Christmas Cookie Round-Up

With only 10 days until Christmas I thought it would be nice to round up all the
cookies of Christmas past for easy baking reference. [The holidays kinda snuck up 
on me this year, but last December I was a cookie-baking fiend.]


pumpkin pecan cheesecake chocolate pie

Husband and I wanted to make pie for Thanksgiving.
We decided regular pumpkin pie just wasn't enough, so we added a 
layer of cheesecake and topped it with pecans and chocolate.


seven layer salad

The Holidays are fast approaching, and so is the season of holiday parties.
Husband and I attended a potluck party this weekend, and [since dessert was spoken for] 
decided to bring a "traditional" potluck dish: seven layer salad.

Everyone has their own version of seven layer salad. It's a great canvas 
for mixing and matching different vegetables and cheeses. You can pick and choose 
the layers according to your [or your guests'] taste. In my opinion, there are 
only 2 "must-haves": frozen peas, and a mayo dressing. Everything else is up for grabs!

Here's the anatomy of MY version of seven layer salad:

For the dressing, I used 3/4 cup mayo and 1/4 cup sour cream mixed with
a tablespoon of dijon mustard and a squirt of hot sauce for a tangy kick.

Layer everything in, spread the dressing on top, cover and chill.
Works best in a big glass bowl so everyone can see how pretty your work is.
Mix right before serving, collect complements all evening :)


turkey cake pops

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope everyone is stuffed full of turkey and gratitude, watching football, enjoying 
a slice of pie and a tasty beverage. [That's my plan for the rest of the day anyway.]


fall colors leaf cookies

The fall colors are starting to die down here, but these festive cookies 
are a great way to keep the season going just a little bit longer. 
[I'm so not ready for winter!]


Happy Halloween + mummy cake pops

Happy Halloween everyone!

Just popping in to show you these adorable mummy cake pops 
I made [a la Bakerella] and wish you lots of treats tonight!


pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

It's just about the perfect time of year for pumpkin baked goods, don't you think?


candy corn cookies

Raise your hand if you've heard of Pinterest.
OK, keep your hand up if you are [like me] completely addicted to Pinterest.
Good. Now I'm going to show you a recipe idea I found on Pinterest.
I've been pinning ideas like crazy, but this is the first recipe I've actually made:

Candy Corn Cookies! I used my own vanilla cookie recipe instead of
the lemon one in the original post, but I followed her basic instructions.


home made apple sauce

Husband and I have started a new tradition.
Every fall, we head to the local orchard to pick apples.

And then we make apple sauce.
It's as easy as easier than pie. 


asian pork tacos

So I showed you how to make spicy pickled onions
Now I want to show you something to put them on:

 Asian pork tacos.


spicy pickled onions

Have you ever pickled anything? You can pickle just about anything.
And it's easy... you let time [and vinegar] do the work.

Pickled onions have a lovely tangy bite.
But they're even better with a little added spice...


game day mexican layer dip

College football season has officially begun! For those of you who don't know, 
I cheer for the Michigan State Spartans. I graduated from MSU a few years ago. 
I met my Husband there. My Grandfather both attended graduate school and taught there. 
And many many of my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins from both sides of my family 
attended as well. [including my brother who is a sophomore there this year- Hi Eric!]

One game day tradition I have when hosting a tailgate is to make mexican layer dip.
And I've discovered a fun way to make it even more football appropriate.

By turning it into a football field!


toffee brownie bites

What do you do when there's a hurricane about to roll through your state, 
you have limited supplies in your cupboard, and no idea how long your power will last?

Bake something of course...



Hi, Friends! What did you do with your summer vacation?
Obviously some of us [ahem, me] spent our time outside of the kitchen.

Now that the weather is starting to cool down and the East Coast is [hopefully!] done with 
earthquakes and hurricanes for the summer, it's time to get back to the baking.

And since I'm breaking out all the pots and pans again, I figured it was time for a new look!

