Sunday, June 19, 2011

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes a while back but haven't had time to post them until now! There are only 2 days of school left then no more work until next school year! Expect some more posts of delicious baked goods over the summer!

I had been dreaming about peanut butter cupcakes and finally got around to making them! I love peanut butter and chocolate but I do not like chocolate cake. Almost every peanut butter cup cupcake that I have ever seen has chocolate cake and peanut butter icing. So I decided to take matters into my own hands!

Unfortunately I didn't make up my own recipe for the cupcakes. I used this recipe from All Recipes only I think I added a little more peanut butter and I used evaporated milk because I never have milk on hand. Keep an eye out though because I am making a peanut butter cake later this week and plan on changing it up a little so maybe you will see an original Peanut Butter Cake Recipe soon!

So after baking the cupcakes I cored the middle and filled with chocolate ganache. Honestly I can't remember what I did for it some proportion of good quality chocolate and milk or cream and maybe butter depending on the mood I was in when I made them. This is why I should update my blog right after I make something instead of months later. The important part is that I filled a condiment squirt bottle with the ganache and filled the cored out centers with ganache.

Then came the hard decision. Chocolate icing would make the most sense but I couldn't deny the fabulousness of peanut butter icing. So I decided I didn't need to pick and would swirl them together.

I essentially used this recipe from All Recipes for the peanut butter icing but I do remember adding more sugar and PB until I got a good consistency. But I didn't measure it so I have no idea how much! And for the chocolate I used the chocolate buttercream on the back of the Hershey Coco powder box.Then I used a spatula and put the chocolate on one side of the bag and the peanut butter on the other. I thoroughly researched this on lots of other blogs and websites to figure out how best to do the swirl. Basically just scrape one of the icings along one side of the bag and the other icing along the other side. Then make sure you squeeze evenly on both sides so that you get equal amounts of both icings.

They turned out so cute! Almost too cute to eat but not quite!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back from the Dead!

So I know it has been a long long time!! I got a job, moved into an awesome apartment, got a cat, and have been crazy busy! And although I know I won't be able to blog all the time like I was doing before I am going to try and post when I make something super awesome. Like today,

Say hello to the awesomeness of Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with a Honey Chai Buttercream. I needed to make cupcakes for our staff meeting on Monday but really didn't feel like going to the store. I came across a couple chai cupcake recipes and came up with my own version. I think a cream cheese icing would be really good on these too- kind of like a kicked up spice cake! I just didn't have any cream cheese and was really not going to the store! I made mini cupcakes because I needed more and didn't have enough butter to double the recipe! These are really moist and yummy and taste just like chai. Don't skip infusing the chai with the milk because that is really what kicks them up a notch.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

1/2 cup milk
2 vanilla chai tea bags
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour (I used a mix of cake flour and all purpose just because I had both)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Put the milk and tea bags in a saucepan and bring to a boil. (Note: If you have a gas stove don't dangle the string with the tag over the side of the pan. That is a great way to catch the tag on fire. After one teeny tiny fire and a new pot of milk and tea bags I decided to take the string and tag off!)
2. After it comes to a boil turn off the stove and let the tea seep for a bit in the milk while you start on the cupcakes.
3. Cream the butter until its nice and fluffy.
4. Add in the sugar and mix it for a bit until its fluffy
5. Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time.
6. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg into a separate bowl. (Note: You could also add in some cardamon but I just didn't have any to put in)
7. Alternately add a bit of the flour mixture and the chai infused milk to the creamed sugar and butter mix
8. Taste and adjust the spices if you want!
9. Combine the vinegar and baking soda in a separate bowl and once its all done fizzing add it into the mix
10. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes (This is for mini cupcakes- if you want normal sized cupcakes they might need to bake a little longer)

Honey Chai Buttercream

3 tbls butter
1/3 cup shortening (You could use 1 stick of butter but I only had 3 tbls of butter left so I improvised)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbls milk
3 tbls honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

1. Cream the butter and shortening together
2. Add in everything else and mix for a while until it gets really smooth and fluffy

If I had thought enough ahead I would probably have done 3/4 cup of milk with 3 tea bags when I did the cupcakes and saved the rest to add into the icing. But I didn't think ahead and I didn't feel like taking the extra work for only a few tablespoons of milk. But I am sure that it would have been even better if I had done that.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'm Alive!!!

