Peanut Butter Cups

Here’s another post I found on one of my favorite blogs from The Brown Eyed Baker…Peanut Butter Cups.  I had actually planned on making these for Christmas last year but…well I’m not sure what happened.  I’m just now getting around to making them and I am so glad that I did.

Just like everyone has a favorite color, most people also have a favorite candy bar.  I can say that I rotate my favorite depending on what kind of mood I’m in for that week.  One week it’ll be Peanut M&Ms and the next week it’ll be Twix or Heath candy bars.  But one of my all time favorites is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  When the kids go trick or treating for Halloween, they know to take those out of their bucket and either hide them from me or just give them over right away.

So when I saw her post for this, I knew at some point I was going to have to try them.  There are certain things that you just can’t eat one of no matter how hard you try.  For me, these were it.  I made them later in the evening last night and again, the hardest part is the waiting you have to go through when it has to harden in the fridge.  My fingers poke in there numerous times to see if they are done.  Then a minute goes by and I have to at least see if it’s done.  Of course it’s not.  Ten minutes does not by any means come close to 30 minutes it’s supposed to sit in the dang fridge!!!

And when that time finally did pass, I had to have a least four of them to make sure that they were good.  Duh.  How else was I supposed to share if I wasn’t absolutely sure they were good to go!!!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Yield: About 3 dozen peanut butter cups

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Chill Time: 1 hour, total

1 cups creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1¼ cups powdered sugar
4 cups milk chocolate chips (two 11.5-oz bags)
¼ cup vegetable shortening

1. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Line a baking with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until completely melted and starting to bubble a little, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture after each addition. Set aside and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, until completely melted, stirring after each burst.

4. Using a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup.

5. Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Roll it into a ball, and then flatten it slightly into a disk. Place on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter patties for about 30 minutes.

6. Place a peanut butter patty on top of each chocolate-lined muffin tin. Then use a scoop or spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty. (If the melted chocolate firmed up, just pop it back into the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds or so to re-melt.)

7. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then they’re ready to serve! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. You can keep at room temperature in an airtight container if you’re going to serve them the same day, but they’ll start to get soft if not at cool room temperature.

The only thing I did have to do was add a bit more powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture to get it thick enough to roll into a small ball.  Other than that, these little bundles of heaven in my mouth are to simply die for.  Anyone that loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, HAS to try these.

I had some extra peanut butter mixture left over so I used a small bag of white chocolate chips and made more!  Love, love, love these!

Thank you, thank you for sharing these..

Have an awesome week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Brown Eyed Baker

 

Fight the Belly Flab

So I’ve posted before from iVillage on some healthy snacks.  I get their emails daily and some of them are worth reading.  When I stopped to take some time on this one, I was on the fence on some of their findings.  Read through them and let us know what you think.  Do you agree that these tips will help you fight the belly flab?  If not, why?  If so, do share!

Here you go…

 

Belly Flab Fighter #1: Eat Good Fat

Believe it or not, following a low-fat diet is not the best way to reduce belly flab. “People who have a big middle do not respond well to a low-fat diet,” says Mehmet Oz, M.D., Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and host of The Dr. Oz Show. To reduce belly flab, Dr. Oz advises avoiding refined carbohydrates that are low in fat (like white rice) and can have a yo-yo effect on blood sugar. Instead, add “good fat” foods, like olive oil, avocado and sea bass. Dr. Oz recommends toasting Ezekiel bread (or another sprouted 100-percent whole grain bread) and topping it with avocado, olive oil, lemon and chili flakes for a belly fat-fighting meal or snack.

belly flab fighter #2: eat your binge food every day

Yes, you read that right, eating the food you crave the most, even if it’s high-fat, could help you finally beat your belly-busting cravings for good. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who were served their favorite mac-n-cheese meal every day for five days, five weeks in a row, ate less and less of it, and actually consumed about 100 calories less than those who only ate it twice, one week apart (those women actually ate more of it the second time it was served). Consuming formerly off-limits foods may help lessen their appeal, curb cravings (and major diet binges) to slim down your belly permanently. Try eating a small amount of your ‘trigger’ food daily. Knowing that you can eat it again the next day could help you eat less. Chocolate anyone?

belly flab fighter #3: diet every other day

A recent study led by Krista Varady, Ph.D., an assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that people eating 25 percent fewer calories every other day lost up to 30 pounds in only eight weeks. Make it work for you by taking in 1,200-1,500 calories one day, and then eating as you normally do the next. Don’t overdo it on your “off days” and sabotage yourself, though. And keep up your weekly exercise routine.

belly flab fighter #4: stop doing crunches

No matter how many crunches you do, it won’t help reduce the fat around your belly. That’s why Yegyan, a holistic health practitioner and physique conditioning specialist in Tualatin, Ore., recommends exercising only the large muscle groups of your body. “Your abs are a very small amount of muscle, while your legs, back, chest and shoulders are all larger muscle complexes and burn many times more calories in the same amount of time that you spend on an abs workout.” Instead of crunching, stand up and do multi-muscle group moves such as overhead presses, squats, planks and pushups to burn more calories during your strength workouts to reduce belly fat more efficiently.

