Friday, December 18, 2015

Hirsheimer's Hot and Sweet Mustard

During this time of year sweets, baked goods and baking supplies are at the top of the lists for homemade gifts.  I mean, who doesn't love biscotticookies, and homemade breakfast treats, just to name a few?

While sweets are the go to  this time of year, I wanted to throw out a different idea.  Something on the savory side.  Something that's typically a side, or supporting actor but will soon become the star.  Mustard.  But not just any mustard; homemade, hot and sweet mustard.

The simple, yellow spread that is so common on sandwiches is going to take center stage this Christmas.  But not the stuff from the bottle or jar, this yellow mustard is homemade.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti

It blows my mind that it's T minus 8 days until Christmas.  This year has been a whirlwind, to say the least.

I've had all these big plans and to-do lists for the blog, especially when it came to the holidays.  I'm not sure what happened, but time got away from me and I just didn't get a chance to execute some recipes, let alone share them with you guys.  And, for that, I am sorry.  Maybe next year???

Last week my entire family (mom, dad, brother, sis in law, and my crew) took a vacation to the happiest place on earth!  That's right, we spent a full, busy and magic-filled week in Disney World.  It was a jam packed week full of rides, fun, princesses, monsters, amazing Christmas decorations and priceless memories with my family.  And....I'm already ready to go back.

I say all that to say since I was there, I wasn't home so I wasn't in my kitchen baking up goodies to share with you.  In this instance....sorry, but sooooo not sorry!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

I'm probably about to say something truly un-American, but the words I'm about to say are the truth.  So...I've warned you so please don't disown me.

I have never been one to hit up a Starbucks regularly.  From time to time I'll pop in one and order a white chocolate mocha or a javachip frap, and occasionally during the holiday season I'll snag one of their pumpkin concoctions along with a cranberry bliss bar.

Oh, how I love those cranberry bliss bars.  Soft, chewy brown sugar bars studded with bits of white chocolate chips and tart cranberries.  Oh, and they're topped with that deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting and more cranberries and topped off with a drizzle of white chocolate.

Yum and Yum!

But, the coffee mogul has done away with these deliciously decadent bars.  But, there's no need to panic!  I've come across a copycat recipe that is a dead ringer for the original!  Cue the streamers, confetti and music!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

Salt + Caramel + Chocolate.  Three things that combine to make endless amazing treats.

I'm obsessed with salted caramel.  This time of year I'm also addicted to a mug of rich, thick hot cocoa topped with tons of marshmallows.

Now combine the two and you've got a cup of hot cocoa that is decadent, thick, and rich.  And, if I'm being honest with you, it's just the best hot cocoa you'll ever sip.  I promise.

Folks, I'm beyond obsessed with this drink.  This is the mother of hot cocoas.
There are several secrets to making this the ultimate cocoa mix.  First off, caramel.  Actual caramel is made, spread over a baking sheet and allowed to harden.  This is the most labor intensive part of the mix, but it's do to the cooling and processing it into a powder.  Which is actual simple.  And in the midst of the process you get to whack the caramel with the back of a spoon...which also means you can take out some built of aggression or alleviate some stress!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chocolate Dipped S'mores

On my list of favorite sweet treats I'd have to say that s'mores rank pretty darn close to the top.  There's something about the combination of crunchy crackers, toasted, gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate that's just so magical.

It's one of those desserts that brings people of all ages together.  Light up a bonfire, break out the roasting sticks and pile on the marshmallows and everyone, no matter what age, gathers around to enjoy to make this classic treat.

Now, we all know sometimes a bonfire and roasted marshmallows are just not in the cards.  But that's not to say that these delicious little goodies can't still be enjoyed.

Monday, November 23, 2015

SRC: Homemade (Gluten Free) Granola with Quinoa

Granola is one of my favorite snacks to have on hand at all times.  It's a delicious and healthy snack and a cinch to assemble.  However, with my schedule the past several months I honestly can't tell you the last time I made a batch of granola.  So, I decided to change that thanks to this month's Secret Recipe Club exchange.

