Red Velvet {Blood} Halloween Cupcakes

This MAY be a healthy living blog, but I am a firm believer in doing what you love and eating what you love! (I guess within certain limits haha!)

I love to bake…and I love to eat baked goods!

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I’ve been making these RED VELVET cupcakes for years! Back when I was baking for parties, weddings, and other fun events these were always a request! I’ve topped them with glittery white flowers and even delicious chocolate ganache.

But today…Today it’s blood.

These are perfect for Halloween or maybe even Valentines Day…

Or maybe a day when you are stressed ;).

Either way, I love a good Doctored up cake mix because it makes things a little easier, especially when baking with a three year old.

Have you ever been faced with a 3 year old demanding to add 3 cups of flour to a bowl??

None of it makes it in that bowl…Most of it ends up on the floor. ;)


{Doctored-Up} Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake

Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix

1 box Godiva white chocolate pudding, 3.9 ounce

4 eggs

1 TB. vanilla

1/2 cup + 2 TB. buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  2. In a mixer bowl, add all of your ingredients except the chocolate chips. Mix until combined, but do not overmix.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, add batter to cupcake pan and fill liners 3/4 full.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cupcakes have baked all the way through.



Cream Cheese Frosting:

Yields 3-4 cups

Ingredients:

1 block cream cheese, softened

2 sticks salted butter, softened

2-3 TB. heavy whipping cream

1 TB. vanilla Extract

3-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat together until creamy.

  2. Add the rest of your ingredients and beat until creamy and fluffy! Frost cupcakes when cool. For this recipe I used a FRENCH STAR FROSTING TIP.


Fake Blood

Yields 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 TB. cornstarch

Red Food coloring

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until combined. Drizzle on top of cupcakes for a bloody look ;).


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Apple Cider Bundt Cake

It’s Faaaaalllllllllllll.

You have no idea the joy that this time of year brings me! I tend to bake a lot this time of year…and I tend to eat a lot of those baked goods too…

Which brings me to this delicious cake! The flavors are SO on point with this cake! It’s moist, has all the right fall spices, and in my opinion would pair perfectly with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream! Or plain with breakfast…Or on the go in your car driving your kids to school…Or late at night when you can’t stop crying while watching ‘This Is Us’…

As you can see, there are so many options.

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Spiced Apple Cider Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup canola oil, or melted coconut oil* (I haven’t tried this but I assume it would work well)

1 1/2 cups apple cider, cooked down to 1/2 cup cider. (See notes below for directions)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

1 TB. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  2. Add apple cider to a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium low and continue to cook the apple cider until it has cooked down to 1/2 cup. Continue to whisk while it cooks so it doesn’t burn. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.

  3. In another bowl add the cider, applesauce, oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together.

  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Do not over mix.

  5. Spray a bundt pan generously with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.

  6. Bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.

  7. Let cool before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar/serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve and enjoy!


These links are from Amazon and include Affiliate Links. I receive a small portion when you buy from my site. Thank you so much for supporting The Diva Dish!

I Eat Dessert

There was a time in my life where all I ever ate was health food. I was the girl at a dinner party who would skip the creamy baked chicken casserole, eat only the lettuce and tomatoes from the taco dinner, and say no to homemade brownies and ice cream made by a loving friend who invited my family to dinner.

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Like, how rude.

I am still such a major lover of health food. I would say that 70% of the time I opt for healthier options. I would also say that I'm not as skinny as I was 8 years ago when I was a 22 year old vegan. I almost wrote virgin. But at 22, it's a lot easier to eat healthy and exercise and look good, versus 30 years old plus three kids. It's basically torture after that. And if your husband is addicted to Taco Bell, well then it's pretty dang impossible to turn it down after 10 years of marriage.

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I had this thought come to my mind as I was mindlessly ruining a perfectly good nights rest by scrolling through Instagram. I follow a lot of fitness, healthy eating type people. I love them. I'm jealous of them sometimes when they have managed to make a full healthy dinner after 5 hours of their kids baseball practice and homework. But every once in a while, on some random holiday that they allowed themselves, they would post a picture of a piece of pie and say...

"It's ok to indulge. Enjoy life! I'll be working this off in the gym tomorrow!"

Or...

