Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl Celebration Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Oh where, oh where, are the snow plow men? Oh where, oh where COULD THEY BE????

That is the song I have been singing to myself for the past 4 hours. We got DUMPED on last night in Southeastern Michigan. My landlord typically has a contracted snow plow company plow our driveway - and during last year's Polar Vortex, these guys were GREAT! They were there at 6AM on the snowiest, coldest morning EVER, and plowed our driveway clear.

This morning? Not here yet. And there's a 2-3 foot snow drift in my driveway. That, coupled with not being able to shovel the driveway myself after a stupid fall on ice a few weeks ago and hurting my back, makes for an unhappy Patti. For these reasons, I'm not able to go into work today (hospitals never close, remember?). Hopefully, I'll get into the groove of my impromptu snow day but for now, I'm just feeling salty.

But let's talk about more delicious things. I was supposed to go to a Super Bowl party last night, but the snowstorm canceled that plan, too. However, I made these bad boy cupcakes Saturday night, and man, did they come out good or WHAT. I'm sorry I wasn't able to share them with my friends last night, but they'll get to taste them for themselves soon enough :)

This is a recipe I got my friend Anita. We were in undergrad at U of M at the time, and I don't entirely remember the story, but I believe she gave me the recipe for these ah-mazing cupcakes, and I made them for a summery get together for some friends at a local metro park where we swam and ate and drank things. There was another time I made these for a camping trip, and I fondly remember eating one warm from a Tupperware container with a view of Lake Michigan.

I've never been one to eat an obscene amount of processed foods, but lately, I've been trying to be more aware of limiting my cooking and baking with processed food products. Yes, this also means cake mixes and frosting that comes in tubs. Now, this does not mean that I will never ever use a cake mix, or brownie mix, nor does it not mean that I will never eat them, but I think, in a way, we lose touch with what we're actually baking and creating when we use these products. Yes, these food products have helped to simplify our lives and save time, but with what as a consequence? Consuming chemicals that help make these products more shelf-stable? And honestly, when you bake foods from scratch, they taste a helluva lot better too.

So I'm proud to say, this is my first "partially from scratch" version of this Anita-cupcake recipe. Yes, I still used pre-made cookie dough, but I've found that the Trader Joe version of chocolate chip cookie dough has a lot less sketchy ingredients. AND they're made with pasteurized eggs which means.....YOU CAN EAT THE BATTER WITHOUT FEAR OF SALMONELLA.

That, in my mind, earns this cookie dough the title of "Best Cookie Dough Ever".

As for the batter and frosting, I used the Hershey's Double Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I did make a few changes since I got to the end of the recipe and realized that I didn't have a single bar of unsweetened baking chocolate in my kitchen, so I just replaced it with 1/3 cup cocoa powder. I ended up doubling the frosting recipe and found it perfectly enough to frost 12 cupcakes. Basically, just make the cupcake batter, split it into 12 lined muffin tins, and stick a 1-inch by 1-inch ball of cookie dough in the middle.

Since there's a big hunk o'cookie dough in the middle, these bad boys are going to bake for longer than the 16-18 minutes as stated in the recipe.  I baked mine for about 25 minutes, but you can stick a toothpick (or I do) in the cake part of the cupcake to test for doneness.

Frost with a smear of that delicious frosting. Some of my cupcakes sunk a little in the middle due to heavy cookie dough, but that was okay with me! I just filled up the hole with frosting and it came out amazing.

And there you have it! Now go eat 'em up! Oh, and since I did technically make these for the Super Bowl, congrats to the Patriots and that crazy interception at the end.

But confession: I was rooting for the Seahawks, 1) Because I love Seattle, and 2) Their uniforms are pretty awesome :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day-off lunch

I had yesterday off since I worked the weekend and, man, was it an amazing feeling. Slept in, did some reading, did some Netflix-ing, and then I made these bad boys. I've been on a roasted veggie kick for awhile now, mostly because it's just so stinkin' easy. You wash your veg, you cut it up, you throw it on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, or my current favorite - hot red pepper flakes - and then you stick in in the oven at 400 degrees, toss them a few times (make sure they don't burn!) and you are good to go, my friend. Yesterday I made some roasted broccoli and eggplant. I chopped up some garlic and mixed it with the broccoli and it came out pretty excellent.

