Friday, January 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
Today my little girl comes home from her study abroad trip to Thailand. It seems like forever since she's been home and truthfully it's only been three weeks. I know that's not very long for a study abroad trip and I probably shouldn't have missed her like I did, but the fact is I did and I'm glad she's coming home.

Now I know most people would think I'm crazy or my daughter is a mama's baby, but that is far from the truth. For one I'm not crazy. I just love the heck out of my kids. Both of them are super amazing children and I couldn't ask for any better kids.

As far as my daughter being a mama's baby she's far from that. She is Miss Independent! She is a go getter and wants to do anything and everything on her own and on her own terms. Although I'm hoping she missed me too while she was gone I'm sure she enjoyed every minute of her time in Thailand.

I'd like to think that I missed her so much because we have a very good relationship. I don't know how many parents can say that truthfully. It's not the same going to the gym and working out with out her. Even though we go do our own thing when we go to the gym it's nice to have that work out partner to go with. And shopping? Well it's nice to get someone's opinion and she tells it to me straight. I don't want to dress like an old lady nor do I want to dress too young either. With her I get the truth serum.

So in honor of her coming home I came up with this new cupcake. I kind of took a cupcake recipe here and a frosting recipe there and combined the two. The result was delicious! The kind of remind me of Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Since she loves peanut butter and she loves Reese Peanut Butter cups I thought this was appropriate.

The cupcake recipe came from the blog Your Cup of Cake. I took it from her Take 5 cupcake recipe. This girl is amazing with her cupcakes. Go check out her blog. I've put her on my blogroll to make it easy access for all. I've also linked it here for you too.

The frosting recipe I kind of just created by looking at other frosting recipes so it's not down to quite an art yet, but tastes good just the same. I tried to use the same measurements like when I do decorators frosting and it was good just might need a little tweaking as you go.

Peanut Butter Cupcake
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C butter, softened
4 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
2/3 C buttermilk
1 box of white cake mix
1/2 C sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat peanut butter and butter together, scrape down the sides of the bowl constantly.
  3. With your mixer on slow, beat eggs in one at a time until fully incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  5. Add cake mix (sift it before if you need to).
  6. Add sour cream and mix until well combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  8. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1t vanilla
3-4 T milk
3 C powdered sugar

  1. Blend butter and peanut butter together until well combined.
  2. Add cocoa powder and blend.
  3. Add vanilla and blend.
  4. Alternately add a tablespoon of milk and a cup of powdered sugar mixing well each time. If you get too much milk in and it becomes too running just add some more powdered sugar.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wild Rice Soup

It has been extremely cold these past few days. The temperature is in the single digits. Throw in the wind and you have a wind chill of minus zero. I woke up the other morning to -13 degrees. I can't imagine what the chill was that morning.

It has been so cold that I haven't taken the dogs for a walk in days. I'm afraid it's too cold for them. I've just been taking them out in the backyard for a short time and my Sheltie is not very happy about it. She Loves her walks! I can't wait til we can go again too. There is something to be said for walking the stress of the day away and it's a great way to start the day.

Since the weather has been so cold and miserable. We've just been shut up in the house trying to keep warm. Of course we've had a fire in the wood stove like every night since Thursday. I don't know what I would do if we didn't have that stove.

I also made some Wild Rice Soup the other night. There's nothing better than soup on a cold night. This soup is so good that you'll want to just keep on eating and eating and eating. 

Now this recipe originally was from the paper, but I've changed it over the years to suit me. It is really easy to make and truthfully I don't think it can be messed up it's that easy. If you have leftovers the liquid will get absorbed, but all you have to do is add some more chicken broth and some milk and you've got soup again.

The recipe calls for half n half, but sometimes I just use milk. It turns out just as good.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup
1 Cup raw wild rice
3 T butter
1  medium onion, chopped
8oz fresh mushrooms, sliced thickly
1/2 C flour
1-32 oz box of chicken broth
1 1/2 C diced cooked chicken, optional
1 C half n half
1 t worcestershire sauce
hot pepper sauce to taste ( I use Sriracha sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and drain the rice. Put in a saucepan with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer about 45 minutes or until most of it has "popped". Drain well.
Cooke the chicken in boiling water until done. Set aside to cool. When cool cut into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute them over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally until they yield their liquid and it's almost all cooked off.
 Add the flour, stir it into the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring about 1 minute to heat the flour. Stir in the broth, making sure each addition of liquid is absorbed before more is added. Add the rice and chicken and heat through. Add the half n half, worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper and heat through.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shrimp Stir Fry

Oh I've been absent for far too long!!

Sorry I've been absent for so long it's just that things have been a little 'off ' around my home these past few weeks. 

First it was the holidays, which just throws everything into utter chaos. Then it was trying to get back into the regular routine of work. But then throw in the fact that my daughter left at the beginning of January to study abroad in Thailand for 3 weeks and it was really a weird month for me.

It has been super hard to do any baking or cooking at my home for several reasons. 

One it was only my husband and I to cook or bake for. Well yes it's true my son did come home from college a few weekends, but he was more in the mood for going out to eat when he was home. He did a lot of hanging out with his friends which meant I did not do a lot of cooking when he was home.

Secondly, we are all recovering from over eating during the holidays. I hate to say it, but I'm just a little sick of eating. All I really want to eat right now is good nutritious food. I've been eating yogurt and fruit and lean cuisines on a regular basis these past few weeks.

And lastly, I've got no one to cook for during the week but myself. The husband is at work and with my daughter gone there was no one to eat the good stuff I would have cooked or baked.

Well last night was a different story. I decided to make some stir fry. I hadn't made it in a long time and I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer, so I decided it was time to make something that was tastey and healthy.

I love stir fry because you can vary it every time you make it. You can add what ever kind of meat you want. You can change up the vegetables too.

Usually I make chicken stir fry. I am always changing the vegies I use to whatever I have in the fridge. It's a good way to get in your serving of vegetables with this dish. The trick is to keep on stirring while you cook.

I've been making this dish for a long time and I no longer measure anything out so I'll give you my best guess at to how much I use of everything so that you too can enjoy this yummy dish.

Shrimp Stir Fry

Stir Fry
your desired meat (shrimp, chicken, beef)
3 T soy sauce
1 T vinegar
1/4 t ginger
Cut up meat and add the soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Let it marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

3 carrots, peel and cut into coins
2 rods of celery, chopped
1 1/2 broccoli
1 1/2 cauliflower
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can mushrooms

1T cornstarch

Put a tablespoon of oil in the wok and heat on high. Cook carrots and cauliflower for 3 minutes. Add the liquid from the mushrooms to the wok and cover. Let steam for 3 minutes. Remove vegies from wok. 
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and add broccoli, onion, and celery. Cook until onion looks translucent. Remove from wok and add to carrot/cauliflower. 
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and add meat. Cook meat until done. Add the vegies and then the mushrooms. 
Mix cornstarch and water to make a little paste. Add to the liquid in the wok. This will thicken the stir fry as you stir.  My little secret ingredient is sugar. I add about a tablespoon of sugar to the stir fry. Serve this with rice.