Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos in this post. My husband and I hosted our housewarming party this past Saturday, so everything was made in a bit of a rush. But once I tried these amazing cupcakes, I knew I had to snap a few photos of the finished product to share with you!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
These cupcakes are so deliciously moist and the frosting is smooth and not too sweet, which is so hard to find unless it is a cream cheese-based frosting. So this recipe is definitely a keeper, and if you love peanut butter–you NEED to try this!!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Serves 12
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperature (I use natural)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or a little more to make it thicker)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (again, I used natural)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or less if you like it thicker)
Directions:
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine milk and vanilla in small bowl.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
  4. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until smooth.
  6. Slowly mix in peanut butter.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and blend slowly.
  8. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture.
  9. Continue to blend slowly.
  10. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth; don’t overmix!
  11. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand.
  12. Put 12 cupcake liners in baking dish.
  13. Fill the cupcake liners.
  14. Bake for 22 minutes.

For the Frosting

  1. Combine sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Combine milk and vanilla in another bowl.
  3. Beat butter and peanut butter in mixer until smooth.
  4. Alternately add sugar and milk mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Check consistency of frosting. I had to add a little more powdered sugar–but I also didn’t want to make the frosting too sweet, so I put the frosting in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. If you want a looser frosting, add a little more milk.
  6. Once you get your desired consistency, frost the cooled cupcakes.
  7. I topped them off with three chocolate chips 🙂

I hope you enjoy them as much as my guests and I did!! Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Gnudi: A Must Try Italian Recipe

Are you are familiar with gnudi? In Italian it literally means “nudes.” Sexy right?

Well they sure are delicious, sexy or not! Anyway, they are kind of like gnocchi (the potato dumplings) except instead of being made with potato, they are made with ricotta and spinach–or at least this recipe is 😉 Online, I have also found gnudi recipes made out of just ricotta…but these are divine. I have seen them described as the inside of a ravioli, without the pasta on the outside–and that’s the best part of ravioli, right?!

These are light and delectable! I highly recommend everyone try this. They are quick and easy and most of the ingredients are in your kitchen already (maybe not the ricotta or frozen spinach, though I personally always keep at least one or two boxes of spinach in the freezer).

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, egg and yolk.

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour. Form mixture in to small, flattened balls.
Gnudi Italian Recipe

Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes.

Heat the tomatoes in a pan over medium high heat. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle seasoning (if you want to add a bit of spicy heat). Cook to your desired consistency–I like mine somewhat chunky with the liquids cooked off for this meal. More like a salsa topping, not like a marinara sauce with spaghetti.

Place gnudi in two bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Feel free to garnish with grated cheese if you wish.

Wow, look at that steam!

Gnudi Italian Recipe

Happy eating! And let me know what you guys think 🙂

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Gnudi

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8-10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or other cheese of your choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chipotle powder (or any spicy heat that you like)
  • Olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (I love Hunt’s Fire Roasted)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, egg and yolk.
  3. Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour. Form mixture in to small, flattened balls.
  4. Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes.
  5. Heat the tomatoes in a pan over medium high heat. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle seasoning (if you want to add a bit of spicy heat). Cook to your desired consistency–I like mine somewhat chunky with the liquids cooked off for this meal. More like a salsa topping, not like a marinara sauce with spaghetti.
  6. Place gnudi in two bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Feel free to garnish with grated cheese if you wish.

Mushroom and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

I have been wanting to try this recipe for so long! I did change it up a little to fit what we had in our pantry. I also baked it instead of cooking it in oil, just to make it healthier. The chicken was very juicy and tender, but next time I may marinate it beforehand or test out some other seasoning on the actual chicken simply because I tend to eat very “spice-y” food (not necessarily hot, just with lots of flavorful spices and herbs). The stuffing was awesome, and wouldn’t change a thing! Try it out and let me know what you think!

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cook bacon over medium heat in a large skillet. Crumble and put aside.

Add olive oil, mushrooms and shallot to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Be sure to stir often.

Chicken recipe with mushrooms

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, continue to stir. Remove from the skillet and let it cool in a bowl.

After about five minutes, add the bacon, ricotta, parmesan, spinach, oregano, salt, and pepper to the mushroom mixture, mixing it all together until well combined.

Mushroom, spinach and ricotta chicken recipe

Now you will need to pound the chicken breasts. There are many ways to do this but one of my favorites is to put the chicken breasts inside a large zip lock bag. Then pound with a mallet.

