Sunday, March 27, 2011

Peanut Butter-filled Chocolate Cupcakes

 On a recent trip to Fort Collins, CO I purchased Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook.  It is filled with yummy, delicious looking cupcakes.  This is the first cupcake I made, and I picked it because my hubby LOVES chocolate.  Now I must say- clearly Martha Stewart, although a master at many things, hasn't mastered writing a recipe that can stand up to high altitude cooking.  So next time, I think I'll add a bit more flour because only 1, ONE cupcake didn't sink in the middle.  But they still tasted good...

{Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes}
recipe compliments of Martha Stewart Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Peanut-Butter Filling {recipe follows}

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Put butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl & set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted.  Remove from heat & let cool slightly. 

Whisk granulated sugar into cooled chocolate mixture.  Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Add flour mixture, stir until well incorporated. 

Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tablespoon peanut butter filling.  Repeat with another tablespoon of batter, and top with 1 teaspoon filling.  Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a wooden skewer or toothpick.

Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes.  Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers. 

{Peanut-Butter Filling}

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stir together all ingredients until smooth.  Use immediately.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I get so excited everytime this magazine shows up in my mailbox. 

Not because the recipes are overly glamorous, but because it's a small magazine filled with simple, easy to prepare dishes.  Of note, I choose to put this cover on my blog because that dish on the cover is one of my all time favorites to make.  I'm making it this stay tuned.

Last night, I picked this to make:

photo compliments of

{Simple Skillet Pork}
recipe compliments of Kraft Food & Family
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 lb. thin fresh green beans
2 cups  sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup  KRAFT Light Honey Dijon Dressing
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon  GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard

Cut meat into 3/4-inch-thick slices; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Season with garlic powder and black pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add meat; cook 2 min. on each side or just until done. Transfer to platter; cover to keep warm.
Add beans to skillet; cook and stir 4 to 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Transfer to platter with meat.
Cook and stir mushrooms in same skillet 1 min. Add next 4 ingredients; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until Neufchatel is completely melted and sauce just comes to boil. Serve over meat.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Cream Pie

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law Becky.  This is my hubby's favorite, FAVORITE dessert.  This is my go-to recipe if he needs some "cheering up," I need to say "I'm sorry" or if I'm just feeling like being a good wife.  At one time, my mother-in-law told me I make it better than she does.  Needless to say...I kept very quiet* because she does make a good pie.

{Chocolate Cream Pie}
recipe compliments of Becky Griffin

One baked pie crust
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsweetened Hersheys cocoa
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Meringue topping *see below for recipe

To make filling:
Stir together in saucepan sugar, flour, salt, cocoa & oil.  Add milk & gradually stir mixture over medium heat.  Gradually add eggs; heat & whisk until mixture thickens (this may take awhile.)  Once the mixture is a pudding-like consistency, remove from heat.  Add butter & vanilla; stir until well mixed.  Pour into cooked & cooled pie crust.  Immediately top with Meringue & bake at 375 degrees for approx. 10 minutes or until meringue is browned.

{Meringue Recipe}
recipe compliments of Betty Crocker

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons sugar

In medium bowl, beat vanilla, egg whites & cream of tartar until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes.)  Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat on high until large peaks form & meringue is stiff & glossy (about 5 minutes.)

Spoon meringue over pie, bake at 375 degrees until meringue is browned.
Cool & place in refridgerator.

Ham-Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Another Monday breakfast!!  I'm not a huge breakfast fan...besides my trusty granola and yogurt, but I'll make an exception for this recipe.  Anytime I can quickly but something on the table that tastes really good, I'm game.  Enjoy :)

{Ham-Cheese Breakfast Rolls}
recipe compliments of Anne Bishop

1 package small rolls (I like the King Hawaiian brand)
1/2 pound thinly sliced ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 stick butter
1 1/2 teaspoons poppyseeds
2 teaspoons onion flakes

Cut rolls in half.  Place bottoms in 9x13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Cut ham & cheese slices in fourths.  Lay 2 slices of ham & 2 slices of cheese on bottoms; cover with tops. 
Melt butter & add brown sugar, poppyseeds, onion flakes & worcestershire sauce. 
Spoon over top of rolls. 
Bake at 350 degrees for approx 15 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A few things I'm Loving...

I scored some amazing things this past trip to Whole Foods...and they are all SO good I thought I'd share. 

1. Ciolo Truffled Ricotta Dip.  Absolutely amazing.  So good, I think I'm going to forget making my own dips and such for future get-togethers.  Maybe life changing. 

2. Noosa.  I like all of the Noosa flavors, but they just came out with the Strawberry Rhubarb flavor.  This is not your usual's thick and creamy and not too sweet.  And then you get a scoop of the tart rhubarb from the bottom.  I love it.  The Mango flavor is also pretty good too.  It's made locally in Colorado so I always feel good buying it because I'm supporting the local ecomony.

3.  Lastly,  again Ciolo Balsalmic Fig spread.  Good with goat cheese or on chicken.  A little goes a long way...

*Everytime I open the fridge I have to force myself to not open the Ricotta Dip and I hid the Noosa from my hubby yesterday so he wouldn't eat any.  I feel like I'm becoming a food hoarder. Oh well, at least good food is easy to find.  Sigh*

Shamrock Oreo Truffles

I'm not huge into corned beef and green beer.  So when I saw these Mint Oreo Truffles, I knew I had to make them to celebrate St. Patty's Day!  I made the regular version of these for Christmas this past when I saw Bakerella's version for the upcoming holiday I thought I'd tweak my recipe & give these a try.  I still don't have my camera again, sorry for the picture quality.

