peanut butter munchies*

These cookies are so delicious! They are just like a Reese's, only in cookie form. Reese's are Landon's favorite candy, so I will need to make these for him sometime soon! He has been suffering from the flu as of late (which by the way he has passed on to me - thanks honey), so I should make these when he is eating again :). These were made for a baby shower for one of my staff whom was working while I made them, so I couldn't do anything that was too obvious since her baby shower was a surprise! I would highly recommend eating them straight out of the oven while they are still warm. They are melt in your mouth amazingness! But they are good cooled down, too.

Peanut Butter Munchies
from Better Homes and Gardens

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. 
Beat in as much of the dry ingredients as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon.
Form chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.

3. For peanut butter filling, in a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. 

At first it will look like this. Keep beating until it ends up looking like this:

Shape mixture into 32 (3/4-inch) balls.

4. On a work surface, slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball and top with a peanut butter ball. 
Shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball. 
Repeat with the remaining chocolate dough and peanut butter filling balls.

5. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until they're just set and surface is slightly cracked. Let cookies stand for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes 32 cookies.
YUMMY! These things are SO good! I could literally eat the whole batch right out of the oven! I can't wait to make these again when we get feeling better in the Cundy household :)


football cake and AMAZING chocolate frosting*

I cannot believe I have yet to give a shout out to my phone! I would say a good 90% of the pictures of the food that I take for this blog were taken on my phone. I have the HTC EVO, and really I am completely and utterly obsessed with it. I had the iPhone previously, and really there is no comparison. There is not enough time in the day (or maybe just in my day) to explain all the reasons why I love it, but everyone should own one. Enough said.

Now, this phone that I should get paid for saying good things about (HTC do you hear this??), well, let's just say I didn't do it any favors today. I went to get gas and had just called the husband to tell him I was on my way home and set it on my lap. You can probably figure out the rest. I was wearing a skirt and I went to get out of the car and CRACK. There went the screen. I cried. I cried A LOT. I came home bawling and Landon probably thought I wrecked the car. Anyway, I hope I can get it fixed/replaced for less than $400, but I don't have much luck when it comes to this sort of stuff so I won't get my hopes up.

Now, for the highlight of my day, which happened before the cracked screen incident, was this football cake! I was walking into work this morning and one of the students asked me if I was going to make his birthday cake today. I said OF COURSE and went in to see his request. I immediately got SO excited and ran in my office to get a recipe! He wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting in the shape of a football!!

Let's talk football for a minute. I LOVE FOOTBALL!! Now, some people will say I just love it because my husband loves it. Let me first say, yes I did start to like it because of him. I knew that he would want to watch it every Sunday, so I figured I might as well give it a shot and at least TRY and like it. Well, what happened from there is nothing short of a miracle. I really truly LOVE it!! My big accomplishment over this past year was learning what offsides and false start was. Well, I knew what they were but I never knew which one was on the defense and which on the offense. My accomplishment the year before was being able to spot a blitz.

Who is my team, you ask?? The Chargers!! Next year is their year :). Landon likes the Vikings, but they were way too dramatic last year in my opinion. Anyway, we were going to have a super bowl party and I'm sure I would have had tons of snacking recipes on here, but that was the day we flew to Florida for our cruise so we watched the superbowl in our hotel room :(. Anyway, next year I will be making some extra special goodies!!

Ok, ok, back to the football cake. This thing is ADORABLE! Oh man, I love this cake. I was so excited to give it to our birthday boy! I couldn't just make a cake in the shape of a football and leave it at that.This thing had to be awesome! So I made a football field with markings for the yards, the field goals, and the football!

I really liked this recipe for the chocolate cake. It wasn't way sweet, which is why I like it I think. I am a HUGE dark chocolate fan. I would eat it over milk chocolate any day. Milk chocolate is just too sweet. But can we please discuss the chocolate frosting?? This stuff is TO DIE FOR! Oh my goodness gracious. It is so good!! Please please make this frosting and tell me how you like it because my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Football Cake!!

Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 - 9 inch round cake pans (if you are making the football cake, double this recipe and grease two 9 x 13 cake pans). In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs on at a time, then stir in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Rich Chocolate Frosting
adapted from

2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
9 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla (might I add that I would sift your powdered sugar before you put it in?? I didn't and there were little powdered sugar lumps). You are going to think there is no way that this is going to turn out smooth and creamy, but just wait!

