Copy Cat Costco Muffins

I, like many of you love going to Costco! 

The samples, the deals, the samples, the unique gifts, the samples, the giant jars of nutella, did I mention the samples ??

No visit is complete without heading over to the bakery section and getting some giant muffins!! I can never resist, the double chocolate ones are my favourite !

I always wanted to be able to recreate them at home, but never got it right. Until now!!

Last week at a local grocery store, they had cake mix on sale. I like to keep them on hand for days when Frankie wants to bake and I m not really up to making a big mess. I also like to experiment with them, add or take away different ingredients to see what I can do with a simple box of cake mix.

This time the results were AMAZING!! 

I’m not kidding when I say they taste exactly like the Costco muffins! I’m so glad I finally stumbled upon this recipe (and glad I wrote things down as I went!) 

I will never stop buy the muffins from Costco, but now I’ll be able to whip some copy cats up when the craving strikes! 

Now to just find a giant muffin pan…..

  
Copy Cat Costco Muffins

  • 1 box of chocolate fudge cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs room temp
  • 2/3 Cup milk
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. In a large bowl mix all of your ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Prep muffin pan by spraying with non stick spray. 
  3. Spoon into muffin cups
  4. Bake at 375 for about 20 mins or until tops are lightly browned.

( keep an eye on them, you don’t want to over bake. These babies dry out quickly)

So easy! 

Only takes about half hour in total. Then you are on your way to double chocolate heaven!

xo, Fran 

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Grilled cheese please!! 

Most days around 12pm, I hear little footsteps coming up behind me. “Momma I think it’s lunch time!” Yes Frankie knows when the clock says “twelve- oh-oh” it’s time to eat! 

Although, he does spend most of his days eating lately! (I feel a growth spurt coming on!)

More often than not his request is for grilled cheese! 

I was tired of the same old boring grilled cheese. Usually I eat whatever Frankie eats. It’s easier to make a little extra, rather than make a whole new dish. I was over it! 

I found so many new options on Pinterest that both Frankie and I have tried and loved! (If it’s covered in melted cheese, this boy will not fight me!)

This BLT grilled cheese from Pocketchange Gourmet was AMAZING!!!  Once Frankie got his hands on it, it didn’t stand a chance! 

  
Find it here: http://pocketchangegourmet.com/bacon-lettuce-and-tomato-grilled-cheese-sandwich/

We love pizza in this house! So how about pepperoni pizza grilled cheese?? 

Kirbie Cravings has this beauty! 

   

Find it here: http://kirbiecravings.com/2015/01/pizza-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html

This one!! 

This one was my favourite! I love guacamole soooo much and the combination of cheese, avocado and bacon……. OMG! Closet Cooking made my day! 

  
Find this beauty here: http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/01/bacon-guacamole-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html

I know some might not be into this one! I LOVE Hawaiian pizza! As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to try it out! House of Yumm  blessed my Pinterest feed with this gem! 

  
Let me tell you, there were no crumbs left on our plates after this one! Try it for yourselves: http://houseofyumm.com/hawaiian-grilled-cheese/

I can’t wait to try even more new and fun combinations! These recipes have given me the inspiration I need to put my own twist on a classic lunchtime favourite!

Do you have a special grilled cheese recipe that you love? I’d love to hear it. (And Frankie would love to devour it!)

xo, Fran 

Our Summer favourites! 

Summer is in full swing! 

We can finally enjoy this beautiful weather after the string of cold rainy days we’ve been having. 

We’ve been spending many days at the baseball diamond for Frankie’s T ball games. We’ve also been enjoying many mornings at my inlaws pool for Frankie’s swimming lessons and for a little pool fun of course! 

 

Emilia loves the water and Frankie is doing great with his lessons! He still hates getting his ears wet, but we’re working on it! 

We are absolutely in love with our new shirts from Saturday Morning Pancakes ! If you haven’t heard of them you need to check them out! 