"Ate some ice cream and cookies tonight and feel like CRAP. That's why I never eat like this. Love that I choose to eat healthy!"

(I'm paraphrasing here, but all I hear is, "blah blah blah I'm a dirty tramp!") #namethatmovie

You guys!!!

If you were lying on your death bed tomorrow would you say to your self, "Im so glad I allowed my self one piece of pie on Christmas!"

NO! You would say, "DAMNIT! I wish I would have at least allowed my self to have a cookie every once in a while!" That's how I've grown as a healthy lifestyle blogger. I'm not the girl who is going to lie to you and tell you I only eat desserts on holidays and birthdays. No.

I have dessert every week. I have ice cream, cookies, bites of brownies, and ice cream...

But I also eat so healthy, I *try my best* to exercise, and chase three little kids around. I have a husband who is gone a lot, so after a long lonely day...I EAT MY FEELINGS. I'll admit, sometimes I eat apples. But there are days when it's been 14 hours since my last quiet moment and a chocolate chip cookie just does wonders. It's ok do that and NOT feel guilty!

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We shouldn't feel guilty for being normal. We shouldn't feel bad or feel like we have to run 30 minutes because we ate pie. We should run because we love it and it's good for our bodies. And because exercise is cheaper than therapy ;). 

We should eat healthy and whole because we love the way it makes us feel and because we know it's helping us live long and healthy lives. But I'm also a firm believer that allowing your self a bowl of ice cream here and there isn't going to be the end of you. TREAT YO' SELF. 

Now, I feel like I'm rambling ...

If you get anything from this message it's this:

Have you had dessert this week? If not, do so now. 

The end. 

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2017 Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Yea! Thanksgiving is ALMOST here!

As I was compiling the list on my site of all the best Thanksgiving style recipes I realized I didn't have that many. Things will have to change! In the mean time, below are 22 recipes that you can bring to your Thanksgiving dinner and wow your guests! 

Just click the picture or link below the pictures to get the recipe!







Holiday Chocolate Fudge Cake

If you have been reading my blog over the years, then you already know my obsession with chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake has gotten me through many hard times. Whether I was eating or making the cake, it somehow has healed all of my mental and emotion wounds. Pretty sure that's what Saturday night looked like for me in college...

If you look back through my website, you will notice a large recipe collection of chocolate cakes. It's because I can't stop. Won't stop. Cause we get down baby. We get down baby.

Scroll through and click on which cake you want the recipe for!

These images remind me how much I LOVE sprinkles WITH chocolate cake. I have a serious problem.

Obviously I couldn't stop at 1, 2, 3...ok so there is a lot of chocolate cake recipes. I was really looking for the perfect recipe for the Holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays where you over indulge A lot. 

I think my FAVORITE part about this chocolate cake is the frosting. It reminds me of a rich chocolate ganache. But what makes it incredible is that it's made with a secret hidden veggie. I've been on the lookout for a healthier frosting, and I almost cried when this came together! 

This cake is naturally sweetened and not overly loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats, which pairs perfectly with the 18 sides of stuffing that most likely I'll give into come Thanksgiving day. Balance. 

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print recipe
Healthier Holiday Chocolate Fudge Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Cloves
  • 1 TB. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Applesauce Unsweetened
  • 1 TB. Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt, and baking soda.2. In a medium bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Then add the eggs and applesauce. Followed by vanilla and greek yogurt. 3. Whisk together the dry ingredients with the wet. Don't over mix. 4. Pour batter into two prepared 9 inch cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done. Be careful not to over bake. Let cool on cooling rack completely.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
print recipe
Healthier Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Ingredients
  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree
  • 3- 3.5 ounces 70% chocolate Bars, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
Instructions
1. In a sauce pan add your pumpkin puree. Turn the heat on medium low and constantly stir to heat up.2. Once heated, remove from heat and add the chocolate and sugar. If needed, start with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Taste, and add more if desired. 3. Set in the fridge to thicken and set, about an hour or so, or until completely cooled. You can cook this before you make the cake so it's ready to be used by the time the cake has cooled.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
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What is your go-to comfort food that you just can't stop making and eating?! Share your ideas down below!

{Healthy} Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn

(To see the 'Happy' version of this recipe, click HERE) This was no easy task my friends. I had many attempts at trying to make a popcorn coated in vibrant purple chocolate healthier, and many failed.

