Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes for Chad's Birthday

Every year for the past 4 years I've made Devin's birthday cake for his party and I've never gone to real extremes to make something for Chad's birthday but this year I wanted to do something. So for his birthday I made him (from scratch) Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes. He LOVES peanut butter. I got the recipe from Little Miss Cuppycakes Blog. They were super easy to make and Chad loved them. Recipe and pictures below!

Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes

A chocolate cupcake filled with a peanut butter chocolate Reeses candy filling, topped with peanut butter frosting and half of a Reeses cup


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (3 oz is a little less than 1/2 cup. I used chocolate chips)
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
peanut butter chocolate reese cup filling (recipe follows)
peanut butter frosting (recipe follows)
6 miniature reese cups, for topping


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan. Stir frequently until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let it cool completely, about 1 hour.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Reese Cup Filling


3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped reese cups
about 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


In a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter and vanilla on low. Slowly add the powdered sugar. once incorporated, add in the chopped reese cups. Then add heavy whipping cream until you reach desired creaminess.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 lb confectioners sugar, sifted
3/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp heavy whipping cream


In a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, on low. Slowly add in confectioners sugar, once incorporated, beat on medium for about a minute. Add in the peanut butter until creamy, then add in vanilla. Once incorporated, add in whipping cream until frosting reaches desired consistency. Beat on medium for about a minute. (scrape down the sides throughout as needed so that all of the ingredients are getting incorporated equally into the mixture).

To fill cupcakes, I used the hollowing technique. To hollow a cupcake use a pairing knife inserted at an angle and gently saw a circle. You want to end up with a cone-shaped piece about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1 inch deep. typically you discard (or eat) the cones, but I cut off half of the bottom and placed them on top of the filling. To frost the cupcakes, I went around the outline of the cone.

Mount St. Helens Day Trip on June 5th, 2010

So, I have a lot of things that I have been meaning to post such as our day trip to Mt. St. Helens which I highly recommend doing. It is so amazing to see the new tree growth. They have signs telling you when the new trees were planted after the eruption. They also have a very cool short movie of the eruption and the devistation. It's educational for kids too. They have a hike you can go on and employees up there that can show you rocks from the eruption and give you tons of information. It's worth the trip up for the day...pack a picnic and stop at one of the many lookout points.

Here are some pictures from our trip up there back in June...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mini Meat Loaves Recipe

I got this recipe from Woman's Day online. I tend to modify most recipes I find - my modifications are below the recipes.

Mini Meat Loaves

3 Slices whole-grain bread
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb lean ground beef
Whites from 2 large eggs
1/4 tsp each garlic powder and salt
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 tbsp ketchup

1. Heat oven to 425*F. You'll need a rimmed backing sheet lined with nonstick foil.

2. Tear bread into food processor. Pulse to make course crumbs. Add remaining ingredients and 2 tbsp of the ketchup (we use organic ketchup - tastes much better). Pulse just until blended. Form into 6 loaves on lined pan (I buy the little foil loaf pans at the store because it's much easier - fill about half to 3/4 full).

3. Evenly spread tops with remaining 4 tbsp ketchup. Bake 20 minutes until cooked through and instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 160*F. In my oven it was roughly 30 minutes in the oven.

**I also add: minced garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.
**You could also add shredded carrots or any other veggie that you can shred and add in.

15 Must-Haves....

I got this list from our Organic magazine we used to read. You don't have to buy organic if you don't want to but a lot of these are great items to always have on hand.

15 Must-haves for your Freezer

Sockeye Salmon
Black Cod Fish Filets
Organic Chicken
Ground Bison Meat
Ground Turkey Meat
Frozen Organic Mixed Berries
Frozen Dark Cherries
Frozen Organic Veggies (spinich, broccoli, and cauliflower)
Whole-Grain Tortillas
Whole-Grain Bread
Whole-Grain Waffles
Organic Ice Cream
Shredded Part-Skim Cheese (cheddar, jack, or mozzarella)

Quick Tip: There's no reason to shy away from the frozen aisle when your favorite farmers' market isn't bursting with options. Fruits and veggies grown for freezing are picked (and packaged right away) at the optimal time of year - and are much better for you than off-season produce, which is often picked before it's ripe and lacks full nutrient potential.

15 Must-haves for your Fridge

Pomegranate or Tart Cherry Juice
Organic Yogurt with live active cultures
Mixed Baby Greens, Arugula, or mache
Nut Butters (peanut, almond, cashew)
Precut Veggies
Basil, Rosemary, Dill, Thyme
Lemons and Limes
Omega-3 Eggs
Sprouted Bread or Tortillas
Maple Syrup

15 Must-haves for your Pantry

Canned Beans (garbanzo, black, pinto, red)
Organic Tomato Sauce and Canned diced Tomatoes
Organic Short Grain instant Brown Rice
Organic Chicken or Veggie Soup Stock
Old-Fashioned or Steel-Cut Oats
70 Percent Cocoa Powder
Hempseeds and Pumpkinseeds
A variety of unsalted nuts
Green and White Tea
Dried Fruits
Dried Mushrooms
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

*We keep our Pumkinseeds and nuts in jars on the counter. In sight means they'll get eatten. Being in the pantry is out of sight outta mind.
*You can also buy your beans in bulk, cook them up and freeze them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So Healthy Smoothie

So Healthy Smoothie

1 Cup Fat-Free Milk
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Small Banana, sliced and frozen
2/3 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Cup Chopped Peeled Mango, frozen
1/4 Cup Frozen Unsweetened Peach Slices

In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

I usually buy extra bananas and slice and freeze each banana in a baggie. That way I have enough for a week.

I will add a picture next time I make this smoothie.