7.27.2010

peanut butter perfection

today i thought i'd share a little background on me and my cooking/baking...

i've never taken home ec.  i've never had a cooking class.  i'm completely self-taught and the biggest motivator is that i'm a VERY picky eater.  recipes that i don't particularly care for i will work on until they can tickle my taste buds.  this one is no different.  i love peanut butter and chocolate together, but as i've said before i'm not a big fan of chocolate cake.  i researched and tried many from scratch chocolate cake recipes before i found one that i could amend to my liking, and then the hard part - adding the peanut butter to work well with it as a standalone cupcake.  then i worked on the frosting, and was inspired by the local grocery store's chopped reese's peanut butter cups as a garnish on top of chocolate cupcakes.  it finally all came together a couple weekends ago and i must say, this one is so, so good.  pair it with a tall, cold glass of milk and you have a dessert to die for.


















peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water

frosting:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sweet cream salted butter, melted
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup half and half

garnish:
reese's peanut butter chips
8 reese's peanut butter cups, chilled and chopped


1. preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. combine and stir the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. in another bowl, combine together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla with a hand mixer.  add peanut butter.  add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until you can get them as smooth as you can.  add the hot water and continue mixing until all are mixed together.
3. prepare a cupcake pan with baking cups (i use foil lined cups for best results).  fill cups 3/4 full.  bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  do not overbake.  let cool before frosting.
4. for the frosting: using a hand mixer combine all 4 ingredients til smooth.  if needed, add additional half and half to get it smooth.  garnish with chips and chopped peanut butter cups.  side note:  after several attempts i found the most aesthetic way to frost them was to hand frost, then hand pipe frosting in the center, only about 2/3 out.  then when the garnish is added, it looks so much nicer.

makes 12-16 cupcakes.  enjoy! =)

♠ ♠ ♠

download a printable copy of this recipe at...
http://www.oncupcakemoon.com/recipes/peanutbutterchocolatecupcakes.pdf

7.23.2010

friday fuzzies

[fri'dā fuz'ēz] n. handmade finds of pure cuteness to make fridays even better

every friday i will share with you something or things that i found which meet the following criteria:
1. it's cute
2. it's handmade
and most of all,
3. i covet it

today's theme - sushi!  (and a big thanks to tokyotombola for helping me come up with the idea while stalking his shop)

teacher's pet crochet fruit protector pink ebi by tokyotombola...  cosplay for your fruit!

















california sushi roll by Cornstarch...  this shop has everything cute and sushi!















sushi bracelet by Komodokat... adorable polymer clay charms for your wrist!




















pass the wasabi sandwich sak by WasteNotSaks...  such a great way to help the environment!

7.19.2010

great for hot days

some of you know about my peanut butter & chocolate cupcake recipe...  that will be the next recipe i post, i promise!  in the meantime, this chicken salad is a nice and refreshing meal for hot days - minimal time with the stove, a chilled meal and summer vegetables in full flavor.  plus it's very healthy for those trying to keep in swimsuit shape.  i love making this because it's something i can put together in the coolness of the morning and not have to think about being in the kitchen for the rest of the day.  it's pretty tasty too!



















chicken salad

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breast halves, partially frozen
4 hard cooked eggs with yolks removed, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
8 green onions, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 to 3/4 cup miracle whip lite, depending on how creamy you like it
salt & (lots of) pepper
optional: large tomatoes

1. heat oil in skillet on medium heat.  cut partially frozen chicken into small pieces (keeping it partially frozen makes it easier to cut apart).  cook chicken in oil about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. in large bowl combine the eggs, celery, onions, green pepper, and miracle whip.  add cooked chicken.  season with salt and pepper to taste.  (note: we've found that extra pepper gives it great taste).  chill for about 2 hours prior to serving.
3. optional serving suggestion - cut tops off of large tomatoes.  scoop out the insides and if desired, cut a pattern around the top of the tomato.  spoon chicken salad inside.

makes 6-8 servings - enjoy! =)

♠ ♠ ♠

download a printable copy of this recipe at...
http://www.oncupcakemoon.com/recipes/chickensalad.pdf

7.16.2010

friday fuzzies

[fri'dā fuz'ēz] n. handmade finds of pure cuteness to make fridays even better

every friday i will share with you something or things that i found which meet the following criteria:
1. it's cute
2. it's handmade
and most of all,
3. i covet it

first of all, i'm a little behind in the blogging the last 2 weeks.  i have been working on a few very special blog posts but i haven't been able to get them done to my liking.  =(  next week for sure!

second, have you heard of omgcow?  well, sheika (who draws the comic) actually inspired the bacon themed friday fuzzies of last week because she made up a cute little song about how her man's love is like bacon.  once she knew that, she made me a song too!  if you haven't seen the video, click here to view it.  in it, she asks for some cowrific, moovelous items.  sheika, i hope these work for you!

and p.s. go preorder her comic so she can go see "rent" for her birthday!


cow fondant cupcake topper by GoodiesByMelissa...  cow topped cupcakes - how cute!

















tutti frutti cow and ice cream cone lampwork bead set by Maybeads...  a pink sprinkled cow and ice cream cone!  i think the cow really wants that cone too the way it is eyeing it!






















barnyard tote by TheHayPatch...  i think this is the absolute cutest cow tote i found!  yes, it's sharing it with a few other barnyard animals but the cow print makes this oh so adorable!






















tiny cow trinket dish by tlgpottery...  a cute little cow to help hold your tiny treasures!

