Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Guest writer for the day on this girly blog:  ZACH!!   (fanfare and clapping)

Have you ever been sitting around craving a mountain of gooey, chocolate cake with a bit of ice cream?  Well, this recipe will give you your fix in about 5 minutes.  Besides, we all know how much Nikki likes her "Hot Chocolate Molten Lava Hot Chocolate Cake of Chocolate."  ;)

So, what you'll need for two smaller (and probably better for you) cakes, or one large (but still really delicious) cake:

- 1 1/2 - 2 oz. chocolate bar (the Hershey milk chocolate or even Dark chocolate works great)
- 2 oz. butter (half of a stick) *Note* If you are worried about the pounds, 1/4 of a stick still tastes good too
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 egg
- 2 chocolate truffles (or Rolos, like the one shown in the picture above), frozen... yes, frozen. As in, you put it in the freezer for a while (or 1 for 1 big cake)

First, put the chocolate and the butter in a bowl for melting.  All you need to do is nuke it in the micro for about 30 seconds, maybe even 25.  Don't overdue it!  It won't even look melted, but just start stirring until it's one consistency.  If it just don't wanna mix, give it another 5 secs of nukage.  DON'T put it in for 10 minutes and walk away and forget about it ... *cough*

In a separate bowl combine the egg and sugar. Whip it good (whip it! whip it good! ... never mind) until the sugar is somewhat dissolved.  Slowly add the chocolate mix while mixing.  Slowly add the flour while mixing.  Now you have your batter!

Here's the fun part.  Get out two mugs (or 1 big one).  Yes, mugs - as in, hot chocolate mugs.  Lubricate... Sarah hates that word... I mean, GREASE the insides with more butter or shortening rather liberally.  Then, evenly split the batter into the two mugs.  Now, drop one of your chocolate truffles in the middle.  Don't worry about pushing it down much, because as you will see, during the nuking the batter kinda swarms around the truffle.

To cook:  I've never put both in the microwave at the same time, and I don't know if it would mess up the time or not, so just do one of the cakes for now... Nuke it for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Now, get out a plate, tip the mug upside down on top, give it a few taps and (hopefully) you will have a cute little chocolate addiction sitting right there in front of you!  Serve with whatever else you are craving and probably shouldn't eat!

- Zach... eh... Sarah's husband...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Margherita Pizza

Zachary and I are trying an experiment this month. We sat down for Family Home Evening a couple weeks ago with a few cookbooks, paper, and pens. We spent an hour or so picking through the cookbooks for recipes that sounded good or we thought it might be fun to try. Then we put down one meal for each day of the month of May. Since there's only 2 of us and a lot of recipes we found were for 4 people on average, we figured it works out perfect to give us leftovers for lunch the next day! We even have a rating scale for all of this. One scale is for how good the food was and the other scale is for how affordable the meal was. So far, it has worked out fantastically! I feel like the hardest part about cooking is deciding what to make in the first place. This experiment has taken a lot of burden off of both our shoulders.

One of Zachary's picks was Margherita Pizza. I had never had it before, but I like pizza so I thought why not? Then I found out that it doesn' even have marinara sauce or anything on it. I thought, "No way could this ever be good." I was wrong. It was de-FREAKING-lightful!

picture found here
Doesn't it look delish?

It is fairly cheap and it definitely got an "I could eat this everyday" on our rating scale. Here's the recipe:

For the pizza dough:

- 1 1/2 c. hot water (as hot as you can run it from the tap, NOT BOILING or you will kill the yeast)
- 1 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- oil for greasing the bowl

For the Margherita topping:

- olive oil for brushing
- 4 cloves sliced garlic
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, or similar quantity of small ones, or cherry tomatoes (whatever you have on hand, can purchase at the grocery store, or can pick out of your garden)
- 3/4 c. grated mozzarella
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan
- about 15 large fresh basil leaves

(IMPORTANT NOTE: this dough recipe is good for TWO pizzas, so if you want two Margherita pizzas, just double the amount of Margherita topping ingredients, OR you could top that second pizza with your choice of traditional pizza toppings.)

1. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the hot water. Use the hottest water that you can run from your kitchen tap. DO NOT use boiling water or you will kill the yeast, and your dough will not rise. Let the yeast "bloom" for 5 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil, sugar and salt to the yeast, and stir.

3. Measure the flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined. The dough will appear VERY gooey - this is normal, as it makes a much more tender dough. DO NOT add more flour to the dough during this step.

4. Brush or spray some oil over the sides of the bowl and the top of the dough. Flip the ball of dough over and oil the other side. This will help when removing the dough after rising.

5. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and set in a warm location to rise for 1 hour. Looking for a warm location? Try above the fridge, above you cabinets, or on the stove as you're preheating the oven for the next step!

Onto the good stuff - this is where you can easily diverge from the recipe and top your pizza however you want, but I STRONGLY suggesting Margherita toppings. If, however, you choose to go your own way, skip ahead to the next step for directions for how to bake the pizza.

1. Slice the tomatoes as thinly as possible. Use a serrated knife to make the task easier. The more thinly you can slice them, the less soggy your pizza will get after baking. Set them aside for now.

2. Mix the mozzarella and parmesan together. Set them aside for now.

3. Thinly slice the garlic cloves and set them aside. Wash the fresh basil to remove any traces of dirt, then lay them out on paper towels to dry. These will only go on the pizza AFTER baking, or else they will dry out and lose all their flavor in the oven. By putting the basil on the pizza after cooking, they will slowly release they flavor as they warm with the residual heat of the freshly-baked pizza. (We have tried it with dry basil and it worked out fine as well.) Now you are ready to garnish your pizza!

1. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Set one rack in the lowest position in your oven. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the rack before you preheat, so that it can heat to the same temperature as the oven. If you don't have a pizza stone, you can just as easily bake the pizza on a baking sheet. A pizza stone is a good investment, however, as it makes for a nice crisp outside and tender inside to your pizza crust. I highly recommend it. (They can be found for $7.99 at Ross. Holla!)

2.  Roll out half the pizza dough for one pizza, to 3/4-inch thick. Place it on the pizza stone or baking sheet. If using the baking stone, be careful not to burn yourself!

3. Now for the toppings: Brush or spray the top of the rolled-out dough. This is important, as it creates a barrier between the dough and the juicy tomatoes, which prevents the dough from getting soggy. Sprinkle the garlic slices over the oiled dough. Place the tomato slices/halves/pieces over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch space on the edge for holding the crust, and overlapping the slices where necessary. Sprinkle the mixture of cheeses over the top of the tomatoes. (If you are using dry basil, this is where you would sprinkle it to taste, over the cheese.) That's it - your pizza is topped!

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how brown you like your crust, and how hot your oven runs.

Once that timer rings, remove the pizza from the oven, either on its baking sheet or using a pair of tongs to slide it off the stone and onto a cutting board. Turn off the oven.

Immediately place the fresh basil leaves on top of the freshly-baked pizza. The heat from the melted cheese will wilt the basil and release all the flavorful oils into the air and into the pizza.

Time to enjoy a taste of traditional Italy - grab your pizza wheel and slice into a piece of heaven. I think Margherita has become my favorite food. Try it and let me know what you think!


Calories: 226 per slice (1/8 or pizza)
Total Fat: 4.9 g
   Saturated: 2.1 g
   Polyunsaturated: 0.3 g
   Monounsaturated: 2.1 g
   Trans: 0 g
Cholesterol: 10.3 mg
Sodium: 1011.7 mg
Potassium: 189.3 mg
Total Carbs: 37.3 g
   Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
   Sugar: 4.2 g
Protein: 8.7 g
Vit. A: 8.5% DV
Vit. C 10.3% DV
Calcium: 11.2% DV
Iron: 9.3% DV

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Buffalo Dip

We have been lacking posts lately, so I thought I would update with a couple of my favorite recipes.
This recipe is addicting and a crowd pleaser!
Have a party or event coming up and need an appitizer?
Check out this recipe here.


Mississippi Mud Cake

I posted this recipe here.
It is a great rich combination of brownie and marshmallow!
I LOVE them!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

flannel baby blankets

This is an easy sewing project that even the beginner can do.
It makes for nice shower gifts or a fun project for your own.
I made these for my baby boy.  I had 3 coupons for 40% off a cut of fabric, and decided to use them today.

I got a 1.25 yards of 4 different fabrics
The best part is you don't have to make any cuts because they are (or should be) the same size as one another!

First I pinned two of the fabrics together, printed side facing inwards toward each other and pinned them together like so.

then I sewed the two pieces together, leaving a 4 inch gap open to flip it right side out.  Top stitch your opening to close it off.  After closing it off, I ironed it to get it to lay flat.  Once it is ironed flat, stitch around the edges to give it a nicer look and to keep it in place.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance.
Wha-la!  Finished!

Have fun!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This is an AMAZING drink!
It is fruity and delicious.
Give it a try and you will become addicted!
Click HERE to get the recipe

Monday, May 2, 2011


This is a delicious breakfast or treat!
It is a favorite in my family
click HERE to view the recipe


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Looking for an easy dinner?
go HERE for a delicious and easy meal