I have yet to meet a cupcake that I didn’t like, but this one really “takes the cake” (heh, no pun intended!). My girlfriend Morgan made them for a cookout a couple years ago now, and they’ve been my favorite ever since. There are several variations on Oreo cupcakes floating around on the blogosphere. All of them contain the little treasure at the bottom of course, the Oreo cookie. Which, is such an unexpected and delightful treat.

Here is my take on it; a simple vanilla cupcake with an Oreo surprise on the bottom, topped with a rich Oreo buttercream frosting. It’s pretty much perfection. If you’re looking for something fun to bake this weekend, look no further. I’m sure they’ll quickly become your favorite cupcake too!

Who doesn’t love a big pile of spaghetti and meatballs? It’s always been a favorite in our home, and for good reason. It’s a comfort food meal that can be prepared in less than an hour, and there’s usually always leftovers which make for great submarine sandwiches later in the week. It’s pretty much your standard meatball recipe…well, except for the addition of powdered gelatin.

I know what you’re probably thinking – gelatin? In ground beef? No thanks! But, hear me out. I don’t like using ground pork or veal in my meatballs, and that’s where the gelatin comes in. It mimics the natural gelatinous goodness that is usually found in veal; giving it that smooth, velvety quality – without, you know, eating infant cows. I use it in my meatloaf too. A tip I picked up from Cook’s Illustrated years ago. Just love them!

Isn’t this one of the most gorgeous examples of pie that you’ve ever seen? I can’t claim it as my own, as I’m usually horrible with pies. I always screw some integral part up – like the filling is too runny, or I botch the crimping of the crust. Luckily, my good friend Colleen is great with pies. I’ve had 2 of hers now (a delightful apple crumble pie, and the beauty pictured here), and I can never get over how lovely they look, and how wonderful they tasted!

You can use whatever berries you like. This one was filled with plump blackberries, juicy blueberries, and tart raspberries. The tri-fecta of berries, in my humble opinion. I asked Colleen how difficult the gorgeous decorative crust was to make, and she said that surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad at all. The hardest part was “rolling” out the vine ropes and placing them on top, as they wanted to crack at the bends. Slightly wetting your hands when rolling will probably help that.

So, in short, a big shoutout and thanks to Colleen. I love a dessert that I can enjoy, but don’t have to bake myself. You’re a true friend! Hope everyone is able to enjoy this at some point this berry season. Enjoy!

Last week, Shawnda of Confections of a Foodie Bride devoted a whole week to pizza. I happened to have pizza on the menu for Friday evening, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by all the fun twists on pizza that she’d shared during the week. I’ve been in the mood for wings for a couple of weeks now. So, I thought, why not a buffalo chicken pizza? Yum!

I looked around on a few different recipes, and there are several variations out there. I settled on Racheal Ray’s version. Say what you will about her “stoups” and sammies, but what recipes I’ve tried of hers have yet to let me down. I liked the idea of a Buffalo pizza sauce, versus just a buffalo sauce, or ranch dressing as the base. I didn’t have blue cheese, so I just mixed in a little bit of cheddar. I was thinking feta might be a good substitute as well, with the nice salty kick it lends. And last, but certainly not least, the red onions. Which, get nice and charred under the intense heat in the oven.

Everyone really enjoyed it, in fact we ate the whole thing that night. Usually, on pizza night, there’s always at least a half a pizza left over between the traditional pizza I make for the boys, and the more adulterated pizza I’ll make for us. I’m already craving this again, so I have a feeling it won’t be long before it’s making an appearance on our dinner table soon. Make sure you have plenty of ice cold beer to serve with it, as they go down too easy together!