Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FitBit Giveaway

I am so excited to be teaming up with some amazing bloggers to give one of you the opportunity to win your very own FitBit.


With health and fitness being at the forefront of everyone's minds, we'll take every little bit of help we can get.  Well, FitBit will help you keep track of every step you take along with calories burned, time slept and weight.  Fit bit is so much more than you average pedometer, click here to read all about it and it's benefits.

The giveaway ends October 7th at midnight.  Thanks to everyone who enters and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Strawberry Raspberry Funny Cake

A few months ago I was celebrating blueberry month and featured a week of tempting blueberry recipes.  Once of the recipes I featured was my blueberry lemon funny cake.  A spin on a dessert I enjoyed regularly when I was a child.

My family called it funny cake, but it's also know by several other names.  Gooey butter cake. Neiman Marcus cake and I'm sure there are several other names that I'm just not aware of.  The basic recipe is a classic yellow cake, butter, eggs, powdered sugar and cream cheese and let me tell ya, it's out of this world.  We made it for dessert at least once a week and it didn't last but 2 days, if it lasted that long.
Funny cake is still a family favorite, and after the response to the blueberry lemon funny cake I truly thing it ranks right up there with the original.  My dad thought it was delicious and started questioning why we hadn't added fruit to the mix a long time ago.  Well, better late than never.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Strawberry Lemonade

This week marks the start of Race for the Cure in Arkansas and several other states across the country.  Training for the big race has been going on for months, fundraising for cancer research is in full swing and ladies and gents from all over the state are making plans for their trip to the capitol city.  Saturday morning downtown Little Rock will be flooded with a sea of pink and thousands of individuals; some fighting, some remembering, and others supporting.  All with one goal in mind, to find a cure for the horrid disease we call cancer.

Odds are every single person has been touched by cancer.  Whether you've battled it, lost a love one or are supporting someone in their battle right now, cancer has touched practically everyone everywhere.  I lost my sweet MaMaw to the stuff and I get sick to my stomach every time I think about it.  She was an amazing lady that touched so many and there's no telling what other lives she would have touched had she not been stricken.  I am sure there are stories like hers being told everyday.
Since we are embarking are breast cancer awareness month and Race for the Cure, I decided to paint my blog pink this week.  I have several recipes donning the color pink for the memory of my MaMaw, the countless others who lost their battles and the thousands fighting their battle right now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies with Brown Butter Frosting

It's officially fall!  The season of changing leaves, cozy sweaters, Mixed Con and so on.  But, most importantly it's the season of pumpkin!  I love summer and going to the water park with my little guy, but about mid to late August I start getting antsy for fall and everything pumpkin.  Pumpkins on the front porch, carving them, pumpkin bread, waffles, lattes.  Pumpkin everything.

This year is no exception.  I held off as long as I could but I did share my first pumpkin recipe while it was still officially summer.  Ooops!  Ever since it's been a never ending pumpkin parade in my kitchen.

Blondies are another one of my favorite desserts.  The chocolate-less version of brownies; blondies are made with butter, brown sugar, flour eggs and salt.  They are amazing and the brown sugar gives them that chewy texture and caramel flavor.  Since they use brown instead of white sugar they are also known as brown sugar squares.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Best Chocolate Irish Cream Bundt Cake with Irish Cream Glaze

This month I am attending Online Blog Con.  That's right, a blogging conference that takes place in comfort of my very own home.  Myself along with several hundred other fellow bloggers are getting to know one another, learning the basics as well as the latest and greatest in the blogging world and getting to "meet" some amazing companies, both through their sponsorship and through sessions.

LorAnn Oils is one of the amazing sponsors this year!  Along with being an awesome sponsor, they have also given us the opportunity to sample some of their incredible oils and flavors.  Here's a little back story, for any of you who aren't familiar with the company.  They were started over 50 years ago by a pharmacist, O.K. Grettenberger.  Initially there were only a handful of essential oils produced and they were only available to pharmacies.  Since the initial start-up, the company has grown and still focuses on their essential oils, but also produces a variety of professional quality flavors ideal for baked goods, soda flavorings, ice cream and candy making.  To read the full story click here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

SRC: Mixed Berry Banana Smoothie

I have been on a smoothie kick as of late.  We're talking at least one smoothie a day, sometimes two. There's just something so enticing about them.  They are quick and easy, they are filling without making me feel completely bogged down and they are a great option for a quick breakfast or snack on the go, so perfectly portable.

