Inner Chef

Enjoy your kitchen, your food and your inner chef

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One Box-Three Delicious Cupcake Temptations!

1-Box-Three Delicious Cupcake Temptations!

My mom sent this recipe to me, so I am not sure where it came from, but I have made these numerous times and they are always a hit!


1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix

Reeses Pieces candies

Chocolate Malted Milk Ballls

Andes Mints chocolate candies

1 can milk chocolate frosting

2 cans vanilla frosting

¼ tsp. peppermint extract

3 Tbsp. chocolate malted milk powder

¼ cup peanut butter


Prepare cake according to package directions. Divide batter equally among three bowls.

Bake each type of cupcake for 15 minutes at temperature directed on package.

Line mini cupcake tins with liners.

Chocolate Malt Mini Cupcakes

Stir 3 Tbsp. chocolate malted milk powder into 1 bowl of batter (you may need more according to taste). Bake as directed. Place ¾ cup canned milk chocolate frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe overcooled cupcakes and garnish with halved malted milk balls.

Double Peanut Mini Cupcakes

Toss 2 Tbsp. Reese’s Pieces candies (chopped) with 1 tsp. all-purpose flour; stir into batter. Bake according to package directions. Mix ½ cup canned vanilla frosting with ¼ cup creamy peanut butter; place in pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Reese’s Pieces candies.

Mint Mini Cupcakes

Toss 4 Andes Mints (chopped) with 1 tsp. all-purpose flour; stir into batter. Fill liners and bake according to package directions. Mix ¾ cup canned vanilla frosting with ¼ tsp. peppermint extract and 3 drops of green food coloring. Place in pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe over cooled cupcakes and garnish with halved Andes Mints.


mini cupcakes

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Chocolate Cherry Torte

Chocolate Cherry Torte                    Makes: 12-16 servings

(Taken from “The Cake Bible”)

1 package Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe cake mix

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

¼ tsp. almond extract

1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

PREHEAT oven to 350°.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

PREPARE, bake and cool cake following package directions for basic recipe. Combine cherry pie filling and almond extract in small bowl. Stir until blended.

ASSEMBLE cake by placing one cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup whipped topping, them half the cherry mixture. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining pie filling to within 1 ½ inches from cake edge. Decorate cake edge with remaining whipped topping. Garnish with sliced almonds.


HINT: To toast almonds, spread single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden.





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Where Have I Been????

Hello Everyone!

 I wanted to let you know what has been going on to keep me from my Inner Chef duties.

I am now the full-time head cook at Rainbow Child Care in Indianapolis. This is the perfect job for me and every day I am finding more reasons to enjoy my new job.

 I am able to not only feed these wonderful little tykes but teach them about food as well. Today I learned that I will be sending out newsletters to the parents once a month, discussing my objectives and ideas for the month.

This will include introducing the children to new foods, enjoying National Foodie Holidays, and just plain having fun with your food (other than throwing it at others).

 I have waited for a position like this to come around and I will say that it is everything I wanted it to be and more.

 I will still find time for my Inner Chef family; although posts may be only bi-weekly for now. As I get a momentum going for work, home and Inner Chef, I am hoping it will be more often.

 So hang in there and don’t give up on Inner Chef. There are still many amazing and tasty dishes to prepare in our archives.

Thanks for understanding and see you all soon!

~Carolyn Lee

Inner Chef

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Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups


Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups     Serves: About 7

This recipe was going viral like crazy on Facebook and I had to give it a try. I made some changes to fit my likes and my needs. But you can find the original recipe on Budget Bytes website.


1 lb. lasagna noodles

15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup finely shredded Mozzarella cheese

½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, drained very well**

2 ½ cups roasted garlic marinara sauce

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste



  1. In a large pot; bring salted water to rolling boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook to al dente (about 12-15 minutes).
  2. While noodles are cooking; in a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, spinach, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with veggie oil.
  4. When noodles are al dente; drain well. Cover a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Lay 3-4 noodles on baking sheet at a time. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cheese mixture on each noodle and spread end to end. (I used my fingers to spread and pat the mixture). This does not need to be laid on thick.
  5. Roll up noodles and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish. Place them side to side; close. Cover tops of roll-ups with sauce and cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and remove foil.

**Thaw frozen spinach on plate in refrigerator over night. Unwrap spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible. Lay spinach on platter lined with layers of paper towels and cover with more layers. Press down to remove any extra water. As you mix the spinach with the cheese (I used culinary plastic gloves) the spinach will break up.



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How to Get Those Brilliant Colors for Your Easter Eggs

Here it is; almost Easter and thanks to an Inner Chef member (Theresa), my eggs will FINALLY be the beautiful hues I have longed them to be!

Theresa found a great site from McCormick that show us just how to get those brilliant colors for our Easter eggs.

Just click on the link below.




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