Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Cheater's Cake Cupcake

          When you are having one of those crazy days and in need of some bliss, this chocolate cupcake is for you.  It's packed with good for you ingredients. Really! You can even substitute wheat or gluten free flour and still get the same moist, chocolatey goodness.  Just don't remove the "kicker".  It's a Cheater's cupcake after all.  Enjoy!      


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs vanilla whey protein
1 1/2 cup chocolate flavored almond milk
1/2 cup Kahlua coffee liquor or cooled brewed coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs
1 cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
1 tsp Kahlua
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1. In a bowl combine flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and whey protein.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together almond milk, coffee liquor (or brewed coffee), oil and eggs until well incorporated.
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Don't overmix.
4. Scope to muffins pans lined with paper liners.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 mins. 
6. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
7. Mix in coffee liquor in Nutella to make frosting.
8. Smear over cupcakes and top with chocolate chips.
9. Enjoy!

This recipe makes about 36 cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Black Bean BUTTERscotch Brownies

       Today marks the 100th birthday of one of the few women whom I admire the most - Julia Child.  Though I confess I haven't had the courage to try a single recipe from any of her cookbooks, I still consider this woman a significant source of inspiration.  One, she always wanted something to do.  Two, once she found her passion, she gave her all and then some. Third, she doesn't take NO for an answer.  Lastly, she loves food just like me.

       To celebrate this special day, I have decided to post this delectable brownie recipe.  My family loves this because it's super moist and has a deep chocolate flavor.  If you are into dark chocolates, this treat is for you.  Even though it's flourless and yes, BUTTER less, I think this will have Julia's approval.  Give it a try and let me know okay.


1 15 oz can Black beans (about 2 cups)
1 tsp vanila extract
3 extra large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup butterscotch chips

1. Drain black beans and rinse in cold running water.
2. Using a food processor, puree the beans. Add the vanilla extract. Process until very creamy.
3. In a separate bowl, with an electic mixer, cream eggs, sugar and vegetable oil until light and airy.
4. Add the cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, whey protein powder and pureed beans. Mix until very combined.
5. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
6. Pour in a greased 9x9 pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins.
8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the butterscotch morsels.
9. Cool completely before cutting.

Line your pan with foil and then grease with a cooking spray. The brownies will just peel right off and super easy clean up.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Can't get enough Crumb Cake

      I am a huge fan of crumb cakes. There is something so comforting about a light fluffy butter cake  with a burst of cinnamon flavored brown sugar topping. Though this dessert or coffee cake for some, is often available anywhere, I tend to stay away from the ready made varieties because some are either dry, too sweet or worse loaded with preservatives and things I don't even know about.  If I am going to indulge, it better be worth every calorie.


3/4 cups butter softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2/ cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsps lemon extract

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon powder
1 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups flour

1. Grease a 9x13 pan using the wrappers of the butter.
2. Using a wooden spoon, combine the dry ingredients of the Crumb topping.  Then slowly drizzle with melted butter. Mix until well incorporated.  Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the cake.
4. In a different bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add eggs one at a time.
6. Alternately add the dry ingredients and sour cream in 3 batches to the batter.  Starting with the dry and ending with the sour cream. Add the lemon extract.
7. Tranfer the batter to the baking pan. It will be thick so you need to spread it using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
8. Crumb the topping and sprinkle all over the cake batter.  It may look a lot but you MUST use all of it.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes or do the toothpick test. 
10. Cool before slicing.

      Please, no matter how tempting it can be, wait for it to cool completely before cutting or else the topping will all fall apart.

     Try this recipe and let me know if you "Can't get enough" of this Crumb Cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Potty Cover Giveaway

Congratulations Katrina!

         Summer is in full swing and like most people here in New Jersey, my family is often outdoors. Whether it's a trip to the park, craft show, zoo, carnival, beach and even farms, my children are all excited to go. Once in our destination, it will be time for the awesome treats such as italian ices, lemonade, cakes, pies and everything on a stick. Before you know it, it will be time for the dreaded portable public toilets. Yup whether we like it or not, moms and even dads have to deal with this.  

     Though my bag is always filled with essentials such as wipes, tissue and sometimes diaper lines, I must admit I'm still clueless on what works best for those mean, green, germ haven machine. Then comes my new BFF PottyCover

Potty Cover

         PottyCover are disposable toilet seat liners with plastic coating which makes it waterproof and sturdier than the paper version we are more familiar with. It not only covers the top but the sides and front of the seat as well. Thus it is also perfect for portable toilets. The full coverage design makes it very helpful to those with small children who are in the process of learning to use the potty or who are not big enough for the stardard toilet seat. These liners are even large enough for adults to use. Since each PottyCover is individually package, I find it very convenient  and doesn't take much space in my bag.  At $5.99 for a pack of 6, I would say it is reasonable enough to have on hand especially during this busy travel season.  

        The PottyCover is now available at Amazon, Ebay, Buy Buy Baby and selected Bed Bath & Beyond stores.  However, One lucky reader will have the chance to try PottyCover for FREE.  Simply tell me Where do you intend to bring the Potty Cover this summer in the comment.   

       What are you waiting for? This giveaway ends on August 2, 2012 11pm EST. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using
Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.">>

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Peace Earrings

     Sometimes when things seem to be too Perfect... something's definitely WRONG!!!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flower Finds - Floral Designs by Lynn

     It's Friday and today I am sharing with you this beautiful arrangement from a fellow New Jersey mom and fashion frugalista Lynn M.  You can see some of her work in this album.  What I love about Lynn is her extreme focus on her customer's individual needs and wants.   She's very creative and will produce the best arrangements for your budget. From consultation to flower selection and even delivery, she's involved every step of the way.  She is also a working mom of 4 so what more can I say?  A fine gem from NJ.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easy Low Fat Texas Toast

      Last Friday was the first day of my kids' Spring Break. Since it was Good Friday, I tried to stick to my Lola's (Grandma) tradition of abstinence and fasting.  For lunch I promised my children they will have homemade Texas toast.  They were very excited because I haven't been cooking their favorites since February. 
      As usual, I preheated the oven and then assembled the Toasts.  What I was time to put the slices of bread, the oven wasn't hot, not even lukewarm!  Lo and behold, the igniter was worn off.  With 4 pairs of eyes staring and waiting, started thinking what I'll do with these pieces bread. Microwave?  Nah!  Then my grill pan came to the rescue. 


8 thick rolls or PanDeSal (Filipino rolls found in most Asian stores)
6 tbs "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spread or your favorite butter substitute
1 cup shredded low fat cheese (I used Mexican blend on this one)
4 tbs. garlic powder or more

1. Preheat your grill pan in medium setting.
2. Slice the rolls in half. 
3. Spread a thick layer of butter substitute on one side of the rolls and sprinkle some garlic powder.
4. Buttered side down put a few slices of rolls on the grill pan.
5. While the bottom part is grilling, spread another layer of butter on the top side and dust some garlic powder again. Cook for about 3 mins. Checking once for nice grill marks.
6. Flip toasts and sprinkle some grated cheese on the already grilled side.  Cook for another 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt. 
7. Serve warm.

     This method not only produced a crunchy crust and soft inside. It also gave those nice grill marks and deeper flavor.  Plus, it was done in half the time. 

Tip:  This is perfect for stale bread too.