Yeah you remember it…don’t deny it. The best version EVAR and bound to make your Monday morning spectacular
Started off the morning [Saturday] right with my typical bowl of cinnamon oatmeal with a banana mixed in. I topped it with Friday’s fabulous new idea of pnut butter/cacao bliss melty goo. Then I added about 1T of granola and 1T of almonds for some CRUNCH.
melty goo makes me go mmmmmmm
Lunch was SPOT on! I made a super thick + fruity smoothie and a veggie burrito that I could probably consume every single day.
Smoothie: frozen blueberries + cherries + almond milk + greek plain yogurt
Veggie Burrito: 1/2 slice provolone + 1/2 mashed avocado + 1 small shredded carrot stick + 1/3 red pepper + s+p
It just hit the spot!!
My starch of choice [along with arrowroot]. I used this in the frosting.
milk [i used almond milk this time..worked perfectly] + flour + tapioca starch
creaaaaamy…pop this bowl in the fridge and then later whip with the pnut butter, butter + sugar
Trying to take photos of myself with the fixed 50mm lens is no easy task.
Natalie looooves pnut butter so of course I incorporated it into the cake…mmm
IF I use powd. sugar…this is what I use. Most powdered sugar is sugar + cornstarch. No thanks on the highly processed corn products for this girl.
hehehehe…the secret surprise filling for the cupcake
Peanut butter baaaaaalls
They went in the freezer so they wouldn’t sink to the bottom and melt in the cupcake [which happened anyway…DOH!]
What else is in my freezer? Yellow corn to ice my feet [not organic, lol] =) + organic veggies when I’m in a pinch + lots of frozen organic fruit + spinach that I bagged and froze b/c frozen store spinach just doesn’t do it for me + leftover chili + ice packs + coffee + yes, you spotted it…the green box…unopened THIN MINTS that were given to us….I’m afraid to open the box, in fear that I will eat an entire sleeve..You’ll know when I open them, don’t you worry.
Nothing makes baked goods better than butter….nothing.
Making the chocolate part of the cake! I will give you a link to the recipe at the end of the post. It’s from Pioneer Woman and I only changed 2 things, I think :)
My addition: Cinnamon…because, there’s no reason NOT to ;)
I don’t really like chocolate cake…GASP!!! I much prefer vanilla! However, I would take THIS chocolate cake any.day.
The best chocolate batter EVER EVER EVERRRRRRRRRR…get my point?
So you’re supposed to fill up the tins 1/2 way, plunk in the PB ball and fill up the rest of the way. This just didn’t work. Maybe next time, fill up all the way and put them in on top because they will still sink. Okay..wait…let me back up!
I found a recipe for crazy chocolate cupcakes with pnut butter balls in the center from Annie’s Eats blog. The reviews were mixed on whether or not the PB balls sank and melted or stayed right in the center. I’m not sure why it varied so much. However, I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe for chocolate cake. It takes me a LONG time to decide on cake recipes! So the PB ball may have sunk because the chocolate cake mixture was warm from the melted butter/chocolate mixture. Not really sure! But either way, they were still awesome!
Frosting!! This is the first time that I tried making pnut butter butter cream with my GO TO recipe. It worked great!
Along with the cupcakes I filled 2 mini loaf pans and cut them in half. I stacked 3 of the halves to make Natalie a mini cake!
I didn’t focus on cutting everything perfectly…ooops
It got a little crumbly but I knew Natalie wouldn’t mind!
The cupcakes rose perfectly!!! Baking is kind of temperamental with the altitude difference. I’m still figuring it all out!
This butter cream frosting works best for decorating cupcakes. It’s not as good for spreading on a cake because it doesn’t spread smoothly. You just can’t get that “sleek” look with this frosting recipe. However, the taste is SO worth it, to have a slightly messy looking cake.
Creamy + buttery and not full of sugar.
I broke out my cake decorating gun for these babies. I got it at my wedding shower, um 2yrs ago, and this was my first time using it :)
I had no design intent for this, lol…not really sure what it’s all about? I wanted cute mini dots all over it but the smallest tip I had was not that small. Ohhh well!
Instead, big spiky dots!