There were many popcorn ideas that could have worked, and that I could have very well eaten...But when I put it to the test against my family, a lot of times they just said...No. Actually more like no way, gross, disgusting, is that coconut oil??

(Healthier) Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
(Healthier) Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

I still wanted it to be coated in white chocolate, because after all, that's what the Happy version of the recipe was. (Actually, I don't think that candy coating is real chocolate...)But I knew that I had to makeover that purple color, use REAL ingredients, and still leave it tasting delicious...if not better!

Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

I could have easily added purple food coloring to the white chocolate, but I wanted to take it one step further and NATURALLY color the popcorn. The secret to the popcorn color was freeze dried blueberries. I blended them up into a fine powder and mixed it with the chocolate, which naturally tinted it!

Healthy Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthy Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

The best part was that my kids and husband ate it without any complaints!

Don't worry, they had a few things to say about the dinner I made later that night...Glad they are back to their normal selves...

Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn

Serves:

9 cups

Ingredients

  • 9 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 c. good quality white chocolate
  • 1/4 c. freeze dried blueberries
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • eye sprinkles
  • bug sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Add your popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, 30 second increments.
  3. While the white chocolate is melting, add the blueberries to a blender.
  4. Blend until fine crumbs,
  5. Add the blueberry dust to the white chocolate and mix together. Add the coconut oil to the chocolate and melt in the microwave for an additional 10 seconds.
  6. Pour the chocolate over the popcorn, and fold until its completely coated.
  7. Pour popcorn on prepared baking sheet. Add sprinkles, pressing them into the top of the popcorn so they stick to the chocolate.
  8. Put in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.
  9. Store in sealed bags.

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Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

(Someone is totally ready for pumpkin and Halloween season, don't you think?)

Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Healthier Blueberry White Chocolate Popcorn via The Diva Dish

SO! What do you guys think, how did I do?!

Are there any recipes you would like to see a Happy version and Healthy version of! Let me know in the comments!

If you are looking for freeze dried blueberries, there is a link below: (affiliate link)

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{Happy} Purple Monster Popcorn

It's no secret that I LOVE to indulge when it comes to eating, especially dessert. I've always been a dessert maker by heart, but I do my best to strive and eat healthy majority of the time. Over the years as I've been a 'Healthy Lifestyle' blogger, I've been finding that I don't always want to focus solely on healthy food. My goal has always been to help others build a happy and healthy life, in all aspects. A part of that is not always eating the healthiest food. I know, I know...But let me explain.

Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish

Food is definitely a love language, and it brings people together. We get together to go out, vacation, spend holidays, and spend time with the ones we love eating delicious food that we will talk about forever. We all know that one place that made the best "such and such", and we dream of going back there again.

To me, that's 'Happy'.

That doesn't mean that healthy food doesn't make me happy, because it does. But when you allow yourself to indulge every once in a while, I truly believe that It brings forth a different kind of Happiness!

Which is why this next series that all about Happy Food vs. Healthy Food!!

Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish

Since I love to make 'Happy Food' every so often, I knew I wanted to share this with my readers. I decided to introduce a series where I will make a recipe 'Happy' and then a few days later a 'Healthy' version of the 'Happy' recipe will be posted!

Make sense?

So today is a 'Happy' chocolate covered popcorn, and in a few days, I'll have a healthier/cleaner version of this same recipe, which will be the 'Healthy' recipe!

I'm really so excited and already have a lists of recipes that are going to get Happy and Healthy makeovers!

So here is our first Happy recipe:

Purple Monster Popcorn, Happy Edition via The Diva Dish
Purple Monster Popcorn, Happy Edition via The Diva Dish

{Happy} Purple Monster Popcorn

Cook time:

5 mins

Total time:

5 mins

Serves:

9 cups

Ingredients

  • 9 cups popped popcorn*
  • 1 c. purple candy chocolates, I used Wilton
  • 2-3 TB. mini candy eyes, sprinkles
  • 2-3 TB. halloween sprinkles
  • *Use a popcorn that is lightly salted and little to no butter. If it has too much butter, the candy coating won't stick.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add your popcorn.
  2. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  3. Melt you chocolate in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, until melted.
  4. Pour chocolate over the popcorn and gently fold using a spatula until chocolate has evenly coated the popcorn.
  5. Pour the popcorn on the baking sheet, and then sprinkle the sprinkles on top. You can press them in a little so they stick to the chocolate.
  6. Allow the chocolate to harden, about 30 minutes.
  7. Break it apart and store or place in decorated bags or cups!
  8. Enjoy!

