Confessions of a Cookbook Queen http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com The cookbook queen, and lover of all things sweet, pink and sparkly Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:01:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.13 Minty Fudge Brownie Cups http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/minty-fudge-brownie-cups/ http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/minty-fudge-brownie-cups/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:01:01 +0000 http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/?p=13667 Minty Fudge Brownie Cups are layers of mint chocolate magic! Fudgy brownies, a poured fudge frosting, mint buttercream, and a mint cookie surprise make these pretty unforgettable. My husband came home a couple of nights ago and found me on the couch, clutching a glass of wine in one hand, my phone i...

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Minty Fudge Brownie Cups are layers of mint chocolate magic! Fudgy brownies, a poured fudge frosting, mint buttercream, and a mint cookie surprise make these pretty unforgettable.

Minty Fudge Brownie CupsMy husband came home a couple of nights ago and found me on the couch, clutching a glass of wine in one hand, my phone in the other (one of these days the darn thing is going to just fuse to my skin), staring off into space while Little Einsteins played on the television.

“Where are the kids?” he asked.

“SHHHHHHHH!!” I angry-whispered. No one angry whispers better than a mom who just got her toddler to bed after seventeen glasses of water, an emergency poop, and a sob session over fruit snacks. Trust me on this — if there was an advanced degree in angry whispering, I’d have it.

Minty Fudge Brownie Cups Photo

He leaned over to give me a kiss and asked, “what are you watching? Do you want to turn on a show together? See what’s on Netflix?”

Oh my gosh. Questions AND physical touch mere minutes after the saga of toddler bedtime. Is there a class we can start sending husbands to for this? Is the force field that forms around me while I decompress only visible to other moms? Does Jesus not want me to love my husband because seriously — this is not okay.

I froze, my shoulders hunching up like I was trying to roly-poly myself into being invisible. “NO QUESTIONS NO TOUCHING I NEED FIVE MINUTES BUT I LOVE YOU BUT FIVE MINUTES.” Deep breath.

A look of alarm passed my husband’s face. Not a regular look of alarm, but the one he gives the kids when he’s trying to convey the message that mommy is a little bit psychotic right now, but if we all stay calm, choose our words carefully, and pretend not to notice, she will eventually be normal again. He slowly walked over to the recliner, grabbed the remote, and sat down. “I’m going to change the channel now. Just let me know when you are ready, and we can pick out something to watch together. No rush, okay? No rush.”

Bless. Why do my children turn me into a raging lunatic? Where was this chapter in What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Because I need to know that after the kids go to bed, there are other moms who also sit and stare into nothingness as if in a trance, while cartoons loudly play in the background. AND WE DON’T EVEN HEAR THEM.

Minty Fudge Brownie Cups Image

Times like these require chocolate, and a lot of it. Thankfully, my house is never short on treats, and these Minty Fudge Brownie Cups were a recent favorite. Fudgy brownie cups with Mint Oreos, poured fudge frosting, mint buttercream, and a sprinkling of crushed cookies. Yes, please!

Minty Fudge Brownie Cups

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 brownie cups

Ingredients

  • Brownies:
  • 1 (roughly 18 oz) box chewy fudge brownie mix, plus eggs, oil, and water needed to prepare
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 20 Mint Oreo Cookies, divided
  • Fudge Frosting:
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Dutch-process (dark) cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mint Buttercream:
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • green food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. Place a Mint Oreo in the bottom of each liner. Crush remaining Oreos into fine crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, oil, water, and mint extract. Stir until combined. Fill each muffin tin evenly. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs but no raw batter. Immediately prepare fudge frosting.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add milk and cocoa powder, stirring until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and extract until smooth. Pour a small amount of frosting over each brownie cup. Let brownies cool completely.
  4. Prepare buttercream: In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, heavy cream, and extracts on medium speed until combined. Add powdered sugar and green food coloring and increase mixer speed to high. Beat for one minute until fluffy.
  5. Pipe a dallop of frosting in the center of each cupcake. Top with cookie crumbs.

Enjoy and have a happy Wednesday!

