Happy Holidays!

I hope that everyone's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice, etc, was very merry and bright!

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful New Year, see you in 2011!


vanilla spritz (kindof)

Well, I had one last cookie recipe to post before Christmas: traditional vanilla spritz.


candy cane oreo truffles

I'm not sure how this blog went almost a full year without Oreo truffles.
These decadent cookie bites are so delicious, and SO easy. 
And with a little candy cane... a perfect treat for holiday entertaining.

These little guys pack a great chocolatey taste that's like Oreo on steroids. In a good way.


spice gumdrop slice cookies

 I had this idea for a recipe that would be visually stunning:
Beautiful jelly pieces studded in a crisp spiced dough.
(If anyone remembers the jellybean blunder... same idea, different candy.)


candy cane cookies

I love candy canes!

But these are more than just candy canes... they're COOKIES!


thumbprint cookies

This past weekend I had a cookie baking marathon with some friends,
so prepare yourself for a flood of cookie recipes over the next few weeks!

Thumbprint cookies are an old classic, and super fun to make. 
When else are you encouraged to literally stick your fingers in your food?


chocolate gooey butter cookies

Today, I bring you another recipe from Food Network's 12 days of cookies:

I love Paula Deen, which probably doesn't come as a surprise given my feelings on butter.
I knew I had to try this recipe as soon as I saw the ingredient list:


Christmas is coming!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now that Turkey Day has come and gone, 
I can officially start celebrating Christmas! (I refuse to be one of those people who starts at 
Halloween, I enjoy Thanksgiving too much to let it disappear.) However, I did a little early 
holiday shopping, and I'm already really excited to start baking Christmas cookies and treats!

I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas (you can still bake cookies though!) and not everyone
gets absurdly excited for the holidays like I do... for instance, my cat Beau:


dried cherry and almond cookies

Earlier this week, I received and email from Food Network that the 12 days of cookies are coming! A friend sent me a link to the promotion last year, and being a lover of cookies, I signed right up. Starting in late November, they email you 1 cookie recipe every day, for 12 days.

Last year, I received the recipe for these dried cherry and almond cookies with vanilla glaze, and they have become one of my favorite cookies. Of all time. Seriously, they're that good.


for coffee and camera lovers

I came across these in my DPS newsletter today and had to share...
Travel coffee mugs disguised as camera lenses! 
(or maybe they are camera lenses disguised as coffee mugs?)


English Tea at the Met

Yesterday, I took a trip into New York City to walk through Central Park and visit the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art with a friend. The Park and the Met are two of my favorite places 
in New York, and we spent hours wandering along paths and through exhibits. After all that 
walking around, we decided to take a break for English Tea at the Petrie Cafe in the Met.


gourmet pumpkin seeds: cajun and garlic-thyme

I love snacking on pumpkin seeds. Today, we are going to "kick things up a notch" 
and take pumpkin seeds to (a shamelessly easy) gourmet level.


pumpkin pecan chocolate chip cookies

Happy Halloween everyone! The treat I have for you today is one of my favorite recipes 
from Bakerella's blog: pumpkin pecan chcolate chip cookies!


punkin ale and pumpkin cake pops

One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of pumpkin flavored things.


cheesy bacon and onion quiche

Quiche is an awesome breakfast. Or Brunch. Or lunch. Or even dinner.
It's warm and savory and full of whatever ingredients you have on hand. The recipe I made 
here uses bacon, spinach, onion, and cheddar cheese... but the variations are endless 
depending on your tastes and the contents of your pantry!


how to: make apple-shaped cake pops

 I wanted to post some detailed instructions about the apple cake pops I made when we 
went to the orchard a few weeks ago. That was not the first time I had made apple cake pops. 
 Last fall I made them as my first cake pops ever, and took photos step-by-step. 
Instead of re-taking all the photos, I thought I would post them so you can see how much 
your photography can improve with a year's practice :)


coming soon!

I've got a ton of fall recipes, photos, and adventures to share with you, but I'm a little backed up on editing right now. So, I thought I'd let you have a sneak peek of what's coming in the next few weeks:

Pumpkins, and lots of 'em!


a day at the orchard

Once a year, our local orchard/farm hosts an "apple day". They have cider, doughnuts, 
live music, a corn maze, and pick-your-own apples! The perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.


how to: eat a pomegranate

One of my favorite fall foods is pomegranate.
It's sweet and tart and crunchy and actually really good for you.


white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies

I was going through my cupboard and found a package of macadamia nuts that Husband and I 
brought home from our honeymoon in Hawaii...


it's finally here!

