German Chocolate Cupcakes

I made some cupcakes and let me tell you something, they are Gooooooood!
My husband actually asked me what bakery I got these from, because you know... I don't know how to bake anything. 

Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

German Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cup flaked coconut

Chocolate Buttercream:
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk or cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

2. In a electric stand mixer, gently combine oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

3. Add in about 1/3 of the cake mix and mix until combined.

4. Add Buttermilk and mix until combined.

5. Add another third of the cake mix.

6. Add sour cream, then final third of cake mix.

7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 18-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
8. German Chocolate Frosting: On medium heat in a sauce pan, constantly stir evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter until thickened. (Basically, until it boils and it will take approximately 10 minutes.) Stir in vanilla extract, pecans and coconut. Then transfer to a large bowl and stick in the fridge to cool.

9. Chocolate Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes. Add cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Let beat for 3 minutes. add milk. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar. Or if it is not dark enough, add more cocoa.

10. Pipe Chocolate Buttercream around the edge of the cupcakes to create a barrier, and scoop a small amount of cooled German Chocolate Frosting into the center.

And then you can enjoy...

"Tikvinki" or "Pumkini's"

This is one of my favorite snacks from childhood, The crispy, flaky crust filled with warm squash. So good, my mouth starts to water whenever I think of them.
I serve these with some soup on a rainy day. ( unfortunately we still have lots of rainy days here in the NW)

First make the dough:

1 egg
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour

Knead the dough and leave to rest while you prepare the squash.

Peel and seed the squash, and shred and add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper:

Prepare the butter. Take 1/2 cup of salted butter. Cube 1/4 of the butter and melt the other 1/4:
Take half of the dough and roll out to 1 cm thick and butter with the melted butter:

Roll up the dough:

Cut into 1 inch sections:

Press each section into flour:

Roll out each section to about 2 cm thick
Put one butter cube onto the dough and 1 TB of the squash:

Fold each piece up like so:

Place on a greased sheet.
Beat one egg and brush each pumkini:

Bake at 350 for 24 minutes, or until slightly golden. Then take the melted butter and brush each pumpkini:

All Done:

Vanilla Cupcakes

This is my go to recipe for delicious vanilla cupcakes, I have tried lots of recipes and this one beat them all. The cupcakes smell delicious, they taste scrumptious!

1 3/4 cups of cake flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups Sugar
1 TB Baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
4 large eggs
1 cup of 2% milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated do not over beat.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

4. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost with this frosting:

Vanilla butter cream

1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks) Softened
6-8 cups of confectioners sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy (2-3 minutes)
add 6 cups of confectioners, milk and vanilla and beat on low until light and fluffy.
If necessary add remaining 2 cups of the confectioners sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

We love this pasta dish, and it reheats well the next day. 

 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
1 pound Fettuccine
 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1/2 whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
 2 cups Chicken Broth
 1/2 cup White Wine
1 cup Heavy Cream
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
 Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
 Salt To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat.
Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed.
Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Remove all vegetables from the pan.
With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!
Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot.
Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Cake Pops

We love cake pops. What is not to love? Tiny little cakes, with bright colors and pretty sprinkles. What can I say? I am a child at heart :)

Here is how I make mine:

Bake a box cake according to the package directions. 

Once the cake is cool, tear it up into pieces and put into your standing mixer:

Turn the mixer on and crumble the cake until it resembles course breadcrumbs:

Next you need some frosting:

I use half of the can:

Turn the mixer on again and beat until the mixture turns dough like:

Prepare a cookie sheet covered with freezer paper.

Take the dough and roll into small balls like so:

Line them all onto your prepared sheet:

Next, stick them into the freezer for about 10 minutes:

Next you need lollipop sticks and candy melts.
(I get mine at Walmart in the party aisles where all the cake decorating things are. The lollipop sticks are $1.75 and the cake melts are $2.49)

Take a little bit of the candy melts (about a 1/4 cup) and melt:

Swirl one end of the lollipop stick in the melted candy:

And stick in the center of the balls:

All done.
Stick back into the freezer for about 20 minutes:

After the 20 minutes is up:

Melt the rest of your candy melts
Prepare a Styrofoam
Prepare any sprinkles you will be using
Next I just swirled the cake pop in the candy melts:

And tapped off the access:
(if your candy melts get hard just stick them back into the microwave for a couple seconds)

Then I just dunked them in the sprinkles while they were still wet:

Pretty :)

Poke each stick in your styrofoam to dry standing up:

They dry really quick, then I just moved them into a vase.
I like to eat them cold, so I store them in the fridge.

Enjoy :)

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Beneath the Rowan Tree

Pasta Fresca

This is my sons favorite dish, he can smell when I am making it because of the fresca sauce. Noodle Co used to make this pasta, but they stopped :( So I started making it now atleast every other week.

Click here to print the recipe. 


    • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 1/2 cups pre-cooked penne or rotini pasta
    • 1/4 cup cubed roma tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon diced red onions
    • 2 dashes kosher salt, and
    • cracked pepper
    • 1 ounce baby fresh spinach
    • 1/4 cup fresh garlic
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sweet white wine
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare fresca sauce: 1/4 cup balsamic vineger, 1/4 cup of white wine, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 tsp salt, 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  2. In a very hot sauté pan, add: extra virgin olive oil, pre-cooked pasta, roma tomatoes, diced red onions, kosher salt & pepper.
  3. Sear noodles, stirring occasionally until steaming hot.
  4. Add: baby fresh spinach and fresca sauce.
  5. Toss to combine, serve with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

Sugar Cookies

My favorite cookie is the Sugar cookie, its chewy soft and so pretty with the sprinkles.
It is not only my favorite, but my kid's favorite as well, until recently I could not find a good recipe. So I just bought the pillsbury frozen cookies. Well my friend gave me the recipe, and it is everything I have been looking for: soft and chewy.

You won't be disappointed with this one :)



2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 CUP of unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract 


Preheat oven to 350 

Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well mixed. 

Drop teaspoonful on a un-greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sprinkles and bake for 9 minutes.