Dakota Says: No Chocolate for Doggies

dakota-xmascard Hi Mommy’s Bloggy Followers,

It’s almost Christmas! I’m soooo happy! My stocking is full of stuff for my first Christmas holiday with my new family. I hope my Mommy and Daddy got me some fun and yummy stuff!

So far this Christmas, I helped my Mommy make some cookies and pies. It smells so good in the house when she bakes!

But, I gave Mommy a little scare on the day after Thanksgiving. Lemme tell you why…

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Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt CakeIt’s that time of year again where zucchinis are taking over (and carrots). But, that means it’s also time for some great baking delights.

Instead of the usual zucchini bread or the fabulous zucchini cupcakes, I decided to use my new bundt pan as the basis for a recipe challenge: Find a zucchini bundt cake recipe.

My searching finally found this great recipe – almost a decade old – from an old issue of “Cooking Light” magazine. It looked rich and decadent with its chocolate glaze. So, let’s take a look at another way to use all those bushels of zucchinis from your harvests…

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Gluten-free Cookie Dough Dip

Wow, has it really been more than a month since my last post? That is totally unacceptable! Well, I hope you accept my deepest apologies for my long absence. It has been quite a crazy, busy last few weeks at work, which has been leaving me mentally (and physically) exhausted, not to mention my health has been a bit wacky.

My stomach issues are improving but I’m still under supervision by a gastroenterologist and I have a follow-up appointment on Monday to go over some additional tests after my colonoscopy last month. (You should be glad I was absent from blogging – I was thinking of live blogging the prep portion of the test…I figured that doesn’t go too well with a food blog…)

My appetite still isn’t 100 percent so I’ve been laying low recently. Brett and I haven’t been eating out as much as usual recently, although we did try a new breakfast spot in nearby Peabody, which I’ll post a review one of these days in the near future. I also still have a couple of brief updates from my quickie trip to Disney in early May.

If you’ve been following my blog for the last few months, you may have noticed an increase in gluten-free recipes. Well, that’s a hint as to why I’m seeing a GI specialist. There is a possibility that I may have Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. Even if my tests don’t come back positive, I more than likely in the next few months will be going gluten-free to help alleviate some of the painful migraines and fibromyalgia symptoms that I’ve been enduring recently.

Today, I wanted to share with you this gluten-free, dairy-free, potentially sugar-free recipe for a cookie dough dip that will have you begging for more. Surprisingly, it’s secret ingredient is (gasp!) – beans!

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Cupcake Camp Boston 2012 – Chocolate Mashed Potato Cupcakes

Chocolate mashed potato cupcakesTomorrow night is the long-awaited Cupcake Camp Boston. Today, I’ve been busy baking and prepping for the event. This year, I’m making these Chocolate Mashed Potato Cupcakes that I first saw on the Sprinkle Bakes blog. I made a few minor modifications to the order of adding and mixing ingredients but otherwise left the recipe as-is.

Yes – these cuppies have mashed potatoes in them, but you wouldn’t know it! The 1/3 cup of leftover taters in the batter helps to make a dense but moist cake. However, instead of making standard size cupcakes, I’m bringing minis tomorrow night since event attendees are assaulted by so many different tempting treat combinations. It’s nearly impossible to eat a full size cupcake. So, hopefully, these little guys won’t dry out too much before tomorrow night.

Now, here’s the recipe so you can try these the next time you have some leftovers!

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Counting Down to Cupcake Camp

There’s less than a week left until Cupcake Camp Boston 2012. This year, there are two options to attend:

  • VIP attendance, $25 per ticket. VIP entrance gets you special entry into the event from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Purchase advance VIP tickets now.
  • General Admission, $5 per ticket. With this option, you are let in after 7 p.m. and this is only available at the door.

Admission is a bit different this year. There are a limited amount of advanced, VIP tickets. But, with this option – you get the first choice of all the cupcakes from the professional and amateur bakers.

The Full Deets

  • When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, May 21
  • Where: The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville
  • Why: You love cupcakes and proceeds benefit a local food pantry.

So, stop by and see me! I’ll be bringing Chocolate Mashed Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. I know, totally tempting, right?

Foodie Gifts at Walt Disney World

My dear readers, it has been much too long since my last post. Work has been crazy!

Last week, I unexpectedly needed to travel to Florida for a great story about a graduating senior from Florida Institute of Technology, who is spending his summer biking 4,700 miles across the U.S. to raise awareness about scleroderma, the disease that took his father’s life in 2010. He also will give any of the donations he receives to the Scleroderma Foundation (where I work during the day) for its research grant program. I highly suggest you read some more about Wade and his inspiring story!

Anyways, I had a bit of free time, so obviously, I took the opportunity to do what I love best – tour Disney! I had a few hours over at Downtown Disney and good chunk of Sunday afternoon at Epcot.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the new gift items (well, new since I was last there in December) over at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace:

Above, you’ll see some chocolate. Not your ordinary chocolate bar – this one is emblazoned with a tongue-in-cheek jab at the famous line you’ll hear as you board the Monorail, “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” (please stand clear of the doors). But this one translates to “Please stand clear of my chocolate.” Awesome! This candy is a milk chocolate covered peanut.

Jessica Rabbit chocolate barAnother candy option was this one featuring Jessica Rabbit from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (wow, haven’t seen that classic in a long while!) It pokes fun at her infamous line, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” These candy items are dark chocolate mint creams – I’m thinking something along the lines of a Peppermint Patty.

Dole Whip Tee ShirtNow, for those of you who need a new tee shirt to commemorate your trip – some of these are pretty cool. This one (above) pays an homage to that frosty tropical treat over at Magic Kingdom – the Dole Whip. This one costs $21.95 and it’s also available through DisneyStore.com. (I wish I could just eat the shirt!)

Turkey leg tee shirtThis turkey leg shirt – is one of two designs that I have seen for those triptophanatics (get what I did there – turkey has triptophan and fanatics…um…ok anyways…)

So, this one also is $21.95 and also available online through the Disney Store. Anyone else think the “nice and juicy” tagline is a little racy for Disney’s brand or is that just me?

Churro Tee ShirtThe final tee-shirt item for the theme park food lover is this one for the churro. It features a mariachi-band member holding one of the crunchy, cinnamon treats by his side. Again, this shirt is $21.95 and available online.

Cute as a cupcake onesieAnd finally, I bring you your cuteness factor for the day. This little onesie for the youngest foodie in your life is perfect! It features Minnie and reads: “Cute as a cupcake.” Oh…this one will be perfect for that little one someday in the future!

Cupcake Camp Boston 2012

Registration is now open for amateur bakers to take part in Cupcake Camp Boston 2012 in Somerville, Mass. Last year’s event was an awesome experience for me and my baking-partner-in-crime, Miss Stacey. (Check out my review of the 2011 shindig. It was a sugar rush and a half!!)

Now, if you’re a cupcake baker who wants to take part, stop by the website by April 25. The event will be held 6 p.m. on Monday, May 21, at the Armory in Somerville. Last year, attendees (not those baking, but devouring the tastees) forked over a small donation to benefit an area food pantry. Warning: Get there early if you want a chance at all of the goods! (You have been warned!) The event also features tons of sweets from Boston-area bakeries. Last year, some of the pro bakers were: Babycakes, the Cupcakory, Treat Cupcake Bar and more.

I plan on baking some interesting chocolate mashed potato cuppies…I hope to see you at Cupcake Camp 2012!! Be sure to follow my Tweets @crelacion where I’ll post more pix on the day of the event, too!