While looking through this moth's assignment, Without Adornment, I came across several tantalizing recipes.  {Vegan} Pumpkin cinnamon buns, eggnog french toast{Vegan} apple rhubarb galettegrilled apple pie and ooey gooey single serve brownie, just to name a few.  All of these had my mouth watering, but when I came across a recipe for a simple homemade granola I knew that is what I was making.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Homemade Hostess Breakfast Basket

Flowers, a bottle of wine or champagne are always a welcomed gift to every hostess.  While contributing to the main course is  always appreciated, thinking a bit longer term never hurts either.  All meals are a labor of love, but meals around the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are on a level all their own.

The host and hostess spend days, weeks and even months planning and preparing for the big day.  So the thought of what will be for breakfast the day after the big event probably never crosses their mind.  So a basket packed with goodies for breakfast the next morning is a thoughtful, sweet and personalized "thank you" to the person who has put so much work into the event.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm ashamed to say it's been months, maybe even a year since I've developed a new muffin recipe.  I'm not quite sure what happened, but I have definitely been slacking in the muffin department.  And the pumpkin department.  I mean it's mid November and this is the first pumpkin recipe I've shared.  Can you say slacker???  Well...

...Until now.

I guess it's true a what they say, good things come to those who wait.  Because, let me tell you something.   These muffins are nothing short of pumpkin amazingness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cranberry Pepper Jelly Dip

One of the simplest dip recipes I've ever made is the ever so popular red pepper jelly dip.  I mean it's hardly even a recipe; a block of cream cheese with pepper jelly poured over the top.  But, it's so good and so addicting.

Since we are officially in the "seasons of food" I decided to give that infamous dip a little holiday twist with the addition of cranberries.  I promise, this addition doesn't complicate the recipe at all.  It's still a matter of opening a package of cream cheese and a jar of jelly, but you mix in a touch of cranberry sauce to add a nice holiday twist.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK people!

Can you believe it?  It seems like yesterday we were lounging in the pool and soaking up the sun and now here we are about to give thanks, celebrate the birth of our amazing Savior and ring in the new year.  Where, oh where, has the time gone?

This week and next week are dedicated to Thanksgiving eats.  I'm sure you all have the turkey and dressing care of but I'll be sharing a variety of appetizers and desserts...and just maybe a side or two.  Yesterday I shared a delicious, oh-so-addicting, and very easy caramel apple dip.  This dip is to die for and is perfect to snack on before or after the big meal and it's also great to whip up for drop-in visitors through-out the holiday season.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Caramel Apple Dip

When I think of fall there are several things that come to mind but there are two things that really stick out; pumpkin and apples.  Right now it's nearly impossible to look around and not spot something involving one of those two flavors.

Caramel apples are one of my favorite fall desserts.  There's something so enticing, so mesmerizing, so magical about an apple dipped and coated in caramel.  It's my weakness.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quick Fall Party Mix

Happy Friday everyone!  Can you believe tomorrow is Halloween?  Are you all ready?

My little guy is beyond ready!  We've painted pumpkins, visited the pumpkin patch, tonight we're carving pumpkins and tomorrow he'll transform into the Incredible Hulk and we'll head to my brother and sister-in-law's and hit the streets so the little man can trick-or-treat to his hearts content.

But, before those trick-or-treaters start knocking on your door I have an incredibly simple, yet oh-so-addictive snack mix to share with you.  This party mix consists of Chex cereal, pretzels, M&M's and candy corn.  Because what's a fall snack mix without candy corn?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mississippi Roast

What did we do before Pinterest?  I mean honestly, it's one of the best inventions ever!  It's also one of those inventions that I think to myself, "Why didn't I think of this?"