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belly flab fighter #5: crank up the cardio

While strength training certainly has its benefits, when it comes to reducing belly fat, your best bet is aerobic exercise, say researchers from Duke University. A recent study found that resistance training alone had little effect on eliminating belly flab, while aerobic exercise burned 67 percent more calories for study participants and significantly reduced their abdominal fat. Study participants ran an equivalent of 12 miles per week to achieve these results. If your goal is to shed your muffin top quickly, first focus on adding aerobic exercise (four or five days a week) to burn more calories, and then add in resistance training on alternate days to help add definition and shape to your body.

belly flab fighter #6: don’t get too little — or too much — sleep

A recent study published in the journal Sleep found a direct correlation between sleep and belly fat — subjects who slept five hours or less each night, or eight hours or more, gained more abdominal fat than subjects who stayed between six to seven hours of shut eye. Be sure to get in the right amount of hours of quality sleep in a quiet, dark room for best results.

belly flab fighter #7: add a daily dose of soluble fiber

Eating a diet rich in the soluble fiber found in vegetables, fruits and beans can have a direct effect on reducing belly fat, says a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study, the first to directly link dietary fiber with decreased abdominal fat, found that for every 10 grams of daily dietary soluble fiber, abdominal fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over a five-year period. Make it work for you by eating at least 10 grams of soluble fiber per day, such as two small apples, one cup of green peas or a cup of pinto beans.

belly flab fighter #8: kick your diet soda habit

If you think your diet soda is helping your waistline, you may want to reconsider: A 10-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas found that people who consume two or more diet sodas per day gained 70 percent more belly fat than those that didn’t drink it. What’s worse is the artificial sweeteners found in diet soda can cause belly bloating and may be worsening your sugar cravings. To kick your fake sugar habit, start slowly reducing your intake, by replacing that Diet Coke with a glass of sparkling water and a splash of lime or a cup of green tea.

belly flab fighter #9: pray or meditate

Your prayers for flatter abs may have been answered. It seems that regular prayer or meditation can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which is one of the culprits of belly flab. One study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine found that women who prayed or meditated had healthier levels of cortisol than those that didn’t. Make it work for you by carving out some quiet time for reflection for at least 15 minutes on most days of the week.

belly flab fighter #10: add coconut oil to your diet

Numerous studies have shown a link between coconut oil and a reduction in abdominal fat. “Coconut oil is a saturated fat that has anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties and it’s pro-thyroid, which can benefit the metabolism,” says Andrew Johnston, a CHEK certified Nutrition Coach and Practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia. “In fact, farmers tried to use it to fatten their livestock in the early- to mid-1900’s, but it made them leaner! So they switched to polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils), which worked quite well to fatten their animals up fast.” Make it work for you by using it in place of vegetable oils, but stay aware of its calorie and fat content: One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 117 calories and 13.5 grams of fat, making it comparable to olive oil.

belly flab fighter #11: get selective with your sugar

Choose your sweet treats carefully. “When you eat 120 calories of glucose (found in foods like potatoes and rice) less than 1 calorie is stored as fat,” says Johnston. “When you eat 120 calories of fructose, (think high fructose corn syrup 40 calories are stored as fat, which is how fructose consumption leads to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and excess fat around the belly.” But not all fructose is bad, only the refined, man-made type. The naturally-occurring fructose found in fruit is okay, Johnston says, and plays an important role in a healthy, balanced diet.

belly flab fighter #12: train your abdominals to be smarter, not harder

Since crunches won’t target your belly flat alone, you have to train your abdominal muscles to engage and give you a more “drawn in” look. To target your abs more effectively, you have to lift both your upper and lower body at the same time, says Jackie Warner, author of This Is Why You’re Fat (and How to Get Thin Forever). “Bicycles and jack knives are more effective than just crunches,” says the star of the Personal Training with Jackie: Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs DVD.