Stay tuned this fall for posts about brownies, beer, cookies, cake pops,
and plenty of tailgate food [hooray for college football season!]


firecracker cake pops and other 4th of July goodies!

4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up I spent the 4th at my family's cabin in northern Michigan. We celebrated with sparklers, fireworks over the lake, and of course: the boat parade. This year Husband and I aren't able to make it back to "the mitten", but we are taking a short trip to Maine. I thought it would be fun to share some great holiday baking ideas. Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you have something delicious you want to share :)

Firecracker Cake Pops
This is basically just a reincarnation of the Pop Rock Cake Pops I posted last January. [In fact, I even said they would be coming back in July!] The color variations on these would be endless... red velvet cake or blue candy melts? Pop Rocks come in both red and blue, so you could even mix them together on white candy.


make your own: fresh salsa

Husband and I cook Mexican food... a lot. Usually once or twice [or three times] a week.
His enchiladas are to die for, and I make a pretty mean layer dip.
We do burritos, tostadas, nachos, tacos, you name it. But the easiest recipe we have?

Fresh Salsa.


margarita cake pops

I can't tell you how excited I am to share this recipe.
Two of my favorite things: Margaritas and Cake Pops.
Finally combined into one little edible heavenly bite on a stick.

I've been dreaming of margarita cake pops for a long time, 
and when I saw Bridget from Bake at 350 post these lemon cake pops
shortly followed by Pioneer Woman's link to these margarita cupcakes... 
I knew it was time to take the plunge.


Fried Chicken at Lady and Son's

Y'all know who Paula Deen is, right?
And y'all know she has a restaurant in Savannah, GA?

Well of course I had to go while I was there on vacation!


bake sale!

Head on over to check out all the delicious goodness... you can find my cake pops on page three : )


updates and a bake sale!

Hi friends! Just popping in to let you know Blogger had been having some issues this week.
You may have seen a post or two disappear, or even reappear... it's not me, I swear!
I won't repost anything for a bit, hopefully it will all work out and reset itself 
[and this post won't go anywhere!]

BUT I did want to take the chance of posting to let you know some exciting news...
I've donated a dozen of my chocolate-dipped peanut butter cake pops 
to be part of a bake sale fundraiser over on Carrots N Cake next Monday May 16th!

So please head on over next Monday... you can bid on my cake pops 
or any of the other "donated" baked goods to help raise money for Team in Training.
I will post the link to the sale once it's up... Happy Weekend!


Savannah Pralines and River Street Sweets

Have you ever been to Savannah, Georgia? It's a lovely town.
Near the ocean, just oozing with Southern charm.
They have beautiful historic homes and 22 green squares decorating their streets.
I could totally move there and spend my life lounging on a sprawling porch, reading a book, 
while I drink [un]sweet tea with mint and lemon. And of course eating pralines.


Coconut Easter Egg Candies

A few posts ago, I made a joke about making these candies as Easter eggs.

Well, joke's on me, because I couldn't stop thinking about making them.
I dug deep into my baking cabinet and pulled out a rainbow of sugar sprinkles.
I mixed and rolled and wound up with a rainbow army of delicious little eggs taking over my life.


birthday cake pops

I've had a bit of an internet problem lately... meaning, I had none.
Now that that pesky little problem [ha!] has been dealt with, 
I'm back to catch you up on all my recent kitchen activities.

A few weeks ago I went out to a birthday celebration for my friend Lisa.
Last year I brought chocolate-dipped peanut butter cake pops to her birthday.
Of course, I had to bring cake pops again this year!


fresh inspiration

Hi, Friends! I wanted to let you know that I've updated my "sites I love" page with some new links. I've been browsing through foodgawker and the interwebs lately looking for fresh inspiration. I'm pretty picky about what I keep in my blogroll, but these sites have been added to my reading list [and I thought you might enjoy reading them too!] For a blog to keep me coming back, the photos have to be gorgeous, the recipes have to be drool-worthy, and the writing has to be entertaining. These blogs deliver on all 3 points. Below is a sampling of recipes I'm itching to try out...


