Lottsa Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Lottsa? Yep. Lottsa. I couldn’t decide if these were double or triple chocolate. There are only two types of chocolate, but one is in both the cupcake and the cheesecake part, so does that count twice? Two roots, one with a multiplicity of two? Sorry…Calculus reference there. Anyway, I meant to follow a black bottom cupcake recipe…but then I was distracted by showing the Fudgelet what I was making and how it was going…and added cocoa powder to the wrong bowl. I thought about it and knew I could dump out what was in there and start over, but decided to roll with it. I also debated adding some extra sugar since the cocoa powder is unsweetened, but decided, again, to leave it alone.

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Lactation Chocolate Chip Cookies

A friend recently had her baby and was worried about her milk supply. So yeah, when I said lactation in the title, I meant….lactating moms. Does lactating sound odd to you? It does to me, but I think because the term isn’t used all over the place as often as “breastfeeding” or “nursing”. Lactating makes me feel more like a cow. When a (different) friend commented how I am still lactating, I was all “whooooaaa….oh yeah, I guess so, haha.” And I guess there is the whole idea that you might even be lactating but not breastfeeding. So, maybe these should be called Breastfeeding Chocolate Chip Cookies? Anyhoo, the friend with the baby (who also has a toddler) was going to make herself some cookies. I volunteered, and she still said “I think I might have some time, and I have the supplies”. After I pushed a bit more, she willingly let me make them for her, since I have half the number of kids she does, so therefore triple the amount of free time. And baking is one of my “things”, so it was nice to be able to help out with a hobby. She sent her husband over with the Brewer’s yeast and flaxseed (who then handed them over to K at the door since I was putting the Fudgelet down for bed, which felt like a drug deal, haha), and gave me a recipe she used previously. I changed the recipe a bunch, partly because the original one wasn’t super clear with the directions. Also, I ended up making two batches, so I changed the ratios a bit the second time since I now knew how the cookies would turn out.

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Black Sesame Mochi (Sticky Rice Balls)

A few things inspired me to try this recipe from Lady and Pups. 1) It’s not a chocolate or fruit dessert, so it would be a chance to branch out into something new, 2) I’ve made mochi before, but this was a different style since it was boiled and not steamed, 3) K likes Chinese desserts but I’ve never attempted to make any (other than the aforementioned mochi), and 4) I had tried some black sesame dumplings at our local Din Tai Fung restaurant, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, and knew I liked the flavor. Oh, and 5) The pictures from the blog post made me drool a bit, too.

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Ground Beef Rice Bake

How is your luck with baking rice? I usually have poor results when there is a recipe that calls for cooking rice in the oven. I do a great job in a rice cooker or on the stovetop, but not so well with the oven. Who knows, maybe the recipes were not good? Regardless, it makes me nervous to try recipes that include that step. This one had that step, and also called for half-and-half (I hate buying it, especially for such a small amount, since I rarely use it). And then there is the bratwurst idea. I liked it, it was supposed to be the meat in the dish…but it meant going to a separate grocery store (there is a local brand of sausage I like a lot, and it’s not carried at my main store). It also meant that the Fudgelet might not like it. As it was, he decided to not eat much of the ground beef (fickle toddler), but I actually really like it with the beef. I always have some in the freezer and so I just swapped it in. No big deal. Whole milk seemed just fine in place of the half-and-half. I bet you could just use more chicken broth instead, if you didn’t want to use milk. Maybe add a bit of butter to up the richness if you do that?

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Mixed Bag (Part 4): Pasta Edition

Today’s mixed bag post is a way of showing you two new recipes without going through all of the steps of the recipes. The first is a version of mac and cheese that uses evaporated milk.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Homemade Play-Doh and Foam Hearts

Have you been cooped up and wanting some activities with your kids? Depending on the age of your munchkins, you can get some of their help. Since mine is still too young to even fully understand scissors and hot/cold, I made the crafts for him to play with.

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Chocolate Pastry Cream Cups with Candied Hazelnuts

As I’ve been talking about for the last week, I helped provide desserts for a friend’s baby shower. At first it started simple, with cookies. Then, I decided to make a chocolate cake. When I was making the cookies, they were supposed to be more domed, like ice cream. I thought it would look cute to put them in chocolate cups and make them look like ice cream scoops. That’s where the idea for the candied hazelnuts first came from. Well, I had leftover pastry cream from the cake, and the cookies didn’t look like ice cream…they were also too big for the cups! So, a new dessert was formed.

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