Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cupcakes…..

Cupcake day at the office……and it’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream cuppy. My dark chocolate cake with a creamy, fluffy peanut butter cream frosting…..sprinkled with raosted peanuts. First you get that hit…..the aroma. It fills your senses….ahhhhh. Then you get that sweetness of the cupcake with the salty hit of the peanuts. Sweet and salty plus creamy and crunchy, equals pure bliss. I am not a huge peanut butter fan, but it’s pretty hard to resist these. You will love, love, love.

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this is how a coworker (Tania) eats her cupcake…always turns it upside down. 🙂

Basic Chocolate Cake recipe

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
1/2  cup sour cream
1/4  cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Line standard muffin pan with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, sour cream, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth by hand whisk or mixer.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 15-18 minutes or until you poke a toothpick in the cake and it comes out clean. Let cool. Frost (makes 18-20 cuppies)

 Peanut Butter Frosting

1  8oz block of cream cheese
1/2  stick of butter
1  16oz box of powdered sugar, may need more.
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

In a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together. Once it is nice and creamy, add the powdered sugar and whip till fluffy. Add the peanut butter. Whip some more.  If the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar. If it is too stiff, add a bit of milk. Frost the cupcakes generously and sprinkle on some peanuts.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos…………

Don’t ya just love Taco Tuesday? You know, you don’t have to go out to a restaurant. Have your own taco Tuesday, in your own home, where you can make a big messy mess!Let’s face it, tacos are messy all loaded up with all that taco stuffs. Have your friends over, set up a taco bar, make some margaritas, charge everyone $2 a taco!! Hahaahahah, just kidding about the charging $2. Now, I normally like BEEF tacos. Chicken is boring to me. But I am trying to eat more chicken, less beef. But I do enjoy THESE chicken tacos. I love all things chipotle. Those smoky dark red chili peppers, with that smoky flavor. OH, and that spicy, hotsy totsy bite. But not to worry….they are not overly hot. They have a wonderful flavor.  I always keep them on hand and wrap them in two’s to keep in the freezer. They come in so handy. Anyway, happy taco Tuesday. Enjoy!

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Chipotle Chicken Tacos

corn tortillas
cooked shredded chicken breast
shredded cheese
lettuce, tomato or whatever else you like on your tacos
chipotles ( according to your heat tolerance)
chopped onion

In a frying pan, with just a tablespoon of oil, add your chicken, chipotles, onion. Toss together till heated through. You may want to add a few drops of water for some moisture. In a separate skillet, place a small amount of oil. When your oil is hot, place a corn tortilla in the pan. Fry to desired crispiness, remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Fill your tortilla with the chicken, top with some lettuce, cheese and a little sour cream. Top with your favorite salsa. Make a mess! Enjoy.

Spaghetti Melty Baked Stuff…………………..

You know, I really am in the mood for spaghetti a lot. I always crave it. I pretty much love pasta in general, but there is something about spaghetti. Maybe because it rhymes with my name…..Betty. hahahaha. Which reminds me…..when we were kids, my bratty little brother would taunt me with this stupid little rhyme he made up. It went like this: “Betty spaghetti with the meatball eyes, put her in the oven and you have French fries.” Is that just stupid or what! I mean, really….it is just silly, harmless, but it really used to annoy me. To this day, when I make spaghetti or even hear someone talking about spaghetti, I can picture and hear that bratty little guy following me around with that stupid little chant. Funny how certain silly things stay with us. hahahaha. Ok, back to spaghetti……this particular spaghetti. It’s different than my Baked Spaghetti recipe I posted awhile back. You can find that recipe in my Recipe Index. But this one…..ohhhhhhhhhh, this one. If you like all things melty, you must make this. Another true comfort food. You can make your own pasta sauce or use a GOOD jar sauce……and I mean a GOOD one, not a cheap, crappy one. This is layers of spaghetti noodles, mixture of cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream….topped with cheese. How could you not like that! You will, so go make it….now. Or soon. You will feel comforted.