Another plus, I add a handful of spinach or kale for some extra veggie power.  It's a simple addition to help get another serving of veggies, and it doesn't compromise the taste of the smoothie in any way.  Don't believe me?  My 4 year old is just as much of a smoothie addict as I am and I put handfuls of the green stuff in his and he sucks it down like an Icee.  Although he's not a picky eater, veggies in his smoothie may turn him off.  But he loves the smoothies and doesn't even notice the added greens.
This month's Secret Recipe Club exchanged kept feeding my smoothie cravings.  Ros of The More Occasional Baker loves being in the kitchen and has a passion for baking, not unlike yours truly!  I browsed through all of her recipes, which had my mouth watering, but ultimately decided to focus on a recipe that was a little lighter this month.  A smoothie.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Homemade Mocha-Coconut Frappuccino...A.K.A Mochanut Frappuccino

Coffee.  It's the go juice that gets me up and running every. single. morning.  I don't know what I'd do without the stuff.  And honestly, I don't even want to thing about it.

Coffee has been running through my veins since I was little.  Although, it wasn't nearly the strength I fill my cup with these days.  Used to, after napping, my MaMaw would always wake up and have her afternoon coffee along with a cookie or two.  Sometimes friends would come and join her for a cup or two, and sit and fellowship around her avocado green kitchen table.  On the days I was there she would fix me my very own cup of "special" coffee.  Which in the end ended up being milk, sugar and a splash of coffee...just enough to color the milk.
As time has progressed my love of coffee has grown immensely, as well as the ratio of milk or cream to coffee.  It's definitely more coffee and less milk nowadays.  Most of the time I drink my coffee strongly brewed with a little half and half and a sprinkle of sugar.  But, there are times when I need a little more excitement...or an afternoon pick-me-up.  Or both.

When those times come, a Starbucks run is completely and utterly necessary.  Necessary for my sanity and the safety of everyone around.  Well, maybe it's not that serious, but let's not leave things to chance.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Triple Chocolate Milkshake with Waffles and Candied Bacon

I am soooo excited about this milkshake.  I've been trying to control myself all week because I've wanted to post this day after day, but I had to save it.  I needed to save it.  Not only to conclude #waffleweek with an utterly indulgent treat, but also because today is national chocolate milkshake day!

Yes, it's true.  Chocolate milkshakes have their own day to be celebrated.  And why shouldn't they?  Chocolate is the fuel that keeps us going.  The food that makes everything better when all seems wrong in the world.  And there's nothing a whole lot better than gulping down a rich, thick and creamy chocolate milkshake.  One sip and I go to my happy place.
So, how could I possibly celebrate two food holidays at once?  Individually it's no biggie.  I'll have a waffle to celebrate waffle week, and I'll have a chocolate milkshake to celebrate the it in all it's glory.  But celebrate the two together?  Well that's just crazy talk, right?  Or is it?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peanut Butter, Banana Fluffernutter Stuffed Waffles

I am always looking for quick and easy breakfast ideas.  Even though I don't have to be at work at 8:00 or 8:30 everyday, my "job" still starts bright and early and as soon as Tucker wakes up breakfast is essential.  There are some days he just wants cereal, granola bar or  toast, but other days he wants a little something more.  On those days I want to provide him with something with some substance but doesn't take 30-45 minutes to make.

Recently my waffle maker has been my best friend, and my friend has been receiving quite a workout.  From basic waffles, to grilled cheeses and one of my new favorites-stuffed waffle biscuits, this little guy can do it all.  And does it fast!
One of my crews favorite flavor combos is peanut butter, banana and marshmallows.  Honestly, I think that pretty much everyone loves that combination!  And why wouldn't you?  Slightly salty, sweet and creamy peanut butter, bananas and sweet and fluffy marshmallows.  The King new what he was doing when he fell in love with this profile and deemed it his signature dish.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

When I ask my boys what they want for breakfast, 9 times out of 10 it's the list of traditional breakfast options; bacon, eggs and biscuits.  It's nothing fancy, but it's delicious.  It's comforting and a staple on kitchen tables pretty much everywhere.  That combination is the perfect balance; fluffy biscuits, salty and crispy bacon, and rich and buttery eggs.

Combine the classic combination and pile it high on a sandwich and you've got one of the most iconic breakfast sandwiches ever.  Not only are they a popular option and a standard breakfast item on menus across the country, they are also a go to option in the kitchen at home.
I've added another twist on this amazing classic.  Instead of the basic biscuit or English muffin, the bacon, eggs and cheese are sandwiched together between two flaky, golden biscuits that have been "baked" in the waffle iron.  Taking the basic biscuit and making it a little more crispy on the outside and keeping the insides fluffy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brownie Waffles

A few weeks ago I went to my hometown to visit my parents.  While there I went to a get together at my childhood church and was able to visit with several people who I hold near and dear.  I talked to several people about food...and they know their food and they know their way around the kitchen! We talked about various recipes and foods, and then they started asking about my monthly KARK4 segments.