After some difficulties with my online order, it finally arrived:

Bakerella's Cake Pops Book!


peach cobbler, two ways

I grew up having a peach tree in my backyard. Every year at the end of August, half of our 
family room would be covered in tablecloths covered with ripe peaches. We ate them whole, 
we canned them, we froze them... but my favorite way to eat peaches is in a cobbler.


easy weeknight pizza

Pizza is one of my favorite things to eat. Ever.
But ordering delivery can sometimes mean a long wait, a big bill, and lots of grease.
(Plus, Husband and I don't always agree on toppings)

So I put my mind to learning how to make pizza at home, the easy way.


the french press review

 I've had my french press for a little over a week and I'm in love!

 Making coffee in the french press takes a little longer than using a single-serve machines, 
but it's totally worth it. First, you grind the beans...


a new arrival

Last weekend, a terrible tragedy occured in my kitchen.

My coffeemaker died.

For the past few years I had been using one of those single-serve pod machines. Husband doesn't drink coffee (I still can't believe he went through grad school and now teaching without picking up the habit) but I need to have a cup or two in the morning. Hello, my name is Jamie, and I'm a caffeine addict.


the perfect cake pop placecards

Everything about our wedding was distinctly "us", and the placecards were no exception. 
I decided to make them myself. And of course no ordinary placecard would do... 
I decided to make mine using cake pops.

I started by printing out the guests' names out on colored paper. I also printed some extra tags
that called out the type of cake pop, so people would know what they were getting.


raspberry-lemon summer spritzer

I don't know about where you live, but the weather on the East Coast has been nothing but 
boiling hot lately. We've been in the "feels like" high 90's and low 100's for the past 3 weeks. 
And it doesn't look like it's cooling down anytime soon.
So I decided that instead of sweating over the oven, I would make something easy and breezy. 

Enter the raspberry-lemon summer spritzer.
Fresh summer berries. Tart lemon. A little fizz, a little kick, and a lot of refreshing.


zucchini muffins (or bread)

I'm back from the wedding madness and in the kitchen again! Everything was wonderful... the ceremony was beautiful, the reception was so much fun, and the honeymoon was amazing. I had an awesome time, but I'm ready to come back to blogging and start trying out all our new kitchen gadgets. Hopefully, you will be seeing a lot more posts here in the near future!

One of the best parts of summer is all the fresh produce. 
And one of my favorite vegetables...


lemon scones

I love scones, but they always seemed like a pain to make.
Then I tried making Pioneer Woman's vanilla bean scones...
which didn't work out, but it led to a pretty awesome buttermilk biscuit recipe.
(and of course, I learned you can't substitute buttermilk for cream)

And finally... finally... I came up with a lemon version based off PW's recipe.


some updates

I have to apologize that I haven't been keeping up with the blog every week. Most of you who know me in real life know that I am getting married June 25th (in two weeks!) so I've been pretty busy with that. I also recently was promoted at my "real life" job... which means a lot of learning and training and extra responsibilities. I'm enjoying both of these things, but between the two it's been difficult to find time to edit photos and post, let alone bake. So, please bear with me, and in a few weeks I'll be posting regularly again.

I also wanted to announce that soon I will start posting recipes for things other than baked goods. There will still be plenty of cookies and cake pops, but there are so many other beautiful and delicious things I want to share with you all! (and of course if anyone has suggestions or requests of things they'd like to see, let me know) Part of posting "other things" will include a series of posts that give you a peek into my kitchen. First, to show you that you can make delicious food anywhere. Second, because I've been getting a TON of fun gadgets and tools off my wedding registry!

AND I have even more exciting news pertaining to this blog. Two of my recipes have been featured on other sites in the past week or so, and I wanted to share the links here:

Peanut Butter Cupcakes were featured on Tasty Kitchen on 6.9.10

Football Cake Pops were added to Bakerella's Pop Stars collection on 6.3.10


pineapple-coconut-almond-rum cookies

The other weekend, I had a few friends over to watch the season finale of Lost. Even if 
you've never seen the show, you probably know that the majority of it takes place on an island. 
So I thought I would make something a little tropical. 
What's more tropical than pineapple and coconut (and a little almond for good measure)?


german chocolate cake

A few months ago, my fiancee and I were watching Bobby Flay's "Throwdown" on Food Network, 
and he made this cake. The theme was german chocolate cake. Bobby's creation looked amazing, 
and we knew we had to make it. My fiancee decided that my birthday celebration 
(this past weekend) was the perfect occasion.


buttermilk biscuits

I can't think of many foods more comforting than a warm biscuit, right out of the oven.
Smothered in butter at the dinner table? Delightful.
Drenched in in my Uncle's secret gravy recipe? Even better.


filled cupcakes


This post is not so much a recipe as a technique: how to make filled cupcakes.
Filling your cupcakes is a great way to add a little something extra. 
This technique works well with fillings like jam or jelly, peanut butter, or even pudding. 
(For frosting fillings, you will want to fill the cupcakes after baking.)


strawberry jello pie

This strawberry jello pie recipe came into my hands a few weeks ago. 
As part of my wedding shower, my mother-in-law requested that all the guests bring 
a recipe with them (since both my fiancee and I love cooking). 
You'll be seeing a lot of these recipes show up here.


the jellybean blunder

Well. I was too late to post a recipe for a cute Easter treat, 
so I thought I would come up with a way to use all that leftover candy.  
Jellybeans happen to be my favorite.


chocolate-dipped peanut butter cake pops

Peanut Butter and Chocolate: One of the world's most perfect combinations.