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Links to the products I used:

Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish
Purple Monster Popcorn via The Diva Dish

I'm so excited to share the Healthy Version of this recipe for you! See you in a few days!

Links to the products I used:

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /> <br /><br />

(Affiliate Links)

Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshake

I know that healthy and milkshake don't normally go in the same sentence...

But for the sake that legging season is upon us, I have to be a lot more careful what goes into my belly. Leggings don't necessarily hide EVERYTHING. (In a perfect world right?) That's what oversized sweaters and jackets are for though!!

Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshake
Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshake

So, in a sense, this isn't really a milkshake. But it's creamy and somewhat thick, sweet and full of flavor! So in my mind, it's a milkshake. (Minus the fat and calories!) Also, there is real pumpkin puree in it, so when you serve it to your kids they are drinking vegetables...

I mean, could you be a better mom?!

Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshakes via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Milkshakes via The Diva Dish

Chocolate Pumpkin Milk

Ingredients

  • (For the Whipped Cream)
  • 1 can full fat coconut, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
  • 1 TB. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • (For the Milkshake)
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 frozen banana
  • 6 frozen cubes of pumpkin puree(Just add puree to ice cubes and freeze)
  • 1 tsp. molasses
  • 2 TB. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • handful of ice

Instructions

  1. Prepare your whipped cream first by scooping out JUST the solid white flesh from the can and placing it in a bowl. Using hand beaters, whip the cream until creamy.
  2. Next add the maple syrup, spice, and vanilla extract.
  3. Whip until fluffy and place covered in the fridge until you're ready to use.
  4. For the milkshake, add all of your ingredients into the blender until blended. Top with whipped cream and drink immediately!

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Just look at those smiles! They would never know I didn't make that drink with a gallon of ice cream ;)!

Healthy Cotton Candy Milkshake

*Who doesn't love that melt in your mouth super sweet spun sugar?! Imagine that flavor in a  cold milkshake form, and wait for it...It's also healthy too! Read below for the recipe!*  ____________________________________________________________________

So on Friday June 17th, I quite sugar.

No chocolate, candy, bites of cookies, cupcakes, licks of frosting. It wasn't easy, but I did it...

cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

For 6 hours.

Listen. I love the idea of quitting sugar. Never touching a cupcake again and poo poo-ing at the sight of an ice cream cone sounds amazing to me. I don't want to love it/lust it/dream of it...But I love sweets, baking, tasting, licking...did I paint the right picture?

Now, being that it's summer and I live on the surface of the sun, I am constantly taking my kids swimming which means I'm constantly in a bathing suit. I eat healthy and I workout, but I know that I could always kick it up a notch and be like I used to be when I didn't have kids. When I shopped religiously at whole foods instead of buying diapers. When I sat down and ate lunch quietly, instead of eating my kids leftovers. When I didn't wear size 'training bra' because of nursing...#goodol'days

cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

So I told myself I was quitting sugar on Friday. I told everyone I knew, because everyone cares. I think I told my husband 3 times.

But something happened Friday, earlier than expected. I had a migraine and was just so hungry, moody, grumpy, and well...please tell me you understand?

I just had to give in and have a few pieces of dark chocolate. For some reason it brought me comfort, and eased the burden of that horrible Friday afternoon when the unexpected happened....

cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

Honestly, I was disappointed in myself. How could I not go a day without chocolate?!

But then I remembered that I've never been one to follow 'healthy lifestyles' where we completely limit our selves from food, especially our favorite food. Should we moderate and eat sparingly, definitely. But to tell myself I would never have sugar again...That's like, criminal.

healthy cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
healthy cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

So even though I only went 6 hours without sugar, I feel totally better and like a whole new person!!! (Joking.Joking.)

But I definitely reminded myself not to be so hard, and that sometimes jumping all in and saying I'll NEVER do that again is probably not the right way to improve at something...Especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle :).