Oh, and be careful when you are mixing in your ingredients that you have mixer going WAY slow or you will end up looking like this:

Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Once you think it's mixed together, keep mixing for a couple of minutes.

Something miraculous happens and WALAH! You have perfect fluffy AMAZING frosting!!

Football Cake
from Alyssa Cundy

2 - 9x13 inch cakes (I used chocolate, obviously)
Frosting (again, I used chocolate)
Coconut - I would say about 3-4 cups...??
Green food coloring (blue + yellow = green :)
Whipped Topping

Take one of your two 9 x 13 inch cakes and cut out a football shape (I printed one from clipart, cut out the football, put it on the cake and then followed the stencil with a knife). Remove remaining cake around the sides (it's ok if it doesn't turn out perfect. That's what frosting is for!)

Take the second cake and turn it upside down onto a tray. It should come out easily (hopefully!). Frost the cake with some of the delicious chocolate frosting.

In a bowl mix your coconut with some green food coloring. Start with a couple of drops and then mix it together with a wooden spoon. I had gloves on so I used my hands - it's much easier. Keep adding food coloring until the coconut is grass colored. Spread your green coconut all over the chocolate frosted cake, even on the edges. This will be your football field!

Take your whipped topping and put some of it in a pastry bag with the small round tip. Mark off your cake so that you can make 11 lines. I started mine 1 1/2 inches from the edge for the first line then 1 inch for the remaining. The last line should be 1 1/2 inches from the other end.  Then mark these lines like they would be on the football field for the yard lines. From the edge going left to right they go 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10. Then turn your cake the other way and do those same numbers again.

Then take a ziploc bag and cut off the corner about 1/4 inch. Put some whipped topping in your ziploc bag and on the ends you can write TOUCHDOWN or the name of the football team that you like :).

You are now ready to put your football shape on the field. Place it wherever you would like. With a star tip in your pastry bag, add some more of the whipped topping. Make your lines on the sides of the ball, as well as the lines for the laces on the football. Then, using the same star tip in your pastry bag, add the chocolate frosting and put chocolate frosting around the rest of the football.

Then, if you get real ambitious, make some field goals with some wooden skewers and some tape!

CUTE!!!!!!!! This cake wasn't perfect by any means, but I LOVE it!! I think it will have to be replicated at next years super bowl party!!!


double - chocolate meringue kisses*

These little "kisses" are so stinkin cute! They look just like little hershey kisses, only they are a meringue cookie. I didn't think they would be so crispy, but they are pretty tasty and best of all - only 25 calories per cookie!! WHAT??? That's right, you can eat AT LEAST four guilt free :).

Double - Chocolate Meringue Kisses
adapted from Relish Magazine

Yield:  approx. 40 - 1" cookies

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate minichips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

Sift cocoa over egg white mixture.

Fold in.

Fold in minichips.

Fill a pastry bag (I did mine without a tip so that it could make the "kiss" effect. You could also use a ziploc bag and just cut off one of the corners about 1/2 inch wide) with the meringue batter. Gently squeeze the meringue until it forms a little ball on the parchment paper and let gently lift up.

Bake 40 minutes (yeah, I thought it was a long time too) or until crisp.

Cool on pan or a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining batter, reusing parchment paper. I dusted mine with cocoa powder, but they would be fine just plain, or maybe some powdered sugar! Mmmmmm. Store in an airtight container.

And eat up. Again, 25 calories per kiss people!!


vegan quinoa and black beans*

It's official. I have jumped on the quinoa bandwagon! There was a mysterious box of quinoa that was left from some vendor awhile back that has just been chillin in the kitchen waiting to be used. I have wanted to try it for quite sometime, but I'll admit, I was skeptical. I didn't think it would be very good. This recipe may be cheating because it definitely isn't lacking in flavor or ingredients, but I'm telling you I am going to start using quinoa more often! I ate lunch at 1:00 and it is now 7:30 and I'm still not hungry in the least. This stuff fills you up and it is AMAZING! Really, I am going to be living off this stuff until biggest loser ends. It is so healthy, it is jam packed with protein and it tastes delicious! Also, it is VEGAN! That probably doesn't mean much to most of you, but we have vegan students and when there is something that we can give them that actually tastes decent I literally jump for joy!

