Friday, August 29, 2008

Fabulous Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes

So I'm finally putting cupcakes on my blog! Yay! This is what I named my blog after. This recipe is awesome! I found it on It is a dense, chewy, chocolatey cake recipe. I try to get away with making this at every family birthday party (except for my husband's, he likes yellow cake, whatever Ben!) My mom loves German chocolate cake, so I used this recipe and just made a homemade german chocolate cake frosting with coconut to go on top. This time I made my son these cupcakes for his "Pirate" Birthday party. Once you make this, you won't want to make another boxed chocolate cake mix!
This recipe will make 36 cupcakes, or 1 13X9 cake.

Fabulous Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1 c. sour cream
1 c. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350.
Place baking chocolate in a plastic bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, return to microwave for additional 30 seconds, stir. Add chocolate chips and stir. Microwave for additional 20 seconds and stir until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Set aside.
In large bowl beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beat in vanilla and melted chocolate. Add 1/2 the sour cream, beat, and then add 1/2 flour mixture. Repeat with remaining sour cream and flour mixture. Stir in boiling water.
Pour in greased or lined muffin tins, or greased cake pan.
For cupcakes bake approximately 15 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE, that is the worst thing you can do to a cake recipe! Makes about 36 cupcakes.
For 13X9 cake, bake approximately 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. You can add anything you want to it, I've done Reese's Peanut Butter chips and chocolate chips, white chocolate and milk chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate chunks. Try anything you want! The cookies turn out even better if you refrigerate the dough so it's firm and cold. That way the cookies turn out crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
3 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pkg chocolate chips, or anything else you want to put in!
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350. Beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat for 3 minutes until light in color. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until dough forms. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts, stir until well incorporated. You can now bake for 10-13 minutes, or you can put the dough in the refrigerator overnight and bake the next day. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Inside Out Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my favorite dinners. It's quick and really good. There's not a lot of chopping vegetables because I use frozen peas and carrots. You can use any type of roll for the base, but I prefer the Pillsbury Grand Flaky Layers biscuits.

Inside Out Chicken Pot Pie

1/3 c. butter
3/4 c. celery, chopped
1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 3/4 c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
2 c. cooked and cubed chicken
1 c. frozen peas and carrots
1 pkg. Grands flaky layers biscuits

Cook biscuits according to package directions. Meanwhile in saucepan melt butter. Add celery and saute for 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk until it's incorporated. Continue to stir for another minute, until golden and bubbly. Whisk in broth, milk, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Bring to a boil, stirring gently. Add chicken and frozen peas and carrots. Turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until heated through. Correct consistency with more chicken broth or flour if needed. Split biscuits in half and spoon filling mixture over top to serve.

Pizza Rolls

So this is my husband and 14 year old brother's favorite thing that I make. It's like a cinnamon roll with pizza filling and you serve it with warmed pizza sauce, Yum! I usually make homemade bread dough, but you can also use the frozen Rhode's bread dough or Pillsbury refrigerated Pizza crust to save time. These also freeze well, just microwave to reheat!

Pizza Rolls

16 oz. sausage
4 oz. pepperoni
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 loaves frozen Rhode's bread dough, thawed
or 2 Pillsbury pizza crusts, or 1 recipe white sandwich bread (on this blog)
Pizza sauce for dipping

Cook sausage in skillet, drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, chop pepperoni by hand or with food processor. Combine sausage, pepperoni, cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out into large rectangle, about 1/4" thick. Spread half of sausage mixture over dough. Press down on filling, and then starting at the bottom, roll up like you would cinnamon rolls. Pinch end tightly. Cut into 2" slices and place on baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 20 rolls.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls, I hope you enjoy this recipe! Today I tried a little something different and I zested and juiced one medium orange. I added most of the zest and the juice to the dough, and I put the remaining zest in the cream cheese frosting. It turned out really good, I think I'll do it every time. When you add the juice (about 1/4 cup), subtract 1/4 c. water from the recipe so you don't have to add more flour.

Cinnamon Rolls (actually this is my breadstick recipe I posted in May, just made into cinnamon rolls)

2 pkgs. (or 4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 c. sugar, divided
2 c. warm water (between 105 and 110 degrees, or lukewarm)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, softened
Cinnamon and sugar
Brown sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs. butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

In large mixing bowl, or KitchenAid, dissolve yeast and 1 Tbs. of sugar in 1 c. of the warm water(105-110 degrees). Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the oil, egg, remaining sugar, 2 c. of flour, and salt, beat until smooth. Slowly add the remaining flour until a soft dough forms, knead for 6 minutes.
Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Punch down dough and lay out on floured surface. Fold dough over on itself like an envelope. Roll out to a rectangle, dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Brush butter over dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar and brown sugar over top, be generous! Starting at one end, roll up dough. Cut into 2 inch slices. Place in a greased 13 X9 pan.
Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until light golden brown.

For frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Add enough milk to make it the consistency you want.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taco Salad

This is a quick and easy dinner that my husband loves. It usually makes enough to have again the next night!

Taco Salad

Shredded lettuce
Taco meat (1 lb. ground turkey cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
1 recipe guacamole (see below)
flour tortillas, soft taco size
cooking spray
aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 350.
Make four aluminum foil balls, about 2 or 3 inches wide. Place on baking sheet. Place 4 tortillas in microwave for about 30 seconds to soften. Remove and spray on both sides with cooking spray. Drape tortillas over foil balls, push down on sides to form an upside down bowl. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until light brown and crisp all of the way through. Let cool. Repeat if desired, recipe will make about 8 individual salads (plus enough leftover meat to make the kids tacos if they don't want the salad! :)

Layer lettuce, meat, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. It's easiest to place in a bowl and then crunch everything together to eat. It would also be delicious to add olives, fresh tomatoes, and green onions!


One of my all time favorite things to eat is guacamole and chips! I usually don't follow a recipe, so these measurements are approximate. You may have to add a little more of some of the ingredients to make it to your taste. It's important that you let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours so that the flavors all blend together. I have found that leaving in one or two avacado seeds and pressing plastic wrap down so that it's touching the top of the guacamole and it's not exposed to any air, helps keep it greener longer. You can definitely leave the cilantro out if you don't like it.

4 ripe Haas avacadoes
1/4 c. chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
lime juice
salt to taste

Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cilantro into a medium bowl. Cut the avacadoes in half, cutting around the seed. Twist to open. Hit knife against the seed and twist and pull to remove. Make slices in the avacado flesh with a knife and scoop out with a spoon. Repeat with remaining avacadoes. Add avacadoes to bowl and mash and stir in with the rest of the ingredients. Add lime juice and salt to taste. Place one or two seeds in the bowl and cover with guacamole. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

French Toast

I've been making this recipe for years now, I think I got it from my sister-in-law Emma. It's a twist on plain french toast that I know you'll love!

Let me know if you'd like to be on my list of people that get notified every time I add a new post!

French Toast
4 eggs
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Orange juice (I use about 1/2 an orange, just squeeze the juice into the eggs, or you can use 1 Tbs. orange juice concentrate)
About 12 slices bread (In the pic above I've used sourdough bread from Costco, it was really good, the texas toast thick-cut bread is great too)

Whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange juice. Preheat a large frying pan. Coat pan with thin layer of butter. Working with about 2-3 slices of bread at a time, dip each side of the bread into the egg mixture and place in hot pan. Cook each side until done, about 2 minutes each side. Repeat with remaining bread slices.

I love to top it off with strawberries and cream!

Basic White Sandwich Bread

Hey everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I've posted anything. This is my favorite white bread recipe. I think the best tip I could give you is to make sure the temperature of the water that you add to the yeast is about 105 degrees (warm, but not hot). After the water, yeast, and sugar have been combined and have sat for about five minutes, the yeast should have about tripled in size and should be very bubbly. If it is not, DO NOT add it to the dough. If the yeast didn't grow then, it won't grow in the bread and you'll have a flat, dense loaf. Just start over with the water, yeast, and sugar, the water probably wasn't warm enough, or it was too hot. And yes, you do need to let the dough rise twice!

White Bread

2 1/2 c. warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. powdered milk
3 Tbs. shortening, cubed (not butter flavored)
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 c. bread flour
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour

In large mixing bowl (or KitchenAid mixer bowl) add the yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add milk and whisk just a little until there are no clumps. Add shortening, salt, and sugar. Gradually add flour until a nice soft dough forms. The dough should not be hard, or too sticky. If you're not using a KitchenAid dough hook, you may need to add the last bit of flour while you are kneading. Knead for 6-8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, turn dough ball to coat top and cover. Let rise for 1 hour.

Punch down dough, place on floured surface. Fold in sides and press down as if you're folding an envelope. Divide dough in half. Spray two loaf pans and set aside.

Working with one dough at a time, push out the dough to form a rectangle (about 9X12). Starting at one end roll up tightly and press edges to seal, place sealed side down in loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. When dough has risen, bake for approximately 25-28 minutes.

Remove dough from pans and let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! Fresh homemade bread is the best!