{Shamrock Oreo Truffles}

1 package cool mint flavor Oreos
1 brick cream cheese; at room temperature
Chocolate bark or candy coating (I get candy coating from Hobby Lobby- I find that it is the easiest to use.)

Finely crush entire package of Oreos.  Place in large bowl.  With hand mixer, beat in cream cheese until well blended. 

Cover bowl with saran wrap and place in the freezer until firm (it's easier to shape) about 30 minutes.
Once firm, shape into 1" balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Place back into freezer for approx. 15-20 minutes or until firm again.

Melt candy coating as directed on package.  Dip cooled truffles into candy coating and place back on wax paper to harden.  Decorate as you wish!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm gonna try*

I have high hopes for today.  We don't have any plans so I thought I'd catch up on some baking.

Last Monday, my hubby & I went to Fort Collins, Colorado with our friends Jeff & Shannon.  Ft. Collins is apparently 1 of the top 10 places to live in America.  It was boring.  The only thing to do there is drink beer.  The mall there is awful.  While the guys conducted interviews Shannon & I tried to go to a candy was closed!  Luckily we found our way to a Barnes & Noble and spent like 2 hours looking through cupcake books. 
After searching through a massive pile of books I settled on 2 to buy: Cupcakes! by Elinor Kilvan & Martha Stewart Cupcakes.

So today, I've decided to try these Chocolate Covered High-Hats from the Cupcakes! cookbook.  They look so fun!  Wish me luck... them see like a daunting task!

photo courtsey of Bakerella

Also, I have book club tomorrow & seeing that it's March I want to bring something festive.  I've made these oreo truffles before & they are really easy & so good.  These are a festive twist on the original

Mint Oreo Truffles

Mint Oreo Truffles
photo courtsey of Bakerella

Stay tuned for the recipes.  Happy Monday!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Oh I can't wait for my camera to make it's way back to me!!  Hopefully this week (although I do not have very high hopes that I will EVER see it again.)  In the event that it doesn't make it's way back to me, not all is lost...I'll get a new camera!  A better camera!  Yay!

Anyways...this is another go-to recipe in our house.  It's quick, it's easy...and so full of flavor.  We love it!  This is my version of CPK's BBQ chicken pizza...and we like mine better!

{BBQ Chicken Pizza}

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 chicken breast; cut into 1/2 cubes
1/2 cup BBQ sauce; divided
1/2 cup marinara sauce
Red onion; thinly sliced
1 pre-baked pizza crust
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup BBQ sauce in a small ziplock bag

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Place chicken in skillet & cook until half done.  Cover with 1 TBSP BBQ sauce, cook until done.

In small bowl, add remaining BBQ sauce & marinara sauce.  Spread over crust.  Sprinkle with thin layer of cheese.  Add chicken, top with onion.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes.  (I like browned, bubbly cheese so after baking I turn the broiler on high & broil the pizza for approx 1 minute.  Note: DO NOT WALK AWAY or you will have a burnt pizza.)

Sprinkle with cilantro.  Cut small corner from ziplock bag and drizzle additional BBQ sauce over entire pizza.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Who doesn't have old or should I say "really ripe bananas" sitting around.  We always seem to have this problem in our household...probably because I always, every week buy bananas.  I can't help it.  I need to see them in my grocery basket.  This problem does have one good outcome...see below.

{Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins}
recipe courtsey of Diana's Desserts

2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter; melted
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease & flour 12 large muffin cups. 
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Stir in chocolate chips. 
In small bowl, blend bananas, melted butter, milk, eggs & vanilla.  Add to flour mixture, stirring only until just blended (do not over mix.)  Fill muffin cups (almost all the way full.)
Bake 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown & toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let stand several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 large muffins.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cherry Pie Squares

My mother has mastered, I mean Mastered this recipe.  She has been making this for as long as I can remember.  Seeing that the guys are gearing up for a long golf season...I thought I'd send a treat to work with my hubby for his staff to enjoy.  This recipe is best when made with slush packed, fresh, farmer's market purchased tart cherries.  But if they aren't available (or cost an arm and a leg like they do in Denver)  just use 2 large cans premium quality canned cherry pie filling & omit the filling part of this recipe.

{Cherry Pie Squares}
recipe courtsey of Marcia Talaski


Make in 2 different batches for the best results.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
2/3 cup crisco shortening
6-7 Tablespoons cold water

Mix flour, salt, sugar.  Mix in shortening with fingers until crumbly.  Add cold water 2 TBSP at a time until mixture become dough consistency.  Roll into rectangle that fits jelly roll pan.  Fill with filling (below), dot with butter, wet edges, then make second crust, roll out and place over top of filling.


{if using slushpacked tart cherries}
4 cups tart cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons tapioca granules

{if using canned cherry pie filling}
4 cups cherry pie filling
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix together.

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Bake at 375 degrees covered with foil for 30 minutes.  Uncover & bake an additional 20-25 minutes. Glaze when cooled.