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Peppermint Patty Cookies http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/peppermint-patty-cookies/ http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/peppermint-patty-cookies/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:32:52 +0000 http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/?p=13777 Peppermint patty cookies you’ll want to keep stashed in your refrigerator for a cool and minty treat! They’re great as an afternoon pick-me-up too. Some things just go together, don’t they? Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Cher Horowitz and Dionne Davenport. White wine, gummi bears, and an...

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Peppermint patty cookies you’ll want to keep stashed in your refrigerator for a cool and minty treat! They’re great as an afternoon pick-me-up too.

Peppermint Patty Cookies PhotoSome things just go together, don’t they?

Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Cher Horowitz and Dionne Davenport. White wine, gummi bears, and anything on the Bravo network.

You get my drift.

Peppermint Patty Cookies Picture

Peppermint and chocolate is definitely at the top of that list. I’ll never say no to cool mint and creamy chocolate. Well actually, I never say no to chocolate, period. But pair it with mint, and it’s particularly irresistible.

I used to keep peppermint patties or Junior Mints in my freezer at all times. But then I noticed that I was eating less and less food at meal times. At first I got excited because I thought that the candy was working as an appetite suppressant, but it turned out that I was spoiling my appetite because I was constantly sneaking candy. Whoopsies.

So here I am. I’ve become that woman who can’t keep chocolate in the house because I have the self-restraint of a toddler. But that doesn’t stop me from occasionally whipping up brownies or chocolate cookies – I just make sure to send some along to the neighbors as well. This way, I don’t overdo it and the neighbors think I’m the nicest person ever. We all win!

Peppermint Patty Cookies Image

These cookies are a fun spin on my beloved peppermint patties. Because there are several steps involved, I used a cake mix to make a yummy, fudgy cookie dough that comes together in minutes. Top that off with a generous slather of peppermint buttercream and a dip in thin chocolate shell.

What we’ve got left is a batch of some pretty fabulous cookies. I’m not one to tell you how to live your life, but I have to suggest sending some of these to a friend or neighbor. You won’t be able to stop eating them otherwise!

You can also find this peppermint patty cookies recipe over on Food Fanatic, where I am a regular contributor of all things sweet. Enjoy and have a great day!

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Meal Plan {9/26 – 9/30} http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/meal-plan-926-930/ http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/meal-plan-926-930/#comments Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:30:27 +0000 http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/?p=13773 My weekly meal plan has lots of simple weeknight meals that are perfect for busy families! Happy first weekend of Fall! I’d love nothing more than to be wearing a sweatshirt and simmering a pot of something cozy and garlicky on the stove, but alas…it is not meant to be. We are still suff...

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My weekly meal plan has lots of simple weeknight meals that are perfect for busy families!

weeklymealplan926Happy first weekend of Fall!

I’d love nothing more than to be wearing a sweatshirt and simmering a pot of something cozy and garlicky on the stove, but alas…it is not meant to be. We are still suffering through high 80 degree temperatures with a good dose of  humidity. Bless it all, this kind of weather should be illegal going into October.

Saturdays around here are dedicated to Razorback football — talking about the game, waiting for the game, buying snacks for the game, watching people on TV talk about the game. Fingers crossed that they win, otherwise tomorrow will be a day of mourning for the entire state.

Here’s what we are having for dinner this week. As always, be sure to print out a grocery list — everything you need for the week is filled out. Just print and head to the store, easy peasy.

taco-pop-tartsMonday: Taco Pop Tarts

These are kind of interesting, aren’t they? But I think the kids would love them! It would be a great meal for them to help with, too!

**photo credit

shredded-chicken-parmesan-sandwich-12Tuesday: Shredded Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

I love that I can make the chicken in my crockpot! We have shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches pretty often, but we’ve never tried a chicken Parmesan version. It’s kind of genius!

**photo credit

asiansteakskewers2Wednesday: Grilled Asian Garlic Steak Skewers

We’ve had these before and loved them SO much! It’s actually perfect grill weather here right now, so we might even eat outside!

**photo credit

grilled-ginger-sesame-chicken-chopped-salad3srgbThursday: Grilled Ginger Sesame Chopped Chicken Salad

I LOVE a chopped salad! Not sure the kiddos will go crazy for this one, but they can try it. If not, that’s why peanut butter sandwiches exist.