Vegan Quinoa and Black Beans
from Tablespoon

Yield:  8 servings

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 cup frozen corn
2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ripe avocado, diced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Sometimes it can have a bitter taste on the outside so rinsing gets rid of this.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes or until onion is soft.

Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to the pan. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in lime juice and frozen corn into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is heated through.

Finally, mix in the black beans and cilantro. Garnish with chopped avocado if desired (I didn't because I really am not a fan).

Serve hot or cold. Store in refrigerator.

AMAZINGNESS in a bowl! Really, you gotta try this! I am being dead serious when I say that I will be living off this for over a month! Not only will I be living off of it, but I will be enjoying every second of it! And you better believe this replaced an item on my new menus!


3 bean salad*

I have great news! I finished my new menus today! WAHOO! I do a 5 week cycle menu for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, so I just finished the Spring menu. I hope to launch it as soon as next week and I am so excited (even though Spring doesn't technically start for a few weeks).There are dozens of new recipes and I am so excited to share them all with you!

I had never in my life heard of a "3 bean salad" until Sarah had suggested we have it as a side dish one day. It is so refreshing, light and a great source of protein! It's so easy to make, too! I made a slightly different recipe than what we have used in the past the other day, and I like it even more. It's actually technically a 5 bean salad, but they still call it a 3 bean salad, so we'll just go with it :). I didn't use all of the ingredients in the original recipe, and switched up some of the ingredients it called for (fresh cilantro instead of dry, EVOO instead of vegetable oil). Very tasty!

3 Bean Salad
adapted from

Yield:  10 servings

1 can green beans, drained
1 can wax beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can garbonzo beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 red onion, chopped
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. ground dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. fresh cilantro

In a large bowl put in all of the beans and onion. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, olive oil, and dry mustard. Mix until well combined. Add liquid mixture to the beans. Finally add the fresh cilantro and toss until well combined. It tastes especially yummy when it has a few hours to chill in the fridge!!

This would be a great picnic side dish in the summer! There's no mayo or anything that needs to be kept cold and it is so refreshing!


strawberry puffcakes*

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!! This year Landon and I decided to not buy each other a Valentine's gift because we got back from our cruise 2 days before, so that was going to be our Valentine's presents to each other. Well, I kept my end of the bargain, but at about noon these little beauties arrived at work.

Cute huh!! These are the exact flowers that we had at our wedding. Although he is in big trouble for breaking our pact, I couldn't stay mad at him for long! I LOVE YOU LANDON!!

So I promised you a delicious treat for Valentine's day and I think that it was a success. While I was on vacation one of the tasks that I gave Sarah was to pick us a fun dessert to make for Valentine's for all of the kids. She didn't let me down! These little cupcakes are so stinkin cute and they look fancy and elegant. Perfect for the holiday of LOVE!

Strawberry Puffcakes
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 box chocolate cake mix (and eggs and oil package calls for)
½ cup fresh strawberries, hulled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still slightly cold (we used salted and omitted the pinch of salt)
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Chocolate Topping (see my ganache substitution below):
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Cupcakes:
Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners and bake cupcakes according to package directions. Let cupcakes cool.
For the Frosting:
Place 1/2 cup of strawberries in a food processor or blender and process until pureed into liquid.
Beat butter and salt until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar slowly until combined. It will be very dry and you will seriously start to think that there is no possible way it could turn into frosting..

and then all of the sudden something miraculous happens!

Add vanilla extract, and the pureed strawberries. Mix until just blended.

Frost cooled cupcakes using the tip below.
Chill cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (I put mine in the freezer because I think the frosting will fall off because I am paranoid, hence why kids are no where in my near future) to harden the frosting so that they are easier to dip. 

Decorating Tip: An easy way to pipe frosting without using fancy decorating tips is to fill a Ziploc bag with some of the frosting and cut off one of the corners on the bottom of the bag to about the size of a nickel. Begin piping your frosting.

For the chocolate topping:
Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe boil and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.
Substitution:  Now, I used ganache. I  made the chocolate topping that the recipe calls for, but it didn't seem nearly runny enough and plus, I just love ganache. You can find my ganache recipe here.

Let cool slightly before dipping your cupcakes. You don't want to melt the frosting right off!
Carefully dip the chilled cupcakes in the melted chocolate just once. 

