Need some Easter inspiration? I’ve got it! Get your crafty on with these pretty pastel treats–delicious and cute!
Need some Easter inspiration? I’ve got it! Get your crafty on with these pretty pastel treats–delicious and cute!
Spring is here! Or is it summer?? It’s already 80 degrees in Springfield, MO and I’ve seen people running around in shorts for weeks (aaaaand it’s STILL March) and kids playing in backyard swimming pools! What is going on?! I’m going to assume that winter decided not to show up this year and we are officially in warmer weather which means seasonal springtime desserts! Yay!
Do any of you guys love the fresh and fruity flavors of spring as much as I do? It’s nice to get away from the “heavier” desserts of winter and indulge in some that aren’t quite as rich and decadent…well, ok, they’re still decadent but the fruit aspect lightens things up nicely! And you don’t feel *quite* as guilty. At least I don’t!
I can confidently say that after making this healthy version of carrot cake, I will never, ever make the regular, sugary, fat-laden version EVER again. I can’t even believe I’m saying that! I just couldn’t believe how good this cake was not to mention it’s full of fruits, veggies and whole grains. I made it for a dinner party and it was a huge hit!
The only thing I was a little unsure of was how the cream cheese frosting would turn out. I wanted something pretty close to the real thing so I read up on ways to make my own powdered sugar out of Sugar in the Raw and much to my surprise it worked! All you need is a coffee grinder, food processor or blender, throw the sugar in and give it a good whirl and voila! Homemade powdered sugar! Ok, so it’s not quite as fine as the real stuff but close enough!
This cake was totally delicious, moist and guilt-free! I promise you will L.O.V.E. this cake and never want the “real thing” again!
I wanted to make something extra special for my father-in-laws birthday because he definitely deserved it. He is one of the most selfless, giving people I know and his birthday lunch needed a fabulous cake! Jeremy told me he had mentioned pineapple and yellow cake so I thought hmmm, Pineapple Upside Down Cake?? Sounded good to me! Now I had never made one before but I had had plenty in younger days…Pineapple Upside Down Cake seemed to show up at every church potluck and family gathering we had. You know the kind, made with boxed yellow cake mix and canned pineapple slices..and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that version but I wanted to try my hand at a totally from scratch Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
I found this recipe on simplyrecipes.com and only made a couple of changes, nothing major at all. As for the cake, I really liked the way it turned out, more like a pound cake. I thought the addition of almond flour was somewhat odd but it added a nice texture to the cake. It was definitely better the second day after the pineapple juices and butter/brown sugar mixture had time to seep into the cake a bit more. I served it at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and everyone loved it. I’d say it was a successful birthday!
The healthy recipes just keep getting better and better! This week I’ve got a fabulous, super-quick recipe for no-bake energy bites…that taste like a cross between peanut butter cookie dough and no-bake cookies. Can you say YUM?? They are full of good stuff that won’t send you on a sugar-high but instead provide a source of natural, tasty energy. All you need is one bowl and handful of ingredients–get busy!
Recipe adapted from fooddoodles.com
Thought I’d share some St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes with you all! I do believe the the rainbow with the pot o’ gold Rolos is my favorite–so cute. Which one do you love??
I am proud to say that my husband is now a chocolate and mint convert–all because of these brownies. He said he wasn’t going to try them but then he saw them…and then he tasted them…and then he couldn’t keep his hands out of them. Hah! And I have to admit, they are GOOD. I mean, I love anything mint and chocolate but these are one of the best renditions of that combo I’ve ever had…if I do say so myself. The mint flavor from the Thin Mint cookies and Andes mints is not overwhelming and somewhat subtle and then the Bailey’s buttercream…oh my word, don’t even get me started. It took so much restraint to keep from eating this frosting by the spoonful.
Now when I say Bailey’s, let me clarify. When I went to purchase my bottle of Bailey’s I could not believe that is was nearly $20!!! And all I needed was two-thirds of a cup!! Ummmmmm, no, not happening. So I thought hey, what about Irish cream flavored coffee creamer? Yes! Perfect. Well, much to my surprise and delight I discovered that Bailey’s had their own brand of coffee creamer–for two bucks! Score! I knew I had some whiskey at home that I could throw in and I’d be good to go.
Perfect for St. Patty’s day! You’ll love them–promise.
Ladies and gentleman, I may have discovered my most absolutely, favorite, healthy dessert recipe to date! To say these “rice krispie” bars are good is an understatement…they are amazing. Quite truthfully, if given the choice between these bars and oh say a cupcake, I’d choose the bars! Yes, that’s how good they are!