belly flab fighter #13: reduce belly bloat with lemon

There is a reason people ask their waiters to put lemon in their water: It can help prevent water retention, says Warner. While it won’t strip away the flab, it can help slim down belly bloat. Lemon juice is a natural, gentle diuretic that may also help with constipation. Just be sure to dilute its acidity (too much can be irritating to the stomach and enamel on teeth). For each glass of water your drink, squeeze a quarter lemon slice into your glass.

belly flab fighter #14: cut down on simple carbs

No need to cut carbs out completely, just reduce your daily intake. And better yet, make the carbs you do eat whole grains. According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects who replaced refined grains with whole grains like oatmeal, bulgur or brown rice, lost more abdominal fat than subjects that also restricted-calorie diets but didn’t add whole grains to their meals. Not all whole grain products are created equal, though, so be sure to look for foods that list a whole grain as the first ingredient in order to reap its belly-busting benefits (whole wheat, rye, whole oats, etc.). Enjoy your carbs a little less often and you will make significant gains in the battle of the bulge.

belly flab fighter #15: ‘pear’ down your waist

Need a belly-busting secret weapon? Try pears! According to one Brazilian study, women who ate at least one pear a day lost 38 percent more weight and experienced a drop in blood glucose levels, which is directly linked to belly fat levels. Those who didn’t consume the fruit didn’t fare so well. And it’s no wonder: Pears pack a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber (that’s more than prunes) per serving, which will keep your belly full and satisfied and may help you consume less calories overall. Enjoy this fiber-licious fruit before a meal or as a snack.

belly flab fighter #16: dose up on dairy

Following a high-protein, dairy-rich diet could help you lose more belly flab, says a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Three groups of overweight women were put on three different eating plans, with varying amounts of protein and dairy. While all three groups lost the same amount of weight, the ones who consumed the most protein (30 percent) in addition to several daily servings of dairy gained more lean muscle and lost twice as much belly fat than the low-protein, low-dairy group. Make it work for you by making simple switches like enjoying a breakfast parfait instead of cereal in the morning, topping your lunch salad with yogurt dressing in place of croutons or enjoying this delicious strawberry milkshake instead of cookies for dessert

belly flab fighter #17: bring on breakfast

More than half of America regularly skips breakfast, says Rania Batayneh, a nutritionist and healthy eating strategist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You in San Francisco, Calif. “Studies show that people who regularly skip breakfast consume more calories throughout the day and are heavier than those who do. A healthy breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and provides you with energy for a busy day.” And it’s equally important for the whole family too: A recent study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles found that children and adolescents who regularly skip breakfast have higher levels of abdominal fat than those who eat a morning meal regularly. Try some of these quick, healthy, family-friendly breakfast ideas tomorrow morning.

belly flab fighter #18: reduce diet-induced inflammation

According to Barry Sears, Ph.D., creator of the Zone Diet and author of Toxic Fat: When Good Fat Turns Bad, more than 90 percent of the population suffers from diet-induced inflammation, which can cause increased belly fat. Sears says the best way to reduce inflammation is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, decrease your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids (those found in vegetable oils such as corn, soy and safflower oils) and increase your consumption of Omega-3’s found in fish such as sardines, mackerel and herring or fish oil supplements.

belly flab fighter #19: spice it up

Adding spices to your diet may help you slim down your belly without a lot of effort. A new study by researchers at Purdue University found that consuming chili pepper helps reduce your appetite for sugary and fatty foods, and may help curb hunger and reduce belly fat by speeding up your metabolism. Capsaicin (the active ingredient found in chili peppers) seems to raise your body’s level of appetite suppressing hormones, while reducing the hormones that promote hunger. A half of a teaspoon appears to be the magic amount, so try sprinkling a little chili pepper on your eggs in the morning or chicken breast for dinner. If you just can’t take the heat, try turmeric instead. Its active ingredient, curcumin, can help keep blood glucose levels in check and slow down your body’s absorption of carbohydrates after large meals, according recent research from India’s Gujarat University. Add a teaspoon of this antioxidant-rich spice to your favorite recipes or try it for dinner in this delicious recipe for Chicken Mole.

belly flab fighter #20: get checked for pcos

If stubborn belly fat just won’t budge even after changing your diet and exercise program, you may want to ask your doctor if you could be suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A common condition that an estimated over 5 million women suffer from, PCOS causes hormonal imbalances that can cause insulin resistance and weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. If you suffer from mood swings, irregular periods, have excess facial hair and carry extra weight mainly around your waist, it may be time to ask your doctor for an exam.

So there you have it.  Some I’ll take and some I’m not sure on.  I do agree with kicking up the cardio every day.  And I’ve been lacking on that in all kinds of ways.  The nice weather comes and I’m inside on my lunch break baking or cooking!  What the heck is wrong with me!!!  But I will try to add more fruit to my diet again.  I love the taste of it and know that it’s much better than the candy I have out of sight but still in my mind!!