At this point you can garnish with strawberry pieces if desired.

Once dipped, place the cupcakes in the refrigerator so that the chocolate can set up.
Serve chilled or pull them out of the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving :)

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!!


london broil and buttermilk mashed potatoes w/ caramelized onions*

Hey everyone, I'M BACK!! Bet you didn't even know I was gone! I was going to blog last Saturday night, but things got too hectic and I couldn't find any time. I just got back from a cruise late last night!  My husbands mom, dad, 2 brothers, sister and her husband, and Landon and I all went! We had the time of our lives and took the Bahamas by storm! Wanna see some pictures??

Here we are mini golfing on the top of the ship!

Playin some BINGO!

All dressed up for the formal night!

Hanging out in Grand Turk!

And finally, swimming with the dolphins at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas!

We had the BEST time, but we were excited after one long week to come back home and play with our little puppy, Tank, who had to stay back at the puppy hotel.
LOVE my little guy!!
I was really excited because on the last night of the cruise that we went on for our honeymoon they had a big display of different foods and carved fruits and ice sculptures and so many amazing different things, and I was going to take tons and tons of pictures and put it up on my blog! They only give you a schedule of the day to day events the night before, and when we got our schedule Thursday night for Fridays events there wasn't a food display!! I was so mad! Then, for dinner each night we ate in the fancy dining room and all of the food had the best presentation and was so cute, but it was so dark in there my pictures either turned out pitch black, or pure light if I had the flash on. So unfortunately this trip did not have the food picture taking potential I was hoping for :(

Anyway, I am back and better than ever :). Nicely relaxed, tanned, well fed (don't tell my biggest loser team) and ready to get back to work! Tomorrow is Valentine's Day so remember to check back to see what cute dessert we are going to be making for the kidos!!
The week before I left on vacation we made this meal and it was a big hit! Now, I have a confession to make - I don't like meat. Not really anyway. I like chicken...turkey...yep. I can eat an occasional hamburger if it is BBQ'd, not cooked on a flat grill. But really I could live without beef, pork, seafood of any kind (but I do like fried shrimp), and definitely anything out of the norm (buffalo, deer, lamb, duck, etc. etc.). So, to be honest I am not the biggest fan of this meal. The sauce smells AMAZING, but I would rather marinade a chicken breast in it rather than a big piece of steak. However, the mashed potatoes are AWESOME! SO good!! And most people like the steak, too. At least those who like steak :). The marinade has a bazillion ingredients, and one time I didn't have all of them and the sauce still turned out really good. So in my opinion you can sort of pick and choose your ingredients. But if for some reason it doesn't turn out very good, I never said that so don't blame me!

London Broil
adapted from Dixie Regional Medical Center

Yield:  8 - 4 oz. servings

1/2 Tbsp.  ginger root, grated
1 tsp.  garlic, chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp.  rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp.  light soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp.  ketchup
2 Tbsp.  cilantro
1 Tbsp.  lime juice
1 Tbsp.  brown sugar
1 Tbsp.  hoisin sauce
1 tsp.  sesame oil
2 lbs.  beef flank steak

Mix all of the ingredients (except steak) together to make a marinade. Pour marinade over flank steak and coat all sides.
Broil marinated flank steak on "broil" until just pink in the middle (however, we have to cook it to well done). Slice at an angle across the grain of the steak.

Now, for the mashed potatoes! These are so yummy!! I don't know what I was thinking because my cook made everything, but I caramelized the onions and didn't even take a picture. Who knows...

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes w/ Caramelized Onions
adapted from Dixie Regional Medical Center

Yield:  6 servings

6  Idaho potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked
1/2  onion, diced
1 pint  buttermilk
1/2 cup  milk
2 Tbsp.  butter

In a hot frying pan, coat the bottom with oil and throw in onions. Cook on medium heat until they turn brown and start smelling yummy! In the pan of cooked potatoes, place buttermilk, caramelized onions, milk and butter. With an electric mixer, blend all of the ingredients together until it is at your desired consistency (I like mine smooth and creamy). Garnish with chopped parsley.

Now combine the two and throw in a yummy whole wheat roll and you've got yourself one yummy meal!!

ENJOY!! Remember to check back tomorrow for a Valentines goody!