Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Slime" Filled Cupcakes

I always try to make some sort of yummy treat for my co-workers around holidays.  With Halloween less than a week away, I thought it was a good time to try out a new recipe.  I made these last night, because I will not be in the office on Halloween.  These cupcakes are a combo of two different recipes and amazingly they turned out delicious.  If you like chocolate, this is a cupcake for you.  The chocolate frosting might be one of the best frosting's I have ever tasted.  I stood in the kitchen licking the beaters clean, it was so good!  Here is the recipe:

2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 tsp. vanilla extract

Line 30 muffin cups with paper liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Add water, oil and vanilla; stir until batter is blended.  (Batter may be thin.)  Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer cupcakes to wire racks after 5 minutes and cool completely.

1/4 c. shortening
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 c. confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
8 drops green food coloring, optional

Cream the shortening, butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and food coloring until light and fluffy.  Using a pastry bag with a small round tip, add the filling to the bag.  Push the tip through the bottoms of paper liners to fill cupcakes (the top of the cupcakes will begin to expand when they are full).

1/2 c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. baking cocoa
2 Tbsp. milk
Combine all ingredients together and frost cupcakes.

1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
6 drops green food coloring
Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over frosting.

This cupcakes are delicious but they were a little time consuming.  Make sure you have enough time when attempting these.  I would also suggest filling the cupcakes from the top.  This way you don't have to worry about breaking through the paper and the hole on the top will be covered with the frosting later.  Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lasagna Soup

My sister got me interested in this website called  It's a place where people can 'pin' pictures of things they like.  Looking around this website at the different pins, I found this recipe.  It's from a blog called a farm girl's dabbles (  Her blog is awesome and she has a lot of great recipes on there too.  This soup is so delicious and it really tastes like lasagna.  It will be a great dish to make again once it really starts to get cold!  Enjoy!


for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before adding the pasta.  Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings:  8

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Candy Corn Bark

I have made this recipe the past 2 years to take up to McGregor for our weekend away every fall.  Luke and I look forward to this weekend every year.  It's nice to be up in the bluffs by the Mississippi River and watching the leaves change.  We even made it to Effigy Mounds this year.  The weather this year was perfect which made it even more enjoyable.  We had a great time with family and ate way too much food.  My candy corn bark was a huge hit with everyone and I never bring home any leftovers.  This is super easy to make and is very festive.



  • 16 Halloween-colored chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broken small pretzels
  • 1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, broken into squares
  • 2 cups candy corn
  • orange and brown sprinkles


  1. Spread the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily.
  2. Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

This would be a great treat to have the kids take to school for their Halloween parties or even taking it to a party you've been invited to.  I promise it will get eaten.  It's irresistible.  ENJOY!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked Bean Chili

I found this recipe a couple years ago in a cookbook Luke gave me.  Before this recipe I have never been a big fan of chili because I don't like kidney beans.  This is an interesting take on chili.  It still has the chili taste because of the seasoning packet but it's also a little sweet thanks to the baked beans.  This makes a huge batch so be prepared to feed a lot of people or freeze some of it.  This is being entered in a chili cook-off challenge so I hope the judges like it.  Everyone who has tried this chili so far has loved it.
2 lbs. ground beef
3 cans (28 oz. each) baked beans
1 can (46 oz) tomato juice
1 can (11.5 oz) v8 juice
1 envelope chili seasoning
In a large pot, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer; uncovered for 10 minutes.

It's the perfect time of year to start thinking about different types of soups and stews to make since it's starting to get colder.  I plan on trying out a lot of different soup recipes this winter.  ENJOY!