The Perfect Chocolate Lovers Cake

Blackout Chocolate Cake | the best chocolate cake with a chocolate chip exterior just to be a little OMG. pinchofyum.com

Last week I made this delicious chocolate cake for my boyfriends birthday, and it was AMAZING. If you don’t love and I mean love chocolate, this cake isn’t the one for you.
Not only was this cake easy to make, it was SO moist. I hate when cakes are dry. This one held its moisture for 4 days without getting even a tad on the dry side. If you don’t want a tall cake, keep it at two layers. I made three layers and it looked marvelous.

For the chocolate cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (we use DeLallo) **I did not use any in mine 
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt (we use Chobani whole milk yogurt)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 cups of chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide evenly between the three cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cakes are set. Let the cakes cool for a while.
  2. Frosting: Cream the ingredients (except chocolate chips) until smooth.
  3. Assembly: Stack the cakes up, frosting between each layer, around the outside, and on top. Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Chocolate Chipping: Cover the cake with chocolate chips wherever desired. *My chocolate chips ended up melting beforehand and I instead added some thin mint Girl Scout cookies crumbled on top and some full thin mint cookies displayed in a circle on top, which turned out delicious too.

Happy Baking!

Work Week Meal Prep

Sundays are my favorite day to meal prep for the week, and after last weekend–it was needed! I love any form of eggs (egg muffins, scrambled, hard boiled), but this week I decided on egg muffins, one of my favorites.

The reason why I am so drawn to egg muffins and hard boiled eggs is because they are the perfect compliment to my morning shakes. They give you nutrition and the satisfaction of something to eat.

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Egg Muffins: Feel free to use/swap whatever ingredients you like–mushrooms, spinach, etc.
-5 eggs
-1/4-1/2 cup bell peppers (whatever color desired)
-1/4-1/2 cup diced ham
-1/4-1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles
-1/4 cup shredded cheese
-1/4 tsp desired seasoning (I used pepper)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the muffin cups with nonstick spray or butter. Mix your eggs in a bowl, add seasoning if desired. Dice and chop whatever ingredients you desire to have in your muffins. Fill the bottom of the muffin cups with your ingredients, evenly distributing between the cups. Fill the cups about 3/4 full with the egg mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top if desired.

Bake the muffins at 350 degrees until they were firm and golden brown. Let them cool and remove from the tins and into a container or plastic bags. They are great warmed up and will last all week.

Lunch: 
For lunch this week, I prepped chicken and rice, enough for the week.

Baked Chicken:
-2 lbs fresh chicken breasts (trim the fat)
-1/2 tsp pepper or your choice of seasoning

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim excess fat from the fresh chicken breasts. Line a pan with aluminum foil (not necessary). Spray the foil or pan with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken on the pan and sprinkle with pepper or your desired seasoning. Bake until chicken is fully cooked throughout. Let cool before placing in fridge.

Brown Rice:
-2 cups jasmine brown rice
-Rice cooker

Directions: Pour your desired amount of rice (I did about 2 cups) into the rice cooker. Fill the cooker with water so the water level is a half finger tip high over the top of the rice. Place cover on rice, cook until soft. If the rice isn’t cooked all the way through, you can add a bit more water and continue to cook. Let the rice cool before placing in the fridge.

As for my shake recipe, this is the recipe I have been making lately for breakfast to go with my egg muffin.
Morning Protein Shake:
-1 scoop protein powder (Chocolate Whey)
-1 tbsp PB2
-3 ice cubes
– 2 cups skim milk

Blend together and enjoy!

My Nighttime Skincare Routine!

