“You can’t be a grown-up woman and not like chocolate.” ~ Julie Dawn Cole

The biggest thing I noticed about my pre-preggo self and my post-preggo self (besides the obvious shifting of all things body) would be my cravings.

I used to love good old salty, savory snacks and appetizers.  I was never really tempted by ordering desserts at a restaurant or I never ventured over to the dessert table at a party or wedding.  I sometimes never even had a piece of the brides cake.

Now, I’m like – “Is that chick ever going to cut that dang cake!”

Sweets.

I just can’t say no.

I also never liked dark chocolate at all.

Now, I dream about it.

This pie helps with my new found addiction.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Pie

  • 1 ready made graham cracker crust
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Hershey bars (1.5 oz), chopped
  • 3 Special Dark Hersey bars (1.5 oz.), chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce container of Cool Whip

Melt cream and chocolate in microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 45-60 seconds. Stir until chocolate is melted. If additional melting time is needed, melt for 10 more seconds.

In a stand mixer, cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth.

Next, in the mixer, add chocolate mixture to cream mixture, reserving around 1/4 cup of chocolate mixture for garnish.

On a slow speed, add cool whip to mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared crust, smooth top and drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Dark Chocolate Mouse Pie

-abp

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“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.” ~ Mae West

If you have visited my blog before, you know I like simple.

I also like good.

When I need a very impressive, delicious dessert, I turn to my mom. She is fabulous when it comes to wonderful desserts but when I make desserts – they are pretty easy and straight forward.

The following dessert is no exception.

It has a secret ingredient that makes it super moist – baby food.

I thought since I have a surplus of baby food on hand this would be a great, no fuss dessert to make for a weekday treat.

Pineapple Carrot Cake

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 jars (6 oz each) carrot baby food
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

Frosting

  • 1 block cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box (1 lb) confectioners sugar
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, stir to combine the dry ingredients.

Add the oil, eggs and baby food and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until well blended.

Stir in pineapple and nuts.

Pour into a greased and floured 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool completely

For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until mixture reaches spreading consistency.

Remove cake from pan, frost top and sides. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Store in the refrigerator.


-abp

“Two old Bachelors were living in one house; One caught a Muffin, the other caught a Mouse.” ~ Edward Lear

I seem to keep adding to my list of food obsessions.

The latest one is muffins.

I think what started this new craving was around Christmas when we went to the Opryland Hotel.

There are several restaurants in the hotel but only one that really served breakfast – if you have ever been to The Opryland Hotel at Christmas, you can only imagine how crowded that one restaurant would be!

So breakfast would consist of grabbing a quick bite at one of the few coffee shops scattered across the property.

There was still a pretty long line and  I remember thinking – I hope these muffins are worth it.

Well, they were and now I guess I keep hoping to find some as good as those.

You know, they might not have been that good – it could have just been the wonderful Christmas atmosphere that only The Opryland Hotel can give you…..

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour

Muffins

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For topping:

Mix sugars, flour and melted butter with fork until crumbly, set aside.

For muffins:

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer, use whisk attachment to mix sugar and eggs. Continue until completely mixed.

Slowly add in the butter and oil until combined. Followed by buttermilk and vanilla.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the flour mixture and blueberries. Do not over mix (it’s ok if it’s a little lumpy).

Fill a muffin tin lined with muffin cups ( 12 muffins) to the top.

Now, crumble the streusel topping on each muffin.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and toothpick  comes out clean.

Cool muffins for about 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to continue to cool before serving.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
-abp

“Open Sesame” ~ Ali Baba

I always come across Asian recipes I would love to try but I never do.

You know why?

I never have sesame oil and they all call for sesame oil. I never can remember to pick it up at the store.

Guess what?

I bought some sesame oil today!!

Whoot Whoot!

Guess what?

We are having an Asian Inspired dish tonight.

🙂

Korean Beef Bowl

(adapted from Mel’s Kichten Cafe)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped, divided
  • Hot, cooked rice

First start your rice or quinoa so that it will be ready about the time you finish up with the beef.

In a large skillet, brown the hambuger meat with 2 of the green onions and garlic. When cooked through, drain excess grease.

In a separate bowl, mix together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, one green onion, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Stir sauce into beef mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over warm rice, garnish with remaining green onion.

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