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Top 10 Recipes of 2012

I can’t believe it is actually 2013. I will write another post reflecting back on this past year (and share some photos from my fun New Year’s Eve), symptoms but for now, here’s a look at the top 10 most popular recipes from 2012 :) Enjoy and happy baking!

1. Mini Peanut Butter and Nutella Cheesecakes– For two years in a row these delicious mini cheesecakes have been number one! I made both a peanut butter and nutella variety, and they were both delicious. These cheesecakes are not only tasty, but they look so cute they are sure to impress anyone!

mini cheesecakes web2

2. Nutella Swirl Brownie Bites– My sister still talks about these and wants me to make them again. The recipe is incredibly simple and results in small, amazingly fudgy, and nutella-filled brownies.

nutella swirl web8

3. Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting– Usually I’m a chocolate girl, but these Vanilla cupcakes were so good! I also had a lot of fun piping on the frosting and I think they turned out so cute :)

vanilla cupcakes web2

4. Gooey, Delicious, Incredible S’mores Bars– These might actually be number one in my book! They are so gooey, sweet, buttery, and delicious. Possibly one of the best things I have ever made :)

s'mores bars web4 copy

5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies– These cookies intrigued me from the moment I saw them! I think the best part of making chocolate chip cookies is eating the raw dough, and these cookies let me eat cookies and dough all in one! Brilliant!

cookie dough cookies web4

6. Healthier Banana Bread– This Banana bread tastes just as good as my non-lightened-up favorite. A delicious, flavorful, and healthy banana bread is always wonderful to have around the house!

healthier bb web1

7. Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Truffles- This is a combination of all my favorite foods! Pretzel, peanut butter, and chocolate :)

pb pretzel web2

Honorable Mention: Felt Hairbow Tutorial– These were really #8, but since they aren’t a recipe, I won’t count them. They are a really fun craft project, though, and I often wear the bows I made :)

hairbow web6

8. Gooey Peanut Butter Reese’s Bars– These are at the top of my list of favorites, too, right up there with the s’mores bars. These are so gooey and so delicious!

gooey-pb-bars-web5

9. Swedish Meatballs– I’m so glad these made the top 10! Swedish meatballs are one of my favorite foods and I always love it when my mom makes them :)

meatballs web11

10. Mini Corn Dog Muffins– I have made these several times this year and my family absolutely loves them. They are so cute, tasty, and easy to make.

corn dog mm web4 copy

And, because I can’t resist, here are a few of my favorites that didn’t make the list :)

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls– These will forever be one of my favorite foods. I would eat them everyday if I could :) I would wager that you will never have a better cinnamon roll than these.

croll web1

Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake– I may or may not have stood in the kitchen, eating piece by piece of this cake straight out of the pan ;)

Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

Gooey Nutella Bars– These, along with the s’mores and reese’s bars, are in my top 3 favorite desserts of the year. So tasty! My kitty thought they were great, too :)

gn-bars-web2

Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

I have several enemy foods- foods I just do not like and do not intend to ever like. One of those things is Chicken Pot Pie. Before you yell at me, erectile let me say that I don’t know why I don’t like Chicken Pot Pie. I like chicken and I like pie…but somehow all together it all turns icky. Like really icky. (And don’t tell me I haven’t had a “good” chicken pot pie. No such thing exists).

I remember one day when I was young (7 or 8) and my mom bought a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner. But she also bought Boston Cream Pie. And Boston Cream Pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts ever- I used to have it for my birthday cake every year. So anyway, that night I sat at the table for probably an hour (or more) trying to choke down that horrible horrible dinner. And you know what? I did it! And I got boston cream pie for dessert! Ahh good times :)

My mom has a dish that she makes called like Harvest Vegetable Pot Pie (or something like that) and my sister and I love it! But we refuse to call it “pot pie” so we renamed it “Pre-Spring Deliciousness.” Likewise, this cake is really good, but its given name is Pumpkin Dump Cake. Dump cake? That does not sound appealing at all! So I am presenting you with Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake :) This cake is seriously good. I can’t even tell you how good it is, you’ll just have to make it yourself! It’s also really easy to make. But I was having serious issues the afternoon I made it and kept being totally spacey! I’m so glad it turned out good :)

You start by mixing together a can of pumpkin puree, a can of evaporated milk, a cup of brown sugar, 3 eggs, and 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice and just whisk it all together!

Here’s the first place I went wrong. See that nice action shot of the box cake mix pouring in the batter? I thought it was a pretty nice picture. Too bad it was the wrong thing to do! Here’s what you should do: pour the batter into a 9 by 13 cake pan and sprinkle the cake mix on top. I realized my mistake before I mixed the whole box mix in, though, so I was able to salvage it.

