Cupcakes for Dinner ~Rachel

I don’t know who started the trend of cooking everything in muffin tins but I want to thank them profusely.  I’ve made Weight Watcher’s Mini Meatloaf Muffins before…lots of times…and have enjoyed both the food and the built-in portion control. Let’s face it: I didn’t get fat by eating reasonably-sized portions.

I love to cook but I’m not really creative in the kitchen. I can follow a recipe but I haven’t branched out much further than that. There is, however, someone who took the muffin tin idea and ran with it.  For those of you who don’t like to cook…or who don’t have much time to cook…or who have picky eaters at home who would rather eat wings and burgers than salad and veggies…I bring you Emily Bites.

Just like Tuesdays have become Taco Tuesday, I think Thursdays are becoming “Cupcake” Thursdays.

Last Thursday I made her Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. They. Were. Awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes @ Emily Bites Original

Last night I made her Cheeseburger Cupcakes. They were pretty awesome as well but I think I’ll make some modifications next week when I make them again. Oddly enough, Dave and I thought the mushrooms were too much. I say this is odd because we’ve never met a recipe that had too many mushrooms in it. If I had a cooking motto it would be “You can never have too much garlic or too many mushrooms.” Anyways, when I make these again next week (yes, on Thursday), I’m going to cut the mushrooms in half, replace the ketchup and mustard with BBQ sauce and add a little bit of bacon (to replace some of those mushrooms). I might also use Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese wedges instead of the Queso wedges. The possibilities are endless!

Emily also does breakfast cupcakes…I can vouch for the Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Singles!

Now, to make all these muffins you need a good muffin tin! I don’t normally do this but I’d like to recommend a particular muffin tin. Would you believe Rachael Ray’s Oven Lovin’ Muffin Pan has served me better than any other muffin tin I’ve owned (especially the Calphalon one)? I’m not very good about not using metal utensils on non-stick surfaces and this muffin pan has been quite forgiving. It really does not scratch easily. The Calphalon? I looked at it the wrong way and it scratched (I think this is odd because I love my Calphalon pots and pans).  Ok, PSA on muffin pans over and out.


Marsial over at Eyes of the Sun: Musing and Losing was tagged by someone, had to answer a bunch of questions and tag some of her fellow bloggers to do the same thing. Well, Marsial tagged me. The questions are not easy to answer without a lot of time and effort (and I am a bit short on time due to a meeting with my dissertation chair on Monday) so I will leave you with answers to a couple of the questions:

Q: Which author do you admire so much that you have read more than one of his/her books

A: John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favorite book of all time and I actually keep an eye out in the news for when a new Irving book will be published (next new one is due out in May)! I don’t think there is any other author I “track.” I don’t know if I so much admire John Irving or just admire his talent.  His stories are pretty epic!

Q: Describe how you met your spouse/significant other/love of your life (even if you are no longer with that person). 

A: I don’t think I’ve ever told the story of how Dave and I met. We met on Myspace of all places. Yes, MYSPACE. After we met, we both posted a note on Myspace about how we met (from our own perspective), kind of a he said/she said thing. Here’s what I wrote (Sorry it’s long, but I promise it’s a good story):

A lot of you know that I’ve tried the online dating thing off and on for the past 3 years or so. You name it, I tried it…eHarmony (twice), Match, and Yahoo. This past spring break, I even tried my luck with Craigslist. Yep, you too can find a date and a used couch by barely lifting your clicker finger. For the most part, I met nice enough guys, and even dated one for a little while. I also met my fair share of total lunatics (Craigslist is their home apparently), but that’s a whole other post that’s not even worthy of my time.


I still had a profile on Yahoo, but it was inactive and invisible to anyone on Yahoo who was searching for women in my age group. But Yahoo would still send me weekly-ish “These are your latest matches” emails and every now and then I would get curious and just browse. On April 16th, a Monday, I happened to browse my latest matches and stumbled upon one that actually sparked my interest. He had this huge smile that drew me in to the rest of the profile where I learned that despite a certain level of corniness (he did, after all, quote a Rupert Holmes song…groan), he was pretty funny. And for those who know me, I really like funny. He also seemed like he had a big heart, was open-minded and easy-going, and was kind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the position to subscribe to Yahoo (these things get expensive). I wasn’t going to get to break the ice with this cute guy who had grabbed my attention.


The very next morning, I had a message in my MySpace inbox from HIM! It was about 8 something in the morning, I wasn’t fully awake yet, and I about fell right out of my chair. I swear the Twilight Zone theme song was playing softly in the background. I think I did my best to resist thinking about “fate” and “destiny” but those words were creeping into the forefront of my mind. I mean, what were the odds of this happening? They were totally independent events…which is always fun to explain to people b/c they somehow think Dave could see that I checked out his profile on Yahoo (he couldn’t). When people realize that we just happened upon one another at the same time in unrelated cyber territory, their eyes get real wide and then they smile.


Not only had he sent me a message, the subject line was “Not the same without Cowher.” He was a Steelers fan! I didn’t want to reply immediately and had to get to school, so I think I replied sometime in the early afternoon. We spent a couple of emails back and forth that day and then began talking on AIM that evening. I had mentioned in one of my emails that I wanted to see Grindhouse…he echoed that sentiment. When we were IM’ing, I decided to just ask him if he wanted to meet up that weekend to see it together. I usually do not suggest meeting up so quickly, or even at all…I usually let the guy make that move. But I didn’t really know where it would all lead and knew I was sick of the whole back-and-forth emailing that came with meeting guys online. We exchanged numbers and ended up talking for 3 hours that night. Our little meeting up for a movie quickly turned into a real date when we realized that there was a lot of chemistry between us. He was all shy about asking me to dinner beforehand…it was really adorable. We ended up talking every night that week for about 3 hours a night. We never wanted to get off the phone, we never ran out of things to talk about, and we talked about the heavy stuff and felt totally comfortable doing so. There was no way that the first date was going to end poorly.

And of course, it didn’t…


We met on our first date on April 21, 2007. We went to see Grindhouse (a B-movie double feature full of zombies and blood and machine guns for legs) at North Hills cinema and then out to dinner at 518 West (contemporary Italian food) in downtown Raleigh. After dinner we went to the Raleigh’s Little Theatre Rose Garden and had a wonderful time. That was just the beginning of a new life together…


Interesting fact: We lived closer to each other in Pittsburgh growing up (Mt. Oliver and Penn Hills) than we did here in Raleigh/Chapel Hill when we met!

And if you’ve lasted this long, here’s a picture of us very early on in our relationship. I think it might have been taken at his mother’s on the day I met her for the first time!

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  • Shelley B  On January 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I LOVED A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY! (and I know you will understand the caps lock, lol).

    What a great story about how you and Dave met – you two were totally destined for each other!!!

  • Jenn@slim-shoppin  On January 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Love the muffin cup idea, I’m jumping on that bandwagon!!!

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