Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

This is the season of all things pumpkin. In fact, you’ve seen it often on the blog over the past few weeks. With that in mind, I love to whip up these pumpkin cupcakes each year.

These cupcakes are moist, rich, and decadent. The decadence comes from the thick, creamy brown butter frosting. Trust me, it’s as good as it sounds. ‘Tis the season to put pumpkin in and on everything. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love these. The recipe for both the cupcakes and the frosting is below. I hope you enjoy it!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

You will need:
– 1 cup of sugar
– 1 stick butter softened
– 3 eggs, room temperature
– 1/2  teaspoon vanilla
– 1 1/2  cups flour
– 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1 cup of pumpkin puree

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Fill two, 6-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, place butter and sugar and combine until creamy. Approx. 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture on low speed, finally, add milk.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, 3/4 way up the liner. Bake for 20 minutes until inserted knife comes out clean, cool for 30 minutes

Brown Butter FrostingYou will need:
– 1 1/4 sticks butter
– 5 cups of powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1/4 cup milk

To prepare:
Brown butter on medium heat until lightly toasted. Pour sugar, milk, and vanilla into the bowl of a standing mixer. Turn the mixer on slow and add browned butter slowly until the frosting comes together.

*note this frosting has a tough consistency so you will need to apply to the cupcakes with a firm yet gentle touch.

All baking cooking dinner party Entertaining Fall Food fall menus Food styling Halloween treats for kids Halloween Holidays Parties Picture Perfect Parties Recipes Thanksgiving Thanksgiving recipes : Tags: , , , , ,

Labor Day Burger Recipe

Every now and then, I’m reminded of recipes from my previous books that are old favorites. One of them is this lamb burger. I don’t know about you, but I love burgers and I love lamb. What makes this burger even more unique is that is has a delicious Greek twist.

As our grilling days of summer get fewer and fewer, consider mixing things up with this lamb burger recipe. It’s perfect for Labor Day weekend.

As an added stylist tip, I thought I’d share a little secret with you: I love serving burgers in a pita. It makes for a really pretty presentation and a clever twist to something that is perceived as a ho-hum burger. Plus, it contains all of the messy burger goodness to one neat little pocket. Genius!

Photo from Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY

4th of July All cookbook collection cooking Entertaining grilling Holiday Parties party tips photography photostyling photostyling like a pro Picture Perfect Parties Recipes : Tags: , , , ,

Homemade Guacamole and Salsa Verde

Hi everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend. It has been so incredibly hot in Atlanta recently (or if it’s not hot, it’s raining and therefore, humid). I’ve been sticking to recipes that keep the oven off and the house cool. I’ve been deep in Annette’s archives looking for inspiration, and I found these recipes for guacamole and salsa verde. Tacos and fajitas are a quick meal that I can usually convince my husband to prepare on the grill. I love the idea of adding homemade salsa and guac to make the meal extra special.

Find the recipes for both below!

Guacamole
Serves  6-8

You will need:

– 4 ripe avocados
– 3 tablespoons lime juice
– ½ cup chopped tomatoes
– 2 cloves of garlic minced
– 1/3  red onion diced fine
– ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
– ¼ teaspoon sea salt
– 5 drops hot sauce * optional

To Prepare:

Half and scoop avocado into a bowl and smash the avocado with a fork. Next add the rest of the ingredients and combine with the fork.

Salsa Verde

You will need:

– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 12-15 tomatillos, husked
– 5 garlic cloves
– 2 green chilies
– 1 yellow onion peeled cut in half
– 1 cup fresh cilantro
– 2 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

To Prepare::

In a bowl toss tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic cloves in olive oil and salt.

Place on a cookie sheet and in the oven for 20 minutes.

Let cool and then place roasted vegetables into the bowl of the food processor with chopping blade, with the cilantro lime juice and pulse for 5 seconds.

All Photos from Picture Perfect Parties, Rizzoli NY

All Entertaining Food styling gardening grilling Picture Perfect Parties Recipes : Tags: , , , , , ,

Parmesan Crisps:: Quick Summer Appetizer

These lovely little two-bite parmesan crisps are savory and salty with a crunch—perfect to serve with a chilled glass of prosecco or rose. It’s a quick appetizer that uses parmesan cheese with a combination of tomatoes – tomato jam to be exact.

The tomato jam is the star of the show, but you’ll love the addition of mozzarella and basil too. These bites make a great addition to any menu for a summer soiree.

Two Bite Parmesan Crisps
Makes about 32

For the Tomato Jam:


You will need:
– 3  tablespoons olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 4 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:
Place ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat for 15 minutes, set aside to cool. This step may be done a couple of days in advance and placed in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use.

For the Parmesan Crisps:


You will need:
– 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
– Place 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on a cookie sheet fitted with a silpat.
– Arrange the spoonfuls about 3 inches apart as they will spread to form round crisps.

To prepare:
Place in a 350 F degree oven for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before assembling the appetizer.

To assemble:
– 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
– 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Place a dollop of jam on top of the crisp, and add cubes of mozzarella and garnish with a basil leaf.

From my book Picture Perfect Parties RIzzoli NY

All celebration Cocktail Italiano cooking dinner party Entertaining Food styling italian cooking kitchen party tips Picture Perfect Parties Recipes vegatarian food : Tags: , , , , , , ,

Festive Dessert:: Churro Ice Cream

2014-04-12_10-06-08

2014-04-26_16-37-35

You will be happy to see this dessert just in time for hotter weather, and of course, Cinco de Mayo. You can easily serve this churro-inspired cinnamon ice cream in paper cups which makes it perfect to scoop ahead! Just pop them in the freezer and pull them out about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve and drizzle with caramel sauce. By the way, high-quality, store-bought sauce is just fine.

I love serving these with sweet tortilla chips on the side to blend that salty with the sweet.

All photos from my first book, Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli, NY.

All celebration cookbook collection cooking Entertaining Food styling Parties Picture Perfect Parties Recipes spring desserts Uncategorized : Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,