It still looks pretty good! So I put it in the oven. Ohhhh mistake number 2. Geez! Airhead much, girl? I forgot to pour melted butter over the whole thing.

I realized before too much time had passed and pulled it out. I poured the melted butter (2 sticks) over the batter. Then I put it back in the oven and baked it.

It fluffed up nicely in the oven! And oh my goodness does it taste good. I think I already said that but seriously, this deliciousness cake is delicious!

Mmm cut yourself a nice piece and take a bite.

Oh wait, that’s better! So after you add some whipped cream do this:

I tried this cake with vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and whipped cream and thought it was best with whipped cream (see the things I do for you???)

Oh this looks so good…so good in fact that I might have to take another bite. Just one…

Wait??? How did that happen??? Look at the sacrifices I make for you guys. I’ve probably tried this cake a good dozen times, just to make sure it was acceptable to post ;)

Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin Puree
1 (10 oz) can Evaporated Milk
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits (optional) <– I didn’t do this but it sounds seriously good!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9 by 13 cake pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour into your prepared pan.
  4. Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by your nuts or graham crackers and toffee chips.
  5. Pour your melted butter evenly on top.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.

Enjoy with whipped cream! (or vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream or more cake)

Friday fun with Cake in a Mug

My weekdays at school are always so busy. I talked to my English teacher Friday afternoon, global burden of disease asking if I could come in Monday afternoon for some help on my essay (due Tuesday). I told him that I was sorry it was last minute but I had been busy or sick everyday after school. He said that was fine and to just rest this weekend.

I tried to hold back my chuckle.

I don’t think I was successful.

Weekends restful? I don’t remember last time my weekends were restful. That’s not to say that they’re bad, phimosis they’re just really busy.

So I thought I’d share my weekend with you :) I know you were all extremely curious. I’ll start with telling you about Friday!
My mom, sister, and I left right after I got home from school and headed to my piano lesson and my middle sister Celina’s acting class. My piano lesson was good, I really love my teacher. The only issue is that I never have any time to practice, causing me to not improve much every week on my songs. I don’t want to let my teacher down and I really love piano. I’m going to try to do better, but I’m also trying not to put too much pressure on myself either!

After our lessons, we made a pit-stop at Chick-fil-a. Ahh…the one fast food place I actually like. I hardly ever eat it but I always love it when I do. I had chicken nuggets with the waffle fries and their special Chick-fil-a sauce. Celina and I enjoyed out dinner at my grandparents house, where we were spending the night. My mom went back home and Celina and I hung out, just the two of us, as our grandparents weren’t going to be home for a couple of hours. We watched lots of Gilmore Girls episodes (love!). After a little while, we decided we needed something delicious to eat and attempted to make cake in a mug.

Cake in a mug is cake cooked in the microwave in a mug (cool huh?) I understand being skeptical that chocolate cake that has been microwaved would taste good and, after trying 3 different recipes for mug cake and having 2 failed attempts, trust me when I say I totally get it. But I made it the other night at home and it was so tasty! But the recipe I had used before used nutella and my grandparents didn’t have that. In fact, my grandparents don’t bake at all and didn’t have ingredients that I consider basic (like cocoa powder, milk, butter, granulated sugar) but they do have plenty of wheat germ, cheese slices, and crackers (note to self- don’t ever have this healthy of a pantry). So Celina and I looked up nutella-free versions of mug cake and improvised!

We tried out 2 different recipes and neither turned out good. I don’t know if it was the recipe’s fault, or the fact that we used hot cocoa powder for cocoa powder and fat free half and half for milk ;)

This was #1. The texture was a little eh, but the taste was fine. We weren’t satisfied with that one so we decided to try out another recipe.

This is what attempt #2 looked like when it was cooking. It kept rising up and down in a column. Haha it was pretty hilarious.

Attempt #2 had the texture of spongy rubber. It was one big cement rubber column. Bleh.

So we returned to number one, doused it with chocolate chips and whipped cream, and ate it!

Celina and I had a lot of fun making these, even though neither turned out great, but I wanted to make the good mug cake I made earlier this week again so she could see what they should taste like (and I could eat it again!).

So we made the nutella mug cake tonight and it turned out great again! The first time I made it, it overflowed out of the cup and even with all the cake I lost, I still couldn’t finish it! So we made one batch and split it into two cups. Now I’m not one who has trouble finishing off chocolate anything, but even this halved version was really rich! So if you want a TON of chocolaty goodness, use a huge mug and eat all this yourself :) Medium amount, split it into 2 mugs. Small amount? 3 mugs!


This is seriously good chocolate cake. It’s gooey and rich and delicious. I topped it with tons of whipped cream, but ice cream would be great too with this.

