Restaurant at Home

Mini Chocolate Lava Birthday Cakes

This year, for my birthday I wanted to make a unique, chocolate dessert. After scrolling through my Pinterest boards, I found an idea on this site.

I don’t normally order dessert at restaurants, but I remembered trying this one at Chili’s before. It has gooey, hot, melty chocolate with the ice cream scoops on top to cool it down.

The mini versions were pretty simple to make – but there were a couple of tricky steps that I will note below.

Cake Ingredients:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ (or powdered) sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, and 2 large egg yolks  (* a total of 4 eggs)


Ice Cream


Birthday Candles

Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (these can also be made in 4 ramekin dishes)

Preheat oven to 425°F

Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. Put butter and chocolate into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds until completely smooth

In another small bowl, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together

*In a third small bowl, combine 2 entire eggs plus only the yolks of 2 more eggs

Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use a whisk or a fork.

Spoon chocolate batter evenly into muffin tin (I was able to make 9 total).

To bake in a muffin tin, the cakes only take about 8 minutes. *(I added an extra 2 minutes and that was tooo long, The extra time completely cooks the center, and you don’t get the lava effect).

Allow to cool for 1 minute, then using a knife, go around the edges of each cake to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. Cover with a plate and turn the pan completely over, so the cakes are on the plate.

Top with ice cream, sprinkles, (and a candle for the birthday girl!) and Enjoy!

See this post for desserts from last year’s birthday


February Friday Faves 2.17.17

Welcome to the third Friday in February! Here’s a recap of my favorite parts of the week.


This chicken recipe falls into the Semi-Homemade category because it uses the pre-cooked Tyson chicken strips. The sauce is pretty easy to make with a few simple ingredients. I pinned this on my Restaurant At Home board, because they are a close copy-cat to Chili’s Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers.

For Valentine’s weekend I cooked brunch  using a cast-iron skillet (a wedding present) for the first time. These breakfast potatoes were pretty easy – I like making recipes that don’t require lots of ingredients and use what I already have in the kitchen. I think the key to these potatoes is adding enough olive oil in the beginning and watching carefully so that the bacon doesn’t burn. I also made this recipe again too – it may be becoming a favorite.


This week I started reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I had seen it on a couple of other blogs (it’s a very colorful and photogenic book cover) and it was in the Quarterly Literary Subscription box recently. So far I can see why this book is so popular – there’s no boring lead-in or build up – the action starts immediately. I read 4 chapters in one night!

the mothers.png

Photo Credit: Quarterly


One of the besties gave me this Coach Love perfume sample in my Christmas gift. Coach is one of my favorite brands. The scent is floral without being too young and girly and it fits the romantic spirit of February.


Although we didn’t get to spend the actual holiday together – I’ll be making  Strawberry Lime Margaritas with my sister as a toast to  Galentine’s DayI would love to have a party like this to celebrate one year….


Cheers to the Weekend!


Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

When my best friend buys a single slice of Pumpkin bread from Starbucks  for $2  I say “Noooo! I could have made you 10 slices of pumpkin bread!! “

Keep reading, and I’ll teach you how….

My favorite fall drink – Salted Caramel Mocha #SCMSeason

First I mix all of the dry ingredients from the left side of the list in a medium size bowl.

  Then, I mix the wet ingredients from the right side of the list in a separate bigger bowl

 While this recipe calls for pecans, I don’t remember ever including them. Pecans can be pricey, and pumpkin bread tastes perfectly delishy without them. Save your pecans for pecan pie or to top a Strawberry Summer Salad.

Next, I gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Back in the day, we used to bake the pumpkin bread in empty round coffee cans. The circular slices were unique, but now that I’m enjoying my Keurig 2.0, I will have to use regular bread pans.

Each pan should be greased with margarine and floured to prevent the bread from sticking to the inside of the pan.

I was able to make two loaves and a dozen muffins (but you could also make larger loaves and no muffins).

Grab a warm Fall Drink and Enjoy!

What’s your favorite fall  treat or drink?


Eat Drink and Be MaryMartinis & Bikinis

Restaurant At Home: Shrimp Fajitas

I like to order Shrimp Fajitas at Mexican restaurants, but here is a simple recipe to make them at home too.
½ tsp. Oregano
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Chile powder
¼ tsp. Garlic
14 medium shrimp
½ Green Pepper
½ Onion
2 tbsp. Vegetable oil

3 small flour tortillas

Chop the green pepper and onion into thin slices.

    Mix all spices together in a bowl

   Melt butter in a pan using the medium heat setting.
  Pour half of the spices in with the peppers and onions cook for 4-5 minutes

After the vegetables have started to brown, add a tablespoon of water with the shrimp  
and cook for about 2 more minutes.

   Microwave tortillas for 15 seconds max.

   Serve with a margarita and enjoy!

Eat Drink & Be Mary

Restaurant at Home: Italian

For New Year’s Eve, our family celebrated at an Italian restaurant downtown. The walls are cluttered with antique looking photos and memorabilia reminiscent of decorations that might be in someone’s home. The large portion sizes also reinforce the idea that you should enjoy the experience with family and friends

           This Colossal Brownie Sunday sits about a foot tall on the table and literally feeds a family of 4!

The food was delicious and inspired me to try to make one of the pasta dishes (but in a much smaller portion size).

Try out this Baked Ziti recipe:

2 serving dinner:
1/3 box of ziti
4oz of pasta sauce
1cup Italian blend shredded cheese
1 tbsp. fresh or freeze-dried basil
1/8 tsp. garlic
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Cook pasta following directions on box
Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 375 degrees
Drain pasta, mix with pasta sauce and 1/2cup of the shredded cheese
Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20 minutes 

Uncover, top with the other 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and the mixed spices
Cook for 5 more minutes
Serve and enjoy!

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