So, what did we doe before that infamous virtual bulletin board?  Oh, that's right we printed out recipe after recipe, clipped (and quickly misplaced) recipes from magazines and so on.  We didn't have those cute kid crafts, simple lifestyle hacks, and forget "pinspiration" or the infamous pinterest fails.

I contribute a lot of my finds to Pinterest, including this particular recipe.  It seems like for a series of weeks, every time I pulled up Pinterest for anything, inevitably I would see this recipe for Mississippi roast.  I would see it, think it looked good and keep on scrolling.  But apparently Pinterest knew something I did not, it knew that I NEEDED this recipe in my life.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Chocolate Stout Brownies

It's no mystery that one of my favorite desserts is a super chocolaty, fudgy, gooey brownie.  Cut me a piece, pour me a glass of ice cold milk and I'll be perfectly content.

So, when I was perusing GG's blog, Glamorous Glutton, I found numerous recipes that had my mouth watering; easy tortilla chipsrhubarb cordialmars bars blondies, and caramelized banana bread (which I will be making once I get rid of the boatload of sweets in my kitchen at the moment)...just to name a few.  I loved reading over GG's blog this month for our secret recipe club exchange, there were several recipes I wanted to make but all bets were off when I came across her Rebellion Beer Brownies.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Garlic Butter Spaghetti and Chicken

Few things in life make me happier than garlic and butter.  Combine those two, and well you have one very happy camper.  Slather it on a piece of bread, brush it over biscuits, toss some noodles in it, the list goes on and on.

Those two ingredients are so incredibly simple, but when they come together they make an amazing duo.  Like in this simple but perfect dish.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Raspberry Lemonade Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle cookies have long been a favorite of so many.  Especially the chocolate version that is oh-so-popular around Christmas.  What is it about those cookies that is so enticing?  Is it the chewy, crackled cookie?  Or is it the white, powdered sugar coating?

Maybe, it's just a combination of all the above.

But why stop with the chocolate?  Right?  Right!

So, by now you know that I'm quite the lover of lemonade.  Pink, yellow, blueberry, the list goes on and on....and on.  But why stop the lemonade love with the drink?  Let's carry that on over to baked goods.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Roasted Beet Hummus

I have long been a fan of hummus.  A deliciously simple dip that's bright and lemony with a healthy amount of garlic. It's also perfect for dunking lightly salted pita chips and assorted veggies.  Oh, it's also sooooo easy to make.

Now, all that's a winning combo in my opinion.

I've played around with a few flavor variations of hummus, the most bold addition to the dip was roasted red pepper, which was awesome,  So when I saw a recipe for roasted beet hummus I was excited, intrigued, and a bit nervous.

First and foremost I was drawn in by the color of the dip.  I mean, it's pink so what's not to love?!?  Then I read about it and learned it got it's intense color from roasted beets.  I've always loved beets but wasn't quite sure how they'd be added to hummus.  But, there's only one way to find out, right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pink Starburst Cocktail

If you were to give me a package of Starburst and tell me to pick out my two favorite flavors you would see a pile of pink and red quickly form.  But, if you told me I could only choose one flavor, it would have to be the pink Starburst hands down.

From the first time I tasted Starbursts, pink had my heart.  Not only is it my favorite color, there's just something about that beloved pink candy that tastes so darn good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Homemade Pink Lemonade

When it comes to lemonade I have a few requirements.  It has to be the perfect balance of sweet, tart and a hint of sourness.  I'm one of those sour-loving people.  I mean, I like to feel it in my jaw and have my cheeks pucker.

I know so of you are quite the opposite, and probably reading the above paragraph you're thinking "that girl is crazy".  But, what can I say, I love my sour stuff.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Old Fashioned Pink Popcorn

Aside from pumpkin spice everything, October also means something else.  Pink.  October, as so many of you know, is breast cancer awareness.  I love the awareness and support that comes about during this month.  Like many people, breast cancer has touched my family and taken someone so very special to me.  I hate it.  I hate cancer of any kind and I love that there are so many people dedicated to finding a cure!