minty shamrock cookies

I'm not sure why St. Patrick's Day reads "green and minty baked goods" to me.
Maybe because mint is the only naturally green flavor I think I'd want in a cookie?
[OK, limes... but March is too chilly out for limes just yet]


oatmeal cookies with walnuts, cherries, and chocolate chips

I know that sounds like a mouthful,  but I was cleaning out the cupboard 
and decided to mix some extras in to make the cookies more delicious and healthy!
Oatmeal = Fiber
Cherries and Dark Chocolate = Antioxidants
Walnuts = Omega-3s

So, healthy! [Right?]


chocolate cake pops and...

Hello, friends! Life outside the kitchen has been pretty busy as of late.
[Which, inevitably,  results in less life IN the kitchen]


bacon chive cheese dip

I thought that after all the Valentine's sweets,
we could use something savory.
And cheesy. And garlicky. And... bacon-y.

Enter, the bacon chive cheese dip.


mocha love brownies

So Valentine's Day is just around the corner, 
and you need a delicious [but easy] idea of what to bake your loved ones.

Your answer:

Mocha Love Brownies


food photography tips

Hi! Just popping in to let you know I wrote a guest post on food photography  
over at the 52 Week Project site. If you've ever been interested in 
food photography but found it a little intimidating, or just want a look 
into how I shoot my photos here, you might want to take a peek! 
Also, the 52 Week Project site is pretty cool itself : )



valentine cupcake bites

Ever since I discovered cake pops, I've wanted to try my hand 
at the cupcake-shaped ones that Bakerella posted long ago. 
But once I started rolling, I decided to make these 'bites' without the stick.


super bowl bites

It's that time again, friends!
Everyone [Husband and myself included] 
is planning their SuperBowl party menus.

Last year, I whipped up some football cake pops.


vanilla extract: make your own!

I have a small confession to make.
When I'm baking anything from a recipe that includes vanilla extract,
I always add a little extra. Sometimes... a whole teaspoon extra.
Which means I go through vanilla extract pretty quick around here.
[I just really love the warm, homey, sweetness vanilla adds.]

But as anyone who bakes knows, good vanilla can be pricey.
A few weeks ago, I found the perfect economical solution:
how to make your own vanilla extract!


it's my blog birthday!

Today, my blog is one year old!

(And yes, I made a paper birthday crown to celebrate.)


date night at Parc

Husband and I did a lot of cleaning and organizing last weekend, and decided to reward ourselves with a date night at a fancy restaurant. (In case you are wondering, fancy restaurant = any place other than our 2 staple restaurants that are a 5 minute drive away.)

A few weeks ago, we saw Parc mentioned on Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" show. Chef Robert Irvine was raving about their mashed potatoes, of all things. Since we are only an hour's drive to downtown Philadelphia, we decided we needed to try it out.


funfetti pop rock cake pops

funfetti pop rock cake pops. 
Bet you can't say that 3 times fast!

Over the holidays, my siblings requested that I make cake pops. 
I, of course, happily obliged.

In case you are new around here, let me tell you that I will use just about any occasion as an excuse to make cake pops. I make them for birthdays, for sporting events, for holidays, for random seasonal outings with friends... I even made them as favors at my own wedding! You might say I'm a little cake pop obsessed.

My brother made the executive decision that we should have funfetti cake pops.


chewy chocolate peanut butter cookies

 Don't freak out, you're on the right page!
I just did a little bit of redesign this weekend...

I also did some baking. Husband has been complaining that I never bake
anything for him anymore (which is completely UNtrue, as he samples
everything that comes out of the kitchen.)
But a good marriage means having to compromise sometimes,
so I decided to make something I knew he would love
using two of his favorite things: chocolate and peanut butter.



Ebelskiver.  Isn't that a fun word?
And ebelskivers aren't just fun to say, they're fun to eat!

But what exactly is an ebelskiver?
A delicious spherical pancake with a filling inside...