And then, of course, I needed to have some bread with it. I realized, recently, that when I bake bread at home, it's never whole wheat bread, but I always buy whole wheat bread when I'm at the store. I don't know why this is....I think part of it is a laziness factor in that I don't want to buy two separate flours.......

I've been using this recipe for a no-knead bread for awhile now, and I have to say that it is pretty delicious. I've even modified it to make it without yeast! You know, for those days that you want a delicious hunk of steamy dreamy bread but are half-way through the recipe and find that you are out of yeast. Believe, I've been there, and I feel your pain. So what do I do during these hard times? I just replace the 3 tbsp. of active dry yeast that the recipe calls for with 3 tsp. of baking powder. I'm just there's a more scientific substitution of baking powder for yeast, but I've found this conversion works for this recipe. The bread with rise, but will be a little more different texture-wise. It almost reminds me of Irish soda bread texture.

And now that I've perused Pinterest to find that no-knead bread recipe, which made me looks through all of my other pinned recipes, I suddenly want to eat copious amounts of dessert.

So once the bread was baked, I simply ate all three of my masterpieces together, all dipped in some hummus. It was way delicious, and I highly recommend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

berry pomegranate oatmeal

There is nothing quite like having a day off smack dab in the middle of the week...

...and then waking up at 8:30AM. Oh well, let the day begin! Naturally, I was hungry, so I whipped up (one of my) favorite breakfasts.

My mom just (re)-started Weight Watchers and was recently asking me for some breakfast ideas that she could try. And this was one that I told her about. Honestly, I do not actually measure the ingredients every time because half-awake-Patti can't handle that kind of nonsense in the morning on a work day. However, for the sake of blogging and for science, I've humored y'all with exact portions and nutritionals. Above? Our lovely cast of characters for this delicious matinee:

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt (any brand will do)
Low or nonfat kefir (again, any brand will do but I'm currently in love with Trader Joe's pomegranate kefir)
Flax seeds
Oatmeal (instant works best in this recipe)
Berries (again....please pardon my TJ's obsession, but they make a good Very Cherry Berry Blend in the frozen section that has blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries...OMG, TALK ABOUT YUM!)

Let's talk a little about kefir. A co-worker of mine frequently brings in single serving containers of kefir, and it looked delicious so I thought I'd give it a whirl. What does it look like, what does it taste like, you ask? Basically, if milk and yogurt were to have a baby, it would be kefir. Its mouth-feel is similar to yogurt that has been thinned out with a little milk, like a drinkable yogurt.

Except!!! It's magical because it's fermented.

This is great news for those with lactose intolerance since the lactose has been broken down. Fermented products also tend to have a longer transit time in the gut which means it takes looooooonger to be digested, and therefore, more easily tolerated by those of us with lactose woes. Not to mention, kefir has lots of yummy probiotics that our gastrointestinal tract loves to eat up...omnomnomnom.

On another note...please date your perishables with the date you opened them, for the love of the Food Safety Gods. Try to eat up your Greek yogurt and kefir 7 days after opening for ultimate yummy freshness.

Look how pretty and good that looks! Here's the "recipe", but feel free to improvise as you desire.

Berry Pomegranate Oatmeal

1/3 cup dry instant oatmeal
1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat pomegranate kefir
1/3 cup berries
1 tsp. flaxseeds, ground (grind 'em up to get all those omega-3s released so you can absorb them!)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Devour!

Yes, this is a cold oatmeal recipe, but it's delicious. One bowl of this bad-boy will give you 233 calories, 16 grams protein, and 6 grams fiber.

