Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in Review: Reader's Choice

Every year since I started the blog, I've had every intention of compiling a list of favorite posts.  But for some reason, each year, I just haven't been able to get things together in time.  Well, 2012 is the year that changes!  I'm finally able to comprise a list that features the most popular posts of 2012.  I must say, it was a year of sweets for sure!  I guess I know what to make more of in 2013!

First up, Blueberry Grilled Cheese.  This dessert was inspired after a visit with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  It's nothing short of AH-mazing.  A smooth and light, sweet cream cheese mixture speckled with blueberries and sandwiched between two pieces of buttery pound cake.  This delicious sandwich is then grilled to perfection, making the edges lightly crisp and the inside perfectly fluffy.  A dessert that will make any and everyone happy.
Cookies and Cream Cake-What can I say about this cake?  Um, Wow.  This cake is incredible.  I made it for Spencer on his birthday and I think this was definitely a hit with the birthday boy.  What's not to love; moist chocolate cake with layers of pastry cream, then coated in a cookies and cream pastry cream and finished with tons of crushed Oreo cookies. 
Soft banana, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies were definitely a hit.  But what's not to love about a chewy cookie that has bananas, chocolate chips and peanut butter.  A crowd pleaser for all ages.

Cold Oven Pound Cake- This cake has long been a favorite of mine and my families.  There's really no special, out of the norm ingredients, or even a fancy glaze.  This is just a simple pound cake, baked in a non-preheated oven and comes out incredibly buttery, moist and delicious.  It's true, sometimes simple is best.
Best Blueberry Muffins- These blueberry muffins truly are the best I've ever had.  They are light, fluffy and moist and exploding with blueberries then topped with a streussel crumble.  An absolute treat for breakfast or even a snack.

Soft Giant M&M Cookies- I can't look at these cookies and not smile.  A giant cookie packed full of one of my all-time-favorite candies.  It really does make me feel like a kid every time I eat one.  For this particular cookie the magic truly is in the way it's prepped, not sure what it is but stacking the dough before it's baked makes for an exceptionally fluffy cookie.
Sausage Cheese Kolache- are a weakness of mine, and my families.  There's just something about the sweet, fluffy bread surrounding melted cheese and spicy sausage that is truly amazing.  When I came across this recipe I was in heaven.  These remind me of the kolaches we enjoy from the donut shop on a regular basis.  I was thrilled to find a recipe that was spot on, and that encompassed all the flavors of the ones we enjoy from the donut shop.  These are perfect fresh from the oven, but store in the freezer incredibly well too.
Three Ingredient Nutella- I knew I LOVED Nutella but I had no clue how many others felt the same, exact way I did (and do) about the stuff.  Wow.  This recipe was posted and immediately exploded.  I have a special place in my heart for Nutella so when I found a recipe that was incredibly simple that I could make myself, I was sold.  I can have this chocolate, hazelnut goodness any time I want.  Even better, I have control of the ingredients I use!  Who knew making this deliciousness could be so easy?  I didn't, but now I do and I'm so glad!

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans- candied pecans and almonds area one of those treats that pull me in every time I'm at a mall or carnival.  I'm not quite sure what it is but I'm addicted.  There's just something about that sugary sweet coating surrounding some of my favorite nuts.  Since I enjoy them so much I decided to make some at home, but I added a bit of heat to them.  Talk about a hit.  We enjoyed them fresh out of the pan, as well as on several different main courses.  I can't keep these in the house, they dissappear everytime I make them.
Sweet and Salty Cookies- These cookies were created because of my love of all things sweet and savory.  I have long been a lover of this combination and I finally acted on my love for that and created these cookies.  These cookies are a mixture of pretzels, dry roasted peanuts, pretzel M&M's, chocolate and salt.  Yes, packed with tons of goodies and they all work together to give you a delicious cookie that is packed with flavor.  It has it all; sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy.  In my opinion it's the perfect cookie.  Apparently many of you share this love for the sweet and savory combo, because plenty of you have been very interested in this recipe!  I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as I do.
Well, this wraps it up.  These are the top 10 most popular posts of 2012.  I hope you have enjoyed looking over the most popular posts of 2012 with me.  It's been a journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  My promise to you for 2013 is to deliver more sweets for you to enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

White Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cookies

I must say this week has definitely been very interesting, maybe even one for the record books.  It started out like any other holiday week; family was in and last minute preparations were being made for Christmas.  The final presents wrapped, stockings stuffed, goodies baked.  You know the drill.  Tuesday, Christmas day, even started out normal.  We woke up, my little man opened his stocking and then went to see what Santa had brought him.  The events of Christmas morning transpired as normal.  After we opened gifts we got ready, loaded up the car and headed to my in-laws to celebrate Christmas with them.  It was chilly outside and rainy but no real weather to speak of.  After we had been there a few hours the temperature started dropping, the rain started coming harder and harder and then the wintery mix.  All the rain and mix started freezing on the trees and roads.  It was amazing how quickly the weather changed.  We eneded up having to load up and head back home before the weather and the roads got too bad.

We made it home just in time.  About the time we got the car unloaded the snow started coming down.  We're not talking about a flurry here and there, we're talking tons of snow.  I fixed our Christmas meal, we sat down, ate, got everything cleaned up and then sat down to relax.  About an hour after that we lost power.  Yup, powerless on Christmas day.  We started our gas logs and made a pallet in the living room so we could stay warm.  The next day we woke up and still no power, so we hung around the house for a while hoping and praying the power would be restored soon.  Time went by and still no power.  I checked the news on my phone and read that there were close to 200,000 people in our area without power and they were predicting people could be without power for upto 7 days...yikes.  We toughed it out a little longer since we had seen the power trucks going up and down our street.  Then a few hours later I looked up and saw a lamp come.  I don't think I can explain just how happy we were!  I turned our heat on, the gas logs off and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.  We are definitely some of the fortunate ones in our area, there are still people without power.  The crews are working continuously to get everyone's power restored ASAP.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Day to Honor Sandy Hook and Browned Butter M&M Cookies

Before Friday, December 14, 2012 I had never heard of the tiny town of Newtown nor the Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I think it's one of those days that will stay frozen in my mind forever.  I will remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found out that one of the most horrific things imaginable had happened.  A shooting at a school.  An elementary school.  For me and all the people around me it was like the events of the day came in slow motion and the number of victims just kept increasing.  My heart was broken and I was numb.  Children, teachers, a town and a community had just experienced one of the worst things ever.  My heart broke for people I don't know, for a town and school that I had never heard of.  All I could think to do was pray.  Pray for God to wrap his arms around the kids, teachers, staff, parents, first responders, a town and community.  And that's what I've done; pray numerous times every day since I heard the news.
I can't imagine the terror and the horror that each person in Sandy Hook faced one week ago on this very day.  There aren't enough drills or courses in the world that can prepare anyone for what they went through.  I thank God that the teachers and staff were able to keep a level head and did everything in their power to keep their kids safe.  These teachers will forever be remembered as heros.  These kids will forever be remembered as angels and remembered for the joy and laughter they brought to everyone they encountered.  They may be gone but their spirits and legacy will live on forever in everyone that they touched. 
Not a day has gone by that I don't think about the people in this town, a town before now that was described as Mayberry.  An innocent, happy place where people loved one another, a tight knit community.  How could something so senseless happen to such a perfect town?  Such perfectly innocent people?  I think those are two questions that will be running through people's minds infinitely.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Triple Chocolate Molasses Cake

It's no surprise to any of you that I LOVE chocolate.  Infact, I think that's probably an understatement.  I have a healthy obsession with it, to say the least.  I also love anything and everything sweet.  So when I stumbled across Crunchy Creamy Sweet blog and saw this cake it was love at first sight.  I knew I must make this and make it soon. 
I had been longing for some baking therapy for quite some time, and especially since the holidays are here.  There's just something about the holidays that makes me want to bake something sweet every. single. day.  I'm not sure what it is but I find myself HAVING to bake during the time of year, every year.  This cake fit the bill; baking therapy, a perfect recipe for the holidays and a cake big enough to share with lots of people.  After all, this is the seaons of giving and sharing.  And what better way to show others you care than with a big, rich, tasty and chocolate-y cake. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baked Burritos with Creamy Poblano Sauce

Mexican, Tex-Mex, anything along these lines is a weakness for me.  I honestly think I could live on Mexican food of some sort every. single. day.  So when I saw these burritos on Elly's blog I knew I had to make them.  And soon.  So...I did. 

