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Showing posts from February, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Growing up I always loved sugary sweet lemonades.  As an adult I can't handle overly sweet beverages like that anymore.  During the summer months you often hear how lemonade is refreshing.  Well, I disagree.  No offense to everyone that says that, however in my opinion lemonade is usually too tart to be refreshing to me.

That is, until I tried Strawberry Lemonade!  I managed to live 29 years in the Midwest (lemonade stands galore!) and never tried Strawberry Lemonade.  What a mistake!  I was hooked with the first sip.  It's still a bit tart from the lemons, and a bit sweet from the strawberry, but not overpoweringly tart or sweet.  Perfect!

When looking through my Google Reader one day I came across this recipe I had starred and decided to try it.  No, the weather hasn't been hot lately, but it will be soon, and I want to make sure I have a fantastic strawberry lemonade recipe ready to go.  This is it!  Not only is it slightly sweet, and slightly tart, but the kick of sp…

Fauxstess Cupcakes

I admit that growing up I wasn’t in love with Hostess cupcakes.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I liked them - a lot - what kid doesn’t like sugary snacks?  But, I was a Little Debbie fan through and through.  Maybe that’s because my mom bought Little Debbie’s more often?  However, when I’d eat a Hostess cupcake I loved every little bit of it.  I mean, what’s not to love about a delicious chocolate cupcake filled with a creamy, kind of marshmallow-y filling.  And the topping?!  The best part with the thick ganache!  All of this coming from a proclaimed “Chocolate is just OK” person.


These cupcakes have been around the interwebs as long as I’ve been looking up recipes online.  They’re old.  Like, really old!  But I’m the lame-o that finally made them.  Take my advice – if you’ve seen these cupcakes and have debated making them, or this is the first time seeing them, well MAKE THEM!  The cupcake base really is pretty much just a basic chocolate cupcake, but when added with the marshmallow f…

Cinnamon Applesauce Cookies

Have you ever had something so many times that you don't realize that you haven't shared it?  That's what these Cinnamon Applesauce Cookies are for me.  This is a recipe that my mom makes every year, the one reason I always make sure to have cinnamon chips in the pantry.  The applesauce in these cookies makes them so incredibly moist that it's almost unreal; plus, I love anything with cinnamon!


So simple and easy, but so deliciously good.  Give them a try - you'll thank me later!
Cinnamon Applesauce Cookies Ingredients:
For the Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup applesauce 10 oz. package cinnamon chips For the Glaze1 1/2 cup powdered sugar milk or water to desired consistency
Directions: Beat butter and sugars until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beating until thoroughly mixed.  Add flour and baking soda in intervals on low speed.  Stir in applesauce and then c…

Rum and Coke Cupcakes

So, the big day is almost here!  Tomorrow I turn 3-0. 
I’m not one of those women that are terrified of my 30s.  I can’t wait, even though I’ll have to deal with the jokes for 11 months until Rob turns 30!  However, I’m excited.   My thirties will be fantastic.  My son will turn ONE while I’m 30 and I’ll get to experience so many firsts with him, even though it doesn’t seem like he has many more since he’s done so much lately.  But we still have first steps, first “real” words, first birthday, first day of school, etc.  All of which will happen in my thirties! 
Anyway, everyone deserves to ring in 30 in a celebratory fashion, right?  How about a nice little boozy dessert?  While I prefer to drink wine (Cabernet and Pinot Noir) or beer (specialty craft beers, or any Sam Adams Seasonal), my mixed drink of choice will generally include Rum.  Usually a Rum and Diet (gotta cut some calories, right?!).  If I’m going to make a boozy dessert to ring in my birthday, I may as well pay homage…

Nutella Cannoli

Nutella is something that I love, but honestly don't really eat or bake with that often, always regretting that fact each time I eat something with Nutella. Well, I am vowing to change my ways - starting with these Cannolis!  They're definitely not a traditional cannoli as the combination of cream cheese and whipped cream make them more like a cheesecake filling, or even mousse, but the cannoli shell makes them easy to grab and eat.  No fork required - my kind of dessert!


Usually I prefer to make mini cannolis because sometimes full ones are just too rich for me, however any recipe could easily be adapted to a regular cannoli shell size (or mini size if the case may be).  The combination of the cream cheese, whipped cream and Nutella definitely made these a rich bite-size dessert, that I think may become one of my go-to recipes when I need to make something quick and impressive.

Nutella Cannoli
Ingredients:
24 Mini Cannoli Shells
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sug…

Super Bowl Snacks

It’s the time of year again where a game brings everyone together, sports fan or not.  That’s right – Super Bowl XLVI is in just a few days and that means it’s time to start dreaming about game-day food if you haven’t already.
For many, the Super Bowl is the ultimate sporting event, however to me it’s just another game with more expensive commercials (that are progressively getting worse, in my opinion), an expensive half-time show, and a reason to hang out with friends eating lots of delicious food, and drinking a few beers!  But, I still love it and look forward to the game every year.  (I am also so excited to get to drink some real beer this year – last year I was 19 weeks pregnant and my Non-Alcoholic Beck’s just wasn’t the same!) I live in a town that doesn’t have a rich football history, plus lately our team has been a complete joke (Go Rams?!) That being said, I generally favor one team over the other for the Super Bowl, but this year I would be happy to see either team win. …

How to Plan Your Menu and Grocery List

There is nothing new about menu planning and making a grocery list, however a lot of my friends and family think it's hilarious that nearly every Saturday or Sunday they'll see a facebook update from me that I'm menu planning.  Then, when I explain my process for planning and shopping they look at me like I am certifably insane.  What they don't realize is planning and preparing for the week makes EVERYTHING about the process so much easier.  Especially now with a baby that I'd rather cuddle with and watch "walk" then spend extra time at the store.

I realize everyone has their own way of doing things and it may take awhile to find an approach that works for you; I know it certainly took me awhile!  Once you establish a plan that works for you, trust me, you'll be so happy you stuck to the trials of finding a system.  Not only does it save you time in the end, it encourages creativity in the kitchen and, probably most important for many of us - it sav…