Time to clean up! Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Adventures of a Watermelon Cake

So I teach a nutrition class to parents of overweight kids with special needs. I'm on snack duty each week for class, and this week I made a....drum roll, please...WATERMELON CAKE! I bet a lot of you in the Pinterest world have seen this bad-boy circulating on the interwebz, and I thought I'd give it a go.

And hot damn, was it good or WHAT. The parents (and my co-workers) were wow-ed, and the cake got rave reviews on deliciousness! I'm sorry that I didn't snag a pic of it before it got demolished by seven hungry parents, but I promise that it looked pretty swell.

So funny story how I got to make this. Last night, I was driving home from a Tigers game with my man, and I think, "Oh dear God, I forgot to make snack for the parents tomorrow......". On the drive home, I frantically peruse Pinterest for something deliciously healthy to make and decided on this guy. The next day after work, ran to Meijer to pick up the ingredients an hour before the class starts (in rush hour, mind you), was in and out of the store in 10 minutes, got to clinic, and made the cake in 15 minutes (almost knifing my abdomen in my mad-rush to get everything prepped on time, but hey, those are details). The best part was that I had 15 minutes to spare before my lecture on grains.

Basically, if I could make this cake with all this other nonsense going on around me, so can you.

But let's back track for a second. This cake only requires:

1) A seedless watermelon
2) 2 containers whipped topping (I used Meijer brand fat-free)
3) Berries of choice (I used blueberries and raspberries)

Basically, you cut off the ends of the watermelon, place him on a tray, smother him in whipped cream as you please, and then top him with berries. The original recipe that you might see floating around has chopped almonds on the sides of the cake. I left these guys out because you never know with kids running around a clinic and what kind of nut allergies they might have. But I'm sure chopped almonds would be a delicious addition to the cake.

Also, I recommend actually waiting for the whipped topping to defrost before attempting to "frost" your "cake". Don't be like me and be chopping up a watermelon which a machete-like knife, while microwaving your half-frozen whipped topping, and then slathering the watermelon with half-frozen, half-too-warm whipped topping and watching it sadly sliiiiiiide down the side.

But then you know what you do?


Problem. Solved. And cake was a success. I'll definitely be making him again in the near future.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Okay, so these shots didn't get that rowdy, I promise. Unless coconut milk has a secret that it's not telling me.

Nah. It looks pretty well-behaved to me.

So being the recent Pinterest-fan that I am, I combined, yes. COMBINED. Two Pinterest recipes!!!

However, since I started this post around a year ago (yes, did I ever tell you how EPIC of a procrastinator I am?), I promptly forgot which recipes I combined.

::frantically searches Pinterest boards::

I FOUND THEM! I tried out Chocolate Covered Katie's Chocolate Frosting Shots - which turned into chocolate pudding instead. Reviews? It was just alright, in my opinion. I tried it mostly to see what kind of magic coconut milk could do. But honestly, if I want pudding, I want the REAL THANG.

As for the sprinkle-coated shot glasses from this Mini Milkshake Shooters recipe - BRILLIANT! Came out super cute and definitely want to do this again with some kind of delicious layered dessert inside. Maybe for a birthday?

Anyway, that's all for now. What I find hilarious is that I randomly came on my Patticake site on a night that I can't fall asleep, and then realize that a good chunk of people actually read this site everyday...even without me updating it. Most traffic? My cake mix brownie post - due to the fact that I posted it ONCE on Pinterest and somehow it is now famous (I really don't understand...there's so many more delicious recipes on here!). Do people really like these cake mix brownies so much?? Tell me about it!

Well, maybe they're popular because it's times like 1am...where hunger and a baking-craving strikes, and all that there is in the house is a cake mix. And voila - cake mix brownies.