Take the tips or leave it.  Just thought I’d share what I found and see if it’s useful for you if you feel in a rut and needed some ideas.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

iVillage

 

Southwest Chicken Salad Panini

Usually for lunch I have a salad.  But this week I’ve been tired of them and have switched over to eating turkey sandwiches.  Which is okay by me.  Except that I just realized I have had two sandwiches today for two meals.  However, if you love panini’s then you’ll love this one too!

I decided to grill the chicken breasts instead of bake them in the oven.  Better flavor and saves us from overheating the house on this nice day!!  I was a bit worried that adding the chili powder would make it a bit to spicy for the kids, but they didn’t say a thing.  I didn’t even notice it.  (I did use 4 pieces of chicken to make 4 sandwiches for all of us).  I added a bit more of the dressing but kept the chili powder the same measurement.

What you need:

2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breasts

1-1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing

2 Tbsp. KRAFT Light Ranch Dressing

8 slices Italian bread

1 large tomato, cut into 8 thin slices (I skipped this part)

4 KRAFT 2% Milk Singles (fat free)
Make it:

1. Heat panini grill to medium-high heat. Mix chicken, chili powder and dressings.

2. Fill bread slices with chicken mixture, tomatoes and 2% Milk Singles.

3. Grill 3 to 5 min. or until Singles are melted and sandwiches are golden brown on both sides.

I had a little kitchen helper today with me.

These were really good.  Easy to make, which seems to be a good thing for us lately.

Both kids asked if they could take the chicken off of the sandwich if they didn’t like it, but they both took a bite and ate the entire thing without a complaint.

Mr. Craig on the other hand decided to have left over meatloaf.  He’s not big on sandwiches that I make like this.  But I bet if he’d give it a try, he might just like it.

Have a great weekend and happy grilling.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Big Fork Little Fork

 

Double Strawberry Smoothie Pie

Pies are pretty much a good bet that it’ll be liked AND eaten at our house.  Banana cream pie is the favorite.  Dutch Apple Pie is close second.  Everyone has been enjoying the smoothies lately so I thought I’d give this pie a try. (Hey that rhymed  – yep dork I am)

I’ve also been trying to find desserts and meals that can be made during my lunch break with the lack of time at night we have now.  And I’ll admit, I used a store bought pie crust.  Not because I didn’t want to make it, just trying to save time.  After I bought this I saw a recipe on Betty Crocker that had used the Dulce de Leche Cheerios as a pie crust instead of the graham cracker crust.  So I am wishing I would have just made one now!  There will be another next time I’m sure 😉

Again, the hardest part for me is sitting here waiting to see if it turned out good before anyone gets home.  OR that someone takes a piece out before I get to take a pix for our blog.  No names shall be mentioned here.

Pie Crust:

  • 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Pie Filling:

  • 1½ cups frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup 100% cranberry strawberry or cranberry raspberry juice, divided
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup strawberry low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Light whipped cream, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. For the pie crust, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, flaxseed, sugar, egg white, butter, and canola oil in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon or your fingers, press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake about 8 minutes (the color of the crust won’t change). Cool before filling.
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the strawberries and ½ cup of the juice until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to break up any frothy bubbles
  4. Place the remaining ½ cup juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let stand 1 minute. Add the hot juice mixture and stir, or gently whisk, until the gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and sugar.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Serve with light whipped cream as desired.
I left the ingredients and how to for the pie crust in case you want to make home made.
This is a light and refreshing pie.  Not to sweet for me!  (I’m not huge on sweets – give me candy though!)  I can eat a piece and be okay.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 slice): 180 calories, 6g fat (1.5g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 130mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g protein, 20% vitamin C

Have a great day.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Meal Makeover Moms

Grilled Mozza-Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken, chicken and more chicken.  Yep another way to have chicken in your house too.

Summer is here, it’s time to have some fun on the grill.  Plus, most things always taste better when grilled.  Right?  And I could eat corn on the cob with any meal during this time of the year.  I really could.  Chicken on the grill, if cooked just right, is so moist and has that great smokey flavor even without adding your favorite toppings to it.

But here I found another kid friendly recipe for us to try.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup green pepper strips

1 Tbsp. oil

1/3 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce

4 kaiser rolls, split

4 KRAFT Deli Fresh Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese Slices
Make it:

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken 8 min. Meanwhile, cook and stir vegetables in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

2. Turn chicken; brush with barbecue sauce. Grill 7 to 9 min. or until chicken is done (165°F), turning and brushing occasionally with remaining sauce and adding rolls to grill the last few minutes to toast lightly.