I love burritos.  How could anything be bad when it's rolled up in a fluffy, flour-y tortilla?  These burritos are incredible.  A combination of spices, lean ground beef, beans and cheese rolled up in a whole-wheat tortilla and baked to crisp perfection is amazing on it's own.  But to take it one step further, it's then topped with a poblano sauce that's thicky, creamy, with a hint of spice.  Un-be-lieveable! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bloggers Unite for Sandy Hook

Bloggers unite for
cookies & crafts
for Sandy Hook
Friday, December 21, 2012

A tribute to the victims, families
and community of
Newtown, CT.

Hope you'll be able to join us!  Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook {#BloggersforSandyHook}

After the terrible tragedy that errupted on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary families, a community, a state and a Nation have been left in desparation.  Everyone is in shock and asking the question "Why?".  Why would this happen, how could this happen, and to innocent children of all people?  After the terrible events of the day I had so many thoughts and questions storming through my brain, with one of the main ones being "What can I do to help?" 

What could I possible do to honor the victims and families that have been so deeply wounded and who have suffered a loss no one should ever suffer?  I felt so helpless, to say the least.  Then word started spreading through the blogosphere about an event Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook that would be held to honor victims, families and an entire community that is broken.  Dorothy of  crazy for crust along with many other bloggers who are part of a facebook group decided to head up the benefit to honor all of those affected by the events that took place on Friday, December 14, 2012. 

On Friday, December 21 the blogosphere is uniting to pay tribute to the vicitims, families, and community of Newtown by doing a post on their blog.  Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook is one very small way to show a community and town in devistation that they are loved, prayed for and supported after something so terrible and unimaginable. 

Bloggers unite for
cookies & crafts
for Sandy Hook
Friday, December 21, 2012

A tribute to the victims, families
and community of
Newtown, CT.

Hope you'll be able to join us! Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook {#BloggersforSandyHook}

On Friday, December 21 write a post sharing a recipe or craft along with a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary.  That's it, something simple to honor Sandy Hook and Newtwon.  There are no other specifications or requirements; just something that you would make for or with your children. 

The Newtown Youth and Family Services has now been set up. According to their website, Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a “licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.” All donations made to them are going to go back to those affected by the school shooting. You can go to their website to donate.

Please spread the word.  I hope you're able to participate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Day of Silence

My heart bleeds for each and every person affected by this terrible, senseless tragedy.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  I pray that God wraps HIS arms around you tightly and holds you close.  I can't even begin to imagine what you are all going through, but please know that this country is crying, hurting and grieving with you as well as praying for you during this horrific time in your lives. 

candle photo courtesy of candle light backgrounds

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bacon Pecan Brittle

When I think of brittle the first thing that comes to mind is peanut brittle.  Because brittle is synonymous with peanut brittle, am I right?  Peanut brittle is simply a classic; a candy that has been around for years.  Peanut brittle seems to go hand in hand with the holidays.  It's pretty much a sign that the holidays are here when I start seeing brittle pop up all around me; in stores, in the mail and recipes for it all over the internet. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I am and always have been a sucker for potato soup.  What's not to love; a starchy potato soup piled high with bacon and cheese.  How could anyone not love it?  When I was younger, I would always stay with my Grandma after school until my mom and dad got off work.  Sometimes their schedules were so that I would end up eating supper at my Grandma's house.  I can't tell you how much my heart pounded with joy when I would eat with my Grandma and she would make her delicious potato soup.  Folks, her soup ruined me.  I'm quite positive it turned me into a potato soup snob.  If there is such a thing!  It was thick, but not too thick, creamy, with chunks of potatoes, carrots and celery.  It was truly out of this world. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Autumn Chopped Salad

This salad has quickly become a favorite in our house.  I'm not sure if it's the list of ingredients that comes on this salad or if it's the vinaigrette that makes is so good, or maybe it's a combination of both.  Whatever it is, I'm glad I made it. 

It is no surprise that I love salads.  Even more, I love salads with fruit on them.  I guess it's the whole sweet and savory thing that reals me in.  This particular salad has it all; sweet, salty, smokey and tangy.  I love it.  This salad is the epitomy of easy and delicious.  What more coud you want in a meal, especially one for the weeknight? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DB: Twelve Days of Cookies

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.
We are embarking on my most favorite time of the year, Christmas!  Can you believe it's here?  I can't!  The time and year has just flown by, but boy I'm glad it's here.  My tree is up, presents are wrapped and now I'm just enjoying the decorations, music and merryment of the season.  When I think of Christmas I think of hot chocolate, hot apple and muled cider, and of course homemade cookies and goodies! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

SRC: 3 Ingredient Nutella

For the November installment of the secret recipe club swap I was assigned Deanna's blog, The Mommy Bowl.  Deanna is a cereal lover turned gluten-free.  While this is a challenge in and of itself, she's also determined to serve her family delicious and tasty gluten-free meals and treats.

