Preparation

1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with Key lime juice, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and 1 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in up to 1 Tbsp. additional milk for desired consistency.

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NOM!!!

  • 26th February
    2011
  • 26

Cheesecake Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

So after hemming and hawing over trying to find a new Valentine’s Day recipe, we decided to just go ahead and do something red velvet, but only use a minimal amount of red food coloring.  Therefore, our cupcakes were more pink than red, but they were delicious!

            

The idea of a filled cupcake was Ben’s.  He found this glorious site:  Bake it in a Cake and so our cupcake filling adventure has begun!

The actual cupcakes are a Paula Deen recipe, so they are a traditional southern Red Velvet.  That means they are more of a cornbread type texture and not so sweet, which I thought was perfect for a filled cupcake.  Just keep that in mind if you are looking for a sweeter, more cake-like version.

For the cheesecake you’ll need:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting you’ll need:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions: 

First make the cheesecake. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees (F).

Mix the brown sugar, salt, graham cracker crumbs, and melted butter in a small bowl until all the crumbs are moist. Press the crumbs in an even layer into the bottom of a 9x9 non-stick baking pan. 

Combine the cream cheese, and sugar in a mixer on med-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, on at a time, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla. Pour the batter over the graham cracker crust and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top and the edges of the cheesecake start turning golden brown. The cake will be only slightly jiggly, but still feel firm to the touch.

Allow to cool completely and then store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

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  • 8th February
    2011
  • 08

Rethinking V Day Dessert

I’m having second thoughts on the red velvet cheesecake.  Why?  Because it calls for 1oz of red food coloring and I don’t feel comfortable with putting that much food coloring (chemicals) into my food while I’m nursing.  I’ve looked into natural food coloring, but it’s $16.99 for only three colors!!  And I’m not taking the time to extract juice from beets… I don’t have enough time in my day as it is!  So, I’m on the lookout for a new dessert.  Any suggestions?  Right now I can’t eat anything with nuts or coconut because those two ingredients don’t seem to agree with little Molly’s tummy.  :)

These are cute, but I’m looking for something a little more challenging than sugar cookies.

Valentine's Puzzle Cookie

I’ve been toying with the idea of cake pops… much like my brownie pops, but with cake!  These look good.

Valentine Cake Pops

I’m stuck!  Help!  :)

  • 4th February
    2011
  • 04

Brownie Pops

Last winter I discovered brownie pops and went on a pop-frenzy.  I made them for my sister’s birthday, Ben’s sister and even for our annual Oscars party.  I never ended up blogging about them, so why not now?  :)  They are really easy and so much fun!  You can use any brownie recipe you want, all you need are a few things from Michael’s.  Pick up some lollipop sticks and lollipop packaging.  Or you can forgo the sticks and have just brownie bites.  All you need is this mold by Wilton:

                    

Just follow the directions that come with the mold.  My brownies ended up baking A LOT longer than the directions said, but that’s probably because of the secret ingredient I use in mine.  :)

Then you can go to town with decorating.  Just get some chocolate melts, sprinkles, edible glitter, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, etc.  It’s so much fun and would be a great activity with kids!

Here are some pics of the brownie pops:

                

These were for the Oscar party.. can you guess what movie Ben and I had?!  I don’t particularly like the taste of chocolate melts so we dipped these in white chocolate chips melted down before using the blue melts.  They aren’t the prettiest brownie bites, but they tasted awesome.  And my Avatar dude was fun to make!

                     

We made these ones for Ben’s sister, Lisa, and brought them down with us to Charlotte.  They travel well as long as you keep them cool so the chocolate doesn’t melt.

                

And these were the pops we made for Kori’s birthday!  The photo above was taken while they were drying before we packaged them up and the photos below were taken by the talented Laura Heffelfinger  (Her photos far surpass mine!!)

       Photo by Laura Heffelfinger

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  • 2nd February
    2011
  • 02
  • 2nd February
    2011
  • 02

Noms by Nikki

Welcome to my new blog!  I started a random blog in 2009 that turned into a food blog which I abandoned when I became pregnant with my baby, however now that she’s 3 months old, I decided to start my blog up again but with a fresh new taste.  I moved over my old food posts so they wouldn’t be lost in the blogosphere forever!  (You can find them all below and in the archives)

Enjoy!