I love a good cupcake. There is something about a fluffy, decadent, sinful piece of heaven that makes me want to melt and immediately cheat on an otherwise healthy day of eating. And you know what? It’s worth it. Every. Single. Time. No regrets – ever. The one time I don’t like to buy those delicious cakes is when I need to bring a lot of cupcakes. A couple of dozen cupcakes can cost a pretty penny which is why I LOOOOOVE this recipe for Extreme Chocolate Cupcakes. It is moist, delicious and you won’t believe how easy they are to whip up.
The best thing about this cake is that you can dump everything into a bowl and let the mixer do the work. There is no butter to cream or no liquid and flour mixture that needs to be mixed alternately. It is so, so simple. When baking or cooking anything for a crowd this is a huge bonus for me. The cake uses oil instead of butter which keeps the cake from being too dry which is the ultimate killer when it comes to any kind of cupcakes or cake. My favorite way to top these cakes is with my basic buttercream frosting that you can find here. This is the perfect combination of fluffy cake topped with a creamy, sweet frosting.
So, this is my secret to baking delicious cupcakes for a crowd or anytime you are having a cupcake craving for that matter. Even though this recipe is simple nobody will ever guess…they are that good. Try making these, you won’t regret it.
Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette – so yes, I know this is a mouthful, however I feel like each flavor is integral which is why I included all of these ingredients in the title. I felt it was important to give you an idea of all the deliciousness that is packed into this mouth watering salad. I must re-iterate…this salad is mouth watering.
First I need to start with what exactly sorghum is. Up until about a month ago I had no idea that this grain even existed. I came across an article when going through my Flipboard that was titled, “Could 2017 be the breakout year for home-grown ancient grain sorghum?” I highly recommend reading it, the article is very informative and describes the many health benefits. A brief run down is that this grain is gluten-free, non GMO, rich in fiber, protein, iron magnesium and B6. Sorghum also has a delicious, slightly nutty flavor and I would compare the grain to Israeli couscous.
Sorghum has one major drawback – it takes a while to cook, one hour to be precise. I usually cook this over the weekend while I am milling around the house and keep it in the fridge to eat for lunch or if I want to make this salad. Generally I am in a mad rush with everything so if I don’t cook this ahead of time, this salad is not getting made. That said, if the sorghum is cooked, this dish will come together in a flash.
This Chicken and White Bean Chili from Neiman Marcus is freaking awesome! For some reason, I am not sure why, I have neglected the Neiman Marcus cookbook for the past six months and am so glad I dusted it off. The chili recipe I am highlighting here is awesome, however there are countless, delicious recipes still to share. Not only is this a one-pot wonder delicious, it is easy to make and comes together quickly.
The chili is pretty simple to make and likely contains many ingredients you already have on hand. Three cups onions are used to start this chili followed by some garlic and a myriad of spices. The rest is made up of cannellini beans, shredded chicken and all the garnishes your heart desires. I need to add that the one part of this recipe that could become time consuming is the shredded chicken. Sometimes I will buy a roasted chicken from the grocery store and other times I will roast some chicken in the oven. Either way works, but if you have to cook the chicken, this will definitely add to the overall time it takes to pull this chili together. Personally I love my chili spicy, however my hubby prefers a milder version so I add a ton of crushed red pepper and Sriracha to finish mine off.
I know that January is the month to detox and get your body back on track after the holidays, however this hasn’t been the case for me. There is actually a great reason – I haven’t felt like it. The shock to my system (both body and especially mind – HA!) would just be too much and I wasn’t ready. But now I have regulated my taste buds and I am ready to get back on track with some delicious and satisfying food. Yesterday I made this Creamy Vegetable Lentil Soup that is so good you would never guess there is no cream, is low in fat and super simple to make.
The ingredients for the soup are basic and I love that these are items I always have on hand. The soup starts with a chopped onion and carrots followed with a couple of cloves of garlic and some pantry staples. Even though there is no cream in the soup, it is made creamy by putting all the softened, caramelized veggies in the blender for a minute or two. The result is a velvety, delicious base for your soup. Add the lentils and you have a delicious meal that is protein packed as well.
If you have been having trouble getting back on track after the holidays (or anytime of the year) try this soup. Oh and I have to add that if your kiddos aren’t a fan of vegetables this is the perfect way to sneak in those healthy goods. Enjoy!
Banana Muffins, Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins – nothing new, nothing fancy, but oh so delicious. I have tried numerous recipes looking for the perfect muffin and this is it and I have to add that my boys love them. Like, really, really love them. Whenever I ask them what they want for breakfast these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins are in their top three items they will ask for. And….I have to admit they are one of my favorite breakfasts as well.
I was given this recipe by a teen that used to watch my boys. He was telling me about these amazing muffins that his mom always made and actually had the image of the recipe on his phone. He said that so many people asked for the recipe after tasting the muffins that this is how his mom would give out the recipe.
These are a basic banana muffin – but a really, really good muffin. There is no fancy ingredient or big secret, just the perfect combination and proportions for a scrumptious treat. They are moist and fluffy, but not dense or dry. I attribute the perfect, moist texture to using oil instead of butter. While butter gives great flavor and I would never use anything else for cookies, these muffins benefit in a major way from using oil. I also find that the rich, delicious flavor of the bananas is elevated by using oil.
These are great any time and keep well, but are especially fantastic right out of the oven. There is nothing like watching the steam escape the inside of the fluffy muffin as chocolate chips slowly melt onto the delicate crevices. When I feel like being a real rebel I love to slather mine with butter. Nothing like some additional fat added to the all-purpose white flour baked goodness to really put you into a full on food buzz.