Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

I love making cupcakes.

My seven-months-pregnant sister-in-law requested these triple chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting for her baby shower last Saturday. Considering she’s carrying my first-born niece, whom I’ve already bought too many clothes for, I agreed.

But first, I have to give credit where credit is due. I did not develop this recipe myself, and I want no claim to it! But because so many of my friends have text me to ask for the recipe, I wanted to share it on here. But, for the original post, head over to the I Heart Naptime blog written by Jamielyn. If I’ve made you one of these cupcakes, you have her to thank.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan. I typically prefer lighter flavors, like strawberry. But these don’t taste like your typical chocolate cupcakes. As my sister-in-law, Kelly, says, it’s like combining a cupcake, brownie and muffin together. The pudding mix and chocolate chips really add to the cupcake.

12523959_10205555710721341_6217752771114353068_n
Easter Cupcakes
11222028_10204070757598441_7874637403221984726_o
Wedding Shower Cupcakes for Stephen’s cousin, Amanda

Ingredients

  • 1 box (15 oz.) devil’s food cake mix (I use Betty Crocker)
  • 1 box (5.9 oz) dry chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1.5 cups chocolate chips (milk chocolate, I use Nestle Toll House)
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix and chocolate pudding; stir until combined. Mix in eggs, canola oil and water; stir until combined.
  3. Stir in sour cream, then chocolate chips.
  4. Pour cake mix into the cupcake liners (about 1/2 the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes—my oven takes right at 23 minutes. To test, lightly touch the top to see if it springs back when touched. You can also stick a toothpick in the center to see if the center is cooked all the way through. Don’t overcook!
  5. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack to cool.

Now, for the best part … frosting.

love buttercream frosting. Here’s my go-to recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks), softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar (I usually use right around 4.5 cups)
  • 1-2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Mix until fluffy.
  2. For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add a smidgen more cream. I recommend taste-testing as you make it to ensure it’s the right consistency and taste!

Black Bean Brownies

9a9e378f-c5c1-4c43-912f-999d7a128dd7I know what you’re thinking—you’re probably only reading this post because you saw “black bean” and “brownies” in the title and you’re thinking, “What?!”

Yes, these are brownies. Yes, they have black beans!

And they’re good! I played around with different recipes until I got the right taste and texture—they’re gooey and fudgy, and one brownie is packed with 10 grams of protein!

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can plain black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. skim milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Place beans in a food processor and process until mashed. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until smooth. Gently stir in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 12 small brownies.

Nutrition information (per serving): Calories 221; Total fat 4 g; Protein 10 g; Sodium 116 mg; Fiber 6 g; Sugars 17 g; Carbs 41 g

Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Veggie Breakfast Casserole

I loved creating this veggie breakfast casserole. Made with spinach, tomatoes, green onions and red bell pepper, this egg bake is loaded with good-for-you nutrients like vitamin D and calcium. As Popeye would say, “I’m strong to the finish, cause I eat me spinach, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!”

This one got two thumbs up from my in-laws (my taste testers) and I even got my non-vegetable-eating husband to try a bite.

img_1244Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup vitamin D-fortified milk
  • 4 cups spinach, packed
  • ½ cup non-fat mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ⅓ cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:
Spray an 8×11-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Crack eggs into a bowl; add red pepper flakes and milk, and whisk together. Over medium-high heat, saute the spinach in extra-virgin olive oil until slightly wilted and then add spinach to the bottom of the baking dish. Next, add layer of green onions, tomato and red bell pepper. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Pour egg mixture over top and use a fork to gently stir the ingredients together. Bake for 35 minutes or until eggs are fully set and the top is golden brown. Serves 8.

Foodie Friday: Baked Spaghetti

Foodie Friday: Baked Spaghetti

BAKEDSPAGHETTIConfession: I have no idea where the original recipe for this meal came from. Mom asked me if it came from Pinterest, and yes, it probably did. But here’s the thing—I usually type up recipes and save them to Dropbox, so I can use my iPad when cooking. I usually include a link in the document to the original recipe, but for some reason, I didn’t on this one. So, all that to say, if the original creator of this recipe ever comes across this blog post … please don’t kill me. I love you and your pasta goodness. You are a goddess in the world of Italian dishes.

Anyways, moving on. You need to make this. I love spaghetti and I love lasagna. This is a combination of the two (or as my friend Heather said, a spaghetti-lasagna love child). I was skeptical at first. The recipe calls for cottage cheese and sour cream. Now, I don’t have a problem with sour cream (but Stephen hates it). Cottage cheese on the other hand … it grossed me out just buying it at the store. But I’m happy to say, it’s all a happy blend of cheesy deliciousness once cooked. You will love it. You can thank me for this recipe by sending me to Hawaii. 

You can download a .pdf of the recipe at this link. But I’ll include it here as well!

