Four things I am loving this glorious Wednesday morning. I’ll take one of each please.
Hope everyone has a lovely day!
Four things I am loving this glorious Wednesday morning. I’ll take one of each please.
Hope everyone has a lovely day!
I’ve not made a whole lot of pecan cookies in my life other than these Pecan Sandies, so when I found out tomorrow is National Pecan Cookie Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try another yummy cookie recipe. I found this one from King Arthur for Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies. The cookie is loaded with pecans, butterscotch chips and rolled in a sugar and salt mixture.
I of course just HAD to mess with the recipe. I omitted the espresso and butterscotch chips and subbed in dark chocolate chips and dried cherries and then sandwiched them with marshmallow buttercream. I really, really liked my finished product but I can’t wait to try the original version below. Overall, this recipe makes one seriously delicious cookie.
This weekend I went to the Joyce Meyer conference in St. Louis with a few other lovely ladies. I’ve been several times before and it’s always a wonderful time of awesome music and challenging teaching. It’s also a great time to sneak in some shopping and splurge on some good eating out! On Friday, our sessions were at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. so during that gap me, my sister Hannah and friend Nicole high-tailed it to the Galleria for a marathon shopping session.
One of our stops was Urban Outfitters where I found these Kitty Cat Measuring Cups. I am a HUGE cat person, so I pretty much died when I saw them. I still regret not getting them.
I also came across this toothpaste at Urban Outfitters. As much as I love cupcakes, I’m not sure I want to brush my teeth with them. That just seems…wrong.
After the last session on Saturday, we went back to the Galleria for the Cheesecake Factory. I know, I know it’s a chain and all but I’m sorry, I love the place. We had some awesome salads and then left.
Just kidding! Well, we did have salads but we most certainly ordered cheesecake too! And no, we didn’t share a piece, we each got our own piece. That’s right. Total gluttony. And it was sooooo worth it. Here is a picture of all three of them taken with my crappy cell phone.
And here are some beautiful stock photos of what we got. Much better.
My sister Hannah got Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake. It. Is. So. Good. Layers of carrot cake, vanilla cheesecake, cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans. Amazing.
I got the Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake which consisted of Raspberry-Vanilla Cake, Creamy Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Lady Fingers and Lemon Mousse. It didn’t have the lady fingers and didn’t quite look like this photo and wasn’t really my favorite, BUT it was good. Just not my favorite.
What was my favorite? My friend Nicole’s choice, the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake. OMG. I know that phrase is overused but seriously, OMG. It was so, so, so good…a yummy brownie crust with a hint of coffee in the uber-creamy cheesecake filling and some seriously rich chocolate mousse and ganache on top. I was *this close* to choosing the Kahlua cheesecake and I was KICKING myself for changing my mind at the last minute. However, Nicole couldn’t quite finish all of her piece so like the good friend I am, I volunteered to help her out.
I had such a great weekend and was so sad to see it end but I’m thankful for the girl time and most importantly, God time. And now, I’m gonna shut down my computer on this dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon and hold my husband’s hand as he rides the emotional rollercoaster that is fantasy football. Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday evening.
Once again, I’ve missed the baking boat. A little while ago I went searching for the ultimate brownie recipe and noticed a lot of bloggers raving about “the famous Baked brownie”. Say what? Please tell me I’m not the only one that doesn’t know about this brownie from a little NYC bakeshop called, well, what else…Baked! From what I can gather, these guys made some brownies that Oprah raved about on her show which pretty much resulted to them being shot into baking stardom overnight. Ok, so I was intrigued and got busy making the brownies.
The verdict? Umm, the BEST BROWNIES I HAVE EVER HAD. No joke. They are dense, fudgy, rich and have that wonderful shiny crackle “crust” on top. Hello, beautiful! I was officially sold on this recipe and promptly went online to order their book and see what other awesome recipes I was missing out on.
If you love brownies, you absolutely MUST try this recipe. Prepare for brownie heaven! Oh yes, MILK. Must have that, very important. Now go bake!
When Jeremy and I lived in Rockford, we’d occasionally make trips into Chicago to shop, eat and visit the museums and parks. Fun times. One of our favorite areas of Chicago was Lincoln Park, which was a college town full of unique shops, bakeries and concert venues. We discovered a cupcake place called Molly’s Cupcakes and I’ll never forget one time while we were on our way to get cupcakes from Molly’s we passed another cupcake place that immediately caught my attention due to the enormous size of their cupcakes. They were huge!
