Only at home

Since being home, my goals have been pretty simple: relax, recover from school and spend time with friends and family. I’d say that mission has been pretty well accomplished.

Here are just a few of my favorite things about being home…

Only at home does my mom know exactly what I like.

Naturally Nutty Sunflower Seed Butter? Falafel mix? Peanut butter and chocolate cupcake mix? Yes, yes and yes!

Only at home is it acceptable to walk around the neighborhood in bare feet.

My next-door neighbor recently died at the age of 94. Her family is spread out, so they decided to auction off much of her things. It was like a treasure trove! My mom, dad and I walked over to check out the goods.

Call me a dork, but I was pretty interested in some of the books — I even got a perfect condition 1924 National Geographic encyclopedia of birds and wildflowers.

Only at home is my frozen yogurt addiction nurtured.

My sister’s been talking up Red Mango, a new frozen yogurt shop in town. I decided to be nice and go along with her for a visit.

Only at home is it alright to do a running mini-jump/hug into Dan’s arms.

Dan finally finished up school and work for the weekend — that meant he was finally able to drive up to visit me!

Shortly after he got to town, we headed out for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. I can’t remember the name, but the vegetarian fajita I got was good. Dan was personally excited (or intimidated) about how huge burrito…

Only at home can I bake to my heart’s content without concerns for my waistline.

I mentioned it the other day, but my sister asked me if I wanted to bake something for her drama banquet.

The question wasn’t if I wanted to bake, but what I wanted to bake. Ultimately I decided to try my own version of my favorite childhood treat…


Except, I decided to make it minus the crazy ingredients and plus some whole grains.

Faux Hostess Cupcakes


  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 C cocoa
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 C water
  • 6 blocks of chocolate almond bark
  • 2 blocks of white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 can Cool Whip


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and cocoa.
  • Add in canola oil, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar and water. Stir everything together until fully combined.
  • Using a greased or lined cupcake pan, fill each cupcake slot 3/4 way full.

Tip: If the batter doesn’t fill all the slots, make sure the cupcakes still bake thoroughly by adding water to the empty slots.

  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center of a cupcake. Move the cupcakes to a rack and allow them to cool thoroughly.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a paring knife to cut a small well in the center of the cupcake. Cut the extra cake off the top sections, so there is just the covering circle. Discard — or eat — extra cake.

  • Carefully fill each well with Cool Whip.

  • Replace top on the cupcakes.
  • Melt two blocks of the chocolate bark, according to direction. Using a small spatula, spread a thin layer of chocolate on the top of the cupcake. Note: This layer doesn’t have to look perfect. It should just keep the crumbs in place.
  • Once the chocolate has hardened, melt the rest of the chocolate almond bark. Dunk the top of each cupcake in the melted chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  • Once the second layer of chocolate has hardened, melt the white chocolate bake. Pour the melted white chocolate in a small plastic baggie and snip off the tip of the bag. Carefully make squiggles on the center of each cupcake. Allow to cool and harden.

I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve had a real Hostess cupcake. Still, I am willing to bet these are better tasting and are certainly healthier!

Questions: What were your favorite childhood lunchbox treats? What can you do “only at home?”


8 responses to “Only at home

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