Delicious Fudgy Cupcakes by the Single Serving

So the title of this post is slightly misleading. We made three cupcakes–because there are three of us–but this recipe allows you to make just one (or two, or three, or four, etc.) rather than *having* to make a full batch. Which, let’s admit it, challenges the self control just a wee bit, right?

Tonight, My Tiny Sous Chef wanted to do something special to celebrate her dad’s first day at a new job. She asked this morning if we could make him cupcakes, and after school we decided we were going to figure out how to make just what we needed. The result was fudgy, and still somehow not too sweet, single serving perfection. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
Recipe makes one cupcake
* 1/8C flour
* 1 1/4T sugar
* 1/2T cocoa
* pinch of salt
* 1T milk
* 2T canola oil
* 1/8t vanilla
* homemade or store bought ftosting/decorations of your choosing

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 325F. Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick spray or line with as many cupcake liners as the number if cupcakes your making, and set aside.

Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl until combined.

Then add the milk, canola oil, and vanilla and whisk carefully until fully combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tin or liner(s).

Bake at 325F for 20-24 minutes.

Allow your cupcake(s) to cool completely before frosting and decorating to your own individual delight–and enjoy! There’s always a reason to celebrate something, right?!

Meatless Monday: Pesto TBM w RRP Sandwiches

I’m traveling for work this week, so for the two days Im home I planned easy, quick meals to minimize stress and maximize family time. This post title’s in code, but the secret is out now (ouch… that one was rough): pesto tomato-basil-mozzarella with roasted red pepper sandwiches were a big winner. A five minute meal! And delish times a million! Can’t beat that! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* fresh hearty loaf of bread of choice (I did a fresh Italian loaf), cut into thick slices
* your favorite jarred or homemade pesto sauce
* fresh basil leaves
* jarred roasted red peppers
* fresh roma tomatoes, cut into thick slices
* slices of fresh mozzarella (I bought the presliced package)
* balsamic vinegar

WHAT TO DO
Lightly toast your bread slices.

Spread each slice generously with pesto. For each sandwich, top one pesto-ed half with large basil leaves in a layer, followed by roasted red pepper pieces, then fresh tomato slices, and finally fresh mozzarella slices. Drizzle the cheese with a little balsamic vinegar and then top with the other pesto-ed slice of bread. Slice in half and serve! Try it with homemade garlic fries!!

Sheet Pan Garlic Salmon with Brussels Sprouts (and Broccoli)

The “work” part of my “work-dinner-family” trifecta has been crazy busy lately. We’re heading into a large conference, which just makes it normal work crazy times 500 (at least). So to maintain a semblance of balance in busy times, my solution is to really amp up my meal planning focus on quick and easy. Fish tends to be an easy and quick meal anyway, but pair it with one-pan magic? DING! DING! I planned to pair this garlicky salmon with just Brussels sprouts, but kiddo isn’t (YET) a b. sprouts fan, so I added a head of broccoli that I knew she would eat. After a long and tiring day, a fresh and bold simple meal was just what I needed–and my family loved it too! No leftovers! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1.5lbs brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
* 1 head of broccoli, broken down into florets (optional)
* 4T olive oil, divided
* 1t salt, divided
* 1/4t fresh ground black pepper
* 4 6oz portions salmon, skin removed
* 4t minced garlic cloves
* 1T dried oregano

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 450F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Put your Brussels sprouts (and broccoli, if you’re using it) in a large bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper, and mix until the veggies are well coated. Pour them onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.

While that’s cooking, drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the salmon. Spread the minced garlic evenly over the fillets, and then season evenly with oregano and the remaining 1/2-teaspoon of salt.

After 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Move the sprouts (and broccoli) to the edge, making room for the salmon. Place the salmon on the pan and bake for 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Toaster Oven Parmesan Toasts

These are so simple it’s almost a joke. The benefit-to-effort ratio is heavily off balance here. They are so good. And with 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to the whole shebang, how can you go wrong?? I served these alongside this also-absurdly-easy — and luscious — garlic and mushroom soup and they were PERFECT. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced thin on a diagonal
* olive oil
* freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* pinch of salt
* optional: dried or fresh parsley

WHAT TO DO
Place your sliced bread on the tray of your toaster oven in a single layer. Brush each slice with olive oil, and then grate the Parmesan over the oiled bread. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and set for two cycles on the toaster function at a medium toasting level. You want golden and crispy, not browned and hard! That’s it! Sprinkle with some parsley if you like (or don’t!). Voila!