Hello loves! Welcome back 🙂 Today I’m going to be sharing my nighttime skincare routine. I have a bunch of tips and tricks on how to help keep your skin clear, clean and wrinkle free! If you’d like to see how I keep my skin free of acne then just keep scrolling. 🙂

After having my makeup on for about 7-8 hours, I just feel disgusting, haha. The last thing I want to do is have my makeup on for one more minute! Which leads to the first step in my night routine, taking off my makeup! I use the Equate Makeup Remover wipes from Target. They’re super cheap and work really well to take off all my mascara and foundation. One tip I have for you when taking off your makeup is to be gentle. Your skin is fragile, especially around your eyes! I like to press the makeup…

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13.1

Well, I did it. All the training and hard work definitely paid off. 13.1. It was amazing, when it was over with.

On April 22, I ran the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN. I stayed in St. Cloud the night before to avoid having a drive in the morning before the race. The evening before, I indulged in some pasta from the Olive Garden. Any excuse to eat carbs is completely okay with me.

The morning of, I ate a peanut butter and jelly, English muffin, some eggs, a yogurt and banana. I also drank plenty of water and was sure to get a lot of sleep. I ended up wearing running leggings that tied on the top so they didn’t move during the run, an Under Armour tank top and a running light zip-up jacket. I had Brooks running shoes on as well. 18033301_10155627064796874_6654001974034216975_n

As a rookie marathon runner, I figured out before the start–that you want to line up at your projected finish marker, since you will be running at a similar pace as those people.

So, once I decided where I wanted to finish (I choose the 2.5 hour marker), with hopes that I could finish around that time. Once the run started, I was feeling good. There were so many people lined up along the route, with encouraging signs and were cheering as people ran by.

For the first 5 miles, I didn’t have any pain and was running at a great pace. I was using the Map My Run app on my phone, so I knew where my pace was at each mile and what my split pace was. I was keeping up with the starter marker, and I was feeling good.

At mile 6, I started getting some cramps in my stomach and my lower back started hurting. Now before the 13.1, my longest run that I trained for was 10 miles long. When you are at 6 miles, 10 doesn’t seem that far off. When you’re going all the way to 13.1, you’re not even half way there at 6.

After reaching mile 8, my stomach and back started to feel better. There were a lot of people I was keeping pace with, and we just kept going. Once you get to 10 miles, your legs just aren’t all the way “there” anymore. My legs just kept going, although my body was very exhausted.

The last few miles were exciting, but it became hard to concentrate on anything else besides “I’m almost done, it’s almost over. Just a little longer.” The last mile was by far the best. My pace had fallen a bit at mile 11, but I was still doing better than I had originally hoped.

That last mile I gave it my all. My app I was using however, was off from the measured distance the run had calculated. So when I thought I was about done, I still had what felt like forever to go. I started to sprint, which was a great idea–but I did it too early. Knowing I was so close (may .3 of a mile out now) away from the finish line, I just couldn’t give up. I ended up making it over that finish line and just wanting to crash.

It was amazing. I felt so great. I did it. I just ran 13.1 miles, and I did it well under my goal of 2.5 hours. My final time across the finish line was 2:11:10.

My body wasn’t hurting significantly besides my lower back. I took pain pills before the run and when I finished, and the pain went away within 5 hours or so. The evening of the run, I was feeling great and was amazed at how well my body handled it. By the end of the night, I realized I may have injured myself a little more than I had hoped.

My foot had endured a lot of pain and seemed to be getting worse the more I was on it. For the rest of the weekend, I continued to ice my foot and try to rest it as much as possible. It has been about 2 1/2 weeks now, and my foot is still hurting. Unfortunately, I think I may have a slight fracture that is going to continue to need time and rest to fully heal.

I was all ready to sign up for the Tough Mudder which takes place in July, but I may be looking at the Tough Mudder 2018 to ensure my foot heals properly. All in all, I a so glad I tried a half marathon and it has inspired me to do more challenges, like the Tough Mudder.

My overall advice from my experience is to listen to your body. Goals are amazing to reach and it’s exciting to finish what you started out for, but be careful. If you’re in pain, your body is telling you it’s too much. Don’t hurt yourself in the process. Your body is a beautiful thing.