I am super sorry that I haven't updated in the last month or so. I am alive and I have every intention of keeping this blog going, its just been on a little unplanned hiatus while I'm student teaching. I am at the elementary school and commuting to or from the school for 10-12 hours a day depending on traffic. When I get home I have to grade papers, write lesson plans, and write reflections on my lessons even though all I want to do is crash and sleep! This is my last week fully teaching first grade and then the next week is my phase out week before I move up to fifth grade. So if you bear with me through this week I will try so hard to do a real update next weekend because I won't have so much stuff to do!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Strawberry Oikos Review

Well I have been trying to thoroughly enjoy the last few days of summer without stressing out too much about starting student teaching on Monday.  It is really not working, I wanted to spend the last couple days soaking up the sun by the pool but its been cloudy and rainy!  Luckily Thursday wasn’t rainy so we were able to grill some shrimp and asparagus.  I marinated the shrimp in a Basil Shrimp recipe from AllRecipes.  The only thing I did different was use dijon mustard instead of brown and I marinated them for close to 4 hours instead of just one.


My dad is the grill master


My dog of course spends her time out on the deck near the food.


The cat was down by the pool- this is the closest to the pool I have ever seen her!


While the shrimp were cooking we went down and picked some tomatoes



These really aren’t the best tomatoes but we have a bunch right now so we will probably eat them!  Of course being distracted by the tomatoes caused the shrimp to get a tad over cooked- but they were still delicious!  I would definitely use this recipe again.


Dessert was suppose to be a triple berry pie from Wegman’s but somehow I picked up a blueberry pie instead.  Oh well it was still good!


Breakfast yesterday was of course some Oikos courtesy of the awesome people at Stonyfield.  I busted out the strawberry one to try first.


I like that it is the fruit on the bottom kind of yogurt.



My opinion?  I love it!  The yogurt itself has a great taste to it, and I think I could even eat the plain kind actually plain without adding honey or fruit preserves to it.  But the strawberries are good too!  The thickness is kind of in between Chobini and Fage and I kind of wonder if the plain or vanilla would be thicker because it doesn’t have the fruit on the bottom.  I think I will bust out the plain one next so I can see.  The downside to the Oikos- they don’t carry it at Gaint which is the closest grocery store to my house.  I love Wegmans but I find myself at Giant most of the time just because it is super close and that is where we go to grab something real quick- which seems to be most of our grocery shopping.  Giant does have Chobini and Fage so I will probably still buy those most of the time unless Giant starts carrying Oikos.  Also in grocery store related news- my school that I am student teaching at is super close to Whole Foods so I might end up stopping by there on the way home to pick up some groceries so I suppose I might get some Oikos from there too!

On to lunch!  It was just some leftover pasta from the other night that I ate while frantically trying to finish the Time Travelers Wife.


Then I continued my lazy day with a cup of spiced tea (it is a blend of instant tea, lemonaid mix, tang, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that my mom makes) which I drank while taking a fabulous bubble bath.


Dinner was another Rachael Ray recipe- Butternut Bowties.  I saw her making this on her talk show the other day and knew I had to try it.  It turned out pretty amazingly!  I love butternut squash ravioli and this was kind of like that but much easier than making your own ravioli!

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For dessert we headed over to Chilis.  I ordered a white chocolate lava cake that I had high expectations for, it was suppose to be a white chocolate molten cake covered with a berry sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  What I got was a mini bundt cake filled with white chocolate sauce topped with vanilla ice cream so it looked like a molten cake with the tiniest drizzle of strawberry sauce around the side.  I was highly dissapointed.  (I also forgot my camera so this is a crappy cell phone picture)


I slept in today and skipped breakfast- I am going to die next week having to get up between 6 and 7 every day.  For lunch I had some leftover butternut bowties with some added goat cheese.  Basically whenever I have leftover pasta that gets dried out I just add some goat cheese because it melts in and makes the pasta creamy again!