**photo credit

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Friday: Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Chicken

This is another recipe we’ve tried and enjoyed in the past — how could you NOT?!?! LOVE the brown sugar/bacon combo.

**photo credit

 

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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National Chicken Month with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen {Giveaway} http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/national-chicken-month-with-cheddars-scratch-kitchen-giveaway/ http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/national-chicken-month-with-cheddars-scratch-kitchen-giveaway/#comments Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:05:03 +0000 http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/?p=13791 **This post is brought to you in partnership with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with brands that I love – and sharing them with you makes running this website financially possible. Although I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opi...

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**This post is brought to you in partnership with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with brands that I love – and sharing them with you makes running this website financially possible. Although I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are a million percent my own.**

Most of you probably know that my family mostly eats dinner at home. I LOVE going out to eat (is it just me or does food cooked my someone else always taste better?!) but with a toddler, dining out isn’t always very fun or relaxing. By the time things are said and done, I look at the check and realize that I just spent $70 wrangling my kid and eating cold food. No thank you, sirs and ma’ams.

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One thing I don’t think I’ve ever told you is that I have a date night with my husband every Tuesday night. We have had the same babysitter come over from 6-9pm for the last couple of years, and every Tuesday my husband and I head out to catch up and have some adult time. Sometimes that adult time looks like wandering the aisles of Target, sometimes it looks like a movie we’ve been dying to see, and sometimes it looks like drinks and conversation and eventually dessert. I cherish our Tuesday nights and what they do for my relationship with my husband.

I also schedule at least one Girl’s Night every month. Girl’s Night always looks more or less the same — dinner, drinks and conversation. And then more conversation. And then more conversation. The older I get, the more I treasure my friendships and work hard to maintain them. My friends are part of what keeps my heart whole and my brain sane, and time together is not optional.

Cheddar's Chicken Pot Pie Picture

One place I frequent for date night, girl’s night, and even the very occasional family dinner out, is Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. We actually have one just a couple of miles from my house right next to a Target, Ulta, and bookstore, which makes for a well rounded evening. What I LOVE about Cheddar’s is that they have a varied selection of dinners, from cozy favorites like chicken pot pie, to piles of thinly sliced onion rings, burgers, and salads.

Also, their cocktails are the most reasonable in town. Where else can you get a drink the size of a fishbowl for under $7? I’m just saying.

Cheddar's Grilled Chicken Pecan Salad

Right now Cheddar’s is celebrating National Chicken Month, and it just so happens that their Chicken Pecan Salad is one of my favorites. My husband and I occasionally sneak over for a lunch date while Lucy is at preschool and it’s my go-to. Grilled chicken, crunchy lettuce and veggies, candied pecans, and the BEST ranch ever. Any southerner worth her salt knows that a good ranch dressing holds the key to the universe. Sometimes towards the end of my salad, I find a candied pecan hiding under a piece of lettuce and it’s like buried treasure. THEY ARE SO GOOD YOU GUYS.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen has lots of yummy options for you to try for National Chicken Month, like fried chicken tenders, barbeque ribs and chicken (my son’s favorite), chicken pot pie, grilled chicken pecan salad, and honey mustard chicken with mushrooms (another one of my favorites!). Isn’t it nice to enjoy a cozy, reasonably priced meal that you DIDN’T have to cook?!

We always get great service at Cheddar’s and whatever you do — DON’T FORGET TO REQUEST A HONEY BUTTER CROISSANT!! Omg you guys…it is probably what Beyoncé requests in her dressing room. If she eats carbs, which I’m not sure (does Beyoncé eat carbs? Let’s Google that). But if she did, she’d eat honey butter croissants from Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Not even kidding.

Cheddar's Chicken Tenders Picture

And because I want all of you to experience this gloriousness for yourselves…I’m sending one of  you a $25 gift card to enjoy chicken at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen! My advice — go alone, bring a book, and order a dessert AND a Painkiller Cocktail to go with your meal. I’m *kind of* an expert at food, so you need to trust me, here.