Don’t be scared of the microwave, just make this! It’s so easy and wonderful and tasty!

Nutella Mug Cake

Recipe from Live Love Pasta :)

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons self-rising flour**
4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk super well with a fork until really smooth. Pour into one, two, or three chocolate mugs (depending on how big your servings are going to be). Just remember that one serving needs a really huge mug.
  2. If making one serving, microwave for 1 1/2 minutes (time will vary for every microwave). If making two servings, microwave for a minute and 10 seconds. I haven’t made it with 3 servings but I’m guessing that it’d be about 55 seconds-1 minute.
  3. Top with chocolate chips, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or all 3 ;)

Makes 1 large serving, 2 medium ones, 3 small ones

Carrot Cake and Thankfulness

It is November! This year has gone by so fast. November will be over in no time and then CHRISTMAS! Oh so excited :D November does have one holiday that’s, sales you know, kinda noteworthy (even if it’s not as amazing as Christmas). I do enjoy Thanksgiving. The food is good (not as good as Christmas!) but still tasty. And this year we get a whole week off for Thanksgiving break (I’ll get like 3 for Christmas!) which is very exciting. I love that Thanksgiving is a time that we are reminded to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful about. For November, I’m going to be highlighting some of the things I am especially thankful for.

First of all, I am really thankful for my family. I am surrounded with amazing people who love me, support me, and are super fun to be around (most of the time ;) This past weekend, we celebrated my dad’s birthday! We all went to my grandparents and had dinner and cake. My mom always makes carrot cake for his birthday and it is soooo good. I am totally a chocolate kind of girl, but this carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting…mmm :) There are some foods I love but that I won’t order in restaurants because I know that they won’t be as good as my mom’s…and carrot cake is one of them.

It was fun taking action shots while my mom was making the cream cheese frosting!

I love this picture! I just snapped it as my mom was walking by with the cake and I think it looks so cool.

Birthday Boy!

Ok so I don’t have a recipe to go along with this. Mostly because I don’t have good pictures of the cake. And also because I so don’t have the energy to write it all up. But someday I will definitely be nice to all of you and share it…because it really is the best!

I should be posting some more soon…after I get some sleep :)

Have a great day :)

My Mommy’s Birthday Cake!

Today is my mommy’s birthday! We celebrated her birthday with my grandparents on the 11th, side effects though. I was still fasting (it was my last day of the fast) but I knew I had to make her a cake anyway.

My mom is an amazing person. She is compassionate, more info smart, shop sarcastic, funny, and just all around the best! She is a huge chocolate lover, something she passed down to her children, but she shockingly prefers yellow cake to chocolate cake. Living in our family of chocoholics, she hardly ever gets to have yellow cake so I knew that’s what I had to make for her birthday.

Now I have a confession to make…I used a box cake :( I know…I’m so ashamed. But here’s my excuse: I still wasn’t feeling 100% and so I wanted something a little bit easier. Also, I have never made a yellow cake that beat a box cake mix. I have a recipe that I really want to try but I didn’t want to make it for the first time on a cake as important as this one and then not have it turn out! See! I’m really thoughtful!

Here’s the key, though, if you make a yellow cake from a box mix- you HAVE to get the kind that’s made with butter. Not oil, butter. This makes the cake so much more delicious.

With butter!

I made the MOST DELICIOUS chocolate frosting from one of my favorite bloggers, Sugar Plum. I’ve talked about this frosting before and it is seriously outstanding. Here’s the cake before I frosted it!

I think this is one of the prettiest cakes I’ve ever made. I made extra frosting so I’d have a ton to fill the cake and lots to frost it! It worked out really well. Then I decided to make chocolate drizzled strawberries for the top.

This was really fun to make! And my family said it was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made- they liked the simplicity (somethings most of my cakes lack ;)

Tonight we’re all going out to eat to celebrate :) I’m pretty excited for it!

Best Chocolate Frosting

Recipe from Sugar Plum

I made 1.5 of this recipe for this cake. You don’t have to but I like a lot of frosting!

2/3 cup granulated sugar +1/3 cup
1/3 cup all-purpose flour +1/6 cup
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder +1/5 tablespoons
1/8 teaspoon salt +a tiny extra
1 cup milk +1/2 cup
1 cup unsalted butter, softened +1/2 cup
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted + 1/2 cup

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and milk until it boils. Whisk the mixture frequently until it gets very thick (about one minute). Strain the mixture into a small bowl and cool it completely in the refrigerator or freezer.
  2. When the strained “pudding mixture” is cool, beat butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in “chocolate pudding” mixture until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in melted chocolate until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread frosting onto cake layers.

 

I shared this post over at Tasty Tuesdays and Sweets for a Saturday and on Foodie Friday and This Chick can Cook!

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