After looking through numerous recipes on her blog, I finally decided on 3 ingredient  Nutella.  As if this stuff weren't addicting enough from the store, I know have the means to make it for myself at home.  Any time I want.  How dangerous is that?  I love Nutella and I'm slightly obsessed with it.  Over the years I have used much self-control and tried to limit my intake of this heavenly chocolate spread and I must say, I've done quite well.  Well, now that I've discovered this recipe I can make it myself anytime I want.  It's slightly easier to practice self-control when I have to get in the car, go to the store and buy a jar when I have a craving.  Now my control and discipline is going to be tried even more so now that I have the recipe.  One plus with the homemade stuff is that I can control the quality of the ingredients which means I can make it slightly more healthy than the stuff I could buy in the store.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

By now, you know that I'm a fan of everything homemade.  If there is a storebought version, I try to figure out how to make it successfully at home.  In my humble opinion, everything made at home is about 1000 times better that the stuff from the store.  Not that I don't get help from time to time with the store bought stuff, because believe me, this busy girl can use help and time savers!  But, I am saying that I do enjoy the homemade stuff better!
Enter these homemade marshmallows.  Who doesn't love a good marshmallow?  I have memories throughout my childhood of stuffing marshmallows in my mouth as fast as I possibly could...because they were just so good.  And yes, there was the occassional game of "fuzzy bunny", you know the one where you stuffed a ton of marshmallows in your mouth, one by one, and tried to say fuzzy bunny and whoever had the most in their mouth and could still be understood was the winner?  Yes, you know the one.  That game, too, had a factor in my intake of marshmallows.  And while those packaged marshmallows are good, I have something that's even better!  Homemade marshmallows!  But I have a feeling you won't want to play the fuzzy bunny game with these, you'll want to savor every last morsel. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

15 Gifts for the Cook in Your Life

Can you believe it?  We are in November folks and Christmas is steadily approaching.  Christmas will be here in exactly 42 days (no pressure).  Wow!  Where has this year gone?  This picture of my little man with Santa is from last year, it seems like yesterday we were there talking to Santa and posing for this picture.  I can't believe it's time to go see him again and give him a Tucker's wishlist.

I know Tucker is getting his list ready for Santa!  Are you?  If you're struggling with what to put on your list or to buy that special cook in your life, I have a few ideas to share with you that just might help you out!

1. Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics- I adore Ina Garten, she's incredibly inspiring and truly amazing.  I adore all of her recipes and this cookbook is a staple in my collection.

2. America's Test Kitchen: DIY Cookbook- America's Test Kitchen has been around for years and is a trusted resource to all cooks.  They continue to release amazing cookbooks that not only have pleasing and tasty recipes, but secrets behind the recipes and why they work.  This DIY cookbook looks amazing and takes those everyday, storebough favorites and shows you how to make them at home. 
*This is on my wishlist!

3. The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook- Lindsay Landis, one-half of the awesome cooks and creative minds behind Love and Olive Oil, has gone there.  Yes, there!  She's made a cookbook that has cookie dough in every. single. recipe.  How crazy and exciting is that?  This is the perfect present for that cookie (dough) lover in your life!
*I've been drooling over this since it's release, it's on my wishlist.

4. Bon Appetit, Ya'll- Doesn't the title of this book just mamke you smile?  I don't know how you can be from the south and not have a cookbook in your collection that includes the word "ya'll" in the title.  This book is another I've been lusting over; the recipes look incredible.  A mix of classic, southern recipes with a slight French twist (and no, not the hairstyle!)
*Another that's on my wishlist.

5. Smitten Kitchen Cookbook- Words cannot even describe how excited I was when I learned that Deb Perelman, the creative genious and cook behind the ever-so-popular blog Smitten Kitchen was releasing a cookbook.  I have followed her blog for I don't know how long, so needless to say, I was ecstatic when I heard about her cookbook.  To say the recipes she's developed for her blog are incredible and delicious would be an understatement.  And now, she's developed more original recipes to go inside this wonderful cookbook. 
*Another one that is on my wishlist!

