Showing posts with label Peas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peas. Show all posts

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Split Pea Soup with Mushrooms—The Secret Recipe Club

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting

Could you just look at and drool over this cupcake all day?  I could.  I practically did the day I made them.  Proud to say I didn’t even taste a cupcake.  Proud and sad.  I am not currently eating gluten and sugar, as many know, but I love making things with those ingredients for others.  And I will admit, I tasted the frosting.  It needed to be done.  Quality control, you know. 

This recipe for these awesome, perfect Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting is from my Secret Recipe Club blog assignment this month.  I had the pleasure of having Angela’s blog, Spinach Tiger this month.  I got to make something from her blog last year, too, as I filled in for someone at the last minute who wasn’t able to do so.  Last October I was in a hurry to pick something to make and made her delicious Banana Bread.  This month, since her blog was my “real” assignment, I spent a lot of time looking through all her posts and trying to decide what to make.  I actually chose her Split Pea Soup with Mushrooms.  It was on my list to make for a few weeks.  Then I noticed one of her more current posts for Shaved Raw Brussel Sprout with Raw Beet Pesto.  I had everything to make that salad except the Brussel spouts.  So I went out and got the sprouts.  And I haven’t had the chance to make the beet pesto and salad yet—but don’t worry—I WILL.  Everything about it sounds so good to me. 

I have been a little low on energy lately and all the sudden was freaking out last week that I still hadn’t made the soup or salad from Angela’s blog.  What did I do about that?  Instead of just making one of those things, I looked through her blog again for more ideas.  I’m so silly that way—or am I?  While checking out her desserts, since that is really what I love the most, I ran into these cupcakes and can’t believe I missed them before.  I eat quite healthy, tons of fruits and vegetables, very little meat and only gluten free, refined sugar free desserts, but I really do prefer to make, bake and post desserts.  Maybe it’s because I feel like I get better pictures of things like cupcakes and cookies and photographing a bowl of soup just doesn’t do much for me.

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting 2 I decided to get to work and make what Angela has claimed as the “Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting”.  I am so happy I did—see, not so silly.  Now I have a perfect chocolate cake recipe that was simple and I had all the ingredients on hand and most often do have them.

Since she mentioned that the recipe made a lot of cake, I decided to cut it in half.  The half recipe still made 20 cupcakes.  I made the full recipe of frosting since she also mentioned you can never have too much frosting.   The day I made them, I only frosted nine cupcakes.  I froze the rest of the cakes and have refrigerated the frosting to use next week.

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting 1-29-14 “One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?”

(Remember this song from Sesame Street?)

If you guessed the cupcake in the middle, you’d be right.  Why would anyone want to eat a cupcake with such a small amount of frosting?  Only if you’re my husband who doesn’t really care much for cake and really doesn’t like frosting.  So that was his cupcake and I frosted eight more the correct way for the boys (they each got two).  The cupcakes and frosting were a big hit with the boys and the little bit of frosting I tasted was delicious.

Besides cutting the recipe in half, I didn’t change a thing about Angela’s recipe.  So if you’re looking for a great chocolate cake recipe, run, don’t walk to go get it on her blog--Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and Chocolate Fudge Frosting.

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

These baked perfectly in 18 minutes and came right out of the pan (sometimes if a little of the top of the cupcake went over the sides, it sticks with other cakes I’ve made).  That did not happen here. 

The only thing I would mention about the recipe, which is silly of me to have not done completely is to always use room temperature ingredients—including things like buttermilk.  My butter and eggs were room temperature, but I used cold buttermilk, which I was worried about when I saw the butter kind of chunk back up a bit.  Never fear—this recipe is also so easy that you just mix all the ingredients and beat them like crazy (in a mixer) for 3 minutes.  Though I was still worried about the little bits of butter I saw in the batter, I baked them anyway and there was no trace of unincorporated butter in the cupcakes.  (Yay!)  I would still suggest to make sure to use all room temperature ingredients.  I made sure all the ingredients for the frosting was room temperature and that is some delicious frosting!

Angela suggested for the frosting to begin with 3/4 cup of cream and to just use enough until you like the consistency of the frosting.  I ended up using 1/2 cup before I was satisfied.  The half recipe made 20 cupcakes and I made the full recipe of frosting.  After frosting eight cupcakes, it will be enough to frost the remaining dozen when I get them out of the freezer in a few days. 

Best Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

So the cupcakes were/are awesome!  A couple days ago, my ten year old stayed home from school sick (just a little cold).  I mentioned to him that I’d been really wanting to make split pea soup.  When I told him it has mushrooms in it he was no longer interested.  I made the soup anyway, but instead of adding the mushrooms, I just left them to spoon into my own bowl.  He got what he wanted, soup, split pea soup, with no mushrooms and I FINALLY got to make Angela’s Split Pea Soup with Mushrooms.