3. Fill rolls with chicken, cheese and vegetables (if desired).  I left out the peppers and only put onions on my sammie.  I added some pickles too!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re like our family and you have kids in sports…you try to find a quick go to meal either before or after the game/practice.   We have something going on typically Monday-Thursday nights.  And some of those nights we aren’t home until almost 9pm.  Now the kids are out of school but we still have daycare.  So getting to bed at any time does not apply in our house!!!

This was easy to make, with great flavor.  Serve with your favorite toppings and of course some corn on the cob!

Happy Grilling

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Big Fork Little Fork

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

I do try my best to get the veggies in our meal the best I can.  If it’s not corn or beans, they don’t want it.  So when I see something that calls for spinach, I know I have to find a way to incorporate it in such a way that they won’t either notice or what’s on top or mixed with it adds flavor to it.

Fortunately for me, we had soccer that night and Craig and Caleb were left to eat this without me being here and being able to ask what the green stuff is.  Not sure if Caleb asked Craig and Craig knew or not.  I do know that when I got home, Caleb asked what that green stuff was in the chicken.  When I asked if he liked it, he said it was ok.  I chose not to ask Craig.  He typically eats it!!!

What you need:

4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained

1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided

6 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

1 egg

10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)

1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated
Make it:

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired.

2. Beat egg in shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan and cracker crumbs in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place, seam-sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

3. Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve chicken topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining mozzarella.

Brooklyn and I loved it.  I put some spaghetti under the chicken and it filled us right up.  Of course we hadn’t eaten since lunch and it was after 7pm and we were hungry.  I did not get any complaints from Brooklyn about it.  She wanted more!

I guess the boys in our house just can’t appreciate good chicken with hidden spinach!!!  Ok so it wasn’t hidden very well..

Have an awesome day.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Big Fork Little Fork

Lucky Charm Cupcakes

Oh Yum is all I can say.  Craig found these on the AOL main page and  I, of course had to see if I could make them.

Two times I had to make the cupcakes due to misreading the recipe and putting the cereal portion in the mix instead of the milk from the cereal.  Either way the first batch tasted a bit too much like flour, so back to the beginning I went.

I thought the kids would have fun making these with me, but once Caleb saw that his job was picking the marshmallows out of the cereal, I’m not sure he was happy  about that.  I think he thought he’d be licking the bowl clean or something!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were pretty time consuming, and I ended up in the kitchen for a good part of the day.  Mostly due to my lack of learning how to follow directions.

Here’s what you need and what you do:

Ingredients for Cupcakes

11.5 oz. box Lucky Charms Cereal (or bigger, but then you may not need all of the marshmallows)

1 1/2 c whole milk

2 t vanilla extract

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

2 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

Directions

1.  Preheat your oven to 350°F, and put liners in cupcake tins.

2.  Pick the marshmallows out of the box of Luck Charms.

3.  Combine 1 c of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows), the milk and vanila extract.  Let soak while you finish assembling the other ingredients, about 15-20 minutes.

4.  Grind 1 c of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows) into a powder using a food processor, or just crushing them up really well.  You should be left with a little less than half a cup of cereal powder.

5.  Sift together the cereal powder, flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

6.  In a large bowl, cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

7.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition

8.  Drain the milk mixture off of the cereal.

9.  To the butter and sugar, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in thirds, beating until smooth after each addition.

10.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it springs back when you touch it.

11.  Let cool before frosting.

Now, if you look at the link below where this recipe came from, those cupcakes have color to them.  Mind did not have color to them.  So that leads me to believe that I didn’t follow directions again or something was missing (almost like marshmallows were in fact added??)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe for the frosting that was posted was for Buttercream.  I love buttercream frosting.  However, the last time I made it, it felt like I was eating a package of butter.  It was a bit too much.  Easier to frost than the whipped cream (only from my experience or lack there of).

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

My frosting did not seem to hold a stiff peak at all.  I ended up adding powdered sugar to thinken it up for frosting the cupcakes.  But it didn’t get the same effect I wanted had I used the Buttercream.  So I’m not sure if I’d have been better off with the original recipe that this came with.  I wanted to pipe the frosting on the cakes, but the marshmallows were too big to fit through the tip.  So I put them on top of the icing.

They sure do look pretty.  And they tasted pretty good too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approval from Brooklyn as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t get much help from the kids with this.  But they each ate one or two!  They were fun to make and taste.  And very pretty indeed.

Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 🙂

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