minty chocolate cupcakes w/ peppermint buttercream*

This year we went all out for St. Patrick's Day!! For breakfast we served green eggs & ham, Irish beef stew for lunch (recipe coming soon), and corned beef and these amazing cupcakes for dinner! Although I really slacked big time and forgot to order some cabbage from my produce company to have corned beef & cabbage, so I ran to the store and I guess everyone else got the memo that it was the day of St. Patty's, because there wasn't a head of cabbage in sight. So....we had to opt for green's the thought that counts, right? This is the first year that we served all three meals Irish style, so I feel like it's a pretty big deal :). Also, it's the first time in history we've attempted to make corned beef. The kids were actually pretty excited about it, which surprised me. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't a fan. I've have corned beef from the can one time, and I can honestly say I'd rather have that than the fresh kind, although it's by no means my favorite thing. But the kids were actually pretty open to it and some were more excited than I've ever seen them. So that's something!!

Onto these cupcakes. Ummmm...delicious!! I did a chocolate cupcake batter and added some Andes mint baking chips, and when the cupcakes were baking the chips kind of just melted into the batter. It wasn't like when you add chocolate chips and they are still in the form of a chocolate chip and harden once cooled. They blended right into the batter and made it even more fluffy with the perfect touch of mint. And the buttercream!! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on here, probably several times, I am not a buttercream fan. However, I do think I've discovered a great technique and now I like buttercream. Well...I like my buttercream :). And this peppermint buttercream is GOOD. However, I really just kind of have to guess on the measurements for the frosting because I didn't keep that good of track - you know, since I made about 200 cupcakes. But I'll do my best!! Also, if you aren't going to pile the frosting on like I do, I would cut the recipe in half.

Minty Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Peppermint Buttercream
makes 24 cupcakes

cajun spiced tater tots*

So after a LONG blogging hiatus, I decided it's about time I got back to one of the things that I truly love, which is blogging about all of the amazing foods that me and my peeps make on a daily basis. Sorry for being gone for basically over a year  - I cannot believe it's been that long!! If you are wondering why I've been absent for long, you can read about it here. In a nutshell, my husband passed away last January, which was shocking and completely unexpected and left me trying to pick up the pieces the best I can. I am now actually in a good place and have learned to love life again!! A big shout out to everyone who have helped me get through this past year and supported and loved me along with way. I owe making it through to all of you!

So let's get to these tater tots. I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and could not wait to have the opportunity to make them. Today we made the students turkey burgers (they are AMAZING, made with garlic and lots of pepper), and I paired them with these spicy, crispy, salty tater tots. They were a huge hit! I had several of the kids come up and tell me how much they loved them! That in and of itself is a success!! WOOT WOOT!

Cajun Spiced Tater Tots
from Everyday Southwest