I found this recipe over at ohsheglows.com and just the words “no-bake” and “almond butter” drew me in immediately. I think one thing that made a difference for my bars was the particular kind of brown rice cereal that I bought at our local health food store. It’s made by Enjoy Life Foods and it was so crunchy and delicious in these. I was a little skeptical about the bars holding together without any marshmallow like a typical rice krispie treat but the almond butter and honey works perfectly as a binder. I did leave them in the fridge, just to be on the safe side and I actually liked them cold the best.
Do yourself a favor and try these immediately!
I have very fond memories of St. Patrick’s Day as a child. Especially if the day happened to fall on a schoolday. We didn’t get just any old lunch for that day…no, we got a lunch filled with GREEN. Yes, everything was covered in mold!!!! Ok, not really, that’s actually not true. My mom never fed us mold. Not knowingly at least. Anyway…I distinctly remember cottage cheese tinted with green food dye and shamrock sugar cookies with green frosting. So healthy, right? Oh who cares, we loved it and looked forward to it every year!
So, in honor of that fun tradition we had as kids, I found some green desserts for St. Patrick’s Day! Typically, when you think green and dessert, the first thing that comes to mind is mint. And I LOVE mint and chocolate combinations. But I’m sure not everyone is as fond of the flavor as I am so I found a couple more green ideas–pistachio and green tea! Green tea (or matcha) sounds a little strange but it is actually DELICIOUS in desserts. And these flavors lend themselves to the possibility of a bit more, shall we say, natural, green color.
Check ’em out!
I struggle with some recipes…in particular, bread puddings and crockpot cakes. Why?? Because they are so darn hard to photograph! It’s a crying shame that a couple of the most delicious types of desserts (especially bread pudding) just look plain ugly in photos. Delicious? Yes. Photogenic?? No. So hopefully I can convince you to make this crockpot cake based on my simple review of this recipe!
To say this cake is AWESOME is an understatement…it’s actually FREAKIN AWESOME. I was making a dessert for a family get-together and was a little stumped because I knew everyone wanted something majorly chocolate but I didn’t want to just do a chocolate layer cake or cupcakes. And then out of nowhere I remembered this Rocky Road Crockpot cake that one of my former co-worker’s had brought to work for a party and how absolutely, incredibly amazing it was. So I thought why not swap out the nuts for cookies and voila! Cookie Monster Crockpot Cake! If you like chocolate, cake, gooey marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies and Oreos, you may like and possibly even love this dessert. Oh and do I even have to mention the vanilla ice cream?? That’s kind of a no-brainer.
Adapted from Southern Living Rocky Road Chocolate Cake
I’ve been meaning to incorporate some fun dessert prints into my kitchen decor for quite awhile now. So, I finally got online the other night to do some research. Here are some of my favorites from Etsy.
(Click on each photo to see the seller’s info.)
I bet you thought I had forgot about my New Year’s resolution to make one International dessert a month but guess what?? I did not forget! As a matter of fact I made Brazo de Mercedes in January but things, shall we say, didn’t work out quite as I had planned. So we’ll come back to that another day. I’m still a little emotional about it.
I decided on Italian for February because, quite frankly, I REALLY wanted to make Amaretti cookies. The first time I had ever had them was when Jeremy and I visited Missouri Baking Company in St. Louis and I fell in love with the morsels of chewy almond goodness. I seriously think I have some kind of problem when it comes to almond-flavored things…meaning I have NO CONTROL over my hand and mouth. As I made the almond paste for this, my food processor had hardly had the chance to cool off before I starting shoving bites of the sweet almond mixture in my mouth. It was like an almond paste induced feeding frenzy. And then I remembered, “Wait! This has to go in a recipe!!”. Oh…yeah…the cookies. Almost forgot about them. Ahem.
I managed to gather myself and actually make the cookies. Go me. I wasn’t sure what recipe to use but I settled on this one from Smitten Kitchen. Her recipes always look so amazing and this is the first one I’ve actually made (I think). They turned out amazing…little crisp around the edges, majorly chewy and completely delicious. I did discover that the longer they sat, the softer they became which is usually totally opposite of how it is with baked goods of any kind. I made them on a Friday evening and by Monday they were still delicious. After Monday….well, I don’t know, because we ate them all!!
If you’re an almond lover such as myself, you MUST try these cookies immediately.
Have you ever wanted a nice warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning but just didn’t have the time to actually make AND eat it?? Yeah, been there. Our mornings are fairly rushed around here and we hardly ever have a sit down breakfast, except for the occasional big splurge breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. And those are few and far between. What a shame.
So, if you’re like us and just want something to grab on your way to work, these baked oatmeal bars are what you need! It’s all of the ingredients in a hearty, filling bowl of oatmeal put them into one neat little bar. Besides heart-healthy oats, they’re sweetened with honey and have wheat germ and wheat bran for added fiber and protein. They’d even be great for an afternoon snack when vending machines are practically screaming your name. Delicious, nutritious, yummy and most importantly, travel-ready!
