Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Here are the cupcakes I made for my girl's weekend getaway at the winery.
You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate when most women are involved, so I knew they would be a hit.  I picked up the Reese Cup hearts in the Valentine's section at Target a couple weeks ago and thought I would use them for the toppers since I love my girlfriends with all my heart!!

Make these cupcakes for someone you love :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 Box Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Peanut Butter Ganache:
1/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 - 5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 24 cupcake liners.
Whisk cake mix and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and sour cream.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix until well blended.
Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Place on a rack to cool. 

Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan on low heat.

Once cupcakes have cooled dip the tops into the ganache and let it set before frosting.
I placed mine in the fridge for about 5 minutes to have it set faster.

Beat butter, cream cheese and peanut butter for 4 minutes.  Scrape bowl as needed.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two.
If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles and peanut butter chocolate hearts.
Yield 24 cupcakes.

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Getaway with the Girls at Chateau Morrisette Winery

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This past weekend was so fun! 
I went on an overnight getaway with eight girlfriends to celebrate three birthdays.

We loaded up the car and headed to Chateau Morrisette Winery located just off the the beautiful
Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, VA.

After an almost three hour drive of talking and laughing we arrived at our destination.
It was freezing that day!
Thank goodness we had the wine to keep us warm :)

We went on a tour of the winery. 
This is Bekka striking a pose in front of the wine barrels.
Saturday was her birthday.  Happy Birthday Bek!

We also did a tasting of several of the Chateau Morrisette wines.
Our Dog Blue and Blushing Dog are my favorites!

You can bring your own snacks if you like, so we spent hours there snacking,
 talking, laughing and enjoying some delicious wine. 
Girlfriends are the best!!

This was our tour guide and tasting host. 
She was so nice and fun too!

After all the fun at the winery we headed across the road to our cabin at

Our cabin was so cozy and adorable!!

We wanted to take this stove home with us! 

We spent the rest of the night playing games, making dinner, laughing our heads off
and just having a fantastic time!!
Oh, and we ate cupcakes.
(I'll post the recipe some time this week)

If you are looking for a Virginia Winery to tour, you should definitely make
Chateau Morrisette one of your destinations. 
We had a blast!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Toast to the Red Carpet - LIVE!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Toast to the Red Carpet – LIVE, presented by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is inviting you to an online red carpet viewing party.  They will be streaming the event live to their Facebook page on February 26, 2012 from 3 pm - 4:30 pm PST.
 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® - Original Soft Spread
Join in for an exclusive roundtable of Hollywood stars and special guests giving us the low down on what is happening on the red carpet LIVE.

Don't you just love watching all the stars walk down the red carpet! 
 I love to see their stunning dresses, beautiful hairstyles and checking out their dates for the event.

The awards ceremony is also a great excuse to have a party at your house!
You can find some awesome recipes on their Facebook page too.

I'm thinking the Brie and Spicy Apple Chutney on Baguette sounds delish!
I can't wait to try the recipe!

I'll be snacking on some Chili Parmesan Popcorn and Peanuts during the show.
Here's the recipe so we can snack together :)

Chili Parmesan Popcorn and Peanuts
 18 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spread
2 T chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 T grated Parmesan Cheese

Put popcorn in large bowl.  In small bowl, combine melted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spread, chili powder and salt; drizzle over popcorn and toss until evenly coated.  Add peanuts and cheese; toss.

Now for a giveaway!

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! is offering one of my sweet readers a free tub of their product!
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why you are going to watch  the Toast to the Red Carpet - LIVE and interact online during the Toast to the Red Carpet -  LIVE online show on the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Facebook page.  A winner will be chosen on February 26th.  All comments must be submitted before 11:50 pm EST on the 26th.  The giveaway item is provided by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! per FTC guidelines.
Hope you enjoy the show!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chobani Review and Homemade Fro Yo

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Look what arrived at my front door this week!

I love good mail days!
And I love Chobani yogurt!

Have you tried it yet?
If not, you should.
It is the BEST greek yogurt EVER!!

Not only does Chobani taste great, but it is made with only natural ingredients, has no preservatives, no artificial flavors AND it has twice the protein of regular yogurt.

I love it because it is a great source of calcium, it is VERY filling and tastes so, so good. 
For those of you counting Weight Watcher points with me - a 6 oz. container is 4 points +.

I decided to make an extra special treat this weekend.
Fro Yo :)

Here is what you need.

Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

3 cups Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1/2 C Agave or 3/4 C sugar
1 T vanilla extract (less or none if you are using vanilla yogurt)

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions.
I have a Cuisinart, so I just turned on the mixer, poured in the ingredients and let it do it's thing.
In about 25 minutes I had frozen yogurt!

I'm storing mine in a Ziploc freezer container.
But it probably won't last too long :)

Happy Sunday!

Note - Chobani sent me the box of assorted yogurts to review.  All opinions are my own.

Linking To:
Made By You Mondays

Monday, February 13, 2012

Skinny Hot Chocolate

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Hi there!
Sorry I haven't been posting as much lately, but I've been trying to be good and not make too many sweets.
I've been tracking weight watcher points and my friend Bekka and I started the Couch to 5K plan.
We are on week two - yay us!

Swim suit season is just around the corner, so we have to stay focused!

I would love to hear any tips or advice you might have about either plan, so please comment or send me an email.  We need all the help we can get :)

I've been pretty good about staying within my WW points plus, but I need something sweet after dinner.
And it has to be chocolate. 

It has been really cold aroud here the past few days, so this Skinny Hot Chocolate hit the spot tonight!

I've been trying to give up as many artificial sweeteners as I can, besides my beloved Diet Coke, so I been using stevia.  It's a little pricey, but healthier for sure.  I tried it in this recipe and really like it.

I can't wait to hear your WW and/or running tips!
Happy Monday!

Skinny Hot Chocolate
recipe from Prevention RD

1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 T unsweetened cocoa
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. stevia or other sweetener of your choice

Whisk together the milk, cocoa powder, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Cook until milk starts to steam.  Turn off heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and stevia.
Serve hot.

Yield - 1 serving, 4 ww points plus

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reese's Pieces Cupcakes

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It's Super Bowl Sunday and my nephew's have requested something sweet for the party my brother and sister-in-law are hosting, so I made Reese's Pieces Cupcakes. 

You can't go wrong with the combination of chocolate and peanut butter!

I went the easy route today and doctored up a box mix.  Don't hate :)

Reese's Pieces Cupcakes

Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with baking cups.
I use brown baking cups from Simply Caked.
Blend cake mix, eggs, oil and buttermilk at low speed for about 30 seconds.
Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Fill baking cups 2/3 full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack.
Makes 24 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3 T milk or cream

Cream together peanut butter and butter in a stand mixer.
Beat on medium-low speed to combine.  Add the remaining ingredients and combine again.
Beat on high for 2-3 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
Add more milk if desired to get your desired spreading or piping consistency.
Frost cooled cupcakes.  I use a Wilton 1 M tip.

Place Hershey's Hot Fudge Sauce in a small glass bowl for about 20 seconds.
Pour into a Wilton Squeze bottle and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
Drizzle chocolate sauce over cupcakes and garnish with Reese's Pieces candy.


Linking to:
Tuesday Talent Show
Tasty Tuesday
Sugar and Spice
The 36th Avenue
What I Love Wednesday
Serenity Now
30 Handmade Days