Your Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 package spaghetti noodles
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • shredded Cheddar cheese
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

Your Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil your spaghetti noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine your cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese in a separate bowl.
  4. Brown your ground beef and drain. Combine the ground beef with spaghetti sauce and let simmer.
  5. To assemble: Place a few slices of butter in an 8×11-inch pan, and then pour half of the spaghetti noodles on top.
  6. Take the cream cheese mixture and pour on top of the noodles. Spread well over the spaghetti noodles.
  7. Pour the rest of the noodles on top of the cream cheese mixture. Place a few more slices of butter on top of the noodles.
  8. Pour the meat sauce on top of the noodles.
  9. Put casserole dish in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the desired amount of cheese on top and return to oven for 5 minutes (or until cheese is melted).


I hope you enjoy it!

Kickin’ Cheesy Chicken

Kickin’ Cheesy Chicken

This chicken breast recipe is one of my favorites to make—it’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s simple to clean up. Plus, it has cheese—and that makes everything better, right?

Kickin’ Cheesy Chicken

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (mixture of Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar)
  • 16 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Mix shredded cheese and crushed Ritz crackers together in a large bowl. Mix in minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.IMG_2419

Dunk chicken breast in melted butter. After dipping in butter, dunk the chicken breast in cheese/cracker mixture and coat completely. Place on aluminum foil-covered baking sheet. IMG_2426

If desired, drizzle remaining butter on chicken breasts and sprinkle remaining cracker mixture over chicken.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

IMG_2428

To download a .pdf of this recipe, click here.

Foodie Friday: Queso Sauce

I’m not even going to pretend like this is healthy. Just go ahead and get that out of your head now. At least once a month, every month, all a girl wants to do is eat chips and cheese dip. And good gracious, that’s what I did. And let me tell you, I ate a lot of cheese dip Wednesday night when I made this.

The Velveeta cheese + Rotel is a pretty popular dish. But I didn’t have any Rotel on Wednesday night, and tacos were already on the menu, so I made do with what I had in my fridge and pantry.

Enjoy!

Creamy, Cheesy Queso Sauce

Makes: More than you need (but all that you want)

Ingredients:

  • 16-ounce block Velveeta cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Thick & Chunky Salsa (I used medium)
  • 1/4 cup shredded, four-cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 pinch taco seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ground beef (optional)

Note: Like I said, I was already making tacos on Wednesday night. If tacos are on your menu too, set aside a 1/4 cup of your ground beef and save a pinch of the taco seasoning.

Directions:

1. Cut Velveeta cheese and cream cheese into small, square pieces. (This helps the cheese melt quicker.)

2. Heat saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour 1/3 cup Thick & Chunky Salsa in pan.

3. Add in chunks of Velveeta and cream cheese and stir slowly.

4. Once cheese starts to melt together, turn the heat down to low (I even let mine simmer for a little bit).

5. Mix in shredded Mexican blend cheese.

6. If you are using the beef and taco seasoning, go ahead and add that in now. Stir well.

7. Serve hot with tortilla chips. And enjoy the ooey, gooey goodness that is cheese dip.

IMG_2314
definitely not claiming to be a photographer! 🙂

To download a .pdf copy of this recipe, click here.

signature

Recipe: Turkey Burgers

Warning: This is bound to be the worst food/recipe blog you’ve ever read. I don’t have any fancy pictures. All I have is an iPhone picture that doesn’t even do these turkey burgers justice. Honestly, I made this recipe up as I went, so I had no idea how it would taste. There were hot dogs in the fridge if this was a bust.

BUT IT WASN’T. 

HELLO. THEY WERE GOOD.

YOU HEAR THAT, HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS? MEGAN MADE SOMETHING THAT WAS GOOD. I DIDN’T EVEN BURN ANYTHING. 

So, back to the turkey burgers. They were delicious and wonderful. Plus, I added cheese. It made it unhealthy, but I worked out that day so I didn’t really care (probably not the right attitude to have).

Turkey Burgers

[makes 4 burgers]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of Mrs. Dash
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used mild cheddar—use whatever you like)

For toppings:

  • 4 slices of cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard (if you’re weird and like mustard)

Directions:

  1. Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a big bowl. Form patties with the turkey concoction.
  3. Drop the patty on the skillet. I did two at a time. Cook for a few minutes at medium-high temperature, flip, cook, flip…you get the gist.
  4. When the burgers are almost finished, place a slice of cheese on top and let melt. Then cook the next two!

Seriously. It’s that easy.

Stephen even ate them.

This is a really terrible photo of two leftover burgers. Stephen and I had already made our burgers and taken a bite when we realized they were fantastic and no picture had been taken. Hence the horrible quality iPhone photo. Sorry peeps.
This is a really terrible photo of two leftover burgers. Stephen and I had already made our burgers and taken a bite when we realized they were fantastic and no picture had been taken. Hence the horrible quality iPhone photo with a fork in the corner. Sorry peeps.