 

They have the coolest shirts! All of the sayings bring me back to my 90’s childhood. 

I have to say I’m a little jealous they don’t come in my size!  I couldn’t resist and had to play the songs that inspired these shirt for Frankie. I’m happy to report that This is how we do it by Montel Jordan is now a daily request in our house! 

The shirts themselves are great quality and super soft feeling, which is great because it’s one less thing for Frankie to complain about! Everything is reasonably priced, so you don’t have to break the bank to have the coolest shirts ever!

I love finding small shops, they always have the most unique items. I can’t even tell you the amount of compliments I’ve gotten on these shirts and questions on where I got them! Head over to http://www.saturdaymorningpancakes.com to see all of their amazing designs!  don’t forget to follow on Instagram too https://instagram.com/saturdaymorningpancakes/

(Don’t tell Mike, but I think I’ll be doing some shopping there later today!)



Another small business provided us with one of our summer favourites this one comes from http://www.wigglyfeet.com

This brand was created by a local mom. She makes adorable textile shoes, leather moccasins, harem pants, hair accessories and more! Everything is amazingly priced and extremely well made. We are so lucky to have Emilia be a brand ambassador for them! 

One of their newest Items is their Princess E leather Mocs! (We particularly love the name!) 

 

These shoes are made with perforated leather that still lets her little feet breath in the summer heat! I’m in love with these little shoes. They go with so many of her outfits and are perfect for those cooler summer nights as well. You’ll find more photos of the great things Wiggly Feet has to offer on our Instagram account!  and theirs :https://instagram.com/wiggly_feet/

These days the kids are loving the sandbox that Nana got them, Frankie would stay in there all day it I let him. Emilia isn’t so sure about sitting in all of this dirt yet..

 
Something else the kids are loving these days are our Trips to Jungle Cat World. 

This local zoo is so much fun for them! Frankie loved feeding some animals and seeing all the the big cats up close! (He still hates posing for photos as you can see below..)

  

Emilia liked the lion statue the best, since it was the only lion she could actually get her hands on! We were lucky enough to be gifted a year long pass from my inlaws, so I know we’ll be spending a lot more time here this summer! If you live in Toronto or the gta you should check it out! http://www.junglecatworld.com

This week I was lucky enough to be featured on one of my favourite blogs. Diapers and Lipgloss! You can see my feature for their Mommy Blog Monday here: http://www.vanessaandmelissa.com/blog/2015/7/13/mommyblogmondays-featuringthe-hungry-homemaker

Take a look and find out why I know where I’m right where I’m supposed to be in life, and all about my obsession with Erica Kane! (All My Children fans you know what I’m talking about!)

These ladies are amazing, and I enjoy their blog so much. I’m so thankful to be featured! 

I love when people try out my recipes! 

My blog BFF Holly at http://hollyshousewifelife.blogspot.ca

Tried out one of my stir fry sauce recipes. Read all about her experience here: http://hollyshousewifelife.blogspot.ca/2015/07/lets-talk-about-homemakers-vs-housewives.html 

She’s hilarious and if you ask me, she did a great job! 

That’s a little about what we’re loving around here so far this summer.

I can’t wait to share more with you in the coming months! 

xo, Fran 
 

The 4th is strong with this one! (A look back at Frankie’s past birthdays!)

In just a few short weeks Frankie will be turning 4!

He’s growing so fast and there is definitely no baby left in him, he’s 100% big kid! 

Every year we let him pick the theme for his party. Usually it reflects what he is obsessed with at the time. Once his theme is chosen I spend hours on Pinterest! (Honestly thank God for Pinterest, what would I do without it!)

For Frankie’s first birthday, his world revolved around Sesame Street! I went all out with whatever I could think of, even joining in by adding something special to my outfit! 

  

We had a little candy bar, a cookie that Cookie Monster had bitten, Elmo and Big Bird even made an appearance! He had his own little Cookie Monster smash cake and there were cupcakes in the shape of all the Sesame Street characters for everyone else! 

