Amazing Marble Cupcakes {with a twist…of course}

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This weekend, my 8-year-old son and I made these cupcakes together. The interesting ingredients resulted in probably the best cupcakes we’ve made. Yum!

Enjoy! Denise

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Amazing Marble Cupcakes

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
8 oz. Pepsi
4 oz. Maraschino Cherry Juice
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
Maraschino Cherries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line 2 cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
  • Add cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, Pepsi, maraschino cherry juice, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat on low for 30 seconds then beat on med-high for 2-3 minutes.

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  • Pour 1/3 of cake batter to a small mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix well with a rubber spatula.
  • Divide the non-chocolate cake batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners.

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  • Divide and dollop the chocolate batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners.

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  • Using the dull end of a wooden skewer, marble the batter.

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  • Bake for 17-20 minutes.
  • Cool completely then frost with your favorite buttercream frosting and top with a maraschino cherry.20120826-135012.jpg
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Caribbean Cooking Class – Grilled Jamaican Jerk Shrimp

Denise From GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.com @ Savory Spice Shop of Raleigh

Below is the recipe for grilled Jamaican Jerk Shrimp that I shared during a Caribbean Cooking class that I presented at the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, NC.

The marinade for the shrimp features the Savory Spice Shop’s Jamaican Jerk Season Blend, Citrus Juice and Annatto Oil.

It is perfect for upcoming summer parties. You can grill outdoors or use your grill pan to grill indoors. It is easy and quick especially since you only need to marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes.

I also made this with turkey cutlets.

Yum!

Enjoy!
Denise

Banana Salsa

Grilled Jamaican Jerk Shrimp

2 lbs Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons Annatto Oil
Juice from 2 Limes
4 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste

    • Combine annatto oil, lime juice and Jamaican jerk seasoning in a shallow dish. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Add shrimp to marinade. Toss to evenly coat.
    • Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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Recipe Card

Caribbean Cooking Class – Annatto Oil

Denise From GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.com @ Savory Spice Shop of Raleigh

Below is the recipe for Annatto Oil that I shared during a Caribbean Cooking class that I presented at the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, NC.

Annatto is described as being “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg“. I use Annatto Oil for adding both color and flavor to my recipes. It adds a wonderful golden hue to rice, vegetables, seafood and poultry. In my family, it is a key ingredient for making Pastelillos.

Please note that Annatto Oil is a deep golden red. It does stain easily, so, be careful not get it on your clothing.

Annatto seeds have health benefits too!

Enjoy!

Denise

Annatto Oil
*Recipe Source: Miami Spice

1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Annatto Seeds

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add annatto seeds. Cook until oil is reddish gold and the seeds begin to crackle (about 3 minutes).
  • Strain oil into a clean container with a lid.

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Caribbean Cooking Class – Black Bean & Mango Salad

Denise From GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.com @ Savory Spice Shop of Raleigh

Last week, I taught my first cooking class at the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, NC. The theme for the class was Caribbean cooking.

We had a lot of fun cooking, talking and sharing information, stories….and laughs.

Below is the recipe for Black Bean & Mango Salad. I love this salad recipe because it is easy to make and perfect for spring/summer parties. The flavors are simple, fresh and versatile. It pairs well with chicken or seafood.

Enjoy!

Denise

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Black Bean & Mango Salad
*Recipe adapted from Miami Spice

3 ripe Mangos, chopped
3 15-oz cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/4-1/2 cups fresh Cilantro, chopped
4 Scallions, trimmed and chopped
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  • Adjust seasoning as needed.

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Caribbean Cooking Class – Banana Salsa Recipe

Denise From GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.com @ Savory Spice Shop of RaleighLast week, I taught my first cooking class at the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, NC.   The theme for the class was Caribbean cooking.  

Below is the recipe for Banana Salsa.  I chose to present this recipe because it is simple, flavorful and colorful. 

Banana?

Yes!

If you like mango or pineapple salsa, you will love it. Also, bananas are SO much easier to chop than both mangos & pineapple. 

Try serving it with blue corn tortilla chips or serve alongside of either chicken or fish.

It was a big hit at the class too. Enjoy!

Denise

Banana Salsa

Banana Salsa
*Recipe adapted from Miami Spice

8 Finger Bananas, diced
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced
1 Serrano Pepper, diced
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
4 Scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh Mint, chopped
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice from 2 Limes
Salt & Pepper

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  • Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with blue corn tortilla chips, fish or chicken

Banana Salsa

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20 Clove Garlic Chicken with Lemon & Olives {slow cooker}

Garlic… You either live it or you hate it…..

I love it!

This recipe uses an entire bulb of garlic!

While it slow cooks, the garlic gets soft and mushy. The flavor mellows…resulting in an almost sweet flavor.

Enjoy! Denise

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Slow Cooked 20 Clove Garlic Chicken with Lemon & Olives

1 Garlic Bulb
1 cup White Wine
1 cup Chicken Broth
4 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, frozen
7 oz. jar Green Olives, drainers
2 Lemons, thinly sliced
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried Thyme
Salt, Pepper & Hot Paprika (to taste)

  • Separate cloves of garlic. Peel & smash with the back of your knife. Set aside.

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  • In a large bowl, stir together wine, broth, thyme, salt, pepper and hot paprika. Set aside.

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  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Place chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Pour broth/wine mixture over chicken.
  • Add olives and garlic. Top with sliced lemons and shallots.
  • Season top of lemons and shallots with salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Cook on low for 8 hours.

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  • Serve with rice or buttered noodles.

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Sweet & Salty Chocolate Toffee Cracker Candy

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I have thought about making this for a while. This recipe is not only easy, it is very rich and flavorful. My colleagues at work loved it…so I guess I need to make it again real soon!

My favorite thing about this recipe s that it is perfect for those last-minute “make & take” events because you can have the ingredients in your pantry….

Enjoy! Denise

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Toffee Cracker Candy

4 oz. Saltine Crackers (1/4 of avg. size box)
1 stick of Butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Powder (or extract)
2 teaspoons Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, divided
12 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Candies, Sprinkles, or Nuts

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease it with shortening.
  • Place the Saltines in a single layer on the lined cookie sheet; set aside.

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  • In a heavy saucepan, melt the dark brown sugar, butter along with 1 teaspoon of the pink salt, cinnamon and vanilla powder over medium heat.

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  • Bring to a boil while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Boil for 3 minutes.

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  • Carefully pour the mixture over the crackers. Use a metal spatula to spread the mixture evenly onto all the crackers.

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  • Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 7 minutes (toffee will bubbly).
  • Transfer cookie sheet to a safe surface.
  • Pour the chocolate chips over the toffee; set aside until chocolate chips soften and look glossy.

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  • Use a metal spatula or scraper to smooth out the chocolate chips evenly to cover the toffee layer.

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  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of pink salt over the chocolate layer.

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  • Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.
  • Cool completely. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill. Cut or break into bite-size pieces.

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