Playlist Thursday: Your first playlist

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Your FIRST playlist. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Although I didn’t have an iPod until I was a junior in college, when talking to Abby on twitter, we reminisced about listening to the radio and trying to catch our favorite songs so we could tape them. Ah, the good ol’ days. So for my first playlist I am going to use the songs that pumped us up on the soccer bus! I love this, because this was the era when music videos were awesome, they had concepts and treatments, and they were fun to watch.

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Blackstreet

Title: No Diggity

Side Note: This was a song we listened to over and over and over. I won’t pretend that I don’t still listen to it, I can pick it out by the first 3 or 4 notes. Please watch the video if not for the outfits of the 90’s. Overalls at middle school dances? Anyone?

Quotable:
She’s got class and style
Street knowledge by the pound,
Baby never act wild
Very low key on the profile
Catching villains is a no,
Let me tell you how it goes
Curves the words, spins the verbs
Lovers it curves so freak what you heard

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Destiny’s Child

Title: Jumpin’ Jumpin’

Side Note: My best friends used to always play this song for me. Sophomore year in high school was a really low year for me and I was in a funk for months, she would always blare this on the drive home. If you are reading this, Jill and Caty – you were my lifesavers! This was before Beyonce got all diva!

Quotable:
Ladies leave your man at home
The club is full of ballers
And they pockets full grown
And all you fellas leave your girl
With her friends
‘Cause it’s 11:30, and the club is
Jumpin’, jumpin’

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Title: Otherside

Side Note: I may be a boyband lover for life, I also really love rock music. I mean I love all music but I have love RHCP forever. This song was really popular during my soccer trips.

Quotable:
Turn me on, take me for a hard ride
Burn me out, leave me on the otherside
I yell and tell it that
It’s not my friend
I tear it down I tear it down
And then it’s born again

Diet-to-Go Meals & Review

In case you missed it, I moved this weeks Year of Baking post to Tuesday!

I grew up on microwave meals and frozen food, so I am no stranger to how bad frozen meals can be for you. When I first started losing weight, I used weight watchers and it was 100 times easier to get the microwave meals then to figure out the points for meals I made at home. So I stopped doing all of that. I started eating clean and I felt better about myself and I was noticing change.

I admit though, all those home delivery services for diet meals piqued my interest. Were they good? Were they bad just like the above-mentioned microwave meals? Recently, I got the opportunity to try and review Diet-to-Go meals, I jumped on it. The meals and foods are things that I make at home, it is not processed junk like the ones that have Weight Watchers points at the supermarket. Plus, we are always on the go, lots of traveling, even during the day. We have swim lessons, music classes, play dates, errands, etc… This was a great opportunity to try something different.

Stocked Fridge!

Stocked Fridge!

So how does Diet-to-Go work? Diet-to-Go has 3 unique menus (vegetarian, low-fat, and low-carb) and 20 plans to choose from. I was able to choose from one of the 3 unique menus, so I chose low-carb. Customers are able to log in to their account and make substations, change their plan, and pause & re-start their plan. Sounds pretty easy right? So lets take a look at the food!

A sampling of the breakfasts

A sampling of the breakfasts

From L-R: Tomato Mushroom Omelet, Spinach Quiche, Egg Patty

Other meals: Pork Chop Breakfast (with Green Beans, Egg Patty and Cheese) and Cheese Omelet

Tomato Mushroom Omelet: The Omelet was okay, I didn’t like that the cheese was a giant block so I took it out, otherwise the eggs were good. I don’t like mushrooms, so I tasted the sauce, but I didn’t like, it wasn’t heave though so if you like mushrooms you probably will! The broccoli were a bit watery but still nice and crunchy and the sausage patty tasted like the ones you buy in the freezer section and had a bit of a kick, I did enjoy that.

Spinach Quiche: The quiche tasted great, there was lots of flavor and the spinach was not watery. I didn’t eat the sausage because it is lent and I stupidly heated this one up before I realized. I did like the green beans too, they were nice and crisp.

Egg Patty: My meal plan said I was supposed to have scrambled eggs but this is what I got instead. The label said Egg Patty with Bacon and Vegetable, but it was actually canadian bacon and I am not usually a fan. The meal also came with creamed spinach and cauliflower. I put the canadian bacon on top of the patty and the spinach on top of that – like a little sandwich and it tasted great. I wish the spinach wasn’t creamed, it was tasty but too much dairy for my liking.

