Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Today (well really yesterday) was not the best day ever. It was gross outside and I wasn’t feeling great and I was tired and cranky. I just got this new mini muffin tin and I really wanted to make mini cupcakes so that’s what I decided to do. Little did I know that it would be such an ordeal to create these little cuties!

I made Pioneer Woman Chocolate Cake for the cupcake part. Because one recipe makes 24 regular-sized cupcakes, clinic I halved it to make 24 mini-sized cupcakes. Well I forgot I was halving it half way through and added double the chocolate necessary. While I’m not opposed to SUPER chocolate cupcakes, infertility I didn’t wanna test it. Sooo I had to start over. Then I got to the end of the recipe and…uhh there’s no baking soda. Blah! Luckily, practitioner my dad found some in the garage. Alright, crisis averted. So I put them in the mini cupcake tin (which was rather difficult and messy but I got over it) and put them in the oven. Really these only should have taken 10 minutes to bake. But the oven shut off. 45 minutes later, they were cooked. I was a little…irritated at this point. So I decided to make rice. The rice was yummy.

Here’s my new muffin tin. The little cupcake holder thingies were too small for the tins…they worked but I would prefer to find ones that fit a little better.

Later that night, I felt more at peace with the cupcakes and made the frosting for them. And frosted them. And then had fun taking the pictures. And then I ate them. Their adorable-ness and their yummy-ness made up for all the trouble they caused me!

It’s peanut butter frosting! Yummy yummy yummy! I have a slight obsession with peanut butter…I’ve been eating way more peanut butter than nutella the past 6 months (gasp!). Although now that I’ve made this, I want to make cake with nutella frosting! Ahhh…my nutella frosting is delicious!

I’m really wanting to get in to food photography. Usually I just snap a quick picture of the food I make but since I love photography so much, I thought I might as well have fun with my food photography! It’s hard, though, because the lighting in the kitchen isn’t good and when I’m making dinner, I’m usually just focused with eating dinner and feeding my family. But when I bake, I can take some time to photograph stuff! I did that tonight. I think the pictures turned out pretty cute :)

These were SO good. You have to eat them with cold milk…it ups the yummy-ness factor by like 10. And because they’re mini, they have no calories. So you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat 9 of them… :D

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Cake– Halve this recipe if you want to make 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular size.

Peanut Butter Frosting– This recipe makes enough to frost the 24 mini cupcakes.

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Pioneer Woman Lasagna

I have not enjoyed the weather lately. It’s all gross and overcast and stormy. Don’t get me wrong, approved I love storms. But if it’s going to be all icky outside, sildenafil it might as well really storm. I don’t like this sprinkling nonsense. This sort of weather makes me all tired and lethargic. I just want to curl up in my flannel pajamas and eat soup and drink hot chocolate and watch movies. I realized today that I haven’t done something I really wanted to do this summer- try to bake chocolate chip cookies in the car! And now I’ve missed my chance because it’s going to be all rainy and cold (hem high 80s) until school starts! Hopefully the end of August or September has some more sunny 100+ days so I can make those cookies. Anyways…

The other night I decided I was going to make dinner and I was looking through recipes, trying to decide on what to make. I finally decided to try Pioneer Woman “Best Ever” Lasagna. I’ve always loved lasagna- I used to make it with my grandpa. Pioneer Woman recipes rarely disappoint (her best ever chocolate sheet cake is my absolute favorite!) but I wasn’t crazy about this lasagna. I really think it comes down to personal preference, though. My family likes lasagna with more noodles and not quite as much sauce and stuff. This lasagna had only 2 layers of noodles and a ton of meat and cheese. If I made this again, I would definitely do 3 layers of noodles with the same amount of filling. I still love Pioneer Woman even though we have different tastes in lasagna :)

I would definitely make some changes if I made this again. Like I said, I would do 3 layers of noodles instead of 2. I would also use fresh grated Parmesan instead of the canned kind which she called for. I would also use crushed canned tomatoes instead of whole- I’m not a fan of huge pieces of tomato so when I was making this I just crushed them up myself while they were cooking in the pan.

Brown the meat:

Add some tomatoes and stuff:

Let simmer for 45 minutes:

Make the cottage cheese mixture (looks and sounds gross but it really isn’t, promise):

Noodles! I was so hungry when making this that I ended up eating half a banana and peanut butter. And then I was still hungry so I started eating one of the extra noodles. But it was gross.

Start layering!

I thought it was neat that pioneer woman uses sliced cheese instead of shredded. I don’t think there’s much difference in taste but it was neat.

Sprinkle it with cheese:

And enjoy!

Pioneer Woman Lasagna:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 8 Lasagna Noodles for 2 layers or 12 for 3 layers
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. While that’s simmering, in a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil with the olive oil and salt. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente.

To assemble:

  1. Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.
  2. Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top with extra Parmesan.
  3. Put it in the oven at 350-degree for 20-30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

Pioneer woman also says you can freeze it or refrigerate (for up to two days) instead of baking it right away.