Tonight I am babysitting- I wish I hadn’t said I would babysit on my last Saturday night before student teaching because I really wanted to go out and see the Time Travelers Wife since I finally finished the book- but I need the money and maybe I can convince my mom to go tomorrow afternoon to see it with me!  Also you might have noticed that the entries are formatted a little differently- that is because I am now using Windows Live Writer.  I’ve played with a couple different ways to try to do tags and I was just about to give up but I think I figured out how to do them!  If anyone else uses Windows Live and has any other suggestions for me let me know- I especially want to know if there is a way to center all the pictures.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stonyfield Fairy


The Stonyfield fairy paid me a visit yesterday! So some of you may know that a couple weeks ago was the Healthy Living Summit in Boston. I wasn’t able to go and during that weekend I tweeted (follow me on twitter!) about how I was sad that I wasn’t in Boston at the Summit. Well lo and behold Kristina at Stonyfield, who sponsored the Summit, saw my tweet and sent me coupons for free Oikos- which is their greek yogurt, a way cool reusable bag, a magnet with nutrition facts for their products, a Food Inc flier, coupons for other Stonyfield products, and a really sweet handwritten note- I love that Kristina took the time to actually write something to me instead of just printing out a generic typed up letter! Anyways I am super excited because this is the first product I have been sent to review on my blog (or sent free coupons for because it is hard to ship yogurt!). So of course when I finished babysitting I went to Wegmans to get some Oikos!

But before we get to today lets back up to yesterday.

I dug into the freezer and found some Amy’s cheese pizza snacks to heat up for lunch. I’m trying to use up all my oven heated things because starting next week lunch will have to be heated up in the microwave in the teachers lounge.


While I waited for them to heat up I had some Sargento string cheese because I was starving.


I ate them with a little Buitoni pesto. Buitoni is probably my favorite premade pesto. These were delicious! They are like bagle bites only better! I love these, especially with the pesto. The best part is this was only half the box, there is still another serving in the freezer!



Dinner was a recipe courtesy Rachael Ray- Veggie Not-sanga. I pretty much followed her recipe except I left out the roasted red peppers because they are not my most favorite thing. It is basically lots of veggies, ricotta, and pasta! It is delicious!


On to today! Today was my last day babysitting, well for these kids I am babysitting on Saturday for someone else. I had an Apple Pie larabar on the way to babysitting.


They live right by Wegman’s so I stopped there on the way back to use my Stonyfield coupons! I also picked up some sushi for lunch- BBQ Philly Roll- it was pretty much amazing.


And I got an Honest Tea that I busted out as soon as I got back in my car- it was pearfect. No I’m not being corny it was named Pearfect White Tea and it was pearfect hahaha


And look at all the Stonyfield stuff I got- free Oikos, a plain, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and honey. I also had coupons for some money off other Stonyfield products so I picked up some of their normal yogurt and yogurt smoothies. I’m pretty stoked about the smoothies because they will be perfect to take in the car with me on the commute in to student teaching.


I haven’t tried any of them yet but I will do a full review on everything as I try them! Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lemon Raspberry Pineapple Sorbet

This is my last week of summer before I start student teaching next week, so I am enjoying every minute of this last week and relaxing as much as I can! I finally have not only a school but also grades and teachers. I am going to be in first and fifth grade. I am excited about first but I am dreading fifth! I want to teach kindergarten, first, or second grade- I like the little kids not older ones. I’m glad that I have first grade first so I can get myself adjusted to student teaching and get my unit plan out of the way. Hopefully that will make my fifth grade placement a little less overwhelming.

Anyways onto the food! Sunday night when I got back from Richmond I went with my parents to Mimis Cafe. We started out with some bread to share.


And for dinner I had some delicious citrus broiled shrimpies! They had a delicious creamy pesto sauce on top that was so amazing! It came with some asparagus and a small salad. It was the perfect size meal and came with lots of yummy veggies. I love Mimis for exactly this reason- they don’t overload you on food and their sides are actually veggies that I want to eat.


Of course the perfectly sized meal leaves you room for one of their petite desserts! I got a raspberry moose which I’ve had before and is delicious. It is such a hard decision choosing between the raspberry, lemon, or chocolate moose.


I’ve been attempting to fight off the beginnings of a cold, so I dosed up on Nyquil and slept forever! I woke up just in time for lunch. I made a sandwich that looks delicious but wasn’t quite as good as it looks because most of the veggies were at that almost gone bad but not quiet so I used them anyway and they just didn’t taste that great.


