Happy Birthday Pupcakes!

I never thought I would be one of those crazy dog owners that talk to their dog, take the dog everywhere, and make the dog a birthday cake. Then again, I never liked to cook before either...

In addition to it being my dog, Gorgi's (short for Gorgonzola), second birthday, it was also his first "adopt-o-versary," which meant that his treat had to be extra special. I perused a few websites with homemade dog treats, cupcakes, and cakes, and finally settled on this one because it did not have peanut butter. Of course, I would have a dog that does not like peanut butter.

The recipe is super simple to throw together, and is almost a twist on a cheddar apple biscuit, sans the cream cheese frosting. Gorgi LOVED the pupcakes, and I loved to watch him eat them! Unfortunately, he devoured them too quickly for my camera to catch.

Happy Birthday Pupcakes
adapted from here
*note that I halved this recipe and ended up with about 9 pupcakes

½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup water
1 large apple
1½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup oatmeal
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of honey
2 eggs
1 cup grated cheese

1-8oz low fat cream cheese such as Philadelphia
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons of honey
Dog Biscuits for decoration- I used Milkbone

Preheat oven at 375 degrees and grease muffin tins, if necessary.

Core, slice and finely dice the apple and set aside.

Mix flour, oatmeal, baking powder and baking soda together in a large mixing bowl.

Blend the yogurt, water, oil, honey and eggs together and then stir in the cheese and apple. Add the cheese mix to the flour mixture and stir until completely mixed. Spoon into the muffin tins, filling each cup about three quarters full.

Bake for about 20 minutes

Let rest in the muffin tins for a few minutes, then remove and let sit until completely cool.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese (at room temperature), honey and yogurt until smooth. Spread on the cupcakes. Add dog biscuits for decoration if you choose.


Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake, or What to Do with Leftover Sauerkraut

I am not a believer in New Year's resolutions. I find that most people set up unrealistic expectations for themselves, only to end up disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I applaud those who are able to keep their resolutions, but for myself, I find that it is better to continually make small goals and keep working to achieve those goals. For example, I would really love to start blogging more frequently, but I also know that from now until June 9, I will be crazy busy with wedding planning, so I will not set a rigid goal until after that time.

Enough about resolutions, and onto how to use up all of the leftover sauerkraut in your fridge. Growing up in Central Pennsylvania afforded me the lovely chance to always eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. It was a family holiday and tradition. The only problem with the meal was well, no one seemed to love the sauerkraut part, so there was always a plethora of the fermented cabbage leftover.

Last week I stumbled across a chocolate cake recipe that incorporated sauerkraut, and after an initial "that can't possibly be good" thought, I decided to give it a whirl. It was this or the kraut was getting pitched in the garbage. The recipe came from a reputable source, so I believed that it would turn out well. After putting together the batter, popping it in the oven, and making the chocolate sauce, I was convinced that this would be a terrific chocolate cake.

I was not mistaken. The chocolate bundt was one of the best I have ever had, and the chocolate drizzle sauce was sensational. Come January 2nd next year, I will most definitely know what I will be doing with my leftover kraut!

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
from Scharffen Berger


2/3 cup sauerkraut
½ cup SCHARFFEN BERGER Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat milk- I used 2% organic milk

For the Glaze
4 ounces SCHARFFEN BERGER 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate- I used Ghiradelli 60%
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan. Tip- Use cocoa powder to dust the pan instead of flour for a chocolate cake

Put the sauerkraut in a bowl of cold water. Squeeze it out with your hands a few times and drain. Do not squeeze all the moisture out. Chop the sauerkraut into fine pieces.

Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the vanilla. Slowly add the egg mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.

Add half the cocoa/flour mixture. Beat until well combined. Add the milk. Add the remaining cocoa/flour mixture.

Finally add in the chopped sauerkraut.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the cake begins to come from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a rack. Invert onto serving plate when thoroughly cooled.

To make the glaze, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until thoroughly melted and combined. When the sauce is cooled to room temperature and is still pourable, glaze the entire cake or by piece.