ramblings from my little kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Oh my.  I don’t believe I have ever tasted a cupcake so delicious, so amazing.  Please make these as soon as possible and eat them all.  WOW!

so, the icing looks weird because I accidentally put the leaf tip on my icing bag and didn’t realize it until the bag was full… no turning back.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the filling:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 TBS milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
1tsp vanilla

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2.5-3.25 cups powdered sugar
1 cup whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

To make the filling, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside.

To make the cake batter, combine the flour, dutch cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside.  In another bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.

Spoon two TBS of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled.  Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the vanilla, cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Fold in the whipped cream until smooth and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

adapted from Annies-eats

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Today’s post is brought to you by long naps.  I LOVE lasagna.  but it takes a really long time to make.  I usually only brave it for company. 

Vegetarian (mostly) Lasagna


pack of lasagna noodles- cooked al dente

16 ounce container of ricotta

lots of mozzarella

lots of parmesan

marinara sauce (always make your own, so easy and so much better)

1 onion, sliced

2 peppers, sliced

1 extra large container of fresh spinach or one bag of frozen

2 eggs

1 container mushrooms

Italian sausage (hot or mild)

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS butter

salt and pepper



preheat oven to 350

1. start by cooking sausage in a little bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.  remove from oil and place them in a small pot of marinara sauce so they soak up all the tomatoey goodness. add in peppers and onions to oil/sausage fat and cook until softened and starting to brown.  put to side.

2. cook mushrooms in same pan after other veggies removed.

3. mix spinach, ricotta, tsp salt and pepper and eggs in a large bowl, set aside

4. grate a ton of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, once you think you have enough, do a little more.

5. next comes the layering.  put some sauce on the bottom of your extra deep baking dish then place a layer of noodles. cover the noodles with ricotta mixture, then a layer of veggies, then a layer of marinara, last a layer of grated cheese- to glue it all together.  Repeat, 2-3 times depending on how deep your dish is.  for the final layer, put the noodles over the last layer then put a little marinara over them and a LOT of grated cheese.  dice the butter and sprinkle over the top.

6. put dish on another pan in case of spillage and bake for 45 mins to an hour until the top is golden brown and bubbly. 

serve with garlic bread, extra marinara and sausage for the meat-eaters. 

yummy yummy


Garlic Bread


1 loaf french bread, sliced in half lengthwise

1/2stick butter, softened

1/4 cup olive oil

basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper

2-3 cloves garlic, minced


mix all ingredients together (except bread) then spread over sliced bread.  bake at 350 for 20 minutes until the edges are browned and crusty.

*as far as herbs/spices go.  i always use fresh basil and parsley because they taste so much differently and so much better than dried.  and i usually use equal parts of each (2 TBS minced).  oregano is really strong fresh, but yummy, so if you have it, use 2 tsp.  if not, dried is fine and use about 1-1.5 tsp.  salt and pepper are to taste.  but 1/2 tsp of each should get you there. 



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best brownies ever

these are rich and delicious.  i probably made 10 pans until i found the perfect combination of gooey, chocolaty, fabulous-ness.  

1 1/4 cups flour 
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp ground instant espresso
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
12 tablespoons butter cut into six pices
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
 2-3 candy bars of choice- I like SKOR or symphony the best

1. preheat oven to 325, spray a 9×13 inch pan with non stick cooking spray.
3. in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, espresso powder and salt together until combined,
4. melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl either in the microwave on high for 45 seconds then take out to stir and do another 45 seconds until melted and combined, or place heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir constantly until melted and combined.
5. once chocolate and butter are completely melted add sugar and whisk well, add eggs one at a time whisking for one minute after each addition, then add vanilla.
6. add flour mixture and mix well.
7. transfer half batter to greased pan, layer candy bar, cover with rest of batter, then bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

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cheddar dill scones

I totally stole this from Ina Garten.  I am not much of a recipe follower but when it comes to baking, I am fairly clueless.  I think the only thing I did differently was add a lot more cheese, and that was on accident.  These are rich and delicious.  There is so much butter in them, you don’t even need to put anything on them.  I served them with a very light soup and salad because there are enough calories in these to account for a meal. They are perfect for a day like today when there is a foot of snow on the ground.  Comfort food is good. 


4 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

4 extra-large eggs, beaten lightly

1 cup cold heavy cream

1/2 pound extra-sharp yellow Cheddar, small-diced

1 cup minced fresh dill

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk, for egg wash


oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 4 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss together the Cheddar, dill, and 1 tablespoon of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it for 1 minute, until the Cheddar and dill are well distributed. Roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch squares and then in half diagonally to make triangles. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked.

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Egg Salad

I either have no eggs in my house or 2 dozen…  if you ever find yourself in a similar position, please make this!



12 peeled hard boiled eggs

(put eggs in cold water, place over high heat, once water is boiling, cover and turn off heat.  let sit for 13 minutes then immediately cover in ice bath.  perfect eggs every time, no green ring, no soft centers.  also, older eggs are easier to peel, so don’t use the freshest ones in your fridge)

1/2 cup mayo (i usually add a dash of lemon juice to mayo to make it taste a little more homemade)

2TBS dijon mustard

2 tsp chives

1TBS fresh dill

2TBS pimentos

salt and pepper to taste



smash up eggs with your hands, or a fork, or if you are really fancy, a food processor.  Then, add all other ingredients and stir until combined!  Serve on warm toast, with crackers, or a hollowed out tomato.  Pretty and yummy!


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