Lamb Cupcakes

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I can't get enough of cupcakes lately. I guess I'm just having too much fun decorating them. What do you think of this lamb on the grass cupcake? She's so cute I could just eat her up! Wait, I already did!



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 1 baked cupcake, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 2 chocolate chip for the eyes
- Pink star confetti/sprinkles for the tiny nose
- large marshmallows (cut into thin slices using kitchen scissors) for the ears
- mini marshmallows for the hair
- coconut flakes
- green food coloring

MAKING THE GRASS:
Place coconut flakes in a small zip lock bag and add a drop of green food coloring. Mix well.

Spring Cupcakes

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Nothing says Spring like blooming flowers and beautiful butterflies. These flower cupcake and butterfly cupcake are simply decorated with cut-up marshmallows, star confetti, and pretzel sticks.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 baked cupcakes, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- pink food coloring
- 1 chocolate chip
- star confetti/sprinkles
- large marshmallows
- 2 pretzel sticks

DIRECTIONS:
Using kitchen scissors, cut marshmallows into thin slices. Assemble as shown in picture.

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

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I love spring rolls and am glad to have found this step-by-step-video recipe at videojug.com (find the video embedded at the bottom of this post). They turned out to be really tasty and crispy! They go very well with my favorite Thai sweet chili dipping sauce and make a perfect afternoon snack or appetizer.



In case, you cannot view the video, you can find the text version of the recipe here.

Here's the video instructions:


Starters & Appetizers: How To Make Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

Blackforest Cupcakes

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Inspired by my previous Blackforest Cake, I decided to create its mini version and make these blackforest cupcakes. It was super easy to decorate and so yum!



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Baked chocolate cupcakes (see my chocolate cupcake recipe)
White frosting
Chocolate shavings (simply made using a chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler)
Cherries with stems, drained

DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS:
Frost the cupcakes with the white frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and add a cherry on top.

It's that simple, I told you! :D

Easy Black Forest Cake

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First of all, please pardon the sloppiness of this cake. I was too impatient waiting for the cake to cool before decorating it and I did not completely drain the cherries before using them. So as you can see in the picture, I had to pay the price! Sloppiness aside, the cake was very yummy and was very easy to make as I used chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, and canned frostings. I made it for my husband's birthday and everybody raved. The only tricky part, to me, is making the chocolate curls, which I had never done before. But it was worth it, the curls made the cake instantly fancier, don't they?



1 pkg (18oz) German chocolate cake mix
1 cup strong brewed coffee, (cooled to room temperature)
1/2 can cherry pie filling
2 tbsp Kirch liquor
1 can (12 oz) fluffy white frosting
1 can (12 oz) chocolate frosting
1 jar cherries with stems, drain and tap dry with paper towels
1 dark chocolate bar
chocolate curls to garnish, optional (see video instructions at the bottom of this post)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Bake the chocolate cake according to the box instructions, replacing the water with strong brewed coffee, to make two 9-inch round cakes. Cool thoroughly!
2. Using a vegetable peeler, start shaving the chocolate bar to make the chocolate shavings. Set aside in a small bowl to be used later.
3. Place one cake layer on a cake plate and brush the top with Kirsch liquor.
4. Top with a layer of chocolate frosting, then with the cherry pie filling
5. Top with the second cake layer. Brush the top with Kirsch liquor.
6. Spread the side of the cake with chocolate frosting and the top of the cake with white frosting.
7. Sprinkle chocolate shavings around the side of the cake and on the top of the cake
8. Using the star tip, pipe white frosting around the edge of the cake and place the cherries on top.
9. Garnish with chocolate curls.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CURLS:


Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, but I stock refrigerated cookie dough in my fridge in case I have a sweet emergency and don't feel like baking. I love the Nestle brand refrigerated cookie dough. It only takes 10 minutes to bake, and they always turn out well! My husband and I are big fans of walnuts so I always add extra chunks of walnuts to it.



I bought the jumbo tub of this dough at Costco the other day and now I can't stop making them.

Burger Cupcakes

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This burger cupcake looks like the real thing, doesn't it? They make a great dessert to any cookout or outdoor party. Scroll down to see the decorating instructions.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED: (to make 1 cupcake)

- 2 Vanilla cookies
- 1 chocolate covered cookie (I used a thin mint cookie)
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 1 baked cupcake, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- red food coloring (or red icing)
- yellow food coloring (or yellow icing)
- green food coloring
- coconut flakes
- a zip lock bag
- dash of maple syrup or light colored decorating gel
- sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Frost the cupcake with white frosting
2. Place a small amount of frosting in a small bowl and add red food coloring to make a red frosting mix (you can also use store-bought-red icing and skip this step). Repeat this step to make the yellow frosting (or you can use yellow icing)
3. Place some coconut flakes in a small zip lock bag and add a drop of green food coloring. Close the bag and shake well to mix and green-up the flakes.