(Make sure you join the Cheddar’s E-Club! You’ll get a free order of chips and queso, and their chips and queso is my favorite! You can get seasoned ground beef added for no charge! To join the E Club, click HERE)

To enter, just fill out the widget below. It’s so simple and takes just a second. I’m crossing my fingers that you win! Good luck!

A FEW FACTS FOR THOSE OF YOU COOKING CHICKEN FROM HOME:

    For cooking chicken in a slow cooker: Make sure you have ONE QUART OF SPACE PER POUND. Too little space will dry out your meat (how did I not know this?!).

    For nice, EVEN cuts, slice AGAINST the grain of the chicken.

    Soaking chicken in beer for just a FEW HOURS will result in tender, juicy chicken!

    Before freezing chicken, add marinade! It will be flavorful when you are ready to cook it!

    Allow your chicken to “rest” after cooking. This will allow the juices to settle.

    Marinade your chicken for a MINIMUM of 6 hours to allow flavors to soak into the chicken. For optimal results, allow 6 hours for marinating.

Good luck, friends! I hope these facts from National Chicken Month help you make your best chicken ever! Have a great day!

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Friday Fun!! Friday Fun!! http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/friday-fun-friday-fun-72/ http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/friday-fun-friday-fun-72/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:32:29 +0000 http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/?p=13760 Hey, friends, hey! I have had the craziest week! I went on a blogger trip to Disney World last week and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since! How is it that a few days away takes weeks to make up for? I don’t understand that math at all. I’ll share more details on the ...

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Hey, friends, hey!

I have had the craziest week! I went on a blogger trip to Disney World last week and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since! How is it that a few days away takes weeks to make up for? I don’t understand that math at all.

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I’ll share more details on the Disney trip in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to tell you that if you ever get the opportunity to go to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, DO IT!!

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We had the MOST fun watching the parade, the Hocus Pocus show in front of the castle, and sampling all the fun Disney-themed treats. It really was a magical night!

I am currently working on figuring out how to make recipe videos to post to Facebook. I’ve put it off for FOREVER, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that I need to get my act together. So…I want to know. What do you like in a recipe video? What makes you want to watch? What annoys you? Are they actual helpful or do you just watch them because they’re fun?

Working on the internet, man. Things can’t ever just stay the same.

My husband and I have a weekly date night and have seen quite a few movies in the last few months or so! We saw War Dogs which I surprisingly, LOVED. Warning for crude language and some sexy scenes, but OH MY GOSH SO INTERESTING! The fact that it’s actually a true story blew my mind. Keep in mind that if you don’t care for Jonah Hill, you won’t like this movie. He’s crazy obnoxious in it (but again…it’s central to the plot, which I really enjoyed).

The Light Between Oceans — BREATHTAKING. Warning if you’ve suffered infant loss…this is probably not the movie for you. There were scenes that I had to look away from because they were SO heartbreaking, but it was a really good and well-made film. Also, haaaayyyy Michael Fassbender…

Sully — inspiring, entertaining, thought provoking. But do NOT watch if you’re going to be flying soon! I made that mistake and instantly regretted it.

Snowden — long, boring at parts, but important and really interesting (and at times, maddening and upsetting). I’ve always been one of those, “I have nothing to hide, what do I care” types, but after watching this, I spent a lot of time thinking about the bigger picture and the danger of a government that isn’t held accountable by it’s citizens. Definitely watch it, but don’t go tired. You won’t make it!

We just saw the above trailer when we went to see Snowden and I cannot WAIT. I have to see this movie! Miles Teller looks like he does an incredible job in it. I seriously think I already love it. Kind of reminds me of Million Dollar Baby in some ways.

I just LOVE all the new books, movies, and television shows that premier every Fall, don’t you?? It’s my favorite!

Speaking of…I finally watched This is Us and oh my gosh, you guys — I can’t handle how much I love this show! I cried twice and spent the entire next day thinking about that ending. It’s rare that a twist ending really satisfies me instead of ticking me off, but this did just that. And the fact that I KNEW that a twist was coming and still didn’t see it is amazing!

What have you been up to this week? Tell me, tell me!

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