Oh, and this is a great potluck dish!!

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Spaghetti Melty Baked Stuff

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
Approx 2  1/2 cups good pasta sauce (your own, or  1 jar) I have a simple recipe posted in the recipe index under Baked Spaghetti
1  8oz block of cream cheese, cut up in small cubes
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
8 oz (dry) spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey. Add the pasta sauce and heat through. In a bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese cubes. Set aside. Butter a glass baking dish (I used 9×13). Put half of the cooked spaghetti in the dish. Top with the cheese/sour cream mixture. Put the other half of your noodles on top of that. Spoon the sauce over the noodles, covering everything. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the cheddar cheese. Place back in the oven and bake just until the cheese is all melty. Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Serves 6-8 people.

 

 

 

 

Smothered Pork Chops…………..

OHHHHHHHH boy. This dish is not like any pork chop my mom ever made. Don’t get me wrong…..she was a great cook. But ewwwwwwww, her pork chops were always dry and leathery. They would look all plump and juicy when she took them out of the package. But my oh my, by the time she was done with them, they were half the size and looked dry and wrinkley! Our jaws sure got a good work out from all the chewing. And chewing. And chewing. Once I was out on my own, I would never even consider making pork chops. Then one day I had smothered pork chops at a friends house. When she described this “smothered” chop, I thought oh no-ooooo, she smothers them with gravy to hide the dried out, puckery looking appearance! I took a bite, expecting something horrid. I was so scared. Well, ok, I wasn’t scared. But I was concerned. But ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, this was so good. I must have made them once a week for months. I even made them for my mom and dad. I don’t remember what mom said, but I do remember she started making them that way. Now days,  I love pork chops cooked so many ways. But this is a favorite.

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Smothered Pork Chops

2 pork chops, 1″ thick (with or without bone)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced

In a dish, mix the seasoning salt with the half cup of flour. Coat both sides of the pork chops with this flour mixture. In a good size skillet, on medium heat, pour a little oil and 2 tablespoons of butter.  Place pork chops in the oil/butter and cook 3 1/2 minutes a side. Once browned, remove chops from skillet. In the pan drippings, add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of flour and mix. Add the broth, milk and garlic. Stir until sauce is thickened. But not too thick. Place the pork chops in the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chops. let simmer just until the pork chops are heated through. Serve with potatoes or rice. It is so good with rice with that yummy sauce and mushrooms ladled all over it. M-mmmm,

Note: if you are feeling lazy, you can use canned cream of mushroom soup, in stead of making your own sauce. I have done this…adding fresh mushrooms. But NO….don’t do it…Don’t use the canned stuff. It’s so easy to make your own sauce and you will be so pleased with yourself. YAY!!

Tomato Pesto Pasta…….

Last week I posted a sundried tomato pesto. One of my favorite things to do with it is to toss it with pasta. It is really so delicious. In this particular dish, I broke up some lasagna noodles. I liked the way it looked! It has to look good, ya know? I also tossed in some cubes of fresh mozzarella. Pretty simple dish…..

 

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Pesto Pasta

hot cooked pasta (any kind works….it’s all good)
tomato pesto (see my recipe index) or below
sliced or diced fresh mozzarella (cream cheese is good too…yes! yes!

Mix a good amount of pesto in with the pasta. You may want a lot, you may just want a smidge. Smidge, I like that word. Then toss in your mozzarella. Depending on how thick your pesto is, you may want to add a bit of hot water….just a couple tablespoons….don’t make it soupy. Cuz then you’ll be disappointed, you’ll ruin your pasta…you will be hungry and mad. Get it?

ok, that is it!!! So simple.

Sun dried Tomato Pesto

1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil, spinach or arugula (I left it out altogether in this recipe)
2 cloves of fresh garlic
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup olive oil ( I use LIGHT olive oil)

In a food processor, chop the tomatoes till very fine and crumbly. Add everything else. Blend till smooth.