Friday, April 22

For the love of ..... cupcakes?!

I love cupcakes.

There, I said it.

 I think they are perfect little ending to any meal, the perfect treat in the middle of the day, and they're just enough to make you feel as though it's something special made just for you.

A few months ago, I purchased one of the best (in my opinion) additions to my cook book collection. Only it's not a book, it's a magazine. I'm quickly becoming a fan of cooking magazines (if you can even call them magazines). Filled with more recipes, tips, and different tid-bits, I find myself walking towards the magazine section before the cook book section!
The magazine that I'm raving about is simply titled 'Cupcakes'. All the recipes were discovered, tested, and published by the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications .... and I'll be keeping my eyes open for their next publication, whatever it may be!

Now, you may ask 'With an entire book of cupcakes, how did you decide which one to make first?'.
I ask you 'How do you flip past something so delicious as peanut butter-chocolate twist?'.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Twist Cupcakes.
Yes, they taste as good as they sound.
With an easy to read recipe and an even easier to make batter, anyone can make these cupcakes!
I was so impressed with this recipe and so pleased with how the cupcakes turned out! These recipes have a way of enabling you to become the best baker you can be, by using good ingredients and adding a little love, they'll be perfect!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Twist Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
3 whole eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
4 oz. milk chocolate, melted

  • Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl beat butter, add peanut butter and beat until combined. Gradually add brown sugar and granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating after each addition until combined.
  • Place half of the batter into a separate mixing bowl; add melted chocolate. Beat until combined.
  • Fill muffin cups by alternating spoonfuls of peanut butter batter and chocolate batter, filling each cup about 2/3 full.Use a butter knife or skewer to swirl batter in each cup.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

These cupcakes received nothing but rave reviews from both friends and co-workers!

I find it's comforting knowing that if you combine butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, then you have a wonderful base for something delicious.
Good luck, happy baking and I hope everyone enjoys these cupcakes as much as I did!

Monday, April 11

Processed foods ..... No Thanks!

Maybe it's because beach season is just around the corner or maybe it's because I'm looking for a change but recently I've been thinking a lot about the food I'm putting in my body.

 Last Wednesday Oprah's show was about being vegan. She challenged 350 members of her staff (all meat eaters like myself) to become vegan for seven days, and they all pulled through! Some said it was easy to make the transition while others said that they had showed signs of withdrawal. In the end, they all agreed that they had never felt better, and in seven days 350 people lost a total of 444 pounds (wow!).
So while sitting on the couch watching, I thought 'Sure! I can do that!'

Then I snapped back into reality.

After considering my options, I've decided to do my best to eliminate processed foods from my diet. After tearing apart my kitchen, this is what I discarded:

Good-bye fruit Loops, Mr.Noodles, Hot Chocolate, Crispy Minis, and Kraft Dinner (along with a few others).
So far, I don't miss any of it. Will I? ... I'm sure after a long night at the busy downtown restaurant where I work, I'll come home and wish I had some fast cooks-in-9 minutes KD but until then I look forward to filling my body with healthier options and shopping for fresh fruits and veggies at the market every weekend!