  

Look at how small he was….. Sigh!

With his second birthday, we celebrated his new obsession with pirates! Seriously in our house everything was all about pirates! So naturally his party reflected that! 

 

Of course I couldn’t find any decor I liked, so my sister and I made the banners. The cake was made by my sister, It turned out amazing! It was her first time using fondant!  

The kids had balloon swords, the drinks were stored in a treasure chest cooler and the cup cakes were topped with golden coins! (Way too many pictures to post!)
His shorts even had a pirate pattern on them! I found those 6 months before his birthday ha! 
Last years birthday was all about Lego! 

Of course there are no Lego themed party decorations. Lego superhero yes, Lego Star Wars yes! Just plain Lego.. Nope! 

I made the banner myself, I also had large boxes I covered in paper and made into Lego pieces! (I knew I had a good reason for saving all of those diaper boxes Mike!) the cake was made by a local baker Lola’s Cakery you can find her on Facebook. Isn’t it amazing? We all loved it! 

 

This year it’s all about Star Wars! 

I’ve begun working on things and so far everything is going great! 

I have started my nightly routine of cutting and pasting, while swearing under my breath. As Mike looks on and shakes his head…. 

I’ll of course be putting together a post once the party happens. I’m constantly posting about all of the party projects I’m working on over on my Instagram account https://instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/

It’s crazy to me that he’s already turning 4! He’s growing so fast and I hardly remember him so small! 

I used to be glad I only had to throw a party once a year, but now with Emilia I get to have even more “fun” ! 

I really do love going all out for his parties, I love seeing the look on his face and I know when he’s grown up, he’ll appreciate what a cool mom he had back then! 

(But, when he’s grown up, I’ll still be cool then too…..right?)

xo, Fran 
 

Midnight Chocolate Mug Cake

Please don’t think the title of this post is exaggerated by any means, because it really isn’t! 

Around here things are pretty busy. Summer has started and so have the family gatherings and fun day trips. T ball is still going strong with swimming lessons set to start this week. With all the daily hustle and bustle I’ve started to plan Frankie’s 4th birthday which is less than a month away. 

With all of this going on I feel like the days fly by, and don’t even get me started on the weekends! 

Sometimes after everyone is in bed, and I’m surrounded by glue and construction paper wondering why I don’t just buy readymade decorations. I like to drown my stress in something sweet! 

Unfortunately after raiding the cupboards, I came up empty handed…. Thanks diet! 

What we did have, we’re all the ingredients for a cake. Hmmmm make a whole cake at 12 am on a Saturday night? (I’ve done it before..)   Tonight was not one of those nights. 

I’ve never tried to make a mug cake before, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. I did take pictures as I went, just incase it turned out well and it really did!! (Excuse the photo quality, but it was late. I’m not lying, literally 12am!)

If you’re stressed and want to treat yourself. Our you just want a quick dessert give this recipe a try. I’ve never really been a fan of mug cakes, but this one has changed my mind!

 I also may have added a scoop of Nutella to the top, why? Because I love Nutella! If I’m gonna treat myself I’m going all the way! 

Midnight Chocolate Mug Cake 

 chocolate mug cake

  • 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  1. In a smal bowl mix together all dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk in milk and vegetable oil until all ingredients are well combined and batter has no clumps.
  3. Pour your batter into a microwave safe mug. One that is at least 12 oz. your cake will rise and this will prevent it from pouring over the sides.
  4. I placed a paper towel under the mug just incase it over flowed. Also because I didn’t want to scrub the microwave at midnight….
  5. Microwave on high for 70 seconds.
  6. CAREFULLY REMOVE MUG it will be hot. 
  7. Let sit about a minute and enjoy!

Can’t you just feel all of your stress melting away? I know mine did.

Our weekends may seem busy and hectic, but we’re making new memories and learning new things everyday. I really wouldn’t have it any other way! (Except more sweets in the house, I’d like to change that!)

xo, Fran