Natalie’s gifts! How cuuuute are those measuring cups?? I love that they are all a different flower, stack nicely, and you can use them for little bowls too! All of these gifts were from World Market, one of Nat and my favorite stores! Matching ceramic measuring spoons, a soy candle that smelled insane and a wooden picture frame!!! “coconut fields” it was like vanilla, buttery, coconut, cream…I wanted to lick it, but I held myself back.
Chris + Chris [point n’ shoot time] We were meeting for dinner, at the Wynkoop in Denver, with a bunch of friends and then going to see Backyard Tire Fire at a small venue.
I HATE flash…but no one could stay still, so I had to use it.
Ann, Jenna, Dave
THE BIRTHDAY GIIIIIIIIIIRL
Candle blowing time!
LOVE her! Happppppy Birthday sis!!! She is really my “sis-in-law” but I like to pretend she’s my real sister :)
Natalie + Pat
Ann + me. People say we look like sisters but I think it’s just the hair color and glasses…?
Can you guess which one had a few drinks?
She’s so adorable
And if this post didn’t make your day…then this photo SURELY will do the trick!!!!!! One of Jake’s 9mo photos [not sure where they were taken]. I love this kid!!!
I will say my goodbyes now with the recipes to follow!! My photo count has been lacking a little lately..so hopefully this made up for it!!! Check my training page for my latest update. I finished Whittle My Middle and saw awesome results! Exciting stuff :)
And one more thing…for whatever INsane reason…when I go to do the Whittle My Middle workout this RIDICULOUS song gets stuck in my head…instead of “wiggle” I sing “whittle”….you have to wait a good 45sec into the video to hear what I’m talking about. PLEASE tell me you remember this song!! If not, you can at least get a big laugh out of the early 90’s video! Just seeing the boombox is worth it!
THEE BEST chocolate cake everrrrrrrrrrr [adapted from Pioneer Woman’s amazing recipe]
- 2 cups Flour [I used unbleached cake flour]
- 2 cups Sugar 1.5c sucanat
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
- 2 sticks Butter
- 1 cup Boiling Water
- ½ cups Buttermilk 1/2c full fat plain yogurt
- 2 whole Beaten Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- +1/2t cinnamon
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 350*
- Bring water to a boil and while waiting melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add cocoa and stir.
- Add boiling water to cocoa/butter mixture.
- Bring to a boil for 30sec and turn off the heat.
- Pour into the large mixing bowl, mix until combined and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl whisk the eggs, yogurt, soda, and vanilla.
- Stir into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Pour into a buttered + floured sheet cake pan or into 24 cupcake tins with liners.
- Bake for 18-22min.
Higher altitude directions:
- add 3T extra yogurt
- increase oven temp to 375*
- decrease sugar by a few Tbs.
A great, easy to follow explanation of high altitude baking. HERE!
Hidden Peanut Butter Balls [source]
- 1c powdered sugar
- 3/4c creamy peanut butter
- 4T unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1tsp. vanilla extract
- Combine ingredients and beat until well combined.
- Roll into 24 balls and freeze for at least 30min.
Peanut Butter Butter Cream
- 1/2c unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2c creamy peanut butter [not oily!]
- 1/2c pure cane sugar
- 1/2c sucanat
- pinch of cinnamon
- 4T all purp flour
- 1t tapioca starch [or arrowroot]
- 1c milk [I used plain, unsweetened almond milk and it worked perfectly!!]
- 1t vanilla extract
- Over medium heat, in a small saucepan, cook the milk, flour + starch, stirring frequently with a whisk. Watch carefully so this does not burn!
- Cook until a very thick paste-like consistency is reached. It takes about 10-15min depending on your stove!
- Let cool to room temp [fridge/freezer helps!]
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar + butter + peanut butter [on medium-high] until the sugar has almost completely dissolved and the mixture is fluffy, 3-5min. [If you don’t have a stand mixer and you don’t want to kill your arm holding your mixer…I suppose you can use powdered sugar for quicker dissolving, hehe.]
- When the milk mixture has cooled combine together and beat again until fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla and refrigerate at least 30min to help stiffen the frosting.