ASSEMBLING THE CUPCAKE:

1. Place a vanilla cookie on the cupcake, top with a chocolate-covered-cookie (using a little bit of frosting to glue them together)
2. Place the green coconut flakes on top to resemble the lettuce
3. Place a small amount of red and yellow icing/frosting to resemble the ketchup and mustard
4. Place the second vanilla cookie on top
5. Brush the top of the vanilla cookie with the syrup or decorating gel and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Corn On The Cob Cupcakes

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Grilled corn on the cobs are delicious! But these corn-on-the-cob cupcakes are even sweeter! Scroll down to see how easy it is to make them.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

- Yellow and white jelly beans (I used the pina colada flavor for the yellows, and coconut flavor for the whites, which makes a great tropical-flavor combination!)
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 3 baked cupcakes, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- 1 pretzel stick, cut in halves
- Optional: you can also add a yellow starburst candy and place it on the top of the corn to represent a piece of butter (I unfortunately didn't have one in my pantry or I would have done it)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Frost the cupcakes with white frosting
2. Arrange yellow and white jelly beans as shown in the picture
3. Arrange the 3 cupcakes as shown and attach 2 pretzel stick halves on the side of the third cupcake

Summer Cookout Cupcakes

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After a long, cold winter, I was so excited about the first 80-degree-Saturday of the year! I wanted to celebrate with a cookout-themed-cupcakes. These corn-on-the-cob-cupcakes and burger-cupcakes are so fun and easy to do. And the best thing is: No grilling necessary! I'll tell you how to make these in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned!



Thanks for the mention!

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Special thanks to Bakerella for featuring my Easter bunnies cupcake pops photo in her Wowzers post. Thank you Bakerella!

Find Me On Facebook!

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MommyIsNotAChef is now on Facebook. Please feel free to befriend me there!

If you're on Facebook, come visit my new page and say hello: MommyIsNotAChef Facebook Page. I would love to know more about you. Feel free to message me or share your recipes with me! You know how much I love food, :D



Easy Chicken Pot Pie

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I have two toddlers in the house. Need I emphasize how much I love semi-homemade cooking? This chicken pot pie is made with Betty Crocker's Bisquick mix. I actually got this recipe straight from the back side of the box. It's very easy and tasty! My kids love it and even eat all the vegetables.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 6

1 lb frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. In ungreased 2-qt casserole dish, mix vegetables, chicken, and soup until blended.
3. Stir the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour over chicken mixture
4. Bake uncovered about 30 mins or until the crust is golden brown

Banana Walnut Bread

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I love it when I have these extra ripe bananas on my kitchen counter that look too hideous too eat. That just means I have an excuse to make or bake something out of them. I think the extra ripe bananas have just the perfect amount of sweetness to make banana bread, banana muffins, or banana fritters. This time I chose to make banana bread with extra chunks of walnuts (which is my husband's favorite).



PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
SERVINGS: 1 loaf

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cream sugar and butter
2. Add eggs, flour, baking soda, and bananas. Combine well
3. Stir in the walnuts
4. Grease or spray a loaf pan and pour batter into it
5. Bake at 325F for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.



Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

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This ham and potato soup is so tasty and is one of my favorite comfort food on a cold rainy day like today. A friend of mine came over for lunch today and I served this soup with my favorite tuna melt sandwich. It made a simple and delicious lunch.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham, and water in a stock pot
2. Bring to boil, and cook at medium heat until potatoes are tender (10-15 mins)
3. Add salt, chicken bouillon, and pepper
4. In a separate sauce pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk to prevent lumps. Continue stirring until it thickens (about 10 minutes).
5. Stir in the milk mixture into the stockpot and cook the soup until heated through (about 20 minutes).
6. Serve hot.

Simple Tuna Melt Sandwich

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Need a simple lunch idea? Try this simple tuna melt sandwich recipe. I had a friend came over for lunch today and served this tuna melt sandwich with this delicious ham and potato soup.



PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 3 minutes
SERVINGS: makes 4 sandwich

12 oz can solid white tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tbsp finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
8 slices tomatoes
4 slices Swiss/Cheddar cheese
4 slices rye bread (or your favorite bread)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl, mix tuna, mayo, celery, onion, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
2. Preheat the oven broiler
3. Place bread on a baking sheet, and broil for 1 minute until lightly toasted
4. Remove bread from oven and spread with the tuna salad
5. Place 2 tomato slices on each piece of bread and top with a slice of cheese
6. Return sandwiches to the preheated oven and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted (watch closely to avoid overheating)

Barbecued Roast Pork

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This barbecued roast pork is my husband's specialty. Yes, my husband cooks. That's what made me fall in love with him actually. I find men who can cook very attractive, and... the best thing is: they can back me up when I don't feel like cooking, :D.