Ever since I made the Peanut Butter Cupcakes a few weeks ago, I've been thinking of
turning them into cake pops. My friend Lisa has been dying to try cake pops
ever since I discovered them on Bakerella and started making them-
so her birthday was the perfect occasion to try these out!


the perfect sunday dinner, PW style

If you know me, you probably know that I love The Pioneer Woman. Her website is an
entertaining blog that covers a variety of topics: witty commentary about life on the ranch, homeschooling
her 4 "punks", gorgeous photography and tips for beginners, and delicious recipes
with step by step instructions. My friend Jessica (who actually sent me the link to PW's site)
and I have been plotting for months to get together and cook some of the recipes from her site.
She came down to visit this weekend and we made the most delicious Sunday dinner:
Pot Roast and Potatoes Au Gratin.


mint chocolate chip cookies

This week's recipe is a simple variation on my chocolate chip cookie post. 
I love mint and chocolate together, so this seemed like a no-brainer. 
And of course, I had to add some green food coloring for St Patrick's Day! 
They might look a little funny, but they taste great!


irish car bomb brownie bites

I wanted to make something with an Irish kick for St. Patrick's Day. 
I understand that Irish Car Bombs are not really Irish...
but in my limited Americanized experience of the holiday,
the Irish Car Bomb is an essential element in the celebration of
St. Patrick's Day. (for those of legal drinking age, of course)


peanut butter cupcakes

EDIT: this recipe was featured on the Tasty Kitchen website on 3/2/10

This recipe actually comes from my fiancee's family, so I'm going to let him introduce it...

"When Jamie first decided to start this blog, I told her she had to make my Great-Aunt Bug's 
peanut butter cupcakes. Bug was a classy lady. As the story goes, she spent a number of years 
living on her own in New York City in an era when that sort of thing just wasn't done by 
single women. She amassed a rather large collection of antiques, big city culture and 
a wealth of scratch recipes. When she returned to the family farm in Blue Rapids Kansas, 
she took to setting up her home and swapping recipes with her friends and family.
These peanut butter cupcakes have been baked for generations with love and butter, 
by fiercely independent and classy ladies."


red velvet whoopie cream pies

I have a small confession to make: these are not from scratch. I cheated.
But they were still delicious.
My fiancee bought me a special pan from Williams Sonoma for Valentine's Day...


buttermilk banana-nut bread

I love banana bread. I could eat an entire loaf by myself. One warm butter-slathered slice at a time.

This version of the recipe was actually a happy accident- I had everything on hand to make banana bread except for milk. So I substituted in buttermilk. The bread came out dense and rich and oh so moist. I'm never going back to using real milk again.


cheddar jalapeno cornbread muffins

These cornbread muffins are unbelievably easy to make, and incredibly delicious. I got the recipe out of the Cupcakes! from the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook which my future sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. (Along with a very cute apron, I might add!) If you've never heard of the Cake Mix Doctor, she takes box mixes and adds simple ingredientsto make something that is as easy as a box mix but tastes a little more homemade. 
Trust me. These muffins are seriously easy, and seriously delicious.


football cake pops

Let me introduce you to... cake pops. Adorable bite-sized portions of cake
on a stick. They can be shaped and decorated like just about anything. But since
it's SuperBowl weekend and I have a party to host tomorrow, we are
making footballs. The original cake pop recipe comes from one of my favorite
baking sites, Bakerella. Check out all of her awesome cake pop designs,
and other adorable baked goods.


valentine's cakes


Valentine's Day is coming soon. And since this year, Valentine's Day also happens to be moving day for me, I thought I would get ahead of the game and post my holiday treats this week. 


chocolate chip cookies

For my first post, I wanted to bake a recipe that was simple and delicious: chocolate chip cookies. One of my favorite childhood memories is "helping" Grandma in her kitchen, scooping and rolling chip-laden mounds of dough to place on the baking sheet. After years of trying to re-create her recipe, I've come up with my own adaptation. These cookies should come out golden brown at the edges, chewy in the middle, and so full of melted chocolate chips that they fall apart when you pick them up.