Butterfly the chicken breasts—cut them open like a book, leaving the back together. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Chicken recipe

Spoon the ricotta mixture down the center of each breast. Fold the chicken back over as far as it will go—because all that filling will be oozing out 🙂 Feel free to use toothpicks to close if it makes you feel better.

Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Place the chicken on a buttered baking dish and cook for 20 minutes.

After it comes out of the oven, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Stuffed Chicken Recipe

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Mushroom and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Serves 3.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz of Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup of ricotta
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Âź cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook bacon over medium heat in a large skillet. Crumble and put aside.
  3. Add olive oil, mushrooms and shallot to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Be sure to stir often.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, continue to stir. Remove from the skillet and let it cool in a bowl.
  5. After about five minutes, add the bacon, ricotta, parmesan, spinach, oregano, salt, and pepper to the mushroom mixture, mixing it all together until well combined.
  6. Now you will need to pound the chicken breasts. There are many ways to do this but one of my favorites is to put the chicken breasts inside a large zip lock bag. Then pound with a mallet.
  7. Butterfly the chicken breasts—cut them open like a book, leaving the back together. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon the ricotta mixture down the center of each breast. Fold the chicken back over as far as it will go—because all that filling will be oozing out. You may want to use toothpicks to close.
  9. Place the chicken on a buttered baking dish and cook for 20 minutes.
  10. After it comes out of the oven, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Drunken Asian Veggie Noodles

This is my very own creation, so I’m pretty proud of it.

I was looking at lots of pasta recipes on Pinterest, but nothing piqued my interest. So I decided to do some experimenting. I took what I had in the fridge and pantry and concocted a DELICIOUS meal. It’s super healthy because it’s packed with vegetables. But it’s also really tasty.

I think this will become a weekly meal in our household! I actually made this for the first time earlier this week. I wrote down everything I did step by step, and I couldn’t wait to get into to. Needless to say, I didn’t take any pictures and didn’t even realize it until it was all gone 😦 So I begged my husband to make it again tonight because I wanted to share it with the world ASAP. He didn’t need too much persuading 😉

So let’s get right into it.

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Defrost the corn. My bag said to add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave it for 6 minutes.

Place the cherry tomatoes and cut up zucchini on a greased baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Zucchini and tomatoes

Place a large skillet on medium high heat. Drizzle the regular olive oil in the pan–just enough to coat the pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic and the mushrooms. Mushrooms

After about 5 minutes, or when the mushrooms are starting to brown, add the white wine, salt and pepper. WP_000497

Let it reduce for about 5 more minutes. Lower to medium heat.

Add the corn, zucchini, tomatoes, the other 1/2 tablespoon of garlic and some more salt and pepper. Mix all those good veggies together.

Here is where we kick it up a bit! Add the honey and rum. WP_000501

Mix it up some more and let it cook for about 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from heat.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add two servings of rice noodles. (If you’ve never had rice noodles, you buy a package of them and they come individually separated inside into a recommended serving.) My package recommends cooking them for 3 minutes. When they are ready, strain and rinse with cool water.

Toss the pasta with the veggie sauce. And add the extra virgin olive oil–this helps the sauce stick to the noodles.

Use tongs or a fork to separate the noodles and get the veggies mixed in well. WP_000504

You are ready to serve it up!

Enjoy! ______________________________________________________________________________________

Drunken Asian Veggie Noodles

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I prefer Baby Bella)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, separated in half
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup mango rum (feel free to add more if you like)
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Extra Virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Defrost the corn. My bag said to add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave it for 6 minutes.
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes and cut up zucchini on a greased baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Place a large skillet on medium high heat. Drizzle the regular olive oil in the pan–just enough to coat the pan.
  5. Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic and the mushrooms.
  6. After about 5 minutes, or when the mushrooms are starting to brown, add the white wine, salt and pepper.
  7. Let it reduce for about 5 more minutes.
  8. Lower to medium heat.
  9. Add the corn, zucchini, tomatoes, the other 1/2 tablespoon of garlic and some more salt and pepper. Mix all those good veggies together.
  10. Here is where we kick it up a bit! Add the honey and rum.
  11. Mix it up some more and let it cook for about 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from heat.
  12. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add two servings of rice noodles. (If you’ve never had rice noodles, you buy a package of them and they come individually separated inside into a recommended serving.) My package recommends cooking them for 3 minutes.
  13. When they are ready, strain and rinse with cool water.
  14. Toss the pasta with the veggie sauce. And add the extra virgin olive oil–this helps the sauce stick to the noodles.
  15. Use tongs or a fork to separate the noodles and get the veggies mixed in well.