This week our town, along with many others, is gearing up for the annual Race for the Cure.  So, in honor of that amazing event, my blog will be turning pink this week too!  All the recipes making appearances this week will have that beautiful pink hue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sweet Sriracha-Glazed Pork Skewers

I know it's officially fall, today actually, but those temps are still warm and it's optimum grilling weather.  Along with the weather still being perfect for firing up the grill, we're right in the heart of tailgate season.  Which is another reason I am so very excited to share this truly amazing recipe for sweet sriracha glazed pork skewers.

I was literally stopped in my tracks when I came across this recipe on Pink-Parsley.  The name alone made me pause, then I saw the pictures of those colorful, grilled skewers of juicy, glazed pork.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Meatball Sub Skewers

One of Spencer's favorite sandwiches is a meatball sub.  3 very simple ingredients piled on a bun makes him oh-so-happy.  Anytime I make meatballs for spaghetti he always requests I make extra to ensure we can put subs on the menu that week.  Which works for me, I can knock 2 meals out with one stone!

So when I was asking him what some of his favorite game day foods were we started chatting and he mentioned something about the infamous meatball sub.  But when you think of game eats, a big sub with a healthy dose of marinara isn't really ideal for a tailgate when you're standing around and holding a plate.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

S'mores Brownie Bites

It's no news to any of you that have been reading the blog for any amount of time that I have a long running obsession love of s'mores.  A slightly sweet, crunchy graham cracker topped with chocolate, a gooey, fire roasted marshmallow and another delicious graham cracker.  I mean, what's not to love?
While s'more in their classic form are probably, by far my favorite I do love making s'mores inspired creations in the comfort of my kitchen.  Dreaming up different s'more concoctions never gets old.

Now I've made s'mores brownies in the past; a graham cracker crust, layer of brownies and topped with marshmallows.  Those were good and were a huge hit, but I'd have to say those have nothing on these bites.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fire Crackers

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Some of the best things in life are the simple things.  The little things.  But these simple things are the things that make us happy most of the time.

These little crackers are so simple.  So easy to make and so dad-gum good.  These little crackers make my mouth happy.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Italian Skewers

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Cheese boards and antipasto plates are delicious and easy appetizers that can be assembled in no time.  Making it perfect for unexpected guests or a quick snack to hold you over until the next meal. 

Sometimes, however, a big board of cheese, crackers and meat just really isn't in the equation.  But, layering those ingredients on a skewer and making them an easy to grab snack that only requires one hand is perfection. 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Grilled Corn and Chile Dip

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This summer has been a summer of outdoor cooking for us.  We've used the smoker and smoked I don't know how many times and we've also fired up the grill more times than I can count.  I've grilled the norm; steaks, burgers, brats, and dogs.  I've also ventured out to the garden snatched up some peppers and tomatoes and thrown those on the grill to make some pretty awesome dips and sauces.

Like with roasting, broiling and baking; grilling vegetables adds a whole other depth of flavor to a dish.  It takes those delicious, refreshing veggies and really enhances the flavor.  Which is the case with this dip.

The dip.  Um, where do I start?
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

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The Hawaiian chicken sandwich from Back Yard Burger was one of my favorite sandwiches ever.  There's not a lot to it; a sweet and salty marinated grilled chicken breast, cheese, pineapple and a leaf of lettuce.  That's it.  But it's soooo stinkin' good. 

Every single time I went to Back Yard I'd get that sandwich.  Kind of ironic since it's a burger place and I think I may have gotten a burger once or twice the whole time it was open.  Anywho; I loved this sandwich but I didn't love the dent it put in my wallet.  It was pricy.  So, I didn't have my beloved chicken sandwich nearly as much as I'd like.  But every time I did drive thru, it was guaranteed I would get that delicious chicken sandwich.
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