As I peered in the window I thought something seemed off…these cupcakes didn’t look quite right. And then I realized I was not looking at delicious vanilla and chocolate cakes topped with creamy, dreamy buttercream but instead it was…meatloaf! Topped with mashed potato “frosting”! Ummm, DISGUSTING. I guess the name of the place should have given it away. After all, it was The Meatloaf Bakery, hello! But I didn’t even see the name because I was too preoccupied staring at the “cupcakes” inside.
I had all but forgot about the place until this past Sunday night when Duff Goldman paid The Meatloaf Bakery a little visit on his new show, Sugar High. Despite my initial gross out, I have to admit that the food actually looked good. And I truly couldn’t believe the place was still in business. I specifically remember thinking, “This place’ll never make it!” Boy, was I wrong!
Would YOU eat a meatloaf cupcake?!
I saw this recipe for Maple Sugar Scones over on Good Life Eats and immediately printed it off. Ever since I learned that scones weren’t that difficult (these Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Scones, for instance) to make and were, in fact, quite delicious, I’ve been looking for another opportunity to make them and this recipe was perfect for the start of fall baking.
I didn’t have the maple sugar that the recipe calls for so instead I used Pure Grade A Maple Syrup (do NOT use the maple syrup sold in the cereal aisle of your store…it’s not real maple syrup) and adjusted the amount of dry ingredients. They turned out so delicious! The dough itself was more biscuit like with a hint of maple and toasted walnuts, but the syrup and sugar on top gave it a nice bit of added sweetness. Perfect warm out of the oven with a cup of coffee on a nice, chilly day.
This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. I got to have a little girl’s night Friday night with two of my bestest friends. We treated ourselves to pedicures and a little shopping. Then Saturday Jeremy and I got up early, worked out, made a yummy homemade breakfast of biscuits, gravy, eggs and sausage and then headed to Seymour for the Apple Festival.
There were a TON of crafts. Jewelry, fall wreaths, homemade cosmetics and lotions, wood working and so much more.
And of course, there were apples. We treated ourselves to a slice of yummy apple pie with vanilla ice cream.
From there we headed to a wedding. My baby cousin, James, got married…I still can’t believe he’s old enough to get married! Makes me feel ancient. Sigh.
The wedding was very cute and laid-back. We all sat on quilt-covered hay-bales and the bride and groom stood under a big, beautiful tree for the ceremony. Afterwards, we had the most delicious bbq and other homemade food and ended the night with yummy white wedding cake, punch and dancing.
I just love this shot.
Congratulations James and Jess!
I finally did it. I got over my fear and lack of patience for cutesy, crafty baked treats and made these adorable owl cupcakes! Once I saw how utterly cute and simple they were, I figured there was no way I could possibly screw this up. The craft is recommended for kids after all! I am so pleased with how they came out and I think I might possibly be ready to embark on another crafty baking adventure…maybe…someday.
But for now, I’m just going to enjoy these!
There’s only one thing hotter than football this fall…crockpots. Yes, CROCKPOTS. They are blowing up all over the Internet like they were invented yesterday. And there are many reasons to love crockpots…they require simple/few ingredients most of the time, they cook for you while you’re at work and it’s all done in one single piece of equipment. Yay! And there are soooo many recipes that you can make in a crockpot…from apple cider, to mexican casseroles, to appetizers and meatloaf, the possibilities are endless. And I recently discovered another use for my crockpot–cake!
Who would have thought you could make a cake without turning your oven on?? Simply amazing. Now this cake isn’t winning any beauty pageants any time soon, but in the taste department it takes home the gold! I literally threw the ingredients together for this cake in 30 minutes over my lunch break, went back to work for a couple of hours and when I got home my whole house smelled like chocolate. Yeah, I could come home to that smell every day.
It’s an interesting recipe because you make the cake batter and put it in the crockpot and then pour this water/sugar/cocoa mixture all over the cake. I mean, it’s a LOT of liquid! But amazingly enough while the cake cooks, the liquid turns to a yummy fudge sauce underneath. It’s hard to capture the full deliciousness of this cake in a picture just ’cause really, it’s not pretty, but alot of ugly recipes taste the best. This is one of those.
I am absolutely IN LOVE with this cake from Glorious Treats. From the different shades of pink, to the perfect swirls covering the whole cake, I just can’t stop staring at this beautiful creation!
I must make this soon. The prettiness is killing me. In a good way.
For step-by-step instructions and more gorgeous pictures, head on over to her blog and get inspired!