And for those days when you want to limit the sweets, but still need to conquer those tastebuds....

cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

Healthy Cotton Candy Milkshake

During the summer, these delicious cotton candy grapes pop up in grocery stores! They mimic almost exactly the taste of that sugar treat!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. milk of choice
  • 2 1/2 c. cotton candy grapes, frozen optional
  • 1 c. ice

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender until creamy! Serves 2-3 people, enjoy!

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Have you guys seen the cotton candy grapes at grocery stores during summer time?! I can't believe how much they taste like the actual treat! I bought the store out because I didn't want to share in it's deliciousness, so hurry and check your local stores before I come and steal those too ;)!

cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish
cotton candy milkshake from the diva dish

I asked the girls if they could share a milkshake so I could put two straws in one and take a picture, but  they had the same reaction as if I asked chop off their dolls heads so....

Two straws and two cups it is!!

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream!

*These are hands down the yummiest, fluffiest, and most fresh tasting strawberry cupcakes ever!*  Valentines Day is kind of a big deal at our household, and to top that off my little baby has a birthday a few days before! We've got pink thrown up all over the house, heart pictures and talks of boyfriends, valentine notes attached to sugar...

And cupcakes. The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes!

Now, before we get to the recipe, let's talk about my wonderful experience with Valentines during...High School.

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

When I was in High School, our school did this thing where we could purchase a Valentine Gram for a dollar, and then during one of the periods a bubbly student from student council would deliver you a personalized card to your class. I think there was candy attached or a balloon. Something obnoxious, in which I wanted so bad.

It was the most painful thing every year.

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Each Valentines Day the same girls/guys would receive Valentines Grams as they laughed it off as kind of a, "who, me?!" mentality.  Meanwhile I would sit there counting down the minutes until lunch time so I could purchase a BRC (bean, rice, cheese) burrito. Priorities right?

One year I received a Valentines Gram. I don't exactly remember it, but I'm pretty sure everyone in class looked at me like, "Do you even go here?"

And then one kid shouted, "Yes! She's the burrito girl!"

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

I remember sitting there with butterflies in my stomach thinking that maybe, just maybe it could be from so and so. Or maybe that other so and so...He was totally hot.

As I ripped in half that little heart sticker that held it together I began to feel flush in the face. Kind of like the same feeling I get just before that burrito hits my mouth. I had visions of my whole life changing and that maybe my life would turn out to be a Mary-Kate and Ashley Movie after all!

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

This is what the Candy Gram said,

" Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is Sweet and So Are You! Happy Valentines Day! Love...."

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

...Nicole!"

Aka, my best friend. #soabouthoseburritos

The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Serves:

13

Ingredients

  • For The Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 c. flour, unbleached white
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, or 1/2 c. milk + 1 tsp. vinegar mixed together
  • 1/4 c. strawberry puree*
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. pure cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Opt: 3-4 drops red food coloring
  • For The Frosting
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, room temperature.
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 4 TB. strawberry puree
  • 1 TB. Vanilla extract, or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • (Opt: 2-3 drops red food coloring)
  • dash of salt

Instructions

  1. (For the Cake)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer bowl add butter and sugar. mix together until fluffy on low speed for 30 seconds. Next add in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.
  5. Add your strawberry puree to your buttermilk.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter, followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture. Continue doing this until the flour and buttermilk are gone. Do not over mix the batter.
  7. Add in the food coloring if you prefer. You can mix it in, but not fully to give it a swirled look.
  8. Add batter to prepared muffin tins, filling 2/3 of the way full. It will make about 12-14 cupcakes.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done.
  10. (For the Frosting)
  11. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
  12. Beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat until fluffy.
  13. (opt:) You can tint half of the frosting mixture and pipe both frostings together in one piping bag. Just add one color to one side, and the other color to the other. Then pipe the frosting onto the cupcake! Top with sprinkles and enjoy!

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The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish
The BEST Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream! Fresh and from scratch! via The Diva Dish

Moral of the story...Burritos before Bros.

Happy Birthday to my little baby! I can't believe you are one!!

Mom's Gingerbread Cookies

*This is not an exaggeration. Hands down, these are the best Gingerbread cookies I've ever had. And many friends and family agree!* Not many grandmas have Facebook pages created on behalf of things they've said...But mine does.