Lunches

Lunches

From L-R: Baked Cajun Salmon, Beef Short Ribs, Baked Chicken with Goat Cheese

Other meals: Chicken Roma (stuffed chicken, vegetables and cheese) and Veal Parmesan (veal leg with tomato sauce and mozzarella)

Cajun Salmon: Hands down my favorite meal! It came with asparagus and broccoli, both of which tasted great. The sauce was a creamy sauce, I think it would have been great as just a rub. I felt like a lot of the low carb meals had a creamy component, but considering these are diet meals I felt like all the creamed items were a bit much. Also, I can’t usually handle a ton of spice and this was fine for me.

Beef Short Ribs: Nick tried this one as I am not usually a ribs fan. It came with asparagus and sautéed peppers and a mushroom gravy. Nick said that the ribs tasted like a brisket, but they were very tender. The veggies were great, he couldn’t tell that they were microwaved veggies. The sauce was tasty and a good consistency.

Baked Chicken with Goat Cheese: The chicken was stuffed with goat cheese and a spicy rub. It was delicious, the chicken was juicy, the stuffing was flavorful, but there was a lot of it. Again, the veggies tasted like I had just steamed them not heated them up. This was my second favorite.

Dinners

Dinners

From L-R: Spicy Chicken with Fajita Veggies, Turkey Meatloaf in Tomato Sauce

Other meals: Chicken Marsala, Prime Rib with red wine sauce, and Roasted Half of Chicken with Cauliflower Puree

Spicy Chicken with Fajita Veggies: This included brussels, broccoli, guacamole. The chicken was in strips mixed with peppers and was delicious, again a bit of spice but not overpowering. I loved the broccoli, I love brussels usually but these ended up tasting a bit rubbery. My only issue really was the guacamole. There were no directions to remove it from the tray before heating, although I should have followed my gut instinct to take it off. I heated it and it was no good.

Turkey Meatloaf in Tomato Sauce: The meatloaf was tender and had great flavor. There was the creamed spinach and green beans as well. The spinach, again tasty but a bit too creamy and the green beans were nice and crisp.

Roasted Half Chicken with Cauliflower Puree: This was the only meal I had a big issue with. I put this meal in the microwave for longer than the allotted amount and it was still very pink in the middle, I felt very uncomfortable eating it. So I tasted the outside, and this one was very peppery. The cauliflower was not pureed mine was very chunky and grainy.

Diet-to-Go is the most inexpensive fresh diet delivery service on the market and was recently rated #1 on Epicurious. So what do I think after a week’s worth of Diet-to-Go?

This is a great program for someone who is very busy and wants to eat healthy but cannot find the time to get to the store or is in a place where ordering out/eating out is very commonplace. Diet-to-Go meals cost $17.02 per 1,000 calories where the average healthy food costs $18.16 per 1,000 calories. Each Diet-to-Go meal is about $6.81, that is a great price, comparable to take-out and fast food, and MUCH better for you.

I liked the majority of my meals, my only complaints are the creamy/cheesy components are a bit heavy and I wish all the packages had calorie counts. Some of mine did but not all. Again since these are diet meals, a lot of people track calories, sugar, sodium, etc… and I think that would be a useful tool. I was able to find some other meal information in Lose It! but I don’t have any way of making sure it is accurate. The last part is that I wish they had more veggies, I included a salad with every lunch & dinner since the veggies weren’t as plentiful as I would normally make for myself.

Would I buy this on my own? Definitely. It was convenient to use and the meals were delicious. I love making my own food, but as a mom, sometimes you just have those days and instead of ordering out I could just warm up one of these. You can heat them from frozen or let them thaw for 24 hours and heat them after they thaw out, super convenient. If you would like to try them yourself you can receive 20% off any meal plan with the code: fitfluential.

Fitfluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

For more weekly eats check out WIAW with Jenn!


What do you think? Have you tried Diet-to-Go?

Year of Baking: Bake It In A Cake’s Halloween Brownies with Reese’s Pieces.

As I am sure you have noticed, I moved the Year of Baking to Tuesday. I have a big post planned for tomorrow that follows more the WIAW ideas, and both of these together would be TOO much.

This week I made Bake It In A Cake’s Halloween Brownies with Reese’s Pieces.

BIIAChalloweenbrownies

I had a bag of Reese’s Pieces kicking around and I didn’t want to chow down on them so I looked up to see if any my cookbooks had a recipe where I could use them. Originally, I was just going to replace chocolate chips in a recipe, but I ended up finding this recipe that had reese’s pieces as part of the ingredient list. The brownies also had a peanut butter icing, but honestly I just wasn’t in the mood so I didn’t make it.