Jeremy and I had a little date night this past Friday night in downtown Springfield, MO. We started out by getting dinner at Grad School (AWESOME wings and burgers) and then went directly across the street to grab dessert before seeing Another Earth at The Moxie. For dessert, we went to a new place called Side by Side Dessert Lounge. It’s actually connected to a restaurant called Blu Sesame and I think the idea is you eat dinner there and then go immediately next door and get dessert.
The place was small and had a fairly modern design. The desserts were displayed beautifully in a bakery case, everything from eclairs to cheesecake, creme brulee and black and white cookies. They even had hand-dipped ice cream. We stood there for a looooong time trying to decide what to get before choosing a whoopie pie, tiramisu, a strawberry macaron and a cupcake. Everything was reasonably priced and we ended up spending only $13 for all our goodies.
Our least favorite item was the Tiramisu. It was not at all traditional tiramisu; instead of ladyfingers it was layered with cake that had been soaked in coffee (at least I think it was coffee…it wasn’t strong enough at all). Between the cake layers was something like a basic vanilla custard or pudding, not the usual mascarpone or even cream cheese type filling. And there was not one hint of rum, which is one of my most favorite parts, so that was disappointing.
Next was the Strawberry Macaron which was crumbling the minute we picked it up to take a bite. It had a very hard, brittle outer shell and was a little bit difficult to bite into. The strawberry buttercream inside was squirting out everywhere because it was so hard to bite! Definitely not the slightly crisp and chewy macaron I have experienced in the past. Another bummer. Moving on….
We decided the White-on-White Whoopie Pie (yes, it is as massive as it looks!) was runner-up to our favorite, only because of the buttercream. The cookie or cake or whatever it was on the outside, was seriously odd. It was tough and not even close to having a cake-like texture and was not soft enough to be a cookie. Very strange. Jeremy and I sat there trying to figure it out and finally gave up. But like I said, the buttercream was the only redemptive part of the whole thing…very light, airy and delicious.
Finally, the one thing we actually liked (sort of) was the Original Vanilla Yogurt Cupcake. The girl that was working told us that their cupcakes were made with yogurt (hence the name), which gave it a super moist texture. And it was very moist. It was also kind of pound-cake like. Again, unlike any cupcake I’ve ever had. It was topped with a homemade whipped creamed, strawberry chocolate curls and white chocolate.
Overall, everything was honestly kind of odd and I can’t say that I want to go back anytime soon. Maybe for a cupcake since we did like that. And the ice cream sandwiches looked good also. Let me know if you’ve been or if you plan on going…I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I know that I just posted a recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream earlier this week, but the truth is I am already WAY into fall baking mode. After having several days of degrees well above 100 this summer, anything less than that seems cool and fall-ish in comparison even if it is still in the upper 80s! So now that it’s September, I am opening up the flood gates on everything pumpkin, apple and maple and the recipes are gonna come pouring out!
Let’s start with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. I initially wanted a chewy cookie but these were some of the puffiest, softest cake-like cookies that I have ever made. And that was ok by me. And they weren’t too sweet which was perfect because the butterscotch filling more than made up for any lack of sweetness in the cookie. I took these to a get-together and they got rave reviews all around and not one made it back home with me. Always a good sign.
Let the fall baking begin!
*Malted Butterscotch Filling Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book
I’m loving aprons right now and I think I might buy each and every one of these if I could afford to! If you have anyone in your life that loves to bake, think about getting them one of these for Christmas or their birthday. Such a perfect gift for a baker! Check out the other aprons on these sites too–so pretty!
I am pretty much LOVING all things key lime right now so I thought I’d “squeeze” (Get it?! Squeeze? Limes?? Umm, never mind.) in one more summertime recipe before the temps start falling and pumpkins and apples become the baking ingredients of choice.
A couple of months ago I saw a recipe from My Baking Addiction for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream and I knew there was no way I could let the summer pass by without making it. And I am so glad I didn’t! This ice cream is awesome and so simple…you basically whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl, put the mixture in your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing and then transfer to your freezer to harden up. That’s it!
I only changed a couple of things about this recipe. For starters, I wanted a REAL graham cracker crust in my ice cream and let me tell you it is worth the little bit of extra effort to make it. I also thought the mixture was a little too sweet so I doubled the key lime juice to balance out the sweet and tart–perfect! If I do say so myself.
Enjoy this recipe! And enjoy what’s left of summer!
Jeremy and I just got back from a short but sweet weekend in a little town called Ironton, Mo. He surprised me with a belated anniversary trip to a bed and breakfast called The Parlor. When I went online to do a little research on the activities in and around the town, I found out that the B&B used to be a funeral home and was supposedly haunted! We didn’t see any ghosts or notice anything out of the ordinary while we were there but we did have an absolutely wonderful time and enjoyed our stay IMMENSELY. The husband and wife that own The Parlor were the nicest people and so accommodating.