Kitchen Aid-
6. Batter beater attachment for Kitchen Aid stand mixers-this attachment is a staple in my kitchen.  Any time my mixer is in use, it's a safe bet that this is the attachment that is at work.  It's a life saver, it simply scrapes the bowl with each passing spin.  It eliminates the need to stop the mixer, scrape the bowl and then proceed with mixing.  Perfect for that baker in your life.

7. Kitchen Aid professional stand mixer- This was a splurge for me when Spencer and I got married.  I used gift cards and registry completion discounts to get this baby, and I'm so glad I took the plunge.  I LOVE my mixer.  I've made countless cakes, frostings, cookies and breads using this mixer and it's withstood the load every. single. time. 

8. Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment- This was the first attachment I "wished" for after I bought my mixer.  I am an ice cream lover and I can't count the number of times I've whipped this baby out and made a batch of homemade ice cream.  This is a must for your ice cream lover.

Kitchen essentials-
9. OXO mandolin slicer- Slice it thick, thin, in sticks or even waffle cuts.  This slicer does it all!  I received mine for a birthday present last year from my awesome brother-in-law and sister-in-lawe.  I LOVE it.  I use it all the time; and even better, every slice is exact and uniform.  I'm not really sure how I survived without it, but I'm so glad I don't have to do without one now.

10. Le Creuset Spatulas- a good set of spatulas and scrapers is a must in any kitchen.  I love my Le Creuset spatulas; they are durable, sturdy and get into the nooks to ensure every bowl, jar and bottle is scraped clean.  I believe it's good to have a variety of sizes to accomodate your needs.  I also believe it's a must to have spatulas that are heat resistant to a fairly high temperature, to ensure you don't melt your spatula while make the perfect sauce, dip or candy.

11. Cast Iron Skillet- every kitchen needs at least 1 seasoned cast iron skillet.  I can't tell you how many times I use my cast iron skillets, and I use them for all sorts of things.  If you're going to invest in just 1 I recommend buying a 12 inch skillet.  I personally have one 12inch and two 8inch. 

12. Enamel coated cast iron dutch oven- I use my dutch oven for so many things.  Since I received mine last Christmas it truly has become an essential in my kitchen.  Soups, stews, stove top to oven, roasting chicken, roast or briskett; the uses are endless.

13.  OXO kitchen scale- Whether you're counting calories and servings or weighing ingredients for your perfect cookie or cake recipe, a kitchen scale is a must.  After receiving this for a birthday present a few years ago, it's not only been my best friend in the kitchen but I immediately knew what I was getting a few friends for their upcoming birthdays.

14. Pampered Chef pizza stone- We love pizza, and we thoroughly enjoy making pizza at home.  Sometimes we get creative, other times we stick to the more traditional toppings.  No matter what type of pizza we make, we always use our pizza stone.  It turns out the perfect crust, slightly crispy edges and fluffy middle, every single time.

15. Nesting bowls- A nice set of nested mixing bowls are a crutial piece of any kitchen.  I find it nice to have a fairly large set with various sizes so I can accomodate the ingredients for whatever it is I'm making.  I'm in love with this set from Williams-Sonoma, it has every size I could possibly need and they nest perfectly for easy storage.

I hope that this has given you some ideas for that special cook in your life!  Christmas will be here before we know it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

Donuts have become sort of a weekend ritual for us as of late.  I enjoy the time we spend on Saturday mornings; sitting and hanging out with each other and enjoying some donuts while watching cartoons.  It truly doesn't get much better than that.  Sometimes we'll go to the donut shop, get an assortment of donuts, a couple of kolaches, and of course let Tucker pick out a few donuts of his own!  Other times we decide to stay home and I'll make up a batch of donuts and twists.  Sometimes it's all 3 of us in the kitchen, while other times Spencer sleeps in and Tucker and I will make a batch of donuts.  I love that Tucker is so interested in being in the kitchen and helping out, I also love the time we have together and the memories we make!  I know I will hold them dear to my heart forever.
A couple of pics I snapped real quick with my phone.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creamy Spinach and Arugula Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes

Here we are in the midst of fall, part of the country is being slammed with rain and snow but here in Arkansas we've had no such weather.  We've had some chilly days but no frosts or severe weather, yet.  So, unlike a lot of people, our garden is still in full bloom and we are still picking bell peppers, tomatoes, and jalapenos by the buckets.  Believe it or not, my herbs are still in full bloom too; parsley, basil and even some cilantro.  Wild, right?  I plan to utilize every piece of fresh produce possible while I still have access to it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crockpot Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

I absolutely adore recipes that are big in flavor, yet minimal in ingredients.  And yes, this recipes is one of those.  Even better, it's a recipe that is full of flavor and requires very little prep since it utilizes the good, ol' slow cooker.  I love using my slow cooker.  In my opinion, one of the best things is walking in the door at night and having supper just waiting on you.  This recipe offers that; tasty, full of flavor, comforting and has the food waiting on you to enjoy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Melting Moments

Over the past few months I have come across  couple of cookies that were simply amazing and that literally melt in your mouth.  Both of the recipes that come to mind had brown sugar in them; one had brown sugar in the cookie alone while the other had brown sugar in both the cookie and the frosting.  The brown sugar in these cookies was the secret behind them literally melting in your mouth at first bite.  Both of these cookies have quickly grown to be a favorite, not only in our house but for my friends and co-workers as well.  I honestly didn't know if I would ever find a recipe to top the recent favorites, but I think I least for some people.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for October 28-November 3, 2012

Hamburger steaks with mushroom-onion gravy, squash and salad
Baked burritos with sour cream poblano sauce, rice and beans
Loaded baked potato soup and crusty bread
Skillet lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Jalapeno baked fish with potatoes and tomatoes

Have a great week and a happy halloween!

SRC:Brown Sugar Granola

For this month's secret recipe club swap, I was assigned Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  "SnoWhite" is a doctor by day and cook by night.  She started cooking as a hobby during graduate school mainly as a way to maintain her food allergy and since then it's turned into so much more.  Her love of cooking started way before school; her mom and grandmothers all enjoyed cooking and were very good at what they did.  They have played a roll in her joy of cooking and are an inspiration to her while in the kitchen.
After browsing through a multitude of recipes, I finally decided on this recipe for brown sugar granola.  We've been on a granola kick lately and this seemed like it would be perfect for fall!  Another reason I decided on granola, is because my little man ALWAYS wants a snack after school and I've been looking for more healthy alternatives to give him for the ride home.  What's better than granola?  Plus, he loves it.  It's a win win; it's healthy, tastes good and he enjoys it! 

DB: Mille-Feuille

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!
Puff pastry is one of my all-time-favorite pastries.  The light, fluffy, flakiness is amazing and there's simply nothing like it.  Since I enjoy this pastry so much, this challenge was right up my alley.  It seems only fitting that I should make this at home since I enjoy it so much.  Puff pastry is delicious on it's own, but it can be filled with a variety of fillings, sweet or savory, and that enhances the flavor that much more. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies

Before I start, let me clarify, I have never met a sweet I didn't like but I do have a few favorites.  I believe one of my all-time favorites when I was a child was funfetti; it could be cake or cupcakes, it didn't matter.  Just as long as it was funfetti!  To this day, I still love funfetti.  I'm not sure if it's the actual cake that I love or if it's the memories from my childhood that I get flooded with from the very first bite.  Either way, it's still a favorite of mine.

Friday, October 19, 2012

WC: Roasted Tomato, Mozzerella, and Spinach Sandwiches

Caprese salad is one of my all time favorites.  It's such a simple salad with simple ingredients; spinach (or basil), tomatoes, mozzerella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but it's so delicious, flavorful and refreshing.  So needless to say, when summer rolls around and we have tons of ripe, red tomatoes on the vine I am one happy girl!  Although it's not summer anymore we still have tons of tomatoes in our garden.  Not sure if we have magic dirt or if it's just a benefit of living in Arkansas and having ever changing weather; from day to day!  Either way, I will take it because it's that much longer I can enjoy my beloved caprese salad.
While caprese salad is amazing on it's own, over the past few months I've seen these simple ingredients incorporated into recipes and they all look amazing.  This sandwich is one of those recipes I've been eyeing and wanting to try for quite some time.  And now I'm finally getting to!  For this round of the What's Cooking recipes swap it was blogger's choice.  What that means is we get to choose the recipe we make from our assigned blog.  It didn't take me long to figure out what I was going to make from Kate's blog, that's right this roasted tomato, mozzerella and spinach sandwich!

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