Split Pea Soup with Mushrooms and Croutons

I halved this recipe and wish I wouldn’t have so I’d have more to eat.  I’m usually the only one here who will eat split pea soup.  Taylor (the one who was sick) likes all kinds of soup and was excited to try this (minus the mushrooms).  He really liked the soup, even without mushroom and croutons (they were gluten free) and asked me when I was going to make it again.  The half recipe was just enough for the two of us for lunch and for me to have for dinner the next day.

Angela mentioned that her mother said you should never eat split pea soup without croutons.  I don’t think I’d ever eaten it WITH croutons.  I was excited to have the end piece of some gluten free bread I’d made left.  I cubed it up and toasted it in a sauté pan with a little olive oil.  After they’d nicely browned on each side, I sprinkled a little garlic salt on them.  Awesome.  My soup (in the photo) had the sauteed mushrooms in it and was topped with croutons and some shavings of parmesan cheese.  It was a great vegetarian soup.

Split Pea Soup with Baby Bella Mushrooms and Croutons, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Angela at Spinach Tiger

1 cup dried split peas

4  1/2 cups water

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 medium sized carrot, finely diced

1 rib celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

juice and zest of about 1/4 of a lemon

8 ounces baby bella mushroom, chopped

dash of crushed red pepper

half a bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan cheese, for top of soup

In a soup pot, add the olive oil and over medium heat, sauté the carrots, shallot and celery until soft.  Add the split peas, water, basil, bay leaf, lemon juice and zest.  Simmer for 35 minutes.  Add some salt and pepper and taste and adjust seasoning.  Remove the bay leaf.  You might want/need to add a little water here.  I added about 1/2 cup.

While the soup is simmering, sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil.  Let them get nicely browned.  Add a little salt once they are done.  You can add them all to the soup when it is just about done, or add them to individual bowls if you are feeding some who don’t like mushrooms. 

Make croutons by toasting some cubed bread (I used some homemade gluten free bread) them with a little olive oil in a sauté pan.  Move them around and flip them on to each side until they are browned.  Sprinkle them with some garlic salt. 

Serve bowls of soup with croutons and shredded or shaved parmesan soup. 

Split Pea Soup with Mushrooms and Croutons 1-29-14Delicious food over at Spinach Tiger.  Check out Angela’s blog.  I will make that Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Red Beet Pesto SOON!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lower Fat Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas


I hate to say it, but I’m the type who HAS to eat lower fat, healther foods in order to stay at the weight I’m at, and/or keep on exercising like crazy to maintain or lose weight.  Oh how I wish I was the type that could just eat whatever I want whenever I want.  Sigh.  (I know, there are many others just like me.)  I know it’s good for me to watch what I eat, and I know that by doing so there are times when I can splurge.  So as much as you would look at my blog at all the things I post here and think what an unhealthy household we have, that isn’t really the case.  I cook mostly healthy food and am always happy when I take a recipe that looks so good and make some healthier adaptations to it and it still turns out great.  So I had to share this recipe with you today.

The recipe  I used was recently posted by my friend, Amanda, on her blog, Amanda's Cookin'.  She adapted a recipe she’d found on  When I saw her post, it really made me want some good ol’ mac-n-cheese.  I made a few changes and still came out with a creamy, cheesy comfort food dish that has been great to eat all week!

Lower Fat Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’

13.25 ounce box of whole wheat macaroni pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

10 ounces cooked ham, diced into about 1/4-1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup water (chicken stock or dry wine would work, too)

1  1/2 cups frozen peas

4 tablespoons Best Life Buttery Baking Sticks (or any other butter substitute)

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground dry mustard

2 cups fat free (skim) milk

1 cup shredded 75% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda

1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese (any kind of cheese would really work, it’s the smoked gouda that is the winner here, you could probably just use 1 cup all gouda)

3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Light spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Once it’s boiling, cook the pasta until al dente according to package direction.  While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with at least 2 inch sides.  Add chopped ham and saute until meat begins to brown, about 2 minutes.  Add water and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated.  Add peas and cook another 2 minutes. 

Remove the ham and peas from the skillet and set aside.  Heat the butter (substitute) in the skillet until it has melted and stopped sizzling.  Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and dry mustard in a small bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the butter and use a whisk to combine the butter and flour together to make a roux, whisk for a good minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste.  While slowly adding the milk, continue whisking to combine.  Turn the heat up slightly and whisk often until the milk thickens.  Do not let it come to a boil, just heat enough to thicken.  When thickened, remove the skillet from the heat and add the shredded cheeses.  Whisk until combined and melted. 

Drain the macaroni and place in the skillet, along with the ham and peas, with the cheese sauce and stir until well combined.  Pour into the 9x13 inch pan and top with the panko bread crumbs.  Bake for 20 minutes.


The only thing I would do different next time is only cook about 10 ounces of pasta so there is a little more cheese mixture ratio to the pasta.    This is great with the bites of ham and peas and makes for an easy dinner.