There wasn’t much on our agenda (which was nice) other than going to a couple of state parks, eating some good food and relaxing. Oh and of course enjoying some yummy desserts! Jeremy also surprised me with a horse-drawn carriage ride Saturday night when we got back to the bed and breakfast. It was so romantic and a great way to end the weekend. Here are some fun pictures from our trip!
Hope you enjoyed the peak into our weekend! Tomorrow I’ll have a yummy end-of-summer recipe to share with you…have a great Sunday evening!
I’ll bet you didn’t know you could paint your walls with food, did ya? Well, I didn’t either until a friend recently told me she had read about it in a magazine. Sure enough there is a company called Anna Sova that is making specially formulated “food” paint. The ingredients are the same ones found in milkshakes, powdered donuts and chocolate.
The paint is supposed to be free of the many dangerous chemicals that are found in a typical can of paint and is instead made up of more healthy food ingredients. Not only that, it also makes your walls smell like a vanilla milkshake! Which I think is divine, but Jeremy says it’s gross. Whatever. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re like my husband) the aroma fades after several days.
The foodie paint comes with quiet the price tag however. At nearly $70 per gallon, yours walls should not only smell like a vanilla milkshake FOREVER, you should be able to LICK your walls and TASTE a milkshake. Now that would be awesome…but also gross. Yeah, never mind.
So what do you think? Cool? Weird? Delicious? Hmmm?
Today is National Banana Split Day! Woo hoo, get excited! Personally, I’ve never really been a big fan of banana splits…I mean, if I’m going to have ice cream, I don’t want anything even remotely healthy going on or in it. Give me the sugary, fatty bad stuff all the way. But then I came upon these banana split inspired recipes and OMG I am drooling all over my keyboard. Talk about decadent, over-the-top, gloriously evil, sweet temptation!
Enjoy! And try to keep the drooling to a minimum.
Never heard of a Peach Pile? That might be because I made it up. Yep. See, this weekend for my mom’s birthday I made a very special, ooey gooey, deep dish peach pie that was topped with a buttery, sugary, cinnamony oat topping. It smelled delicious, it looked delicious and I just knew it was going to taste delicious. But there was only one problem–it DID NOT want to come out of its pan. Nuh uh. Wasn’t having it. Absolutely refused to be eaten. Unfortunately we had to get a little rough with the pie and ended up with what I could only think of in my mind as a big ‘ole pile of peaches and crust. See below.
I think part of the problem was that in my haste I didn’t wait for the pie to cool down enough (as in all the way), in fact, it was still slightly hot. So while we didn’t have the massively tall, delicously perfect slices of pie I had imagined in my mind, we still had an amazingly good pile of peaches, buttery crust and oatmeal topping that was everything I imagined it would taste like along with some cold, creamy vanilla ice cream. Oh yes, and I did use a store-bought crust only because I think they are quite good and didn’t want to take the 4.5 HOURS to make the pie that a homemade crust would have required.
I will say that not one person cared about what the pie looked like once they started eating it. We were licking our plates clean with this one.
See original recipe here.
For the past year or two I’ve had a minor obsession with what I call “cheesecake cakes” and it all started when I made Jeremy this Red Velvet Cheesecake for his birthday. He first had Red Velvet Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory and absolutely loved it. I have to admit, it was awesome. When his birthday came around I did my best to imitate their version and think I got pretty darn close.
After that, my brain couldn’t help but imagine all the possibilities of cheesecake cakes…I did a vanilla cheesecake and strawberry cake combo, a neapolitan with chocolate cake, vanilla cheesecake and strawberry cake…you get the picture. While they are delicious to make, they can be somewhat labor intensive and difficult to transport. So I finally had the bright idea to make it into a cheesecake CUPCAKE. Brilliant, right? So much simpler! And that idea led to the glorious recipe offering I give you today…Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes.
I don’t think I need to say too much about these other than they are
good ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. The chocolate cake is a recipe I borrowed from My Baking Addiction and the cheesecake is a recipe from a friend. I was a little skeptical about the cake since it used a cake mix, but it was actually quite good. It had a more spongy texture than I was used to but was still very moist and had a rich chocolate flavor. And the Oreos…I mean, how can you NOT put Oreos in these? They just send them over the top and transport you directly into chocolate/cheesecake/Oreo heaven.
Make these and share them with the people you love. They will love you back. Promise.