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I'm pretty sure I've talked about her before on the blog, and her name is Grandma B. Every so often she will come out to visit my little family and spend a few days. It's always an adventure. There are always memories made. And you never forget when Grandma B. visits. Ever.

From the second you open the door you hear squeals of delight from three tiny girls, and a "Ooooooohhhh hellOOO!", from Grandma B. herself. Her slight Argentine accent peaks through as she talks about the weather in Las Vegas and how beautiful it really is. She then proceeds to walk around the house stating, "Ok, let's see what's new around here.", as she examines each piece of furniture/decor debating whether that was here last time she stayed with us.

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

She brings with her chamomile tea, english muffins, and orange marmalade for her to have for breakfast each morning, alongside the LA Times. She talks about uncomfortable positions in politics and asks if I need eye makeup for Christmas since she hasn't seen me wear any in the 2 days she's been here.

My girls love to get her attention by making the loudest noise possible, which of course she loves. She always asks the right questions, like about my breasts and time of the month schedule. Quickly followed by remarking in front of the kids how hard it must be for me to hide the elf on the shelf every morning. Don't worry, they didn't catch on. They also missed when she asked them if they saw the real Santa at our church Christmas party or a pretend one...

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

And each times she visits, we laugh, we play, and we eat lots of food. (She also folds my laundry!!) It might be uncomfortable at times, and I probably will never use the word breasts again, but isn't that what the holidays are all about?! Awkward, fun, memorable, uncomfortable, family togetherness.

And dessert.

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Because if there is one thing I did inherit from my grandmother it's that there must always be something to eat for dessert after breakfast lunch dinner. No matter what.

And what better way to honor that than with my mom's gingerbread cookies! After all, it's all about family.

And breasts.

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Mom's Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • (Royal Icing)
  • 6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. unsulfured molasses
  • (Royal Icing)
  • 1/4 c. merengue powder
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. cold water

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In a mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the spices and salt, then the eggs, followed by the molasses.
  3. Add flour mixture slowly.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out a portion of the dough, cut into desired shapes, and place on baking sheet. (Use parchment paper!)
  6. Chill the shapes for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden. Do no overtake!
  8. Cool on a wire rack, and frost when completely cool.
  9. (Royal Icing)
  10. Beat all ingredients together. Dye your color of choice.

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Obviously my girls inherited my impeccable cookie decorating skills, not to toot my own horn or anything...

The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The BEST Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I promise you, despite the heavy sprinkle gear and hot pink frosting, these cookies are irresistible to anyone! Even when Grandma B. says, "well I'll be the judge of that!"

The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish
The Best Gingerbread Cookies via The Diva Dish

I hope your holidays are as awkward as mine! ;-)

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bread

I am a hypochondriac. The first step is admitting it, right?

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IMG_0164

Literally every week I tell my husband I've got some sort of sickness/disease, and I'm 100% sure because at least 15 out of the 27 websites I checked said so. And let's be honest, the doctors on those sites are LEGIT!

And then today, my daughter locked herself and the baby in one of our bedrooms so as I finally opened the door, she wam-bam slams the door right into my head.

Flashbacks of the movie Simon Burch went through my mind, because I'm pretty sure she hit my temple. I dropped to the floor dramatically as I sat silently holding my head. I waited a few minutes, only to hear my 3 year old laughing hysterically.

I survived. But barely.

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This bread was the only thing that kept me from googling "what happens if I hit my head on the temple", because we all know Youtube would pop up and THAT scene from Simon Burch would pop up, and then I would cry, and then I would call my husband and freak out, and then I would probably eat the whole loaf of bread in the corner of my closet watching the movie...crying.

Was that a run on sentence?

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I didn't google it thankfully, and I even shared this bread with the child that almost killed me. After all, that's what any sensible person would do...

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IMG_0181

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 c. flour, white whole wheat or unbleached white
  • 1 1/2 c. pure cane sugar OR coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 c. melted butter OR melted coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the oil/butter, eggs, pumpkin, molasses, water, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet to dry, and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake in 2 greased bread pans, and bake for 50-60 minutes. I usually cover the bread with a foil tent so the edges don't burn.
  6. OR, make 24-26 cupcakes and bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on the oven.

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If you HAVE to google anything, google this bread. After all, the author is LEGIT!