IMG_3278

Ingredients

Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken or chopped
1.5 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces

Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 mini muffing tins with paper liners
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 90 seconds, stopping halfway through to scrape the sides and mix
3. Do not heat for longer than 90 seconds or the chocolate can burn
4. Using a wooden spin mix in the sugar, it will be thick & grainy, the sugar should be mixed in evenly
5. Stir in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth
6. Add the salt and vanilla and stir for another 20 seconds
7. Mix in the flour until just combined
8. Stir in Reese’s Pieces
9. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, spoon the brownie batter into the tins so the cups are about three-quarters full
10. Bake for 20 minutes or until the brownies have set (check with toothpick)
11. Cool the brownies for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack

Frosting
1. Whip the butter and peanut butter together for 30 seconds
2. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, until fluffy
3. If the frosting is too thick add the milk until the frosting is fluffy
4. Pipe or spread on cupcake and decorate with leftover Reese’s Pieces.

IMG_3280

Notes

I halved the recipe, because I certainly don’t need 36 mini brownie bites, and I decided to use a mini pan (for 12) and fill as many regular size cupcake tins.

Next time I would butter the tin instead of using paper because the brownies stuff to the liners and half the brownie didn’t come out of the liner.

I definitely prefer the Valentine’s Day brownie bite to this one. It wasn’t chewy on the outside, but these ones didn’t have a buttery taste, so I know to cut down the butter for the next time. I love peanut butter, but I would love a peanut butter swirl in the brownie instead of the Reese’s Pieces.

IMG_3281

Do you bake with candies? What’s your favorite recipe?

What’s In My Fitness Closet: The Clothes

Fitness closet

Pavement Runner has once again come up with a brilliant link up! Showing our readers our fitness closets. I am going to show you just my clothes — pants and tops. I will get to accessories, shoes, gear, and recovery equipment in a few different posts!

fitnesscloset

Long Sleeves
longsleeves

From L-R: Wicked Salem Half long sleeve, Old Navy Active top, Nike Women’s Half half marathon long sleeve, Nike Women’s half marathon half-zip.

For a small and local race the Salem half long sleeve is extremely comfy, I was actually unsure of sizing so I ended up getting a top that was too big. I usually wear it while I warm up or if it is very cold. The Old Navy Active top I originally saw on Julie’s blog, but unfortunately they are almost all sold out online, but check your local store!

I know I have a lot of Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon purchases, but here is my reasoning, it was (supposed) to be my first half-marathon, and is probably one of the only destination races I will ever do. As much as I’d really love to travel for cool races it just financially and family wise is not feasible. I had a budget, and I spent it, and I am not one bit upset about it. At first I purchased the half-zip at the Nike store, but I saw the finisher long-sleeved for the marathon at the finish line tent, and the half-marathon long-sleeve was sold out, sad face. My sister, however, is a shirt ninja. She found the last existing shirt and grabbed it for me, score it was my size. They are both extremely comfy, only the half-zip has thumbholes, but I don’t discriminate.

Tank Tops
lulutops

These are all Lululemon cool racerbacks, I actually prefer the extra long ones because they do not budge, even as a shorty, I find the regular length moves a lot. Plus the extra long keeps the top of my thighs warm during cold races.

Other Tops

tops

From L-R: Nike Women’s Finisher Tee, Nike Women’s Half Tee (purchased), Colosseum Tank via pvbody, purple and coral Old Navy Active bubble tank

I love the Nike tee’s, sometimes I wear them over a thin tank, especially if I am strength training and will be moving a lot. The Colosseum top doesn’t have nearly enough support in the chest area so I usually wear it around the house or I double up on bras. The bubble tanks are awesome, especially when you are feeling a bit bloated, and I love how it has a peep hole in the back, but it is small!

Luxury Pants
pants

From L-R: Nike Dri-Fit Slim Legend (mostly cotton), Nike Dri-Fit Slim Legend Poly and Lululemon Run Inspire Crop

The Nike pants are the ones that the stylists put me in at the Nike expo, I LOVE them. I wear the cotton ones a lot around the house, perfect flexibility to chase a toddler. The Lululemon crops are a newer addition, I love the zip pocket and the high(er) waistband.

Reebok Capris
reebokpants

From L-R: The first three are Reebok Skinny Capri – which unfortunately they do not carry anymore, huge bummer, because they are some of my absolute favorites! The last pair I was sent when I ran the Canton Road Race, the crossfit skinny capri.

