Monday, September 3, 2012

Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw

I do not like coleslaw with mayonnaise...yuck.  Mayonnaise in coleslaw is so heavy and gross, in my opinion. However, I love vinegar based coleslaw, and this is the BEST Cole Slaw recipe ever!!  America's Test Kitchen has yet another success.  I served this with barbecue sandwiches and it was such a delicious, southern meal.  This is now my go-to coleslaw recipe.

Published May 1, 2011.  From Cook's Illustrated.
To keep our coleslaw recipe crisp, we needed to find a way to make the cabbage shed its excess water. Our usual technique involves salting the cabbage for a few hours, but we were determined to speed up the process. We discovered that sugar, which we were already including in our coleslaw recipe, has the same effect on cabbage that salt does. Microwaving a batch of shredded slaw that we’d tossed with salt and sugar made it shed the same amount of liquid that it had taken three hours to release at room temperature. Cooling down our cabbage was easy: We simply chilled the dressing and then refrigerated the finished coleslaw for a few minutes. 


Do not use a pre-shredded coleslaw mix with this recipe; its texture and flavor are inferior to fresh cabbage. If you don’t have a salad spinner, use a colander to drain the cabbage, and press with a rubber spatula to remove all excess liquid. When it comes to the sweetness level of coleslaw, tastes vary. For this reason, prepare the coleslaw as directed and then season to taste with up to 2 teaspoons of sugar or up to 2 teaspoons of vinegar, adding one teaspoon at a time.


  • 1/4cup cider vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2large green cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded fine (about 6 cups)
  • 1/4cup sugar, plus extra for seasoning
  • Table salt
  • 1large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. 1. Combine 1/4 cup vinegar, oil, celery seed, and pepper in medium glass or metal bowl. Place bowl in freezer until vinegar mixture is well chilled, at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  2. 2. While mixture chills, toss cabbage with ¼ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with large plate and microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir briefly, re-cover, and continue to microwave on high power until cabbage is partially wilted and has reduced in volume by ¬one-third, 30 to 60 seconds longer.
  3. 3. Transfer cabbage to salad spinner and spin cabbage until excess water is removed, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove bowl from freezer, add cabbage, carrot, and parsley to cold vinegar mixture, and toss to combine. If desired, adjust flavor with sugar or vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes. Toss again before serving.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Oh my word, these were so scrumptious.  I brought these yummies to a cook out - attended by a bunch of hungry runners - and they disappeared before I had a chance to blink.  One runner said (and I quote!) "that may have been the best cupcake I've ever had."  The chocolate cupcakes themselves have the perfect amount of cocoa, are moist, fluffy, and aren't too sweet...allowing you to taste the chocolate more.  The frosting is definitely the BEST buttercream frosting I've ever had.  I have never used heavy cream in frosting before, and now I'll never stop!  Heavy cream makes the frosting so incredibly fluffy and melts in your mouth.  Using shortening in the frosting also gives it an amazing consistency; Not too runny, not too dense.  I don't think there's anything that compliments buttercream frosing better than rich, chocolate cupcakes. This recipe is truly perfection.

Yield: about 12 cupcakes

For the Chocolate Cupcakes:


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one medium cupcake pan or line with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Mix together until smooth.
  3. Pour into prepared muffin pan (batter should be just below the rim, for large cupcakes. For medium cupcakes, pour batter 2/3 to 3/4 full) and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, carefully remove cupcakes from pan, place on wire rack, and allow to cool completely.  Frost generously with Buttercream Frosting (recipe below).

For the Buttercream Frosting:


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until fluffy. Add sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, and 6 ounces whipping cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional 2 ounces whipping cream if necessary. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  Frost cooled cupcakes.  

You will have some frosting left over (I had about a cup) you can either use it for another recipe or eat it by the spoonful...your choice(;