Rose Petal Cupcakes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Rose Petal Cupcakes! Before I set out on this journey of the palate, I had no idea how to make crystallized rose petals. So when the miniature rose bush in my own yard presented me with perfectly proportioned soft pink petals, I knew I was going to try. It could not have been simpler to create such beautiful edibles.* Next I chose angel food cupcakes, tasting like sweet fluffy clouds, swirled with a crown of grenadine buttercream frosting. You can almost taste the subtle hint of rose water. Is it any wonder the rose is a symbol of passion and heavenly perfection?

ROSE PETAL CUPCAKES

Ingredients for Rose Petals:

24 rose petals, clean and dry

1-2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup sugar

Instructions:

Using a pastry brush, gently paint each petal on both sides with the egg whites. Toss them in sugar, coating both sides. Place on a wire rack allowing them to dry overnight. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

16 ounce box of angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon rose water

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place cupcake papers in each muffin cup. Place rose water and coconut extract in 1/4 measuring cup. Add the difference in water to fill liquid to top. In a large metal bowl, empty contents of cake mix. Add the 1 cup of water plus the 1/4 cup of liquid. Blend on low mixer speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat one minute longer. Pour cupcake batter into muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake according to package directions 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Ingredients for Grenadine Buttercream Frosting:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons grenadine

Instructions:

Using a hand mixer on low setting, cream together Neufchâtel cheese and butter. Blend in almond extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating halfway to add one tablespoon grenadine. Continue mixing until smooth and creamy. If needed, use one more tablespoon of grenadine to make it spreadable. Beat on medium for one minute. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with crystallized rose petals. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

* Always use rose petals that are free of pesticides or other chemicals.

Angel Hair Pasta

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Angel Hair Pasta Partners! When you’re short on time and need things at your fingertips, turn to this quick weeknight dinner option. You’ll appreciate the convenience without sacrificing flavor. The texture is pleasing and the presentation is reward enough. Make this and you’ll be able to put your feet up and enjoy the evening.

ANGEL HAIR PASTA

Ingredients:

6 ounces angel hair pasta, uncooked

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

4-6 Roma tomatoes, quartered

1 green pepper, cut up chunks

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

16 Italian-style meatballs, fully cooked

Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions:

Cook and drain pasta per package directions. As pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and green peppers. Cook 2 minutes until tender; remove from heat. Stir in Roma tomatoes and meatballs. Return to low heat and warm through. Add drained pasta and gently toss with basil, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Serve pasta meal sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Add a side of crusty garlic toast.