Sunday, June 29, 2014

1 - Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

I am such a big fan of anything quick....add to that...chocolate and peanut butter??


This is great for summertime too, when you don't want to heat up the kitchen...

I decided since I was going to make one of these, I would go ahead and make two, so I wouldn't have to share.  ;-}

 I've seen this recipe around for some time, but when I spied it at 
Five Heart Home I knew I would be making it soon.  Please stop over there to say hello to Sam and check out her gorgeous photos of this yummy cake.  My photo doesn't do it justice, but hers....WOWZERS! 

I used xylitol (my sweetener of preference) for half the sugar and omitted the chocolate chips, just to reduce the sugar content.  It was still soo delicious...and moist. 

Because I was making 2, I zapped it for a minute, then again for 10 second increments, twice.  Still a little gooey in spots, but I would MUCH rather have gooey than dry.  

You can always stick it back in the microwave if it's too gooey for your liking. 

But if you're doing just one little cake, a minute should be good!
(According to the wattage of your microwave - mine is 1500 watts). 

  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • (I used white wheat)
  • 2 Tb. unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 Tb. sugar
  • (I used half xylitol)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. milk, room temperature
  • 2 Tb. butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tb. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tb. mini chocolate chips, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking cocoa, sugar, and baking powder until well blended and smooth.  Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla until batter is smooth. (After melting the butter, I added the milk to warm it up, then added the vanilla). Pour batter into a 14-ounce (or larger) microwave-safe mug. 

Combine peanut butter and chocolate chips and spoon into the center of the mug, gently pressing down until even with the top of the batter. Microwave on high for 1 minute. (Remember it will cook a little bit after removing from microwave).  Allow to cool 2 minutes before serving...if you can stand the wait!

Top with whipped cream if desired. May eat right from the mug or if you spray the mug first, you can turn the cake out onto a plate to enjoy. 
Either way, this is a fabulous treat that doesn't leave more around to tempt you!!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Extreme Brownies Supreme & Weekend Potluck #124

Always a joy to have you sharing with us!  Hope you're keeping cool.  We have quite the 'show' of featured desserts this week for your pleasure!! =)
Love me some dessert!!!


When I share something worth sharing...again...

(with "Lighter Options" even!)

Cream cheese under a pudding/Cool Whip layer, topped with candy!
If you know anyone who wouldn't go wild over this fantastic dessert,
please don't tell me. =) 

(Reminder: Please go to original recipe source to pin) 

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Oreo Delight by Southern Bite

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Cheater Cherry Cheesecake by Snail Pace Transformations

Black Forest Cake by Noshing with the Nolands

~And a personal favorite~

Super Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #chocolate #brownie #recipe #glutenfree

Super Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies by Sumptuous Spoonfuls

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…


Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 E-Z Patriotic Dishes to help Celebrate July 4th! {Blast from the Past}

With the 4th of July just around the corner, I wanted to share these with you now so you have time to plan ahead...have fun!

These kabobs are sure to be a hit, especially if you serve them with the 2 ingredient Nutella Dip in this photo.  Cut angel food cake into stars and thread on kebobs along with berries and bananas for a lovely addition to your holiday picnic or cookout.  

This lovely dessert pizza has a butter/flour crust, a layer of cream cheese mixture and eggless cookie dough dropped over the top, then berries added for that special touch.  Impressive!

Patriotic Cookie Dough Dessert Pizza

Using jelly beans and a pretzel rod, you can impress your friends and family in no time at all.  This will be a dessert everyone will salute you for making!

Jelly Bean Flag Cake

Linked to Weekend Potluck

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Broccoli/Corn Casserole

I've always had a special fondness for dressing up vegetables...

This recipe has been enjoyed a number of times at our house over the years, but I decided to take it to a our last Baker sibling gathering (my hubby is one of 8 living children who love to get together).  I was SO surprised my SIL's (who are awesome cooks, by the way) wanted this recipe and had somehow missed it in my first cookbook.  ???

It's one of those awesome ONLY 5 INGREDIENT recipes. I spose you could use reduced sodium crackers (of sorts) if you are concerned about sodium content, but trust me...


And sooo easy to put together too. 

Perfect for potlucks or summer/winter get togethers!


1 (16 ozs) bag frozen broccoli, cooked and drained 
(be careful to not overcook)
1 (15 ozs.) can creamed corn
1 (15 ozs.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ozs) box Chicken in a Biscuit crackers, crushed 
(I like to leave a few bigger chunks for the topping)
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2-qt. casserole dish.  Mix vegetables together; then mix cracker crumbs with butter.  Save 1/2 c. crumbs for topping.