This is another semi-homemade cooking that never fails! The cooking time is a little long (about 1 hour) but the only ingredients you need are pork shoulders (or boneless pork tenderloins) and this Lee Kum Kee brand Chinese barbecue sauce. Keep reading for his secret technique on keeping this dish very tasty and moist.



DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut the pork into long strips (about 1x2x5 in.)
2. In a large bowl, marinate the meat generously with the Chinese bbq sauce
3. Transfer the meat mixture into a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow for flavor absorption
4. Preheat oven to 350F
5. Arrange the pork slices on a roasting pan and pour the remainder of the marinating liquid on top of the pork
6. Bake for 15 minutes
7. Take the meat out of the oven and brush the surface with more sauce then return to oven
8. Repeat step 6 and 7 three more times until the meat is fully cooked
9. Slice thinly and serve immediately over steam rice or fried noodle

*Do not skip step 6 to 8, it is the secret that prevent the meat from drying out in the oven.

Chocolate Brownies With Walnuts

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It was raining outside and we were stuck inside the house. Watching the food channel on TV, my husband and I suddenly had a craving for something sweet. I saw a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix in my pantry and decided to make it. I love the Duncan Hines brand because it's not overly sweet. It literally only took me 5 minutes to prepare before throwing it in the oven. And less than an hour later, voila! It was ready to serve with chocolate fudge and our favorite Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream. Yummm!!!





Easter Bunnies and Chicken Cupcake Pops

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I am a big fan of the Bakerella blog, especially of her brilliant cupcake pops creations. After seeing the irresistable Spring cupcake pops featured on her blog recently, I decided to give them a try for this year's Easter treats while modifying her instructions slightly because I don't have the ingredients that she used, like the pastel color candy corns. So I just used a cookie cutter to make the bunny shapes then drew the faces with an edible pen and used a flower confetti for the nose. I also attempted to make the Spring Chicken pops but I realized at the last minute that I forgot to buy yellow candy melts and I had no yellow food coloring. Oh well, I made those chickens anyway, :D. They don't look nearly as pretty as the ones made by Bakerella but I had so much fun making them.





For complete instructions on how to make these cupcake pops, please visit the Bakerella blog and don't forget to check out her brilliant bunnies and spring chickens.

Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng

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Tumpeng is rice cooked with turmeric and coconut milk, presented in a shape of a cone, and surrounded with assorted Indonesian dishes. It is usually served in ceremonies and celebrations of special occassions. We had some friends over to celebrate my husband's birthday this year and I decided to make this dish that is always a crowd pleaser.



This tumpeng is served with beef rendang, barbecued spicy chicken, fried noodle, shredded omelets, beef perkedel (beef potato cakes), and garnished with cucumber slices.

See how I made the yellow rice and beef rendang.



TO MAKE THE BEEF PERKEDEL (BEEF POTATO CAKES):

5 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
1 lb ground beef
3 eggs, separate the yolk and egg whites into 2 different bowls
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced

DIRECTIONS:
1. Fry the potato wedges in a large wok or using a deep fryer.
2. Once cooked, place on paper towels and tap dry.
3. Move potatoes into a large bowl and mash them with egg yolks
4. In a separate bowl, mix ground beef with nutmeg, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, and pepper.
5. Pour the beef mixture into the potato mixture and combine well.
6. Shape into small patties
7. Fry until cooked and golden brown



TO MAKE THE BARBECUED SPICY CHICKEN:

6 leg quarters, cut into legs and thighs,
5 tbsp tamarind juice
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp ginger powder
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce
salt and sugar to taste
margarine

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine chicken pieces with tamarind, ginger, hoisin sauce, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and garlic. Mix well. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
2. Arrange marinated chicken pieces on a baking dish, making sure the dish is large enough to place the pieces in 1 layer. Pour the remainder of marinating liquid on top.
3. Brush the chicken with margarine and bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
4. Take the dish out from the oven, flip the chicken pieces over, brush with margarine and bake for an additional 40 minutes.
5. Serve hot

Steamed Pork With Egg

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This dish is made with very strong spices, you'll either love it or can't stand it. Everyone in our house loves it though. I especially love it because it is so easy to make. A little warning: it is a salty dish.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 40-45 minutes
SERVES: 6

1 lb ground pork
4 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp preserved cabbage

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine pork, five spice powder, salt, and preserved cabbage in a bowl
2. Add the beaten eggs and mix well
3. Steam for 40-45 minutes, or until cooked

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