We chatted about some of the previous segments but also talked about my upcoming segment.  I was throwing out my ideas about making waffles and the different things I wanted to do with waffles and my waffle machine!  I had several ideas but was curious to see if any of some of my cooking icons and role models had any ideas.  And it was no surprise to me when they starting tossing out ideas left and right.

One of the ladies (who to this day I still call Pansy...long story); my former Sunday school teacher, youth trip chaperon, and staple in the youth building at every get together and event, started telling me about one of her favorite waffles that her aunt would make for her every time she visited, chocolate waffles.  She went on to tell me how amazing they were and these were a ceremonial part of her visits to her aunts.  Her favorite way to enjoy them was fresh off the waffle iron topped with peanut butter.

This got my wheels to turning.  A chocolate waffle?  Um, yes please!  I'll take chocolate any time, any day but give me an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast and I'm all over that!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Caramelized Banana Stuffed Biscuit Waffles

My two guys are obsessed with bananas.  Spencer has a banana every morning and Tucker has at least one a day, if not more.  They are obsessed, so any time I'm able to sneak a few away in order to experiment I take full advantage!  It's not that they don't like what I make with them, it's that they eat them so fast that I can't get around to making something before they disappear.

This recipes was one of those times where I was able to snag a few bananas from their stash! When I was preparing for #waffleweek2014, I knew I had to make at least one recipe involving apples.  I've already make brown butter banana waffles, which are amazing!  So this time I wanted to do a little something different.  Something not only to highlight bananas, but also to help give parents a quick and kid pleasing option for breakfast on those crazy mornings before heading out to school.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

BTB: Buttermilk Waffles (and how to freeze waffles)

I have been on a serious waffle kick lately, y'all.  But we haven't been eating just the basic waffles, we've been eating different flavors, stuffed waffles and even waffle sandwiches.  My mind has been going nuts with different ideas and my boys have been enjoying the fruits of my experiments.  My waffle iron has been getting a serious workout.
Before I start sharing all those crazy waffle ideas with you, I thought it would be best to start with the basics. Everyone needs a perfect basic waffle recipe in their archives.  And this is definitely the perfect recipe to keep in your back pocket.

In my opinion, perfect waffles need to be slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside.  We don't want any of that soft soggy stuff.  It's just not good.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread with Rum Glaze

Sometimes the little things are what bring the most joy.  Like peeling apart layer after layer of fluffy, buttery biscuits.  I can't tell you what it is about that, but I love pulling really thing layers of bread, one by one and devouring them.  I get the same, giddy feeling when I pull pieces of fluffy, cinnamon-sugar coated bread from a loaf of gooey monkey bread.  I just turn into a kid.  So when I saw this pumpkin pull-apart bread floating around the blogasphere, umm...like three years ago I was dead set on making this.
All I have to say is, better late than never!  I'm not really sure why it's taken me so long to get around to making it.  But, it finally happened.  The other day I was bound and determined to make this magical bread and to see just how amazing it was.  And, I succeeded.  I made it and it was just as good, if not better than I had imagined. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thin Mint Smoothie

I am an avid believer the saying "chocolate makes everything better."  Wouldn't you agree?

Having a bad day?  Eat a piece of chocolate.  Celebrating something special?  Celebrate with chocolate cake.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Think about candy bars.  Most candy bars have nougat, nuts, caramel, coconut or some other mix of goodies and they are all coated in chocolate.  

Then there are those classic combinations that are amazing; chocolate and __________.  One combo that comes to mind that has been a favorite of mine since I was a child is chocolate and mint.  Mint chocolate chip ice cream, I remember going to a local ice cream shop and getting a waffle cone filled with the stuff. York peppermint patties. Jr. Mints.  Thin Mints.  See the pattern?
And speaking of Thin Mints, if you're anything like me then you anxiously await the day the infamous Girl Scout cookies go on sale.  I stock pile boxes of them like a squirrel storing nuts for winter.  My favorite way to eat them is after they've been in the freezer for a little bit, I pull a few of those out and enjoy them with a glass of ice cold milk.  I could eat them morning, noon and night.  But I refrain for the sake of my health and waistline.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chewin' Tuesday: Chicken Schnitzel

Today I'm excited for so many reasons.  It's September, so fall is right around the corner.  The start of football, sweaters, boots, soups and stews, all things pumpkin, hot cocoa and so much more.  It's also the beginning of a new season of The Chew!  And, it's apple season.  I'm soooo happy!

Since it's the start of all these amazing things, it's only fitting to share a recipe from The Chew with you that features apples.  This is one of our favorite meals lately.  Chicken schnitzel topped with a delicious arugula and apple salad.
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