Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sweet Tooth Tuesday -- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

A few weekends ago I took G to a cake show in Austin. We saw some amazing cakes and sampled a few sweet treats and one that G tried was a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake and he loved it! So, when we were trying to figure out what sort of cupcake to take to Boy Scouts for his birthday, we decided to try making our own!

I can't believe we were celebrating G's 8th birthday and his 2nd Leap Day Birthday! Time sure has flown by. :)

The cake batter receipe is from Wendy Paul's cookbook -- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes.
If you haven't been to Wendy's website or purchased her cookbooks, you are missing out!! She has some great cookbooks and I love the cupcake one that I purchased awhile back. I've made several receipes and they are all quick & easy -- which is a major plus in my book.

Check her out and try the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes!! I used choc cake mix & yellow cake mix and made a swirl cupcake.Do not over bake the cupcakes or the cake will be dry! One batch of mine was and the other was good!
Wendy Paul Creations

I didn't use the frosting she suggested in her book but used the one listed below -- and it ROCKS! The frosting tastes just like cookie dough which is AMAZING!!

Cookie Dough Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4c. brown sugar
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add in powdered sugar on low.
Increase speed and beat until smooth.
Add salt and vanilla.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Sunday -- Red Beans & Rice

We fix Red Beans & Rice at least a few times a month. It is a quick and easy staple in our house and I always have link sausage in the fridge/freezer and a packet of some brand of red beans & rice in the pantry. So when I saw a receipe on Plain Chicken I just had to give it a try, especially since it is made in the slow cooker!

I made this while my parents were visiting and we all enjoyed it. I thought it had a tiny bit of spice to it on the first night but the leftovers (which I enjoyed) didn't seem to be that spicy. The only change I made was to the sausage. 3/4 of it was plain and the other 1/4 was Jalapeno sausage -- next time I would do half and half.

(I have gotten out of the habit of taking pictures of the food we have made lately, I need to start doing it again)

Red Beans & Rice
1 pound dried small red beans
1 pound link sausage, sliced
5 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce (I used the whole small can)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt (I left out)
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours.
Serve over hot white rice.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello Everyone!

I know that it has been A LONG LONG TIME since I posted last!! I must say the past 5 months have been busy!!! While pregnant I wasn't cooking much at all and what was cooked wasn't anything new. I didn't crave sweets until the very last month or so and even then I wasn't really baking anything either.

Between being pregnant, work, joining the PTA board at G's school, flag football, Cub Scouts, a long trip for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I just put the blog on the back burner. There was no way I could keep up with any posts with everything that was going on in our lives.

We did welcome a sweet baby girl into our family on January 29th at 9pm! She arrived a few weeks early but was 7 lbs, 14 oz and 19.5 inches (one pound bigger than big brother was when he was born and he was 2 weeks early as well).

Ms. C is a joy and I am enjoying being home with her and trying to getting into a routine. I will be going back to work in a few weeks and I know that it will be back to being crazy in our house. Of course flag football is about to start back up for G, lots of Scout activities and of course school stuff.

We have tried several new things recently and I can't wait to share them with you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays -- Reece's Cheesecake Brownies

February is the month of birthdays for our family (and many of our friends) plus we have Valentines Day, so lots of sweet treats end up being baked around our house. During one of my late night feedings with C, I found a new blog to read and came across a receipe for Reese's Cheesecake Brownies and I knew that it was pefect to make Eric for his birthday since that is his fave candy.

I would make a few more changes to the receipe for the future and I would make a smaller batch. This is a really rich receipe and has a bit too much chocolate. (I can't believe that I just typed that!)

Adapted from:
This Mommy Cooks

Reese's Cheesecake Brownies
1 fudge brownie mix (and all ingredients it calls for)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz package Reese's Pieces
1 (12 oz) package of peanut butter chips
1 (12 oz) package milk chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons whipping cream
12 large Reese's Peanut Butter cups (chopped, I used Reese's Hearts that I found with the vday candy)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
Prepare brownie batter according to its directions and pour batter into the 9x13 pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in Sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Stir in bag of Reese's Pieces candies. Spoon Cheesecake mixture over brownie batter evenly.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown.
Let cool for 30 minutes then put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips and whipping cream. Melt on high for 1 minute checking and stirring throughout so not to overcook. Heat until melted and smooth.

Pour melted chocolate and spread evenly over the top of brownies/cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped Reese's Peanut Butter cops over top of the melted chocolate and you're ready to eat it!
Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

**Next time I would skip the chocolate on the top of it**