Old Navy Pants
oldnavypants

From L-R: Old Navy Compression Leggings in black & grey, Old Navy Compression Capris in grey (I had black too but cannot find them!)

I hate running around to find clothes in the morning, so I fold all my clothes into sets for the week and stack them in the drawers that way.

IMG 3311

For example, the bundle of clothes for today’s workout include:
IMG 3312
Reebok Skinny Capri, Lululemon Cool Racerback and an Old Navy long sleeve tee.

So, what is in your fitness closet? What are your must have’s? Did anything surprise you about mine?

Playlist Thursday: Race Day Songs

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Race Day Songs. Pavey is running the Oakland Marathon on Sunday, and he needs some tunes for his playlist.

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Third Eye Blind

Title: 10 Days Late

Side Note: I started listening to 3EB in high school because a boy I liked LOVED them. Well, the guy was a dbag, but I still love 3EB.

Quotable:
Low ride bicycles go cruising by
I laugh, I don’t even know why
Talk back at the ocean
Consequence and ozone catch a glow
Oh no baby, oh, no, no
Give me a minute now to figure out my state
Oh, I know she’s ten days late
And I don’t know where to take it
But it’s still great knowing you
She’s ten days late, ten days late
Time has come for you to chose
Baby daddy keep your boo
Many blessings come to you

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera

Title: Feel This Moment

Side Note: I love Pitbull and I love old school XTina, this song is exactly what I need for my playlist.

Quotable:
I see the future but live for the moment.
Make sense, don’t it? Ha.
Now make dollars, I mean billions, I’m a genius, I mean brilliance
This street is what scoot em
And made em slicker, too slick with the ruler
I’ve lost a lot, and learned a lot
But I’m still undefeated like Shula

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist: Jason Derulo

Title: In My Head

Side Note: I love the catchy beat of this song, whenever it comes on I always get a happy grin and sing and pick up my pace.

Quotable:
Everybody’s looking for love. Oh. Oh.
Ain’t that the reason you’re at this club. Oh. Oh.
You ain’t gonna find a dance with him. No. Oh.
Got a better solution for you girl. Oh. Oh.

Year of Baking: Flour’s Red Velvet Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

For this week’s year of baking I have another birthday recipe from my sister-in-law’s birthday.

flourredvelvet

The second recipe was a Red Velvet Cake from Flour, the recipe had the cake paired with a vanilla buttercream, but I love red velvet with cream cheese frosting, so I used the Flour recipe for that as well.

Again, I apologize for the quality of photos, I only had my iPhone that weekend so they aren’t the best.

IMG_5265

Ingredients

1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
3/4 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

Cake

1. Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F
2. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans
3. Cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until light & fluffy (It will take longer if using a handheld mixer)
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until mixed
5. On low speed, slowly pour the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture
6. Mix until eggs are thoroughly incorporated
7. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder
8. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, creme fraiche, food coloring, and vanilla just until combined
9. On the lowest speed, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined
10. Immediately pour in about half of the buttermilk and continue to mix on the lowest speed until the buttermilk mixture is almost thoroughly incorporated
11. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk mixture until just combined. Don’t over mix
12. Remove bowl from mixer and add the rest of the flour mix using a spatula and folding the batter until the mixture is homogenous
13. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans
14. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the middle
15. Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks
16. The cakes can then be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 1 week. That at room temperature, still wrapped tightly in plastic wrap

Frosting

Ingredients

12 ounces cream cheese, left at room temperature for 4 hours
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

IMG_5263

Instructions

1. Put the cream cheese in the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for about one minute, or until smooth
2. Add the butter and continue to beat for another minute
3. Scrape the sides and add the confectioners’ sugar
4. Beat for one more minute, or until well mixed
5. Cover the frosting and refrigerator for 2-3 hours before using, this allows it to firm up enough to pipe or spread
6. Frosting can be made up to 5 days in advance if store in an airtight container in the fridge

PHOTO

Notes

My cake ended up being kind of dry, I am not sure if it’s because I left it out overnight or what. Next time I would definitely put them in the fridge the night before. The flavor of the cake was spot-on, so I will definitely be trying this again.

The frosting was delicious, nice and creamy and not too heavy. My only issue was that leaving it in the fridge overnight made it difficult to spread in the morning so I had to let it soften a tad that morning and rushed through my frosting job.

