Friday, February 24, 2012

Craving-worthy chocolate cupcakes

Holy chocolate goodness!! Got this recipe from my friend Leslie and it is amazing!! Zac has informed me that they are "the best cupcakes ever!" I made them for a baby shower and sent leftover to work with him the next morning - all with rave reviews!


1 (18.25 oz) pkg devils food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz) pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk chocolate chips (the recipe calls for semi-sweet but I really liked the milk)


In mixer or large bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (or 50-55 min for 9x13 or bundt cake) until toothpick comes out clean. DO NOT overbake!!

Cool about 20 minutes in pan, then cool completely on rack. Frost or dust with powdered sugar.

UPDATE 10/2013: If you want to increase the yumminess and richness, try using melted butter in place of the oil and warmed milk in place of the warm water.  Mmm.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade cream of chicken soup

I decided to try making my own cream soups several months ago - really out of necessity. I wanted a certain casserole, didn't have any cans of the stuff and didn't want to drag my three small kids to the grocery store. So, off to the wonderful world of Google I went. I found a really basic recipe over at Kitchen Stewardship. A good start but, of course, I jazzed it up. I just can't leave well enough alone when it comes to cooking. :) Now, Katie over at KS makes her own broth and lots of other stuff....I'm not that dedicated. I use my Better than Bouillon paste or just bouillon powder. **For this recipe, I double the amount of bouillon that would normally be used for the amount of water, to amp up the chicken flavor. Just fyi. :)


3/4 c butter (or oil)
3/4 - 1 c flour (depending on how thick you want your soup. I go closer to 1 cup)
Salt (go easy, depending on the salt amount in your broth. You can always add more, can't take it away!)
Garlic powder (I go pretty liberal here)
Onion powder (Same as garlic powder)
2 cups chicken broth/stock
4 cups milk


Melt butter/heat oil in pot. Add flour and seasonings, whisking to combine. Don't let it brown, but let it cook for about a minute.

Add broth and milk, whisking constantly. Let cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick.

**If you want cream of mushroom, celery, broccoli, etc. just finely chop and saute your vegetable of choice in the butter before adding the flour. Then that flavor will cook into your soup. Or, add some sharp cheddar at the end and make a homemade cheese sauce!

**This recipe makes the equivalent of about four cans of soup. You can use it up in several casseroles or freeze it in can-size portions.

(A million times better than this stuff!!)