Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splash Into Summer Blog Giveaway Hop

Enter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.  I will have two winners this time!  Thanks for stopping by!

To view the complete linky list:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chocolate Ganache-filled Cupcakes

My husband turns forty tomorrow and for his birthday I decided to surprise him with forty items of something every hour on the fortieth minute of the hour all day long.  Since he is at work, I had to get a little creative.  For one of his items, I was going to have 40 cupcakes delivered to him until I found out they charged $2/piece for these things.  So, I decided to make them myself.  I got this recipe from my friend, Bethany.  They are divine.  The only thing I added to her recipe was piping some of the ganache filling in the centers of the cupcakes.  I don’t even like cake...but these...these are worth making!  I made lemon-filled ones as well that were equally as good.  I will post the recipe soon.


2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup real or light mayonnaise
 ( I use light)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, soda & powder, set aside.

In a large bowl with mixer at high speed, beat eggs, sugar & vanilla, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, for 3 minutes or until smooth & creamy. Reduce speed to low; beat in mayonnaise till well blended. Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with water, beginning & ending with flour mixture.

Bake 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
 Makes 24 cupcakes with a little batter left over if you fill them 2/3 full. Or fill 1/2 full and make some minis!

For frosting and filled centers:  Heat 1 cup heavy cream in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until quite hot but not boiling.  Then stir in 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips until the chips melt and all the lumps are gone.  Ganauche will be quite thin at first but it sets ups after a few minutes.  While it's still warm, fill up a pastry bag and squirt some in the centers of the cupcakes.  Then spread a thin layer on the top as frosting.   Let the cupcakes rest for 15 minutes or so.

Whip a pint of whipping cream (may need more depending on how much you want on each cupcake) till it is quite firm.  Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Pipe onto each cupcake with a large, jagged edged tip (or whatever you like) to make a generous mound and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or top with a fresh raspberry.  I love them after they have been chilled.  Keep refrigerated for storage. Yum!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cheat Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake

This is such an easy, delicious recipe.  It’s like eating a cheesecake filled churro.  

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 (8 oz.) cans crescent roll dough

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to 350.  Beat the cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of sugar, add the vanilla extract and continue beating until smooth.  Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough and press on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent roll dough.  Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake.  Stir the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake along with the almonds.  Bake until it turns a golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Cool completely in pan before cutting.

Easy Refried Beans

Yesterday was a busy day, but with it being Cinco de Mayo, we still had to celebrate in some small way!  I  always love using my crockpot when I can.  It saves so much time!  Making these refried beans was no exception.  Dump all the ingredients in your crockpot in the morning, turn it on high.   Let it cook until dinner and right before serving just mash them up.  Yum!  And much better than from a can!

1 onion, chopped
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed well
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (if you like them with a kick, add the whole pepper)
2 TBSP. minced garlic
4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4-1 tsp. cumin, depending upon how much you like cumin.  (I used 1/4)
8 cups water

Place everything in your crockpot, stir.  Put the lid on, turn it on and your work is pretty much done.  Mash the beans prior to serving.  I added a little monterey jack cheese as well.