Monday, July 16, 2012

missing europe

I recently went on a food trip to Europe. Oh my dear Lord, was it a DELICIOUS TRIP OR WHAT. There was a boulangerie (bakery) 2 blocks from our Paris hotel! Where I got daily croissants/various dessert items like these:

And then ate croque madames like this at Parisian outdoor cafes:

Netherlands "koffee" came with delicious nougat:

And then, my boyfriend surprised me by sending me peonies RIGHT to my hotel in Paris (!!!!!!! :D):

I miss the food oh so very much. And now I am an official Euro-coffee-snob as I've yet to drink a cup of coffee since my time back in Am-rica that comes close to Euro-coffee. Le sigh. I suppose I'll just have to go back someday.... ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

red velvet rolls

Are you craving something ridiculous? Something that will wow your date? Something that will submerge you in the deepest sugar coma you've ever been in?

Well, search no longer, my friends, for have I the recipe for you! RED VELVET CINNAMON ROLLS.
Yes, you heard me right. I've been seeing a lot of red velvet-y things these days. I think it's def making a comeback, and man, am I glad because I am a huge red velvet fan!! However, when I am dripping that eerie red dye into the batter, I do cringe a little inside... But for the occasional red velvet treat, I'm willing to take the risk ;) Hopefully my someday-children won't have 3 heads or something equally as wild due to my red velvet consumption.
I found this recipe from Country Cleaver for Red Velvet Rolls awhile back and made them as one of three diabetes-inducing desserts for this past Easter.

Sigh. And they call me a Registered Dietitian. And on that note, I've actually started another blog! Erm...which may be why there are fewer patticake posts as of late. Anyway, call me hypocritical but it's called miss dietitian and I'd love if you checked it out! :)

Back to all things sugar and fat, however. These babies are amazing. I am not kidding when I say they will knock the literal socks off of your sorry little feet. And the clincher? The CHOCOLATE SUGAR MIXTURE IN THE MIDDLE. Oh dear, Lord.

Okay, I've done enough ranting. Now go! Run! HURRY. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? Go make these, and then grab your closest friends and eat these with a large glass of non-fat milk! (you know...for calcium, and protein, and to cancel out the crazy amount of sugar in this recipe ;)

Knock Your Socks Off Red Velvet Rolls

Taken from Country Cleaver's Red Velvet Rolls...with a few patticake changes.


Red Velvet Rolls:
1 pint non-fat milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp red food coloring, Wilton works good
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 package active dry yeast, .25 ounce
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp cocoa powder, divided
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar

1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup non-fat milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash salt


For the dough, heat up milk, oil, sugar, vinegar, food coloring and cocoa in a sauce pan over medium heat until it reaches about 101 degrees. Remove from heat and sprinkle dry yeast over the top and let rest for 5 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together flour and warm milk/oil/sugar/yeast mixture. Cover with towel and set aside in warm place for 1 hour to rise. 

When dough has risen, mix in baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use immediately or place in fridge for next day's use.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

For Filling:
Split dough in half and work with one half at a time. Set aside the other half of the dough for the next round of filling and rolling. On floured surface, roll dough into a 15 by 10 inch rectangle. Key note: FLOURED SURFACE. Don't want your kitchen counter to be a lovely shade of red at the end of this baking adventure.

In bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Test to make sure the proportions are to your liking, add more sugar or cocoa depending on desired taste.
Pour sugar/butter/cocoa mixture onto the rolled out dough, distribute/spread evenly. Beginning from the furthest edge tightly roll the dough towards you. When you reach the ends of the roll, pinch the edges of the dough together to create a seam. Slice log into 1 1/2" rolls, and place rolls into baking dish lightly coated with butter.

Repeat this process with other half of dough, rolling out, filling, rolling together and slicing. Let dough rise for at least 20 minutes. When I made these, I let them rise overnight since I wanted them freshly out of the oven right before I served them the next day.

Place baking dish with rolls into oven for about 17 minutes. Remove and let cool on wire cooling rack.

For Frosting:
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in 1 cup of sugar at a time, alternating with a few tablespoons of milk until it's all mixed together. Add in rest of milk, vanilla extract and salt. Pour or smooth over red velvet rolls while they are still warm.

Slice and devour.

Adapted from Ree Drummond's Cinnamon Rolls and inspired by Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cake.