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...