Chocolate Cupcakes with a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yesterday was my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). We went out to a fun gastropub for dinner and then came back to our place after for dessert and presents.  These yummy cupcakes are made with coffee, which really enhances the chocolate flavor.  Again, I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but I love the coffee addition.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting is rich and decadent and puts these cupcakes over the edge.  I love these blue polka dot cupcake liners I found at Home Goods.  They make for such a cute presentation (but to be honest they aren’t very practical for eating).  It was a great night celebrating my mama with my favorite people, good food, and a yummy dessert.

Chocolate Cupcakes (Cake recipe from: Sweetapolita)
Yield: about 24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cooled melted chocolate
tbsp spoon milk if too thick

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer/stand mixer until smooth.

Scoop all the frosting into a piping bag or into a large ziplock bag and snip a small edge of the corner and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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The Little Things     


|the oldest windmill farm in the US, which means you’re getting very close to vacation|

Andrew and I spent the week in Palm Springs. I love that Palm Springs is just two hours away. It makes getting away and getting back home so much easier. Usually when we get home from a vacation we’re completely exhausted and we leave our suitcases full for days and live out of random clothes for weeks.  But last night we unpacked everything and even did all our laundry. It felt so good to get home with a little energy, unpack and then relax with our favorite pups.  I love vacations, but equally love coming home especially the puppy welcome party.


|exploring the grounds at The Parker|

 

|with 114° heat an iced Koffi is a must|


|hubby and I still celebrating our anniversary with a dinner at Ruth’s Chris|

|gorgeous nightly sunsets|

Summer Lemon Basil Chicken 

Basil Lemon
This grilled chicken recipe with basil and lime (I used lemons from my tree) screams SUMMER! It is super delicious. This has become an instant favorite especially since I have several of the ingredients growing in my backyard: lemons, basil, and scallions.  This chicken recipe is light, fresh and healthy, perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer night. 
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The Little Things 

   |studying my life away|

I finally have a life again.  I took my Masters of Public Health comprehensive exam last Friday. I couldn’t be happier to have finished. Well I’ll be happier when I found out I pass. Studying had taken over my life so I’m so happy to be able to breathe again. I have a whole plan for when I graduate in a month, including many home improvement projects, which I will be sure to blog about. One month and 2 bigs papers left. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can do it! Have a great weekend!

  |my house covered in theories|
|celebrating my sister’s college graduation at University of Redlands|

  |dinner my hubby made me the night before my exam|

|3rd hummingbird nest to adorn our patio lights|

Meal Time

My sister, Mia, had to create a movie for school that captures a setting. Mia chose the kitchen as the setting and asked if she could film me cooking. She captured how much time and care goes into a meal (and how little time goes into eating and enjoying the meal). Hope you enjoy!

P.s. Check out Mia’s awesome tumblr.