Combine remaining crackers with veggies; pour into prepared dish. Top with remaining crumbs.  Bake, covered for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes longer. 

Yield: 6 - 8 servings 

You might also like Ultimate Creamed Corn in the Slow Cooker

Linked to Weekend Potluck

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Marbled Chocolate Bars

What a simple and moist dessert to make for any occasion...

I got this recipe from a dear friend.  We met over 20 years ago, when I was hired as a one-day-a-week receptionist at an auto auction...Kathy was my boss.  We had some good talks, and after she moved on to another job, she hired me to come clean her house monthly. 

We became intimate friends...sharing life's joys and heartaches. She has wisdom beyond her years as a mother of two teen boys....sure wish I had known her when I was raising my own kids!

Anyway - when her oldest son graduated from high school last year, this is something he requested for his open house.  

I love it - anything with cream cheese is a winner in my book, but this is simple to make, with only a few ingredients too. 

I loved this recipe so much, I added it to my second cookbook...
Love at First Bite  - it has over 200 recipes and over 100 of them have simple ones with 6 ingredients or fewer..

I'll have SECONDS please! I know you'll enjoy it too!


1 (18 ozs) German Chocolate Cake mix
Ingredients to mix cake according to directions
1 (8 ozs) pkg. (lite) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15" X 10" X 1" baking sheet.  In large bowl, prepare cake batter according to package directions. Pour into prepared pan.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar.  Stir in 1/4 c. chocolate chips.  Drop cream cheese mixture randomly by tablespoonsful over batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool.  Cut into bars. 

Yield: 3 dozen 

You might also like this recipe for 
Chocolate Swirl Cake...with an added can of cherry pie filling

Linked to Weekend Potluck
        Meal Plan Monday

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Monday, June 23, 2014

2-Ingredient Nutella Brownies (Gluten Free) & A Giveaway!


You're gonna love me for sharing this simple recipe...

And am offering a jar of organic nutella (or hazelnut spread with cocoa and milk) from Nocciolata USA you can make your own!

I was so tickled to be contacted by this great company. They not only offered to send me samples, they're willing to give a jar away to one of my readers!! 


From their website...

 Nocciolata (SRP: $4.99; 9.5oz) is crafted using carefully selected ingredients such as dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (16%), brown sugar, skim milk and Bourbon vanilla extract.

This deliciously smooth spread is gluten-free, kosher and has no palm oil, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavors or artificial colors or aromas. Nocciolata can be enjoyed on toast or croissants and is also a great ingredient for enhancing the flavor of any cake, cookie or muffin recipe.


The same day I decided to hunt online for a recipe to use my beloved jar of creamy chocolate, this recipe seemed to find me, and I simply couldn't resist! 

TWO Ingredients you ask?  Yep...that's it! 

You beat the fire out of eggs - then add the jar (or 1 cup) chocolate hazelnut nutella spread, and that's it!

They are fudgey and fabulous.  We like nuts on top, but that isn't necessary.  You can just sprinkle powdered sugar over the top if you prefer....or not. 

Thank you to Katerina at Diethood for perfecting this recipe...and just in case you're wondering...

NO...hers is NOT a dieting type blog. *-* Would love for you to stop over and visit her. 


4 large eggs
1 c. nutella
nuts or powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8" X 8" pan with parchment paper (no need to grease); set aside.

Place eggs in medium mixing bowl; with an electric mixer, beat for 7 - 10 minutes, or until eggs have tripled in size. 

Heat nutella in microwave for 45 - 55 seconds. 
(depending on power of your M/W) 

You want it to be pourable, but not hot. Remove from microwave and stir. 

Slowly pour the warm nutella over the eggs, beating until smooth. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 - 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

(If using nuts, sprinkle over the top before baking - they'll get toasted and so yum!)

Remove and allow to cool to room temp before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut and serve. 

You're welcome! 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Kitty Penrod!  Congrats to you!!

Now...onto the giveaway! 

1 -  I'm asking you to do is tell me your favorite thing to do with nutella 

2 - You can get a second entry by liking Nicciolata USA at Facebook
(click on link above), then come back and tell me you did. 

3 - Get a third entry by liking MY Facebook page at The Better Baker Blog and Cookbooks (or let me know if you already have) 

Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. 

Send over your friends and family too so they can join the fun.

And if you don't happen to win, you can always purchase a jar of this 
lovely organic chocolate spread here

*SORRY - USA entries ONLY*


Contest closes on Sunday, June 29th at 9 PM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zucchini Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

When you have zucchini in abundance this summer, this would be a perfect way to enjoy it! I know we're always looking for ways to use it up. 