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of helping my friend Robyn, of Red’s Cupcakes, hand out her amazing Chocolate Espresso cupcakes to hundreds of chocolate loving people at the Art and Romance of Chocolate event in downtown Springfield, MO. The event proceeds went to the Friends of the Springfield Art Museum and there were judging in certain categories. You can see the list of participants and who won what, here.
It was a fun event for a great cause and I was honored to be part of it. I did manage to make it around to all the vendors before the event started and snap some pictures with my phone (sorry for the poor pic quality!) of their amazing creations. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what everything was (except Red’s Cupcakes–first photo!) so just enjoy the pictures and give it your best guess! 😉
Another awesome video by Claire Thomas. If this doesn’t get you drooling, I’m honestly not sure what will..
My resolution to bake classic cakes has so far been a success, starting with this Coconut Cake and now the Hummingbird Cake. If you’ve never heard of the Hummingbird Cake before, it goes all the way back to, well, it’s hard to tell where or when exactly it came on the scene. The first published recipe for the cake showed up in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living magazine and was submitted by a woman named Mrs. L.H. Wiggins but it’s roots trace from the deep south aaaaaallll the way to Jamaica! How crazy is that? You can read more of the history and details here.
I used a recipe from myrecipes.com that was a little of a modernized version of the cake with the addition of white chocolate to the cake and the frosting and a touch of almond extract. I was tempted at first to leave the white chocolate out of the cake but I’m so glad I didn’t–I LOVED getting little bits of white chocolate in every other bite. This cake is very, VERY dense, almost like banana bread and the flavors of the almond extract, cinnamon and banana are incredibly delicious. I can’t believe I waited so long to make this cake!
A friend and I had been chatting about how much we love to cook and, like myself, she is into very healthy and nutritious cooking (I said COOKING..not BAKING). We’d often find ourselves at an event where we both brought homemade dishes and we’d be asking each other for the recipes at the end of the night, so we decided what better way to share our love of cooking and yummy recipes than start a gourmet cooking club?? So, our first official cooking club get together was this past January and it was SO fun! The food was all delicious and it gave me the opportunity to try out a new healthy dessert recipe–Spicy Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!
My inspiration for these cookies was based off of one of my FAVORITE “healthy” indulgences from Trader Joe’s…cayenne covered dried mango dipped in dark, bittersweet chocolate. It is one of the best things to ever cross my lips and sadly, since we have no Trader Joe’s here in Springfield, MO, I’m not sure I’ll ever get it again! But I loved the combination so much I thought I’d try it in these cookies. Now the cookies themselves were absolutely WONDERFUL. They were soooo soft and tender and the heat from the red pepper combined with the bittersweet chocolate was out of this world! The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe was…the mango! It was such a bummer, but it just didn’t work for this cookie, in my opinion. So, I’d omit it for sure in the future and went ahead and wrote the recipe without it. But I’m not too upset about it–I still discovered an amazing, nutritious cookie recipe!
Recipe adapted from injennieskitchen.com
I love dessert tables. From the beautiful colors, creativity, attention to detail and mouth-watering sweets, I am truly inspired whenever I see them. These Valentine’s Day themed tables are so unbelievably beautiful…I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Click on the pictures to see even more beautiful photos.
I know the big thing around Valentine’s Day is chocolate dipped strawberries, which are great, but I’ve gotta admit I’m more of a chocolate covered cherry kinda girl. And I know I can’t be the only one! So my love of chocolate and cherries inspired me to create this super simply shake but not just any shake…a CAKE shake. Yep, there is one big ‘ole slice of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting mixed right into this creamy concoction. I picked my slice of cake up in the Wal-mart bakery case (don’t judge) but if I’d been thinking, I would have gotten one of the mega-huge chocolate cupcakes that Walgreens now sells. But the shake still worked out alright. Actually, better than alright–it was, in fact, AWESOME. I topped mine with homemade whipped cream, melted chocolate and festive sprinkles–so cute!
Share one of these with your sweetie tomorrow! Or don’t share….it’s makes enough for two. 😉
Despite the title of this post, I’m not really sure desserts can be classified as sexy, romantic, etc. I mean, what defines that exactly?? Is chocolate inherently sexy?? Is it the shape of the dessert?!? Is it the way the candlelight bounces off the glistening, sugary crust of your crème brûlée into the deep and yearning eyes of your one and only true love??!?!
These are the important questions people!!
Ah well, regardless of what you think of the umm, sex appeal (?) of sugar, these desserts are touted as perfect for a romantic evening and sure to get you…uhh….in the mood…for…dessert?? Yeah, let’s go with that!