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Overall, this was a good dessert and I want to try my hand at it again when I am not so rushed and I can perfect the dessert.

Check out other daily eats and treats with Jenn for WIAW!


What’s your favorite cake? Mine is definitely red velvet!

Marvelous Monday!

I am linking up with Katie for some Marvelous in my Monday.

I’ve got some pretty exciting things to share, and who doesn’t like good hearing good things on Mondays?

First, as I mentioned I am an ambassador for the Cape Cod ZOOMA race

ZOOMA is unique among other women’s races in that it is literally “run by women” (pun intended). It is a women’s race series that “celebrates the power and beauty of all women”. They focus on promoting women’s health and fitness by encouraging them to sign up for events.

The ZOOMA Chicago race will take place on Saturday, August 10th at Montrose Harbor! So why is this important?

chicagosweepstakes

The Muscle Milk Light ZOOMA Women’s Race Series is calling all women runners to Run to Chi-Town for a fit girlfriends’ getaway this summer, and will award the grand-prize winner of a national sweepstakes an all-expenses paid trip for two to Chicago on August 9-10 for the inaugural ZOOMA Chicago Women’s Half Marathon & 10K, including luxury accommodations at The Langham Chicago, travel expenses, and a fitness-and-fashion makeover from the contest’s sponsors. The sweepstakes is sponsored by Oiselle (women’s running apparel), Sherpani (sporty bags), Handful (sports bras), and FlexPower (performance and recovery cream), who will be also be providing runners’ up prizes.

You have until May 3rd to enter and winners will be announced on May 7th on ZOOMA’s facebook page.

Go enter then come right back, I’ll wait.

This weekend was also the HLB Book Club meet-up. Not a lot of people could make it, so it ended up being Kristen, Nick and I. I really enjoyed the movie and got to spend some time chatting with Kristen afterwards.

The March book club selection is Julie & Julia. I haven’t quite decided on what to do for the meet up yet, but if you have some fun ideas let me know.

Unfortunately, that night we were supposed to go to a St. Patrick’s Day party at a good friends, but B was having a severe case of separation anxiety. He ended up freaking out until after 9 pm when he fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion, so we ended up not being able to make it to the party. Such is the life of being a parent.

IMG_5252

Fortunately he is super cute and hilarious. That’s one of my halloween costume hats.

 

Have you seen Oz? What did you think?

Playlist Thursday: Guilty Pleasures

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Guilty Pleasures . I don’t get embarrassed by my music but I know it will embarrass my kids and definitely embarrasses some of the adults in my life, so I went with the embarrassing songs ;)

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Eminem

Title: Lose Yourself

Side Note: I know every single word. Embarrasses everyone but me. Sorry B!

Quotable:

The soul’s escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a new world order
A normal life is boring, but superstardom’s close to post mortem

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Miranda Lambert

Title: Mama’s Broken Heart

Side Note: This actually is a guilty pleasure for me as I’m not usually a Miranda fan, but I love this song.

Quotable:

Can’t get revenge and keep a spotless reputation
Sometimes revenge is a choice you gotta make
My mama came from a softer generation
Where you get a grip and bite your lip just to save a little face

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist: Wiz Khalifia & Snoop Dog featuring Bruno Mars

Title: Young, Wild & Free

Side Note: I’m pretty sure even Nick gets embarrassed by my song choices. This is one I definitely listen to alone.

Quotable:

That’s how it should be done
Soon as you thinkin’ you’re down
Find how to turn things around
Now things are looking up
From the ground up
Pound up

What are your guilty pleasure songs?

Year of Baking: Bake It In A Cake’s The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake

If you are Boston local, please make sure you check out the post with the info for the HLB Book Club meetup on Saturday!

For this week in the year of baking, I made not just cupcakes, but also a cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday. Today I am sharing the cupcake recipe and next week I will share my first attempt at a Flour cake recipe.

Maria’s husband suggested red velvet or funfetti for a cake flavor, so I decided to try Bake It In A Cake’s Ultimate Birthday Cupcake. It is a funfetti cake inside a chocolate cupcake. That sounds like the perfect cupcake to me.

I apologize in advance, I didn’t have my good camera with me, so I only have iPhone photos.

bakeitinacakebirthdaycupcake

Ingredients

Inner Cupcakes

1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Outer Cupcakes

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken or chopped into small pieces
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1.5 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed
2 – 3 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles

IMG_5258

Instructions

This is a long process, just be warned

1. To make the inner cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and spray both a 24-cup miniature muffin tin and a 9-inch square cake pan with nonstick baking spray.

2. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and sugar for 90 seconds, until fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next.

4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and mix for an additional 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are well combined.

5. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, alternately with the milk, ⅓ cup at a time, mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

6. Continue to mix the batter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to fold in the sprinkles until just combined.

7. Spoon the batter into each cup of the prepared miniature cupcake tins so they’re about three-quarters full.

8. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared cake pan.

9. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges and tops of the cupcakes and the cake have turned golden brown and the cake springs back when you gently press your finger into the top of it. (The cupcakes may bake slightly faster than the cake in the square pan, so keep an eye on the oven.)

10. Allow the cake and the cupcakes to cool in the pans while you prepare the outer cupcakes.

11. To make the outer cupcakes, line 2 standard muffin tins with 24 paper liners. Place the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds on high. Stir and microwave for another 20 seconds. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has completely melted and the milk is fully incorporated. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the rest of the cupcake batter.

12. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and sugar for 90 seconds, until fluffy.

13. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

14. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cocoa powder. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and mix for an additional 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are well combined.

15. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the flour, ½ cup at a time, alternately with the remaining 1⅓ cups milk, ⅓ cup at a time, until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

16. With the mixer on medium-high, drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture. Continue to mix the batter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

17. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter into each cup of the prepared cupcake tins. Place a cooled miniature cupcake in the center of each cup and press it gently into the batter. Cover the cupcake with another heaping tablespoon of batter so the top and sides are completely covered and the cup is about three-quarters full. (It’s okay if the top of the cupcake sticks up out of the batter a little bit—miniature cupcake tins come in different sizes, so your mini cupcakes may be slightly larger.)

18. Bake at 350°F for 23 to 25 minutes, until the edges and tops of the cupcakes have set and the cake springs back when you gently press your finger into the top of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

19. To frost and decorate the cupcakes, remove the vanilla cake from the cake pan, break it into pieces, and place it in a bowl or food processor. Use your hands or the food processor to break the cake up into a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

20. To make the frosting, whip the butter for about 30 seconds with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed.

21. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, whipping on medium-high speed until fluffy.

22. Add the vanilla and whip until just combined.

23. If the frosting is too thick, add the milk and whip on high for 20 seconds until the frosting is fluffy.

24. Add the sprinkles and whip for another 20 seconds or so, until they’re evenly distributed.

25. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. You can either dip the top of the cupcake into the crumbs, or dip the edges of the frosted cupcakes into the cake crumb mixture so there’s a ring of cake crumbs around the edge and a circle of frosting untouched at the center of the cupcakes.

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Notes

I halved the recipe because we did not need a 24 cupcakes and a cake.

The mini cupcakes came out great. For the outer cupcakes, when I put the chocolate mixture in the fridge it got hard, so I had to wait for it to soften before I could add it to the cake mixture.

Lastly, the frosting for me was an absolute failure. I don’t know if it was because I halved the recipe or what, but I tasted and immediately spit it out. I ended up tossing the frosting mixture and the extra cake. I used a regular vanilla frosting.

I LOVED this cupcake, I am not usually a big fan of chocolate cupcakes but the flavor was mild and the cakes were light and flavorful. I really was expecting the funfetti cake to be dried out but it wasn’t. Even one of the guests at the party told me he was going to steal all the cupcakes. I think that is a good sign!

Would you ever eat this cupcake?


Check out Jenn’s blog for more treats on WIAW!

Local (Good) News!

UPDATE: The movie times are now updated, the 1:50 pm movie time at the AMC theater on Tremont Street seems to be the best fit. Please still fill out the form below and I will send out information on Friday about the meetup.

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I wanted to update you all on the HLB Book Club event, even though showtimes for the AMC theater on Tremont Street still aren’t available for OZ. I am hoping for a Saturday matinée, since Sunday is St.Paddy’s day, I am assuming most of Boston will be a sh*t show and a lot of people won’t be around.

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Please fill out the form or leave me a comment or shoot me an email at cupcakekelly21@gmail.com, if you are able to attend, I am hoping I won’t have to see it alone.

Now onto my good news! I am so very excited to share with you all that I am going to be an ambassador for the Zooma Race Series for the Cape Cod location.

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I was bummed last year when I realized it was the same day as the Wicked Half in Salem, I knew I was going to HAVE to prioritize it this year.

So who is going to be running with me!? It is going to be a blast :)