This was one of the first recipes I shared when I began my blog many moons ago. The recipe came from Taste of Home online.  I tweaked it a little to make it 'lighter', but one would forget they're eating vegetables while enjoying these spicy and moist cupcakes!! 

I had previously shared ToH's photo, so when I recently saw it, I thought I needed to get a photo myself.  AND...decided to make the caramel frosting into SALTED caramel frosting.  I loved it! 

I shared with several neighbors and friends and they all loved them too.  

This is a review I found at the TofH website that shares this recipe. 

Reviewed Jan. 3, 2014 

This is by far the BEST cupcake recipe out there! The frosting is the crowning glory to this moist cake. Do not hesitate to make these, only be prepared for everyone to ask you for this recipe.
          You're welcome! 


3 eggs
1-1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. applesauce
1/2 c. orange juice
1 tsp. almond extract
2-1/2 c. (all purpose or white whole wheat) flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 c. shredded zucchini


1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, orange juice and extract. Combine dry ingredients; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add zucchini and blend. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Frosting: Combine brown sugar, butter, milk and salt in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 - 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt before the frosting dries. 
Yield: 1-1/2 to 2 dozen 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Leader Enterprise - June 18, 2014 - Helpful Tips/Smoothie recipes

Sure hope you're taking time to enjoy the sunshine. I love the cooler evenings for taking walks. We waited a long while for these lovely days, right?

Here's more tips to make life easier for you. Enjoy!!

Use rubber bands to help open a jar easily: place one around the jar lid and another around the middle of the glass. The rubber provides friction to prevent your hands from slipping.

Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access.

Slot the stick of a popsicle through a cupcake paper to prevent drips on little fingers.

A ball of aluminum foil makes a great glassware scrubber!

Place a few drops of essential oil on the inside of the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful.

- If you don't have a double boiler when candy making, place a towel inside an electric skillet, warm to about 200 degrees, and place your melted chocolate in a glass bowl on the towel to keep it warm. 

- To test baking powder for freshness, add 1/2 tsp. to 1/4 c. hot water; if it fizzes, it's good. 

- To make your own baking powder, combine 1 tsp. baking soda with 2 tsp. cream of tartar to equal 1 Tb.baking powder. 

-Replace 1 TB. cornstarch with 2 TB. all-purpose flour as a thickener in recipes. 

- Spoon fruit or veggie salads into mini mason jars - fun for summer picnics and easy to tuck into a picnic basket. 

- Top bowls of hot soup with plain or cheesy popcorn for a crunchy surprise. 

Here are a few tasty drinks to help cool you down in these warmer temps.


1/3 c. double strength regular or decaf coffee, chilled
1/2 c. nonfat (or 1%)milk
1 Tb. instant (sugar free) vanilla pudding, dry
1 pkt. Truvia or liquid stevia to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c.crushed ice 
coffee flavoring syrup, optional, to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender, blending on high until drink is smooth. Pour into a glass-top with light whipped cream if desired.
Yield: 1 large drink. Enjoy every awesome cooling sip! 


1 (6 ozs) can frozen orange juice concentrate,partially thawed
1 c. milk
(we are loving unsweetened almond milk!)
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
(or liquid stevia to taste: 2 drops=1 tsp.) 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 ice cubes 

Put all the ingredients into the blender. Process until blended and frothy. Pour-relax and enjoy every sip. Yield:3-4 yummylicious servings 

Here's a little 'trick' to help you with this one. Before squeezing lemons, prick with a knife and microwave for 30 seconds. You'll get more juice that way.


2 c. water
1 c. sugar (or sweetener)
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (strained) 
(about 6-8 lemons)
2 generous c. of cubed watermelon(seeds removed)
2 c. cold water or sparkling water

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool.Meanwhile, puree watermelon in blender and strain to remove any seeds. You should have about 1 c. watermelon juice. Add lemon juice, watermelon puree to the simple syrup (sugar water); add water; chill. Serve over ice.


1 c.strawberries, cleaned (fresh or frozen)
1 large peach, cut in to wedges (fresh or frozen)
1 c. milk or orange juice (more or less, depending on the consistency you want)
1/2 c. favorite(Greek) yogurt (I used peach)
1 TB. honey or 1 sm.packet sugar or sweetener
Strawberries or peaches for garnish, optional

Place all of the ingredients in a blender; process on high until smooth. Garnish with additional strawberries or peaches if desired. Serve and enjoy! Yield:2 servings

It's not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.-Charles Haddon-Spurgeon

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