For dinner I met up with my friend Janelle at Del Rio, a Mexican restaurant in Leesburg before we went to bible study! I got a combo that came with 2 beef tacos, a cheese enchilada, and a pork tamale. It was all delicious but way too much food and I probably ate a little over half of it.


Janelle got a spinach enchilada with a sour cream sauce! It looked delicious as well and I think that if I go again I might try that!


After dinner we met up with the other girls for small group at Panera! I am so excited that I have finally found a good small group to get involved in up here. There are two of my friends from Intervarsity at VCU and Janelle who I have known forever from church growing up, Young Life, and she was involved with Intervarsity at CNU so I ran into her at conferences and camp over the past 5 years. There are also several girls that I don’t know and I can’t wait to get to know all of them better and spend some quality God studying time!

Tuesday morning I willingly drug myself out of bed at 7:30 in the morning so I could attempt to figure out how long it would take me to get to my school during rush hour and the best way to get there. It only took me about 40 minutes, which isn’t bad at all! I drove one way there and one way back and definitely saw way more traffic going the opposite direction on the way back (the way I would be going to the school). While I was driving I ate a Chocolate Macaroon Larabar- this is probably the best flavor larabar ever. I need to buy a whole box of just this kind.


When I got home I made some very disappointing juice. We were out of apples and I found one lone peach in the fruit basket. I juiced the peach along with carrots, a beet, and ginger. The peach was not really good and that made the juice not very good but I drank it anyways.


Then I headed over to my mom’s classroom to help her set it up. We quickly realized that it was almost lunch time so we ordered from Z Pizza aka my favorite place to order pizza from up here. Not only do they have the best pizzas ever, they now have their rustica pizza’s back which they use to have and then got rid of them but now they are back! The pear and gorgonzola one is so delicious and just the perfect size for one person.


We had to make a $20 minumum delivery fee so we added in chocolate chip cookies! These were so delicious, thin and gooey and amazing!


After doing some work in her classroom, we went to the grocery store and bought lots of yummy stuff to make the rest of the week, so be excited I will try to update my blog lots this week. While at the store I bought some sparkling water so I could make my own sparkling tea, since I’m getting kind of tired of the same flavor and the new berry flavor isn’t at the stores up here yet. So I came home and brewed some peach tea.


Then added some sparkling water. It was okay, I should have added honey to it before I added the sparkling water because it was hard to stir it into the class. I usually like my tea unsweetened or only with a little sweetness in it but I think the sparkling tea needs more sweetness so it can be more like soda.


For dinner I was going to make some pasta but then I realized that we are having pasta tonight (it was tomorrow yesterday haha) and later in the week, so I just threw what I was going to put on my pasta in a bowl. I tossed some diced tomatoes from our garden with some pesto sauce, zapped it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then tossed in some goat cheese. It was pretty delicious.


Then for dessert I made something that I’ve been wanting to make for a while- lemon, raspberry, pineapple sorbet! It turned out deliciously!


Lemon Raspberry Pineapple Sorbet

1/2 cup sugar

zest of two lemons

juice of two lemons

2 cups pureed raspberries (I bought frozen raspberries in syrup and pureed those if you use fresh ones or ones that aren’t in syrup I would let them soak in some sugar before you puree them)

20 oz crushed pineapple

1. Make a simple syrup by cooking the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice over medium heat until the sugar is completly dissolved.

2. Add the pureed raspberries and half the pineapple to the simple syrup.

3. Puree the other half of the pineapple and add it to the mixture.

4. Throw it all in the ice cream maker and let it whirl around until its frozen and delicious!

Anyways it was a delicious way to end a long day yesterday. This morning I woke up and made some juice- I got a big bag off apples at the grocery store yesterday so back to my apple, beet, ginger, carrot juice! And I had some 0% Fage yogurt with pineapple preserves and granola! It was delicious!


Now for most of today I plan on being lazy and catching up on my DVR- I have about a bazillion Top Chef episodes that are begging to be watched! I also want to give a big shout out to my friend Rachel- today is her birthday! She is one of my most loyal readers and is forever getting on my case when I do not update daily. I have known Rachel for forever and our birthday’s are exactly one week apart, she gets to be older than me for one week exactly! She is on a cruise so I don’t know if she will get on the internet to see this today but I’m sure she will see it when she gets back so HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!!!!!!!!

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