7.12.2010

french toast - for dinner

yesterday afternoon while catching up on some tv shows i saw an advert for a french toast special at some restaurant...  needless to say i couldn't get the idea of french toast out of my mind so i decided to make some for dinner!  the traditional milk and eggs mixture tends to make the bread quite soggy, so here's my recipe that works even for thin bread to keep good texture.  it's also sweet enough with the dipping mixture and optional fruit to not have to add more calories with some syrup.  then you can add some whipped cream instead. ;)



















french toast

1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tbs granulated sugar
6 slices bread
optional:
powdered sugar
bananas or other fruit
whipped cream
syrup

1. in a large bowl, whisk or use a hand mixer to mix together the flour, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
2. heat a griddle or frying pan on medium heat.  if desired, lightly oil the pan's surface (i use pam).
3. dip each slice of bread in the mixture until saturated.  cook each side until golden brown.
4. optional - top with powdered sugar, fruit and some whipped cream.  serve with syrup if desired.

makes 3 servings - enjoy! =)

♠ ♠ ♠

download a printable copy of this recipe at...
http://www.oncupcakemoon.com/recipes/frenchtoast.pdf

7.09.2010

friday fuzzies

[fri'dā fuz'ēz] n. handmade finds of pure cuteness to make fridays even better

every friday i will share with you something or things that i found which meet the following criteria:
1. it's cute
2. it's handmade
and most of all,
3. i covet it

bacon!!!!  i love bacon.  and a lot of things do taste better with bacon.  but who knew bacon could be so cute - and in so many forms?

the incredible edible stuffed egg custom amigurumi with a side of bacon by Concertina3...  everything in her shop is so darn cute!



















bacon scarf (made to order/customizable) by SunshineMonster...  bacon to wrap yourself in!






















bacon and cupcake magnets by rubbishtees.  bacon AND a cupcake?  win-win!














and bacon and egg cute kawaii earrings by therubyrabbit...  simply adorable!

7.06.2010

thinking outside the bun

i get the urge every now and then for fast food, and one thing i have enjoyed is taco bell's mexican pizza.  but it's hard to enjoy it when i now know how many fat grams and calories are in one little one (and how many hours on the treadmill i'll have to put in accordingly!).  they have also scaled back the pizza over the years to just beef, beans, cheese and tomatoes so i decided to make my own much healthier and more flavorful version.  it's another household favourite!


















mexican pizza

i'm not listing quantities of anything on this recipe so that you can build your own pizza to your likings on any size tortilla

2 flour tortillas
refried beans
salsa
ground beef/chuck/sirloin already cooked with taco spices and/or sauce
quesadilla melting cheese and/or mexican blend shredded cheese
tomatoes, chopped
green onions, chopped
sliced black olives

1. preheat over to 400 degrees F.
2. on a non-stick cookie sheet or pizza pan put down a tortilla.  cover with a layer of refried beans and then another tortilla.  cover the second tortilla with salsa as if it were pizza sauce.  add a layer of ground meat and then cover with cheese.  scatter tomatoes, green onions and olives on top.
3. bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

a 6" tortilla makes a good sized dinner portion for 1 person.  enjoy!

♠ ♠ ♠

download a printable copy of this recipe at...
http://www.oncupcakemoon.com/recipes/mexicanpizza.pdf

7.02.2010

friday fuzzies

[fri'dā fuz'ēz] n. handmade finds of pure cuteness to make fridays even better

every friday i will share with you something or things that i found which meet the following criteria:
1. it's cute
2. it's handmade
and most of all,
3. i covet it

today's theme was inpired by my orange and white furbaby.  he always makes me smile, so hopefully these picks will do the same for you.

tofu purse by mochikaka...  it was inspired by her little furbaby! =)






















CHARMS 1" pin by sohokitten...  C-heerful! H-appy! A-mazing! R-oly Poly! M-agical! S-uper!  all the qualities of my little kitty!



















punk cosplay ears by nekochii...  now i can be a kitty too ;)


















orange candy cat needlefelted by Furritales...  so tiny and cute!






















year of the tiger chinese zodiac charm by shielou...  even though my little guy isn't a tiger, this "big" orange kitty was too cute not to be included!