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Again with the Brussels sprouts, I know…I’m shocked too. I have come to love these things! And this recipe is REALLY good. So simple and delicious. It’s also really healthy. No cream, no bacon. Just a little cheese 🙂

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This is another recipe I came across on Pinterest. I was drawn to it because I had just bought Brussels sprouts on my weekly grocery trip and everything else I already had in my kitchen.

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (plus a little extra for sprinkling at the end), Parmesan works as well
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Red Pepper (Optional)
  • Chipotle Seasoning (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Cut off the bottom of each sprout.
  4. Remove the first layer of leaves, then wash the sprout.
  5. Cut the sprouts in bite size pieces (halved, quartered or in thirds).
  6. Mince garlic cloves.
  7. Mix garlic, oil, Brussels sprouts, salt, black pepper, cheese and ground red pepper if you want a bit of a kick.
  8.  Put into baking dish and cook for 30-40 minutes (depending on how soft you like your Brussels sprouts).
  9. Once they are done, I drizzled them with more olive oil, sprinkled more cheese, salt, pepper and added garlic powder and chipotle seasoning to make it a bit spicier. Coat them evenly and serve!

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Happy Eating my friends 😀

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Veggie Supreme Pizza

Hey everybody, I feel like it has been far too long since I posted; so I thought I should give you a really good recipe for your patience 🙂

We had a pizza dough in the freezer last week and I was really craving some carbs. But since the new year, we have been eating really healthy. Lots of fruits and veggies. So I decided to jam pack this pizza with all the veggies I could find in our kitchen! And it’s really hearty even though there is no meat whatsoever.

At first, I was going to put fresh tomato slices, but then I saw the roasted red pepper jar in the fridge just calling my name. I was going to put both, but as you will see in the pictures below…it was already overflowing. Feel free to substitute your favorite toppings, I’m sure zucchini or eggplant would also be really good. If I were to make this again, I would add a little sugar to sweeten the tomato sauce a bit (just a personal preference) and maybe use less spinach because there was A LOT!

But give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

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Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees (unless your pizza dough has different directions, then follow that instead).

Put tomato sauce and olive oil in medium size sauce pan. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic and oregano. Place sauce over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

While sauce is heating, defrost spinach and artichokes according to package directions. (I found using a potato ricer really helps squeeze out/drain the excess water from the spinach without burning yourself.) Chop your artichokes and bell peppers into bite size pieces and clean your mushrooms.

Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface. Once it is to your desired shape and size, place on a greased pizza pan and layer on the sauce. (I highly recommend a pizza crisper if you like a crispy crust—it works like a charm!)

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Then add all the toppings…

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…And finish off with the cheeses (I even topped it off a few more grinds of black pepper).

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My pizza dough brand recommended baking the pizza for 18-25 minutes, but if yours calls for a different amount of time then go with that. Mine looked perfect at 18 minutes. Once it is ready, let it sit for about five minutes before digging in.

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Veggie Supreme Pizza

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces of crushed tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach
  • 9 ounces of frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 or 2 roasted red bell peppers
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped (I prefer baby bella)
  • Flour (for dusting rolling pin)
  • 4-6 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (unless your pizza dough has different directions, then follow that instead).
  2. Put tomato sauce and olive oil in medium size sauce pan. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic and oregano. Place sauce over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  3. While sauce is heating, defrost spinach and artichokes according to package directions. (I found using a potato ricer really helps squeeze out/drain the excess water from the spinach without burning yourself.) Chop your artichokes and bell peppers into bite size pieces and clean your mushrooms.
  4. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface. Once it is to your desired shape and size, place on a greased pizza pan and layer on the sauce. (I highly recommend a pizza crisper if you like a crispy crust—it works like a charm!)
  5. Then add all the toppings.
  6. And finish off with the cheeses and a few more grinds of black pepper.
  7. My pizza dough brand recommended baking the pizza for 18-25 minutes, but if yours calls for a different amount of time then go with that. Mine looked perfect at 18 minutes. Once it is ready, let it sit for about five minutes before digging in.