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Peach Crisp

There are a couple of reasons I couldn’t become a professional baker. The first is, diet professional bakers need functional ovens. That’s something I don’t have. I would have taken better photos of this crisp but the oven stopped working while it was baking and I just got really irritated with the whole thing. It tasted good but I think I hated it a little bit because of the oven drama. The second reason is that bakers need to be very precise in their measurements and pay attention while baking. I do neither of these things. I didn’t have a recipe for peach crisp so I kinda just winged it. But I didn’t take note of how many peaches I used…so if you want to make this you’re on your own!

I am not a huge fan of peaches but, like I said in the peach scone post, my grandparents gave us a ton of peaches and they were going to go bad and I wanted to bake something so…2 peach recipes! This crisp was pretty good. It has the same topping as the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp which is so tasty!

Here’s the crisp! The timer went off and the oven was cold. So I had to try broiling it and then after a while the oven turned back on. So it ended up being fully cooked which was good :) I think crisp has to be eaten with vanilla ice cream- it makes it so much better! But we didn’t have any so I made some whipped cream which was also very tasty.

Peach Crisp:

Ingredients:

10 or more peaches

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbs flour

Topping:

1 stick of butter

1 cup oats

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 cup flour

Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Peal the peaches and cut them up in to smallish medium pieces (see the whole precise thing going on here). Put them in a bowl and mix in sugar and flour. Mix it up with your hands and get it all coated. Then put it in a glass baking dish (9 by 11ish or a similar size).
  2. Now make the topping! Mix together one stick of butter (kinda melty) with the oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Put this over the peaches and bake at 350 degrees for about 38 minutes. Or more if your oven stops working. Just make sure the peaches are soft and bubbling.
  3. Now take a nice big scoop and put it in a bowl…and eat it. Mmmmm :)
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Movies I’m Watching

Since summer is closing out and this is the last bit of free time I’ll have for a while, website I’ve been enjoying just relaxing. I’ve been reading (What I’m Reading), viagra approved painting (pictures of my room mural to come!), contagion and just hanging out with my family. I visited my boyfriend (he lives in Memphis) and we had a great time! We swam and went out on their boat (I went tubing and loved it! But I was so sore the next day), went out to Sweet Cece’s (one of my favorite places!), and Macaroni Grill, too. I’ve been to a lot of Italian places, especially recently, but I still like Macaroni Grill’s fettuccine alfredo better than all the others I’ve tried. The two of us watched a lot of movies together. Which brings me around to this post! Here are the movies I’ve watched recently:

  • Winnie the Pooh– My boyfriend and I went and saw this in the theaters. It was so cute! It was more of a traditional story than the past two movies (The Tigger Movie and Piglet’s Big Movie- both of which I love). The story was so sweet and I really enjoyed the classic looking animation. I was really sleepy though so I was fighting to stay awake- not at all because the movie was boring!- but I’ll definitely have to see it again when it comes out on DVD.

  • Crazy, Stupid, Love– We also went and saw this in the theater. It was so good! It was hilarious- love Steve Carrell and everyone else in it. The story was really good- I thought it was unpredictable which is always a plus. I would definitely recommend seeing this in the theater on a date night or with friends :)

  • Black Swan– I finally got around to watching this the other day! I’ve been wanting to for a really long time and I really loved it. It was definitely a freaky and sorta disturbing movie but it wasn’t like a horror film (I hate scary movies). The director, Darren Aronofsky, is amazing. I’ve seen several of his movies (Requiem for a Dream and Pi) and they are all really memorable movies. His filming style is very distinct, I could see similarities between Requiem and Black Swan. This movie is definitely dark with a lot of scenes that made me cringe (and a couple that made me close my eyes). A lot of people were freaking out about a certain “risque” scene in the movie but I wasn’t bothered by it…but that’s just me! Overall, it was a great movie but probably not one that I’d rush to watch again.

  • Easy A– Ok so Alex (boyfriend) and I rented this. I had heard it was a good, funny movie…yeah I don’t know what those people were thinking. I thought it was terrible! The whole idea of it was pretty stupid and I found everything about it unrealistic. Blah! I can’t believe we wasted our time on it.

  • 127 Hours– Now this movie I’d heard not so good things about. People were saying it was really boring (because the whole movie was about the guy who was in a canyon and gets his arm stuck and has to get out before he dies) but I thought the filming was really well done. Even though most of the movie was just him trapped in a canyon, they made it really interesting and got inside his head. James Franco did an amazing job acting in this. So yep! Not an uplifting movie but I’d say worth watching.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie

I’ve been making peanut butter and banana ice cream! It’s so yummy. You take two frozen bananas and blend them with a tablespoon of peanut butter and you get totally delicious ice cream! My mom bought some almond chocolate milk today. It’s really tasty. It tastes just like chocolate milk but it’s half the calories of regular chocolate milk and has a ton more vitamins. I decided to try that in a smoothie so I added about a half cup to my ice cream. It was still very thick but definitely a milk shake consistency rather than ice cream. This is very sweet-no need for any added sugar! And it’s actually very good for you- you get the potassium from the banana, visit this the protein from the peanut butter, illness and tons of calcium and other vitamins from the almond milk.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie:

Ingredients:

2 medium-large frozen bananas

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 cup almond chocolate milk

Directions:

Blend all of it up and enjoy! Makes 2 small milkshakes or one large.

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