Saturday, October 30, 2010


I Heart Cooking Clubs

This week's theme at IHCC is Chocolate Cravings...and just in case you don't know, our chef for the next 6 months is Giada De Laurentiis.
I was planing on using my one and only Giada cookbook,  "Everyday Italian" but  you know what they say, "The Best Laid Plans..."

My phone rang yesterday morning  (It was a state holiday in Nevada)
"Hi Gramma!"
"Hi Cam, what are you doing?"
"oh....nothing.  Just watching some TV.  There's nothing to do"
"oh....would you like to come visit me?"

Visiting, most times means spending the night, so I knew I would not have time to do a complicated  Giada recipe.  My job was to pay attention to Camron for the past two days.
We played Battleship, went to the movie,  he and his Granddad decorated the garage for Halloween, we all played cards.  Things like that.

Lucky for me  (because I didn't want to miss another week of IHCC) I found the easiest cupcake recipe from Giada on the FoodNetwork website.  And Camron helped me with it.  He was very happy to do so.

Check out how easy this is:

Chocolate chip and walnut cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Program: Giada at Home

(oh...I did have to do measurement conversions and they didnt' come out exact, they were always just a tad bit off.  For example 110ml vegetable oil is a tad bit less than 1/2 cup.  But for the most part, they turned out well.  At least the 2 I ate did.  I sent the rest home with Cam.)

1/4 lbs finely chopped walnuts
8 oz mini milk chocolate chips (I couldn't find any, so I just used regular sized)
1 box brownie mix  (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge)
2 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

For the Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
4 oz mascarpone at room temp
1 lb powdered sugar

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
In a small bowl combine the walnuts and mini chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of the brownie mix. Toss and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the remaining brownie mix, the eggs, vegetable oil and water.  Stir for 20  seconds, until blended.  Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.    Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan (cupcake liners will be full).  Bake 22 -25 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheeses together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable.
Spread the frosting  on top of the cupcakes and garnish with remaining chocolate chips.


It's Halloween!  One of my favorite times of the year.  I don't know why I just love it. 
Earlier today Camron and his Granddad decorated our garage.   This year, it's just a small part of our garage, but we have been known to do the whole thing over into a graveyard.  Yeah, we kinda like the spookiness side of Halloween.  

I also like blond, blue-eyed, one-toothed 8 year old boys!

We haven't put up the cobwebs or the picket fence or the tumbleweeds, (we will skip church and do this tomorrow).  Then we will get take and bake pizza's and some of our friends who live in the country or neighborhoods with no kids, will make our house their Halloween "Home Base" and I'll put on  Disney's Ichabod Crane and It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, or Hocus Pocus and we'll have a wonderful evening.

(okay....this really is kinda creepy,  but he wanted to pose in the graveyard)

Happy Halloween everybody!


Kim said...

It's nice to know that your 8 year old grandson picks up the phone to call you and wants to spend time with you. (Dare I say that little boys can be so much sweeter than little girls?) Love the pic of Camron laying in the graveyard! Looks like lots of fun.

Yum- chocolate cupcakes with even more chocolate on top :) These would definitely be the way to my heart!

Beth F said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time.

Brenda said...

Oh what fun at your house tonight. Love the graveyard (and the pic of Camron, lol). I'm seeing so many EASY Giada recipes - I'm loving it. I'm drooling over the frosting as I just love marscapone cheese. Have fun tonight!

The Chef In My Head said...

Ditto on the marscapone cheese, what a great touch!! These sound delish! Happy Halloween ~LeslieMichele

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Great looking cupcakes. Oh what a joy that your grandson likes to come and hang out with you - such a special time. Hope you had a fun Halloween - Halloween is not a traditional celebration here in New Zealand, though it has gained some popularity in the last few years. Guy Fawkes, which is on Friday, is a much bigger deal here.
Sue :-)

Debinhawaii said...

It looks like you are having lots of Halloween fun with your grandson. ;-) The cupcakes look wonderful and you have a very cute and eager helper. Great pick!

MM said...

Very cool Halloween decorations! And very cool grandparents! Looks like a ton of fun was had by all...and happy tummies too.

Cook of the House said...

Haha. I love the picture of Camron in the graveyard. Very creative. These cupcakes look wonderful and easy works for me when it comes to baking.

Karen said...

Wow, you go all out! Love the graveyard and it looks like Camron, Grandma & Grandpa had a great time!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yum, great pick for Camron. And I love the decor!

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